Rand Paul

On Drug Policy, Rand Paul Is Not a Libertarian

He still has quite a bit of "evolving" to do.

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CSPAN

At Sen. Rand Paul's speech to Howard University students Wednesday, the first round of applause went to the two student protesters who stood in front of the stage and unfurled a banner that read, "Howard University Does Not Support White Supremacy." The first round of applause for Paul came 10 minutes or so into his prepared remarks, when the junior senator from Kentucky said, "We should not have laws that ruin the lives of young men and women who have committed no violence. That's why I have introduced a bill to repeal federal mandatory minimum sentences." Finally: clapping!

The line revealed a neat overlap between civil libertarians and Howard's Democrat-leaning African American student body. It was also something of an exaggeration.

The bill Paul introduced last month–called the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013–isn't nearly so expansive as he led his audience to believe. While the act would allow "courts–in some circumstances–to sentence a person below the mandatory minimum if that sentence is too lengthy, unjust or unreasonable, or doesn't fit the offender or the crime," it doesn't require judges to deviate from the mandatory minimum, nor does it entitle offenders who fit the above criteria to an alternative sentence. If it had passed a decade ago, a bill like Paul's would've empowered a federal judge to sentence 24-year-old small-time pot dealer Weldon Angelos to 18 years in prison, instead of the mandatory 55 he received. In other words, people are still going to have their lives ruined by the drug war if Paul's bill passes. 

Don't get me wrong: The bill is a very big step in the right direction. But was it accurate for Paul to say, "I have introduced a bill to repeal federal mandatory minimum sentences"? No. And while I don't think that flub is anything to get upset about, it raises some red flags. Does Paul not understand the drug war? Or is he simply not as zealous as his civil libertarian supporters want him to be? Could both be true? 

Moments before he told the Howard audience about his mandatory minimum legislation (you can read the whole speech here), Paul said,

Some argue with evidence that our drug laws are biased-that they are the new Jim Crow.

But to simply be against them for that reason misses a larger point. They are unfair to everyone, largely because of the one size fits all federal mandatory sentences.

Our federal mandatory minimum sentences are simply heavy handed and arbitrary. They can affect anyone at any time, though they disproportionately affect those without the means to fight them.

We should stand and loudly proclaim enough is enough. We should not have laws that ruin the lives of young men and women who have committed no violence.

As of 2011, 6.98 million people were under correctional supervision in the U.S. Of that number, only 214,000 were in federal prison. Of that number, roughly 100,000 were drug offenders. Even if it were true that all 100,000 of those drug offenders were just like Weldon Angelos, does Paul really believe that drug offenders who are *not* being subjected to federal mandatory minimums (i.e. the overwhelming majority of drug offenders) are getting a fair, or fair-er, shake? 

I would not be surprised if he did. What we know about Paul and drug policy at this point is that he abhors lengthy sentences, but not the idea of penaliziing drug offenses. Here he is on Fox: "The main thing I've said is not to legalize [drugs], but not to incarcerate people for extended period of times." Here he is talking to ABC: "We should tell young people, 'I'm not in favor of you smoking pot, but if you get caught smoking pot, I don't want to put you in jail for 20 years.'"

And today at Howard U.: "I am working with Democratic senators to make sure that kids who make bad decisions such as non-violent possession of drugs are not imprisoned for lengthy sentences. I am working to make sure that first time offenders are put into counseling and not imprisoned with hardened criminals."

The takeaway? Paul seems to think some people should be imprisoned for drugs, though not for very long; and that other people should be forced into counseling. That's a standard position for both Democrats and Republicans at this point, but it's not the least bit libertarian. 

NEXT: In Bureaucratic Bungle, Background Checks Missed Sheriff's Killer, But Catch Plenty of Innocent People

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  1. Rand is somewhat more libertarian-leaning on drugs than most GOP Senators, but that isn’t much of a bar to clear.

  2. Based on the headlines currently being puked up by the Googling News, Rand Paul is a racist.

    1. At this point, there’s no point for any (R) candidate to try to win the Black vote. You can’t persuade an audience that refuses to listen. Barack has ’em on lock down for the next generation.

      Try for Asians, Latins, Ladies, and Homos instead. These are constituencies that don’t automatically hate you before the first word comes out of your mouth.

      Black America will come around in their own due time.

      1. Not really. If an R points out that their policies actually help blacks compared to the status quo, they might cut the D market share from 95% of blacks to 90%, which could be the margin of victory.

      2. Republicans can win any demographic if they simply capitulate enough.

        As for libertarians or libertarian R’s, I dunno. Basically I think you can capture a minority of each minority group or any demographic. Getting beyond that is hard. You mentioned the ladies… I could see how they could massage the message to appeal to a larger section of younger or single women. But soccer moms? I don’t see that happening.

  3. You want him kicked out of the GOP altogether?

    1. With two GOP senators now embracing gay marriage, does anybody actually believe that endorsing decriminalization would get one kicked out of the GOP?

      1. No I don’t, but decrim is not enough, also I don’t think Rand is even on board with decriminalization.

      2. “Kicked out” might be strong, but it would be the end of any serious drive to become more influential in the party or the federal govt in general. He’d be a political pariah like his dad.

        Particularly since we’re talking about drugs beyond marijuana here. Cocaine and heroin legalization is absolutely a losing electoral position still.

      3. Kicked out? No. Thrown off their committees? Yes.

      4. Gay marriage doesn’t pervade every level of government like the WoD does. If you call for complete decriminalization you will be dead in the water.

  4. THIRD RAIL

  5. Counselling for pot? I like Rand and would still choose him over 99% of the other politicians if given a choice. I don’t want to rush to judgement a call him a statist, maybe his views on the WOD will evolve.

    1. “Have you ever sucked dick for weed?”

      1. It’s called ‘Smoking the odd joint’.

      2. No, why don’t you tell me about it?

        1. Apparently no one else has seen Half Baked . . .

    2. Counselling for pot?

      Better known as MOAR CRONYISM. Yeah, we need that for sure.

  6. I think what it comes down to is that even when he is speaking to a predominantly black or Democrat audience, he still knows that he has to pander to the GOP base, and there are enough soccer moms there that think drugs are bad (in spite of most of their kids probably partaking in them).

    Maybe I’m just being a Rand Paul apologist, but I think he is the first politically savvy libertarian I’ve seen in my lifetime, maybe in a couple lifetimes. So when he espouses freedom with 98% of what he says, I’d like to chalk that other 2% to just playing the politics game and not actually that he believes people should still serve time for drug crimes.

    1. So when he espouses freedom with 98% of what he says, I’d like to chalk that other 2% to just playing the politics

      so, once he’s elected he can do what he really wants. or say what he really thinks. but until then he has to say what he has to say? I’m just wondering what principles underlie the 2% that also apply to the 98%? Don;t get me wrong, I’m not requiring purity. Just that I think like alot of us, he is not nearly as consistently principled as some of us would like to believe.

      1. so, once he’s elected he can do what he really wants. or say what he really thinks

        That’s only during the 2nd term, or if you have a super duper congressional majority in your first term and the economy is good. Or if you’re the first black POTUS, which he won’t be.

    2. he still knows that he has to pander to the GOP base

      Yeah, the GOP base, because we all know most Democrats and Black people want to legalize drugs. Ever consider he might be pandering the audience?

      1. Well, most blacks, Democrats, liberals, and young people do want to legalize marijuana. And are generally more receptive to legalizing other drugs than the GOP (I don’t know why you consistently pretend like this isn’t true), although a majority doesn’t support it. More to the point, given that Rand probably has 2016 presidential aspirations, it makes a lot more sense for him to have the GOP base in mind

        1. Why would anyone have to ‘pretend’ this isn’t true when we can watch Democrats actively working against it.

  7. To me, what Rand Paul is doing with his drug war stance is exactly what Obama did with his gay marriage stance. Obviously, Obama supported gay marriage. And it would have been more beneficial for him to endorse it at the time. However, he safely supported civil unions. Likewise, Rand Paul more than likely is against the drug war, and it would be more beneficial for him to come out and say it, as the majority of the country would agree. However, like Obama, he’s playing it safe. He’ll “evolve” and it won’t be a huge surprise to me.

    1. I like to think this is the case – really, how can Ron Paul’s son think it’s a good idea to lock people up or require counseling for smoking weed? – but I agree with Riggs that he could probably go further. I think it could even help him to do so.

      But he has been fairly savvy so far (though still some odd choices). And his political judgment is certainly better than mine.

    2. Won’t surprise me either. He’s pandering to SoCons, which I hate, but I know why he’s doing it. But he needs to rein it in just a little. My bet is that he’s anti-WOD. His other positions just don’t jive with being pro-WOD. But the SoCons won’t notice that, cause they’re stoopid. And if he can get the nomination, what are SoCons going to do? Vote for Hillary?

      1. And if he can get the nomination, what are SoCons going to do?

        Write in Santorum.

        1. ewww.

        2. How would you do that? Fountain pen and inkwell? Ballpoint and a funnel?

          I can’t imagine the consistency would be fine enough to make it into the pen without clogging up the works. Even if it did, would it mark the paper or just make it smell?

          They’d better off writing in conventional ink or pencil.

        3. fat chance

      2. SoCons are easy to sucker. A dying breed, we won’t need to pretend to kowtow to them much longer. Rand is doing right.

        1. It’s less that they’re dying and more that they can be co-opted and subsumed into the liberty movement.

          Most of the old awfulness of the SoCons (bans on porn & sex, for instance) have either been given up or are tertiary concerns. The current agenda items are either freedom items (school choices), nearly irrelevant bullshit and aesthetics (gay marriage), or difficult to parse as liberty issues (abortion). It’s smart to invest in a group that has a proven ability to get out the vote and volunteers, and that can be further moved towards a liberty point of view. If the SoCons become ascendant again, it will be useful to have germinated freedom-minded philosophies in their ranks.

          Think about it this way: Rand’s remarks won’t change a single doctrinaire libertarian’s point of view on the subject, but they will help change minds in the SoCon camp.

          1. It’s also smart to invest in a group that actually has children.

  8. The bill is a very big step in the right direction

    Well, this is what the progs have been doing for 100 years. Just a step at a time. Maybe the only way to fight fire, is with fire?

    Rand really pissed me off when he endorsed Romney. But, his voting record has been stellar, and that’s what I really care about.

    I just think he needs to be careful to not overdo it on this pandering.

    He’s still the best we have, along with Amash, and Massie. I guess we can’t be too picky right now. Maybe we can throw him out of the club, when we have at least 50 libertarians in congress, then he’s more expendable if he keeps this SoCon pandering up.

    1. This is the right attitude to take. Privately, we should engage in the usual ferocious internal debate that has always defined libertarianism: the Rothbardians should be at the throat of Cato and the Kochs, and the objectivists should sneer at everyone. Smack people around when they lose sight of first principles, and never forget the core axiom of self-ownership and everything that springs from it.

      In the public realm, things aren’t going to change overnight, and we have to recognize that all legitimate political growth is going to take time, most likely multiple generations. A hardcore Rockwell clone isn’t going to be the first libertarianish president; instead, it has to be a calm, silver-tongued personality who operates well within the Overton window, a description that suits Rand Paul to a T.

      Libertarians could learn a lot from the Fabian socialists: be infinitely patient, always control the language of the debate, and grind away at political and philosophical opponents at every opportunity in our public and political lives.

      1. Why would I want a Rockwell clone as president? I think we could aim much higher.

        1. Out of curiosity, who would you pick, and what’s your background (ancap, minarchist, etc)?

  9. the first round of applause went to the two student protesters who stood in front of the stage and unfurled a banner that read, “Howard University Does Not Support White Supremacy.”

    Ugh. It depresses me to know that these idiots exist.

    1. If they did not unfurl that banner, then I would have continued to associate Howard University with white supremacy so I’m glad they were there to set the record straight.

  10. The spring cocktail party invites must be going out this week. Don’t know how else to explain the Reason two minutes hate on Rand Paul the past few days. Cheeses Greist.

    1. KOSMOTARIUNNNNNZ!!!1!!ONE!

      Did I do it right?

      1. I’m sure you made Epi, Warty, and SF laugh, which is all you’re out to do these days.

        The rest of us serious people would appreciate a serious reply.

        1. ROFL

        2. The rest of us serious people would appreciate a serious reply.

          Why don’t you, shrike, tony and SIV start your own website if it’s so terrible here? That way you can all be very serious towards each other, or whatever it is you’re calling it nowadays.

          1. I did start my own blog, but glibsters and neoprimitivist trolls ruined it.

            1. The one that looked like it was made from the internet equivalent of construction paper?

            2. Always remember, Tulpa… We’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you.

              And nothing is more funny than your constant petulance.

        3. The rest of us serious people would appreciate a serious reply.

          Seriously Tulpa,

          The spring cocktail party invites must be going out this week. Don’t know how else to explain the Reason two minutes hate on Rand Paul the past few days. Cheeses Greist.

          are you serious?

      2. Oh, ho. Excellent. Delicious. Well done, Hugh.

        1. YES! My existence is justified for another day!

      3. Yes. LULZ

        1. Be serious, jackass. Tired old jokes about cocktail parties influencing Reason’s editorial policy are serious. Jokes about tired old jokes about cocktail parties influencing Reason’s editorial policy are just glib nonsense. Why can’t you see the difference?

          1. I guess I’m just not Tulpical enough. How do I get more Tulpical? I’m pretty sure I would need to punch myself in the taint a few times.

            1. Let’s get Tulpical, Tulpical. I wanna get Tulpical.

            2. You mean punch yourself in the taint a few more times, right?

          2. Cosmotarian jokes are the instrument of your liberation.

    2. “Oh my god the eleventy million writers that reason has do blog post don’t all agree with me and write articles I don’t like!”

      Jesus Christ could you be more…Tulpical?

  11. He lost them trying to relate 1800s Republicans to the current crop. But won them back with school choice and mandatory minimums.

    “African-Americans are born with hatred of everything outside the Democratic Party, with very closed eyes,” said Okpala, who is African-American. “At least he put in the effort and came here, and that counts for something.”

    This appearance counts as a win.

    1. I was also thinking that not only going to a liberal school, but going to Howard as a Republican Senator who has been on record as not supporting the CRA of 1964, was actually a pretty gutsy outreach, all things considered.

      1. Definitely not in line with how Obama chooses his audience.

      2. You mean not supporting one section of the CRA.

    2. “African-Americans are born with hatred of everything outside the Democratic Party, with very closed eyes,” said Okpala, who is African-American.

      I’m pretty sure that is learned behavior. Decide for yourself who taught the lesson.

      1. Public schools.

        1. My five year old learned from kindergarten that no one should have guns. I told her I should have one to protect our family. She immediately said, “We can get one at the sports store. They have them.” Public school can teach them wrong, but setting them straight is pretty easy for a parent that has a clue. Therein lies the key.

  12. We need to do a study/poll on conversion rate of conservatives vs. liberals, to Libertarianism.

    I think it’s more conservatives, but a real poll would be interesting. I was always Libertarian, but I didn’t know it. I just thought I was weird because both conservatives and liberals hated me when it came to politics.

    1. I’ve always been pretty much a “leave me the hell alone and I’ll leave you alone” kind of person. I may not have been as accepting in the past as I am now of others, and had my own prejudices and outright hatreds, but I never wanted it to be a law.

      But I do remember feeling closer to libertarianism many years ago. I mentioned this to a conservative friend of mine and she looked at me aghast and even said “ew!”… lol

      1. Well, I have to tell you, being a supporter of free markets, low taxes, small government, property rights, and 2nd amendment, and at the same time favoring the legalization of all drugs and prostitution, while not knowing what a Libertarian is, will make you start wondering what is wrong with you.

        I think I would have descended into madness by now if I hadn’t one day accidentally ran across the LP site, while serfing the interwebs. It was like a religious moment, lol.

        1. This is how I felt when I found reason. Prior to this I was stuck with CNN and WaPo comment boards. I thought I was all alone in the world with my libertarian sentiments.

          1. You think you were confused? I grew up in Northern Maine, with 99% conservative, Catholic, gun-toting old-school Democrats, who talked conservative because God demanded it, and walked libertarian (although I never heard the word) because it made good sense.

            That’s why I cringe when the progs make nonsensical phrases with the words “common sense”. Reason was cathartic.

            No, not like Ex-Lax.

            1. You think you were confused? I go to a public school in Illinois, the Democrat capital of the country. The teachers are union-bred progs and the students are either “tolerant, educated” liberals or “my dad’s a Republican” kids who don’t really know much about politics except that R good D bad. Last November was pretty awkward for me.

    2. I was conservative as soon as I got my first paycheck at 16 and thought, “They take THAT MUCH out!?!?”

      Full-on libertarianism crept in over the next 15 years. I was never a “family values” type and cringed whenever it was mentioned. Complete separation from conservatism occurred when I realized the fiscal conservatives were about 3% more conservative than liberals.

      But it wasn’t a huge jump, since I was starting from a Goldwaterish position anyway–without even knowing anything about Barry Goldwater.

    3. More interesting would be a study examining *why* people in both camps arrive at their libertarianism.

      IME, conservatives arrive at libertarianism through a *refinement* of their views; reading more about the philosophers and influential figures who impacted American conservatism tends to make conservatives more libertarian, not less — and conservatives realize how inadequate the modern movement is to expressing those ideas.

      Liberals seem to arrive at libertarianism through *rejection* of their former views — a common example is Thomas Sowell, who became a libertarian by reading Marx, becoming an economist, and realizing how flawed Marxism was. Reading and agreeing with the philosophers and figures attached to modern liberalism tends to make people less libertarian.

      1. IME, conservatives arrive at libertarianism through a *refinement* of their views; reading more about the philosophers and influential figures who impacted American conservatism tends to make conservatives more libertarian, not less — and conservatives realize how inadequate the modern movement is to expressing those ideas.

        More or less what happened to me. Walter Williams was probably the first big exposure.

        1. Yeah similar to what happened to me. People like Williams, Sowell, and John Stossel kind of got me started on the road

    4. Before I knew better I thought I was perhaps a ‘moderate’ republican or independent

      1. My parents always said they wanted the republicans out of their bedroom and the democrats out of their wallets but still ended up voting republican. I didn’t even know there was a third option till I was in my late 20’s.

        1. I was a Dem-voting independent until John Kerry pushed me to seek out a third choice. Some comparison site introduced me to Badnarik and through his campaign I found the LP, the LP platform circa 2004 which I felt like someone took right out of my own brain and put it online, and then reason, cato, etc. I had always had the libertarian gene but didn’t know there was an alternative choice. My social liberalism had me mired in voting for D’s. I feel so ashamed. I should blame the media, but I know better now I can only blame myself. (tear)

  13. “Howard University Does Not Support White Supremacy”

    Huh.

    So, is there anyone with any idea what the hell the protestors thought that had to do with Mr. Paul?

    1. He’s the Aqua Buddha. And everyone knows that the Aqua Buddha is racist.

  14. “Howard University Does Not Support White Supremacy.”

    Huh? Who thought they did? I have a confuse.

  15. Goddamnit. I got on here to pay some bills and look up a recipe. Invariably I end up here pissing away time with y’all.

    1. But we’re just so much fun.

        1. We’re all fun, except for Hugh.

          FIFY.

    2. A ‘shine recipe?

  16. Why do Riggs and others assume that just because Rand says he isn’t against drug prohibition means that he is actually okay with drug prohibition? I have every reason to believe he’s fibbing for the GOP and, in office, would wreck the WoD apparatus.

    1. Maybe they’re looking to duplicate Dave Wiegal’s career trajectory?

      No liberal publication is going to look twice at your resume if you haven’t savaged some Republicans in the past.

      1. I just remembered that Riggs is the idiot that seriously used the term ‘murder dronez’ in his articles. Actual Reason articles. Can’t believe I forgot that.

        1. reason was pretty enthusiastic about medical marijuana. As Riggs says about Rand Paul’s proposals for sentencing reduction “it’s not the least bit libertarian”

          1. It is cute considering their push for gay marriage as an imperfect substitute for govt noninvolvement in marriage. I guess imperfect solutions are only OK when liberals agree with them?

          2. Did you miss the part where he said this is a step in the right direction? And if you were actually capable of comprehending written English, you’d realize that Riggs characterized Paul’s beliefs on drugs as unlibertarian, not the proposals themselves

            1. Don’t interrupt their group hardon for bitching about reason staff and their Cosmo like qualities.

  17. The rest of us serious people would appreciate a serious reply.

    Seriously?

    1. I’m totally serial.

    2. What?

    3. We need A Serious Man. Now. More than ever!

    4. We need A Serious Man. Now. More than ever!

      1. I’m the hero Reason deserves, but not the one it needs. So you’ll double-post my name, because I can take it.

  18. Has Rand Paul labeled himself libertarian? Or are people just assuming that to be the case by association with his father?

      1. Thanks. I was beginning to think I may have not been let in on some of the facts.

      2. Not true. He has referred to himself as a libertarian multiple times, but he prefers “constitutional conservative”.

  19. […] does Paul really believe that drug offenders who are *not* being subjected to federal mandatory minimums (i.e. the overwhelming majority of drug offenders) are getting a fair, or fair-er, shake?

    I don’t think he believes that, Mike, just like I don’t believe he thinks it is okay for drones to murder wedding parties in Pakistan but not Americans in American soil. It is just that he – unlike his father – chooses to fight the battles he believes he can win, to then move to other things. I love Ron Paul’s principled stance but Rand’s strategy shows that he wants to slowly bore his way into the party’s heartwood.

    1. No cause is more certain to quickly ally the GOP and Democratic Party together than having a libertarian pop up in either of their ranks. It gives them a common goal of destroying the libertarian before the crazy idea of liberty has a chance to spread.

      He might succeed in boring his way in, but little chance he’ll come out in one piece.

  20. the first round of applause went to the two student protesters who stood in front of the stage and unfurled a banner that read, “Howard University Does Not Support White Supremacy.”

    This is what the proggies have decided to call libertarians now. A co-worker called me a “non-racist white supremecist” after I spent 45 seconds on a google search that proved his “the media won’t talk about white men with guns as a problem” bullshit false. Sources like cnn, msnbc, wapo, washington times, national review and slate.

    1. Semirelated: driving home today I saw a bumper sticker that said

      “Tea Party” sounds a lot nicer than “mob of racists and homophobes”

      Because, yes, a movement founded because of economic issues is really all about social issues.

  21. Rand Paul is without question more libertarian than that other Senator from Kentucky.

    He’s not perfect. Pointing that out is mean, apparently.

    1. There are 534 other members of Congress that Reason didn’t see fit to put on the libertarian detector several times this week.

      1. There are no other members of Congress that have done a series of interesting, news worthy events in the past couple of weeks. Rand Paul is more than a libertarian issue. He is getting MSM coverage. It would be retarded for Reason to ignore this story.

        But you know that. You just want to get your daily complaint on.

        1. Really? Chuck Schumer’s background check bill is making the rounds, Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey have a supposed compromise gun bill, etc. Why isn’t Reason doing libertarian purity tests on all those guys?

          Fact is, Rand Paul is the current right-libertarian poking his head out of the hole, and that means the cosmos must whack him.

          1. Your endless squealing and whining is even better than Hugh’s jokes. You just can’t help it. Give me more of that sweet, sweet whine, Tulpy-Poo!

          2. Uh, maybe because those other guys aren’t remotely libertarian? Why would Reason do libertarian purity tests on people openly hostile to libertarianism?

            1. Because if you smack down people who show promise while leaving the truly hopeless specimens alone, you wind up with all truly hopeless specimens.

              It’s a common problem with inexperienced managers of people. You have to praise and reprimand everyone on the same basis if you want to have the right effect.

              1. Yeah, but having Reason apply the purity test to Toomey and Minchin would be like praising/reprimanding employees who aren’t even yours.

            2. If Manchin and Toomey were DC libertarians they’d be pushing for that 20 round mag limit like Robert a Levey of the Cato Institute.

          3. Because we are pretty sure Chuck Moober is 99% not libertarian. And Reason hasn’t ignored the background check bill, or the Mannchin/Toomey bill. Those have been discovered extensively.

            But can you understand that Rand Paul has some libertarian ideas? That he is the son of a serious libertarian leaning GOP candidate? That lots of people support his father, and that this support could follow Rand into the GOP? That he has done a series of interesting, news worthy events in the past couple of weeks? This is exactly the type of political personality Reason should be writing about.

            Riggs’ pointing out that Rand Paul’s drug policy is not libertarian is okay – because it’s true! Rand’s views are open for discussion and debate. He is going to get grilled in the MSM and by the GOP so he better tough up.

            I honestly think you just have a negative outlook on life. I don’t consider Riggs’ article a hit piece, which you apparently do.

            1. Tulpy-Poo just needs to get his whine on. Don’t discourage him, it’s very entertaining.

              1. I almost feel bad for him.

                The only person that’ll “seriously” talk to him is the epic-racist piece of shit troll whose comments will be stricken from the record by tomorrow (leaving an even sadder Tulpa appearing to be talking to himself).

                1. There are plenty of people here who seriously discuss issues with me. You once were one of them, though if you want to join the glib chorus that’s your decision.

                  1. But you’re not being serious.

                    You’re using massive amounts of confirmation bias to bitch and whine. You claim that everybody who isn’t a rockefeller republican is a cosmotarian (whatever that is), but I’ve not seen any calls for gun control on these pages; unless you count some of your comments.

                    If being a pro-2nd amendment, limited government supporter, who is willing to call out republicans on their statism makes me a cosmotarian, then so be it.

  22. “Democrat-leaning African American student body”

    Really Reason, Democrat-leaning? A more accurate statement would be Democrat supporting by percentages not normally seen outside North Korea.

  23. “Rand Paul is not a libertarian” You mean he has a chance of winning after all?

    Rand Paul is already a darling on the right. That side will vote for him over Hillary Clinton no matter what he says about gay marriage or drug policy. He’s mostly on their side.

    The Obama drones who think Rand Paul is a white supremacists cares not whether he’s a REAL libertarian. Because they don’t know know what it means to be one. You might as well as have a Frenchman approach a doe eyed American holding a can of cheese whiz and ask him / her “Do you even know what good cheese even looks like”

    I don’t care how much reason falls in love with a REAL libertarian candidate like Gary Johnson. 98% of the voting population won’t touch them. Stop it.

    1. If there’s anything the post-1990 “civil rights movement” has taught us, it’s that historically denigrated populations develop an elite which will desperately oppose actually solving the problems that keep their people down, because that would make them irrelevant. Perhaps it’s true for libertarians too.

  24. Whenever I hear people tell me the drug war is the new Jim Crow it makes me cringe. I think the drug war does more harm than good, but for a libertarian to oppose it because young black men just happen to be drug dealers is hypocritical. Black men also commit the majority of murders in the country, and commit 45% of property crimes. Even “white collar” crimes are committed disproportionately by blacks.

    1. young black men just happen to be drug dealers

      Not necessarily true. The fact is more like, people sent to jail for long sentences for drug dealing happen to be mostly young black men.

      1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The majority of the disproportionate arrests stem from business processes. I never see a white guy slanging on the corner. You have to go all the way into the park and knock on the trailor door to get your meth.

        1. “Dave’s not here, man.”

        2. There is also the fact they usually deal drugs in the “Black community” which is rife with law enforcement and snitches.

          Cops and prosecutors prefer easy cases.

  25. Libertarianism certainly devotes a lot of time and effort to hamstringing any marginal movement in their direction.

    1. Maybe a little flexibility could result in libertarians not holding the usual empty bag at the end of day.

  26. There are 534 other members of Congress that Reason didn’t see fit to put on the libertarian detector several times this week.

    Maybe because he’s one of a very very few actually capable of even moving the needle.

    Sorry about your butt. Maybe you should butt-chug some codeine.

    1. So Reason only rips people for unlibertarian positions if they’re mostly libertarian? Is there a better recipe for keeping libertarianism at the level of cute debate club discussion and out of the real world?

      1. Reason has never criticized Obumer?

        1. They lightly criticized him during the election season, but not nearly with the fine toothed comb they went over Romney with. It would be like “Obama kills people with drones and wrecks the economy with regulations blah blah blah.” Then “OMIGOD PAUL RYAN MIGHT AGREE WITH AKIN ON ABORTION!!!!11!!!!!!”

          1. Certainly Reason is a cosmo publication, repeating liberal talking points about how the “religious right” wants to “regulate your bedroom.” Or spouting this and that about federalism but them then coming back to a living constitution on the issue of gay marriage. And warning of a coup every time Obama orders a drone strike but showering praise when he openly refuses to enforce American law.

          2. It was only like that in your head Tulpa.

  27. On Drug Policy, Rand Paul Is Not a Libertarian

    We know this from a speech he just gave where he alone emphasizes the points he wants to make? This is too declarative for someone with such a brief tenure in office. Let’s see how he votes and leaves a record.

    1. He’s had little time to make much of a mark. There’s not much to examine at this point.

      1. That’s kinda my point. So why declare him “Not a Libertarian” on policy issues he hasn’t even had a chance to leave a record on. It’s nitpicky, admittedly, but it’s not a great headline.

      2. Agreed.

        But one thing that is clear is that he is against the federal conservatorship over the drug war. He thinks states should take care of drugs themselves rather than the leviathan.

        That’s a huge start.

        1. He had a great opportunity to call out the stupidity etc. of a WOD that puts people in jail for smoking pot. He could have mentioned the fact that two states have legalized it without the sky falling down and that nobody should face jail, let alone prison, for smoking MJ.

          He didn’t. He came out with weak, mealy mouthed bullshit and he should be called on it. Props to Riggs. It seems too many people here are so in love with the idea of Rand Paul, that maybe the harsh weak as fuck reality isn’t sinking in much.

          1. I just want everyone to stop for a second, and contemplate the irony of Dunphy calling out someone for not taking a principled stand.

  28. This just in!

    Senator Charles Schumer, sworn enemy of liberty, has just introduced a Bill restricting Americans’ freedoms. Film at eleven.

  29. The simple fact is that no matter how moral or practical libertarian ideas are, they just aren’t that popular. On the issues of trade and immigration they are out of step with the majority of Americans, who don’t want to share the market for their labor with 6 billion people. And Libertarians are *never* going to be popular with the minority residents of the country. The minority residents of the country support Obamacare and high taxes by very high margins. They aren’t going to be swayed by Libertarians going to them and telling them how great libertarian economics are, they are just going to think “whitey gots it good, and Is gots to live in the pro-jecks.”

    1. This must be American or another similar sockpuppet

  30. reason has profiled Rand Paul as “The Most Interesting Man in the Senate.” This is exhibit A of their tireless campaign to destroy his credibility and ruin his political career, in order to get another Democratic voice in the American government.

    1. That was back when he was an obscure senator.

      Also there’s a big divide between the old guard (Welch, Gillespie, Sullum, Bailey) and the new wave (Riggs, Shackford, Krayewski, Tucille). The latter is much more left-loving.

      1. The latter is much more left-loving.

        I think you should strike 2Chili from that list.

        1. I see no reason to reconsider.

          1. Do you even read the articles? Or do you form your opinions about certain writers based on the headlines? Or the comments sections?

            Seriously.

            1. Tupla hates the fact that Tucille is the anti-LAOL

              1. I guess. Because 2Chili is further right than just about anyone on Reason staff. If you read his articles, that is.

      2. You should switch Gillespie for Tucille.

        1. This. Gillespie really does seem to be soliciting cocktail party invites in some of his latest posts. Tucille in the same span of time has been waving the banner for liberty.

  31. Gotta love US politics! best politics money can buy lol

    http://www.AnonNow.tk

    1. why you going all citizens united anonbot?

  32. I love the people who tear apart the MSM for never criticizing Obama because he’s a Democrat, who flip out at even the slightest criticism of a libertarian-leaning politician. There’s nothing wrong with this article, and I say that as someone who plans of voting for Rand Paul if he runs in 2016

    1. Like who?

      I don’t think three articles in a week criticizing RP for not being libertarian enough is “the slightest criticism”.

      1. And how many positive threads about Rand Paul have there been in that time span? Seriously, you make it sound like Reason tears apart Rand Paul. Any progressive who visited the site would bitch about how much Reason loves him. Riggs wrote a factual article, acknowledging that while Paul’s bill is a good thing and a step in the right directions, that he still gives off the impression that overall he’s not a libertarian on drugs. He didn’t say we should oppose his efforts on this issue or that we should oppose him altogether.

        1. Good points. Rand is weak as fuck on the WOD and as a person who is supposedly trotted out as a libertarian, it’s pretty sad. My first police chief, for fuck’s sake “Dunphy, I personally don’t care what people smoke in the privacy of their homes. It’s not a priority in our dept, got it?” – yea, he said that when I first started working for him. Small town chief. – my first police chief is apparently more libertarian than Rand “The Answer to our Problem’s Paul”.

          Good for Riggs. His article is fair and factual. Let’s not blame the messenger here.

  33. Fark comment thread on the Racist Rand Paul.

    A Sample:

    Huggermugger
    2013-04-10 06:11:28 PM
    Poor guy probably hasn’t been in the presence of more than a half-dozen black people at one time, so I’m sure that he rushed home afterward and soaked in a tub full of Clorox bleach to cleanse himself of the stench of darkies.

    /yes, I do believe that he really is that racist

    1. More:

      Corvus
      2013-04-10 06:36:40 PM
      jso2897: I like Rand Paul’s style.
      I hope he keeps saying things.

      Even though they are often lies? Like he did when he kept saying Obama admin never had answered his question on drone use when they actually had already.

      and

      Altair
      2013-04-10 06:40:46 PM
      trotsky: Howard is a pretty good school. Why, exactly, did he speak there? Most of the traditionally Black Schools are very, very Democratic. They most likely thought he was a joke. Which, frankly, he is. And he needs a better toupee.

      This is probably why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..on_Houston

      Some would say that, intellectually, the Civil Rights movement started there. It’s his way of spitting in the face of non-whites.

    2. If I wanted to read Fark comments I would go to Fark……….

      1. (puts on leather jacket)

        But Tulpa, this is what the proggies think of us. Shouldn’t we wonder why this is their impression, and what we can do to change it?

    3. Fark is still a thing?

  34. If I wanted to read Fark comments I would go to Fark……….

    If I wanted to read comments from Lew Rockwell…

  35. You know Ann Coulter’s “a bunch of pussies” comment?

    Well now I think that is actually apt here to those thin-skinned folks who berate Riggs for calling out Rand.

    1. I agree. The same people who berate others for always playing partisan politics and who criticize the “team” players etc. seem to be so beholden to the IDEA of a libertarian Rand Paul, that the reality of a weak-as-fuck-on-the WOD Rand Paul “libertarian” causes them to attack the messenger. THAT is weak as fuck

  36. How about Rand coming out with (god forbid) as extreme a position as WA state’s – that one shouldn’t be subject to ANY jail time (or fine) for smoking pot. It’s not that radical Rand… it’s the law of the land in my state

    “I am working to make sure that first time offenders are put into counseling and not imprisoned with hardened criminals.”

    Most first time offenders, if for possessory offenses aren’t “imprisoned with hardened criminals”. First offense is rarely going tto result in incarceration, so he’s “working” for the status quo.

    Rand, you had a good opportunity, and you dissapointed here. Very weak sauce vis a vis the WOD.

    “We should stand and loudly proclaim enough is enough. We should not have laws that ruin the lives of young men and women who have committed no violence.”

    Here’s that violence crap, again. Look, you got a serial burglar/auto thief, who is getting convicted for the 3rd, 4th time, etc for burglary – RUIN that life and put that fucker away for 10 yrs. These are REAL crimes with REAL victims. Enough with this apologism for burglars and other “non violent” criminals. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I get tired of the “it’s just a nonviolent crime” thing. I spend enough time with burglary victims – kids terrified to sleep in their own beds for months afterwards. These are serious offenses

  37. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The majority of the disproportionate arrests stem from business processes. I never see a white guy slanging on the corner. You have to go all the way into the park and knock on the trailor door to get your meth.”

    Yea. I’ve been in at least a couple dozen meth labs. I’ve never SEEN a black guy in one. I’ve also never seen a black guy in possession of meth. Not saying it never happens, but it’s true that different demographics use different practices, and to some extent different drugs.

  38. Rand is campaigning. You don’t kill your campaign by saying what you really feel or what you plan to do. You reinforce it with pandering to the people you need to vote for you. And you garner a headline or two by doing it in front of a potentially hostile crowd. It’s almost like he’s really trying to win.

  39. As always, when a libertarian leaning politician tries to make incremental steps, he fails the purity test and the clique immediately casts him to the wolves. Keeping libertarianism radical fringe forever. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  40. Why can’t everyone be right?

    What Rand said was disappointing because he’s sounded pretty close to libertarian on so many issues so we really don’t like it when he doesn’t clear that bar.

    We can also acknowledge that this is a man who is running for the nomination of a major Party and thus cannot stake out positions which would alienate large groups of primary voters, at least not this early.

    That’s the situation. You don’t have to like it, but it helps to at least give a nod to it.

    1. I should also add that there is nothing wrong with criticizing him when he does fall short of our expectations. We should absolutely demand the best.

      Still, demanding the best doesn’t mean discarding those who fail to achieve it. If Rand Paul had been on the ballot in 2012 I would have voted for him, and if he’s on the GOP line in 2016, I’ll probably vote for him…even if he doesn’t come out with a stronger opposition to the WOD (an issue I actually care about).

    2. This is getting a little tedious, no? If Rand is on a ballot with Hillary, I doubt this article is going to change anyone here’s “X”. If so, please speak up so we can boil some heads over something a little meatier.

  41. “I’m not in favor of you smoking pot, but if you get caught smoking pot, I don’t want to put you in jail for 20 years.”

    This doesn’t imply that he is in favor of putting people in jail for even 20 minutes. What, seriously, are the chances that he is actually more “conservative” than his father on this stuff? That is, that he favors complete legalization.

    The comments about mandatory sentences are similar to his statements on foreign policy — he carefully avoids saying anything that directly contradicts his actual views while also avoiding stating those views directly to keep from being smeared as a radical by the mainstream Republicans. Sure, this is cynical, but to a pretty mild extent. Libertarians need to find some way to overcome the constant misrepresentation of their views and counter the overwhelming propaganda against them by the media, a media which seems to mostly consist of mindless tools to parrot the standard lines of either the Democrats or the Republicans. Baby steps like this are the only way to start — fire-breathing direct confrontation has gotten us almost nowhere after many decades.

  42. the two student protesters who stood in front of the stage and unfurled a banner that read, “Howard University Does Not Support White Supremacy.”

    The first round of applause goes to an inane non-sequitor.

    Great. I guess this shows both the state of higher education in America, and the level of disconnect from reality on the academic left.

  43. “We should tell young people, ‘I’m not in favor of you smoking pot”

    And what should we tell old people?

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