Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told Tea Partiers at an event celebrating the fifth year of the movement that it ought to be more inclusive. And less hostile. With Ted Nugent in mind, Paul claimed that one "can disagree with the president without calling him names."
At the event hosted by Tea Party Patriots, Paul added that the conservative movement should think about how to achieve greater "inclusiveness" and "growth," namely via job growth and reaching out to the poor. It should also be more chipper, and optimistic.
"What I do believe is Texas is going to be a Democrat state within 10 years if we don't change," stated Paul earlier this month. "That means we evolve, it doesn't mean we give up on what we believe in, but it means we have to be a welcoming party."
But if MSNBC's take on Paul's comments is any indication of their wisdom, he's probably wasting his breath. The site's Jane C. Timm won't let it be forgotten, as evidence of Paul's mud-slinging and ill will, that he's bashed Bill Clinton in recent days and claimed former, pro-Southern aide Jack Hunter isn't racist.
Any successful effort to be more inclusive on the GOP's part will require the media. And the evidence thus far suggests that despite Paul's claims e.g. that the drug war is racist, and his suggestion that non-violent felons should have voting rights restored, the narrative will be maintained that he's a stodgy ol' conservative. Likely the main hurdle: progressives loathe Paul's economic views (regardless of how he feels about warrantless wiretapping).