Tag Archives: ron paul

Historical ignorance

You already know this, but the Tea Party nuts et al, and I include Ron Paul as chief among them though he’s not a tea partier per se, have no fucking clue what they’re talking about. The raise the mighty specter of the Founders for damn near everything. Or the Constitution, which, as far as they’re concerned, is a closed and static document. Not surprising since they consider the bible in the same light. The King James version, of course, from the 17th century, as if the damn thing sprung forth whole and in English at that time.

Ron Paul, for example, opined about Wednesday’s recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board to ban non-emergency phone calls and texting. Sayeth Dr. Paul,

I was thinking about that because it was in the news today. So I went to the Constitution and I looked at Article 1, Section 8. There is nothing in there about telephones. “Then I thought, ‘Well there is nothing in there about what you can do and can’t do when you are driving in a horse and buggy either.’

But did that second thought bring some sense into Paul’s head? Oh, no. He just used it for his contention that the federal government shouldn’t be regulating anything at all, that it should just be a free-for-all here on planet earth.

We know how well that’s worked out so far.

As for the Founders, well, just take a look at the bozos in colonial get-ups pretending they’re the direct descendants of the Boston Tea Party, which, in fact, was a protest against corporation getting special treatment by the English government. Got that one backwards, morons.

And they’re all up in arms to make the military bigger, to strengthen “national security,” even if it means taking liberties with our liberties, which will be just fine as long as it’s Occupiers and the like having their liberties infringed upon and not them. And that, it seems to me, goes directly against the Constitution.

The Founders themselves got that idea. Here’s Ben Franklin:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Hey, I’m down with that. But even George Washington, who was, you know, like the first president and the general who earned us our independence from England, wasn’t keen on all that military and national security crap either. Says he,

Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty.

I know, that one probably uses too many big words for some of the more unenlightened among us to understand. But back then, even the idiots had a better vocabulary, and they weren’t happy with Washington’s positions on liberty either. They accused him of bribery and treason. Sayeth George,

I am accused of being the enemy of America and subject to the influence of a foreign country.

Further, Washington said, he was under near constant attack by the idiocracy. His enemies, he said, portrayed him in “indecent terms” that could barely compare “to a common pickpocket.”

Sound familiar? Now, “common pickpocket” isn’t such a broad smear these days since bankers have been getting away with it for decades with the blessings of the Republican party and some Democrats. But back in the day, when the general attitude was more civilized and less honest, that was a very bad thing indeed.

Now, it’s true that Thomas Jefferson wrote that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” but he had in mind actual tyrants and actual patriots, not the play variety with false accusations.

Jefferson also had a few other things to say about liberty. Like

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.


It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

and of course

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

I don’t know about you, but that seems awfully clear to me. Looking a few more of the Founders positions sort of makes the cafeteria-style picking and choosing that conservatives employ look a little, well, cherry-picked.

The man who wrote the book on liberty, Thomas Paine, was pretty adamant too.

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Take that, Gitmo.

And just for fun, here’s a little note from James Monroe:

To impose taxes when the public exigencies require them is an obligation of the most sacred character, especially with a free people.

Used to be that Americans understood their history, or at least the part about how and why we became a country. I can show you things Andy Jackson, that son of a bitch, said about liberty and equal rights and such, but the bastard only applied those to white people and certainly not those the Europeans stole the place from. And of course the Founders themselves saw fit to make slaves 3/5th of a person. And women? Not mentioned in the Constitution either, I’m afraid.

The point is that the Founders weren’t perfect, and neither was the Constitution. But the Founders were smart enough to realize that and set it all up so laws could be written, regulations could be established and even the Constitution itself could be changed, although that’s a tad hard to do until enough Americans evolve into sanity on whatever the issue is. Barack Obama:

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

Ah, politics. Such a load of crap, dontcha think? There’s the news this week that Obama has decided he will, in fact, sign the defense authorization act, which supposedly includes passages that would make indefinite detentions of American citizens a reality. At least that’s what all my lefty Twitterers are saying. Me, I haven’t read the bill, and I doubt they have either. I’m not saying it isn’t true, mind you. I am saying we don’t know until we read the damn thing. Rep. Adam Smith has read it. In fact, he worked on it. Read what he has to say about indefinite detentions of Americans here.

Whatever the truth of the text, Obama withdrew his veto threat because they came up with some “softer” language on detentions and a couple of other things. But I’m seeing all these lefties swear they’ll never vote for Obama now.

Is that wise? Isn’t that how we got eight years of George W. Bush? Do we really want to elect Newt Gingrich? Or some other nutcase who has yet to appear on the horizon? I don’t think Sick Rantorum has had his time in the front-runner’s position yet. OK, so maybe Republicans could come to their senses and nominate Huntsman or Johnson or somebody else who hasn’t succumbed to brain rot. But don’t hold your breath.

And don’t give me any bullshit about how we need a viable third party. This isn’t the 19th century when that worked. Or actually didn’t, when you look at the history. I’m afraid I’m with the general on this one. George Washington opposed parties, period.

There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

Again, probably too many big words. But here’s the gist: Parties are a bad thing because they tend to create a slavish loyalty not to the country or the people but to the party. That shouldn’t be allowed to happen, but since we already have parties, we’re gonna have to really be on guard to keep the parties’ natural tendencies from engulfing us.

Oops, too late. We failed on the “uniform vigilance” thing.

The Founders, they may have done and said some stupid things, but they were sure right about what it would take to maintain the liberty they fought for. And we have let them down.

RuPaul is a better man than Rand Paul

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.

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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.

Right, Rand?

Freedom. In Rand Paul’s world, that’s just another word for fuck you.