Rachel Maddow took her viewers on a little trip down memory lane with former Rep. Henry Hyde and his hypocrisy when it came to attacking Bill Clinton and his marital infidelity. After Salon told his office they were publishing details of Hyde's affair, he responded by saying "The statute of limitations has long since passed on my youthful indiscretions."
Hyde was 41 years old at the time.
And now we've got Sen. Rand Paul using the same excuse when it comes to his neo-Confederate buddy, Jack Hunter. Apparently Paul is standing by his "Southern Avenger" and you guessed it, excusing his behavior as youthful indiscretion as well:
Paul said that Hunter had never acted in a discriminatory way, and that his earlier work in South Carolina was a form of youthful political showmanship.
“People are calling him a white supremacist,” Paul told me in his Senate office. “If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately. [...]
“Are we at a point where nobody can have had a youth or said anything untoward?” the senator asked rhetorically.
Jack Hunter is 39 years old and as Maddow noted, he was still going by the "Southern Avenger" when he was 35 and writing his columns right up until the time Paul hired him. "Youthful indiscretions," otherwise known as things I did in my mid-thirties to early forties in Republican world.
And this is the baggage Paul drags him as he gets ready to appear at this year's FreedomFest, which will also feature a host of other well known wingnuts, libertarians, Republicans and birthers like Wayne Allyn Root.
And speaking of Root, as Maddow pointed out, Paul won't be the only one showing up in Vegas to make an appearance with this guy: House majority whip, Nevada GOP luminaries to appear at event with prominent local birther:
Nevada Republicans this weekend will welcome House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to the de facto GOP headquarters, a k a The Venetian, at an event that will also feature Nevada's most prominent birther.
The "First Annual Red White & Blue Gala" features McCarthy as the keynote speaker and promises that Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sen. Dean Heller, Reps. Joe Heck and Mark Amodei and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki will be there, too. And --drum roll, please -- listed at the bottom of the invite is Wayne Allyn Root, the relentlessly self-promoting former Libertarian vice presidential candidate who has implied President Obama was not at Columbia when he was supposed to be and then declared him to be a foreign exchange student.
Indeed, as recently as last month, Root declared "nobody ever met" Obama at Columbia and referred to him as "a Manchurian candidate." The piece is full of nasty insinuations and innuendo.
In a follow-up piece, Root repeated his theory, first expressed to Sean Hannity, that Obama was a foreign-exchange student at Columbia and echoes Trumpian claims about the president's college transcripts.
This is the man who will be sharing the stage with a national GOP leader and Nevada's highest elected representatives on Saturday at Sheldon Adelson's place. I hope they are proud.
Good luck with that rebranding effort Republicans. Looks like it's going so well for you.