Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and GOP race cards

This is a tale of two race cards. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) insulted black males on right-wing radio by suggesting that inner-city folks, especially men (read black males) lack a culture of expecting or valuing work. I suspect Ryan's slander of African American males who live in inner cities will not go over well with Pope Francis, though it will be a big hit with the limousine libertarians of the Ayn Rand persuasion, although I do not recall many Ayn Rand devotees refusing to cash Social Security checks or forsaking their Medicare benefits.

Ryan says he was misunderstood. Time will tell. For now, let him do what is called in church circles "penance." Perhaps Ryan will support rather than oppose jobs programs for all jobless workers, including inner-city blacks, though I counsel readers to not sit by the phone waiting for this to happen. In the land of limousine libertarians such as Ryan, aid for big banks, yes, and jobs for jobless workers, no.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), by contrast, opposed to excesses of National Security Agency (NSA) spying (as I generally am, mostly agreeing with Paul), played a different kind of race card by (correctly) drawing an analogy between these excesses of NSA spying under President Obama with abuses of domestic spying against Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders in the 1960s.

One can imagine Obama grinding his teeth when he heard about Paul's charge, which was politically clever of Paul, and not fundamentally unfair, which is why I do not criticize Paul in this case.

The magnitude of NSA spying is, in my opinion as well as Paul's, out of control. Similarly, the allegation that the CIA under Democratic President Obama may have spied against the Democratic Senate under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), who is correctly pushing for a full investigation, is extraordinarily serious.

For these reasons, I give Ryan four Pinocchios for his defamation of inner-city black men, but suggest Obama might be wise to seriously consider Paul's comments about Martin Luther King.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.