In recent weeks, Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has repeatedly criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964, saying that private businesses should not be banned from discriminating on the basis of race.
While his campaign spokesman said Paul believes the government should be able to ban racial discrimination, many observers are finding it impossible to draw that conclusion from statements made by Paul himself.
That's why a number of leading Republicans have publicly rejected Paul's views.
But on Saturday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell joined Rand Paul at a rally and unequivocally endorsed him.
Rand Paul's views are dangerous and extreme. In fact, if his ideas became law, "whites only" lunch counters could once again be legal in America. That's why even Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said that "his philosophy is misplaced in these times."
And in addition to his extreme views on civil rights, Paul has described President Obama's statements about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as "un-American." He dismissed safety violations that led to deadly coal-mine explosions by saying, "accidents will happen." And he's attacked the Americans with Disabilities Act as an example of "big government."
Rand Paul's victory has been widely attributed to "Tea Party" activists and enthusiasm for his candidacy. This is the same Tea Party whose activists spat on African-American congressmen in the wake of the health care vote, carried offensive and xenophobic signs at their rallies throughout the last year and whose outrageous behavior the national Republican Party is yet to repudiate.