Let's give Sen. Rand Paul, the darling of the Tea Party, the benefit of the doubt when he says he wants to help Detroit. Let's assume he's sincere.
The other day he wrote this in a column in Politico:
When I went to Detroit earlier this month to discuss jobs and economic freedom, there were two things front and center on my mind and my agenda. First, if politicians truly want to help Detroit or the people of other cities and areas in similar situations, we need to learn from the mistakes of the past. We need to learn that Big Government, Big Labor and Big Business have failed Detroit. We need to do something different.
But before we go on, let's stop here. If he's really sincere, he'll ditch the simpleton, party line that "big government, Big Labor and Big business have failed Detroit." It's more complicated than that, Mr. Senator. Let's stop echoing the sentiments of another Tea Party darling, Sarah Palin. You're smarter than that.
To blame labor and "big government" is such a cop out.
Rand, interestingly, writes:
Second, we need to stop kneejerk partisan reactions from people with political agendas, rather than economic growth agendas.
Partisan? Political agenda? Mmm. That sounds a lot like you, Sen. Paul. Spend a little time here. Talk to some folks on both sides of the political isle. Show you really want to help Detroit, not the GOP.
Paul criticizes Virgie Rollins, a small business owner and the chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Black Caucus. She is a native of Michigan and lives in Detroit, who recently penned a column Politico criticizing Paul.
So either the Grand Obstructionist Party—as Republicans have proven themselves to be in 2013—truly believes that the people of Detroit have short memories of their out-of-touch rhetoric and policy record here in Michigan, they are banking on us to forget it, or don’t think we pay attention. But we’ve got news for them: We don’t forget so easily.
Paul criticizes Rollins for criticizing him.
To his credit, Paul writes:
The first point I made in going to Detroit is that the GOP has not had enough of a relationship with the African-American community, there and elsewhere. I am trying to change that, though I am fully cognizant that this change will take time and effort; the Republican Party needs to be involved and engaged in every single community—that’s why I traveled to Detroit.
When he recently spoke to the Detroit Economic Club, he offered up a plan to give tax breaks to communities where the unemployment rate is 12 percent or more. Some are skeptical of the plan.
At this point, what Paul has got to prove is that he actually cares about Detroit, and is not coming here to simply get black votes by talking nonsense. You might recall Paul recently said the federal government would bailout Detroit "over my dead body."
The GOP realizes it has lost the vote of the African Americans. Paul could make some inroads by showing he really cares about Detroit.
Is that asking too much?