Thursday, May 20, 2010

Paul Family Values

Hey, guess what? The spawn of a right-wing racist is also a right-wing racist. I guess in a twisted way Rand Paul is actually better on race than his father. Ron Paul has taken an activist approach in advocating for his racist beliefs. Rand takes a more permissive approach though. He gives the usual tut-tutting of blatant racism and then goes directly to some esoteric philosophical discussion which serves to provide ideological cover for racism.

As usual read Ta-Nehisi Coates,

Rachel Maddow repeatedly raises lunch counters, and it would have really pleased me if Paul had just made the case for private sector discrimination. Frankly, I can see the outlines of the argument and am not totally unsympathetic to it. Indeed, I think there's a beautiful justice that's visited upon the random politician who, to this very day, is routinely exposed as belonging to a white country club. There's a kind of social sanction in that embarrassment that I don't think the law can bring. (That said, I trust the people who were actually there more than my own abstract theorizing.)

But what about red-lining? Does Paul know anything about blockbusting? Does he think banks should be able to have a policy of not lending to black businesses? Does he think real-estate agents should be able to discriminate? Does he think private homeowner groups should be able to band together and keep out blacks? Jews? Gays? Latinos?

I think there's this sense that it's OK to be ignorant about the Civil Rights Act because it's a "black issue." I'm not a lawyer, but my sense is that for a senator to be ignorant of the Civil Rights Act, is not simply to be ignorant of a "black issue," but to be ignorant of one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed. This isn't like not knowing the days of Kwanzaa, this is like not knowing what caused the Civil War. It's just embarrassing--except Paul is too ignorant to be embarrassed.

As Steve Benen noted every GOP candidate in the country should now be asked about the Civil Rights Act. I can only imagine what Ken Buck and Jane Norton will have to say.

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