On Rand Paul, civil rights, economic liberty and government

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is taking a lot of heat for his belief that by ending segregation and requiring private businesses to open their doors to customers and employees of all races, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 overstepped constitutional limits on federal power.

An armed Lester Maddox (right), a future governor of Georgia, "escorts" a black man out of his Pickrick restaurant in Atlanta. Maddox's son, Lester Junior, wields a pick handle known as a "Pickrick Drumstick." (AP)

An armed Lester Maddox (right), a future governor of Georgia, "escorts" a black man out of his Pickrick restaurant in Atlanta. Maddox's son, Lester Junior, wields a pick handle known as a "Pickrick Drumstick." (AP)

First things first: Inevitably, Paul’s argument resurrects a lot of bad memories, including Lester Maddox running black customers out of his Atlanta restaurant with an ax handle in his hand. Paul, however, says flat out that his position has nothing to do with racism, which he condemns. There is no reason to believe that he is anything but sincere in that statement. So let’s set the volatile charge of racism aside and move onto the principle of the thing, which is where Paul makes his stand.

Recognizing, if belatedly, the political danger of the issue, Paul has also made it clear that he has no intention of trying to revisit the Civil Rights Act. “Even though this matter was settled when I was 2, and no serious people are seeking to revisit it except to score cheap political points, I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” he said in a statement today. Again, I think there’s every reason to believe Paul is sincere in that statement.

All that said, however, the debate does offer an opportunity to explore the basis of Paul’s thinking and of the importance that he and others place on economic liberty and small government.

In effect, Paul proposes that it is an unconstitutional infringement on a business owner’s freedom to tell him who he must serve and who he must hire. In his mind, that is not a legitimate use of government authority and is not among the powers enumerated in the Constitution. Using that same analysis, Paul also argues that government should not require businesses to make themselves accessible to the disabled, as it does through the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Again, he’s not acting out of bias against the disabled in making that argument; he is merely applying his principles to the problem at hand.)

In other words, it’s about freedom, pure and simple. “Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant?” he asked in an interview Wednesday night on MSNBC.

However, something important happens as the debate about freedom moves from the theoretical to the practical. All of sudden, freedom pure and simple becomes a little more complicated. Your freedom to use your property anyway you wish can infringe on your neighbor’s freedom to do the same. The freedom to swing your fist ends at the other guy’s nose, as the saying goes.

In this particular case, a black person’s freedom to enter the restaurant or business of his choosing conflicts with the business owner’s supposed right to keep him out, and the question becomes how to resolve that conflict.

Judging from libertarian thought and Paul’s own comments to date, he resolves that conflict by two means:

First, he gives the economic freedom of the business owner priority over other forms of freedom, such as the freedom of racial minorities to participate fully in society. And on those grounds, he leaves himself open to justified criticism. The appeal of libertarian thought for many lies in its clarity, in the purely logical application of simple principles even in complex cases, and let the chips fall where they may. That is also its crippling weakness. If preserving economic freedom means that racial minorities are denied the right to eat in restaurants or hold well-paying jobs, Rand is willing to live with that consequence rather than compromise his principles. Most Americans would disagree, and would distrust leaders whose allegiance to ideology blinds them to the injustice it creates.

Second, Paul sees government solely as a threat to freedom, in this case the freedom of the business owner. He is blind to the fact that government can be — at times must be — a guarantor of freedom and an arbiter of competing freedom interests. Again, libertarian thought — gleaming and pristine in the eyes of its adherents — simply doesn’t account for the messy complexities of real life. It survives as a hothouse orchid of political thought, pretty to look at but utterly incapable of survival in the real world.

273 comments Add your comment

Normal

May 20th, 2010
5:13 pm

I think ol’ Rand stepped on his crankshaft this time…

Normal

May 20th, 2010
5:14 pm

See my 1:51 (five from the top), downstairs…

Contemplationist

May 20th, 2010
5:21 pm

*sigh*
If you were interested in this debate, Jay and I mean SINCERELY interested in it, you would at least seek sources who agree with Rand Paul’s libertarian view and also maintain that had nothing to do with seggregation as it actually was, which was enforced by state and local governments, forcing private businesses to discriminate. Also racist unions blocked businesses from hiring black employees way before CRA. All this dumb talk about “theories” and “practice” is well known conventional wisdom. Unfortunately for you, libertarian scholarship has arguments to answer you. You may not be convinced by them, and thats fine, but stop pretending that there’s no answers.

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
5:21 pm

It’s a sticky wicket here and you never know…Lester Maddox as governor DID appoint more blacks to public office than any before or since…including the draft boards and GBI, a BIG issue in the matter in time and place…that, too, should be brought out, in my opinion.

That is said to say this, I’m no big fan of Paul myself, but in looking at his “plan” for DADT and DOMA, all I can say is that, while I’m not happy with it, it sure makes a lot more sense than what I keep hearing from the current “left-right” two-steppers.

As much as the Bruin, and myself, may not want to admit it, the Libertarians are a lot more “mainstream” than we’d care to deal with.

joan

May 20th, 2010
5:23 pm

Jay, those things are as settled as the matter of Barack Obama’s qualifications for presidency. Whatever anyone thinks about it–it is a done deal. To dredge up hypotheticals to fight someone who is clearly for the rights of the individual over the power of the federal government seems kind of weird to me, given it is the liberals who want the rights of illegals to prevail over the rights of the government and the laws promulgated by it. It is all media, attempting to tear down someone who is using common sense for a change. Just like the media tore down Romney in the primaries because they knew McCain wouldn’t have a chance, and suckered Repubs into voting for the old man.

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
5:27 pm

Hiya, josef!

Ran a libertarian booth at a few county fairs in my lifetime. Asked people to take the “World’s Shortest Political Quiz ” to see where they stood in regards to overall beliefs. Asked the folks to guess where they were and how they voted before showing them where they stood following the quiz.

Guess what?

45% – 50% were solidly in the libertarian camp in beliefs, even though most of them voted for Republicans and thought they were more Republican (or conservative) before the quiz.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
5:29 pm

Actually, there are parts of Paul’s platform I would support. For example, any company with a government contract of $1 million or more can’t contribute to political campaigns.

He’s also willing to say things about the military budget that need to be said.

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
5:31 pm

And Rand Paul is right about government interfering in freedom more than it protects it.

spinnikerca

May 20th, 2010
5:31 pm

Something not being ok for the FEDERAL govt doesn’t mean the state can’t do it. In fact Rand specifically said ADA type laws should be more local so they can be worked out with the communities impacted by them.

@@

May 20th, 2010
5:31 pm

Although I’m not a supporter of either Paul’s, there’s something you ignore, jay. Back in 1999 when the NAACP was promoting their boycott against S.C. on the flag issue, who got caught in the crossfire? Black business owners who relied heavily on black tourism.

It do get messy, don’t it? When paltry issues take precedence over people…

unintended consequences abound.

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
5:32 pm

Jay,

I stand gobsmacked at your writing skills (especially those last two paragraphs).

Right on.

@@

May 20th, 2010
5:32 pm

Take out the apostrophe or let it stand on “the issues”.

saywhat?

May 20th, 2010
5:34 pm

I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again; libertarianism belongs in the pages of badly written utopian novels for people who are stuck in self-centered adolescence, rotting away on the shelves of used bookstores, not anywhere near the US Congress.

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
5:34 pm

Dave and Jay–
While I have voted Libertarian in the past because it afforded me the opportunity to just say “no” to the Dems or the Repubs, I have paid attention to what they put forth and, surprizingly, I find myself in agreement with more often than in opposition to what they state in their platform. And I’m a self-identified liberal. They have come closer than anyone else to reaching a point of addressing those issues of common concern in a fashion to which both sides would agree—but it’s just like Dave said, the problem is just how locked into the nomenclature we truly are as a society.

Contemplationist

May 20th, 2010
5:35 pm

http://www.harrybrowne.org/WGDW/CivilRights.htm

You can start with that. Harry Browne is of course not a scholar. For that you can consult David Beito.
If you care that is.

Lord Help Us

May 20th, 2010
5:36 pm

I watched the interview on Maddow last night and was surprised at Rand Paul’s filibustering the questions without ever a direct answer (much to Maddow’s frustration). The answer was obvious, but Paul insisted on the beating around the bush approach to non-answer the question. I understand why, but the kabuki dance routine was a bit much.

That said, I wish we had more politicians like Rand Paul. I may not agree with all of his platform, but there is a lot about him and the libertarian approach that could shake our institutionalized two-party system up…and that would be a good thing.

Robin from Colorado

May 20th, 2010
5:37 pm

Alan Greenspan, an accolyte of Ann Rand, admitted after the economic meltdown during a congressional hearing that libertarianism was flawed – that free markets are not always self correcting.
A fantastic in-depth look at how this clash of philosophies played out in reality is freely available at:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/view/
Guaranteed to blow you away – it puts libertarianism to the test – watch it and it will raise grave and disturbing challenges to the popular philosophy.
Does anyone know if Rand Paul was named after Ann RAND???

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
5:38 pm

@@

That flag thingie still sticks in my craw…the weekend that the NAACP was convening in Nawlins and calling for boycott of those states flying the Cross of St, Andrew was the biggest weekend to that date for the Gulf Coast Casinos as they conventioneers came by the busload to fork over their Yankee dollars to the coffers of the state flying said offensive banner…OY!

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
5:38 pm

Care to make a case as to why you believe that, saywhat?

Or do you just like to make statements without backing them up with any facts?

And just so you know, “The Fountainhead” has already been made into a movie starring Gary Cooper, and “Atlas Shrugged” is slated to be filmed with Angelina Jolie in the lead role.

No so much for the used bookstore shelves, eh?

Scout

May 20th, 2010
5:42 pm

Jay:

This is a tough one but at some point government does overstep its Constitutional authority.

What are your thoughts on the Department Store that was required to hire “transgender” people as sales persons and also required to let men dress as women and vice versa in the workplace. To me that is insanity.

There has to be a line drawn somewhere.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
5:43 pm

Dave R, that Angelina Jolie rumor was floated as far back as 2006 and nothing ever came of it. There are no plans to make that movie with that cast.

Scout

May 20th, 2010
5:44 pm

P.S.

The next planned step by the ACLU, et al is forcing religious institutions to hire people outside of their religious viewpoint. I will definitely draw my line there !

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
5:45 pm

DAVE

Not a Randist myself, but “Anthem” is one of the more thought-provoking works I read as a young lad. She should have stopped there, in my opinion, since she said all she had to say in a few short pages.

@@

May 20th, 2010
5:45 pm

Never have truer words been spoken.

From Contemplationist’s link:

But coercion never produces harmony. How harmonious are people who are being forced to act against their will? Most likely, those who are coerced will resent those who benefit from the coercion. This sets group against group; it doesn’t bring them together.

It’s human nature, and it was years spent behind the enemy’s line (Democrats) before I realized how they use it to the party’s advantage rather than the individual’s.

Never again!

Jay

May 20th, 2010
5:46 pm

Scout, I think that would apply only to churches that take government money, and then only for the programs that the government money supports.

saywhat?

May 20th, 2010
5:47 pm

Dave R, Utopia doesn’t exist. It never has, and never will. That means no Socialist Utopia, and no Libertarian Utpoia. The more dogmatic one is in one’s beliefs regarding a utopian system, and the less pragmatic one is about the inherent faults in such rigidty of thinking, the more I will hope that person is never in any position of power.

Pogo

May 20th, 2010
5:48 pm

For all you Obama’ites out there, remember the current bailout of Chicago’s Shore Bank. This reveals Obama’s corruption “at taxpayers expense” to the core. I read about it (and blogged about it) two days ago and haven’t seen anything in our so-called media since. It is taxpayer money for Valerie Jarrett and Obama’s favorite corrupt bank in Chicago. GE’s Imelt of course owns Obama (because of NBC’s support during the campaign) so it is not surprising he is contributing to this. Of course he sees something for GE in return. Perhaps it has something to do with the healthcare database (to be created and sold by GE) and with Green Energy (wind turbines, anyone?). The worst part is the major banks that are contributing to the bailout which accepted TARP funds. Our money to go to an institution which is a total failure, but is the plum Obama’s eye. Makes you feel real nice, doesn’t it?

Brad Steel

May 20th, 2010
5:50 pm

Cue the libertarian “life ain’t fair!” admonishment.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
5:50 pm

Although if Utopia did exist, Angelina Jolie would be involved somehow.

Scout

May 20th, 2010
5:50 pm

Jay:

That is true for right now but the ACLU is trying to expand that ! Are you in favor of that?

Also, what about that Department Store example I gave with the Transgender dress in the workplace?

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
5:51 pm

Google is your friend, Jay.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/

Looks like next year for the movie.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
5:51 pm

I’d like to see the links documenting that, and your charge about the ACLU.

Lord Help Us

May 20th, 2010
5:52 pm

Scout, ‘what about that Department Store example I gave with the Transgender dress in the workplace?’

A bit myopic, don’t you think…

mike

May 20th, 2010
5:54 pm

Here we go yet again. A new conservative shows some success and the Democrat party and the liberal media all rush into attack mode. Rand Paul showing some momenetum….let’s make the story about how he would have voted on an issue that was settled when he was two years old. Apparently, actually debating the merits of the platform that actually got him the nomination would be too difficult.

And yeah, I know Fox does it too, but please don’t tell me that it is any moral victory to admit that our “legitimate” media behaves in the same manner of Fox. I will be only too happy to agree that the AJC, Newsweek and the rest of the mainstream media are the same as Fox news, so feel free to give me the opportunity.

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
5:54 pm

So you’re saying, Saywhat? that you really have no facts, but just some belief without any to back up that belief, right?

No one ever said utopia exists, or can. But a world of individuals taking responsibility for their own actions is far, far better than one where their first choice is to live under government control and protection.

You know – like we have now.

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
5:54 pm

Scout–
They are not trying to force religious institutions to hire outside their denomination, only those that accept government funds to adhere to the regulations prohibiting discrimination based on “creed.” This, incidentally, does not arise from a Christian group, but from an ultra Orthodox Jewish school accepting funds for its special needs program.
Incidentally, there is a prestigious private school here in Atlanta which will not take government funds because it has a policy of not hiring non Christians. It does not, and has never, discriminated against non Christians in its admission policies. I was recruited by this school and when I let them know that I was not a Christian, they told me, quite politely, that the offer was being rescinded. I had no real problem with that. They talked the talk and walk the walk.

Would I have put my own kids there? We gave it consideration, yes. But we opted for public schools simply because we could get the quality of education we wanted in an environment (Floyd County, Georgia) in an institution and in a community which reflected our home values.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
5:55 pm

Take a closer look at your own link, Dave R.

It says that at this point, they’re only talking about a possible TV miniseries with Charlize Theron. But nothing seems to have come of that either.

Charlize, by the way, would also be a requirement in Utopia.

Honu

May 20th, 2010
5:55 pm

Ooh, saywhat — Dave R. sure put the smackdown on you! If Hollywood is involved and what with casting Angelina in the lead, it must be relevant! How stupid of us not to have realized that. They’re resurrecting Hawaii Five-O, too — probably to uncover the certificate of birth – long form. (Big fat eye roll up here. . .)

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
5:58 pm

josef, re: your 5:45 – agreed.

Scout

May 20th, 2010
5:58 pm

Lord Help Us :

Myopic? No ………. disgusting and perverse ……. yes.

Kamchak

May 20th, 2010
5:59 pm

Although if Utopia did exist, Angelina Jolie Jessica Alba would be involved somehow.

fyt.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin....

May 20th, 2010
5:59 pm

Rand Paul should come out in favor of discriminating against Christianity and then he would be liberal darling instead of being taken out of context by them, just sayin…

mike

May 20th, 2010
5:59 pm

There are far more ineteresting (and relevant) viewpoints held by Paul. For example, he is a pretty hardcore isolationist who opposes the Iraq and Afghan War. What would a Paul election mean for the return of an isolationist party?

We are all tired of the same party-bound hacks. We finally get a guy who breaks the standard right-left mold and all we can talk about is legislation passed in 1964, legislation that was never a part of Pauls’s platform, legislation that will never be challenged.

Where are the serious journalists who want to do more than cheerlead?

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:00 pm

Libertarians are only Republicans that are too embarrassed to call themselves Republicans anymore.

“We the People” includes “all the people” and the government is required to ensure a voice and sometimes protection for all – even the ones that some have determined unworthy.

@@

May 20th, 2010
6:00 pm

Eewwwww

Charlize, by the way, would also be a requirement in Utopia.

Lots of people say my daughter is an exact duplicate of Theron, so…

ewwww, jay!

Scout

May 20th, 2010
6:00 pm

Jay:

I will try to find that but you are dodging my questions. Would “you” be in favor of expanding that to religious institutions NOT accepting government funds (the ACLU will argue the interstate commerce clause) and what about that Department Store. Are you in favor of that or is the government crossing (no pun intended) the line ?

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
6:01 pm

Scout–
See, it works like this. I live in Nevada and run a state-licensed house of ill repute catering to male homosexuals. I can’t NOT hire a straight woman based on her sexual preference, but I can find a dozen other reasons for not hiring her, lacking the necessary “job qualifications” being inarguably the best… :-)

And, BTW, my business would be donating to the GOP and Dems alike to bring their conventions…

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin....

May 20th, 2010
6:01 pm

Geez, Upchuck said something I totally agree with, what is the world coming to?

Jolie is a whackjob but Alba?

mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:02 pm

Read the whole thing, Jay. Screenplay is being written. Executives and producers already named.

The mini-series thing with Charlize Theron is something different.

And Honu, pay attention. Hollywood, as a rule, doesn’t make movies out of dusty used bookstore novels.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
6:02 pm

Don’t let Wyld Byll hear about that, @@

Jay

May 20th, 2010
6:03 pm

No Scout, I would not be in favor of government doing such a thing with a church, and don’t see how it could.

mike

May 20th, 2010
6:04 pm

“Libertarians are only Republicans that are too embarrassed to call themselves Republicans anymore.”

Hmmm.

Who is the most famous libertarians in the country today? Rand Paul and Ron Paul.

Anyone want to guess their party affiliation?

Now if you said “progressives are only liberals that are too embarrassed to call themselves Republicans anymore”, you would have been pretty accurate.

mike

May 20th, 2010
6:05 pm

That’s right, “Who is the most famous libertarians”.

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
6:05 pm

mike

I found that a bit on the anachronistic side myself…

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:07 pm

mike,

You forgot the esteemed Bob Barr.

I always stereotype Libertarians as 40 year old guys who live in their parents’ basement playing Dungeons and Dragons when they aren’t trying in vain to hack into government computers.

mike

May 20th, 2010
6:07 pm

jf –

I hope you grade in pencil to allow for late edits :)

My mom graded with red pen (and quite often red wine).

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:08 pm

“Libertarians are only Republicans that are too embarrassed to call themselves Republicans anymore. ”

Not even close, Bosch. People who believe in a socially liberal and fiscally conservative viewpoint actually make up a higher percentage of the electorate. Libertarians are (as with other third parties) kept of the ballot in most states by laws written by the two major parties in order to keep people from voting for them.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t agree with everything they espouse. But I agree with about 90% of their platform and far more agreed with them than the two major parties when they took the quiz during our county fairs.

Scout

May 20th, 2010
6:08 pm

Jay:

Here is the ACLU source: http://il.aclu.org/site/PageServer?pagename=IL_Content_BadIdeaReligDiscrimFactPage

“ACLU – Sexual Orientation Discrimination – Under SB 3477, religious institutions would be able to discriminate against all employees based on sexual orientation, regardless of whether they are in religious or secular positions. That means religious organizations could advertise “straight men only” for janitor positions, or “no lesbians need apply” for accountants.”

If those people are “employees of the church” (and not outside contractors) the church should be able to hire who they want in my opinion but the ACLU is fighting the legislation.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
6:08 pm

From an entertainment biz column as of May 10, 2010:

ANOTHER PAGE: The “Atlas Shrugged” development saga gets curiouser and curiouser. About four years ago, it appeared Angelina Jolie was a lock to play Dagny Taggart in the adaptation of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus. Producers Howard and Karen Baldwin were getting a script by “Braveheart” writer Randall Wallace, and it seemed the four-decade history of attempts to bring the work to screen at last would have a bright ending. But scheduling complexities, along with Jolie’s desire to s-l-o-w-l-y slow her career, had an impact. Reports had it that Anne Hathaway was interested. And Julia Roberts. Then last summer, it was reported that Charlize Theron just might become the screen’s Dagny – the small screen’s, that is – as “Atlas” was being reorganized as a miniseries. But then, Theron was reported as not going forward with the project. Jolie was still attached. And there it sits.

This could be the mother of all development hell stories.

But wait. Now we get word that casting is under way for “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1″ – as a low-budget independent film with all roles open as we write this. The producer is Stephen Polk, who had not returned our calls at press time.

Hey, maybe going smaller is smarter. You never know, maybe what it will take to get “Atlas Shrugged” made is a Flip video and puppets.

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:09 pm

mike,

“My mom graded with red pen (and quite often red wine).”

Too funny – sounds like someone I know.

mike

May 20th, 2010
6:09 pm

Bosch –

Well, you demonstrate why stereotypes are usually based on ignorance :)

I think that you just like to think that people who don’t share your views are flawed. Libertarians are losers, religious folks are “tali-baptists”, tea partiers are racist.

Come on man. I thought liberals were supposed to be the tolerant ones :)

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:10 pm

Dave R.,

So, are you a big D&D fan too? :-)

Scout

May 20th, 2010
6:10 pm

Jay:

O.K. I agree. Now, what about the Department Store dress code ?

@@

May 20th, 2010
6:10 pm

“Who is the most famous libertarians”.

Clint Eastwood? Tom Selleck? Dennis Miller? Glenn Beck? John Stossel?

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:10 pm

“I always stereotype Libertarians as 40 year old guys who live in their parents’ basement playing Dungeons and Dragons when they aren’t trying in vain to hack into government computers.”

I thought you were describing Jay’s childhood, Bosch . . .:D

mike

May 20th, 2010
6:10 pm

Later peeps.

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:10 pm

“Come on man. I thought liberals were supposed to be the tolerant ones ”

Not even close.

I don’t think Libertarians are losers, they just eat too many Twinkies and wear funny hats.

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:13 pm

Actually, Bosch, I did play D&D for about a year during my enlistment in the Air Force.

Not much else to do on base between work shifts except golf and bowling.

It passed the time.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin....

May 20th, 2010
6:14 pm

Uh oh-

WASHINGTON – The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The surge is evidence of how volatile the job market remains, even as the economy grows.

It’s Bush’s fault!

Not.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
6:15 pm

Scout, you claimed:
“The next planned step by the ACLU, et al is forcing religious institutions to hire people outside of their religious viewpoint.”

The link you provide disproves that claim. On it, the ACLU acknowledges that churches can choose to hire only those who share their faith. And it makes clear that it does not challenge or question that right. As it notes, churches “can also discriminate against any type of employee, secular or religious, based on their religion. For example, the IHRA allows a church to require its secretary to be a member of the church.”

So you’re wrong.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
6:16 pm

On the department store case, I know nothing about it, and based on your track record, I’m not going to comment based on your description of it.

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
6:16 pm

Bosch

Bob Barr? Would rather bite my tongue than say it, since when we moved back into the city we left our registration in Floyd County, but he did come out and say he was turning his back on DOMA and was for repeal of DADT. That takes caj*nes few politicians of any stripe have in this day and age. And he wasn’t running for any office when he did it.

I’ll never forget the night Unmentionable yelled from the tv room, “quick, get in here, h3ll has frozen over!” There Barr was, up on the tee-vee with Barney Frank making his announcement and Ole Barney saying he was there to support Barr’s sincerity…strange things happen!

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:16 pm

Jay, isn’t this one of your “Scout tries to hijack a thread” complaints?

I find he really focuses on sex stuff far more than most people do. Or should.

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
6:18 pm

Bosch

I grade with a red pen and red wine, too, doing it as we speak..thinking of your momma! :-)

brown-noser ron

May 20th, 2010
6:19 pm

Just more proof that the Tea-Party is all about race…..

Disgusted

May 20th, 2010
6:20 pm

The next planned step by the ACLU, et al is forcing religious institutions to hire people outside of their religious viewpoint. I will definitely draw my line there !

Oh, nonsense! We’ve already had a Supreme Court case involving Georgia’s Truett-McConnell College in which the court ruled that religious institutions can discriminate in hiring in favor people of their own religion.

But I agree that Rand Paul handled the Maddow interview very, very poorly. The obvious implication of his remarks about the Civil Rights Act is that the federal government should have no role in imposing discrimination requirements on private businesses. But instead of saying that, he hemmed and hawed about whether people should be able to carry guns into such businesses, etc. And in the end, he tried to imply that Maddow and others had bushwhacked him. It strikes me that he doesn’t have the political skills to survive a general election campaign. It’s particularly laughable that he delivered his victory speech in front of a sign for a private country club; then, somebody in his campaign later airbrushed the photo to remove the country club sign. This is the kind of gaffe a rank amateur commits.

The Kentucky electorate will make its own judgment about whether he’s a kook when it comes to some aspects of his libertarianism. It’s rather pointless for the rest of us to render judgment on him. In any case, he’ll be a fringe player on the political scene. Nobody who values a current political role will side with him on his civil rights views with regard to private enterprise, and his “9 out of 10″ agreement with the Civil Rights Act is ripe for jokes.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
6:20 pm

I figured it was tangentially related, in the sense of government and freedom, etc., Dave R. But yeah, I get your point.

markntejas

May 20th, 2010
6:21 pm

Tea Partier’s as defined by media as right-wing extremists do want less taxes and smaller government. I think it is a movement still defining itself and while Rand Paul would probably want to be the face of the movement coming from the direct lineage of his father and the libertarian philosophy are uniquely different than what the Tea Party will define itself to be
desegregating private businesses to not discriminate is an imperative because people and wall street when left to their own devices will become corrupt.
expecting regulation and government to bring social utopia is a flawed philosophy and fiscal responsibility cant be obtained by a larger expanding federal government. Nazism Facism were all failed social experiments that the masses all bought into is a welcome change and step towards social utopia. People should question their government and pastors and bankers and insurance agents or they will be duped.

Compromised Position

May 20th, 2010
6:22 pm

The Libertarian perspective leaves too many questions unanswered. Just imagine banking without the protection of the FDIC or a stock market where the actions of a Madoff are just the price of admission or a Gulf oil spill as the accepted cost associated with maximizing profit, etc. What! That insecticide that I used killed off your family! Well, as long as you paid for those fresh veggies in advance… All hail the all mighty business. The business must survive, no matter the cost. I think that was the view that Monsanto took with PCBs, for example. By the way, how does the judicial fit in to the Libertarian view of Utopia.

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
6:22 pm

JAY
The department store case was in the news and, like so often in these situations, I can’t recall now when or where, but I do recall reading it and I do recall thinking “hmmm, now that’s a case I don’t think I’d like to be deciding on!”

And, Dave, don’t give Scout a hard time on sex…just ask him about a certain tattoo! And a smile your direction, Scout, for having shared that joke with me…

brown-noser ron

May 20th, 2010
6:25 pm

Just more proof that the tea-party is all about race…

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:28 pm

josef,

Yeah, I’ve had to rethink how I think about Bob on more than one occassion. It seems that after Clinton left office and he had no one to be so rabid over, he came to his senses a bit. I’ve actually found myself agreeing with him too – and for a while afterwards would have to go shower.

md

May 20th, 2010
6:28 pm

“Libertarians are only Republicans that are too embarrassed to call themselves Republicans anymore.”

Funny, that was my first stop after I left the democratic party.

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:29 pm

“Just imagine banking without the protection of the FDIC or a stock market where the actions of a Madoff are just the price of admission”

Compromised, what would have happened in the libertarian world would have been that individual investors would have scrutinized any and all of their investments with a fine-toothed comb before allowing their money to be controlled by another, knowing that there would be no government to fall back on if they chose poorly, and no government to take their earnings if they chose wisely.

Scout

May 20th, 2010
6:29 pm

Jay:

No sir ……… it is you who are wrong. This piece of new legislation would add for example accountants who are employees of the church and not outside contractors. An church should be able to hire an accountant as an employee (who will know all of the church’s business, etc.) who is a member and meets all of the membership requirements. The ACLU doesn’t like that and is fighting it. If they win that one, they will come after some of the others ………. that’s what the ACLU does ……. they’re like a cancer. Thankgoodness we have the ACN and the ACLJ who keep kicking their a**es in court.

Again …….. here is the proposed legislation the ACLU is fighting:

“ACLU – Sexual Orientation Discrimination – Under SB 3477, religious institutions would be able to discriminate against all employees based on sexual orientation, regardless of whether they are in religious or secular positions. That means religious organizations could advertise “straight men only” for janitor positions, or “no lesbians need apply” for accountants.”

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:29 pm

josef,

The benefit of grading while drinking red wine is if you spill some of it on the paper you can pass it off as a pen malfunction.

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:31 pm

josef, I agree with Scout on so many things, but I really believe he gets unnecessarily hung up on sexual issues best left to individual adults.

saywhat?

May 20th, 2010
6:32 pm

Libertarians I know and have heard speak seem to give off the “I got mine, screw everybody else” vibe, which I find particularly irksome. They also seem to most strictly support application of libertarian principle in particular situations when miraculously, it benefits THEM, or when the negative consequences don’t affect them . There are exceptions to be made only when the unintended consequences come back to bite THEM in the azz.

On a side note, “tolerance” of others in my view relates to allowing people to believe what they want to believe, and act how they want to act, as long as it doesn’t negatively affect others. This doesn’t mean I have to agree with even a single thing some rightwing hack says in order for me to be tolerant of him. It doesn’t mean I won’t boycott an entity whose behavior I find repugnant, or call them out for it. It DOES mean I won’t seek to put them in jail, deport them , strip them of citizenship, or try to criminalize their behavior or speech, just because I find it distasteful. So yes, liberals are fairly tolerant.

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:32 pm

Jay,

And I heard that this new legislation will let dogs and cats LIVE together. Can you believe it? DOGS and CATS LIVE….TOGETHER. What is this world coming to?

josef nix

May 20th, 2010
6:32 pm

Bosch–

I know what your mean! Worse still his point blank “I was wrong” is something we all claim we want to hear and believe and then, when it actually happens…!

Scout

May 20th, 2010
6:33 pm

Jay:

This has been in the news a lot lately. I would think as a journalist you would be up on it.

In any case:

“Transgenders win discrimination tiff with American Eagle Outfitters, AG Andrew Cuomo forces changes”

http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2010/05/12/2010-05-12_transgenders_win_discriminmation_tiff_with_american_eagle_outfitters_.html

Now, what is your opinion?

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:34 pm

“So yes, liberals are fairly tolerant.”

Well, I’m fairly tolerant as long as I don’t find the person to be a complete dumbass and think differently than me. :-)

Dave R.

May 20th, 2010
6:34 pm

Bosch, I’ve yet to see any good red wine equate to the color of your typical red pen.

Unless josef is suddenly drinking $1.50 per gallon bottles of wine . . . :)

Scout

May 20th, 2010
6:34 pm

Dave R. :

But it wasn’t left to the adult managers of the store. The government got involved. That’s the point.

(see my 6:33 above)

@@

May 20th, 2010
6:35 pm

josef:

I do recall reading it and I do recall thinking “hmmm, now that’s a case I don’t think I’d like to be deciding on!”

Is it because you have a personal interest, or because the libertarian in you would just as soon opt out?

This topic brings to mind that “ZombieTime” piece, RW linked to once.

Something along these lines:

‘Ya wanna be fat, be fat. I don’t care, but when your choice to be fat hits me in the wallet (Obamacare) that’s when I’m gonna get involved in your choice to be fat.

Smoking…drug use…promiscuous sex. On and on it goes.

Exactly how I feel.

Scout

May 20th, 2010
6:35 pm

P.S. to Dave R:

The point of the thread is economic liberty vs. government if you remember.

Bosch

May 20th, 2010
6:36 pm

Dave R.,

Yeah, but kids don’t know that. You can tell them it was scratch and sniff grape pen. They’ll think it’s neat.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

May 20th, 2010
6:37 pm

Well, seems to me Normal has already laid out the details of what a Crisco party is. I never knowed there was that kind of preversion before. And he’s got the nerve to call hisself Normal. Might as well hear Scout out. Unless Scout also used big tubs of dry ice to make some fog.

Like I said before, seems to me this Rand Paul could make it so I could open up Redneck’s Diner and get rich quick. We could have Ax Handle Night and all that stuff. Lots of people would pay big not to need to eat and drink with Those People. And we wouldn’t need to be careful of what we say either. We wouldn’t need to say Those People, we could use the real word just like we do at home.

Have a good night everybody.

Jay

May 20th, 2010
6:37 pm

Last response on this, Scout:

You claimed the ACLU wants to stop churches from discriminating on the basis of religion. You are wrong. It does not.

The state bill in question would have allowed churches to discriminate on the basis of SEXUAL PREFERENCE, in addition to its existing and unchallenged right to do so on the basis of religion.

A Catholic Church can refuse to hire a janitor who isn’t Catholic. ACLU accepts that. However, in that particular state, it can’t refuse to hire him because he’s gay.

Taking it a step farther, churches CAN discriminate against gay people, black people, short people, etc. for positions that are religious in nature, such as clergy. The ACLU is fine with that too.

In this case, it merely opposed a bill that would allow churches to discriminate for NON-RELIGOUS reasons in hiring for NON-RELIGIOUS jobs.

You got it wrong, sir.

md

May 20th, 2010
6:38 pm

“I got mine, screw everybody else”

Yea, that is irksome when more often than not it is “I worked my butt off for years to get mine, so how about working your butt off too if you want yours”.