Rand Paul, Destroyer of Tea Parties
Rand Paul got in trouble yesterday concerning the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Paul pretty much makes the argument that he would have fought to change one of the provisions in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That provision made it illegal for private businesses/organizations to practice segregation. Essentially, Rand Paul is arguing that the government shouldn’t force private companies to not segregate. He, basically, is saying it’s a private organization’s right to keep people of any race, sex or creed out of their establishment.
Bruce Bartlett, however, smells something funky:
If Rand Paul were saying that he agrees with the Goldwater-Rehnquist-Bork view that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was unconstitutional and that the Supreme Court was wrong to subsequently find it constitutional, that would be an eccentric but defensible position. If he were saying that the Civil Rights Act were no longer necessary because of the great strides we have made as a country in eradicating racism, that would also be defensible. But Rand’s position is that it was wrong in principle in 1964. There is no other way of interpreting this except as an endorsement of all the things the Civil Rights Act was designed to prohibit, as favoring the status quo throughout the South that would have led to a continuation of segregation and discrimination against African Americans at least for many more years. Undoubtedly, changing mores would have broken down some of this over time, but there is no reason to believe that it would have been quick or that vestiges wouldn’t still remain today. Indeed, vestiges remain despite the Civil Rights Act.
Indeed. Proof that the market wouldn’t have gotten rid of segregation regardless of the economic efficacy of getting rid of it is evident with places like Georgia and Louisiana, both states that had rampant segregation. They’re both states that have a huge black population that could have been clientele for the private establishments yet they still segregated. Why? Because WASP customers didn’t want blacks to shop, dine or ride buses with them. The free market took care of the problem: it maintained the status quo because the white majority, the biggest customer, didn’t want the status quo to change. If the blacks were the majority, it’d be different; the invisible hand would have moved faster as segregation wouldn’t have made economic sense at all. When an establishment’s main potential customer is a white person who doesn’t like black people dining with him, though, the establishment is going to accommodate him, isn’t it? That’s good for business. If, for example, every restaurant in a small town in segregationist Georgia decided to not practice segregation, who wins? The restaurant that opens up that serves only white people. All the white people who don’t feel comfortable dining with blacks will go to that restaurant. In order to compete, the other restaurants will start segregating again.
Bartlett pretty much echoed what I wrote just above from my blog in his own blog post.
As we know from history, the free market did not lead to a breakdown of segregation. Indeed, it got much worse, not just because it was enforced by law but because it was mandated by self-reinforcing societal pressure. Any store owner in the South who chose to serve blacks would certainly have lost far more business among whites than he gained. There is no reason to believe that this system wouldn’t have perpetuated itself absent outside pressure for change.
… Thus we have a perfect test of the libertarian philosophy and an indisputable conclusion: it didn’t work. Freedom did not lead to a decline in racism; it only got worse.
But Rand’s position is that it was wrong in principle in 1964. There is no other way of interpreting this except as an endorsement of all the things the Civil Rights Act was designed to prohibit, as favoring the status quo throughout the South that would have led to a continuation of segregation and discrimination against African Americans at least for many more years. Undoubtedly, changing mores would have broken down some of this over time, but there is no reason to believe that it would have been quick or that vestiges wouldn’t still remain today. Indeed, vestiges remain despite the Civil Rights Act.
Neither Bartlett or I would say Paul is a racist. Far from it. He’s something worse: blinded by extremist ideology.
I know many liberals have argued that the Tea Party is essentially a racist movement and while I agree there is a subliminal racist tint to the movement due to class-related anxiety, it’s difficult to keep this separation intact. Rand Paul is clearly the epitome of the Tea Party candidate. Sadly, he also brings with him support from another group which is going to supply the mud that Rand Paul drags the Tea Party through.
From Barefoot and Progressive:
Chris Hightower is the campaign spokesperson for Rand Paul. The same campaign spokesperson who made an ass of himself a few weeks ago by commenting that a video comparing Trey Grayson to Adolf Hitler was "too funny", making national press.
Needless to say, it was an embarrassment for the campaign. But "embarrassing" can be a relative term. It wasn’t, for example, anything like this:
Commander is a Metal band from Bowling Green that hung up their guitars a couple years ago. They thrashed out to songs about the Devil, liked pictures of skeletons with blood dripping from their fangs, and had very serious faces. Here are the boys, with said faces.
That serious dude on the left is the singer, Chris Hightower. Yep, the same Chris Hightower.
Here is Chris at work on stage, screaming about the Dark Lord’s mighty powers.
But enough about the band. They are adorable, and I wouldn’t dare hold it against anyone that they used to screach out odes to Satan, despite the fact that I don’t believe in the Dark Lord. Or Metal.
But there are some things I would hold against people.
Let’s take a gander at Chris’s MySpace page, which for reasons unknown is still public.
But check out what his good buddy "D" has to say on Chris’s wall, which has been up there for almost an entire year TWO YEARS without being taken down:
Well. That’s… interesting. Most people I know wouldn’t have friends that say stupid racist shit like that, let alone leave comments like that up on their page for an entire year. Perhaps, as Chris is know
n to say, h
e thinks this comment was "too funny :)"?
But maybe this was just a one time mistake, and we all should forgive him.
Oh wait, here’s one of his MySpace blogs. Perhaps not.
Yep. "Mr. ‘N’ Day" used to stroll around the mall in KKK gear? And those god damn "Afro-Americans" and their "KKK radar" got their panties in a wad over it? How typical!
So, does this finally reveal to us why all those white supremacists across the country are so gung ho for Rand Paul 2010?
OK, so it’s just one guy. Maybe. Little Green Footballs has more:
Neo-Nazis say: The RAND Paul Money Bomb! Help Elect Rand Paul to U.S. Senate – Stormfront. (Google cache link.)
Hmm. How much of Rand Paul’s campaign money came from Stormfront readers? Just wonderin’.
His dad had a similar issue, by the way. Curious.
Of course, who needs Rand Paul for the Tea Party to screw itself? They’ve got Tea Party leaders to do that.
Mark Williams, talk radio host and chairman of one of the largest tea party groups, Tea Party Express, was previously featured at LGF when he went on CNN and called Barack Obama an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug.”
That was right after he said that there were no racists at the tea party protests. Which is a perfect illustration of the blinding cognitive dissonance that drives the racist mentality; they’ll deny their racism in one sentence, then spout hate speech in the next.
Mark Williams is at it again, with some stunningly bigoted statements about Muslims at his blog: Tea Party Leader: Allah Is ‘Monkey God’.
This kind of talk is everywhere on the right wing blogs, of course, but what makes this case a bit different is that Williams is a leader of the tea party movement.
But remember, there are no racists or bigots or extremists at the tea parties. Just patriots a-skeered of losin’ their liberty.
I don’t think Rand Paul’s a racist. I think he’s horribly misguided. This misguided ideology, however, attracts bad company and it’s going to turn the Tea Party, arguably a movement that’s not really racist, into one that’s going to historically be seen as such anyway.