RATIONALIZING HOSTILITY FOR THE DEPT. OF EDUCATION…. Senate candidate Rand Paul, like a lot of his GOP brethren this year, would like to eliminate the Department of Education. During a debate yesterday, he elaborated on why.

“I would rather the local schools decide things. I don’t like the idea of somebody in Washington deciding that Susie has two mommies is an appropriate family situation and should be taught to my kindergardener at school. That’s what happens when we let things get to a federal level.”

And here I thought Paul wouldn’t have a good reason. Clearly, he’s given this a lot of thought.

Or not. It’s certainly possible that Rand Paul knows better and is just making a shameless appeal for the bigot vote, but when he makes remarks like these, the motivation hardly matters.

Ugly intolerance notwithstanding, it’s worth emphasizing that the Department of Education has been around for a while, and it’s never dictated lessons to any school districts on telling kindergardeners about same-sex couples. Paul seems to have just made it up.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.