Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I would like to discover here, I continue on my voyage of discovery, what in the Hades is a neoconfederate sympathy? Does having a neoconfederate sympathy mean you had a relative who was shot and killed at Antietam and you put flowers on their grave and you don’t pitch a hissy fit because there’s a Confederate battle flag on the grave marker? Is that a Confederate sympathy? Is it a Confederate sympathy because you watch Gone with the Wind and think: Wow, the North really screwed and subjugated the South after that one, didn’t they? Is that a Confederate sympathy? Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: If you go to NewYorkTimes.com and go to The Caucus blog, you will find this: “10 Questions For Rand Paul” posted by John Harwood. You will discover this:
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has drawn more attention than most Republican politicians lately, as his party searches for a winning national formula. Clashing with the likes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – a potential 2016 presidential rival – he has promoted a libertarian brand of Republican politics featuring a less aggressive foreign policy, a more tolerant social policy, and smaller government.
John Harwood of The Times and CNBC interviewed Mr. Paul for the NPR program “On Point,” produced by WBUR-Boston. What follows is a condensed, edited version of their conversation.
Mike: Some of you are probably wondering: So what, Church? Come on, Mike, get back to bashing Obama. There’s plenty of that to go around today as well. The reason this may be important or may attain more airplay and garner for itself more stature among other stories is because Senator Paul is asked a series of questions about the departed Jack Hunter. Here we are, what is it two weeks? How long has it been since Jack either resigned or Rand whacked him or whatever? It was a Monday, what two weeks and two days now? Andrew, is that right?
Mike: So here we are after Jack’s demise. Full disclosure, Jack Hunter is a longtime friend of mine for about six years now. He has actually guest hosted this show before, has contributed to many online forums and online chats we have had on the website at MikeChurch.com. He’s been a guest over a dozen and a half times or so on this very program. So full disclosure on that, Jack is a friend of mine, and remains a friend of mine. So the subject comes up yesterday in this interview. We have the audio of this. Rather than hear me read the transcript, it’s a lot easier to listen to the audio here. Before we do that, though, I would like to just, I’m going to throw this out here. The recap of the conversation you’re about to hear appears on many news websites today. If I just went to Yahoo.com and read to you the post that was put up 13 hours ago by Chris Moody, this is the headline. I’m reading this verbatim, which is Latin for “as it is.” “Rand Paul is tired of talking about former aide with neoconfederate past.” What is this obsession with this term neoconfederate? I asked this question two weeks ago and three weeks ago and four weeks ago. Here’s the opening paragraph of the story here. I shall endeavor to ask the question again….
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Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul lambasted a radio reporter Tuesday after he was asked repeated questions about his connection to an aide who resigned last month after it was revealed he had a history of neoconfederate sympathies.
Mike: I would like to discover here, I continue on my voyage of discovery, what in the Hades is a neoconfederate sympathy? Does having a neoconfederate sympathy mean you had a relative who was shot and killed at Antietam and you put flowers on their grave and you don’t pitch a hissy fit because there’s a Confederate battle flag on the grave marker? Is that a Confederate sympathy? Is it a Confederate sympathy because you watch Gone with the Wind and think: Wow, the North really screwed and subjugated the South after that one, didn’t they? Is that a Confederate sympathy? If you encourage people, as I have done, to maybe read Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Book of Maxims, which is a great read for any young, chivalrous gentleman, Jackson having been a commander in Lee’s army even though he was a graduate of West Point up in Yankee territory and was a fine officer in the federal army before the secession of Virginia, is that a Confederate sympathy? What are they talking about here? What is it?
I’ll tell you what this is. I’ve explained this before, but since it keeps coming up, I’m going to try to explain it again. This is a continuing attempt by certain elite individuals and their media organizations and their political backers and their supporters (whether they be official or unofficial, meaning people who contribute to these causes), this is a continued attempt to refight the aftermath or run-up, depending on which angle you want to choose, of the events of 1861 to 1865, and to continue for political purposes, and I think ultimately for financial purposes, to demonize and vilify anyone that lives south of the Maryland/Virginia state line. This is nothing short of: You people in the South have your heritage; get rid of it. There’s nothing in it worth conserving. I say to that: Does that include Jefferson? Does that include Henry? These clowns refuse to admit that the Constitution that came out of Philadelphia in 1787 made legal all these atrocities. It not only legalized them, hell, it nationalized them. It codified them into law. If you really want to have that discussion, I am more than happy and will valiantly and gallantly defend the memories of Washington, Jefferson, Henry, George Mason. I’ll name as many Southerners as I can here because apparently they’re the only evil, despicable people that ever lived in the United States or in the former colonies that became the United States.
What is this neoconfederate sympathizer crap? Because I am privileged and honored to join you every morning for three hours on these Sirius XM radio airwaves, I may be able to try to explain this and have a conversation about it. I don’t think that Rand Paul is ever going to be able to have a conversation about this. I certainly don’t think that Jack Hunter is going to engage anyone on it, because I would imagine that he and Rand agree: Jack, you need to drop out. You need to go somewhere where no one knows your name. You need to be like that Jimmy Buffett song. You just need to go south of disorder. Just get the hell out of here. Don’t tell anyone where you are. Don’t answer your phone. For God’s sake, Jack was probably told, whatever you do, please do not appear on any of the radio shows or TV shows you used to appear on. Don’t post anything on any magazine or website unless it’s the Daily Caller, because that one seems to be above board. It is, after all, based out of Washington, DC.
I remain here in protest and will continue to remain in protest over the demagoguery and the vilification of Southern people in general. You people in the North, or you people that are perpetrating this, you’re supposed to be against stereotypes. You demonize and vilify George Zimmerman as some sort of closet maniacal racist who was running around with these stereotypes of what black youths must be in his mind and therefore shot Trayvon Martin in cold blood. The aegis for all this is [mocking] “There was a stereotype and you damn Southerners had it in your mind.” Yeah, well what about your stereotype? I don’t know anyone, and I mean this as sincerely as I can possibly mean it, I don’t know anyone who desires to own a slave. I don’t know anyone who desires to own a plantation and own slaves on it anymore. I don’t know anyone that desires to subjugate people of color under their care. What the hell are they talking about?
Mike Church Show Transcript – Ron Paul Points Out What Should Be Obvious: Politicians Lie And The NSA Spies
What ever happened to [mocking] “We’ve moved beyond all these things now. We’ve got major problems to deal with”? We do have major problems to deal with, yet that R-word, that damned pursuit of a perfect world that is totally cleansed of all prejudice, which is a utopian dream and therefore can never be accomplished, that is what we’re told. [mocking] “That’s what we must pursue.” Says who? Who says that? People in countries that have pursued utopia, I talked about this yesterday, wind up in history books being represented by men like Hitler, men like Stalin, men like Mao Zedong, men like Mussolini. The list can go on and on here. With all the myriad of actual problems, real not imagined, that we have here, let us obsess over an absolutely disgusting epic in American history. Over 750,000 dead, over 1.5 million orphaned and widowed, private property destroyed beyond human imagination, and to relive this — I think there are actually some of these people that would be willing to scorched earth the people they disagree with over things like this and go through the entire process again. This is, from where I sit anyways, sick and sad, yet it persists. It may ultimately be, sad to say — and that’s why this is being done — the demise of any national potential or federal potential that Senator Paul may have.
Let’s listen to the digital media file. AG, this ran on WBUR-Boston. I assume this may have been distributed to other NPR outlets. This is John Harwood of the New York Times and CNBC interviewing Rand Paul yesterday. Listen:
[start audio clip]
John Harwood: You invoke the rights of black Americans. You spoke at Howard University. You’ve talked about commitment to outreach. What conclusion should people draw from the presence of that former shock jock Jack Hunter on your staff, who co-authored a book with you, who was identified as the “Southern Avenger…”
Sen. Rand Paul: He’s no longer on my staff.
John Harwood: But you had a pretty strong association with him.
Sen. Rand Paul: Yeah, but the thing is, if you’ll read through a lot of his things, I think some of the things he wrote, or many of the things he wrote were stupid and I don’t agree with. They weren’t things that I was aware of or reasons why I hired him. I do think though, that he was unfairly treated by the media, and that he was put up as target practice for people to say he was a racist, and none of that’s true. If you’ll look at his writings, I think there are a lot of problems and a lot of disagreements and none of it do I support, but none of it was racist. There was no evidence. He got along fine with everybody in the office, treated everyone fairly regardless of race or religion. We have a very varied office staff in background. I think it was just unfair. It’s also unfair to paint a broad brush and say that’s who I am when I should be judged by the things I’m doing. I think there is no greater defender, truly, of minority rights, if you include minorities to be color of your skin or the color of your ideology, than myself. I will stand up there with the most progressive members of the caucus in the Senate and say: Civil liberties are important. They’re important particularly because of some of the egregious things that happened in America’s history.
John Harwood: Well, let me read you something that The Economist, the political magazine, wrote a few weeks ago and get you to react to it. “. . . the only notable libertarian-leaning politicians to generate real excitement among conservative voters have risen to prominence through alliances with racist and nativist movements. Ron Paul’s . . .” –
Sen. Rand Paul: Don’t you have anything better? Don’t you have something better to read than a bunch of crap from people who don’t like me? That won’t make for much of an interview if I have to sit through reading after recitation of people calling me a racist.
John Harwood: No, I understand.
Sen. Rand Paul: I don’t accept all of that. I don’t really need to spend the time going and talking about that. If you want to talk about issues and what I stand for, I’m happy to, but I’m not going to really go through an interview reciting and responding to every yahoo in the world who wants to throw up a canard.
John Harwood: But why shouldn’t — if somebody sees the record of Jack Hunter —
Sen. Rand Paul: Why don’t we talk about Rand Paul? I’m the one doing the interview. You can go ahead and beat up on an ex-employee of mine, but why don’t we talk about Rand Paul and what I’m trying to do to grow the party, and then we might have an intelligent discussion.
John Harwood: I am, but he is someone who wrote a book with you.
Sen. Rand Paul: Well, you’re not. You think you want to dwell on something, you want to bring up critical articles from people who don’t like me, and don’t support any Libertarian ideals. Why don’t we talk about what Libertarian Republican means and what it would do for the party. Let’s talk about some issues. Let’s talk about indefinite detention. Let’s talk about aid to Egypt. Let’s talk about repatriation of foreign capital so we can redouble our infrastructure, which the President asked for last week? Those might be some pertinent topics other than doing ad hominem on me.
[end audio clip]
Mike: I read the transcript of that last night and now I’ve heard the audio version of it. All biases aside, I remain firmly in the Senator Paul corner. I don’t know what else he’s supposed to do. Apparently this is not going to go away because now clowns that run the international elite media establishment, or fabled news television and now fabled news radio, the industrial-media complex have now found something. They’ve got that barb. They’ve now found something that they can pound into the ends of the Earth with and sully his reputation. They can make anything he says, it can now be spun into [mocking] “What did you really mean by that? What did you really mean by that, Senator Paul? You had that Jack Hunter, neoconfederate, slave-owning shock jock on your staff a while back. What did you mean by that?”
Now you see laid out in front of you here — this isn’t even 2014, folks. We’re two and a half years away from a primary even being dreamed about for the Republican nomination and already knees are knocking, feet are quaking in boots at the prospect that anyone would ever ride to Mordor on the Potomac River and try to dismantle any part of that edifice. Do you people think that if you send the right people to Congress you can fix this? Can you not see what’s happening to Rand is what’s going to happen to anyone that tries to do what Senator Paul would attempt to do? Are we now witnessing already the dagger to be plunged into the nascent future candidacy of Senator Paul for any office higher than office of United States senator? I don’t know, could be. That’s not me wishing it would happen, but Mr. Gruss seems to think that’s the inevitable course of action, don’t you?
AG: Yeah, I think he’s in serious trouble with this.
Mike: Earlier you said you think he’s done.
AG: Yeah, unless he comes up with a —
Mike: Are you ready to get a fork and stick it in him and go: Well done? Is he medium-rare or is he medium-well?
AG: If he doesn’t come up with a better explanation, he’s done.
Mike: I’m just curious, I want to probe this for a moment, so humor me, fair producer. What do you think is a fair explanation or a more fair explanation other than the one that we just heard?
AG: I’m not sure there is one. He either comes off as incompetent with his hiring, which means he didn’t do a background check. As he says in the interview, “We didn’t know about this.” That comes across as it’s not a professionally-run campaign or staff as other pundits have suggested. Or he comes off as agreeing with what Jack has written in the past. Either way, it doesn’t sound good because he hasn’t figured out a way to explain it. You can go across the board. The goal of journalists now is to piss off the politician and get him to react angrily, and that goes across the board on the right or the left. You’ve seen it with Chris Christie, and people have done that numerous times. That’s a headline whenever he yells at some reporter for asking a stupid question. You see it now with Anthony Weiner, whenever he gets mad at a reporter continuing to hammer him on his sexting stuff. Literally every single political website has a story on this interview yesterday because Rand got upset with the questioning and doesn’t have an explanation yet for it.
Mike: I don’t think it’s fair to say he doesn’t have an explanation. He does have an explanation. It may not be an adequate explanation.
AG: But he was like, “Let’s move on.” His explanation is, “Let’s move on.” That doesn’t cut it.
Mike: I’d like to know if crucifying Jack Hunter another hundred thousand times and then maybe making Rand Paul sit there at Jack’s feet while the nail’s being driven in and watching the crucifixion, what does that do to balance the budget? What does that do to —
AG: Mike, you know that doesn’t matter.
Mike: I know but it should matter.
AG: That is completely unimportant.
Mike: Why is it unimportant?
AG: Because we go back to headlines are the only thing that’s ultimately important. If you can get a politician that’s angry and says: That’s crap, I don’t want to answer this question, or: Let’s talk about me in some caustic tone, that’s what’s going to generate the headlines, not Rand saying: I can balance the budget in six years. No one finds that sexy or headline-grabbing.
Mike: This is a blood sport then.
AG: Yeah. I think until Rand has some explanation, which I am struggling to figure out what that explanation is, that doesn’t come across as unprepared to hire staff, which you then extrapolate down the line. If he’s going to hire someone now for a social media job, social media coordinator or whatever Jack’s official title was, how’s he going to run an administration? He doesn’t have that explanation. If he says they did vet him and still hired him, that doesn’t look good to a large, large portion of the American public.
Mike: How do you vet someone with neoconfederate sympathies if you can’t even define what a neoconfederate sympathy is?
AG: You don’t hire that person if he writes some of the stuff that was written.
Mike: To characterize Jack as a shock jock is just ridiculous. Jack was never a fulltime radio host and he worked at WTAM in South Carolina, which is as far from an FM talk station where you would find a “shock jock” as you could possibly find on planet Earth.
End Mike Church Show Transcript