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On Civil Rights Act, no cheers for Rand Paul

My sympathy for Rand Paul's straight talk on farm subsidies and Social Security has just been nullified by his musings about the Civil Rights Act. It's simply astonishing in this day and age that a major-party nominee for the U.S. Senate would try to breathe life into the long-discredited notion that the Constitution might protect an individual business owner's "right" to exclude customers on the basis of race.

Let's accept Paul's assurances that his views on this matter are borne of libertarian doctrine and not actual racism. I believe him when he says he would never personally favor discrimination in any business that he operated or frequented. The problem remains: his argument makes no sense. There is no such thing as "private" discrimination with respect to a public accommodation. Like any other claimed property right, it could not exist without government support.

Suppose an African American customer sits down at a "whites only" restaurant and asks for dinner. The owner tells him to leave. The customer refuses and stays put. What are the owner's options at that point? He can forcibly remove the customer himself, but, as Paul concedes, that could expose the restaurateur to criminal or civil liability. So he'll have to call the cops. When they arrive, he'll have to explain his whites-only policy and ask them to remove the unwanted black man because he's violating it. But they can only do that on the basis of some law, presumably trespassing. In other words, the business owner's discriminatory edict is meaningless unless some public authority enforces it.

Conversely, it is precisely because of this nexus between private discrimination and public enforcement that the larger community, through the political and judicial process, acquires a valid interest in legislating against discrimination. The public is entitled to say whether their tax money should pay for arresting black trespassers on whites-only property.

The Constitution poses no obstacle to such legislation, either state or federal, and never did. Indeed, the enactment of the 14th Amendment was followed seven years later by a national public accommodations desegregation law. The Supreme Court's ruling striking it down in 1883 was a racially-biased legal error. Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 was also wrongly decided.

The constitutional aberration, in fact, was Southern legislation that required segregation in various business establishments. To cite just one of many examples, a 1928 Alabama state law mandated racially separate toilet facilities in hotels and restaurants. Segregation was never really a matter of individuals exercising their free speech or property rights, as Paul implied. It was a tight web of mutually reinforcing public and private rules.

I'm afraid that the Ron/Rand Paul world view founders on these sorts of contradictions all the time. It's amazing that there's room for it in today's Republican Party, or anywhere on the political spectrum, for that matter.

By Charles Lane  | May 20, 2010; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Next: Eric Cantor dodges Civil Rights Act query. Really?

Comments

I cannot agree that discriminating solely on race is right and in fact find it disgusting and wrong. However Telling a private business owner who or what his customers can do beyond that is wrong. The case in point being smoking and how smokers are discriminated at because others don't want to be inconvenienced.

Posted by: Pilot1 | May 20, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The essence of your argument applies to the Libertarian philosophy as a whole, not just the implied racism of Rand Paul's civil rights act comments. We can all find something to admire in the Libertarian dream of personal responsibility and "getting government off our backs." But once you do that you are at the mercy of the worst people acting in the worst way.

Posted by: gposner | May 20, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse


Liberals are afraid of the Tea Party and since Rand Paul brought up the Tea Party when he won, the Liberals think to discredit him is to discredit the Tea Party.

I watched/listened to all 19:35 minutes of the interview with Rachel Maddow and what I take from it is that Rand Paul is NOT discriminatory or racist, but is a pure Constitutionalist.

In other words the Fed Gov't should not dictate to private businesses how to run their businesses, no matter if we don't approve. It's not in the Constitution. No matter that you think the Supreme Court's rulings are in error.

Paul spoke the truth as he sees it. A politician who says what he actually feels.

Did Rachel ever ask the Black Caucus if they were racist since they only include black members of Congress? And if it's a Federal Law you cannot be discriminatory in Public Bldg's, etc., then how does the Black Caucus get away with skirting the law?

Personally, I wouldn't go to a place that discriminates, but I can understand his point as a candidate who believes in limited government.

Maddow set a trap but it's up to the voter's to decide in November.

BTW, why didn't she villify Obama for being mentored by a racist preacher (Maddow probably voted for Obama in spite of that fact) or Obama being financed at Harvard by the racist al Mansour formerly of the Black Panthers, who said he wanted to reach down the throats of white people and pull out their flesh?

It's a double standard by the liberals once again.

Posted by: janet8 | May 20, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

First, just as an aside, what's with Rand Paul's hair hat? Or is a just a weird jerry-curl sort of thing? Yikes!

On a more serious note, Paul is a loose-cannon-mouth who will tie himself in political knots faster than both parties can say,"Squirm." He really represents the focal point of the problem with the Tea Party - they don't stand for anything. May I suggest you read an interesting article about this. I wrote it.

http://funks2.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/the-trip-to-nowhere-on-the-tea-party-express/

Posted by: FunkUniversity | May 20, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul clearly shows that he, the Tea Party folks, and "libertarians"...are all in essence fruit from the same tree. A tree deeply rooted in Jim Crow, segregation, and anti-federal government civil rights protections. Let us be brutally honest here folks. There's not a beam of lights difference between ultra right-wing nut conservatives and libertarians.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | May 20, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't know for sure whether or not Paul is a racist. Although he might be, I don't know if that's necessarily clear. What does seem to be clear, however, is that he's not very bright and not very articulate.

Posted by: sonny2 | May 20, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul's not trying to 'breathe life' into repealing the CRA. Rachel Maddow asked, Rand Paul responded truthfully. You want him to lie next time? He won't.

Also, probably in an ideal libertarian world you wouldn't need to call the police to kick a squatter off your private property... you'd probably just brandish your firearm and they'd scurry off.

Posted by: millionea81 | May 20, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Very well argued, Mr. Lane. And it bears repeating:

Property Rights do not exist without government support.

Large sums of taxpayer dollars go to protecting property rights (see, as a small example, the USPTO and the entire Federal Circuit). Those protections disproportionately benefit the very wealthy (who hold most of the property in the US).

Taxes on those very wealthy have consistently fallen over the past 30 years, but they have not had to give up any of their property protections. Rather, it is the middle class and the poor who are made to feel like freeloaders and encouraged go give up public education or public roadways or Social Security. But it is the middle class who is paying the bill to protect the property rights of the very wealthy.

Ayn Rand (for whom Rand Paul is named) believed that all of this was okay because the very wealthy were moral actors, and that their honest actions would benefit all. We have now seen that this faith in the businessman as a moral actor is sorely misplaced. Even Alan Greenspan has admitted as much:

"I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms ... I discovered a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works."

The "model" is Ayn Rand's model, a model the Pauls emphatically embrace (even while showing they don't understand it). It is fundamentally flawed.

Government is the only way that the people can balance the power otherwise held by the very wealthy. Part of that balance is that we won't enforce property rights with a naked discriminatory content. If they are not enforced, they don't exist. Rand Paul fails to understand this most basic of precepts.

Posted by: clairen | May 20, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

RE: "what I take from it is that Rand Paul is NOT discriminatory or racist, but is a pure Constitutionalist."

OH! Now I feel much better because if I go to the Rand Paul Restaurant with friends and get kicked out b/c it doesn't serve African Americans it won't be for racist or discriminatory reasons rather it will be to serve the constitution whose preamble states "to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves". I guess ourselves in originalist thought means blessings to white business owners.

Posted by: BobSanderson | May 20, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Paul used an analogy of a private business owner prohibiting firearms in their business to justify his position that private business owners have the right to prohibit anybody, for any reason, from patronizing their business.

The analogy is seriously flawed. If one is carrying a firearm and is thereby denied entrance to a place of business, that individual has a choice. He/she can choose to not patronize that business OR he/she can leave the firearm outside, in their car, home, etc. and return to patronize that business. Somebody with black skin doesn't have that choice!

That is called a suspect classification; one has no choice about the color of their skin (Michael Jackson not withstanding), their gender, ancestry, etc. One does have a choice about if, when, where, an how to carry a firearm!

Posted by: risejugger | May 20, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I had thought of setting up a lemonade stand in front of my house. But not if I must also serve members of the barbarian tribe that lives just two blocks away.

Posted by: LeePefley1 | May 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Liberals, moderates and independents fear the Tea Baggers because of the growing number of their frothy-mouth breathing, racist, hillybilly tendencies.

Posted by: HillRat | May 20, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing more than a cheap smear attempt by a left desperate to keep control. If you watch what he actually said you'll see he said nothing wrong! They new that as a constitutional libertarian he'd be for property rights and so they resort to bringing up ancient legislation in an attempt to brand him a racist. Anyone who comes away with that impression is either a shameless opportunist or a mindless sheep. In a world where sound bites and shallow commentary pass on as news, and where no one really thinks for themselves, I'm afraid too many people will get caught up in the kind of groupthink that threatens our ability to bring about real change. It's sad that the left would stoop to these lows but is it unexpected? To be honest, accusations of racism are. It just goes to show what kind of people we're going up against. Anyone who still thinks for themselves and isn't swayed by illogical arguments grandstanding as "gotcha" validation of ill-conceived presuppositions must hold strong to their principles (of property rights and non-discrimination) and our ability to reason.

Rand and Ron Paul are not racists! Most on the left can't see their arguments for what they are and mistake Rand's "long response" with "avoiding" the issue, but what it really is is not giving in to the left's demands for a "straight answer" when a straight answer would be less desirable for it's lack of thoughtfulness on such an issue. A "straight answer" is a thoughtless answer meant to pacify the status-quo. Instead Rand spoke honestly about something that the left has so trivialized I'm afraid it can never be talked about seriously, and can be mentioned only via ad-homminem attempts to create misrepresentations of peoples convictions. Shame on the author of this article, and shame on any one of you who goes along with his very apparent agenda.

And why must you use the phrase "public accommodation" rather than private property? This game of semantics you employ is the reason why the word liberal has been so distorted as to mean exactly the opposite of what it meant when our founders created our government. According to you, because our property rights are bestowed by our government, they can take whatever they want as they please...with such uncertainty involved in the value of obtaining private property, why shouldn't citizens be concerned that they may someday work for nothing, as they did in the Eastern block, the Soviet Union, and continue to do in North Korea, and Cuba.

The rights to life, liberty and "pursuit of happiness" are endowed not by our governments, but by the mere fact of our existence so says our Constitution. Pursuit of happiness is everywhere interpreted to mean private property, except of course by those who don't believe in such a concept ala the Washington Post.

Posted by: kobe2481 | May 20, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I was 29 in ’64. Here is what has always been my defense of what seems now to be Dr. Paul’s position on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

One’s civil rights comprise one’s rights viv-à-vis one’s civil government; one’s entitlements as to the attitudes or accommodations expected from one’s fellow citizens do not fall within the scope of civil rights. Attempts by the majority of a society to accelerate the evolution of the attitudes—in particular, the racial attitudes—of the entire society by employing the coercive power of a government are never a good idea. (Consider Puritan New England, Inquisition Spain, Nazi Germany) More to the point, they are not consistent with the enumerated-powers structure and content of the Constitution of the United Sates.

When an identifiable minority of a community is being deprived of opportunities that most people take for granted, a corrective response from civil government is appropriate. When the resources (including central and commanding real estate) deployed by a private business have a significant impact on the conduct of a community’s affairs, some government regulation has always been deemed appropriate. Zoning laws and laws that apply to employers of more than some threshold number of employees—things like things like withholding taxes, insurance, and safety codes—provide precedent and examples for governments addressing the social problem of racism (not of civil rights). Thus ordinances could cover Woolworth’s lunch counter but not Joe’s Diner; The Marriott but not Mrs. Murphy’s boarding house; Saks, but not Arlene’s Hair Salon and Arthur’s Barber Shop.

There’s a distinction between what a majority in a society want very earnestly to do and what it is legitimate for the government to force everyone to do. That distinction is what has been blurred in much of the government and social functioning of the last couple of generations. A large segment of the American body politic have forgotten that the defining attribute of a government is its monopoly on the authority to coerce—not its efficiency or its moral rectitude.


Posted by: Whatzizname | May 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Can a Church discriminate against homosexuals? Should parochial schools be forced to accept people they believe are sinful.

The claim that somehow because the government holds a monopoly of force and should be limited to protecting rights in no way implies that rights are derived from government. Reading the founding documents of the nation demonstrate that the government exists to protect pre-existing rights.

At least Charles Lane puts forth arguments towards his end, which is better than the knee jerk reaction from most commentators. But ask yourself, since the civil rights era, how much progress has been made on race. And has that progress been made because of, or in spite of, government. Affirmative action and other programs engender suspicion and distrust amongst the races. The races that have integrated fully have eschewed government subsidies. Allowing people to be subject to the meritocracy of the marketplace is the most efficient way to end discrimination.

Posted by: mlutter | May 20, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse


Rand did us all a big favor by sharing what he really thinks about America today.

Now you can (theoretically) vote accordingly, pro-Rand or against him.

I don't live in Rand's state, but if I did, I'm not sure I could vote for his attitude towards the rights of not just minorities, but all Americans.

Because eventually each individual is a minority of one.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | May 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul feigns being a 2 YO when asked if he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act but he is a 47 YO Tea Bag Libertarian in criticizing the limitations the law places on private businesses wanting to exclude African Americans if they so wish.

That is the kind of small government we will get if we ride the Tea Bag Express.

Posted by: BobSanderson | May 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Prince Georges county and I am a white guy. Once, a long time ago, when I was newly "of age" my boys and I were driving through Hyattsville and "needed" to stop and get beer. We found a bar that had a package store attached to it. When we walked into that bar it was like a movie. Everyone stopped talking. The music stopped playing. And everyone just stared at me and my friends like we were aliens. I approached the bar tender and asked for 6-pack of beer to go. He told me that he didn't serve "my kind". I was young and naive and it took a few seconds until I realized what my kind was. I looked at my buddies and said "I guess we better go". Of course I never tried to go back in there again. Nor did I want to. I didn't sit at the bar and demand to be served, nor did I refuse to leave. I figured it was his prerogative to decide who he wanted to serve, and there another liquor store just down the street. I kind of see a bar or restaurant as the proprietor's home. He invites in whoever he wants to eat or drink there. Of course, smart business people would welcome patrons of all shapes, sizes, and colors if they want to improve their profits. But if it means that much to you, to pick and choose who you invite in, it's entirely up to you.

Posted by: Love-em-or-leave-town | May 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

kobe2481 misses the point when he writes, "Rand and Ron Paul are not racists!"

I get Paul's perspective: the public accommodations portions of the Civil Rights Act were morally correct (hence his condemnation of racial discrimination in that context), but contrary to his libertarian view that private activity should be left free from government intrusion. Fine. He is not a racist; just OK with the continuation of racism.

Anyone who thinks that the free market would have eventually undone private sector racial discrimination ignores a century of southern history after the conclusion of the Civil War, during which the free market left vicious and pervasive racial discrimination quite alive and well. So even setting aside the question of Paul's personal attitude regarding racism, the voters of Kentucky are presented with the question of whether they are going to elect a Senator who would have left the South of the 1950's just as it was, except for letting black people vote, serve on juries, and in other respects pertinent to their (our) equal access to, and participation in, government. Stated another way, will Kentuckians vote for a federal government that would stand idly by in the face of enduring injustice that virtually no one - including most of today's Republicans - would even try to defend on its merits?

There is a balance to be struck between the right to be left alone and the right to harm others. (And no, Mr. Paul. Free speech is an entirely different subject because speech alone, no matter how hateful, does not itself produce harm.) We elect people to positions in government based upon their ability to strike an appropriate balance. Anyone who so values the former right (to be left alone) that he would preserve the latter right (to harm others), even when the harm rises to the level that blacks experienced under Jim Crow, elevates ideology over suffering to such an extent that he would have a government that does not govern.

Racist or not, Mr. Paul should be left in the private sector where he is free to pursue his private remedies of not frequenting or protesting against discriminatory businesses. Let those who would govern, where government is needed, take their places in government; including that seat in the Senate from Kentucky.

Oh, and kobe2481, the use of the term public accommodation rather than private property forms no part of the vast left-wing conspiracy. That is simply the term used in the Civil Rights Act and other anti-discrimination laws.

Posted by: neilmckenna | May 20, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Lane's analysis, especially on the role state police power always played in enforcing private discrimination, is spot on.

And to answer a question upthread:

"But ask yourself, since the civil rights era, how much progress has been made on race. And has that progress been made because of, or in spite of, government."

A great deal of progress has been made, because of government. If you don't believe me, ask President Obama what he thinks.

Posted by: simpleton1 | May 20, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Dear "Love-em-or-leave-town",

Nice story and such touching understanding on your part. FYI most African Americans feel that way throughout the US. Almost all AA men have been harassed by the police and have had racist experiences in many, many different settings. How would you feel now if that was a fact of life everywhere not just in one joint in Hyattsville.

Best

Posted by: BobSanderson | May 20, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

How does it make sense that all you white people have this discussion amongst yourselves and framing it in the context of 'liberals' versus 'conservatives'?

The Civil Rights Act was legislation to protect the human rights of Blacks in America. It sickens me that all these Caucasian republicans get on here and start ranting about how this is some 'plot' by 'Maddow and the the liberals'.

I'm mad too, but it sure as hell isn't because I vote a certain way; I'm mad because this politician believes that it wasn't right to protect the human rights of me and my family from segregation and discrimination. I'm mad because he would have me still living as a second class citizen.

Posted by: Rophe45 | May 20, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Claiming that the government enforcing property rights is the same as the government supporting racism is an absurd stretch.
When I call the cops to get a drunk kid off my lawn, are the cops supporting my anti-alcohol views? If a private club that only allows women (that is constitutional) calls to ask the police to remove a male from their property, are they asking the police to support sexism?

Posted by: natecar | May 20, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your logic. I think it applies to the whole of libertarian ideas. At base here you have one person's freedom to do X against another person's freedom to do Y. Ergo, a role for government.

Posted by: ideallydc | May 20, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Can a Church discriminate against homosexuals? Well, no!
Should parochial schools be forced to accept people they believe are sinful. Well, yes...or rather parochial schools should not exist! Indoctrinating our youth with religious superstitions should be absolutely forbidden; these young minds are surely ruined enough at home, schools should be one place where one is free from such coercion and open to truth about reality and life!

Posted by: Chaotician | May 20, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Natecar, you're missing the point. The issue isn't what you're asking the police to do, it's that you're asking the police to do anything at all. You can't say that government has no right to stop private businesses from racially discriminating, then turn around and demand that the police back you up when you kick somebody out of your business for being the wrong race. Calling the police brings the government into it.

Posted by: simpleton1 | May 20, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Rand did us all a big favor by sharing what he really thinks about America today.

Now you can (theoretically) vote accordingly, pro-Rand or against him.

I don't live in Rand's state, but if I did, I'm not sure I could vote for his attitude towards the rights of not just minorities, but all Americans.

Because eventually each individual is a minority of one.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | May 20, 2010 4:55 PM
==============
Clueless people like you are entertainment.

You are so brainwashed into being afraid of being deemed racist you don't even realize Rand Paul is standing up for the last sentence in your post.

It is sad the meatheads that comprise the majority of America today.

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

How does it make sense that all you white people have this discussion amongst yourselves and framing it in the context of 'liberals' versus 'conservatives'?

The Civil Rights Act was legislation to protect the human rights of Blacks in America. It sickens me that all these Caucasian republicans get on here and start ranting about how this is some 'plot' by 'Maddow and the the liberals'.

I'm mad too, but it sure as hell isn't because I vote a certain way; I'm mad because this politician believes that it wasn't right to protect the human rights of me and my family from segregation and discrimination. I'm mad because he would have me still living as a second class citizen.

Posted by: Rophe45 | May 20, 2010 5:15 PM
==============
You probably don't even realize the racism in your post.

I will talk about anything I want to my skin color doesn't matter. You just want the government to carry out your mission of revenge and hate like Zimbabwe.

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

The Supreme Court unanimously held that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was Constitutional. Speaking for the Court in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, Justice Clark declared that Congress had the power to regulate even local incidents, “which might have a substantial effect upon that commerce.” The Supreme Court ruled that the power of Congress to control commerce meant that particular businesses may not deny to particular individuals the freedom to take advantage of a particular service.

The Court’s decision certainly had the effect of creating a civil right, but in reality it was a business regulation. If the challenge of the section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 which requires virtually every individual to purchase health insurance reaches the Supreme Court, the Federal government’s case will rely on the same reasoning -- the Federal government’s constitutional authority to control commerce.

I don’t know Rand Paul from Peter Paul. However, I don’t believe one must be a racist to believe that The Commerce Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 -- The Congress shall have power to regulate Commerce . . . among the several states) has limits.

Posted by: gary1234 | May 20, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Even Rue Paul knows he's in deep yogurt. So, do you support what he said yesterday or today?

Posted by: hoser3 | May 20, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The more insideous side of Paul's position are those areas where we know that discrimination still quietly occurs. That's housing, employment, and red lining.

Posted by: Dick_Tuck | May 20, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The Civil Rights Act was passed in the 60's with the Republicans leading the charge not the Democrats. It is the Republicans who dish out school vouchers so people of color in Washington, DC can get a good education. What does Obama do? He cancels the voucher program. BTW, Obama lied about the Mexican man taking his child out for ice cream and then being harassed by the AZ police for his papers unless the father has a gun in his hand and is robbing the store? Heh....Try and find someone in the Obama administration that has read the law in AZ. There is none to be found.

Posted by: auntim27 | May 20, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse


Ron Paul has often been accused of being a Bircher, because Birchers like anything "states rights." Honestly, though, when was the last time anybody invoked states rights for a truly honorable purpose? Want slavery? Let's call it state's rights. Want to force raped women to take that baby to term? Let's call it state's rights. Want to make sure the Governor can keep the black kid out of your school? Trample somebody's rights in favor of yours? Execute the black dude and pardon you? Wanna make sure workers can't organize, don't get paid overtime, can be fired for being crippled or black or female? Let's call it state's rights.

Posted by: obamasnoosama | May 20, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The author seems to be 'damning with faint praise'. I am far less charitable toward Rand Paul who neither understands the Constitution, the process by which legal decisions become legal precedents, the process by which court decisions become law, nor the intentions and benefits of civil rights legislation. In short, I consider Dr. Paul to be an ignorant and misguided troglodyte.

Posted by: bloommarko4 | May 20, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse


The most irritating thing about the interview was that the little jerk thinks he's smart enouigh to fool everyone.

That he's so smmothe that he can get away with those long idiotic rants and no one ELSE is smart enough to catch it.

It is also valuable to see how really dumb the tea party types defending him are.
This whole thing will have cost them.

Posted by: whistling | May 20, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

janet8: nice try, but Paul is trying to backpedal now so you can't even give him credit for the courage of his convictions. What's the point of being for the right to segregated lunch counters if he's not for trying to accomplish it.

and the right of free assembly guarantees any one or more people to associate with whomever they please, and exclude whomever they please. so the black caucus is an example of the constitution in action. government can't tell them to allow whites in to their meetings. it can tell the library not to exclude blacks or whites.

Posted by: JoeT1 | May 20, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I can not believe the author is so pathetically naive, ranting and railing about laws and constitution this or constitution that, as if people walk around with bibs out of these documents.

Do yourself a favor. Watch the movie "Giant" with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. In this case, it's discrimination against Latinos and it is just a putridly pathetic as discrimination against anyone else, black, jew, or gay.

It doesn't matter what the LAW is, no matter how many words you give it. It's SOCIETY that matters. When blacks weren't allowed at lunch counters, it wasn't COPS that enforced the rules, but fellow PATRONS and workers.

Disgusting, pathetic, and inhuman then.

Disgusting, pathetic, and inhuman now.

How any person of any stripe can even THINK of treating another human being in this manner is outrageous. They ought to be forced to endure it themselves.

Posted by: ethanquern | May 20, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

What makes private property private? The law. The law is a public social contract. We all agree to live within that social contract. It's called civilization. Without the law and the government to enforce it, the only thing that would make someone's property their own private property is having a bigger gun than the next guy. There's no such thing as private property or a private business that exists in a vacuum removed from the larger public.

Posted by: skrut003 | May 20, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to Rachel Maddow to smoke this guy out. Where is the rest of the press? Ever since they lost the election the "conservative" (reactionaries) have been bullying anybody they can.

Its time to put a point on it. The Republicans are liars. Where do you begin--John McCain who claims he never said he was a Maverick.

Bullies respond to one thing--a fist on the tip of their nose. The press needs to quit being bullied and call these enemies of the Nation out every time they come out with this stuff. They can start by hounding the Republicans on why they are protecting Wall Street right now--you know the ones they bailed out and then are against bailing out--huh?

At least this guy is not a liar. He just couldn't bring himself to mouth his true beliefs on National TV. His ideology would permit Jim Crow to revisit this Nation.

Unlimited Gun rights. Unlimited pollution rights. Unlimited campaign contributions by corporations. Unlimited hatred. Unlimited lying. Citizens--for a moment stop permitting yourselves to be called "Consumers"--I give you the Republican Party. Just maybe the most selfish institution and worldview that has ever existed--anywhere.

Posted by: explorers100 | May 20, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Paul Rand is an f-ing dou che and so are his apologists. Happy to know that the pot head fans of his dad are putting down their cheetos and ding dongs to defend this loser.

Posted by: LABC | May 20, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

So the anti-career politician becomes the seasoned political player by (not so effectively) backpedaling on his statements for political expedience.

Boy, that didn't last long.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 20, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Dear "Love-em-or-leave-town",

Nice story and such touching understanding on your part. FYI most African Americans feel that way throughout the US. Almost all AA men have been harassed by the police and have had racist experiences in many, many different settings. How would you feel now if that was a fact of life everywhere not just in one joint in Hyattsville.

Best

Posted by: BobSanderson | May 20, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse
___________________

Like I said, Bob, I grew up in PG County. That is just one incident. Would you like me to tell you about all the others? That's just it. African Americans don't realize that when they have a bad day, it's not always because they're black. Trust me, I've been harrassed by cops many times. But I didn't have the built-in excuse, "Ah, it's because I'm black" that you have. Or when I've been overlooked for a promotion, or for a new job, or didn't get into the school that I wanted. It's just life. I'm not saying it's the same for blacks as it is for whites. Sure, whenever you're in the minority there will be some tough times. But where else in the world would you rather live? Where else in the world would you have a better opportunity to succeed? What other country has elected a minority president? If you have an answer to any of these questions, the great thing about America is that you're free to go there if you want. Last time I checked no one is trying to keep people from leaving this country.

Nobody wants to repeal civil rights laws. Not republicans, not libertarians, and not tea partiers. But we have to be able to have adult conversations without being branded racists. As long as we all label ourselves something other than Americans, it's going to drag this out forever.

Posted by: Love-em-or-leave-town | May 20, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree wholeheartedly sir. I want to see an end to Ladies night! I'm tired of paying twice for a crown and coke versus a female. It's absolutely ridiculously in this time of day for a private bar to do such a thing. Heresy, that's what it is.

Posted by: zappainfrance | May 20, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The Civil Rights Act vote was more about North/South, than Democrat/Republican:

The original House version:

* Southern Democrats: 7-87 (7%-93%)
* Southern Republicans: 0-10 (0%-100%)

* Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%-6%)
* Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%-15%)

The Senate version:

* Southern Democrats: 1-20 (5%-95%)
* Southern Republicans: 0-1 (0%-100%)
* Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%-2%)
* Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%-16%)

Democratic President Lyndon Johnson was really the force that pushed this through committee.

Posted by: charlieb00 | May 20, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I have a new definition:

Libertarian: One who believes property rights are more important than human rights.

Posted by: roblimo | May 20, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Just posted over at Talking Points Memo: "Controversy is swirling over Rand Paul's doctrinaire libertarian take on the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. But this is not the first time the Kentucky Republican's campaign has hit a bump in racially sensitive territory. In December, Chris Hightower, the spokesman for Paul's senate campaign, was forced to resign after a liberal Kentucky blog discovered that his MySpace page had a comment posted around Martin Luther King Day that read: "HAPPY N***ER DAY!!!" above what appears to be a historical photo of the lynching of a black man."

Posted by: osullivanc1 | May 20, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Tea Baggers: Look, we had this state's rights/private property/racial discrimination argument 46 years ago. You lost in the Congress and you lost in the U.S. Supreme Court. In your words from the 2000 election, GET OVER IT! What part of your moral compasses thinks it o.k. to force black folks to take their meals in the alley behind your private restaurants?

Posted by: BBear1 | May 20, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible to analyze a situation without interjecting what we hope things should be?

Posted by: cleancut77 | May 20, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul's not trying to 'breathe life' into repealing the CRA. Rachel Maddow asked, Rand Paul responded truthfully. You want him to lie next time? He won't.

Also, probably in an ideal libertarian world you wouldn't need to call the police to kick a squatter off your private property... you'd probably just brandish your firearm and they'd scurry off.

Posted by: millionea81

/////////////////////////////////

And when the first shot misses, and some innocent bystander gets killed across the street, then what?

Presumably in an ideal libertarian world bullets never miss their intended targets and the intended targets would always be guilty.

It's a utopian fantasy.

Posted by: JPRS | May 20, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Civil Rights = Interfering w/ Southern White Supremacy?

As an American w/ a disability (due to a spinal cord injury), Paul represents the type of Republican who would take our country back...way back, to the year 1910 say.

Rand Paul has some interesting beliefs but his form of utopian libertarianism would result in a much more limited (weak) Constitution than what we're used to and gives cover to conservative racists and Neo-Confederacy types. Is this the purpose for Paul's ideology??

He stated the Civil Rights Act and Americans' With Disability Act need to be neutered b/c they supposedly interfere w/ business owners private property rights (and the right of racists and bigots to be racists and bigots, which Paul must think is a valued part of white Southern culture). Of course he didn't mention that black and disabled Americans may just want Congress to uphold their equal Constitutional rights to not be treated as 2nd class, inferior citizens.

Paul has stated the usual red hearing that the market will address this issue (don't worry bout your Constitutional rights suckas!)...b/c somehow a scenario will develop where business A, owned by a racist and anti-disability bigot who wants to exclude blacks and the disabled, will compete for customers w/ business B, owned by the non-racist and non-bigot...or maybe disabled Americans should pay a usage fee of say $50 to $500 when they access a businesses' expensive ramp.

Maybe a restaurant chain owned by a religious nut would decide on a whim to ban all disabled people...b/c he believes disability is Gaaaawwwwd's punishment.

A high level of discrimination, legally protected segregation, and very little access to public life for disabled Americans...as well as a neutered Constitution would be the result of Paul's dream for us all.

Posted by: Civilius | May 20, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Love-em-or-leave-town
Also - what makes you think Black people can't tell the difference between having a bad day or something happening because they are Black?????

Posted by: lynn28 | May 20, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are afraid of the Tea Party and since Rand Paul brought up the Tea Party when he won, the Liberals think to discredit him is to discredit the Tea Party.

I watched/listened to all 19:35 minutes of the interview with Rachel Maddow and what I take from it is that Rand Paul is NOT discriminatory or racist, but is a pure Constitutionalist.

In other words the Fed Gov't should not dictate to private businesses how to run their businesses, no matter if we don't approve. It's not in the Constitution. No matter that you think the Supreme Court's rulings are in error.

Paul spoke the truth as he sees it. A politician who says what he actually feels.

Did Rachel ever ask the Black Caucus if they were racist since they only include black members of Congress? And if it's a Federal Law you cannot be discriminatory in Public Bldg's, etc., then how does the Black Caucus get away with skirting the law?

Personally, I wouldn't go to a place that discriminates, but I can understand his point as a candidate who believes in limited government.

Maddow set a trap but it's up to the voter's to decide in November.

BTW, why didn't she villify Obama for being mentored by a racist preacher (Maddow probably voted for Obama in spite of that fact) or Obama being financed at Harvard by the racist al Mansour formerly of the Black Panthers, who said he wanted to reach down the throats of white people and pull out their flesh?

It's a double standard by the liberals once again.

Posted by: janet8
========================================================
The ability to pass law and regulate commerce absolutely is in the Constitution. Does the GOP caucus let Democrats in, yours is a straw man argument. Any congressional group is not open to the public, as would a private club. Private clubs can discriminate. My friend works for a company that delivers medical waste to be burned at high temps costing over $2000 per 50 gallon drum, you would let his boss dump it in front of your house? Do you want the FDA to check whether your food is safe? Do as you please does not suit anyone. In all the tape shown on Wright saying abhorrent things, have you ever seen Obama or his wife there? Any proof of where Obama got the money for college or some neocon website or truth teller Glenn Beck that said Obama has a deep seated hatred of white people. He is of course a Tea Party keynote speaker. Ever wonder why 5 people in the GOP have already said they have to talk to him about this position?

Posted by: jameschirico | May 20, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Rand and Ron Paul are poster children for the problems with libertarianism. If you get say, a university professor that understands and supports libertarianism, you'd get a much better explanation of it. The problem with the Pauls is that both are inept politicians even if they are both doctors.

Posted by: Puller58 | May 20, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Rand is an absolute cuckoo clock, and a closet bigot, just like many of his father's followers. Kentucky made a terrible mistake. Blame the tea party.

Posted by: dudh | May 20, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is clearly not ready for prime time. His brand of politics may fly in a primary election, but he'll be unelectable in November.

Posted by: BlueMoon1 | May 20, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I cannot agree that discriminating solely on race is right and in fact find it disgusting and wrong. However Telling a private business owner who or what his customers can do beyond that is wrong. The case in point being smoking and how smokers are discriminated at because others don't want to be inconvenienced.

Posted by: Pilot1
=========================================================
You're confusing activities with personal prejudice. Smokers are not banned anywhere, smoking is. Jacket and tie required does not apply to women, but no one sees it as discriminatory. Free speech prejudice is allowed. We prefer minorities don't use our service is not the same as banning the service and works just as well.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 20, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

conway 2010. he's against medical marijuana and thinks we need a task force to rid kentucky of the ugly stain we call drug addicts. he doesn't like free trade. he'll help ban dirty rock music with profanity that hurts the children. he'll take on hollywood and make sure every movie is nc 17. he represents a true oppressive style of governing that reflects his very own values that frankly really turns me on. he's good hearted kentucky christian folk with traditional kentucky values. he'll put on the armor of christ and go to battle against the evil called satan. he's got my vote. conway 2010.

btw, does anybody take a look at conway and see a hillbilly version of patrick bateman from american psycho?

Posted by: zappainfrance | May 20, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Another example of why ideology is the sworn enemy of reason.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | May 20, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Forget the arcane racial discrimination examples.
Rand Paul said he objects to any legislation imposing any mandates on private industry in any way.
Let's ask Paul whether he objects to any attempts by the government to compel BP to shut down the polluting well and clean of the mess?
... Or not?
I mean, if we're gonna be ideologically pure about this, we should just let BP do whatever it feels like doing to the well.
We can't administer a law to compel them do anything, right?
But what about the fishermen, the restaurants, the seafood shops, the companies that package and ship shrimp, oysters and seafood from the Gulf Coast all over the world?
Do they not deserve any protection from BP's lackadasical handling of this (self-termed by CEO to Sky News in Britain) "modest" damaged well?
Or would Paul just let the leak run its course, to heck with the consequences?
THAT is a question he hasn't address as yet, as far as I can find out.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | May 20, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that Rand Paul doesn't realize that anyone other than the government can infringe on your rights. In this case, the core issue is whether the government should take steps to protect the *human rights* of Americans. The answer, in my view, is unequivocally "yes!"

It's shocking to me that we even need to have this discussion. This is what happens when you get somebody running for office who's never known anything but privilege in his life.

Posted by: jeffwacker | May 20, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that Rand Paul is a racist. He's a dogmatic libertarian who, in this case and doubtless many others, applies his prinicples too rigidly, without considering the circumstances.

I do, however, think the Tea Party is crawling with racists.

But then Rand Paul and the Tea Party have very little in common. Rand Paul genuinely wants to shrink the Federal Govt. Most Teabaggers are thrilled by Big Govt projects like the Iraq War and the F-22. They can't spend enough taxpayers' money on that crap. They only hate Big Govt and spending when they suspect it of helping poor people.

Posted by: JenDray | May 20, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

"Another example of why ideology is the sworn enemy of reason."
Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | May 20, 2010 9:58 PM
==
Seriously, Enemy, thanks.
You took my breath away with the cogent and succinct sentence you posted.
So perfect.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | May 20, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, JenDray.

Posted by: jeffwacker | May 20, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

You are far too kind to Mr. Rand Paul. Paul does not believe in "we the people" -- he believes in "me the individual." To believe in 2010 that restaurants, hotels, and other private enterprises have the right to discriminate is beyond opinion. Paul is an ideologue who's true colors will continue to reveal himself as the racist he is. The new racism, according to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is not the blatant hateful actions and speech of the 1960s. The new racism is educated, well-dressed, and seductive. Paul is a racist if he believes that in any place open to serve the public, the owner can discriminate on the basis of race. Here's hoping Mr. Paul, whose star rose so fast, sees it fade into the oblivion deserved by such hateful and divisive rhetoric.

Posted by: chuckwarnock | May 20, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

You are far too kind to Mr. Rand Paul. Paul does not believe in "we the people" -- he believes in "me the individual." To believe in 2010 that restaurants, hotels, and other private enterprises have the right to discriminate is beyond opinion. Paul is an ideologue who's true colors will continue to reveal himself as the racist he is. The new racism, according to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is not the blatant hateful actions and speech of the 1960s. The new racism is educated, well-dressed, and seductive. Paul is a racist if he believes that in any place open to serve the public, the owner can discriminate on the basis of race. Here's hoping Mr. Paul, whose star rose so fast, sees it fade into the oblivion deserved by such hateful and divisive rhetoric.

Posted by: chuckwarnock | May 20, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul just blamed the "loony left" for taking what he said in the wrong way. I wonder how the "wing-nuts" in the GOP took what he said? For the most part, GOP Senators stated they support the Civil Right Bill of 1964 and wanted to talk to Ron Paul in private. None of them blamed the "loony left" and none of them offered up the "he was misquoted" defense.

How did a bunch of teabaggers take what he said? They are dancing around the issue on this blog.

Posted by: xdougwhite | May 20, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"... among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" implies that there are other rights which are not enumerated - rights which the founders intended and expected to be determined in the future; as Jefferson noted, the Constitution was not set in stone, but adaptable to changing times.

As society has matured, we the people have discovered, and insisted upon, certain rights: we even fought a civil war to ensure that all human beings in this country deserve to be free. Free to earn a living; free to find meaningful work and earn a living; free to worship any creator we choose, or none; free to own property; free to enter civil contracts; free to advance, despite circumstances of birth, class or race.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a resurgence of feeling from some who live here, that only SOME people deserve freedom. And that feeling - as it was 150 years ago - appears to be rooted in property, class, race, and circumstances of birth.

Perhaps citizenship should not be bestowed on all Americans at the moment of their birth; perhaps it should be something we need to apply for, affirming our acceptance of the principles on which our governmental structure is based. To have to affirm that one will uphold the principle that "all men are created equal" before receiving citizenship might make the meaning and responsibilities of freedom more clear.

Posted by: RoughAcresDOTus | May 20, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Paul is just another case of the quick rise and fall of a disenfranchised political movement (Perot anyone?) that would be better served grinding their teeth at local Chamber of Commerce meetings. Make great headlines (angry white men Part IX?) but will peter out after any of them actually get into office.

Posted by: ptownCA | May 20, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Public enforcement of a private discriminatory policy was not (and would not be) an issue, where de-jure segregation did not exist. The signs posted usually read: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." You could come in and sit down, but you would not be served. Groups of people could try to put such an establishment out of business with "sit-ins," but that's pretty labor/time intensive.

Posted by: threedy | May 20, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Smoking should be legal in every restaurant. Government politicians should dictate where you can smoke. If nonsmokers don't like it, they can stay home! I should be able to smoke when I want to without a politician telling me I can't.

Posted by: Socialistic | May 21, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Did you see Ron Paul's cameo appearance in "Bruno" (the Sacha Baron Cohen flick)?

Very (inadvertently) funny!

Well, it looks like the apple didn't fall far from the tree, and Rand Paul will keep us ROFL during his brief political career.

Posted by: HughBriss | May 21, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Paul isn't racist at all.

But we wouldn't want to let facts get in the way of an old fashion press lynching.

Paul needs to remember that the press is going to put whatever he says into a spin cycle, and it's not going to come out the way he intends.

Posted by: Benson | May 21, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

I uphold the 13th and 14th Amendment. Paul's comments only confirm my belief that the Teabag agenda is one based on EXTREME prejudice against ANY minority.

Donating fund$ to RooPaul's opponent.

Fafolo!

Posted by: neec13 | May 21, 2010 5:06 AM | Report abuse

This is very confusing! Rand Paul believes in smaller government, but would have to call the police, who are government employees, to enforce trespassing violations?

Posted by: DGSPAMMAIL | May 21, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Lots Of Emotional Blather On This Thread.

Some Well Discussed And Reasoned Comments Interspersed.

Reconstruction Was A Joke – More Like Rob The South.

The Original Issue Needed To Be Rectified.

However, The Commerce Clause Has Brought “Many Cures That Were Worse Than The Diseases”.

Prohibition Of/ War On … “Insert Issue Here”

Mandated Morality Never Works.

Rand Paul and Ron Paul Are Statesman; Not Lobby Paid Philanderers. It is too bad many here look for deceit.

Government is really only good at "Forensics And Aftermath", and that is debateable.

The sooner we all realize that, we are all just a bunch of "Mutts"; the sooner the merits of a "Color Blind" society will manifest.

Racism And Cultural Fear Are Mentally Minuscule; There Are Heroes And Villains In All Societies Of The Earth.

It is a Misconception that "Liberty" requires "No Law"; No Reasoned Libertarian Believes So.

Liberty => All People Equal; Constitution => Protection Of Life , Liberty, Property.

Anyone Advocating A Return Toward Constitutional Limits On Federal Power Is An Ally.

The Shadow Banking Level 3 Asset Currency Crisis Is Just Beginning To Manifest. What People Hold Dear Will Be Tested Soon.

Posted by: PainfullyAware | May 21, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

This is good. We should get into the nitty gritty of what the tea party and birthers really want. That should make them appeal to, say, the tea party and birthers.

Posted by: SarahBB | May 21, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

"I cannot agree that discriminating solely on race is right and in fact find it disgusting and wrong. However Telling a private business owner who or what his customers can do beyond that is wrong. The case in point being smoking and how smokers are discriminated at because others don't want to be inconvenienced."

Posted by: Pilot1 | May 20, 2010 3:05 PM

Apples and idiotic oranges. Second hand smoke is dangerous. No one ever increased their risk of developing cancer because they ate lunch next to an African American.

Posted by: kevin_rigsby19 | May 21, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Great article, and a fair rebuke to Mr. Paul for getting carried away with his libertarianism.

Posted by: almorganiv | May 21, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

"it is precisely because of this nexus between private discrimination and public enforcement that the larger community, through the political and judicial process, acquires a valid interest in legislating against discrimination"

I am really confused, it's not ok for public money to enforce private discrimination but it IS ok for it to support broad discrimination through affirmative action. Is that right?

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | May 21, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

"it is precisely because of this nexus between private discrimination and public enforcement that the larger community, through the political and judicial process, acquires a valid interest in legislating against discrimination"

I am really confused, it's not ok for public money to enforce private discrimination but it IS ok for it to support broad discrimination through affirmative action. Is that right?

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | May 21, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Amazing how ignorant some of these posters are... what makes America unique are the Federal laws put in place to protect its citizenry and to enable individuals to act "freely"... Take those away and hope that "private" citizens and businesses will all of sudden not revert to discriminatory and entirely self-centered behavior and we will indeed have a society in ruin.

I can't help but be amazed how large the number of people are who would spite themselves to promote a political belief/philosophy they enjoy fighting for but do not understand.

Rand Paul is important right now. He is important in that he represents a view which deserves debate and deserves to be shone in the light of day... He abhors the institutions and laws that we've spent over 200 years writing through our elected officials... He represents turning our mental clocks back to a time where violence is the equalizer.

I am sure Mr. Paul would agree that if the statistics on the growth of latinos turn out correct then it won't be a big deal for spanish to be forced on us when we interact in restaurants, airports, train stations, department stores, etc. Except of course not in public buildings.

Posted by: Rickster623 | May 21, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Not so fast lane. You're conflating the enforcement of property rights in a manner that would inevitably compel government agency to act in violation of the 14th Amendment--say by enforcing trespassing laws--with CRA's attachment of a duty to non-discrimination by the owners themselves. Let's lay out a different set of facts. If a Black man sat down at an Italian restaurant and the owner refused to serve him and did *nothing else*, he'd have cause to file suit.

Posted by: pcannady | May 21, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

The anger over big government was the deciding factor in Rand Paul's win as the Republican candidate. But, if you choose to run for a government office, working within the government is part of the package. Pure libertarian views can't be maintained as a government official.

As a Libertarian, his statements were against government intervention in privately owned business and were not racially motivated.

I watched his interview with Rachel Maddow and her extensive comments last night. The interview was definitely designed to bait Mr. Paul. Her usual "sneer and jeer" method of dealing with any Republican was surprisingly absent last night. Becoming fair and balanced, Rachel? We'll see.

Posted by: bethg1841 | May 21, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I noted your column appears as "Opinions". Opinions are a lot like armpits, and yours have a liberal stink!

Posted by: joeblotnik49 | May 21, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I noted your column appears as "Opinions". Opinions are a lot like armpits, and yours have a liberal stink!

Posted by: joeblotnik49 | May 21, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This is an excellent article. I would venture to say this is some of the best writing you have ever done. Very educational and insightful. Thank you very much.

Posted by: maxwellinformed | May 21, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul never said he was opposed to the Civil Rights Act solely on a racial basis. He simply said that if he wanted to eat at a diner and not eat in the presense of Jews, of Hispanics, or women, or old people, he felt that the Federal Govt. had infringed on his right to do so.

Posted by: wmboyd | May 21, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@rickster - It's an interesting point. Statistics on Latinos show that they assimilate just like previous waves of immigrants. First generation tied to older culture and language. Second generation fluent in English and straddles the cultures. Third generation difficult to distinguish. I'm the child of a third generation Swede. My parent is just a plain midwesterner--doesn't even eat Lutefisk.

Before you talk about how this is different, think about our cities. Chinatown. Little Italy. Swedes in Minnesota. Germans in Wisconsin. There has ALWAYS been clustering and it's nothing new.

So, the question is if you're offended by Spanish being spoken in your presence. I go to a lot of stores in the DC area and a Latino checker speaks in Spanish to Latino customers. And to me in English. If it's the obvious presence of immigrants that bugs you, get in line.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 21, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Can I suggest a new term, Libertarian in Name Only (LINO)?

From the WSJ:
>... Tea party favorite Rand Paul has rocketed to the lead ahead of Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary here on a resolute pledge to balance the federal budget and slash the size of government.

But on Thursday evening, the ophthalmologist from Bowling Green said there was one thing he would not cut: Medicare physician payments.

In fact, Paul — who says 50% of his patients are on Medicare — wants to end cuts to physician payments under a program now in place called the sustained growth rate, or SGR. “Physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living."...

Posted by: bobskis | May 21, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I cannot agree that discriminating solely on race is right and in fact find it disgusting and wrong. However Telling a private business owner who or what his customers can do beyond that is wrong. The case in point being smoking and how smokers are discriminated at because others don't want to be inconvenienced.

Posted by: Pilot1
================

So what you are saying is that your right to smoke outweighs a non-smokers right not to be subjected to poisonous fumes that cause a whole host of physical harm. Not to be gross and not that I would do this but your argument is like if I were to sit next to you in a resturant and pass gas continually and loudly. By your argument then my rights to subject you to my farts overweighs your rights not to smell and breath my bodily gas. And to extend your argument to the subject we're talking about then it is your right to sit next to your "kind" in resturants and other public places and that right is All Powerful and All Important but where your argument fails is that when you sit next to an African American or somebody not of your "kind" you will have no ill effects, like second hand smoke, except to your own sense of self-righteousness and self importance. But I forgot it's all about you, nobody else matters, you're the only person that matters in this country so of course what you want is more important than basic human decency to your fellow man. Dude, I hope I never have to sit next to you because its more than your second hand smoke that stinks!

Posted by: dre7861 | May 21, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Quit calling it the "Tea Party," and call it what it really is: THE BIGOT PARTY !

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | May 21, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

See the 5/20 issue of my modest e-mail op-ed e-zine, which is posted at http://www.mytown.ca/green-dog/.

The issue pretty well points out why Rand Paul identifies with the tea bag- er, partiers and vice versa.

I'm a (blush) Kentuckian.

Posted by: JoeWB | May 21, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The whole concept of "property rights" is a societal construct, not something endemic to our natures such as breathing is endemic.You cannot have constructs such as "business owners", "property rights", and yes, liberty, without some sort of enforcement structure. Libertarianism does not acknowledge the consequences of its actions or move beyond rhetoric. It's laughable.

Posted by: Nelliebelle1197 | May 21, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

you'd probably just brandish your firearm and they'd scurry off.

Posted by: millionea81

============================================

or the person who is being discriminated against could brandish his own weapon

and then we have police involvement what then, stupid ???

what if several hundred people arrive, and refuse to leave until EVERYBODY is served ???

what then, IDIOT ???

do we let every case of discrimination devolve into separate groups of armed people ???

didn't think of that, did you stupid ???

instead of creating thousands of armed conflicts per day in America, maybe we should just pass a law

oh, wait

that's what we did

tell me again about how brandishing firearms solves everything ???

does reality ever intrude into your delusional pipe dream existence ???

Posted by: nada85484 | May 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

You probably don't even realize the racism in your post.

I will talk about anything I want to my skin color doesn't matter. You just want the government to carry out your mission of revenge and hate like Zimbabwe.
=============================================
The fact that you could post this means you don't understand what racism actually is.

Posted by: Nelliebelle1197 | May 21, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Janet8 - "It's not in the Constitution" is a pointless argument. The Constitution is well over 200 years-old. Do you think "The Framers", as some folks like to call them, envisioned radio, tv, telephone, cable, the interstate highway system, skyscrapers, etc., etc.? There are a ton of laws that are "not in the Constitution". Those brave, smart folks back in the 1770's certainly were smart enough to know that they didn't know it all and didn't expect that the Constitution would never change. If they had thought that way, there would be no Bill of Rights. That's right they introduced an amendment process in order to change the Constitution!

Posted by: philasportsphan | May 21, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that Rand Paul is a racist. He's a dogmatic libertarian who, in this case and doubtless many others, applies his prinicples too rigidly, without considering the circumstances.

======================================

the man says he supports a business having the right to discriminate based upon race

he abhors racism, but he loves the right to discriminate more

and after reading how that "right" would be enforced, with police powers, we can figure out that rand paul wants the federal and state governments to enforce the right to discriminate

are you too stupid to figure that out ???

maybe you are one of the idiots who think that brandishing firearms will solve the problem

keep talking, idiot

or should I say "KEEP DIGGING, STUPID"

Posted by: nada85484 | May 21, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Words come so cheap that nearly anyone can employ and deploy them whenever and however he or she wants. What often does not come with words, however, are thoughtfulness, balanced consideration and a careful analysis of those words. This is the case with the person who wrote this (Posted by: mlutter):

“…….. But ask yourself, since the civil rights era, how much progress has been made on race. And has that progress been made because of, or in spite of, government. Affirmative action and other programs engender suspicion and distrust amongst the races. The races that have integrated fully have eschewed government subsidies. Allowing people to be subject to the meritocracy of the marketplace is the most efficient way to end discrimination.”

When a society systematically excludes a segment of its population for centuries by (1) enslaving that segment, (2) describing members of that segment in its Constitution as being only 3/5 human and treating them accordingly and (3) upon “freeing” them from slavery, telling them that they are not allowed to sleep, eat, drink, sit and play in certain places and cannot attend certain schools, common sense would dictate that before one throws around words and phrases like the ones above he or she should consider history. But sadly enough this is not the case. For if we were to be a little more thoughtful and analytical we would seek to understand, for example, the effects, if any, of 400 hundred plus years of slavery and total social, economic and political relegation on the human psychic and personality.

Posted by: erickaba | May 21, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The intellectual flaw in the libertarians argument on regulation of privately owned businesses is first, what about a publicly owned company and as the owner of a private business, I should be able to have legal sex in front of my customers. They can choose to patronize another business if they don't like it.

Posted by: mconfoy | May 21, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Now Rand Paul is sympathizing with mega-polluter BP!

Ugh!

Perhaps we need to hear less from Rand Paul, and more from RuPaul!

Posted by: HughBriss | May 21, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

RON PAUL. BECK, TEA PARTY, REPUBLICAN PARTY RACIST LIVES. IF THESE GROUPS ARE SUCESSFUL IN NOVEMBER WITH THEY CANADATES IT WILL PUT THIS COUNTRYS BACK 50 YEARS. BRING OUT MORE KKK LOW LIFES

Posted by: apwu8 | May 21, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Poor libertarians will try and twist themselves into pretzels to pretend that Rand Paul isn't a racist masquerading as a Tea Party Constitutionalist.
The minute he answered, and I fully accept that he answered truthfully, he exposed the movement's bedrock. I might even believe that Rand doesn't believe his stance is racist, but when he asserts that the state must support property rights that can force other citizens away from businesses, then he's a racist. QED

Posted by: koolhand21 | May 21, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

One other point re: Charles Lane's hypothetical black man at a "whites only" restaurant, and a point that libertarians never reach in their analyses: both customer and owner pay taxes that go in part to pay for the "protection" of the owner from the customer. Only one of them, it would seem, is getting any bang for his buck.

Libertarians need to look at society from angles other than their own life experience.

Posted by: rollotomas1 | May 21, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

clairen gets it wrong, very wrong. First, Rand Paul's full name is Randall. Rand is an abbreviation of Randall and he is not named after Ayn Rand.

Next it should be noted that Ayn Rand actually condemned the State's rights doctrine, she didn't support it. And she condemned it particularly when George Wallace used it to defend segregation.

http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2009/03/states-rights-and-ayn-rand.html

Posted by: esteem | May 22, 2010 3:51 AM | Report abuse

Janet8: You might want to do a bit more research. Courts have upheld a right for groups to form (black caucus) for a specific purpose. They've also said a business must provide wheelchair access as discriminating against those with disabilities is illegal. Rand Paul speaks good theory but you can't always count on people or businesses (BP) to do the right thing. That's why he have laws.

Posted by: lindambahlman | May 22, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Dear Love em or leave town: What a tragic life you have lived. Did you ever overcome being discriminated against once? Ask the women who tried to get jobs in the '70's what it was like to be asked about how many sex partners they had or when they planned to have children. Govt has protected us from a free marketplace that is often run by those with greed as their god & power on their side.

Posted by: lindambahlman | May 22, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Wonder how many folks who agree with Rand Paul think it's a good idea to be able to drink and/or buy liquor all day (including Sunday). Or think it's wrong to identify pedophiles & where they live or what work they do?

Posted by: lindambahlman | May 22, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Should the govt tell people they can't get married (miscagenation/gays) or that DADT should be allowed or that gays should be prohibited from adopting children or teaching them? Guessing govt limits only apply to things you don't want to see happen, Rand

Posted by: lindambahlman | May 22, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"You just want the government to carry out your mission of revenge and hate like Zimbabwe."
Posted by: Cryos | May 20, 2010 6:11 PM

We all -- by which I mean all 300+ million Americans -- owe a great debt to Mr Rand Paul, and to the Almighty.
He's helping to make inescapably and undeniably clear that every accusation that has been hurled at the teabeggars (the majority of them at least; I'm confident they're not all quite this vile, though I acknowledge I could be wrong) is fully warranted, and then some.
To these people, a government's ensuring Americans of all races and ethnicities free and equal access to goods and services in our society and economy constitutes a "mission of revenge and hate."
Thank you so much for demonstrating just how deranged you are, and just what our country would look like if we let you get your hands on the tiller, before it's too late.
Thank God for Rand Paul!

Posted by: smartalek | May 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This same question - whether we want our taxes to pay for morally questionable enforcement actions - applies equally well to copyrights, drugs, immigrants, and wars.

Posted by: HymanRosen | May 24, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

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