Voting

Sen. Rand Paul: "The war on drugs has had a racial outcome…and I want to try to fix it."

"Why are the prisons full of black and brown kids?"

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that a new voting rights bill he's working on would help him reach out to new demographics, especially minorities. Paul plans to introduce a bill that would restore the vote for people convicted of minor drug offenses. 

"Three out of four people in prison are black or brown for nonviolent drug use. However, when you do surveys, white kids are doing drugs at an equal rate, and they are a much bigger part of the population. So, why are the prisons full of black and brown kids? It is easier to arrest them. It is easier to convict them. They don't get as good of attorneys," Paul said.

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66 responses to “Sen. Rand Paul: "The war on drugs has had a racial outcome…and I want to try to fix it."

  1. The prog spin on this will be to ignore it or say it is just a ploy to cover up Rand Paul’s racist agenda.

    1. Mike Cox ? Top Commenter ? Portage Central High School
      Rand Paul must think ALL minorities are felons. After all its the only way to reach minorities.
      Reply ? ? 13 ? 22 hours ago

      1. And these are the same people who love to talk about our racist justice system and the huge numbers of young black men in prison. In fairness, perhaps their solution to that is to throw more white people in prison to equal out the disparity.

        If the Republicans make an issue of this the progs are going to go full on insane. That all the GOP is racist is a founding principle of their smug

        1. With progressivism and its outcome, there is no need to throw anyone in prison. You just turn the nation into a prison.

    2. It’s obviously racist to observe the outcome of failed legislation. Fucking racist!

    3. Many of the commenters either can’t read or are willing to lie.

  2. Howard Miller ? Top Commenter ? Purdue University
    It takes a severely right wing conservative’s mind

    to assume that the best way to reach US minority voters

    is to reach out to the felons among them, seeking to re-establish their voting rights

    even as the rest of Rand Paul’s Republican Party seeks to suppress everyone else’s voting rights.

    here’s a thought or two, Dr. Paul the Little ……

    how about supporting the US Civil Rights Act with vigor, instead of arguing you’d have voted against it?

    How about supporting the social safety net for poor citizens – regardless of color?

    How about supporting a new public job stimulus, as unemployment plagues Americans of every color?

    How about supporting meaningful immigration reform, with a helping hand for new and recent immigrants rather than punishment and fines?

    How about supporting equality, period, instead of stacking the tax rules and business law to favor the wealthiest over all the rest of us?

    You want to reach out to minorities? Try treating them as you’d treat your own family, for a very real change in conservative approach? Even liberals could learn from that standard, and we’re a lot further along in our social justice conduct than conservatives
    Reply ? ? 10 ? 21 hours ago

    1. Even liberals could learn from that standard, and we’re a lot further along in our social justice conduct than conservatives

      I like the projection in that final line.

    2. You want to reach out to minorities? Try treating them as you’d treat your own family, for a very real change in conservative approach? Even liberals could learn from that standard, and we’re a lot further along in our social justice conduct than conservatives

      It’s like you don’t get that the whole fucking point is they’re not your family. And if they were, you’d hate them anyway.

      1. Everyone is our family because, as everyone with a working brain knows, government is our mommy.

    3. You want to reach out to minorities? Try treating them as you’d treat your own family

      Oh I don’t think they’d want me to be that antagonistic and contemptuous of people I’ve never met. I only reserve the purest of hate for my family.

  3. Gary Cooper ? Top Commenter
    The Republicans were pandering to the tparty to get votes,and now there getting bit in the ass for it.
    Paul is pandering to Felons for the same reson? I hope he learns a valuable lesson.
    Reply ? ? 22 hours ago

    1. Where the fuck does this “pandering to felons” shit come from?

      These idiots do know that felons can’t vote, right?

      1. They don’t know anything except that they’re supposed to hate Rand Paul and have been instructed to come at him with anything they can come up with, no matter how stupid. Because TEAM.

      2. And re-enfrancishing “ex-felons” was a progressive cause until…well, until just now.

        Remember how *opposition* to felon voting was racist?

        Remember how felon disenfranchisement caused BOOSH to win Florida in 2000?

        And I found this from February this year, in the NYT:

        “Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called Tuesday for the repeal of laws that prohibit millions of felons from voting, underscoring the Obama administration’s determination to elevate issues of criminal justice and race in the president’s second term and create a lasting civil rights legacy.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02……html?_r=0

        1. And re-enfrancishing “ex-felons” was a progressive cause until…well, until just now.

          Principals, not principles. Never underestimate the power of doublethink.

          1. Blast from the past. From 2003:

            “MONTGOMERY, Ala. ? Hundreds of protesters marched to the state Capitol on Friday as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders decried Gov. Bob Riley’s veto of a bill to restore voting rights for some felons.

            “The crowd marched several blocks to the Capitol steps carrying signs that read “Ex-Felons Are Citizens Too” and singing “We Shall Overcome.” Speakers said Riley’s veto on June 24 reneged on an agreement with black legislators.”

            http://articles.latimes.com/20…../na-vote19

        2. “Remember how *opposition* to felon voting was racist?”

          Remember how locking up brown and black kids for nothing was racist?
          Now, it’s the cornerstone of proggy policy! Lock ’em up and toss the key!

    2. “But not the Gary Cooper that’s dead.”

  4. It’s good to remember that we don’t have the dumbest commenter base out there. Now I need to ritually purify myself.

    1. It’s like progressive bingo –

      -Rand Paul doesn’t care about black people!

      -Civil Rights Act!

      -Massive government spending helps minorities!

      -Rich corporations!

      -Law and order!

      1. Fuck, I was just one “RACIST!” away from bingo.

        1. Come on. “Racist” is the free middle square.

    2. No, but we do have the dumbest sockpuppet base. I blame you. And nicole.

      1. I am not open to ritual purification, just FYI.

        1. What’s not to like about mug-wort saunas and self flagellation with birch branches?

          1. As long as you’re not high while purifying!

          2. I don’t know what a mug-wort is, but I just had a nice sauna last night, complete with birch branches and it was fantastic.

            1. Chinese mugwort is used in east Asian (particularly Korean) steam saunas a lot it’s also a key ingredient in moxa, which is used for acupuncture and moxibustion.

              It’s pretty distinctive smelling, not unpleasant, but odd.

  5. Obtaining a government ID can be too costly or burdensome for some people in poor, rural communities.

    The good news is: If you’ve been incarcerated, you have a government ID!

    1. The good news is: If you’ve been incarcerated, you have a government ID!

      No you don’t. You’d think they’d issue you a state ID before you leave, but most states don’t and won’t. It’s actually a huge problem, and it prevents a lot of ex offenders from gaining meaningful employment.

      1. Silly me.

        At least you’re “in the computer”, though, right?

        1. I know people who have done research on this issue, and they’ve told me that most state departments of motor vehicles won’t issue you ID based on prison documentation.

          So not really.

          Sure, you’re “in the computer” and your identify is clear as day when they come to collect back child support, taxes, court fees, etc, but not when you need them to issue you a card with your name and picture on it.

          Instead, many ex offenders find themselves in a position where they need to collect a significant amount of lost documentation before they can do anything, including getting new copies of their birth certificates, social security cards, etc.

          1. US Bank wouldnt accept my CCDW as a 2nd form of identification, because it wasnt a “government issue” ID.

            Yeah, I gave the chick a “you are a complete moron” stare.

            1. My favorite was when the grocer near my college wouldn’t take out of state licenses or passports because they had gotten smacked down for selling to minors.

  6. Well, since Rand has backed off legalizing pot this is a political consolation prize for users. Not much of one though.

    Bill Maher had Glen Greenwald on his show this past week and they were both singing his praises so RP’s image-makeover is working well.

    1. Palin’s Buttplug|6.23.14 @ 12:18PM|#
      “Well, since Rand has backed off legalizing pot this is a political consolation prize for users. Not much of one though.”

      There is a lying piece of shit in the WH who could actually do something about this, isn’t there, you lying piece of shit?

  7. He’s just saying that because the DixiePublicans need more sharecroppers.

  8. Bill Maher had Glen Greenwald on his show this past week and they were both singing his praises so RP’s image-makeover is working well.

    Have some more paint thinner, Shreeek.

    1. RP is doing what needs to be done to win the GOP 2016 nod – a trip to Israel, kissing SoCon ass, etc.

      1. Don’t forget saying the war on drugs failed and felons need the vote, etc…

        Oh wait…

  9. “Three out of four people in prison are black or brown for nonviolent drug use.”
    Could he have phrased that more poorly? They’re black or brown for nonviolent drug use??? WTF?
    Odds are we can all parse an acceptable meaning out of this, but most of us have more than one functioning brain cell. The populace at large, not so much.
    Clarity of expression matters.

    1. Obviously drugs turn you black and/or brown.

  10. Hillary should jump on this bandwagon by claiming she was the one who convinced Bill to pardon Marc Rich.

  11. Oh, very good Australia: three defenders in the 6 yd box and not one of you thought about picking up David Villa?

    1. STFU some of us are watching the other game.

      1. Hmm, so being nice to you the other day earns me this?

        1. That’s why she’s the worst right?

        2. There’s a reason Nicole is the worst.

  12. James Lyle ? Top Commenter

    Right, Rand do like the rest of the repuks and DENY people of color are in America less alone vote.

    ? 2 hours ago

    Ronald Peacock ? Top Commenter

    Without a doubt, dumber than a box of rocks. LOL

    19 hours ago

    These two comments made me laugh. Does Peacock mean Lyle is dumber than a box of rocks ? Name one Republican that DENIES black people exist. And Rand must be the dumbest guy ever to become a medical doctor and eye surgeon.

    1. I can’t imagine Lyle read the article at all.

    2. Considering that Peacock posted 17 hours before Lyle, then no.

  13. “Three out of four people in prison are black or brown for nonviolent drug use.”

    If he’s going to write bills, he should work on his grammar first.

    Unless they’re making people black or brown in prison now.

  14. Even before Google, I would think it would be impossible to turn on a dime from “felon disenfranchisement is racist!” to “why is Rand Paul pandering to felons?” But when a quick search can discover a vast archive of progressive support for felon voting, how can they denounce an established prog position when they ought to know their change of heart can be documented with a single search?

  15. There’s a meta problem here. It is very difficult to convict someone of a strong-armed robbery. “Let me borrow $20 bucks.” says the leader of group of black 18-25 yo’s. “No.” might not be your best answer.

    Where are the mass protests from the black and brown folk about this? What does Obama think of this?

    Getting a conviction for possession or possession with intent to sell is easier to get a conviction with. It takes thugs out their own neighborhoods for a while. Not all dealers are thugs, but all thugs are dealers. It’s unfair, for sure. But it is what it is. Rand Paul is not going to make himself popular among dark-skinned voters by easing up on this.

    1. I “lend” more than 100 times that much to our government each year, and they can still kill me with impunity. How about we take care of that?

      Besides, standard libertarian retort: legalize drugs, and the thugs run out of funding. It’s that easy.

    2. all thugs are dealers

      I call BS on this. I also call BS on the notion that this is making The Hood a safer place.

      1. Especially when you factor in the “education” they receive while off the streets. Oftentimes getting pinched is just what the individual needs to become a more effective criminal.

      2. I call BS on this.

        I call naivety on you.

        I also call BS on the notion that this is making The Hood a safer place.

        Taking thugs out of the gene pool by incarcerating them *will* make The Hood a safer place in the short term and in the long term (so help me Charles Darwin).

        I’m not supporting this. I am just saying that the policy we have does just this. And this is not a ‘white people’ policy. It is was it is. It is widely supported.

        1. Taking thugs out of the gene pool by incarcerating them *will* make The Hood a safer place in the short term and in the long term (so help me Charles Darwin).

          Several problems with that statement.

          You are assuming that the genes are the problem, that there is some sort of innate criminality. That notion was very popular about a hundred years ago but has since been rejected by pretty much everyone.

          OK, assuming that it’s the exposure to criminality that’s the problem for the offspring of these criminals, incarcerating the criminal parents will not prevent them from reproducing if they have already done so. At best it can limit their reproductive options somewhat.

          And this is not a ‘white people’ policy.

          Except in practice black people are incarcerated at a much higher rate for drug crimes. Nice try, though.

    3. There’s a meta problem here. It is very difficult to convict someone of a strong-armed robbery. “Let me borrow $20 bucks.” says the leader of group of black 18-25 yo’s. “No.” might not be your best answer.

      I find it difficult to believe that the person willing to do harm on you if you say no isn’t just going to take everything you have.

      Whether it’s hard or not, the people who will accept no will do so with no further issues, and the people who won’t wouldn’t have bothered asking in the first place.

      The rest of your post doesn’t even really make sense.

    4. I agree and disagree with Widgit.

      I do think there is a pretty good argument to be made that incarceration for drug possession has done quite a bit to reduce overall crime in impoverished areas. It’s pretty clear to me that ever since the late 80s when this practice started taking off, we started seeing the crime rate ticking down. And it has been consistently happening for years.

      The problem is that mass-incarceration is a somewhat effective response to a horrible national policy.

      Greater than half of the crime in impoverished areas is due to the drug trade. A significant amount of the remaining crime is inextricably linked to the black-market drug trade- either by capturing participants or funding other crimes.

      The problem here is that RP is not dealing with the root cause- drug prohibition- and so very likely this will result in greater crime by flooding the streets with people who probably have a close relationship with the drug trade and who will find that- despite their freedom- having a felony on their resume will make gainful employment difficult.

      That isn’t to say this bill is a bad idea- just that it is going to cause more problems, absent the full resolution.

  16. I was amused by the non-sequitur seque in the final paragraph:

    At least 30 Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed laws that require voters to show some sort of government-issued ID before they vote. Supporters of the bills claim their purpose is to prevent fraud, while opponents argue that they disproportionately target elderly, minority and low-income groups who tend to vote Democratic. Obtaining a government ID can be too costly or burdensome for some people in poor, rural communities.

    I know there are issues with voter ID laws, but does that discussion have to be dragged into the middle of a discussion about felon voting rights? (Unless you are playing “Look! Over there!”

    1. If it’s racist to require IDs, the federal government should reassure employers that they don’t have to demand IDs from the people they hire. The feds greatly pressure employers to do precisely this, in the name of Fighting Illegal Immigration.

      Or maybe it’s OK to demand an ID from job-seekers, but racist to demand IDs from would-be voters?

  17. Good for Rand, I guess. I still to say that if you aren’t completely in favor of a complete end to the war on drugs and criminal prohibition of any drug, then you are complicit in the deaths and false imprisonment of millions of people.
    Yes, I realize that that really isn’t a tenable position for a major politician to take. And I will probably vote for Rand in the primary. But it has to be said. Locking anyone up for any drug crime is morally equivalent to just randomly snatching a person off the street and locking them in your basement. And every major national politician thinks that’s perfectly OK.

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