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The hard part of freedom

randpaulfreedom.JPGRand Paul calls his stance on the Civil Rights Act "the hard part of freedom." His argument is echoed by Nick Ottens, who writes that Paul "doesn’t shrink from defending the freedoms of speech and enterprise even if they allow racism and segregation." Adam Serwer skewers the implied courage here:

Paul would never face the actual "hard part" of his vision of freedom, because it would never interfere with his own life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. Rand Paul would not have been turned away from a lunch counter, be refused a home, a job, or denied a loan, or told to sit in the black car of a train because of his skin color, or because of the skin color of his spouse. Paul thinks there is something "hard" about defending the kind of discrimination he would have never, ever faced. Paul's free market fundamentalism is being expressed after decades of social transformation that the Civil Rights Act helped create, and so the hell of segregation is but a mere abstraction, difficult to remember and easy to dismiss as belonging only to its time. It's much easier now to say that "the market would handle it." But it didn't, and it wouldn't.

Paul is more of an ideological purist than the average politician, and that will make his campaign more difficult. But the hard part of Rand Paul's vision of freedom is being on the wrong side of it. And that's not the side that Paul -- who is wealthy, educated and white -- is on.

Photo credit: Ed Reinke/AP

By Ezra Klein  |  May 20, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

It's always easy to say "Well, I believe in the rule of law, except when _________________(insert your favorite cause).

In Ezra's case, it's racism. And while racism is important, it's not the most important issue. When it comes to the security of this nation, racism can take a back seat 9 no pun intended).

It's the habit of the hard left to exhalt the cause of racism above all, including national security, which is simply wrong-headed.

I, for one, welcome, Rand Paul and his ideology of free market thinking. After looking around, we could use some more of the system that made this country rich and powerful.

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | May 20, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I also wanted to state that all of this "Rand is a racist" is the usual attack the left does with anyone they are frightened of.

What has he done that is racist, Mr. Klein?

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | May 20, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"Paul is more of an ideological purist than the average politician, and that will make his campaign more difficult."

He's also more willing to stick his foot in his mouth. If there is a really great explanation for his position against the government getting involved in segregation, he should be smart enough to realize there's no way to communicate that on a television news show. When asked a yes or no question, he should have given the correct yes or no response, not tried to nuance it. "That's like asking if the government should enforce laws against murder! Of course it should. But are you trying to equate the government giving billions of dollars of tax payers money to big Wall street banks with Civil Rights?"

I mean, there is a time to share complicated opinions that you know aren't going to sound good in short bites. Rand Paul has demonstrated that he has no way of making that distinction. A politician, even an ideologically pure one, was to understand when and where to take a stand and fight. If he gets in a fight back at the base with the drill sergeant, he's never going to get a chance to get to the battlefield.

He's not doing a very good job of walking it back.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | May 20, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Rand for racial profiling? Wouldn't that involve the government doing something?

Yes, the first thing the left likes to do with anyone who disagrees with them is accuse them of racism. I really don't think Ezra is calling Rand a racist though. He's just astonished buy what's coming out of Rand's mouth. And, I gotta say, based on how he's conducting himself, I don't think he can possibly intend to win.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | May 20, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"It's the habit of the hard left to exhalt the cause of racism above all, including national security, which is simply wrong-headed.

I, for one, welcome, Rand Paul and his ideology of free market thinking. After looking around, we could use some more of the system that made this country rich and powerful."


It has been entertaining today to see the right wing trolls equate the "free market" with exclusionary business practices based on race, religion, and gender. Without equal opportunity, the market is not free.

Somehow the "freedom" to deny employment to the most qualified applicant, solely on the grounds of his or her race, religion, or gender is portrayed as part of "the system that made this country rich and powerful."

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

It's funny -- I've never heard conservatives say "hey, it's just the free market at work, no hard feelings" when they accuse the "mainstream media" of slighting one of their issues or people.

Posted by: simpleton1 | May 20, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

the left will overplay their hand on this

Posted by: sold2u | May 20, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

WrongfulDeath, I guess you want to eliminate FDA, USDA, FAA, OSHA, workplace safety laws, child labor laws, environmental protection laws etc. After all, all they represent is burdensome big govt regulation. None of these were part of the founding father's vision, so they have to go. Don't want pesky laws keeping our food and drugs safe getting in the way of making a quick buck. BTW, who should be regulating the oil rigs in the gulf? Should anyone be making sure a company doesn't create an environmental disaster?

Posted by: srw3 | May 20, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how the ideology of the totally-not-racist-at-all Pauls is so attractive to actual racists.

It's also amazing how this remarkable love of freedom doesn't extend to a gay couple's desire for marriage or a woman's medical decisions.

"the free market will handle discrimination" is something only a privileged white kid who's had everything handed to him all his life could say.

Posted by: lol-lol | May 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

WrongfulDeath, I don't believe that Ezra called Paul a racist. I don't think that he is personally a racist. He was supporting the rights of others to be racists though. That much is clear from his comments yesterday and throughout his career, until he suddenly flip flopped and said that he supports laws barring private business discrimination.

Up meet down.

Posted by: srw3 | May 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

sold2u, would that be lefties like Bruce Bartlett? I don't think its possible to overplay the criticism of a senate candidate that until about 3 hours ago defended the right of a private business to discriminate based on race, gender, etc...and felt that private property rights trumped an individual's right to equality in public accommodations.

Posted by: srw3 | May 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination – even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin." - Rand Paul

Rand Paul lives in a bubble and has no idea how the real world works. Only someone raised all their life in wealth and privilege could consider that to be a "free society".

Posted by: lol-lol | May 20, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that Freedom works both ways, folks, and so does racism. There would likely be just as many if not more Black Only and Latino Only businesses in America than White Only if that one section of the Civil Rights Act was removed. Why do all liberals immediately assume that only whites are racist?

Posted by: PatrioTX | May 20, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I wouldn't call it "sticking his foot in his mouth" but rather he's not willing to lay down what he feels are his principles to lie. If it ends his political career before it starts than so be it.

A good example of what Rand needs to do is look at the another idealogue on the spectrum, Bernie sanders. Sanders can and does disavow socialist beliefs when it doesn't work within the framework of common sense.

That's the lesson Rand Paul needs to learn and quick before the left destroys him.

Posted by: visionbrkr | May 20, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul's argument at the end of the day is that while he's personally against racism, he's firmly opposed to the idea of doing anything about it.

He's just doing his part to prove that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Posted by: lol-lol | May 20, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are trying to make another sellout.

The establishment on both sides hate Ron Paul and they are now bashing Rand.

Any intelligent, honest person knows what his argument is about.

The sheep and partisans will whine and scream like the little babies they are.

Posted by: Cryos | May 20, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Um, because PatrioTX, usually power and racism go hand-in-hand. You would likely see those types of businesses, but you probably would also see whites using some abstract political theories to enrich themselves in very real ways -- just as we did for 200 years.

"After looking around, we could use some more of the system that made this country rich and powerful."

This is what really gets me. Can you not see that people have gotten progressively more liberties since the Civil War? Apart from being right, these have also made the country freer economically -- by opening up markets to those who irrationally segregate based on race. Civil rights and economic prosperity go hand in hand; growth doesn't come from a supply-side perspective of "freedom to restrict whom I sell to."

Posted by: Chris_ | May 20, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

BY the way Ezra blah blah blah. Try to see through your pathetic white guilt to the real issues here.

Posted by: Cryos | May 20, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, too bad "Mr Principle" Rand Paul just contradicted his long held beliefs so he can remain a semi-viable candidate...http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/rand_paul_spox_fed_govt_should.html#comments

Posted by: srw3 | May 20, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

In the words of Shakespeare: Paul is in deep yogurt and he knows it.

Posted by: hoser3 | May 20, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Tea Partier's as defined by media as right-wing extremists do want less taxes and smaller government. I think it is a movement still defining itself and while Rand Paul would probably want to be the face of the movement coming from the direct lineage of his father and the libertarian philosophy are uniquely different than what the Tea Party will define itself to be
desegregating private businesses to not discriminate is an imperative because people and wall street when left to their own devices will become corrupt.
expecting regulation and government to bring social utopia is a flawed philosophy and fiscal responsibility cant be obtained by a larger expanding federal government. Nazism Facism were all failed social experiments that the masses all bought into as a welcome change and step towards social utopia. People should question their government and pastors and bankers and insurance agents or they will be duped.

Posted by: mlansdon | May 20, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice flip-flop by the Rand Paul campaign. But he just made it worse.

Now the poor trolls who have wrongly argued all day that Paul was being called a racist by the media can instead argue why he should not rightly be called a liar and a hypocrite by the media.

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"Jesse Benton, a spokesman for the Paul campaign, confirmed that Paul does in fact think the Federal government should have the power to ban private businesses from commiting racial discrimination. He told me:

"Civil Rights legislation that has been affirmed by our courts gives the Federal government the right to ensure that private businesses don't discriminate based on race. Dr. Paul supports those powers."

----------------------------

OK freedom-loving trolls, your leader has now flip-flopped and backed away from the position you have been defending all day.

Is he wrong to "support those powers?"

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

What boggles the mind is that we're talking about an actual historical period. You think the market would have taken care of racism without the Civil Rights Act? You think there would be tons and tons of powerful minorities-only businesses without it? Ok, well, before it passed, were there such businesses? Was racism eliminated on its own?

The Civil Rights Act was passed explicitly because the free market hadn't fixed these problems on its own.

Posted by: MosBen | May 20, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

In a May 30, 2002, letter to the Bowling Green Daily News, Rand Paul's hometown newspaper, he criticized the paper for endorsing the Fair Housing Act, and explained that "a free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin."

Paul went on CNN late this afternoon and told Wolf Blitzer of the Civil Rights Act: "I would have voted yes ... There was a need for federal intervention."

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"It's also amazing how this remarkable love of freedom doesn't extend to a gay couple's desire for marriage or a woman's medical decisions."

Actually most libertarians are pro-choice and pro-gay-marriage. In fact the Libertarian Party has been way out in front of the gay rights movement since the 70s.

"Rand Paul's argument at the end of the day is that while he's personally against racism, he's firmly opposed to the idea of doing anything about it."

Being opposed to legislation criminalizing disrimination is not the same thing as being opposed to doing anything about it. There are many ways of changing society that don't rely on government force.

Posted by: tjk1 | May 20, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

This is why I think Libertarians are all frauds. They're all into "freedom", and getting government out of their way so they can practice their "freedom". But when their "freedom" is challenged by other people exercising their "freedom", the Libertarian Hypocrisy comes into full bloom. Suddenly, it's ok for the government to intervene.

Just like Ezra says, it's pretty easy to be a Libertarian when you're not on the wrong side of the majority's vision of freedom.

I'm sorry. But there's so much BS in the Libertarian creed, it's hard to swallow any of it.

Posted by: JERiv | May 20, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"Actually most libertarians are pro-choice and pro-gay-marriage. In fact the Libertarian Party has been way out in front of the gay rights movement since the 70s."

Rand Paul opposes abortion:

http://www.randpaul2010.com/issues/a-g/abortion-2/

Rand Paul's stance on gay marriage is muddled. He opposes gay marriage, but apparently he opposes any marriage that is performed in a civil setting.

http://www.nationalbroadside.com/?p=1739

"Being opposed to legislation criminalizing disrimination is not the same thing as being opposed to doing anything about it. There are many ways of changing society that don't rely on government force."


When discrimination is legal, the government uses force to enforce the rights of those who practice discrimination, as we saw with the troops massed outside the schoolhouse door to prevent the entry of a black youth who wanted to enroll. The question is whether you want the government's power on the side of enforcing racism, or stopping it.

We tried it the first way until 1964. Things weren't so good. Things have been better ever since we tried it the other way. Sorry if you feel that the freedom to discriminate based upon race, religion and gender was such an important freedom and that you are so sorry it is gone.

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@Patrick_M: You make very good points. However, you missed something on that last part.

"We tried it the first way until 1964. Things weren't so good. Things have been better ever since we tried it the other way."

I don't know if you've noticed, but most of these conservative white people don't seem to think that way. See, we messed with their freedom to openly enjoy treating others as less than human, and by extension, allow themselves to feel superior.

How could we do that to them, really. For shame. ....

Posted by: JERiv | May 20, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

JERiv,

Yep. I have been waiting all day for someone to explain to me why the freedom to discriminate is a freedom that anyone other than a bigot would be sorry to lose.

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@Cryos: fyi... it's my understanding that Ezra's half-brazilian, and was raised Jewish. Not sure what he considers himself, but doubt he's suffering from "white guilt".

Posted by: JERiv | May 20, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

journalists must continue fighting this fight,
and the rest of us will too.
we cannot have extremists like rand paul deciding the future of the american people.
keep doing the work.
rand paul's idea of freedom will eradicate decades of social progress for the freedom and safety of all americans.
the stuff that nightmares are made out of.

Posted by: jkaren | May 20, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"journalists must continue fighting this fight"

The funny thing is that all Maddow did was politely ask him about a position he had already taken in two prior interviews. This morning Paul said that Maddow came at him from "the loony left" and that doing the interview was a political "mistake" that he would not repeat. So Paul will now likely withdraw into the cocoon of Fox News and right wing talk radio alongside Sarah Palin, to ensure that no one will ever ask him to talk about his unpopular beliefs.

He's a real Republican now. A true Libertarian understands that his or her beliefs are oustide the mainstream of American political thought, but will argue them cheerfully and directly, without regret, like a Jehovah's Witness going door to door spreading the gospel to people who will never go along to the Kingdom Hall.

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals" are much more likely to practice racial identification and labeling, racial discrimination and favoritism, and make racial comments than libertarians. The biggest lies told to children are that they belong to ethnic, racial, religious, and nationalist groups that are somehow significant. We lie about the source of the very identity. The concept of race itself is racist, a meaningless shorthand developed by callous, awful people. Telling someone they belong to race shackles them to that structure. Skin color means no more than hair color, except to racists.

Posted by: staticvars | May 20, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

""Liberals" are much more likely to practice racial identification and labeling, racial discrimination and favoritism, and make racial comments than libertarians."

Even if that were true, you won't find any liberals that think that hanging a "Whites Only" sign in a restaurant window or setting a hiring policy that "only whites need apply" is acceptable and should be legal.

"The biggest lies told to children are that they belong to ethnic, racial, religious, and nationalist groups that are somehow significant."

Ethnic, racial, and cultural heritage all have rich meaning and significance and deserve celebration, but discriminating against anyone on the basis of their heritage is evil. If you believe race is meaningless, why would you support the legality of using race as a basis to deny equal opportunity?

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 20, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, the first thing the left likes to do with anyone who disagrees with them is accuse them of racism."

This is funny because I was thinking that the first thing "the right" likes to do is make idiotic generalizations about what "the left" likes to do.

But sadly, only one of us can be right.

Posted by: slag | May 20, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I do not know what is inside Rand Paul's heart. I couldn't tell you whether or not he personally harbors animus towards racial minorities. However, I can tell you that his beliefs about the Civil Rights Act are abhorrent and that he is siding with an abhorrent, immoral movement of segregationists in America, and that is disgusting.

Posted by: tyromania | May 21, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

"...he is siding with an abhorrent, immoral movement of segregationists in America, and that is disgusting."

Rand Paul:

"...a free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin."

(letter to the editor from Rand Paul to the Bowling Green Daily News in 2002).

Which side are you on, Kentucky voters?

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 21, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Like I said in another blog - CONWAY 2010. The reasons are simple. Conway doesn't like the idea of medical marijuana and takes that hard stance on drugs. Which I agree. Last thing I need is some drug smoking crony trying to steal my bmx bike. Conway talks a lot about bluegrass Christian folk values. I like that. Jesus is just alright with me. Conway will legislate like some southern California sociopath freeway killer. That to is cool with me. Last but not least he's one handsome guy with the government "solutions" needed to fix this crony game rigging capitalistic society we're living in. Besides I've always hated free trade and I adore his political ad about cracking down on illegal aliens.

Posted by: zappainfrance | May 21, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

We in Japan have our own Rand Paul. His name is Gregory Clark.

He is a former Australian diplomat now living in Japan, and he argues that discrimination is a right for Japanese people: see http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/eo20090115gc.html and http://blog.silveradomedia.com/?p=6

Posted by: stevegsilver | May 21, 2010 3:05 AM | Report abuse

"Conway will legislate like some southern California sociopath freeway killer."

For any who bemoan the disappearance of rigourous intellectual debate within the modern conservative movement, behold the new generation of conservative/tea party/libertarian intellectual firepower!

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 21, 2010 4:04 AM | Report abuse

We are all racists to some degree. Some more than others, some less.

People who desire a society where gvmts can not act to mitigate the worst effects of racism are more racist on the spectrum.

Rand Paul may or may not be a bigot, but he is significantly more racist than the average American. The fact that this issue is so important to him proves it.

Posted by: Lomillialor | May 21, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

patrick_m

one would think/hope that plastering that quote on commercials, would be enough to stop his campaign in its tracks.
after reading that, on what grounds could anyone support his candidacy, if they believe in the rights, safety and well-being of their neighbors?

hard to believe that this is happening in 2010. that at this point in our history, there is not universal agreement for equal rights, protected under the law.
the people that voted for him....what do they really believe when they teach children in class...when they enlist to serve in the military, when they go to watch children in a soccer game? what fabric holds them together as americans, if it isnt our core values of protecting the sacredness and dignity of life for everyone?
how can anyone cast a vote for someone who doesnt take that as the most important principle?
i suppose that many of them are christians in the tea party movement...how do they reconcile this philosophy with their religious teachings?

Posted by: jkaren | May 21, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

its amazing to me that the Patrick M's and srw3's et al of the world are bashing Paul (CORRECTLY) for believing that idealogically (sp) the Civil Rights Act should be unnecessary. Then when he makes statements that step back from that (only because the outrage that they are screaming about) they scream bloody murder and call him a hypocrite. You haven't changed his beliefs you've only forced him to hide them as most politicians do.

And I'm sure no Democrat has EVER done that before right? I'm sure you have the SAME outrage for Bernie Sanders when he deviates from socialism to ensure he gets elected? How could Sanders vote for any HCR bill that doesn't start and END with single payer?

HYPOCRITES.

Posted by: visionbrkr | May 21, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Yep. I have been waiting all day for someone to explain to me why the freedom to discriminate is a freedom that anyone other than a bigot would be sorry to lose."

how do you feel about a Women's only healthclub? Thats discrimination and I think its completely justfied.

Posted by: spotatl | May 21, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

visionbrkr,

Let me see if I understand this.

You say that it is correct to call out Rand Paul for opposition to provisions in the Civil Rights Act, and stating the belief that legalized discrimination in the private sphere is acceptable. Then, within 24 hours, when Paul makes statements that contradict what he has plainly said in three separate interviews, you say that he is simply "hiding" his unpopular beliefs. So far, so good.

Yet you also say that it is hypocritical for me to make note of Paul's hypocritical about-face?

Why is it hypocritical for Bernie Sanders (or for any politican) to vote for a health care bill that he thinks is flawed, but an improvement on the status quo? How is that comparable to supporting the legality of discrimination, and then (when your views attract publicity) pretending that your position was something else? The Paul story is not about supporting a compromise on a piece of legislation, it is about whether he believes suppression of equal opportunity and access in our society should be lawful conduct, a question that was settled for the rest of us almost half a century ago. Bernie Sanders did not say one day that a public option was a good idea and then say the following day that it was a bad idea. If he did, I would complain about his intellectual dishonesty.

Perhaps you missed my criticism of Richard Blumenthal. When any politician (on the right or the left) makes blatantly dishonest statements, I will gladly call them out.

You are just grasping at straws here.

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"how do you feel about a Women's only healthclub? Thats discrimination and I think its completely justfied."

...and it is completely legal. Apples & oranges (& trivialization of a serious social issue).

How would you feel about a women's health club that would not admit black women?

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 21, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Patrick,

yes i missed your statements on Blumenthal.

What you don't seem to understand though is that you're wrong when you say Paul "supports the legality of discrimination". He does not. He just doesn't support government intervention in the private market and chooses (to his political detriment) to let his ideology guide him.

When I compare the Paul situation to Sanders I'm comparing the fact that each individual has strong idealogical beliefs and one chooses to stand by them (until the left forced him to IMO lie about them), the other chooses not to. That's all.


IMO politicians and individuals should have ideological beliefs but should adjust them to moral and just reasons. Paul wants to believe ideologically that in a perfect world we shouldn't need to do this because people shouldn't discriminate. Problem is that we don't live in that perfect world and he should know that.

Posted by: visionbrkr | May 21, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Patrick- its the power to discriminate. And its power to discriminate based on something out of a person's control. Women's only healthclubs are only legal because no one has passed a law making them illegal- there is no constitutional reason why race and gender are different.

Your exact quote was 'I have been waiting all day for someone to explain to me why the freedom to discriminate is a freedom that anyone other than a bigot would be sorry to lose." And in this situation I think that women losing the ability to discriminate against men is a freedom that I would be sorry to lose.

Posted by: spotatl | May 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"What you don't seem to understand though is that you're wrong when you say Paul "supports the legality of discrimination". He does not. He just doesn't support government intervention in the private market and chooses (to his political detriment) to let his ideology guide him."

You need to review his statements in the three interviews where he was consistent. The "government intervention" that Paul opposed, set forth in Titles II & VII of the Act, was precisely the making private discrimination unlawful. He supported the freedom to legally discriminate and opposed the government intervening to remove that freedom by making it illegal. That is what the controversy is about, whether it was right to make private discrimination, which Rand Paul says he abhors, illegal.

"When I compare the Paul situation to Sanders I'm comparing the fact that each individual has strong idealogical beliefs and one chooses to stand by them (until the left forced him to IMO lie about them), the other chooses not to. That's all."

One of things that I have always admired about real Lbertarians (like Ron Paul) is that they will cheerfully and directly stand by their beliefs even as the world around them boos. Nobody "forced" Rand Paul to change his indefensible public position, he did so (withn a matter of hours) as a matter of cynical political expediency. He "stood by" his beliefs only until they became widely known.

Sanders did not choose to abandon any belief when he voted in favor of a health care bill that was not single payer. He thought a single payer system was best before the HCR bill and he thinks so today. You criticized the Firedoglake people on this blog for not supporting HCR when the public option died, but now you say it is somehow hypocritical for Sanders to have voted yes. Some might see those two positions that you have taken as hypocritical, visionbrkr. Sanders made the call that the bill in front of him was better than the status quo and voted in favor in order to bring subsidized coverage to millions of people that are without it. That's not a betrayal of principle-quite the opposite.

Again, if Ralph Nader comes out in favor of lower corporate taxes, or Bernie Sanders says we need fewer regulations on the banks, I'll be the first to complain.

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 21, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Women's only healthclubs are only legal because no one has passed a law making them illegal- there is no constitutional reason why race and gender are different."

For your information, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination on the basis of race, religion AND gender. Laws against gender discrimination do exist.

Women's health clubs are legal not because gender discrimination is not against the law. The courts allow logical gender specific services and accomodations (women's health clinics, gender specific restrooms, etc.)

If you can't see any difference between a women's health club and an whites-only health club, then I truly feel sorry for you. Most people have already thought through these simple issues in a junior high school civics class.

Posted by: Patrick_M | May 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

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