But he doesn’t regret what he said — or, more precisely, refused to say — on TRMS last night:
The morning after he declined to endorse the totality of the Civil Rights Act in his much-discussed appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, Dr. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) copped to feeling regret — not over his comments, but rather his decision to be interviewed by Maddow in the first place.
“It was a poor political decision and probably won’t be happening anytime in the near future,” the Tea Party endorsed Senate candidate said on the Laura Ingraham show on Thursday morning. “Because, yeah, they can play things and want to say, ‘Oh you believed in beating up people that were trying to sit in restaurants in the 1960s.’ And that is such a ridiculous notion and something that no rational person is in favor of. [But] she went on and on about that.”
Which, of course, is not in any way an accurate characterization of the interview. What happened on that interview is that Rachel Maddow tried, for something like 10 or 15 minutes, to get Dr. Paul (he’s an eye surgeon) to give her a straight, up or down, yes or no answer to the question of whether private businesses should be allowed to deny service to black patrons — or gay patrons, or any group of people based on a specific, defined characteristic. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans such discriminatory policies — which is why it is illegal to tell black people, or Jewish people, or Hispanic people, or people with blond hair, or overweight people, that they cannot sit at the lunch counter, or that they cannot go into the community swimming pool, or that they cannot sit anywhere on the bus they want to sit, or that they cannot rent an apartment or stay in a particular hotel. Dr. Paul’s position is that he disagrees with that kind of discrimination, but he thinks private businesses should be permitted to engage in it — and would have opposed the part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned such policies, had he been around then.