Equality Minute With Rand Paul

May 20th, 2010at 08:28pm Posted by Eli

Wow, I sure have learned many fascinating things about Rand Paul, racism and the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the past 24 hours.  Let’s start with his post-primary victory lap, which is apparently the perfect time to start disparaging one of the most important bills of the 20th century:

SIEGEL: You’ve said that business should have the right to refuse service to anyone, and that the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA, was an overreach by the federal government. Would you say the same by extension of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

Dr. PAUL: What I’ve always said is that I’m opposed to institutional racism, and I would’ve, had I’ve been alive at the time, I think, had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to overturn institutional racism, and I see no place in our society for institutional racism.

(…)

SIEGEL: But it’s been one of the major developments in American history in the course of your life. I mean, do you think the ’64 Civil Rights Act or the ADA for that matter were just overreaches and that business shouldn’t be bothered by people with the basis in law to sue them for redress?

Dr. PAUL: Right. I think a lot of things could be handled locally. For example, I think that we should try to do everything we can to allow for people with disabilities and handicaps. You know, we do it in our office with wheelchair ramps and things like that. I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who’s handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator. And I think when you get to the solutions like that, the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions.

In other words, Rand Paul believes that institutional (but only institutional?) racism is a Terrible Horrible Very Bad Thing… that should be legal.  And the Civil Rights Act and the ADA are government overreach because racism and ableism can be solved with a little locally applied common sense.

But wait, there’s more!

Rand Paul lashed out at the “loony left” for pressing him on his view of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in an interview with Laura Ingraham this morning.

“I’ve never really favored any change in the Civil Rights Act,” he said. “They seem to have unleashed some of the loony left on me.”

Paul called the Civil Rights Act “settled” but suggested he does view federal regulation of private business on matters of racial discrimination as fundamentally unconstitutional.

So Rand Paul thinks the Civil Rights Act is fundamentally unconstitutional but is willing to let it slide because it’s settled law, and anyone who thinks this is disturbing must be part of the “loony left”?  Perhaps an official statement would help clear this up…

“I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person.  I have clearly stated in prior interviews that I abhor racial discrimination and would have worked to end segregation… I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Let me be clear: I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.”

“As I have said in previous statements, sections of the Civil Rights Act were debated on Constitutional grounds when the legislation was passed. Those issues have been settled by federal courts in the intervening years.”

(…)

This much is clear:  The federal government has far overreached in its power grabs. Just look at the recent national healthcare schemes, which my opponent supports.   The federal government, for the first time ever, is mandating that individuals purchase a product.   The federal government is out of control, and those who love liberty and value individual and state’s rights must stand up to it.”

Okay, so:  Rand Paul won’t support repeal of the Civil Rights Act, which is not the same as saying he would have actually voted for it.  His support for it is limited to “stop[ping] discrimination in the public sphere,” so he still thinks it’s wrong to tell private businesses they can’t discriminate.  He points out that there was debate over whether the Act was even constitutional.  And then he finishes up by invoking the specter of overreachy government “power grabs.”

On the other hand, Paul does insist that he wants to work to end racism… just so long as the government doesn’t have anything to do with it.  Of course, his anti-racist fervor would probably be a lot more believable if he hadn’t hired a full-blown, balls-out racist asshole to be his campaign spokesman.  Paul fired him immediately after he was outed, but I’m kind of amazed that a guy that racist could have kept it under wraps so successfully that his boss never noticed until he got his nose rubbed in it.

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Wankers


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