Senator-elect Rand Paul, who won his senatorial race in Kentucky against Democratic opponent Jack Conway, has chosen campaign aide Doug Stafford, a long-time GOP political consultant, to be his Chief of Staff who will be responsible for assembling a Senate staff.
Stafford serves as vice president of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and as a consultant to the Campaign for Liberty, an organization chaired by Paul’s father, Ron Paul, a Texas congressman and former GOP presidential candidate.
I will admit that, while Conway was worse than Paul on a number of key issues, Rand has made me feel uncomfortable throughout the election season with his comments on a handful of issues that obviously paint him as a social conservative on that front. His troubling positions, as best as I can assemble them, include his positions on gay marriage and medical marijuana, Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act* (specifically because of his poorly-argued, poorly-worded semi-libertarian defense of private racist proprietors who refused service to people on the grounds of their skin color), his defense of the War on Terror (specifically his opposition to closing down Guantanamo Bay a.k.a. Gitmo and trying the "enemy combatants" in New York that issue became the center of a much-publicized controversy), his polarizing stances on illegal immigration and birthright citizenship, abortion, transferring some functions like disbursing student loans and Pell Grants of the Department of Education (which he does favor ending, and I concur with him on this) to other departments and agencies in lieu of eliminating them, to name a few. Additionally, his comments on the recent BP oil spill, in which he called Obama's criticism of BP "un-American," rankled me because, although I oppose the federal government's involvement in the clean-up, BP ought to have been held responsible for the spill and be forced to pay for the clean-up costs.
I'm willing to reserve judgment and see how he handles his first six-year term. But don't expect me to hold my breath either.
[*Note: While I agree in principle that racist proprietors have a right to be racist and do have a right to exclude anyone for any reason (even if it has to do with that individual's skin color) because of my support for freedom of association, that does NOT translate into me saying that I condone the behavior. I am a much bigger fan of community organizing (like Obama is), and I do favor boycotts, sit-ins, non-violent and voluntary ostracism, and other forms of non-violent protests aimed at private statist employers who use their bigotry as a moral and rational justification for averting non-violent customers from entering their establishments. Such criticisms of these grotesque practices are valid and widely accepted in the Liberty movement. It is regrettable that Paul had to reverse his position on that provision of the bill due to the ugly fall-out of his comments which were clearly poorly-constructed and ill-thought out.]