Rand Paul

Jack Hunter Resigns From Rand Paul's Staff and From His Own 'Southern Avenger' Brand


Southern Avenger no more. |||

Jack Hunter, the adviser to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) who co-authored Paul's 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington, has resigned from Paul's employ less than two weeks after the Washington Free Beacon reported past statements from Hunter celebrating (among other things) the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Hunter announced to news to his friend, The Daily Caller's W. James Antle, III:

Hunter told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he wanted to avoid being a distraction for Paul and to clear his own name, which he argues is now unfairly associated with racism. […]

"I've long been a conservative, and years ago, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one," Hunter said in an email. "But there's a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist. I've also become far more libertarian over the years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant worldview, through the lens of which I now look back on some of my older comments with embarrassment." […]

"The stories made me angry, as well as many who've followed my work, because the cherry-picked distortions weren't even remotely the real me," he said. "It was enraging to watch neoconservatives, liberals and even some actual racists speculate about what I believe, based on what they were eager to portray me as believing. Not surprisingly, their speculations almost always suited their own political purposes."

Happier times. |||

"Still, the moment I became a distraction for Sen. Paul, I knew it was time to leave. My purpose has always been to help, not hinder," Hunter added. Now as he once ditched the mask, he will also discard the Southern Avenger name.

"I also wanted the ability to defend myself in my own voice, not as a member of anyone's staff or even as the 'Southern Avenger' character, which has now been so mischaracterized that I will permanently retire that moniker," Hunter said. […]

"I look forward to returning to just being a pundit and fighting these battles on my own," he said. "The neoconservatives, who first ran and promoted this story, would much rather argue about the Civil War than the Iraq War."

"From their standpoint, and given current trends within the Republican Party," Hunter concluded, "I can't say I blame them."

Antle has more reporting in the article, which you can read here. Antle also profiled Rand Paul for Reason back in the spring of 2010.

This latest example of the libertarian brand being conmingled with neo-Confederate sympathies has occasioned some robust commentary around the Internet; Randy Barnett has some analysis and links over at The Volokh Conspiracy.

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  1. His hair looks clinically depressed.

    1. the receding hairline coverup?

      1. Maybe his hair lost someone very important to it not so long ago.

        1. yes, he mislaid Aloysius the teddy bear

          1. Well I see the Commentariat is rested from their weekend. It ought to be a fun day.

    2. He looks a lot like Gary Oldman in 5th Element.

  2. See? I told you that libertarians are nothing but Republicans who smoke pot!

  3. Hell, a “Northern Avenger” could even celebrate the assassination of Lincoln, it just came at the wrong time.


      Stephen Carter’s recent alternate-history novel has Lincoln assassinated by a black guy who thinks Lincoln isn’t doing enough to protect black rights.

      That doesn’t justify Hunter, by the way, I suppose one has to make these disclaimers.

  4. Where are the racist newsletters?

    1. In the Weekly Standard’s “to do” file.

  5. Well this straightforward reporting just proves whiny-ass Tom Woods right you cosmotarian filth.

    1. Oh excuse me – you’re all “sweetie-pies”, whatever the hell that means.

      1. I actually ventured over to LRC over the weekend in an attempt to make sense of all that. All I really understand is that somehow being “INSIDE THE BELTWAY” makes you incapable of understanding what libertarianism is and also makes you a “regime libertarian”, whatever that is.

        1. To see the world as it truly is, you have to move to Auburn.

          1. The air is so clear in Auburn that you can get dizzy from the clarity of vision.

  6. Thou shalt not uspset the dueling narratives

  7. What will happen when the great and powerful weapon that is the racist moniker is no longer available for opposition to wield? Also, Lincoln was worse than Hitler.

    Or maybe it’s the other way around, I forget.

    1. If you really want to annoy people, cite Hitler’s praise of the pro-Union constitutional theories associated with Lincoln:

      “By a federated state we understand a league of sovereign states which band together of their own free will, on the strength of their sovereignty; ceding to the totality that share of their particular sovereign rights which makes possible and guarantees the existence of the common federation.

      1. “In practice this theoretical formulation does not apply entirely to any of the federated states existing on earth today. Least of all to the American Union, where, as far as the overwhelming part of the individual states are concerned, there can be no question of any original sovereignty, but, on the contrary, many of them were sketched into the total area of the Union in the course of time, so to speak. Hence in the individual states of the American Union we have mostly to do with smaller and larger territories, formed for technical, administrative reasons, and, often marked out with a ruler, states which previously had not and could not have possessed any state sovereignty of their own. For it was not these states that had formed the Union, on the contrary it was the Union which formed a great part of such so-called states. The very extensive special rights granted, or rather assigned, to the individual territories are not only in keeping with the whole character of this federation of states, but above all with the size of its area, its spatial dimensions which approach the scope of a continent. And so, as far as the states of the American Union are concerned, we cannot speak of their state sovereignty, but only of their constitutionally established and guaranteed rights, or better, perhaps, privileges.”


      2. Re: Eduard van Haalen,

        If you really want to annoy people, cite Hitler’s praise of the pro-Union constitutional theories associated with Lincoln

        Or Marx’s praise of Lincoln. Birds of a feather…

        1. Just to be clear, I’m not claiming that Lincoln was on the same moral level as Hitler, Marx, or even Bismarck (who also praised him). Lincoln was actually a nice guy – the people I object to are his idolators who invoke him in defense of policies having nothing to do with the abolition of slavery, and who are very quick with guilt-by-association attacks on anyone who attempts a rational discussion on the topic. Live by guilt by association, fucking die by guilty by association.

          1. What most people tend to forget is that Lincoln was a human being. Just an ordinary human being. He was not he second coming of Christ, neither was he the antichrist. Not an angel and not a demon. But so so many people just can’t understand this simple idea.

  8. Based on the huffing and puffing on Morning Joke, I don’t see the RAAAAAACIST!!! card losing its power any time in this century.

  9. His hair looks clinically depressed.

    It yearns for a simpler, happier time; I’d say 1972.

  10. GIVE ME AN “S”!

  11. Typical DC wiener. He’ll land on his feet with a nice lobbying or “advocacy” job.

  12. Turning rednecks in to libertarians was just as futile as carpetbaggers trying to turn the former slaves in to good Yankees.

  13. “But there’s a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist.”

    Best evidence that Jack Hunter is racist is the fact that he still doesn’t realize that what he said was racist.

    It’s funny how Rand Paul keeps attracting these people. It’s really no matter either way. By 2016 it will be considered a huge joke that he was ever considered in the running for president. Meanwhile, the growth of the libertarian party has been severely stunted while this libertarian pretender gets so much attention from the liberty minded…

    It’s a shame, really.

    1. Yes because being libertarian is all about being in lock step in opinion about the Civil War

      1. At no point did I even make that suggestion. Of course, if you’re one of these idiots that call Lincoln a tyrant and claim the war wasn’t fought because of slavery, you may exit the party to your right.

        1. So you are saying that Lincoln didn’t act as a tyrant? Didn’t throw opposition in jail? Didn’t in his inaugural address say that he would not oppose slavery but did insist on the South paying tariffs and taxes?

          Do you also think that a war with 700,000 dead, many more wounded, a huge loss in destruction plus a burden of debt is something to cheer about in the name of freedom?

          1. Throw his opposition in jail? Yeah, we’re at war, dear. Shit happens.

            And the south seceded before Lincoln ever took office. They were willing to go to war to preserve slavery. Lincoln was willing to go to war to preserve the union.

            There’s a clear bad guy in this, and it ain’t Lincoln. Learn2history.

            1. Why is preserving the union worth 700,000 dead?

              1. Just stop, okay. Just stop. Your arguments are changing and none of them made that much sense to begin with. There were two parties involved in this shit, and it’s absolutely beyond stupid to pretend that Lincoln should shoulder the blame for this war.

                Those 700,000 people died because the south was afraid that Lincoln would take their slaves. Absolutely, positively, end of story. Twist all you want, but there’s no way that an honest recounting of events would make the south look like victims.

                1. Where did I say that the South was a victim? You seem to be stuck on the idea that if you can find a bad guy then the other guy must be a good guy. Why can’t they both be bad and a better way would be not having a war at all. Why is preserving the Union worth 700,000 dead? Why was slavery or tariffs worth 700,000 dead?

                  1. For example do I have to have a hero when I consider Caesar vs. Pompey? Can’t I think of both of them as power mad tyrants who caused the death of a huge number of people and put the nail in the coffin of the Republic?

                    1. No sorry man. If you can’t see that Pompey was orders of magnitude worse than Caesar, then yes, you’re racist. Or maybe the other way around. But still, you are definitely a racist.

                    2. Personally, I think Pompeil? was the worst soccer player ever. All he did was hog the ball and throw fiery tantrums.

                  2. “Why was slavery or tariffs worth 700,000 dead?”

                    Perhaps you should ask the South (and its defenders) that, not Lincoln (and his defenders).

                    The South- by instituting slavery and throwing up aristocratic and draconian laws to protect that institution- was initiating force on innocent humans. If there is any job of the government, it is to stop the initiation of force.

                    The south initiated force, and they seceded to make that initiation of force stick. 700,000 people died because the South wanted to continue abusing the rights of human beings. Whether- from a pragmatic perspective and the collateral costs- it was wise for the North to intercede doesn’t change the fact that culpability for those deaths remains predominantly on the assholes selling humans as chattel.

                    1. The north didn’t consider slavery or tariffs worth 700.000 dead, because they didn’t give much of a shit about either. What they cared about was keeping the union together. It wouldn’t have mattered if the south outlawed and abolished slavery, the north would still have wanted war to keep them in the union.

                      And culpability for the deaths remain predominantly on the north, since they were also selling humans as chattel (slavery was legal in the north) and at the same time stopping states from seceding.

                    2. “It wouldn’t have mattered if the south outlawed and abolished slavery, the north would still have wanted war to keep them in the union.”

                      And if the North weren’t intending to make slavery so difficult that it was abolished by default, the South would have never seceded.

                      I don’t understand what is so difficult to understand here. The South did everything to preserve Slavery. And the North- perhaps- over reacted to that. But the predominate guilt lays on the South. Without a doubt. And if you don’t see that, then you don’t see that Slavery is an initiation of force that cannot be tolerated.

              2. Why is preserving slavery worth 700,000 dead?

      2. As a libertarian, I’m rather unhappy with the Roosevelt administration too. That doesn’t mean I start romanticizing the Nazis. For all Lincoln’s faults, if you can’t see the Confederacy was orders of magnitude worse, then yes, you’re racist.

    2. Re: Jessie,

      Best evidence that Jack Hunter is racist is the fact that he still doesn’t realize that what he said was racist.

      What did he say that YOU consider racist?

    3. Wow, you can see into the future. That must be awesome!

      And yeah, one staffer with a checkered past will totally wreck someone’s chances for president years later.

  14. resigned from Paul’s employ less than two weeks after the Washington Free Beacon reported past statements from Hunter celebrating (among other things) the assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    You mean it wasn’t an event worth celebrating? I guess you are not going to be considered a tyrant here unless you break the 1 million dead threshold or something.

    1. Which never would have happened if the south had not seceded, which they did because they were afraid Lincoln might take his slave.

      If you think that going to war to preserve the union is somehow worse than going to war to keep slaves, which is exactly what the south did, then you might be a f***ing idiot.

      1. False dichotomy. You can think they are both bad. Lincoln can be a tyrant and going to war to preserve the union can be bad AND the confederates can still be bad. They’re all bad.

        1. Lincoln’s refusal to allow to the south to secede eventually led to the emancipation of millions of people. OUR people. The south, had they won, would have overthrown Lincoln’s presidency and likely preserved the institution for the entire country.

          1. Yes, if the south would have won, we’d still have slavery today. Wow.

            1. We do have slavery today only it isn’t on racial grounds.We are all slaves to our supposed servants.

              1. Yeah, our “slavery” is just like what was going on in America in 1860. Just like it.

            2. I didn’t say we would have it today, what I said was that it would have been preserved. It was, after all, written into the damn constitution of the CSA.

              But really, what do you expect would have ended it? These people were willing to go to war to preserve it.

              1. Only it really wasn’t about that.

                1. Only it was.

                  1. No, actual history reveals that it wasn’t. You are completely ignorant of history, so you think the way you do.

                    1. I know how elections work.

                    2. Good for you. You still have refuted nothing.

                    3. “No, actual history reveals that it wasn’t. ”

                      I know you think you are being clever here, but you should really backup your assertions with facts.

                      Most of the states seceding from the union stated in their fucking documents of secession that the preservation of slavery was the primary reason they left. Nobody at the time thought it was anything but Slavery. They knew that the ascension of the GOP meant they had lost a key battle in the strategic game. They would slowly lose power as non-slave states gained favor and they would be forced to abandon the practice one way or another.

                      And so they seceded.

                    4. Except he wasn’t commenting on why they seceded, he was commenting on why we declared war on the South. And we didn’t declare war over slavery.

                    5. Wait, did I misread that? Damn. There were certainly other factors, but yes they seceded over slavery.

              2. It was written into the constitution of the US as well. And Lincoln wanted an amendment protecting slavery for all time.

        2. NO! Confederates evil, so Lincoln good! Everything he did was good, because it was in opposition of evil!

          STOP TALKING!!1

      2. Lincoln said repeatedly that his goal was not to end slavery but to keep the union together. In his inaugural address, he said he would have supported an amendment preventing the Federal Government from interfering in matters of slavery.

  15. The Civil War was 150 fucking years ago. If you want to play Civil War commentator, you should put on an appropriate costume first, like the war re-enactors do.

    1. I call “dibs” on William Lloyd Garrison

  16. The Civil War started over high Northern tariffs inflicted upon the Southern states. The first shots fired at Fort Sumter were over the Northern forces resupplying that tariff collection point for the port of Charleston, instead of acknowledging the power of SC to secede from the Union over the onerous taxation levels.

    Lincoln only dragged the slavery issue into things when he needed some help with the war going not nearly as well as originally anticipated.

    1. The south began secession right after Lincoln was elected, before he even took office. There was about to be a changing of the guard, and the south seceded because they were afraid of Lincoln. You can not honestly believe that these people went to war over tariffs. Hint: It wasn’t freedom from tariffs that was preserved in the CSA constitution. It was slavery.

      Stop it. Just stop stop stop.

      1. “The south began secession right after Lincoln was elected, before he even took office.”

        Most contradictory statement ever. Which was it?

        For the money Lincoln spent on the war he could have bought the freedom of every slave in every state.

        1. Are you stupid? Our presidents don’t take office until a few months after they get elected. You think they get elected and they take office that day?

          Are you completely ignorant of the fucking process?

          1. You are completely ignorant of the real cause of the Civil War.

            1. Says the guy who doesn’t understand presidential elections. You may be excused.

              1. Nope. I actually understand what really caused the Civil War. Unlike you, who want to keep repeating grade school narratives.

                1. You didn’t know that the south seceded before Lincoln ever took office. I’m not sure you’re one to be schooling me on history.

                  And yes I’m going to keep bringing that up, both the fact that you didn’t know something so relevant and the even sadder fact that you don’t seem to know how elections work.

                  1. No, I clearly do know these things. But hey, keep on repeating something that does not matter an refuting nothing of actual substance.

                    1. “No, I clearly do know these things. ”

                      Dude, go read the declarations of the various Confederate States. They precisely say why they were seceding. They specifically say that they were concerned that no more slave states would be admitted into the union, causing loss of federal power and eventual removal of their “rights” to slaves.

                      You don’t know what you are talking about.

        2. And slavery was a clear violation of the equal protection clause. By your logic, when we found those 3 women in captivity in that home in Ohio, instead of arresting that guy we should have given a bunch of money.

          Besides, as I pointed out before, the south seceded before Lincoln ever took office. There was no opportunity to “buy” the slaves into freedom…

          1. Only that is exactly what they did in England and other countries in order to abolish slavery. Your assessment of the situation in Ohio makes absolutely no sense.

    2. Nonsense. Tariffs weren’t the reason for the previous political compromises on slaves in the western territories. It was slavery of course.

      The Civil War only makes sense because of the institution of slavery. There was too much wealth and political power behind it for it federalism to quietly kill it off.

      1. But every other country ended slavery without a civil war leading to the number dead that the US experienced. Isn’t it fair that we can criticize the decisions that lead to this war then?

        1. Two conflicting neo-confederate arguments:

          The war was not fought over slavery.

          We could have ended slavery without the war.

          Which is it?

          Lincoln made it pretty clear that preserving the union took priority over the abolishing of slavery. The south seceded and the war began before he ever took office. If we want to criticize the actions leading up to it, we can blame the south.

          1. Lyle made the point that slavery couldn’t have died out on its own, MSD responded to that point. You’re strawmanning, cum bucket.

      2. It doesn’t make sense because of slavery, because lincoln offered an amendment to protect slavery unto eternity, and the south still seceded.

    3. The combined economic value of the slaves held in the south at the start of the civil war was worth more than the combined transportation and industrial base of the entire country. If the south was prepared to prepared to go to war over a tariff, do you honestly expect us to believe they weren’t going to go to war over the values of those slaves?

      Furthermore, we don’t have to guess at the motivations of the southern states. We can read the declarations they made when they seceded. Tariffs were, at best, a minor aside in documents that make it clear the secession was about slavery, slavery, and more slavery.

      1. Yet Lincoln said repeatedly his goal was not to interfere with slavery where it existed and he did not launch the Civil War in order to free the slaves.

        1. He did not launch the civil war. The secession is an act of war, unless you think that any head of state anywhere in all of history is going to let half his country up and walk away.

          Do you people think that England started the revolutionary war? Hopefully you realize that we invited it when we declared independence. I’ve yet to hear anyone call the revolutionary war “The war of British aggression.”

          Do you know what the difference is?

          1. No secession is not an act of war. There is no constitutional prohibition of it. It is not unlawful or inherently violent. Many countries have seceded without violence. As long as the country you are seceding from realizes that the best way to deal with secession is not to slaughter those who want to form there own country.

            1. “As long as the country you are seceding from [is ok with you doing so to abuse the human rights of a significant swath of your citizenry]”

              There, fixed that for you.

              You are arguing like the Federal Government had a moral duty to avoid killing hundreds of thousands of people in a war. It also had a moral duty to prevent the continued subjugation of vast swaths of its population, possibly going into the millions over time.

              Unfortunately, these two moral necessities were in conflict. Go to war to save millions of slaves, and you kill a lot of people. Avoid the war and these people continue being abused.

              As the abusers, the South is culpable not for the violence it perpetrated on the slaves, but the violence perpetrated in maintaining their act of aggression. The truly immoral act would have been allowing this to continue.

              1. he South is culpable not ONLY for the violence it perpetrated on the slaves, but the violence perpetrated in maintaining their act of aggression

                1. Not it’s not. The war is on the north’s hands.

  17. You guys need to knock it the f*** off with the “Lincoln the tyrant” bullshit. It makes you look racist, stupid, and completely ignorant of history.

    1. It’s racist to call a racist a tyrant?

      1. No, but it’s racist to be racist.

        1. Great comeback!

    2. Only that Lincoln didn’t believe that whites and blacks could live together peacefully and desired to find a way to send the newly freed slaves back to Africa. Wasn’t that racist?

    3. Hysterically calling someone a racist because they have the audacity to question the official statist narrative is more in line with being a Progressive than a libertarian. Please jessie, do us all a favor and go to Kos if you are going to act like a little emotional whiny shit. I don’t have the patience today to deal with retards.

      1. Your screen name is fitting because when I read your comment I was imagining Dueling Banjos playing in my head.

        1. Mostly because I enjoy playing banjos, they are amazing versatile instruments. My heart swoons whenever I hear one. I see you have failed to respond to any of the intellectual points other people have made on here, showing that you are nothing more than an emotional child. Kos is just a few clicks away if you wish to engage in your mindless temper tantrum, hysterically screaming racist at people who dare make you think. I avoid places like Kos because of people like you, please stop shitting all over my nice intellectual corner of the internet. I don’t have the patience for cunts today.

          1. What was your point? That I’m a whiny little shit and that I should go hang out on KOS? I apologize if you were expecting a legitimate argument to that.

            You’re not getting one.

            1. ” see you have failed to respond to any of the intellectual points other people have made on here”

              Reading comprehension fails is another sign of being a progressive fuck stain. Please leave and go where you belong. This place is far too classy for you.

              1. You’re not the only one who has no patience for cunts today, Banjo. There is no suitable argument against people who are so fucking stupid that they want to apologize for the CSA aside from “You’re an idiot.”

                You can thank these people for the fact that the libertarian party has a reputation for being a bunch of racists turds.

                1. As there are no suitable arguments for people who are too fucking dumb to see that those people have in no way shape or form apologized for the South or slavery. Hating on Lincoln is not equivalent to loving the antebellum South and slavery just as hating on Obama does not make one have a boner for Bush.

                  People like you has enabled asshole neocons to massively expand the federal government due to your inability to comprehend nuanced arguments. Mindless worship of Lincoln allowed conservatives and many libertarians to jump on the very anti-libertarian war boner band wagon by defending suspension of habeus corpus and other such atrocities because the great and glorious Lincoln did it. Because anyone who questions Lincoln is really just a racist who secretly loves slavery.

                  Fear of being called racist or being marginalized pushed many libertarians to drop many of their libertarian beliefs. Fuck you and your ilk, you intellectually vapid cunt.

                  1. “Fuck you and your ilk, you intellectually vapid cunt.”

                    I’m amused by your anger. Sorry you’re mad about the war. It’s been awhile now though. You should probably just try to move on.

                    1. Ha, that’s rich coming from the man hysterically screaming racist at people calling Lincoln a tyrant.

                    2. I’m not a man. And I’m not screaming.

                      SCREAMING LOOKS LIKE THIS.

                    3. Whoa! Could you keep your harpy-shriek down to a minimum there?

  18. Since disclaimers are generally necessary in these sorts of threads, I will utter a disclaimer that I don’t like the positions attributed to Hunter. Hunter sounds like bad news, especially the celebrating-John-Wilkes-Booth part. The Confederate leaders themselves didn’t want to be associated with that assassination plot. If Hunter actually celebrated Booth (as the reports claim he did), then unless this was some really post-modern joke, fuck him.

    1. I love reading Hunter, he has a keen mind. I recommend reading a few of his thousands of articles or watching some of his youtube videos and making your own judgement of him instead of acting like a dipshit.

      1. I said “the positions *attributed* to Hunter” and “as the reports claim.” I think I covered my bases, thank you very much.

        And did he actually celebrate JW Booth other than in a creepy post-modernist manner? If not, I apologize for doubting him.

        1. I know the comment limits won’t let you link to thousands of articles, but could you further my political education by linking to two of them? Thank you!

  19. I’ve long been a conservative, and years ago, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one

    So Hunter thinks the problem with the quotes isn’t that they reflect bad viewpoints, just that a modern conservative shouldn’t publically admit that’s what they think…

    1. Not with ultra PC thought police who will twist your words i guess.

  20. Sic Semper Tyrannis.

  21. What worries the powers-that-be so much about libertarians or anyone tending to drift that way? The long knives of ad hominem attack are out and gleaming. Whatever we’re doing, let’s do more of it!

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