Rand Paul

Rand Paul Covers Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform in Debate Answer on Ferguson

Rand Paul gives Black Lives Matter policy agenda a substantive voice on the debate stage

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Fox News

Tonight's Fox News Republican debate featured excellent questions on a wide variety of topics, from the moderators and YouTube users. For probably the first time in this election cycle a debate (Republican or Democrat) included a question about Ferguson, Missouri, the town whose protests against police abuse in 2014 propelled the issue of police violence onto the national stage, where its remained ever since.

That question went to Rand Paul, whose answer included more of the policy agenda of Black Lives Matter than probably any other debate answer has before.

He noted his support for body cameras, one of ten policy planks championed by Campaign Zero, an effort organized by Black Lives Matter activists.

He also pointed out that a third of Ferugson's budget came from civil fines. "Now you and I and many of the people in this audience, if we get a $100 fine, we can survive it," Paul told moderator Bret Baier. "If you're living on the edge of poverty and you get a $100 fine or your car towed, a lot of times you lose your job."

Ending for-profit policing such as that is another of the policy planks championed by Campaign Zero.

Finally, Paul also managed to fit in the influence of the war on drugs on policing and its disproportionate impact on African-Americans, bringing up the problem of the "missing black men," a topic more often brought up by Democrats, even if they refuse to acknowledge their major role in creating that problem, specifically, but not only, through the Democrat- and Clinton-backed 1994 crime bill.

"In Ferguson, for every 100 African-American women, there are only 60 African-American men," Paul noted. "Drug use is about equal between white and black, but our prisons—three out of four people in prison are black or brown. I think something has to change. I think it's a big thing that our party needs to be part of, and I've been a leader in Congress on trying to bring about criminal justice reform."

As Elizabeth Nolan Brown observed earlier tonight, the libertarian Rand Paul appears to be back. Without Trump at tonight's debate, the chances of each of the remaining candidates to improve their standing in the polls appeared to go up at least while they were on stage.

Paul could still win the nomination. But even if he doesn't, his answer illustrates why, Rand Paul and libertarian Republicans like him will be critical in expanding the GOP base beyond the kind of element that Trump's taken advantage of so adeptly to become a juggernaut.

NEXT: Marco Rubio Says ISIS is Too Scary For the First Amendment at GOP Debate

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  1. Rand Paul gives Black Lives Matter policy agenda a substantive voice on the debate stage

    So, its official he doesn’t think he’s getting the nom.

    1. Why didn’t someone tell us before?

  2. Paul could still win the nomination.

    Nothing wrong with thinking positive.

    1. So…when the BLM people come up with sensible ideas about police reform like those databases and cameras, etc, and then when they go off and act crazy…are these just *different* groups of people under the BLM brand name?

      1. I really don’t know.

        The freeway blocking campaign is in full swing here.

        1. Superbowl here in the south bay next week. Anyone want to guess what happens?

    2. People remember Compton. Reginald Denny. Would you stop?

  3. Rand Paul and libertarian Republicans like him will be critical in expanding the GOP base beyond the kind of element that Trump’s taken advantage of so adeptly to become a juggernaut.

    Yeah, except that the element that Trump has taken advantage of is going to turn everyone else away. I don’t think there is a tent big enough for racist misogynists and, well, anyone else.

    1. This. Racial misogynists and ‘alt right’ creepy crawlies are not big enough constituencies to elect a president either, no matter what the crazies floating around here say.

      1. But boy, war! Now that gets the juices flowing, doesn’t it?

        1. At this point it seems to almost be a background issue.

      2. What is it with the whole “Alt-Right” thing? Did they really get too good for that Neo-Nazi label?

    2. Yeah, except that the element that Trump has taken advantage of is going to turn everyone else away. I don’t think there is a tent big enough for racist misogynists and, well, anyone else.

      It’s certainly not popular with younger voters, who are going to default toward people like Bernie Sanders and subsequently develop horrible economic ideas for the rest of their lives. Although Republicans often don’t even offer too much better on that front.

  4. “Ferguson, Missouri, the town whose protests against police abuse in 2014”

    Here’s a thing which shouldn’t fall down the memory hole – the protests, riot, arson and looting was supposedly in response to a Ku Klux Kop gunning down Michael Brown, a “gentle giant” who was skipping down the street on his way to do an all-day stint changing bedpans at the charity hospital, and despite his pleas not to shoot, the Killer Kop shot him anyway.

    The story had only one problem…it was stupid. Even the Obama/Holder Justice Department admitted – after the damage was done – that, oh, yes, the cop shot in self-defense, and Michael Brown expressed his gentle giantness by robbing a store and then when the cop tried to stop him, trying to grab the cop’s gun.

    Before Obama and Holder were forced to admit the original narrative was bullshit, the rioters, the concerned commentators, and Reason of course, were talking about the shooting and its investigation as a horrible, horrible injustice. The local DA and the grand jury were a bunch of copsuckers because they wouldn’t indict an innocent man.

    Then came the exoneration, and everyone was like, “well, as we were saying, this situation with fines…”

    I at least give Reason and Rand credit for focusing on the fine issue, which totally *is* an injustice.

    1. Come the fuck on man. Just like the Rodney King riots the death of Michael Brown was the straw that broke the camels back. But let’s focus on the one straw and pretend or happened in a vacuum!

    2. I think you give too much credence to the “investigation.” Holder’s record on holding police accountable for misconduct was horrible, and Wilson’s grand jury account showed he was either a liar or an extremely stupid cop who created a bad situation.

      You’re also ignoring the context in which these things happen. Before Brown, there was Henry Davis and many, many others brutalized and victimized by the Ferguson criminal justice system. It echoed around the country because it wasn’t just a local phenomenona. Brown may not have been a good symbol for this movement, but the myth- if that is what it was- rang true because of the often daily experiences many people, especially young, black men, have with police.

  5. Glad to see Rand and libertarian ideas back on stage!

  6. Paul could still win the nomination.

    And I could buy a 45 meter yacht, crewed by hot latex-clad BDSM porno-lesbians who are skilled blue water sailors.

    Both are, unfortunately, extremely unlikely to happen this year.

    1. Sorry, SIV, but it’s not for sale.

    2. Latex outfits seem, well, inefficient and possibly ill-advised as yacht crew garb. But I don’t own a yacht, so I could be wrong.

  7. HERETIC!

  8. If freeing blacks from slavery didn’t get them to vote Republican, what will?

    For whatever reason, most blacks have seemingly embraced socialism/the welfare state. While Republicans aren’t exactly adverse to that in practice, the Democrats fully embrace that lifestyle and so will always have a strong majority of the black vote (and for that matter, the latino vote, unless they are Cuban).

    And really, Democrats like this issue. It keeps that part of their base worked up. Obama could largely solve this tomorrow by using his ability to pardon people. But he won’t, because a) he couldn’t care less b) to the extent he does care, he knows it only helps the Democrats

    1. For whatever reason, most blacks have seemingly embraced their masters

      What? Democrats have done everything in their power to keep the black man down, and now, any time someone tries to relieve the pressure, the black man grabs that boot and forces it into his neck even harder.

    2. A+. You really had me going for a second.

    3. Freeing blacks from did have them voting Republican. It was Francis Perkins’s policies as FDR’s Secretary of Labour that swung them into the Democratic camp.

    4. To be fair, white Republican voters like socialism/welfare too. They call it Medicare and Social Security, so it doesn’t make them feel like socialists/welfare statists.

      They also enjoy their jobs programs, but since it is administered by the Dept of Defense, they’re OK with that too.

      1. But, but, but………I paid SS tax all my life. So I deserve it. It’s those damn (insert your own tribal subgroup here) that are receiving benefits but don’t deserve it.

        there you go.

        1. I’m 66. I’ve paid SS “tax” all my life. Why don’t I deserve it? (I have not yet filed nor do I intend to do so before I’m 70.)

          The government described it as an investment on my behalf. Were they lying? (Not that the government lying would come as a surprise.) Was it really fundamentally a form of progressive theft all along? (Again, not a surprise.)

          As far as I am concerned SS and Medicare can be done away with this very instant. Of course I will want everyone’s investment returned, with interest. Everyone’s. No tribal subgroups left out. Precisely how is that unreasonable?

  9. In fairness there’s mounting evidence that Trump is not in fact drawing support from traditional Republican voters but drawing in jilted white working class former Dems.

  10. Best Video I’ve ever seen on Criminal Justice reform by Rand Paul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOI3-SrFZyg #RandRally

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