Funny how the mainstream media has really gotten into the Rand Paul Aqua Buddah story. I guess it's more exciting for them than reporting on how Jack Conway is going from one end of the Blue Grass State to the other talking with voters about how to get the economy straightened out and how to bring jobs back to Kentucky. But some of the press has been hammering on Rand Paul's crazy nature and others are emphasizing his reluctance to deny the charges-- at least when the story first broke-- and instead just talked about suing GQ for exposing him. USAToday has a whole different twist on the episode: Blasphemy amid the Baptists, which could be the most destructive to Paul's extremist campaign of all. It's certainly getting serious-minded people to look at him a little more deeply.
Blue America, on the other hand, started a new website, Rand Paul's Aqua Buddah. Please check it out and sign our petition... and tell us what you think of Rand Paul and his campaign.
Like we pointed out when the story first started breaking, only two Republicans voted against John Sensenbrenner's Violence Against Women legislation in 2005, Tom Tancredo (R-CA) and... Ron Paul (R-TX). Like father, like son? Worse. The day after completely bombing at Kentucky's iconic Fancy Farm pep rally/election kick off-- voted against John Sensenbrenner's Violence Against Women legislation in 2005, Tom Tancredo (R-CA) and Ron Paul (R-TX). Like father, like son? Worse. The day after completely bombing at Kentucky's iconic Fancy Farm pep rally/election kick off-- putting the audience to sleep with a bunch of dull statistics after Jack Conway's barnburner speech-- uncertified eye doctor Rand Paul, recently found to be misleading reporters about having graduated from Baylor University, was exposed for something which could well prove to be even more serious (and the probably reason for his never having graduated from Baylor). And it's making voters wonder if he'd be likely to vote against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which does come up in 2011. So far he refuses to say, although McConnell voted against it and Paul is likely to follow his lead on this type of legislation.
Earlier today the frightened woman who Paul tried to get to smoke dope and worship the Aqua Buddah, tried to clarify the story she gave GQ. She says it couldn't technically be called a kidnapping and they didn't physically force her to smoke a bong "but she reiterated other odd aspects of her earlier story, including her claim that Paul and another college friend blindfolded her, tied her up, and told her to smoke pot and worship the "Aqua Buddha," even if they didn't physically force her to do these things." She said it was like a hazing. The Paul campaign is variously describing it as coming from "one anonymous source," calling it "libelous and grossly irresponsible," threatening to sue GQ ("drive-by media") and just a teenage prank (although it was hardly when Paul was of bar mitzvah age; he was 20 and this could well have been what led to Baylor asking him to leave early.
But even if he's been able to tamp down the kidnapping aspects of this case a bit, Kentuckians are wondering how someone who is worshipping Aqua Buddahs and who thinks disparaging Fancy Farm is a good idea, can actually be one of them. His comments on the Sean Hannity show didn't go over very well back home in Kentucky. And people of faith have a very real concern, one which Paul has steadfastly refused to address: what's a Church-going Christian boy-- so-called-- doing worshipping idols and Aqua Buddahs and insinuating on national TV that a church picnic is filled with a bunch of rowdy beer drinkers? Earlier today, in fact, AP reports he had to apologize for disparing a church picnic.
Republican Rand Paul has apologized for saying he worried beer would be thrown at a church picnic he attended last weekend in western Kentucky.
The U.S. Senate candidate issued the apology Wednesday through a statement from campaign manager Jesse Benton.
Paul told conservative radio personality Sean Hannity on Tuesday he worried people would throw beer on him at the picnic hosted by St. Jerome Parish in a tiny farming community.
Parishioners complained that Paul's comments created a false perception of the event. Beer isn't served at the picnic, and alcohol sales are illegal in the community.
The picnic is a church fundraiser and attracts Kentucky politicians who want to glad-hand with attendees and deliver stump speeches.
Even someone usually clueless and lazy Politico reporters are starting to speculate that Rand Paul doesn't know much about his adopted state, insinuating that he probably could represent Texas better than Kentucky.
In talking to both Republicans and Democrats at Fancy Farm, I found bipartisan wonder at just how foreign Rand Paul is to Kentucky's treasured cultural and political traditions. He's much more interested in, and comfortable with, discussing 20,000-foot national issues than his own state. Given the environment this year, Paul's unfamiliarity with the state may not matter-- but it has the Kentucky political class buzzing.
The most striking example may have been the lede in the Details mag profile of Paul in which he was uncertain about why the town of Harlan-- home to epic labor battles-- was famous and suggested wrongly to the reporter that the nearby town of Hazard was the model for the fictional Dukes of Hazzard.
Meanwhile, Rand Paul, who's never held public office, is racking up quite a record for Kentucky voters to consider:
- he hosted his primary victory at a private exclusive country club - flip-flopped on the Community Reinvestment Act, condemning it, proving not to understand it, apologizing and then embracing it... grumpily - disparaged the Americans With Disabilities Act, proving he had never even read it or understood the first thing about it - pledged to not take money from Establishment Republicans who voted for TARP and then greedily started accepting the money once he won the primary and they were willing to give him the cash - misrepresented his education and his certification to work as an eye doctor - he calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme and Medicare "socialism" (but opposes cuts to the Medicare reimbursement he receives as a physician) - he said if elected, he wants to form a “Tea Party Caucus” in the Senate like Michele Bachmann’s House version - he proposed the “tough love” of cutting unemployment benefits to “get back to work and allow the economy to get started again” - signed on as a booster of mountaintop removal mining to please the big coal mining PAC - to make sure to get the maximum contributions from the mine owners, he even said Kentucky miners don't need regulatory protection because they're all such rational actors that they won't work for unsafe mines.
On top of that, he's leaving people with the impression he's flipped his wig-- which could well be made out of hemp!