Rand Paul supporters stomp young woman from MoveOn

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    (Correction – My initial post misidentified the miscreants doing this as “Ron Paul supporters.” They were Rand Paul supporters. Ron Paul is Rand’s fathers, and while I think his ideas are wacky, I think he is a principled person and I don’t think for a minute he would tolerate crap like this.)

    I don’t usually write about issues outside of Virginia, but the attack last night by Rand Paul supporters on a woman from MoveOn.org was truly horrifying, and should be viewed by every decent American so you can see what the Tea Party future will be like:

    (more on the flip)

    I do not know whether the woman who was attacked is okay. I do know that despite the fact that she appeared on television afterward and seemed all right, she was later taken to the hospital.

    Rand Paul was asked about the incident on Fox News this morning. He said there was “a bit of a crowd control problem,” adding he doesn’t want anyone involved in “things that are not civil.” He suggested that what lay behind this incident is passion on both sides.

    NO, NO, NO, No, NO, NO! These miscreants were not motivated by passion, and passion alone.

    First, obviously, as individuals these perpetrators lack a moral compass.

    But Conservatives not only refuse to condemn and reject the support of these individuals, like any decent person would, they actually encourage supports to behave this way. Not expressly, of course, Limbaugh and Beck are not idiots, but through the massive campaign to stoke fear, to dehumanize political opponents and to subtly suggest that violence is an acceptable agent of political change, their intended audiences are getting the message.

    But, you know, I don’t even blame them. Limbaugh and Beck are what they are — they are grifters more interested, actually, in using politics to empty the pockets of their supporters much more than really effect political change. The fact that they are right wingers probably results more from the fact that Conservatives are bigger saps, and more easily parted from their money.

    But I have nothing but contempt for the political leaders who either expressly support this behavior or refuse to plainly and directly call them on it — without qualification, without blaming it on the “passion of both sides” when one side is clearly the victim and one is clearly the criminal, without fear of alienating a voting block, albeit a BSC one.

    Among the supporters of violence — Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin. Among the enablers by their refusal to condemn: John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Mike Huckabee and John McCain.

    Paul’s response, seems to me, to continue in the long, pathetic line of Republican tolerance of political violence, as long as it supports them. His inability to clearly and unequivocally condemn his own supporters for this act — and lets be very clear, there is no ambiguity in this over who is the criminal and who is the victim bespeaks of a profound moral and ethical cowardice. We need more from our leaders.

    Is this really where the vast majority of people, decent, hardworking and law-abiding — want to let the tea party and the GOP lead America?

    In any event, Sam Stein at the Huffington Post seems to be providing the best up-to-the-minute coverage if you want to follow the story.

    • GregHabeeb

      First time I saw the video I thought we were about to see an American History X curb stomp moment.  Not good and I hope the perpetrators have been identified and arrested.  I’m always amazed that people on both sides of the aisle think acting completely insane somehow helps their cause.

    • VADEM

      is coming here on Fri. to stump for Tom. I hope we don’t see any violence in our little berg. I’m sure all the baggers will show up with their racist signs.

    • These weren’t Rand Paul “supporters”. At least one of those “supporters” was a campaign coordinator.

    • aznew

      As the comment above notes, one of the alleged thugs in the video has now been identified as Tim Profitt, a campaign county coordinator for the Rand campaign. Profitt reportedly issued an apology through the AP.

      Kentucky blog Barefoot and Progressive is reporting that Paul took out a full page ad in today’s Herald Leader touting endorsement of supporters, including Profitt.

      It seems to me that the question now is whether Paul reported the man’s identity to police immediately, since he must have known who it was as soon as he (or anyone from his staff) saw the video.

      Based on Paul’s appearance on Fox this morning, it doesn;t seem as if he was sharing that information, which must have been known to him at the time as he was already commenting on the incident.

      Paul now seems to be in full damage control mode, but the question hangs — what the Hell took them so long.

    • aznew

      Lauren Valle, the woman beaten in the video, will be on Olbermann tonight.

    • Eileen Levandoski

      Suspect In Stomping Of Woman At Debate Is Rand Paul Staffer; Police Serve Him With Criminal Summons

      http://www.alan.com/2010/10/26

    • Unfortunately, according to Public Policy Polling, the “Aqua Buddha” ad by Jack Conway turned out to be an unmitigated disaster:

      There’s little doubt the ad has backfired. 56% of voters say they think it was inappropriate to only 15% who think it was alright. Even Democrats feel by a 41/24 spread that it crossed the line and perhaps relating back to Conway’s huge new deficit with independents they think it was wrong by a 68/7 spread.

      So much for Kentucky being competitive!  Sigh.

    • kindler

      …but if you really read the grim story of how the Weimar Republic devolved into the Third Reich, a key to it was how the Brown Shirts kept escalating their acts of violence and kept being allowed to get away with it.

      I have absolutely no problem with anyone peacefully expressing their opinions, but violence, threats, verbal abuse and incitement to riot — these are beyond the pale and must be opposed with strict law enforcement and severe condemnation and censure by all.

      Germany lost a peaceful, democratic society 70 years ago because it let its guard down, with horrific consequences.  We can never afford to make the same mistake.  

    • heronpoint

      Just curious as to why I’m not seeing anything about the ‘arrests’ made at Cantor’s event in Louisa?

    • aznew

      Kentucky Curbstomper Tim Profitt, who allegedly assaulted a young woman at the Paul-Conway debate the other night by the name of Lauren Valle, says he wants a apology from Valle.

      In other news, ancestors of John Wilkes Booth are demanding an apology from descendants of Abraham Lincoln, claiming that if Lincoln didn’t have the bad taste to get in the way of Booth’s bullet and die after being shot in the head, Booth would not be regarded in history as an assassin.