This interview with Rachel Maddow is what Rand Paul will face for the next six months. And if he continues with these kinds of performances, he’ll show the ugly side of the liberty movement has has cultivated. Here’s a representative quote:
If you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says ‘well no, we don’t want to have guns in here’ the bar says ‘we don’t want to have guns in here because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each-other.’ Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant?”
Basically he’s saying that the only role of the state is to protect private property rights. It has no business equalizing opportunity or allowing free Americans individual liberty to pursue their own happiness. As Joan Walsh says, Paul and the Tea Party movement behind him “wants to revoke the Great Society, the New Deal and the laws that were the result of the civil rights movement.” But he doesn’t want to come right out and say that, so he squirms and evades and dodges and weaves. He did the same thing on NPR yesterday.
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.
He takes the bold stand of coming out against racism (Bravo!), but equates racial discrimination with free speech. This all stems from an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal earlier in the month, and you can extrapolate all kinds of ideas from it – where does Paul stand on the Americans with Disabilities Act? Equal pay for equal work? The Employee Non-Discrimination Act? Title IX? You can find a host of examples and you know where he’ll end up.
The national media is just starting to figure out where this guy’s head is at. Joe Scarborough said today: “He needs to come up with an answer today, or Kentucky will be Arizona: a battleground for ugly, racial politics. He has 24 hours.”
Meanwhile, Jack Conway, is on message, sitting back and calling for mainstream Kentuckians to come together.
UPDATE: Paul is now blaming “the loony left” for getting him to speak about his own views.
UPDATE I.V: Even Jim DeMint is walking away from Paul’s views.
UPDATE II: Paul has released a statement saying he would unequivocally not support changes to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Tick that off, on to the next regulation of private enterprise – what about child labor laws?
I will put his full statement on the flip.
“I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person. I have clearly stated in prior interviews that I abhor racial discrimination and would have worked to end segregation. 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.”
“Let me be clear: I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.”
“As I have said in previous statements, sections of the Civil Rights Act were debated on Constitutional grounds when the legislation was passed. Those issues have been settled by federal courts in the intervening years.”
“My opponent’s statement on MSNBC Wednesday that I favor repeal of the Civil Rights Act was irresponsible and knowingly false. I hope he will correct the record and retract his claims.”
“The issue of civil rights is one with a tortured history in this country. We have made great strides, but there is still work to be done to ensure the great promise of Liberty is granted to all Americans.”
“This much is clear: The federal government has far overreached in its power grabs. Just look at the recent national healthcare schemes, which my opponent supports. The federal government, for the first time ever, is mandating that individuals purchase a product. The federal government is out of control, and those who love liberty and value individual and state’s rights must stand up to it.”
“These attacks prove one thing for certain: the liberal establishment is desperate to keep leaders like me out of office, and we are sure to hear more wild, dishonest smears during this campaign.”