If you follow my Recommended Reading lists, which I think has morphed into @NunziaReads or something, you may have noticed I’ve been just a tad obsessed with Rand Paul lately. Rand is the curly haired, opthamologist son of physician and Congressman Ron Paul who just won the Republican nomination for a senate seat in Kentucky.
It’s kind of significant because Rand is a Tea Party darling, apparently because they don’t know he’s a libertarian who opposes the Patriot Act, although his immature, sophomoric, libertarian beliefs about the role of government in policing discrimination may completely make up for that little slip. But Rand slamdunked Trey Grayson in the GOP primary — and Grayson was backed by Kentucky’s other senator, Minority Leader Mitch “How Many Chins Do I Have” McConnell and Darth Cheney. Ouch. That musta hurt.
See, Ron Paul, when he was running for president in 2008, kinda had the inside track on nuttiness and the kind of grassroots nutty support that Dick Armey and FreedomWorks can only dream about. After America elected a black guy president, though, the tax cuts for the rich crowd tried to co-opt the Paul gang and really only succeeded in pissing off the Paulites.
Until Rand decided to run for Senate. Rand focused his entire campaign on the Teabaggers (and the Paulites) and somehow managed to convince both crowds that they were all the same.
But then, after he won, he decided to talk about what being a libertarican actually means. And it means — opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Now, those of us who pay attention already knew that. So right after the election, when poor old Rand decided to go on the most political television show he could think of, naturally, the host of that show – Rachel Maddow — asked him about it. It did not go well for the eye doctor.
That was on Wednesday. By Thursday, poor little Rand was having to run all over the place swearing up and down he hated racism and would, in fact, have voted for the Civil Rights Act, proving, among other things, that Rand Paul is a lying sack of shit who’ll say whatever he has to say just like all the other politicians so arrogant that they think they know more than anybody else and will be able to save the country, which, of course, is pretty much all politicians.
It also turns out that big bad Rachel scared the bejesus outta poor little Rand, so much so that he says it was a mistake to go on her show and he won’t be doing it again anytime soon. And, since he knows his followers likely didn’t see his piss-poor performance on Maddow, he lied about it.
It was a poor political decision and probably won’t be happening anytime in the near future. Because, yeah, they can play things and want to say, ‘Oh you believed in beating up people that were trying to sit in restaurants in the 1960s.’ And that is such a ridiculous notion and something that no rational person is in favor of. [But] she went on and on about that.
Actually, she didn’t. But now a whole bunch of Teabaggers believe that she did, just because their precious little Rand said so. But hell, he had to say something. Even Jim Demented was concerned with Rand’s “this is the hard part about believing in freedom” bullshit about the Civil Rights Act.
See, Rand thinks business is king. And business should be allowed to do whatever it wants. Refuse to serve you because you’re black? Absolutely. Dump raw sewage into the water supply? Of course. Not even think about safety for employees or customers? Certainly. Regulations, schmegulations. Do away with ’em all.
Here’s how Chris Bowers sees it over at Open Left:
There has been a lot of talk about Rand Paul’s view on the Civil Right’s act today. But, in addition to race, as long as the company in question does not receive any public funds, here are some more reasons that Rand Paul–and his supporters–thinks it should be legal for the owner of a private company to fire you:
- Not being the same religion as the boss
- Not having sex with the boss
- Having children, or not having them
- Not liking the same sports teams as the boss
- Not voting for different political candidates than the boss
- Not eating the same food than the boss
- Not liking different colors than the boss.
Basically, any reason at all.
Furthermore, another key point is that Paul’s supporters seem to think the problem is not that Paul holds these views, but that he expressed them in public.
Gee, he’d fit right in in Beijing, doncha think? Or the 1800s, those dismal days when business owners owned their employees too. No protections. Long hours, shitty pay. Benefits? No. But that’s the world Rand Paul wants.
And even if Rand Paul isn’t the racist idiot he sounds like — and is just a garden variety idiot — then his rhetoric sure does appeal to the real racist idiots (although, of course, the ones who run the Republican party know better than to say it out loud).
Which seems to have been a huge part of the problem with little Rand. Seems his supporters just thought he shoulda kept his mouth shut and not tell anybody what he really thinks. Here’s Doug Mataconis of Outside the Beltway:
I think the decisions are wrong, but they are the law of the land. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not going to be repealed, and it serves no purpose for Paul to let himself be dragged into a debate about it.
Which is the main reason I cringed when I watched this unfold last night. It’s fine for libertarian bloggers to debate this issue among themselves, but a politician can’t allow himself to be trapped into a debate where he ends up defending segregated lunch counters in an election in the South.
Yeah, that would really suck. To have to defend segregated lunch counters because you fucking believe it’s OK to have them.
I wonder what little Rand thinks about this. In Alabama somewhere (of course), a teacher is on the verge of being fired. Frankly, I don’t quite understand why the motherfucker hasn’t been fired already, but then, it is Alabama, and all the little Paulites and Palinites there probably think it would be wrong to fire someone just because he explained to his geometry students how to set up an assassination shot for President Barack Obama in his classroom. Joseph Brown, a senior in the unnamed Corner High teacher’s class:
He was talking about angles and said, ‘If you’re in this building, you would need to take this angle to shoot the president.’
Isn’t that special. But if you should be able to bar black folks from sitting down at a table in your restaurant, it seems only natural that it’d be OK to use assassinating the president as a way to explain geometry to high school students.
Freedom. In Rand Paul’s world, that’s just another word for fuck you.