The Rand Paul Litmus Test

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Democratic candidates are looking to capitalize on Kentucky Republican Rand Paul’s disastrous entrée into the national spotlight, attempting to link their Republican opponents with Paul’s ideological extremism. In North Carolina, Democratic Senate candidate Elaine Marshall has sent an email asking “True or False…Republican Sen. Richard Burr agrees with fellow Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul that he would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that ended racial segregation.”

The reader has to click through the post in order to get an answer—and, as it turns out, Burr doesn’t seem to have commented on Paul’s controversial remarks. Noting that Burr has promised voters “it is impossible for any candidate to get to the right” of him, the campaign urges Marshall supporters to sign a petition to “force him on the record!”

Though Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans have tried to distance themselves from Paul, Democrats like Marshall are hoping to paint him as a symptom of the party’s rightward shift. Marshall is facing her own primary contest in North Carolina, where she’s competing in a run-off election against Cal Cunningham, the choice of the national Democratic establishment. Having portrayed herself as an unapologetic progressive, Marshall could conceivably benefit from being seen as a foe of Republican extremism. But whether Marshall–or other Democrats outside of Kentucky–will see much benefit from Paul’s running mouth remains to be seen.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate