Personally, I think Rand's been in the Maui Wowie again.
Sen. Rand Paul tells POLITICO that the Republican presidential candidate in 2016 could capture one-third or more of the African-American vote by pushing criminal-justice reform, school choice and economic empowerment.
“If Republicans have a clue and do this and go out and ask every African-American for their vote, I think we can transform an election in one cycle,” the Kentucky Republican said in a phone interview Thursday as he was driven through New Hampshire in a rental car.
He's high. Rand Paul, you are high as a kite in a Kansas tornado.
First of all, "school choice" is a terrible idea, because it's really "take money from public schools and give them to for-profit charter schools that fail." The good schools don't have enough room for all the students who want to get into them, and those students still have to go to school somewhere. Where they end up going are the same crumbling, failing schools that they're trying to escape from, and that suburban and exurban taxpayers want to abandon totally since their kids aren't stuck there. See Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia schools, and to a lesser extent, John Kasich's charter school scheme here in Ohio, and Rick Scott's charter school scheme in Florida and Bobby Jindal's mess in Louisiana.
Second, Republicans aren't interested in criminal justice reform. At all. Rand Paul might be, but fixes to our overloaded criminal justice system are worthless without the major kind of infrastructure and job improvements that predominately black neighborhoods need, and again, that Republican taxpayers don't give a damn about. It's one thing to reduce or get rid of mandatory sentencing, but entirely another to provide quality public defenders, clean and safe courtrooms that aren't backlogged for years, and not to use fines and court fees from people as a revenue stream for county and city funding.
Third, if anything the phrase "economic empowerment" means Republicans like Rand Paul want to cut food stamps, social services, Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, schools, and infrastructure spending in urban neighborhoods, not improve them. Let's not forget this means "you're on your own to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps."
Finally, Rand Paul is stupid enough to think that decades of mistrust black voters have towards Republicans will be eliminated in the next two years, while the party is still actively engaging in "Southern Strategy" attacks involving President Obama and openly moving to disenfranchise black voters through voter ID laws in multiple red states? And hey, let's not forget Rand Paul's own personal record on civil rights and voting right that both are unnecessary in today's age, and the fact that the GOP is sworn to get rid of legislation protecting them. Republicans don't want a third of the black vote. They want to eliminate the black vote.
It's not just fantasy, but idiotic foolishness to take Rand Paul at his word on this. Most of all, he seems to think black voters are stupid, and that's the most insulting part of all this.
Republicans will be lucky to get 3.3% of the black vote in 2016, not 33%.