Fair or not, Paul would be easily cast in that negative light.

Some of it is his fault. His comments to Rachel Maddow about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will be used against him. This, of course, would only confirm the negative narrative his liberal opponents (and their friends in the media) wish to perpetuate. (Note: I get that Rand Paul hates racism — and that his position is a nuanced one. But that won’t matter in our sound bite media culture.)

Some of it’s not his fault. It’s not fair to blame him for the sins of his father, but that won’t stop the media or Paul’s political opponents. It might not be fair for Rep. Ron Paul’s racist newsletters to impact his son’s presidential ambitions — but you know they will.

All of this becomes even more important if Hillary is the Democratic nominee. If that’s the case, you can expect the “war on women” meme to come back in a big way. Already, Mediate is headlining today’s spat as a sort of domestic dispute — “Rand Paul Brutalizes Hillary Clinton.”