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    The Irony of the Rand Paul Kerfuffle

    The Irony of the Rand Paul Kerfuffle

    I’m glad I spent most of yesterday traveling, so that I missed much of the blogospheric tsunami regarding Rand Paul’s libertarian views on the virtue of the federal government banning racial discrimination in private businesses.

    Where I come down on the issue is that the history and entrenched nature of racial segregation and discrimination both by government and by the private sector in some areas of the country necessitated government action, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    As anyone who reads this blog knows, I do not equate limited government with no government, which is the strawman argument frequently raised to attack conservatives. While in an ideal world we could have let the market work out discrimination in private businesses, the world was not ideal.

    I acknowledge that there is a slippery slope of government intrusion, such that protecting civil rights ends up with regulations mandating the purchase of private health insurance and restricting how much salt one can put on one’s food. The existence of a slippery slope, however, does not mean that necessary societal steps are not taken at all.

    Regardless of one’s political philosophy, however, there was no justification for the attacks on Paul as a racist. Paul was very clear in his original statements and subsequent clarification that he was against racism even in private businesses, the issue being one of political philosophy as to how racism was to be eliminated.

    The nature of our political debate is such that Democrats’ official strategy for the 2010 campaign cycle is to find wedge issues, and there is no bigger wedge in our society than the issue of race. This did not start with Rand Paul; it happens on issues such as health care, immigration and almost every political issue.

    The charges of racism against Paul will have little political effect because Democrats have cried wolf so often using the race card that charges of racism in politics have become background noise for most, and counter-motivators for many who resent falsely be called racist.

    While Memeorandum filled almost its entire home page with blog posts on the subject, I’d be willing to venture a bet that the vast majority of people in the country are hardly aware of the dispute, and do not care because the issue was settled several decades ago.

    But I do also think there is enormous hypocrisy here, because it is Democrats who perpetuate institutionalized race-based discrimination through affirmative action programs which include the color of one’s skin as part of the decision-making process. This may be legal in certain circumstances, and may even be desirable to remedy historical imbalances, but it is discrimination nonetheless.

    The irony is that it is Republicans and Tea Partiers who hold most true to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a nation where people were not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    But you wouldn’t know it to read Memeorandum yesterday.

    Update: We’ve seen this movie before, A Warning For The Next Scott Brown

    Related Posts:
    They Have Nothing To Fear, But Fear Itself
    “Limited Federal Government = No Government” (or something like that)
    Saturday Night Card Game (When The Race Card Met Godwin)

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    And JMJ shows he clearly mis-understands the TEA Party movement (and the inference in his comment is that it is a political party…it is not). In fact, he shows himself as a hater by claiming we are all rrrraaaaacccciiiisssst…and adolescent at the same time. There is nothing "adolescent" about wanting government to act responsibly and allow people to experience the consequences (positive or negative) of their own behavior.

    Of COURSE business can't exist without society, but nothing he lists as necessity must be "public" in nature. There have always been privately financed roads, schools, water and hospitals. To claim otherwise is absurd. Further, he seems to equate Libertarianism with Anarchy. I know of nothing in Libertarianism that says there should be NO government, no public works. Libertarianism does espouse the smallest government consistent with an orderly and lawful society. So get a grip, dude…and take another hit from the bong of Big Government Love.

    David7234 — It's my understanding that there have been tens of thousands of offshore oil wells in the Gulf and around the world. Only this one is threatening the livelihoods of a large part of the populations of five US states as it continues to spill millions of gallons of oil a month after the explosion. As yet, no one knows exactly what happened on the rig or exactly why the systems designed to prevent spills didn't work — so "sometimes accidents just happen" strikes me as a lame attitude, particularly coming from a guy who wants to gain a high public office where he will share responsibility for the very substantial governmental role in figuring out what happened, how to prevent other similar "accidents," and whom to hold responsible for this one in what way and to what extent.

    Paul seems to have trouble with the notion that private companies can be at fault. Well, sometimes, they are. (It was Exxon's fault that its captain got drunk and ran the Exxon Valdez aground, causing an "accident.") I'm surprised we haven't heard from the miners and their families for Paul's cavalierly suggesting that the deaths of 29 miners is not a good enough reason for some pesky buttinsky to "come in" and "find fault" with the mine operator. Most American mines are very safe; some are not so safe.

    All this is pretty elementary stuff — and should not be subject to widely differing interpretations because of one's ideological perspective. If Paul's "libertarianism" leads him to believe that big corporations can and should do whatever they please because it's the American way, I suggest he acquaint himself with what Jefferson and Jackson thought of any corporations of any size.

    Paul has now canceled an appearance on this Sunday's Meet the Press — a booking so sought after that most pols would sell their mothers to get one. This is only the third time in 62 years that anyone has concelled out of MTP. This can only mean that Paul's advisors and likely a phalanx of GOP leaders have leaned on him to back out because he's such a novice and a nit wit that he might say…God only knows what.

    So, JB…you REALLY believe Rand Paul is SO hard-hearted? Please. While it's true that accidents don't "just happen", it is also true that we can't see all potential alternatives of a given action. And there is nothing "elementary" in the gulf oil spill investigation.

    OK..the guy's a political novice. I'd rather that than a guy whose knee-jerk reaction is "more government". Or a guy who claims to be for the "working man" while he busily enriches himself through the laws he makes (John Kerry, Al Gore, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank…….).

    Ralph | May 22, 2010 at 9:51 am

    How do you measure the success of the Civil Rights Act? There are prominent blacks that don't like it, didn't fall under it on their way up the economic and social ladder, and those that still see it as necessary. The current trend in education seems to suggest that some groups don't need helping hands for women outnumber men significantly in obtaining degrees.

    I think the smoking bans are more appropriate than salt limitations. How do most public entities pay for public works projects if not by using business? My business property taxes are higher than my home (on the same dollar evaluation), so to say business only takes and does not deserve to set the rules on its private property is nonsense to me. When businesses close, property tax is reduced, receipts fall and public entities like schools feel the pinch. When businesses close, the empty buildings invite crime. When businesses close, jobs are lost. Government realizes it needs business, and when enough close, they offer tax credits, abatements, etc. to try to attract them. The Kelo decision is what you end up with when government thinks it is more important than private property rights. Or a Poletown in Detroit. The promises never materialized there and the odds it will (GM promises of jobs) is pretty dang small.

    The idea that people serve the government is backward. The government is to serve the people in the peaceful conduct of their lives.

    Rand Paul is an idiot, an even bigger idiot than his father.

    The Tea Party movement will rue the day they ever let this mutt identify himself with them.

    Watch out, Tea Party. Rand Paul will destroy you.

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