Rand Paul is not the worst Republican. If he can use his influence to make criminal justice reform acceptable within the GOP, for example, he’ll have done more good than the rest of the GOP combined has done in decades. But there are real contrasts in his rhetoric and his record, past and present, which he all too often is unprepared to explain. If he doesn’t figure that out, the spotlight of a presidential contest is going to break him.

The 7 Worst Right-Wing Moments of the Week

  1. Bryan Fischer warns gay burger wrappers could conquer Iowa.
  2. Gender-neutral bathrooms confuse the living hell out of Fox News
  3. Central American immigrants might have Ebola (except they don’t)
  4. Glenn Beck “betrays the republic” by sending aid to migrant children.
  5. Ann Coulter thinks undocumented immigrant deserves an Oscar for telling story.
  6. Tom Coburn thinks legalized weed will end in tragedy.
  7. Conservatives loathe soccer because liberals like it.

These really happened.

It has to come as a shock to decent people everywhere to see the vitriol and rage written on the faces of anti-immigrant protesters toward the recent wave of unaccompanied Central American children seeking asylum at the United States’ southern border with Mexico. One can perhaps understand on some level the angst of American workers who feel their standard of living is being challenged by low wage labor (although truthfully, low wage migrants are the least of their worries). And despite the narrow-minded nativism that fuels so much of this anxiety, a tough economy and scarcer resources always tend to reinvigorate ancient tribal conflicts.