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Monday, December 5, 2016

Rand Paul did just fine at Howard University, thank you very much. Or at least, that’s how he remembers it.

Paul, GOP senator from Kentucky, told the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday that his recent visit to Howard didn’t go so bad at all. He said any perception to the contrary was created by — all together now — the “left-wing media.”

Knowing what we do about the political right’s capacity for self-deception, we may trust that he’s telling it like it is — or at least, telling it like he believes it to be.

But reality-based Americans know it wasn’t left-wing media that insulted students at the historically black school by acting as if a visit to their campus was like a visit with headhunters. “Some have said that I’m either brave or crazy to be here,” Paul said, somehow resisting the urge to add, “Me come-um in peace.”

And it wasn’t left-wing media that lied to those students. “I’ve never wavered in my support for civil rights or the Civil Rights Act,” claimed Paul who, in fact, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in 2010 that the act overreached in telling private businesses they could not discriminate against black people.

It wasn’t left-wing media that told those students, “I want a government that leaves you alone,” somehow neglecting the fact that, had government left their grandparents alone, those kids would still be legally required to feed their money into the colored-only slot of the Coca-Cola machine.

Finally, it wasn’t left-wing media that condescended to those students, at one point telling them, “If I were to have said, ‘Who do you think the founders of the NAACP are?’ would everyone in here know they were all Republicans?”

“Of course they would,” one woman grumbled.

Indeed. Any first-year history student would know that. But they’d also know the Republicans are not the same party now that they were prior to 1968, when they essentially traded ideologies with the Democrats and inherited from them all those disaffected white Southern voters who were mortally offended by the aforementioned Civil Rights Act and its sequel, the Voting Rights Act.