Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) could be his own worst enemy. Since the launch of his campaign, he’s bungled his way into numerous unforced errors and embarrassments including a contentious interview on the TODAY show with Savannah Guthrie. Collectively, this series of gaffes have shined a spotlight on whether Paul is presidential material or a second-rate senator riding on the infamy of his father’s name. Couple all of this with the candidate’s record of policy reversals, often within the same day. Say what you will about Hillary Clinton’s evolution on same-sex marriage, but following Paul’s antics literally induces whiplash.
The Guthrie interview, though, combined with his shooshing of CNBC’s Kelly Evans, telling her to “calm down,” not only indicates that Paul is a rank amateur who can’t handle tough questions from women, but that he’s also kind of a dick.
As an aside, both interviews frankly reminded me of an hilarious segment from Bruno in which Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno character interviewed Ron Paul and slowly tried to hit on the then-presidential candidate. The normally soft-spoken Paul fled the room shouting that Bruno was “queerer than the blazes!” He continued, “He’s queer, he’s crazy, he put a hit on me!” It seems as though the Paul men have really, really short fuses — probably not the sort of temperament appropriate for handling the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
Policy positions aside, temperament and grace under fire are two extraordinarily import characteristics of a solid chief executive. Shooshing Kelly Evans and indeed lying about who was interrupting whom in the Guthrie interview ought to be a super-colossal red flag. This kind of behavior might play well on AM talk radio or Fox News Channel where short fuses and dick-moves are common, but in the real world outside of that far-right bubble, it comes off as petulant and sexist.
Speaking of sexism, Paul continues to defend his God-awful treatment of Evans and Guthrie weeks after the Guthrie spot and his latest excuse is on par with his petulance. During an interview with a local talk show in Iowa, Paul said (via Right Wing Watch):
The funny thing about it is that it’s kind of a sexist position to think that somehow women announcers are less capable to handle themselves than men. I don’t think that, but everybody that was complaining about it, thinking it had something to do with gender, basically that’s insulting to the people doing the questioning. Really the problem is that we have a lot of media that are just so far on the left that we just don’t have any neutral questions. If you go on there as a Democrat, they laugh and yuck it up and talk about how great things are going, but it’s a little bit different when Republicans are on the national news.
Yes, Paul pulled out the old Pee-Wee Herman switcheroo — the “I know you are but what am I” counterpoint. Then he followed it up with the “liberal media” myth. A double-dose of hackery.
No one believes Guthrie and Evans couldn’t handle themselves, or that female anchors should be afforded special treatment. However, we do in fact wonder is whether Paul is especially rude to women interviewers or if he plans to “shoosh” any male interviewers any time soon. So far, it hasn’t happened and no one really expects it to.
In terms of his liberal media crapola, he’s clearly preying upon the amnesia of the viewing public, as well as the paranoid bubble psychosis of his people who see Fox News as the only safe and fair network, with everyone outside the bubble acting perpetually hostile. First of all, none of the questions that caused Paul to “no, no, no, no, no” Guthrie and to “shoosh” Evans were in the least bit liberal. The questions were tough, yes, but not liberal. Guthrie asked Paul about his numerous position reversals on aid to Israel, and Evans asked Paul about his idea for a tax holiday. And by the way, anyone who thinks CNBC is a liberal network has been spending too much time huffing paint and masturbating to the animated GIFs of Sean Hannity holding back his orgasm during an interview with Dick Cheney. Seriously, watch CNBC for an hour. Not only will the array of spazzy white guys shouting over each other completely exhaust you but you won’t see anyone even resembling a liberal.
Does any of this matter to Rand Paul’s easily-duped disciples? No way. Not only are they wired to believe everything he says, even when it totally contradicts previous claims, but they probably also believe that Halloween novelty on his head is his actual hair.