Townhall.com has a pretty interesting set of reactions to the kefuffle over Rand Paul’s initial equivocation on the public accommodations portions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act:
They’re interesting partly because they are better than the usual charges of media bias that follow a conservative embarrassment in “gotcha moment.”
For my money, Goldberg is the funniest (not surprisingly) and closest to my view of the deepest meaning of this pretty shallow episode:
[T]he only people who are really jazzed to reopen the argument about the Civil Rights Act are liberals.
And they have good reason: They won that argument, politically and morally. This is a fact liberals never stop reminding us, and themselves, about. Like a paunchy middle-aged man who scored the winning touchdown in the high school championship, nostalgic liberals don’t need an excuse to bring up their glory days (which were not the Democratic Party’s glory days, by the way). Give them a living, breathing politician who suggests, no matter how imprecisely or grudgingly, that the Civil Rights Act wasn’t perfect, and they’ll talk your ear off like a drunk uncle at a wedding.
How many activist groups insist that their plight is sublimely analogous to the civil rights struggle? How many times did the Democrats try to make health-care reform a continuation of civil rights? …
What really makes this debate remarkable is that someone has volunteered to be the straw man liberals are always creating.
But Harsanyi’s opener is good, too:
Isn’t it time we started querying our political candidates on issues that really matter?
Let’s start with this one: If you were a convention delegate in 1778, would you have voted to ratify the Constitution of the United States?
If the answer is yes — and you don’t hate America, do you?! — it’s only fair we conclude that you support restricting voting rights to male landowners exclusively. Surely, from your position, we can also deduce that you support slavery.