s skippy the bush kangaroo: a-paul-ing

skippy the bush kangaroo



Friday, May 21, 2010

a-paul-ing

by now you have heard that rand paul, teabagger nominee for senator in kentucky, publically denounced a great majority of the civil rights act of 1964 on rachel maddow.

(to be technically fair, what dr. paul said was that the government should have no right to ensure that private organizations didn't discriminate on basis of race):
paul said he supports most of the 1964 civil rights act, but defended the right of the private sector to discriminate based on race, all while assuring maddow that he "would have marched with martin luther king." a day later he walked his comments back, grudgingly telling cnn's wolf blitzer that he'd have voted for the law, because "there was an overriding problem in the south so big that it did require federal intervention in the '60s."
now many places in blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase, have been tripping all over themselves to point out that dr. paul probably isn't a racist, just (pick one) misinformed, a purist to an untenable degree in reality, an extremist, naive, or stupid. even lefty sources are saying paul isn't a racist.

but amananda marcotte is having none of it. she says if you look at rand paul's overall philosophy, then, yes, he is an exclusionist:
i’m sure matt thinks he’s being pretty hard on rand paul by invoking the term “white supremacy” in his post, but he makes the same mistake that dave weigel does in rushing to reassure people that rand paul isn’t a racist so much as a hard core ideologue, and that surely his support of segregation is offered more in sorrow than in glee. this view ignores some pretty damning evidence about paul’s history and associations, but it also ignores the fact that “principled” libertarians who woefully say that they unfortunately have to promote racist policies against their own moral compass will abandon that principled libertarianism when it breaks in favor of reproductive rights. “principled” libertarianism only seems up to making those “hard” choices if oppressed people have to suffer the consequences. which is why i object to this line of thinking:

the point to make about paul, however, is that what he suffers from here is an excess of honesty and ideological rigor not an unusual degree of racism.
the abortion question alone makes it clear that paul doesn’t have an excess of ideological rigor, or even a bounty of it.

but i’m bothered more by the way that some liberal pundits approach libertarian arguments as if we’re all in some debate club or in a court of law at worst, and this is a matter of everyone presenting arguments to be judged on their supposed rigor and the implications of which don’t fall on the person making the arguments. conservatives particularly benefit from this mindset, which is why all of them come fully equipped with a willingness to scream “ad hominem” the second you suggest that making asshole arguments is evidence that the person making them is an asshole.
so paul doesn't get a pass from amanda (nor should he from any of us) for being an ideologue, simply because his ideas are (surprise, surprise!) conveniently advantageous to his race, gender and class.

a racist by any other name would still smell.
posted by skippy at 9:31 AM |

2 Comments:

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commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:52 AM PDT  
Ms. Marcotte is correct. This guy is nutty racist.
commented by Blogger libhom, 10:42 AM PDT  

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