Old fogies sometimes reach deep into the memory vault for points of reference. Pardon this old fogy while I do it again.
Not since the sometimes eccentric Jimmy Piersall ran the bases facing backward after hitting the 100th home run of his career in 1963, has anyone seen as much backpedaling as Rand Paul has done lately.
And I'm not just talking about his poll numbers.
But the Republican Senate candidate's flips and flops on such subjects as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and breaking a date with Meet the Press have been parsed and re-parsed so often I'll move on to an issue that hasn't produced a flip or flop from him (yet): babies of illegal aliens.
Paul says they shouldn't be considered U.S. citizens even though the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers citizenship status on all people who are born in the United States.
In a recent WTVQ-TV interview, Paul said, "Some people argue that the 14th Amendment doesn't apply to people who break the law to come in here because you have to be under the jurisdiction of this country. And some say, if you have broken the law to come in here, you're still under the jurisdiction of the Mexican government. And so, there is a question."
Yes, there are many questions, starting with: Why do politicians have so much trouble using the first person singular? Why did Paul substitute "some say" for "I say"? But I digress.
One of the things my late mother discovered while researching our heritage was that a Keeling arrived in Jamestown in the 1620s. She never made the connection between him and us, but she did trace our Keeling line, the Gregory line (her maiden name) and the Gillis line (her mother's maiden name) back to the colonial days of the 1700s.
I bring this up as a reminder that some of our forefathers, including perhaps a few of my own, arrived in this land as uninvited illegal aliens who proceeded to take the country away from its indigenous people. And as our sense of Manifest Destiny pushed us farther west and south, we probably took land away from the forefathers of some of the folks who have now returned illegally.
To paraphrase one of Paul's favorite lines: Maybe they've come to take their country back.
I support immigration reform. And I know we need an orderly process for opening the door to the "tired ... poor ... huddled masses" who want to seek the American dream.
But Paul's Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway, is right when he says the 14th Amendment is "well settled" as law. If you're born here, you're a citizen. Given the open question of whether my own ancestors arrived here legally, that's orderly enough for me.
By the way, a month after Piersall backpedaled his way around the bases, the then stumbling, bumbling New York Mets released him.
Sort of like the Kentucky Libertarian Party "released" Rand Paul when it publicly disavowed some of the positions taken by the son of 1988 Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Piersall managed to stick around the big leagues a few more years. Paul still has to get there.
As if declining poll numbers and the jilting by the Libertarian Party weren't enough, the Paul campaign recently got called out by an attorney for the rock band Rush.
Seems the campaign was using some of Rush's songs without permission and has now been asked to stop.
But I'm sure it was all just a big mistake. No doubt the staffer who picked out the CD thought the "Rush" on the label meant it contained Rush Limbaugh's greatest rants.