Reason.tv: The Tea Party Goes to Washington: Rand Paul on the Intellectual Bankruptcy of Both Major Parties

Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took an unusual path to his seat in the United States Senate: Though his father, the libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), has spent decades in office, Rand Paul had never previously held public office before winning in 2010. Throughout his campaign, Paul fils identified more with the Tea Party than with the Republican Party, and he ran against the hand-picked candidate of one of the most powerful Republicans in America, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). After trouncing both his primary challenger and the Democratic nominee, Paul did not mention the GOP once in his victory speech last November, saying instead, "Tonight, there's a Tea Party tidal wave."

Since entering office, the freshman senator has quickly proven himself to be the most interesting and radical voice on Capitol Hill, proposing immediate budget cuts 500 percent steeper than anything else Republicans have contemplated, speaking eloquently against the PATRIOT Act and runaway defense spending, and going bonkers against nanny-state regulations in the home. He's even taken on the sainted 19th-century Kentucky statesman Henry Clay ("the Great Compromiser") in a speech that caused McConnell to leave the room. And this all happened just in Paul's first two months in office.

Now the freshman senator has a new book out, The Tea Party Goes to Washington, that discusses his political journey, the intellectual bankruptcy of both major parties, and the urgency of our clear and present fiscal crisis. Reason's Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie interviewed Sen. Paul in his temporary Senate office in March 2011.

Interview produced by Meredith Bragg with Josh Swain and Austin Bragg.

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  • johnl||

    So the speach about Clay was a veiled attack on the minority leader?

  • ||

    Gee, thanks for the private video.

  • Tim||

    BASTARDS! (shakes fist)

  • Warty||

    MARKET FAILURE

  • ||

    Why cant i get a coffee mr rand?

  • Warty||

    TROLL FAILURE

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Okay Mr. Troll, I'll bite.

    Lets go with a hypothetical, let us suppose that the portions of the Civil Rights act that restrict freedom of association (e.g. forcing places of business to engage in commerce with patrons is a restriction in said freedom of association) were repealed or otherwise removed from the books.

    Now, let us say that a coffee shop or cafe decides to stop serving black customers.

    How long do you think it would take for the Al Sharptons* of the world to show up with a bull horn in front of this coffee shop?

    What kind of effect do you think a protest in front of this establishment and the associated negative publicity is going to have on the owner's ability to stay in business?

    * I know that Al Sharpton and his ilk are statist tool-bags and would come demanding government action to force the owner to serve any and all patrons.

  • Tony||

    * I know that Al Sharpton and his ilk are statist tool-bags and would come demanding government action to force the owner to serve any and all patrons.

    Excellent point. Always be thinking about how you might lose the war by winning a battle. My question is, what's broken that needs fixing? The "free association right" of business owners to racially discriminate? You want to risk a statist backlash for that?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    It's predictable of you to put "free association right" in scare quotes, there, Tony old chap... But you still manage to miss the point as always.

  • Tony||

    It's a limitation of free association, no doubt about it. But it was determined that this infringement was worth the upside: the ability of blacks to participate in commerce in their society at all. I suppose if pervasive racism were eliminated, it wouldn't be necessary, and the remaining few racists could go on celebrating their freedom to discriminate without inflicting harm on an entire class of people. But there is the argument that having a policy of allowing discrimination is itself regressive, that is, it fosters more racism and racial discrimination.

  • ||

    Is it necessary now Tony? Because I can assure you that know one is going to go back in time to repeal it.

  • Tony||

    Is it necessary to repeal it? Is satisfying the obsessive-compulsive absolutism of libertarians justification for revisiting one of the most celebrated laws in American history?

    I'd say yes it is necessary to maintain for the potentiality of regressivism I mentioned.

  • ||

    "I'd say yes it is necessary to maintain for the potentiality of regressivism I mentioned."

    Again, I disagree. I would rather people not be racist because its the right way to be, not because they are scared of our overlords. Then its just fake, and you didn't really get rid of racism, you just pushed it underground.

  • Tony||

    Again, I disagree. I would rather people not be racist because its the right way to be, not because they are scared of our overlords. Then its just fake, and you didn't really get rid of racism, you just pushed it underground.

    Well the argument is that allowing discrimination leads to more racism. Children grow up seeing the races segregated, and they take on racist views as a result. Similarly, being forced to integrate might lessen racism in society as people learn to get along with each other. I think this is pretty convincing.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Its for teh children!

    DRINK!

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    The point your are missing is that government cannot be trusted to make determinations regarding what is in the best interest of business in general. I doubt very many businesses would dare implement their personal Jim Crow policies as it would undoubtedly lead to the failure of the business.

    But, as per usual you minimize or ignore the coercive power of the state and minimize the capacity of the individual to make responsible choices regarding the best interest of themselves or their businesses.

  • Tony||

    as it would undoubtedly lead to the failure of the business.

    But this certainly wasn't the case in the 1950s and 60s South, where allowing blacks was much more likely to lead to a failure of one's business, if not worse.

    Maybe you're right and the law isn't needed now. But if it isn't needed (meaning there isn't a risk of systemic segregation in today's market), whose freedoms are being infringed upon? The only possible consequences of repealing the law are negative, in my view. A small portion of businesses will open that will start discriminating (most certainly in the same areas of the country where this used to be a big problem), minorities' ability to participate in commerce in these areas will be hindered to a degree, children grow up seeing this and potentially are influenced to think in a racist way, and the whole debate gets started up again.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    But wouldn't a better solution be to challenge and seek the repeal of the state-driven racism under 9th and 14th Amendments, rather than infringe on the property rights of private citizens?

  • ||

    Unfortunately you don't know anything about the history of Jim Crow laws. Business owners were AGAINST those laws, it was the government that implemented them and forced private business owners to abide by them.

    Better to have just allowed free association as the individuals see fit and of course, now the government takes credit for eliminating Jim Crow laws. WTF.

  • Tony||

    Unfortunately you don't know anything about the history of Jim Crow laws. Business owners were AGAINST those laws, it was the government that implemented them and forced private business owners to abide by them.

    I'm gonna need a cite for this, because it's commonly claimed, but sounds very much like an attempt to blame government for a social problem.

  • Monty||

    " I doubt very many businesses would dare implement their personal Jim Crow policies as it would undoubtedly lead to the failure of the business."

    I think it could be selling point to the right clientele. Bad taste, and all that. It could work in that place that Tony imagines where Hillbillies and Red necks are lookin to get their discriminating on.

  • Realist||

    "Because I can assure you that know one is going to go back in time to repeal it."

    Perhaps you mean no one!

  • ||

    "But there is the argument that having a policy of allowing discrimination is itself regressive, that is, it fosters more racism and racial discrimination."

    I don't think so. Pretty much every person I know is not racist, and they are not racist because its fucking stupid and illogical. They choose this independent of Federal Government laws. The government didn't end racism with this law, the people who are not racist made a rational choice not to be.

  • Tony||

    The government didn't end racism with this law, the people who are not racist made a rational choice not to be.

    But your friends exist in a 21st century world where racism is almost universally abhorred. If this were the early-20th century segregated South, they might have a different attitude that would seem perfectly rational in their society. It could be that they are free-floating agents who came to be nonracist based on reason, or it could be that society is less racist now, in part because of government policy, and the option is not only available to them but encouraged.

  • ||

    Maybe. But then how did the law come about to begin with? There had to be a majority of non-racists for it to pass. I think that we could have had to same effect without state intervention, and maybe even better results. I think when people come to a conclusion themselves or from being persuaded, it usually sticks better then when they are forced or coerced. Being forced or coerced creates resentment, not the real change that is needed in order to end or drastically minimize the negative consequences of racism.

  • Tony||

    Maybe. But then how did the law come about to begin with? There had to be a majority of non-racists for it to pass. I think that we could have had to same effect without state intervention, and maybe even better results. I think when people come to a conclusion themselves or from being persuaded, it usually sticks better then when they are forced or coerced. Being forced or coerced creates resentment, not the real change that is needed in order to end or drastically minimize the negative consequences of racism.

    You're absolutely right. It did cause resentment. Not to mention costing the Democrats the Southern vote forevermore. But if you're a state that refuses to get your act together and enter the modern world and stop allowing systemic racial segregation, the federal government might just step in and correct you. I see no reason to believe the South would have achieved nondiscrimination on its own in the same period of time.

    But your resentment point is a good one. This country still suffers not only from lingering racism, but from a maintenance of racial attitudes based on exactly this resentment, e.g., the idea that blacks have been given special treatment by the federal government. This was definitely a negative consequences of the actions in the 60s. I still think the tradeoff was worth it. Resentment is better than actual discrimination.

  • ||

    You may be right: in the short run, the law may have been effective - especially in the South. And I have to admit, keeping it around for the sake of symbolism isn't the end of the world. But for how long? Who decides when it isn't necessary anymore? Even as a Libertarian, I'm not the biggest supporter of abolishing any part of the Civil Rights Act - there are far more pressing matters concerning limiting the scope government than this. I just honestly believe that in a free society where the governments main job is to keep men from physically harming one another's person or property, these things will work themselves out. With the right amount of persuasion and peaceful protesting, we can accomplish much more than we could with force and coercion. Yes, I have that much faith in my fellow citizens.

  • ||

    Maybe. But then how did the law come about to begin with? There had to be a majority of non-racists for it to pass. I think that we could have had to same effect without state intervention, and maybe even better results. I think when people come to a conclusion themselves or from being persuaded, it usually sticks better then when they are forced or coerced. Being forced or coerced creates resentment, not the real change that is needed in order to end or drastically minimize the negative consequences of racism.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It's a limitation of free association, no doubt about it.


    Any limitation on freedom being A-Ok with you. As long as it is for "good purposes."

    But it was determined that this infringement was worth the upside: the ability of blacks to participate in commerce in their society at all.


    Blacks were already participating in commerce, first. Second, a white person refusing to engage in EXCHANGE with a black person is not harming the black person, as the black person can always go to someone else that believes his money is just as green as anybody else's. If anything, the white person is harming himself.

    The fact is that the anti-discrimination clause for businesses was totally unnecessary, as competition would have settled that bad business practice (if it ever existed - Jim Crow laws existed because businesses were NOT discriminating, not the other way around). The clause is also IMMORAL, as it compels a person to engage in commerce against his will.

  • Tony||

    Any limitation on freedom being A-Ok with you. As long as it is for "good purposes."

    Yes. A red stoplight is a restriction on individual freedom, namely to barrel through an intersection whenever you see fit. What's gained is an orderly intersection where fewer people DIE. It's a good tradeoff. Net positive for freedom. Life is about such tradeoffs.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Yes. A red stoplight is a restriction on individual freedom, namely to barrel through an intersection whenever you see fit.


    Ah, so you conflate a public road rule with an undue restriction of people's rights. If the red light is good, then other restrictions must be as good - fallacy of composition.

    You sure are an unsophisticated non-thinker, Tony.

  • Mensan||

    "...unsophisticated non-thinker..."

    OM, is that a polite way of sayin 'incontestable willfully ignorant jackass'?

  • Brian D||

    Tony, what are your thoughts on 55+ communities? Boys- or girls-only schools? The United Negro College Fund? Are these not all examples of legally permitted discrimination, and if so, shouldn't they all be illegal?

  • The Fringe Economist||

    good point!

  • cynical||

    Surely even a moderate statist can understand that, if a government is granted the power to curtail people's liberties to deal with an emergency, it might be a good idea to remove those powers once the emergency has passed. Then again, I suppose I shouldn't make any assumptions about your degree of statism.

  • Spencer||

    Yes,

    Let's not do what is right (I'm not arguing on the point, just your argument) because of a possible backlash.

    Can you see what a horrible argument that is? I mean, let's not free the slaves because there could be a big civil war. (just example, not teaching history). Think of all the damage that could be done if we had to go to war with the southern states over this. Better just leave them on the plantation.

    Why are you so racist Tony? Why do you love slavery so much?

  • Tony||

    I am simply saying that it pays to understand political ramifications, because you might end up with less than you had before in the end. That goes for everything.

  • yonemoto||

    tony your problem is that your
    "end" is too short-sighted.

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    "...what's broken that needs fixing?"

    The now non-stop abridgement of our constitutional rights, whether for causes we may like (civil rights) or those we may not (war on terror). We're hurtling down a slippery slope.

    Good point about picking one's battles though, scare quotes notwithstanding.

  • Tony||

    Welll technically there is no constitutional right for businesses to discriminate based on race, though in exchange for that abridgment of freedom, we got the constitutional right not to be discriminated against based on race. Everything is a tradeoff, so I don't know if I'd call it a slippery slope and lump that with the patriot act and such.

  • LibertyMark||

    Well, technically, there is a "right" for businesses to discriminate due to the 9th and 10th Amendments. Not that the Constitution means anything.

  • Tony||

    Well the CRA of 1964 was justified by appealing to the 14th and 15th amendments and the interstate commerce clause, and so far this has stood. Aren't you glad we managed to achieve such a policy without having to fix the constitution? Or do you think the right to discriminate is something government should endorse above the right not to be discriminated against?

  • LibertyMark||

    Yes, those justification of the CRA were used, and are embraced by the establishment, but I still believe they are fundamentally wrong.

    None of the 14th, 15th, or ICC have any relevance at all to the issue of private discrimination, in my view.

    Your concept of "rights" is just completely alien to me. We are ships passing in the night.

    To me, "rights" are those things which I possess as a result of my humanity. All humans have them equally, regardless of their situation. A "right" is self-contained, and cannot depend on extracting something from another.

    What I do with my body and my mind is my decision only, as long as I don't violate someone else's rights. No one has a right to be on my property without my permission. So, if I decide to not let black people, or women, or white people onto my property, no one's rights have been violated.

  • Tony||

    What I do with my body and my mind is my decision only, as long as I don't violate someone else's rights. No one has a right to be on my property without my permission. So, if I decide to not let black people, or women, or white people onto my property, no one's rights have been violated.

    I do understand where you're coming from, and please don't think I attribute it to racism on your part in any way. Let me try to explain my viewpoint.

    At least in the context of the time, legalized segregation meant that black people simply could not participate in the commerce of their society in an equal way at all. Surely you think there is such a thing as a right to engage in commerce--that is, to open a business, to own property, to earn and spend money as you see fit. That's the basis for a free society, right? So if a class of people are for all intents and purposes severely restricted from this basic right, then talking about the freedom of association of racist business owners is a bit of a distraction--how can we value that freedom when its existence entails stripping an entire race of people of their freedoms?

    You can take the argument further: If you want the privilege of making money in this society, you have to abide by this society's rules. This includes not poisoning your customers, making handicap parking spaces, not racially discriminating, etc.

    But you might argue that free speech and association are so basic that they trump all of this. Here's where we get to my concept of rights vs. yours. I don't think rights are things that exist as abstract absolutes. They can be liberties or entitlements, but what matters is that they are things people can actually enjoy in the real world. That means they have to be codified so that everyone agrees on them, and secured by force so that violations are prevented. If you assert that certain rights are absolute and exist without government, then I don't understand how we could possibly agree on what they are. Maybe you believe people have the right to discriminate. But I believe that people have the right not to be discriminated against. Why is one of us right but not the other, and what do we appeal to in order to figure it out?

  • ||

    Tony, we're just going to be shooting in the dark here because you still don't understand the distinction between negative and positive rights after all this time.

    What the right to engage in commerce means is that if both parties agree to make a transaction, they may make that transaction. If one party does not wish to conduct business with the other, there is no commerce happening in the first place.

    What you are talking about is a positive right. You are saying that the party being discriminated against is entitled to the business transaction regardless of the other party's consent. Not only is this an inappropriate positive right, but it also contradicts the entire idea of commerce. Unless both parties consent to a transaction, there is no commerce going on. Forcing racists to do business is not the same as giving black people equal rights to commerce.

  • Tony||

    you still don't understand the distinction between negative and positive rights after all this time.

    I understand that you think the distinction is real and that it is somehow important to public policy.

    Do you have a right not to be murdered? To not have your property trespassed on? Negative rights, right? So what prevents someone from murdering you or trespassing on your property? Yeah, the positive action of police (or yourself in self-defense). The distinction falls apart once you start talking about implementing these rights in reality, and even so I don't see why so-called positive rights aren't a valuable part of the spectrum of rights.

  • ||

    Yeah, the positive action of police (or yourself in self-defense).

    Yes, the positive action of police that citizens must pay for in the first place. Police protection isn't a right, it's something you have to buy. If you don't buy it and no police exist, you can't have a right to what doesn't exist.

    Positive rights can't work because of this. If I have a right to some material thing, I can use force to obtain it, but this necessarily conflicts with the negative right of others to not have property stolen from them. You can't have both positive and negative rights unless priority is given to negative rights.

    And you didn't respond to my main point that what you are advocating is not equal commercial rights.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    At least in the context of the time, legalized segregation meant that black people simply could not participate in the commerce of their society in an equal way at all.


    Legalized segregation is not the same thing as voluntary segregation, Tony. You slitherly conflate the two.

    Surely you think there is such a thing as a right to engage in commerce--that is, to open a business, to own property, to earn and spend money as you see fit. That's the basis for a free society, right?


    No, that's anarchism - we need red lights.

    So if a class of people are for all intents and purposes severely restricted from this basic right, then talking about the freedom of association of racist business owners is a bit of a distraction--how can we value that freedom when its existence entails stripping an entire race of people of their freedoms?


    I thought you were all for red lights.

    Anyway, one has a right to open a business and engage in commerce, but one has NO right to FORCE commerce on anybody. That is what the CRA 1964 does - it FORCES people into commerce, at the drop of a "racism!" allegation.

    But I believe that people have the right not to be discriminated against.


    That's ridiculous. It's like saying one has a right not to be rejected by the cute girl - you are a fool.

  • Joe R.||

    And voluntary segregation still happens today. White people frequently hang out in "white" bars, and black people frequently hang out in "black" bars. A crossover is the exception and not the rule, outside of a few neighborhoods in a few cities.

    I pointed out to a liberal the other day that U.S. schools are still segregated, only by geography instead of race--which has the same effect.

    TL;DR: Repealing the CRA would only have effects at the margins.

  • ||

    Tony, you do realize that almost any choice is a discrimination right?

  • Tony||

    Tony, you do realize that almost any choice is a discrimination right

    I thought obtuse pedantry was OM's job. Yes, racial discrimination is a special kind of choice people make, special enough to warrant government attention. Special as in exceptionally bad for society.

  • ||

    Yes, racial discrimination is a special kind of choice people make, special enough to warrant government attention. Special as in exceptionally bad for society.

    No, it is bad for the people who get discriminated against. Just as the employer's right to hire only smart people is bad for stupid people. Or a clothing store's right to only offer clothing to women is bad for men. Whenever a company chooses to hire or service a certain individual or individuals, it is "bad" for the other individuals. Racial discrimination is not different from any other discrimination in this respect.

  • LibertyMark||

    We should pat ourselves on the back for the civility of our conversation.

    However, I am probably about to ruin that civility: I believe that by advocating positive rights, Tony advocates slavery. He believes that some people are entitled to force others to do their bidding. It is the very antithesis of liberty.

  • Tony||

    He believes that some people are entitled to force others to do their bidding.

    So do you, if you're talking about, say, preventing people from trespassing on your rights. Why can't someone assert a right to murder you? Because you say so? The only way this becomes your right is if it is codified and enforced, that is, secured by positive action.

  • Jordan||

    Tony, to clarify:
    Negative rights forbid others from taking a particular action against the right holder.
    Positive rights mandate others to take a particular action with respect to the right holder.

    Positive rights do not mean "the right to engage in a specific action" - it seems you are a bit confused on this.

    Positive rights, in all cases, represent coercion.

    Negative rights are the only rights that exist innately, and metaphysically. Positive rights exist only under contract between two individuals. For example, under a mortgage contract, the bank has the positive right to enforce payment from the borrower.

  • Jordan||

    Sorry, not just "two individuals" - individuals in general.

  • Mensan||

    At least in the context of the time, legalized segregation meant that black people simply could not participate in the commerce of their society in an equal way at all.

    It was not legalized segregation; it was legally mandated segregation. The Jim Crow laws disallowed freedom of association and prevented commerce, because whites and blacks were not legally permitted to engage in commerce with each other, even if they would have otherwise chosen to do so. Government outlawed the very basis of commerce: mutual consent.

    CRA turned that around, and said that blacks and whites must engage in commerce with each other, even if they would have otherwise chosen not to do so. Jim Crow prevented the willing from engaging in commerce, while CRA forces the unwilling to participate. Both were/are severe infringements upon the right to free association, and run contrary to the very foundation of free trade/commerce.

  • Tony||

    Mensan I see what you're saying, but Jim Crow laws weren't just government imposing itself, they were a reflection of public will, just like many laws are in a democracy. Otherwise, how do you account for the fact that they tended to concentrate in the racist part of the country? Coincidence? The underlying problem wasn't government, it was racism. And it took the federal government to fix the policy part, since the states were just fine with the way things were, and frankly might still be if they had been left alone.

    The point is racial segregation wasn't an individual problem, it was a social one. The policy of segregation, both official and unofficial, made being black by itself a disadvantage in the market. And some of us think a market is only free if it is fair.

  • ||

    Mensan I see what you're saying, but Jim Crow laws weren't just government imposing itself, they were a reflection of public will, just like many laws are in a democracy.

    The Jim Crow laws were just the other side of the coin you're proposing. It's bad to force non-racists to not transact with blacks, but it's good to force racists to transact with blacks. Both are interferences in the freedom to associate, and libertarians oppose oppose both of them. Libertarians don't think the government should be given the power to interfere this way, no matter what public opinion is and no matter who it effects negatively, racists or blacks. THAT is fairness.

    Also, the problem is that the government enacted coercive laws that favored racists. The federal government fixed this by making such laws illegal. But forcing racists to transact with blacks IS NOT that fix.

    You're entire first paragraph is built on the false assumption that in order to keep the government from harming blacks, we need to make racists transact with blacks. All the government needed to do was make Jim Crow laws illegal. What libertarians want to repeal has nothing to do with that.

    The point is racial segregation wasn't an individual problem, it was a social one. The policy of segregation, both official and unofficial, made being black by itself a disadvantage in the market. And some of us think a market is only free if it is fair.

    Right off the bat we can see the contradiction in your thinking. The free market is a series of transactions between consenting individuals. When a transaction is coerced, it is by definition not part of the free market. If "fairness" necessitates coercion, then "fairness" is incompatible with the free market.

    Putting that aside, you should clarify what you mean by fairness. Because the free market necessitates people to make choices and discriminate based on any number of attributes, as I showed in my post above. The "fairness" that you want is impossible because people are not equal; they have different wants, abilities, and thinking. The free market is fair because there are no monopolistic viewpoints. The free market does not force the Jim Crow mentality on everyone. The free market doesn't force everyone to cater to a certain group of people. Those decisions are up to the individual agents, which is the fairest way to do it.

  • LibertyMark||

    Oh, and I forgot the most obvious - the right to discriminate is protected by the 1st Amendment as well.

    And, I reserve the right to despise and not patronize the discriminating businesses.

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    Regarding your technical point, perhaps I'm stretching a bit to consider this freedom of assembly.

    Regarding the larger issue, it's a matter of where you draw the line you wish to defend. I have more faith in our piece of parchment and the mos maiorum it represents than I do in the ever shifting will of the majority.

  • The Fringe Economist||

    The constitution is an agreement with the federal government, not individuals with each other

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The "free association right" of business owners to racially discriminate?


    Leave it to the grammatically-impaired to place a modifier and then imply it means something else, to wit:

    When you say the "free association right", you already mentioned what the right is. You can't then say it means something else.

    It's like saying "The yellow car I saw you driving last week that was green."

  • Tony||

    You either have the right to racially discriminate or not. That specific thing can fall under the umbrella of free association if you like.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You either have the right to racially discriminate or not. That specific thing can fall under the umbrella of free association if you like.


    Doesn't matter what *I* like or *YOU* like, moron. A person has a right to freely associate with anybody he or she wishes; however, that does NOT imply racial discrimination: If a white woman decides to marry a white man, could you conclude she racially discriminated? If so, how? If a black kid has for friends other black kids, does that mean ipso facto he's racially discriminating white kids? If so, according to whom? You?

    In other words, you would have to show the capability of reaching into people's minds to know their intentions. Since you DON'T, you cannot say that a person's decision NOT to engage in commerce with a person is entirely based on racial prejudices - that would be your opinion entirely, your appreciation entirely, not reality.

  • Tony||

    I think I'm detecting the hint of an interesting point, OM. Congratulations. The way we've done it is businesses can refuse to serve people for all sorts of reasons, just not because of their race (in addition to some other things). I don't know offhand the exact legal standards for determining these things, but I suppose a plaintiff would have to prove racial discrimination on the part of a business.

  • GMT II||

    "I think"

    Pah, me thinks not sweet Toni.

  • T||

    Because this is a TEA party. We have no coffee.

  • ||

    ok that's funny

  • Lowdog||

    I'm sure I don't agree with Rand on 100% of the issues, but at least the dude is doing good work by ruffling the feathers of the establishment. In this day and age, it may be an insider who leads the "revolution". Honestly, I'd rather see a peaceful shift in ideology or whatever label you like to give it than any other way.

    I just hope others in government get the courage to jump on board...

  • Rusty Shackelford||

    Proud to call him my senator. He is far better than I had hoped, and I hoped for a lot. Here's to getting 99 more of him.

  • ||

    I was just viewing a few of his speeches on youtube and he really sounds so much more competent and confident than he did as a candidate. Here are two that I particularly liked:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMqcLQzD-aA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0YegDo87DA

    As a candidate I was worried he was going to be "just another Republican", but he's proving me wrong so far.

    My senators (NM), unfortunately, are Jeff Bingamen and Tom Udall who are both Obama Democrats, so I'm very jealous of you Kentuckians right now.

  • Max||

    Rand Paul is a mindless fanatic just like his tiresome old fuck of a father, but instead of making you want to go to sleep, he makes you want to puke.

  • Jerry||

    Just like your mom!

  • Spencer||

    But what do you REALLY think, max?

  • sounds real good||

    No, I wanna give him little smooches all over his cute face.

  • ||

    Max, you can deny it all you want ("you denialist!"), but our country is broke. Just because you don't want to hear the bad news that the country can no longer afford the big-government policies you favor, doesn't mean others feel that way. You will either be on the wrong side of history (assuming Rand Paul's ideas win the day) or you will cheer as our country goes down in flames (assuming they don't).

  • Tony||

    I don't trust the people who made the country broke to lecture us on what policies they think we should cut as a result. (Not saying you're a republican, but they talk the same way.) How about they sit down and shut up while the adults fix their disasters?

  • ||

    "I don't trust the people who made the country broke to lecture us on what policies they think we should cut as a result."

    Can't disagree with this.

  • Joe R.||

    And I would trust you guys if you actually suggested we should cut the things that liberals and libertarians think should be cut. Drug War, Iraq War, Korean War...take your pick.

  • Lord Ballsac||

    Ahhh...the sound of a progressive's stunned silence. It's almost priceless.

  • mdb||

    I liked him a lot more than thought would. I thought he was interesting, wasn't a supporter, but now I wish I could vote for him.

  • Mango Punch||

    The best thing Ron Paul accomplished was raising Rand. Thoughts?

  • ||

    Couldn't be that he spawn a movement that gave voice to the many millions of Americans who have felt completely disenfranchised with respect to government for many decades.

  • GILMORE||

    Har, I read this sentence this way...

    Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took an unusual path to his seat in the United States Senate: Through his father...

    ...which I thought was a sarcastic joke at first. Hoo-yaah! Nepotism!!

  • sounds real good||

    Am I the only one who thinks Rand Paul is like, really cute?

  • Not gay or female||

    Uh...

    I guess.

  • zoltan (female)||

    He's ugly.

  • sounds real good||

    No way. He is not repulsive to look at.

  • Tony||

    Rand Paul is marginally more consistent than his GOP colleagues when it comes to matching policy to rhetoric. Of course, for most of them the rhetoric is purely in the service of politics, as evidenced by the GOP’s complete ineptness at achieving any of their stated small government goals. Paul must seem cute to them. Dude, you seriously believe this stuff don’t you?

    Which brings to mind something I’ve been curious about for a while. What was the trajectory here? Did libertarianism exist, only to have itself appropriated by the GOP for rhetorical purposes (“Small government!” That sounds better than “give our corporate daddies everything they ask for!”)? Or did it serve as corporatist propaganda to being with, with curiosities like the Pauls taking the flimsy, not very convincing principles supporting it and saying wow, that makes a lot of sense! I think I’ll tie my entire worldview to it!?

  • ||

    Well before you finish that "thought" you might want to look for consistency, purpose, and principle in your own party before taking a look at ours.

  • ||

    You really don't pay much attention to what goes on, do you? But I guess when your entire world view is tied up in Progressive ideology, trash talk is all your left with. Good by rational arguments! I wont be needing you anymore!

  • RyanXXX||

    "Libertarianism" existed in the country's founding and in the works of several 19th-century intellectuals before the word even came to exist in the common vocabulary.

    Murray Rothbard was at first content to align himself with the Old Right (the opposition to Roosevelt), but decided to turn his back on the Republicans when they became War Hawks and Commie hunters. This was when he and several others decided to create the Libertarian party.

    So yes, the roots of modern Libertarianism lay in what is called "Right-Wing politics", but the Right that Libertarianism emerged from does not resemble the Right of today at all

  • Tony||

    So it's a sort of secular or stripped-down offshoot from a movement whose mainstream had become radicalized (libertarians claiming the original principles as their own). Gotcha.

    But I do wonder if even modern libertarianism has much to do with its philosophical roots. I see a dominance of reflexive anti-government radicalism even though the big names in libertarian thought never went that far.

  • ||

    Actually, libertarianism stems from the ancestor of the Left, not the Right. Libertarianism is descended from (and closely resembles) the classical liberalism of the Enlightenment. Modern liberalism also came from classical liberalism, but it diverged from libertarianism with the acceptance of positive rights. What we see as the Left today is a mixed political group that has largely forgotten its philosophical roots in the idea of rights.

    Conservatism was created in this country very much segregated from classical liberalism. It was an answer to a totally different question from that answered by classical liberalism. However, conservatism aligned itself more closely to libertarianism as the times changed.

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    You seem a bit hung up on the libertarian penchant for foolish consistency.

    Is it really that hard to respect a philosophy that simply demands that the government not fuck with you if you're not fucking with anyone else?

  • Tony||

    Is it really that hard to respect a philosophy that simply demands that the government not fuck with you if you're not fucking with anyone else?

    But I would frame my political/philosophical beliefs in exactly the same way. I think I just recognize that there are many more ways to fuck with other people than libertarians acknowledge.

  • ||

    But I would frame my political/philosophical beliefs in exactly the same way.

    And I can say unicorns exist, but that doesn't make it true.

  • ||

    ""Libertarianism" existed in the country's founding and in the works of several 19th-century intellectuals before the word even came to exist in the common vocabulary."

    And 19th Century abolitionists.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    I don't know, in someways I seen the paternalistic nature of the Abolitionist movement has a certain Wilsonian/Prohibitionist that puts them in more in the progressive family tree.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    *smacks forehead*

    That should read: I see.

    Oh never-mind, please ignore my multiple errors in syntax and grammar.

    Sigh.

    Preview is your friend boys and girls.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Did libertarianism exist, only to have itself appropriated by the GOP for rhetorical purposes?


    Did Progressivism exist, only to have itself appropriated by the Democratic party for rhetorical purposes?

    Wee! This pseudo-dialectic stuff sure is easy!

  • Tony||

    The difference is the Democrats have actually achieved progressive polices, while in addition to not having done very well with making government smaller, Republicans haven't really achieved anything worthwhile in decades.

  • Tony||

    The difference is the Democrats have actually achieved progressive polices, while in addition to not having done very well with making government smaller, Republicans haven't really achieved anything worthwhile in decades.

  • mofo||

    What progressive policies do you think the Democrats have achieved?

  • Tony||

    Leaving aside the economy (i.e., saving it), there's healthcare reforms (plural), stopping pay discrimination, boosting stem cell research, ending discriminatory policies against gays and lesbians, financial reform including consumer and card-holder protections, expanded unemployment benefits, enhanced labor rights, investments in internet access, mass transit, education, smart grid tech, and the safety net. That's the Obama administration, want to go further back?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I’m not necessarily attacking just the Obama Administration, just government in general, but of course most of your list can be associated with our current commander and thief. Ok here goes:

    “Leaving aside the economy (i.e., saving it)…”: You mean propping up the results of their own ill-conceived “well-intentioned” policies (Federal Reserve, No Gold Standard, promoting housing for poor saps with no possible way to pay for it)?

    “…there's healthcare reforms (plural)…”: You mean those “healthcare” “reforms” that have made even the most basic services more expensive than they were in the past, while other services and products (like computers) have become more and more ridiculously affordable?

    “…stopping pay discrimination…”: First of all, what the hell does this even mean? If you are referencing pay discrimination against women, how exactly did they end it? If anything, they’ve made certain employers more reluctant to hire women, at any price, for fear of a potential state-supported backlash.

    “…boosting stem cell research…”: Yes, they are “boosting” something that should have been on the fast track decades ago compliments of the greedy fucks you hate. Sure, it’s the republofucks that held this up in the first place, but the real question should be “Why did the government(regardless of controlling party) have to suppress such research in the first place?”

    “…ending discriminatory policies against gays and lesbians…”: Once again, creating a situation where stuffed-shirt employers would be more reluctant to hire overt gays and lesbians, for fear of being sued over a perceived/accidental/impossible to avoid offense. More over, this just enshrined another group of people under the umbrella of daddy government, creating a another group that thinks it is always a victim and will always need guns to back it up. If you are talking about don’t ask don’t tell, once again: “Why did the government (regardless of controlling party) have to suppress gays and lesbians the first place?”

    “…financial reform including consumer and card-holder protections…”: Yes, the very fuckers that laud the federal reserve, manned the helm while the dollar disintegrated, didn’t do fuck-all to actually stop drunken monkey spending of any sort should be congratulated for trying to do something about something they not only know nothing about (finances, telling people how to run a business, etc.) but they have a proven failing track record in the past and the present.

    “…expanded unemployment benefits…”: Yes, they expanded the very unemployment benefits that have trapped millions of people in the endless looking-for-work-while-sitting-at-home prison.

    “…enhanced labor rights…”: Yes, the very “rights” that are helping bankrupt state and local governments, destroyed the opportunities for more competitive and hardworking (read: not fat white multigenerational union worshippers), and have, once again, created a perpetual class of victims seeking to enrich themselves at the trough of sanctioned violence.

    “…investments in internet access…”: Yes, the very internet access that was unheard of when the government originally “created” it, that has become infinitely more affordable for the majority of Americans despite potentially commerce clause violating deals made with state governments, and that has helped an endless sea of pissed off people find ways to call the government (be it full of republofucks or demoshits) on its bullshit. Oh, and hardcore pornography. Let’s not forget, that they want to strangle the internet at every chance be it internet gambling or people escaping sales tax.

    “…mass transit…”: Yes, you mean that overpriced mass transit (see Big Dig) that is used by a dismal minority of people (See Baltimore Transit System) at the expense of the majority (See the poor fucks who drive everyday because mass transit, as it is currently conceived, is impossible to implement in this country because the government subsidized Detroit by building massive fucking highways) who will never use it exclusively unless the government gets out its guns and helps destroy other forms of transportation.

    “…education…”: Yes, that very education that has created the same or worse scores for significantly more inflation-adjusted dollars than it did 50 years ago. If you are also referencing higher “education” “access”, the cost of education has outpaced inflation since daddy fuck government decided to hand out free(stolen) money to everyone resulting in the devaluation of a bachelor’s degree and numerous poorly-educated fools who had no business going to college in the first place saddled with gargantuan debt at the least.

    “…smart grid tech…”: Yes, more amorphous shit that is either completely uneconomical or technologically impossible currently, is being foisted on the public at what no doubt will be a ballooned price with minimal return.

    “…the safety net…”: Yes, assuming this mostly references social security and the like, the very safety net that has robbed generations of savers for the sake of the spenders, so the most wealthy in our society (Old People) can have a 20 year vacation at the expense of their enslaved grand-children. Not only has this helped destroy the family unit, it has led to people to believe they are receiving their own money, which unfortunately for them, had already been wasted decades earlier on war, and all that other horseshit you think is so great when it’s paid for at the end of a gun. In other words, people believe a lie.

    “…ant to go further back?...” Sounds like you already fucking did.

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

  • Realist||

    Rand Paul is not perfect. But he probably by far the best we have.
    He may not be named after Ayn Rand, but he has some of her attributes.

  • Realist||

    But he probably IS....

  • Tony||

    Republicans can do civil rights laws too!

    From Texas, king of the states:

    An institution of higher education may not discriminate against or penalize in any manner, especially with regard to employment or academic support, a faculty member or student based on the faculty member's or student's conduct of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms.
  • Tony||

    Republicans can do civil rights laws too!

    From Texas, king of the states:

    An institution of higher education may not discriminate against or penalize in any manner, especially with regard to employment or academic support, a faculty member or student based on the faculty member's or student's conduct of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms.
  • ||

    Speaking about a tripling of a Bush deficit from $500B to $1500B without mentioning the difference in govt. revenue is intellectually dishonest, it isn't all spending.

  • ||

    I admit it. I wasn't sold on Rand Paul. I regarded him and the Tea Party as blatantly racist. He lost me when he came out against Mining Safety regulations. The Republican Gubernatorial candidate in NY was racist.

    Following Rand after the 2010 election, I came to agree with him a lot. I am an admirer of his father.

    Reading this article on some of Rand's positions, I was pleasantly surprised.

  • wulfy||

    Gadfly can be a great role to play, especially in a stable full of worthless horses.

  • ||

    Wow. What an extremist. No wonder he frightens people. All that hatred and venom he spews. And did you notice how he coyly slid Hitler into the interview? Obviously code for "I'm a racist tea partier."

  • wulfy||

    The fear of racism these days by the left is much like fear of witches in 1692 Salem.

    Racism is frequently attributed to people who simply criticize or economically discriminate against minorities.

    Quiz:
    If I put a jewelry and perfume under plexiglass in a black neighborhood because I know the crime rate is 5X higher than in white neighborhoods, am I a racist?

    If I don't hire a black with equal academic qualifications to a white candidtate, but judge him to have a "chip on the shoulder" attitude, am I a racist?

    If I don't like my taxes to subsidize black teenage girls with lifestyles equivalent to a $40,000 private sector income, just for getting pregnant out of wedlock, am I a racist?

    The Tea Party is not racist, it's anti-statist, and anti-force, and anti-fraud. The welfare state is being protected by liberals using the race card, and thank Lady Liberty that the Tea Party has the balls to challenge that false premise, along with other false premises about "fairness" and "equality".

  • M. Simon||

    It is as stupid to spend money on National Defense as it is to spend money on reactor safety.

    Of course when things go bad you wish you had spent the money.

  • mbtshoesbest||

    awesome. your post is great. its worth reading. thank you.

    http://www.mbtshoesbest.com

  • ||

    Draft Rand Paul

  • sophie||

    Last quote heard from Toni’s dad after abruptly leaving for good upon hearing that his wife was pregnant with their one and only child.

  • nike shox||

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