“The worker hater and worker agitator is practically always a two-headed creature who spews anti-negro epithets from one mouth and anti-worker propaganda from the other.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 1961 AFL-CIO conference.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is further proof that King’s words still sound true. According to the AFL-CIO, Paul, who is heavily anti-union, only voted on the union position on legislation 12 percent of the time he was in Washington. At the beginning of the year he reintroduced a national law on the “right to work”.
The Kentucky Democrats – at least the ones I’ve spoken to – aren’t surprised that Senator Rand Paul wasted no time baiting Charles Booker, the biggest Democratic contender to date for his job.
“He opened the drawer and dusted the dog whistle,” said Democratic adviser Daniel Hurt of Grand Rivers.
Paul is white; Booker is African American. The general election is one year from November.
Hurt, who led several election campaigns for the state parliament, had predicted that if Booker chose to run, Paul, a two-time bowling green Republican, would portray him “as a scary or angry black … that stereotypical black that whites are afraid of”.
The day before Booker, a former Louisville State representative, threw his hat into the ring, Kentucky’s junior senator was playing the racing card. “I don’t think most Kentuckers think that infrastructure is in any way a compensation for slavery, or somehow Kentuckians think they have to pay compensation for slavery quoted Paul.
Booker kept his fire and declined to comment.
Hurt said, “There has been general discussion about redress, and Paul realizes that in a state like Kentucky it is overwhelming [more than 87 percent] white and largely conservative, he sees reparations as an issue that people will eat up because it fits into the anti-democratic narrative. ”
Hurt, just re-elected to the Kentucky Democratic Party’s State Central Executive Committee, said Paul could have challenged Booker on questions about the candidate’s known liberal positions. “But instead he reiterates a narrative that many white Republicans and Conservatives already believe – that Booker is just another angry black man who wants to take away from them.”
Recently Paul – he and McConnell got one “F” on the current NAACP Civil Rights Federal Legislative Report Card – the racist wick revealed. In an email to his fans, he criticized Booker as his “racist left opponent”.
This time, Booker responded in an email to his followers that included a copy of the Paul email. “Rand Paul says the quiet part out loud about how he feels when an opponent like me goes into the race,” said Booker.
Booker added, “It is clear that their plan is to turn hate into a weapon. They want to reduce our chances of winning by defaming the vision of our campaign as radical. “
Like McConnell, Paul is one of the most conservative lawmakers in Washington. He flatters prejudice because he “doesn’t want us to know why he’s not investing in our communities,” Booker said in his email. “He wants to distract us from the challenges we face. Rand doesn’t want to talk about compensating the police, our climate crisis, or how many families are struggling to make ends meet because he doesn’t want us to know that the government is ignoring us. “
Booker is on his second Senate trip. In the 2020 Democratic primary, he fell a little short against former Georgetown Navy fighter pilot Amy McGrath, who lost to Louisville Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
Meanwhile, Ruth Gao of Louisville has announced its candidacy for the Democratic Senate primaries next May. Booker and the hitherto largely unknown Gao can end up having company; the submission deadline is not before next January.