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Today in the Transformation of the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Davis

[ 60 ] May 14, 2011 |

I think Chait is missing (like Dana Goldstein before him) the fact that Ron Paul is a staunch opponent of the Civil Rights Act because he’s such a principled libertarian and federalist.

To be fair and balanced, it should also be noted that Paul has a defender in Robert Stacy “Emmett Till Had it Coming” and “It’s not Racist to Oppose Interracial Dating” McCain.

Comments (60)

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  1. MAJeff says:

    There you go doing the only thing worse than being a racist by accusing a racist of being racist.

  2. Joe says:

    The Constitution stops at the 10th Amendment, doncha know?

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      And, with the exception of the 2nd, also begins there.

      • Joe says:

        Well, when it fits their purposes, the other amendments pop up here or there, especially when certain people are accused of crimes or certain people claim 1A rights.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          Fair enough — the modern Republican constitution does contain a 1st Amendment that exempts Republican public officials from criticism from the left.

          • R. Johnston says:

            Doesn’t the Republican First Amendment also require government endorsement and encouragement of christianity?

            • Scott Lemieux says:

              Don’t forget the preamble about the US being a Christian nation.

              • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

                Clearly the Amendments after #10 were not part of the Framers’ Original Intent®, so we can just ignore them, right?

              • Norman Thomas says:

                Scott, just for the record….are you a Christian?

              • Murc says:

                ‘For the record?’

                I’m curious as to how Scott’s religious affiliation is relevant in any way to either this discussion or, indeed, any discussion we’ve ever had here.

              • Malaclypse says:

                Norman, for the record – do you prefer fucking pigs, or goats?

              • R. Johnston says:

                Norman, for the record – do you prefer fucking pigs, or goats?

                Norman prefers virgin pigs and goats.

            • I thought I explained the Republican Constitution to everyone last year. Yeesh.

              Though I was wrong about the ninth amendment. There is no Republican ninth amendment.

            • DrDick says:

              I’m curious as to how Scott’s religious affiliation is relevant in any way to either this discussion or, indeed, any discussion we’ve ever had here.

              When has anything that Norman ever asked or said been relevant?

          • Norman Thomas says:

            It ain’t working

            • bh says:

              Hey ‘Christian’ troll, it might be time to examine your own motivations. You’re not making arguments here, just throwing out insults, and you, me, and everyone on this board knows you’ll never convince anyone here of anything.

              So basically, you’re posting here for purely malicious reasons. The incompatibility of that with your supposed values should be obvious.

              • Norman Thomas says:

                I never claimed to be a Christain. I simply asked a question and it’s just TOO personal….TOO invasive. Yeah, you can ask my race when it comes to deciding if I’m too white for a scholarship, but asking Scott if he’s a Christian is just too much.

                The HORROR!!!

              • Asking people for their race when carrying out a desegregation program, such as increasing minority enrollment at a college, is invasive.

                But there’s an important public purpose – promoting integration, overcoming racial inequality, providing for a better education environment – that justifies such a question.

                Let’s hear it, White Victim Man: you were grilling Scott about his religion…why?

              • bh says:

                OK Norman, we’ll leave your religion indeterminate and stick with the more obvious point — that you have so little integrity that you can’t even stand behind your McCarthyite cheap shots.

                I get that you’re not very bright, but even granting that, and the utter lack of respect you show everyone here, you shouldn’t expect any of us to believe you were asking a neutral question, or making some kind of relevant point.

                Gah… what a creep. The Internet really sucks sometimes.

              • Murc says:

                I gotta say this… Norman, if you’re a troll, you’re a pretty good one. That was actually a moderately subtle and well-executed dodge.

                To take you with a degree of seriousness I’m not sure you deserve, no, asking what Scott’s religion is isn’t particularly personal or invasive. I have been asked that question a number of times, and asked it in turn, when it came up.

                I remain, however, curious as to how asking about Scott’s religious affiliation is in any way relevant to this discussion. It seems a lot like suddenly asking someone what ethnicity they are when in the middle of a conversation about the relative merits of cheesecake vs. cupcakes.

              • Malaclypse says:

                I simply asked a question and it’s just TOO personal….TOO invasive.

                Norman, I would just like to know if you prefer fucking pigs, or goats. If that is too personal for you to answer, I understand.

  3. Norman Thomas says:

    Today in the Tranformation of the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Davis

    Errr…what is a ‘tranformation’?

  4. I feel like it’s counter-productive to attribute Paul’s retrograde opposition to anti-discrimination laws to covert racism. Take the man at his word; he is opposed to the lunch-counter sit-ins and to Fair Housing because of his extremist vision of property rights and limited government.

    I don’t want to have a conversation about how this or that individual does or does not have racism in his heart. I want to have a conversation about how anti-government ideology itself works to defend evil, regardless of what’s in the heart of its proponents.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      That’s true (and applicable to Goldwater), but in Paul’s case there is actual independent evidence of racism (not in his heart but in his public statements,) and there’s also evidence that his alleged commitment to libertarianism and states’ rights can vanish if the rights involve women.

      • Certainly, it’s true, but there are many things to say about Ron Paul.

        Some are more useful than others.

        • kth says:

          Joe, if you click through to the Chait item, you’ll find a link that shows that a stream of the most fetid, rancid racism ran regularly through Ron Paul’s newsletter, much of it under his byline. Paul’s opposition to private-sector civil rights legislation is consistent with the allegation that he is a racist, but the latter doesn’t for a moment depend on the former.

          I’ll always look back fondly on the occasion of those revelations as The Day Jamie Kirchick Was Good For Something.

          • R. Johnston says:

            The Day Jamie Kirchick Was Good For Something

            I never quite thought of it like that before, but that makes sense and is cause for a holiday.

            Anyone who’s read up about the Ron Paul newsletter and denies that Paul is a racist is a liar, full stop. Anyone who denies that Ron Paul is a racist and doesn’t read up on the Ron Paul newsletter is intellectual dead weight.

            • Joe says:

              The same applies to his support of DOMA and opposing same sex marriage rights in Iowa. It is not just about federalism, particularly since DOMA harms federalism by denying benefits to state sanctioned marriages.

            • Anyone who can’t think strategically about political messaging is an obstacle to progress.

          • I remember the story when it first came out.

            Nonetheless, denouncing Ron Paul as a racist gets us nowhere.

            Discrediting the small government, anti-anti-discrimination philosophy, on the other hand, is the whole ballgame.

            • R. Johnston says:

              Denouncing Ron Paul as a racist gets us reality and the truth, which is kind of its own reward. And, quite frankly, as far as countering the small-government nonsense he spouts goes, establishing the primacy of reality and truth is critical. If you can’t get someone to care about reality and truth then you’ll never convince that someone that he’s wrong about anything.

              • Denouncing Ron Paul as a racist gets us reality and the truth, which is kind of its own reward.

                …establishing the primacy of reality and truth is critical

                We’re establishing the truth just as much when pointing out that anti-anti-discrimination ideology advances racism as we are when we talk about Ron Paul’s probably feelings about minorities. Tell you what, I’ll take the truth and the effective advancement of the liberal project. There’s simply no need to choose between the two.

          • timb says:

            much like the racism that runs through the Stacy McCain thread

    • Stag Party Palin says:

      “Anti-government ideology” for these people is, like racism, IMHO, a symptom of other issues. The Randians are deeply selfish and un-empathetic – antisocial loners way out at the fringe of the Bell curve. It’s hard to call someone a racist when he hates everybody. It’s hard to call someone an anti-government ideologist when the government is just the largest entity on his hate list.

      A Randian is just a rattlesnake with rabies.

      • DocAmazing says:

        “Anti-government” is a problematic phrase. There are any number of anarchists who do useful things and are beneficial to their neighbors. It’s important not to tar them with the same brush as the Rand bunch.

      • bh says:

        This is probably a decent description of your average college Objectivist jerk, but it steamrolls over a lot of important history. Racism can’t be reduced to psychological foundations, unless you’re prepared to ‘diagnose’ entire regions and centuries.

        Racism, like approval of slavery, has been mainstream opinion in lots of times and places, and there’s no deeper explanation needed than basic socialization.

    • Epicurus says:

      I tend to agree, Joe, but Paul is being deliberately obtuse if he does not recognize the practical effect of his principled stand. Such are the weaknesses of the ideologue. Like you, I don’t really know what’s in Ron Paul’s heart. It’s more Randism than racism to me, each equally harmful and amoral.

    • bh says:

      In this case, it really does matter, because it’s not just what’s in Ron Paul’s heart (I’ll pass on knowing that as well, thanks), it really points to the origins and motivations of much of American libertarianism.

      The Reason Mag/Fonzie of Freedom/BP the LGM Troll faction, despite being completely wrong about everything, seems basically innocent of this stuff. But they’re a tiny, tiny group. And once you get outside of DC and the blogosphere, it’s not hard to trace strong connections between Randians and blatant racism. Those connections aren’t just associations in the sense that racism and libertarianism coexisted in the same time and place. Racism, as in the Ron Paul report excerpts, formed a critical part of their arguments.

      I believe the traditional Paul devotee response to these quotes is a bunch of huffing and puffing about ‘the ghostwriter’ — Lew Rockwell iirc. But as little as I respect Ron Paul, I’ll give him enough credit that he wasn’t so stupid that someone was undermining him, in his own name, in his eponymous newsletter.

      • And a lot of libertarians still find Lew Rockwell an entirely acceptable person to associate with, so even if you bought Ron Paul’s argument, the libertarian movement still has a fair bit to answer for.

      • R. Johnston says:

        If racist articles had appeared under Paul’s name once, with the ghostwriter promptly discarded, that would be one thing. Paultards seem to think that a decade long fountain of continuous hate in Ron Paul’s name and under his direction never was noticed by him. Even if true that hardly absolves Paul and would mark Paul as far too stupid and incompetent to shit on a toilet, much less make public policy.

        • Ron Paul is small game. He, individually, is never going to be a significant political force in this country.

          The anti-government, property-right line he’s pushing, on the other hand, is a serious threat to the liberal project.

          Convince the public that Ron Paul is a racist, and, what? A marginal figure becomes a little more marginal, and other people pushing his ideological line cut him loose and get to burnish their own non-racist credentials in the process.

          Make opposition to government activism itself the force that works to perpetuate discrimination, and we’re getting somewhere.

          • bh says:

            You know what’s really small game? Comment sections on blogs. This is just conversation, when it even manages that.

            So it’s silly to bring in strategic considerations as if we’re determining 2012 messaging or something, particularly since it buys into the ‘snotty libruls fault’ argument, which wouldn’t be right even if we were influential.

            And we’re not influential. So let us discuss what’s actually happening without being tut-tutted about driving away strategically important white assholes or whatever.

            • You know what’s really small game? Comment sections on blogs.

              Sure, but Scott’s blog itself is pretty well-read, and my comment was directed to him.

              So let us discuss what’s actually happening

              OK. “Small government,” libertarian anti-anti-discrimination is actually working to undermine the foundation of anti-discrimination law.

              …without being tut-tutted about driving away strategically important white assholes or whatever.

              This has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to anything I’ve written.

            • And since when is political messaging not an appropriate topic for the comment threads of political blogs?

              How many electrons have valiantly given their lives so that internet commenters could discuss “the bully pulpit” and “the Overton window” and how best to frame issues?

  5. j b says:

    And then there’s the mess with Clay County election and other republican officials going to prison for voter fraud, etc.

    The Rand Paul bloviating may be the least of the repubs’ worries.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why would a libertarian care about federalism? Devil upstate vs. devil distant?

    • Manju says:

      Why would a libertarian care about federalism? Devil upstate vs. devil distant?

      We libertarians care about federalism because it gets us votes in the South. That’s about it. I mean, I don’t personally but I thought the sentence had more dramatic flair if I included myself among the savages. But I digress.

      Now, Goldwater? He didn’t care either. He said he did just to get votes. That’s why he switched positions once he no longer had ambitions for the White House. Barry’s tell is he opposed Brown v Board. That doesn’t even pass the libertarian smell test like opposition to title VII does. There is no way to position states rights above equal protection in any coherent libertarian scheme.

      Therefore barry was full of it. Any Rand explains:

      “ It is time to clarify the principles involved.

      The policy of the Southern states toward Negroes was and is a shameful contradiction of this country’s basic principles. Racial discrimination, imposed and enforced by law, is so blatantly inexcusable an infringement of individual rights that the racist statutes of the South should have been declared unconstitutional long ago.

      The Southern racists’ claim of “states’ rights” is a contradiction in terms: there can be no such thing as the “right” of some men to violate the rights of others. The constitutional concept of “states’ rights” pertains to the division of power between local and national authorities, and serves to protect the states from the Federal government; it does not grant to a state government an unlimited, arbitrary power over its citizens or the privilege of abrogating the citizens’ individual rights…”

      “One of the worst contradictions, in this context, is the stand of many so-called “conservatives” (not confined exclusively to the South) who claim to be defenders of freedom, of capitalism, of property rights, of the Constitution, yet who advocate racism at the same time. They do not seem to possess enough concern with principles to realize tht they are cutting the ground from under their own feet. Men who deny individual rights cannot claim, defend or uphold any rights whatsoever. It is such alleged champions of capitalism who are helping to discredit and destroy it.”

      • Manju says:

        Any Rand explains:

        Er…that should be Ayn Rand,not just any Rand. Yes, I bought the devil herself into the conversation.

        Its Ayn v Barry in a a Celebrity Death Match.

      • We libertarians care about federalism because it gets us votes in the South. That’s about it.

        Now that’s funny.

        But, seriously, I don’t think that’s it. I think that, like antiabortion politics and tax cutting, the federalism and small government conservatism are frequently found together for reasons that have a lot more to do with culture and identity than electoral strategery. People identify as conservatives, so they are attracted to the conservative side of a question.

        While there are certainly large ideological differences between libertarians and most other strands of conservatism, the fact is that libertarianism was born into, and has always identified with, the political right.

      • Murc says:

        Of course, if private conglomerates of businesses had banded together to enforce racial discrimination in their businesses and other properties, and also to wage economic war on anyone who dared to give the darkies a hand up, Rand would have been a-okay with that. And would have in fact called on the state to enforce their right to do so, with violence if necessary.

      • Brad P. says:

        There is no way to position states rights above equal protection in any coherent libertarian scheme.

        Two things:

        1) Much of libertarian philosophy also follows from liberal structural theories about government concerning size and capabilities. To quote Montesquieu:

        “In an extensive republic the public good is sacrificed to a thousand private views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends on accidents. In a small one, the interest of the public is more obvious, better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen; abuses have less extent, and of course are less protected.”

        Libertarians tend to side on the long-term effects of incentives and the aggregation of power, so it can be coherent for a libertarian to sacrifice federal enforcement of equal protection rights for concerns about what said federal enforcement entails or can allow.

  7. Lit3Bolt says:

    Good God. I read the Emmitt Till link and it’s pretty awful. I wonder how RS McCain would feel if you simply switched some names around in his screed (instead of Emmitt Till, put in Nicole Brown Simpson and see how he reacts). He’s also very careful to try and justify Till’s death for his dreadful “insulting” of a white woman.

    As usual though RS McCain makes the simple error that racial policies in America are a zero sum game (if blacks are protected and/or favored by a government policy, whites are automatically unfavored and discriminated against and are having their rights to discrimination taken away).

    • timb says:

      that’s cause he’s a vile racist and his acceptance on the right blogosphere just proves how they will tolerate racists if the racist is also for keeping taxes low on the rich.

      Seriously, follow that Petterico (my hat tip led to that discussion) and see how Patterico basically had to beg his betters for forgiveness if he wanted to stay part of the lunatic Right

  8. Norman Thomas says:

    I gotta tell ya’ that while I don’t like racism, it’s not the big problem it once was and I don’t look at the world through the lens of racism as you do.

    All you guys are left with are the crumbs while the heavy lifting was done by people larger than you many year ago.

    So, here you are picking at small differences and even ghosts of differences wishing you could have been there when it all went down in the sixties.

    Today, we have a black president, a black Supreme Court Justice a and a black US Attorney General. More blacks are in positions of power in the private sector than ever in history.

    But you see some small inequity that you might be able to link to racism if no one looks at your argument too closely.

    I gotta tell ya’, it’s pathetic. You should have been born 40 years ago. You’d have been happier with real targets rather than the windmills you tilt at today.

    • DrDick says:

      it’s not the big problem it once was and I don’t look at the world through the lens of racism as you do.

      Having grown up during the civil rights era in the South, I will agree that institutionalized racism is not as big a problem as it was in my youth. That does not mean that it has gone away or that it is not still a big problem. Reacial discrimination continues unabated in this country, as has been well documented repeatedly. As to having a black president proving anything, I would point out that the numbers and membership of hate groups has risen dramatically since he was elected.

      • Alison says:

        Yes, we have a black president, and it’s not like a large number of people in the country refuse to accept that he’s even a USian citizen despite overwhelming proof just because he’s got darker skin than they do…

        OH WAIT.

        I would venture to say that electing a black president has actually pulled the curtain back on just how fucking racist this country really is. Norman, if you choose not to see that, then you go on and enjoy that life, but you are as wrong as wrong can be.

    • Matt T. says:

      Ya know, “civil rights” doesn’t stop and start with Rosa Parks and Barack Obama. There’s all kinds of folks y’all still hate.

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