Not sure why ideologues make lousy politicians? Here’s part of an interview, Senate Republican candidate Rand Paul gave to the Louisville Courier-Journal in April.
Question: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
Rand Paul: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains and I’m all in favor of that.
Rand Paul: (nervous laugh) You had to ask me the “but.” um.. I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners – I abhor racism – I think it’s a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time I do believe in private ownership. But I think there should be absolutely no discrimination on anything that gets any public funding and that’s most of what the Civil Rights Act was about to my mind.
Questioner: But under your philosophy it would be okay for Dr. King to not be served at the counter at Woolworths?
Rand Paul: I would not go to that Woolworth’s, and I would stand up in my community and say it’s abhorrent. um… But the hard part, and this is the hard part about believing in freedom is, if you believe in the First Amendment, for example, you to, for example– most good defenders will believe in abhorrent groups standing up and saying awful things, and we’re here at the bastion of newspaperdom (sic) and I’m sure you believe in the First Amendment, so I’m sure you understand people can say bad things. It’s the same way with other behaviors. In a free society we will tolerate boorish people who have abhorrent behavior, but if we’re civilized people we publicly criticize that and don’t belong to those groups or associate with those people.
Typical Libertarian thinking – beautiful on paper (protect the First Amendment!), but lacking the pragmatism necessary to work in the real world. The Courier-Journal editorial:
The trouble with Dr. Paul is that despite his independent thinking, much of what he stands for is repulsive to people in the mainstream. For instance, he holds an unacceptable view of civil rights, saying that while the federal government can enforce integration of government jobs and facilities, private business people should be able to decide whether they want to serve black people, or gays, or any other minority group.
He quickly emphasizes that he personally would not agree with any form of discrimination, but he just doesn’t think it should be legislated.
Taylor Marsh sums up the idiocy of Paul’s stance:
It’s the nakedness and naïveté of Mr. Paul’s views on civil rights laws, that legislation should not impact businesses, that is not only evidence that he’s unfit for Congress, but that he’s actually dangerous. To think that the United States would no longer require laws to protect minorities is just ignorant and lacking in experience in the real world.
Dangerous is the right word. Rand Paul wants to be a senator. Rand Paul wants to be allowed to create laws which match his Libertarian/Tea Partyism philosophy of smaller government. And he wishes to do so at any cost…including allowing anyone to discriminate against minority groups if they so wish. There is one exception to Paul’s hands-off approach to government. He has no problem with the government intruding on a woman’s right to terminate her own pregnancy. Wonderful.
Paul sees it as ‘American’ for a restaurant owner to have the right to post a sign reading, “We don’t serve niggers and fags here” but ‘unAmerican’ for a woman to make decisions concerning her own body.
Rand Paul is dangerous. Rand Paul is a fool who has no place in government. And yet, Rand Paul has a very real chance of becoming a United States Senator.
Rachel Maddow exposes Paul in an interview last night.
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