Shockingly, Ron and Rand Paul Continue To Have Entirely Random Associations With Virulent Racists
A close aide to
Ron Rand Paul has views that could get him nominated to the Supreme Court if he could learn to phrase them a bit differently:
A close aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) who co-wrote the senator’s 2011 book spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist, raising questions about whether Paul will be able to transcend the same fringe-figure associations that dogged his father’s political career.
Paul hired Jack Hunter, 39, to help write his book The Tea Party Goes to Washington during his 2010 Senate run. Hunter joined Paul’s office as his social media director in August 2012.
From 1999 to 2012, Hunter was a South Carolina radio shock jock known as the “Southern Avenger.” He has weighed in on issues such as racial pride and Hispanic immigration, and stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
During public appearances, Hunter often wore a mask on which was printed a Confederate flag.
Prior to his radio career, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”
Truly shocking news. Via Chait, who comments:
One strange thing about Ron and Rand Paul is that racists keep popping up in their inner circles for no apparent reason. Ron Paul was surrounded by neo-Confederates and published a virulently racist newsletter. Libertarians attracted to his candidacy condemned the newsletters but treated their existence as a kind of indiscretion. “Paul’s wrongdoing is rooted in political opportunism, negligence, and failure to disassociate himself with racists, not racism itself,” wrote Conor Friedersdorf. Reason’s Nick Gillespie echoed, “The appeal of Paul in the here and now has absolutely nothing to do with the newsletters.” Timothy Carney waved away Paul’s “indiscretions.” It’s as if Paul’s campaign manager turned out to have a huge cocaine problem.
But his son and progeny Rand Paul also has a close aide who is a huge racist, reports Alana Goodman…
Segregation was in large part a policy of government, not the free market. But it took intrusive federal power to destroy segregation. Barry Goldwater expressed his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act in classically race-neutral, anti-big-government terms. The deep connection between the Pauls and the neo-Confederate movement doesn’t discredit their ideas, but it’s also not just an indiscretion. It’s a reflection of the fact that white supremacy is a much more important historical constituency for anti-government ideas than libertarians like to admit.
And, again, one can say the same thing about the long reactionary history of finding extratextual reasons for limiting the power of the federal government. As a matter of formal logic one can advance these beliefs without being hostile to civil rights enforcement generally, but the deep relationship between “states’ rights” and opposition to civil rights isn’t just a random accident either.