Senator Rand Paul wants you to know, m’am, that he enjoys the festive colors in your kente. And sir? Did you just get your dreadlocks did? Well, they look lovely. That’s right, Paul is courting new demographics, and that means the minority vote. He plans to do so by introducing a bill that will restore voting rights to the currently 5.85 million people disenfranchised due to prison time for minor drug offenses:
“In Kentucky, you lose your voting rights forever,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I have a friend whose brother grew marijuana plants 30 years ago in college, who has a felony conviction and still cannot vote. That’s wrong and unfair.”
And this is a noble and much-needed change. But let’s not forget that Rand is also the guy who said President Obama wasn’t black enough.
Team Blackness also discusses a new barbershop initiative, poll watching plans in Mississippi, and why interracial relationships can be a lot of work.
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Typical Republican — doesn’t give a shit about an issue until it affects him personally.
And do you think that will restore it to all of those voters. I’m pretty sure it’ll before those who:
Have only one conviction
Under a certain amount
Not associated with any other offense
The last one would allow them to keep the conviction on those that, say, were pulled over for speeding.
How else are the going to get more whites to vote.
I’m white and middle aged, and I’m getting cynical about race.
Sounds like Ron needs a more diverse group of friends. Friends teach empathy, and Rand needs more and more diverse friends.
Well, now that it’s a white people problem, somebody better do something.
@srv: And so, the real way things change is revealed.
Elon, Rand will say anything. ANYTHING. He is like a slightly more desperate Mitt Romney. Worry not. Give him ten minutes to decide he has to pacify his base, and he’ll say something about getting tough on drug addicted inner city thugs. Everything you need to know about Rand Paul is that on the night he won the nomination to run for KY senator, he thanked the Tea Party and told them that he would never tack to the middle. The next morning, in his first speech for the general race, he said that he was a moderate, had never had extreme positions, and had no connection to the Tea Party. Watch and see what he actually does about drug laws.
Imagine a boot stamping on a human face, slightly less than forever.
“I have a friend whose brother grew marijuana plants 30 years ago in college, who has a felony conviction and still cannot vote. That’s wrong and unfair.”
Has anyone found out yet where he stole the anecdote from?
@Mnemosyne: What Mnem says. In all things, Republicans only see anything as unjust when it affects someone in their circle.
How anyone takes Rand seriously always is a puzzle to me, he’s so obviously a panderer he makes Rmoney look principled.
That state’s rights thing is…. tricky, eh, Rand?
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
Paul’s been palling around with felons again? Well, Aqua Buddha always taught forgiveness.
Voting is a fundamental right of citizenship that should never be taken away, even if you’re on death row.
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne: You got it!
Paul in KY
@Wag: The other thing there was that that guy was his best supplier. He was growing the whup!
That’s a great idea. If someone had passed legislation re-enfranchising former felons twenty years ago, Bush and Rove would have had to find another way to mess with the Florida vote count.
Still a great idea – if it ever happens. Although it does seem odd from a Republican, since re-enfranchised felons will probably be Democrats.
Frankensteinbeck – oh … okay. Now I get it. Thanks.
This is a smart move by Paul, and if any Democrat is smart they’ll give him all the support that he needs.
It looks like Paul is trying, and that puts him in an all win situation. Failure, he just says nobody on the other side of the aisle would work with him and it makes the Democrats look bad, if he blocked by the GOP he positions himself as a moderate w/r/t social issues and becomes the darling of the press. While still keeping his core “libertarian” followers.
And if he succeeds, well, that’s great news for the disenfranchised, he’s known as a man of his word who’ll work to find common ground with Democrats.
The amazing thing is, this won’t make a damn difference in any of the upcoming elections.
@satby: Well, when he’s right (like he is on this issue) why doesn’t he deserve to be taken seriously? When deciding who gets to be Taken Seriously on a certain issue, what criteria in your mind trumps actually being right about said issue?
Paul in KY
@Dervin: I support restoring a felon’s right to vote. I do not support Rand Paul.
@Wag: Like a gay friend so he can support marriage equality, an immigrant friend so he can support immigration reform and a female friend so he can support pro-choice rights.
@Paul in KY: This. Paul is a blight on our politics, but I’d sure like my Senators to make this a priority.
If Paul commits to a non-interventionist foreign policy, then he’s automatically a better pick for the presidency than Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden, or practically anyone else the Dems are offering these days.
I mean, I get why there’s hostility toward him. His abortion stance is repugnant, and that’s an important issue. But that doesn’t change the fact that Paul is out ahead of the Democrats on certain issues – most importantly America’s role as the world’s Jefe. I mean, I support abortion, gay rights and the checks on corporate power that we desperately need…but if a bunch of brown people in far off countries are going to have to die to get me those things (as I think the choice would be in a Clinton vs Paul election) I think Paul (or any other non-interventionist) warrants serious consideration.