It was never personal

There are those who think John and I are wrong to want to move the discussion of Rand Paul away from the topic of whether or not Rand Paul is a racist. Let me remind you: a few years ago, there was an extended back-and-forth between Bobo and Paul Krugman about the extent to which Reagan used racism to help himself politically. Republicans tried to deflect it into an argument about whether or not Reagan was racist himself and then trotted out old friends to say how much Reagan loved black people, had black best friends, didn’t see race at all, and so on.

But, you see, it doesn’t matter whether or not Reagan harbored racist feelings in his own heart, he gave his first post-convention speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi and talked about “states’ rights”. He talked about “strapping young bucks” buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. Reagan’s “actual feelings” about race matter about as much as Lindsey Graham’s “actual feelings” about health care reform.

Once things become personal, Republicans can wriggle off the hook. It’s just too easy to trot out black friends or at least stories about black friends and say “see, Rand Paul is not a racist, next question.” The last 40 years of American politics haven’t been destroyed by a bunch of dumb, racist crackers, they’ve been destroyed by cynical conservatives who were all too willing to manipulate dumb, racist crackers for political gain.

Rand Paul is a nut. But the focus has to be on his nutty political positions and the extent to which other Republicans also believe them (the denials have not been strong so far, aside from McConnell, who already hated Paul), not on his “actual feelings”. Republicans have made a lot of hay out of white fear over the past few decades. And now, to use their own words, it’s time to shove it down their throat.

Update. This is very smart:






277 replies
  1. 1
    Napoleon says:

    I 100% agree with that.

  2. 2
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Yes. As I said in one of the earlier threads (or at least I think I said it), there’s so many more implications to his philosophy that are just as nuts and easy to criticize, and don’t carry the potential baggage of calling him racist. That’s the stuff everyone should be focused on.

  3. 3
    freelancer says:

    The last 40 years of American politics haven’t been destroyed by a bunch of dumb, racist crackers, they’ve been destroyed by cynical conservatives who were all too willing to play on the fear of dumb, racist crackers for political gain.

    This. This. This. I have been slowly persuading one of my friends that it is all about cynicism with the GOP:

    Conservative fundraisers don’t mind ripping off conservative donors because they know that as long as they publically oppose the right things, they’ll never be called out on it. Most people have jobs, lives, and families and are too pre-occupied to really pay attention to politics in any meaningful way, and so, because the conventional wisdom is that the left in this country was mostly batshit insane from the mid-60s up until 1992, most voters trended toward the conservative side of politics.

    The hippie generation conflated anti-war sentiment with anti-american rhetoric, to the point where the political left in the US were the ones spitting on soldiers, blaming veterans for the government’s foreign policy. So, as a result, very sane people who are moral and kind hearted, but are otherwise busy living life, like my parents, and yours, they still support rightwing policies, because they grew up at a time when Republicans were sane, pragmatic, intellectual, and fact based, and it was the left who kept getting mired in emotional fantasy fever dreams of unattainable utopias. Take a quick look at the Republican Party Platform from 1956.

    Eisenhower would have been kicked the fuck out of today’s GOP and called a pussy communist.

    but the hardcore right, the low info hicks who eat this shit up on a daily basis, they don’t stand for anything, they just know what they vehemently hate because cynical corporate media repeatedly tell them that liberals and lefties hate America. They stand for freedom. There are people like my parents, and then there are people like my mom’s sister, Kim. She is batshit insane, talks about “Common Sense” constantly, is a huge Palin fan, and has spoken out loud to my parents and other people about her strong desire to kill president Obama. She and my uncle, during the summer apparently, they travel around the country like Deadheads, following Sean Hannity around to his Freedom Concerts. Right-wing islamophobic blogger Debbie Schlussel (who’s a rage troll in her own right) has done some homework on the financing of Hannity’s concerts and alleges that he’s a fraud. He claims that all proceeds go to veteran’s families, but in reality, very little money raised goes towards the charities named.

    The most egregious example of cynicism, to me, in a snapshot, is contained in the GOP’s official position on organized labor. The GOP hates unions, thinks they are bad for business (they’re bad for the CEO class of business, but make the workplace more democratic from the ground up). If you listen to talk radio for more than 2 days, inevitably you will hear some kvetching about “Union thugs”.

    Do a google search for “Union Thugs”
    When you look at their party positions, they absolutely despise reforms that are being proposed in order to make it so that workers can more easily form a union, but their stated reason for doing so is so that the unions are protected. They want to “protect the secret ballot” instead of offering a second option called Card Check. The reform wouldn’t eliminate one in favor of the other, it would offer the option of one or the other. Their claim, on paper, is standing behind the unions and protecting American workers, when really, they want to strip labor of every strength they can manage to get away with. They know this. Unions and their members know this, but it’s a charade that they still go through because the non-union American voting public doesn’t know anything otherwise. There’s a lot of cynicism rampant in American Politics, and I see a lot of it emerging on the anti-Obama left too, but the Right has it mastered, and the professional journalism career path is almost the most craven of all, in that they cover the “horse race” of politics, and ignore policy and relevant facts.

    And it’s working, their mask is slipping.

  4. 4
    Pete says:

    Yes yes YES!

    There couldn’t be a better articulation of why this is one of the first sites I read in the morning!

  5. 5
    Brian J says:

    The last 40 years of American politics haven’t been destroyed by a bunch of dumb, racist crackers, they’ve been destroyed by cynical conservatives who were all too willing to manipulate dumb, racist crackers for political gain.

    This.

    Seriously, that is pretty much exactly how I feel. It also perfectly describes a big part of how conservatives came to power.

    As for Rand Paul, I think it can be stripped down to a simple calculation. He obviously feels that which comes from the Civil Rights Act(s) is less important than any sort of infringement on the right of a private person or organization from expressing his or its beliefs. Feeling this way doesn’t necessarily make him a racist, but it does mean he’s going to tolerate the ugliness that comes from allowing one person to discriminate against another because of the potential for something really bad, however unclear, from happening. And in some ways, that’s worse than outright racism.

  6. 6
    Tom Hilton says:

    Once things become personal, Republicans can wriggle off the hook.

    This. Exactly. Which is why Republicans are always trying to shift any discussion of racism to that ground.

  7. 7
    inkadu says:

    Rand Paul is much more dangerous than a racist — he’s a libertarian. Racism is a minor flaw in reality testing compared to utopian mania of libertarianism.

    Hopefully Rand Paul will be the public’s introduction to libertarianism. Most people summarize libertarianism as “small government conservatism” or “fiscally conservative, socially liberal,” without realizing how batshit it really is.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    I’m in whole-hearted agreement, such so that I and others have been making these precise points in previous threads. I.e., Reagan wasn’t a racist, he was just launching his campaign in Mississippi by talking about “states’ rights”, denouncing the endorsement he had just received from the KKK, and talked (and had talked) about black welfare queens driving Cadillacs and strapping young bucks buying T-bone steaks with their welfare cash to appeal to racist voters, which is of course totally different, so what we need to focus on is not what politicians do and how their actions affect people, but, what’s in their heart.

    Phil Gramm didn’t want in his heart to destroy the U.S. economy with reckless deregulation, he just wanted to increase entrepreneurial freedom. Reagan’s cold warriors didn’t want to facilitate a genocide against Guatemalan Mayans, it just happened as a consequence of them funding & training & arming & advising & protecting the genocidalists because they were thinking about the horrors of Soviet communism.

  9. 9
    Neutron Flux says:

    Smart if you are the stategist for the DNCC.

    This, however is a blog, where folks get to give their opinion. The back and forth, the exchange of ideas.

    I do not know how your lecture on how we should think is helpful.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    @Brian J:

    The last 40 years of American politics haven’t been destroyed by a bunch of dumb, racist crackers, they’ve been destroyed by cynical conservatives who were all too willing to manipulate dumb, racist crackers for political gain.

    Well, as long as they were just doing so for electoral gain as opposed to in their hearts being truly racist, it’s okay.

    Just like the Southern legal defenders of actual segregation weren’t doing so because of racist reasons, but because they wanted to help their own states’ slow efforts to bring equality between blacks & whites without federal judicial oppression upsetting the delicate social balance achieved in those wonderful Southern political systems. Sure, they might have seemed like they were ardently defending a blatantly racist and oppressive governing system, but that wasn’t what was in their pure white hearts.

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    @El Cid:

    Yes, I saw those comments — they are the motivation for this post.

  12. 12
    Alex S. says:

    @inkadu:

    I don’t know… I’m beginning to think that Rand Paul is as much a libertarian as he is a racist.

  13. 13
    aimai says:

    I don’t know, its not an either/or. Racism isn’t less awful because its not accompanied by an ugly leer and a tendency to tell lynching jokes. We do a serious disservice to the discussion by allowing Republicans to insist that Racism is so awful that no normal, nice, grandpa like guy can be guilty of it. Just the way they go balistic when you describe a law that is identical to one passed under Hitler as “hitlerian” and start screaming that no one was ever that bad *but* Hitler. There’s a whole lot of racist stuff that goes on that doesn’t include being personally mean to the one black person you know socially.

    Look, I agree that as far as right wingers and moderate right voters are concerned “racism” is a toxic charge. But that doesn’t mean we have to drop the word. We have to work harder to explore just how laws, norms, and statements can be racist even while the people espousing them seem really nice. The toxicity of the charge and its political difficulty arises not because right wingers aren’t racist but because they *are* racist in a way that relates specifically to america’s history of race/class melding. Racism against blacks is what makes ethnic whites white, and not merely Irish, or Italian, or German and not at each other’s throats over the few goodies the upper class scatters before them. They aren’t averse to being called racist because liberals think racist is a bad word. They don’t like to be called racist because almost from the get to they have been organized around and through racist principles which they are secretly proud of, and devoted to. Its one of the tenets of white racism in america that its *perfectly reasonable*–its a natural response to real differences in class, culture, heritage. The right wing insists that racism/ethnic pride are one and the same and that white liberals and blacks feel the same way but are too political and partisan to admit it.

    Rand Paul is probably both a racist–he’s certainly supported by Storm Front and his father was a bircher–and he’s also a propertarian. Really, Paul’s philosophy is pretty clearly one that priviliges people with money and power over people without money, who don’t own businesses. The rubes who love him fail to understand that stripping the government out of business regulation on civil rights issues (yay! no more blacks at dinner!) is just the first step to stripping government out of white men’s workplaces (yay! even more black lung! yay! my job will be taken by an eleven year old girl!) In Rand Paul’s world money talks and poor people walk. The race stuff is just a cover for the anti government/pro business philosophy. And in the real world its just as easy for a black person to become white and so get all the goods and services he needs as it is for a working class person to just up and start a hugely successful corporation whose liberties Rand Paul will suddenly choose to defend.

    aimai

  14. 14

    It’s just too easy to trot out black friends or at least stories about black friends and say “see, Rand Paul is not a racist, next question.”

    Unless you’re aware the “My Black Friend” switcheroo is utter bullshit, that is.

    Really, who’d fall for that crap?

  15. 15
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Agreed. But you guys kinda threw it out there with the ‘he’s not racist’ thing and ‘is he or isn’t he racist’ thing. If this had been the first post I read on the whole Rand Paul issue (and he is an issue to me), it would have made the other Rand threads less…frustrating. The issue should be that the GOP is perfectly comfortable with promoting institutionalized racism as a plank for the rest of their policies. (And to get votes).

    @inkadu: I am comfortable with saying that being a racist is not a minor flaw in comparison to anything, especially when policies have been made by entire groups of racists.

    @aimai: Ditto this. It’s what I said in an earlier thread. One can be racist and using racial bullshit to propel one’s other beliefs.

  16. 16
    Alex says:

    @Alex S.:

    He’s totally pro-life and anti-gay marriage. He is not a libertarian.

  17. 17
    mainsailset says:

    I hadn’t realized Palin could change outfits that fast, cause Paul is sounding just as unhinged as her and I’m beginning to suspect they are one in the same.

  18. 18
    DougJ says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    Uh, you are aware that there is an invention called television? And that on it, they show “Morning Joe”.

  19. 19
    Tonal Crow says:

    Paul just flip-flopped, saying that he now supports the 1964 Civil Rights Act and would have voted for it.

    Huge whine about “political correctness” and “liberalofascist media” coming in 5…4…3…2…1.

  20. 20
    AxelFoley says:

    @El Cid:

    Just like the Southern legal defenders of actual segregation weren’t doing so because of racist reasons, but because they wanted to help their own states’ slow efforts to bring equality between blacks & whites without federal judicial oppression upsetting the delicate social balance achieved in those wonderful Southern political systems. Sure, they might have seemed like they were ardently defending a blatantly racist and oppressive governing system, but that wasn’t what was in their pure white hearts.

    Bingo.

  21. 21
    Alex S. says:

    @Alex:

    Yep, that’s what I meant. He just uses their votes and enthusiasm.

  22. 22
    Martin says:

    Nicely said.

  23. 23
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Rand Paul is a nut. But the focus has to be on his nutty political positions and the extent to which other Republicans also believe them (the denials have not been strong so far, aside from McConnell, who already hated Paul), not on his “actual feelings”. Republicans have made a lot of hay out of white fear over the past few decades. And now, to use their own words, it’s time to shove it down their throat.

    This is why I was pretty pissed about Cole saying “But I think it is unfair to tar Paul as racist, because I don’t think anything in those videos gives me any ideas into his personal opinion about people of color.”

    You have someone who thinks the Fair Housing Act is a sham and speaks of it thusly:

    Decisions concerning private property and associations should in a free society be unhindered. As a consequence, some associations will discriminate.

    You’re telling me you don’t know how this guy feels about minorities and other vulnerable segments of society?

  24. 24
    Fern says:

    I don’t think it is all that useful to call people racists. But speech and actions and policies? Absolutely.

  25. 25
    RSR says:

    I don’t think the apparatus or even a lot of the rank-and-file are racist. I believe they’re classist, and that allows them to facilitate racists while also having “clean” and “well-spoken” people of color as party chairs or sec. of state.

  26. 26
    LT says:

    Hold on – John’s first paragrpah:

    I watched the videos of Paul yesterday, and as DougJ noted, there is a full-on village freak-out going on. But I think it is unfair to tar Paul as racist, because I don’t think anything in those videos gives me any ideas into his personal opinion about people of color. If anything, in that regard, they would seem to me to be exculpatory as regards to any charge of racism.

    How is that “mov[ing] the discussion of Rand Paul away from the topic of whether or not Rand Paul is a racist”?

  27. 27
    LT says:

    And you wrote:

    Rand Paul probably isn’t a racist—his reasons for opposing the Civil Rights act are likely intellectual, if misguided. But make no mistake: his position has a lot of appeal to people who are racists.

    Same question.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    There’s nothing new about this.

    American elite power politics continually demand that we pay attention to leaders’ hearts and intentions and what they wanted to do.

    The two policy areas this has been most clear in have been domestic financial and other deregulation, and foreign policy.

    In foreign policy it literally doesn’t matter how many darkies you blow apart and how many societies you destroy and how many periods of starvation and famine you set off and how many decades of warlord chaos hell you put a nation into, what matters is what you wanted and aimed to do.

    Henry Kissinger and the U.S. foreign policy establishment didn’t hate Cambodians, after all, he and they just carpet bombed their nation, killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands directly, turned their villages into craters, destroyed so much agriculture it caused a collapse into famine, and then brought the formerly marginal lunatic Khmer Rouge into power and fostered a genocide.

    You see, Kissinger et al said they just wanted to fight communism and successfully in the Vietnam war, so, done!

    The decades and decades of U.S. backed slaughterhouse tyranny in Central and South America weren’t actually evil because our political leaders said they were just scared of Soviet and Chinese communism, so, you know, their hearts were in the right place, and we should care deeply about what their intentions were, and afterward express our regret at how unfortunately things worked out.

    Yeah it was brutal and often murderous, but nobody really said they wanted to have all these millions killed and imprisoned and tortured and starve to death, so, obviously, nobody wanted that!

    With people and movements hated by the establishment, no amount of assumption of calumny need be spared. When it comes to the powerful, suddenly it’s all “never assume malice instead of stupidity” and all.

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    @El Cid: I really don’t think Rand Paul holds an personal animus for the handicapped, but he would still do away with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Saying Paul hates the handicapped is not only inaccurate, it makes the person making the claim look stupid. Why let him off the hook for believing something stupid?

  30. 30
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @LT:

    How is that “mov[ing] the discussion of Rand Paul away from the topic of whether or not Rand Paul is a racist”?

    It’s not. And I think DougJ misstates the criticism he and John received earlier when he phrases it this way:

    There are those who think John and I are wrong to want to move the discussion of Rand Paul away from the topic of whether or not Rand Paul is a racist.

    I don’t really think that’s what people were saying. I think it was more of an argument that you cannot carve out some kind of exception for policies that produces systemic discrimination just because they happen to be libertarian policies. One does not excuse the other.

  31. 31
    BethanyAnne says:

    Your earlier post about racialism and tribalism was something I’ve railed about for a while. I see it in queer groups – for those of us on the edges of gender identity and expression. It seems that the first thing a group does is dump all over the other groups. Been a source of frustration for years. Deeply annoying to see an oppressed group desperately searching for a way to oppress someone themselves.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:

    @LT:

    I should have said “it doesn’t matter if he is a racist, this appeals to racists”.

  33. 33
    Brian J says:

    @El Cid:

    I’d say Phill Gramm has the upper hand here. His argument was more theoretical in nature, built on assumptions about the way the world works. I won’t try to say that I understand it all, but there was a legitimate, if heavily flawed (as it appears to be), philosophical underpinning to it.

    On the other hand, by claiming that was arguing for some version of states’ rights, Reagan was using a coward’s excuse for why he was getting into bed with the racists.

  34. 34
    r€nato says:

    Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding

    This is where the party ends
    I can’t stand here listening to you
    And your racist friend
    I know politics bore you
    But I feel like a hypocrite talking to you
    And your racist friend

  35. 35
    El Cid says:

    And ‘blaming’ ACORN for Obama’s election and Jimmy Carter’s CRA for creating our economic collapse because it forced banks to give hundreds of billions of dollars worth of free homes to black people, that’s not shouted all over right wing talk radio because the hosts are personally racist, they just say that because they know it will appeal to many of their listeners’ paranoid racist viewpoints, so, really, it’s okay.

  36. 36
    BethanyAnne says:

    OMG, I used the racia^insert drug name^ word. Now I’m in moderation. Freaking filter.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    This. Exactly. Thank you.

  38. 38
    J.W. Hamner says:

    To me the point is not racism, but how insane and unworkable libertarianism is as a governing philosophy.

  39. 39
    LT says:

    @DougJ: Well, I think they both matter.

    The problem I had with John’s angle is – why move away from the real horribleness of what he said to a discussion of whether he’s a racist or not at all? This is a big exaggeration, but it’s like saying, “Yeah, but I don’t necessarily think it means OJ hates women.”

    Again, huge exaggeration, and I think both you and John DO want to move the discussion in a more useful direction, but that just confused things.

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    @El Cid:

    Who is saying any of this is “okay”? Quite the opposite. A few idiots in trailer parks hating on other races is not so terrible, an entire political movement based on stirring up racism is. You’re reading me wrong.

  41. 41
    Brian J says:

    @El Cid:

    Isn’t the ACORN part true, though? /snark

  42. 42
    Kirk Spencer says:

    The essence of randian libertarianism is altruistic anarchism. “I don’t like it, but we should have no law that makes people stop doing it” is the sum total.

    Now, Rand Paul and his father aren’t pure randian libertarians. They think there should be restrictions on abortion, and they think businesses should get an even better break than they get just from the power of their money. But beyond that, they’re still pretty close to the core.

    Barter and strength of arm plus a misguided belief that everyone would rather trade than take and that’ll make everything turn out right makes for great dystopias but lousy realities.

  43. 43
    Anonymous37 says:

    This is a slight derail, but Rand Paul has been saying that he personally abhors racism and would oppose any establishment which would refuse to serve blacks.

    So when exactly did the Bowling Green Country Club admit its first non-white member?

  44. 44
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @MikeJ:

    I really don’t think Rand Paul holds an personal animus for the handicapped, but he would still do away with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    __
    Saying Paul hates the handicapped is not only inaccurate, it makes the person making the claim look stupid. Why let him off the hook for believing something stupid?

    I think the way your phrasing that claim is completely dishonest. The man doesn’t think the ADA is a justifiable law. Period. That is a fact. He is objectively against handicap individuals having the same access to buildings as non-handicap individuals. Again, how does a person claiming “Rand Paul doesn’t like handicap people and wants to do away with the ADA” look stupid when it’s the goddamn truth?! I get it, someone can get off the hook because you’ve personalized the argument, and now they can run around crying about their poor little fee-fees. But what if the personalized argument is accurate?

    I know I wouldn’t feel like an idiot saying that a candidate for the U.S. Senate who thought the ADA was a severe governmental overreach “hated the handicap.” He is actively attempting to place more burdens on their life. How is hammering him for this fact “letting him off the hook?” That just doesn’t make any fucking sense if it’s actually true.

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    @Midnight Marauder: He does know about them, but he thinks that communities will find the equilibrium that they desire. And that’s part of his point. Since there will always be some discrimination (even if it’s Tiffany’s refusing to help a homeless person) then there’s point discriminating on the discrimination – let each community choose the level of discrimination they are comfortable with. Arizona might discriminate against Latinos, Utah against gays, maybe some community against non-Jews.

    He’s saying that discrimination will happen, so let it happen even if it happens against whites, and let the local community (free market) sort it out. That’s pretty classic libertarianism. It’s bullshit, because that describes how the world worked pre-1964, but that’s what they believe. It’s precisely the same argument they roll out against regulation. Not at all different and requires no inherent discrimination at all – just a toleration of discrimination. Of course, it always a little bit easier for WASPs to say that…

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    @Brian J: I don’t think Gramm has the upper hand at all. The arguments were a bunch of shit, as well as deception. Straight out nonsense propaganda, stated as though they were some sort of correct modernization of regulations with necessary protections when they were nothing of the sort, just wild, abandoned deregulation.

    His wife wasn’t the head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and acting in the interests of Enron and then resigning to take a position on the board of Enron by some sort of ‘real world’ philosophical argument, and Gramm didn’t push through rules to completely protect the sorts of Enron activities his wife allowed based on any worthy philosophy, no more than when Gramm was a Democratic Texas representative spying on budget debates for Reagan Republicans.

    I don’t care whether or not people find an abstract discussion of industry freedom from wrong and inefficient regulations interesting — that’s not what was done.

  47. 47
    BombIranForChrist says:

    And just to be crassly political, I think it’s great to have a discussion about the Civil Rights Act, because there will be a lot of libertarians, teabaggers, etc. who will stand up and say, you what, Rand Paul is right, and the average citizen won’t understand the nuance of Paul’s stand. They will simply come to the conclusion that these people are fucking nuts. I am speaking mostly of independents here, not to mention moderate Republicans and Blue Dog democrats. If they want to have this debate, let’s have it. Between Arizona and this stuff, the Republicans will be the white only party for the next 100-200 years, and this will be their doom.

    Also, I dropped a deuce in my driveway today, as a shout out to Rand’s respect for the sovereignty of me when I am on my propertah.

  48. 48
    Gregory says:

    There are those who think John and I are wrong to want to move the discussion of Rand Paul away from the topic of whether or not Rand Paul is a racist.

    Whether Rand Paul is personally a racist is both irrelevant and distracting — distracting, in fact, in a way that serves conservative framing.

    Rand Paul, racist or not, espouses racist and generally crappy policies, period, full stop.

  49. 49
    Comrade Luke says:

    Phil Nugent has an excellent post on this today.

    It’s easy, looking back from a modern vantage point, to think that you’d have supported the civil rights movement back in 1964, and even easier to like to think that you would have done that; the alternative, after all, is to think that you’d have been on the side of Bull Conner, or at best, been one of the cringing masses sitting at home watching the whole thing play out on your TV set, waiting to find out which side you’d wind up pretending to have supported all along. (Nobody would like to think that!) But if Paul is really grateful for the gains made by the civil rights movement, he must know that he’s grateful for something that he thinks is wrong, or that at least was wrongly handled. It’s not a question of being a racist; it’s about how far you want to take your belief that government is the bad guy and the individual should be left alone to do what he likes.
    ___
    Right now, it’s considered unfashionable to ever take the side of the government over the individual; it’s been that way for at least forty years, since Ronald Reagan rolled into town and declared the ’60s a toxic waste dump. But the civil rights movement remains the crowning proof that, sometimes, government intervention is the only way we have of stopping individuals from giving in to their worst instincts and ideas of tradition in a way that damages the moral character and retards the progress of the country as a whole. In an especially brain-damaged episode of his TV show Bullshit!, one-man libertarian freak show Penn Jillette, howling about the injustice of handicapped parking spaces, bellowed that “Decency cannot be legislated!” That’s the core logic of any “common sense” argument against government attempts to rectify social injustices or level the playing field, and many of the people who reflexively nod their heads to it have never put it together that it’s an argument against anti-discrimination or desegregation, which were outlawed for the simple reason that they weren’t right: racism, institutional or otherwise, is indecent, and King was able to turn public opinion on his side by making a majority of white Americans feel dirty because of what they were complicit in, as well they should have.

    It’s a really long post but well worth the read.

  50. 50
    El Cid says:

    @DougJ: I didn’t say you had that perspective. I’m addressing this bullshit argument I’ve heard over and over and over all my life on how it’s not so much what public figures do, such as supporting racist policies, it’s whether or not they’re personally racist. I’ve already heard right wingers on talk radio going off on how this is all about libruls accusing Rand Paul of personally being racist. This is what they do, this is how this sort of disgusting crap is continually excused when it comes to the behavior of right wingers in national debate. And only for right wingers.

  51. 51
    ericblair says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    To me the point is not racism, but how insane and unworkable libertarianism is as a governing philosophy.

    Yup. I don’t see how being an anti-human ideologue is any better. If you have a very clear ideology, and the results of that ideology cause the perfectly avoidable, widespread suffering of actual people, and your response is a shrug, I don’t want you anywhere near power. Religious, social, or economic ideology is the real problem, not whether black people make Rand feel all oogy.

  52. 52
    Jrod says:

    All debate about racism in this country has been rendered useless by an insistence that racism is a state of being, rather than an institution. Not only that, but the standard for what counts as racist keeps rising. Anything less than stretching out some brown necks gets a pass.

    Michael Richards screams the N-word fifty times at a black guy who heckles him? Well, he’s not a racist, he was just trying to be make a joke that the PC police didn’t like! Rand Paul wants to repeal the CRA? Well, he’s not a racist, he’s just so principled that he’s willing to sacrifice black folk’s right to participate in society, if that’s what it takes for us to be free! Flying a Confederate battle flag over your house? Well, that’s not racist, it just shows pride in whatever parts of the Confederacy that didn’t revolve around owning black people as chattel.

    You know that racists are having their fun this way, now that they’ve pushed down the definition of a racist so it can’t include anyone who doesn’t plainly state, in writing and notarized, exactly how much they hate negroes. Rushbo is a prime example of this bullshit: make a statement that, f’rinstance, Donovan McNabb is only getting attention for being black, and not for being , y’know, one of the best QBs playing the game right now. Then, when people get angry about it, Rush can get angry right back, because gosh, he didn’t say anything bad about black people, and isn’t this just like those PC race baiters to twist his words like that.

    Meanwhile, Rush knows he’s a racist, his fans sure as hell know he’s a racist, everyone who heard or read what he said can tell it was based on racism, but since he didn’t meet the standard media-centric definition of racist, i.e. “person who wears a white hood while burning a cross on the local ni-‘s lawn,” out media has to pretend that we can’t really be sure of what he meant.

    Of course, this level of bullshit in our fading republic doesn’t only apply to racism, but I’ve gotten away from my original point.

    Who fucking cares how racist any individual is? Ok, it’s important on a personal level, assuming you don’t want Klansmen as friends. But in the bigger picture, all that really matters are the institutions. Can black people vote, can they freely take part in civil society, do they face constraints that white people don’t; these are the important issues. This is why we shouldn’t have any qualms about calling Paul a racist: his preferred policy would result in black people being denied full access to society.

    Worrying about what truly lies within his heart of hearts is wankery. It doesn’t matter, unless you were hoping to be his BFF or were thinking about hiring him as your PR or HR director.

    In other words, if I had to choose to vote for either a guy with the Confederate flag tattooed across his chest, but who would still support anti-discriminatory policy, or a guy who spends his free time volunteering for inner-city school children, but whose oh-so-deeply held convictions make him support policy that would lead to worse discrimination, the choice would be easy. I’d write in Santa Claus. But I’d hope for a victory for flag-boy.

  53. 53

    You might try to understand that the charge of racist against an individual is pointless if the charge really is that their policies have racist outcomes and they don’t care in the service of their ideology. Which one is actually more damning? Which one also serves the issue of, say, mine safety? “Fuck you I got mine,” is damning across a whole lot of divides that get missed in the “Racist!” furor.

    I’d like to see this guy get stomped like an obnoxious bug, even in KY. I have no intention of handing “liberal media race card” to something where there is a better and more effective way to do it. I’d also like to see character assassination happen where there is a verifiable target to shoot at. I don’t want these creeps – Libertarians, Teabaggers, GOPers – to have any out.

    I want the discussion to be about outcomes, I want to smack them over the head with what they claim as their core beliefs whether I think racism is behind it or not.

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    He is actively attempting to place more burdens on their life. How is hammering him for this fact “letting him off the hook?”

    But the libertarian argument would be that he’s not actively attempting to place burdens on them. He saying that the ADA actively places burdens on businesses to accomodate the handicapped (arguably true) whether or not the handicapped demand it. His argument is that if the handicapped demand it, they’ll find a way to monetize that demand by boycotting the business, getting their friends and neighbors to, and so on and that the end result will be precisely the same as the ADA without the federal burden being placed ‘arbitrarily’.

    I totally disagree with that position because it’s simply not realistic, but in Star Trek where they have no money or salary and everyone does things for purely philanthropic reasons, it’d totally work.

  55. 55
    Brian J says:

    @El Cid:

    I don’t think you got my point, but it doesn’t really matter.

  56. 56
    SectarianSofa says:

    DougJ and John Cole et al.– you guys are writing about the Rand Paul stuff better than anyone today.

    Must be the right combination praxis and theory, or something.
    The TPM posts are better than usual today, too.

    Off-topic — I haven’t read Sullivan’s blog since the Kagan gay-coverup freakout. Fortunately, the volume of good stuff here makes up for it.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:

    I’m not in favor of killing miners, and I never would do so personally, I’m just in favor of legislation and regulatory orders and regulatory staffing which would lead to miners being killed. There’s an important difference.

  58. 58
    cat48 says:

    I’m sticking with Maya Angelou on this one:

    When someone shows you who they are, believe them!

    and of course Obama:

    White House Says Rand Paul’s Civil Rights Talk Paul’sCivilRights ‘Shouldn’t Have a Place in Our Political Dialogue in 2010’

    Basically, this is what was so shocking to me personally. In 2010, right here on public TV, he’s disagreeing with settled law. The friggin Civil Rights Act and the friggin Americans with Disabilities Act. Get over it Dude. It’s staying and I hope it infringes on you the rest of your natural life! Enough from the White Power groups who are “Coming to take their government back.” Have to win the General Election first, white guy!/rant over

  59. 59
    Cat Lady says:

    I’m so fucking sick of everyone couching racism, racist attitudes, and racial insensitivity in anodyne terms like libertarianism, or teabaggers, or small government conservatives, or deficit hawks, when it’s always about the aggrieved priveleged whites denying minorities access to the government teat that they enjoy and feel entitled to because it’s “their” country. Enough of that shit. They should just put on their white hoods and call them niggers, because all of the dog whistles of the past have finally worked. The dogs have come running, they’re wagging their tails and barking, and want to see what’s coming next. All the code words like libertarianism and states rights are not enough to keep the pack at bay now. Red meat is demanded, and I fear what that means.

  60. 60
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Martin:

    He’s saying that discrimination will happen, so let it happen even if it happens against whites, and let the local community (free market) sort it out. That’s pretty classic libertarianism. It’s bullshit, because that describes how the world worked pre-1964, but that’s what they believe. It’s precisely the same argument they roll out against regulation. Not at all different and requires no inherent discrimination at all – just a toleration of discrimination. Of course, it always a little bit easier for WASPs to say that…

    To be fair, that’s not what he’s saying anymore:

    Blitzer later asked if a private business like Woolworth’s should have had the right to segregate its lunch counter.
    __
    “I think that there was an overriding problem in the South that was so big that it did require federal intervention in the 60s,” Paul said. “There was a need for federal intervention.”

    A need for federal intervention. Again, I have no doubts that Rand Paul believes all the bullshit he spouts about governmental overreaches. So for him to say this–and so early in his general election campaign–is a site to behold. The teabaggers and glibertarians are going to eat him alive. I mean, just listen to how excited they were when Rand first came out swinging:

    Walter Block, a libertarian professor of economics at Loyola University, and a senior fellow with the libertarian Ludwig Von Mises Institute, went further. “I think anyone who doesn’t believe that isn’t a libertarian,” he said, calling Paul’s comment “a very mainstream libertarianism.”
    __
    “I’m delighted that Rand Paul said that,” an enthusiastic Block added. “I think it’s magnificent. I didn’t realize that he was that good.”

    By all means, let’s have this debate. Let’s have this debate every fucking day, all the way up until November.

    @BombIranForChrist:

    And just to be crassly political, I think it’s great to have a discussion about the Civil Rights Act, because there will be a lot of libertarians, teabaggers, etc. who will stand up and say, you what, Rand Paul is right, and the average citizen won’t understand the nuance of Paul’s stand. They will simply come to the conclusion that these people are fucking nuts.

    And circle gets the square.

  61. 61

    @Neutron Flux:

    I do not know how your lecture on how we should think is helpful.

    I agree.

    Although I do believe that nobody can dictate what I think. Others can, however, control what I say. If I let them.

    Why should I let them?

    To the hosts of BJ:
    I will continue asking you if you are smoking crack if you write total nonsense. Or even if you are merely illogical, because I know you can do better. And if you don’t like it, you can ignore me, argue with me, or block me.

    Love,

    Me.

  62. 62
    cat48 says:

    I’m sticking with Maya Angelou on this one:

    When someone shows you who they are, believe them!

    and of course Obama:

    White House Says Rand Paul’s Civil Rights Talk

    ‘Shouldn’t Have a Place in Our Political Dialogue in 2010’

    Basically, this is what was so shocking to me personally. In 2010, right here on public TV, he’s disagreeing with settled law. The friggin Civil Rights Act and the friggin Americans with Disabilities Act. Get over it Dude. It’s staying and I hope it infringes on you the rest of your natural life! Enough from the White Power groups who are “Coming to take their government back.” Have to win the General Election first, white guy!/rant over

  63. 63
    SectarianSofa says:

    The B-J Commentariat is also doing an adequate job today, though I question why so many people here use these ridiculous ‘handles’.
    My own research — my personal investigations on the subject — have been leading m with near-certainty to the conclusion that the Founding Fathers did not use such contrivances in their own disquisitions. That one guy excluded.

  64. 64
    maus says:

    @cat48:

    Get over it Dude.

    And his new whistle-narrative is that it’s our fault for getting angry, we “brought it up”. As in, he’s just asking questions, guys! Why do you have to think about RACE when i discuss race (without discussing white privilege)? You’re just not being post-racial enough, obviously. Perhaps… it is liberals who are the true bigots hrmm?

    At least it’s making a few media pundits feel queasy. Not enough to change anything, but we’ve hit a soft, squishy wall.

  65. 65
    maus says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    A need for federal intervention.

    Yes, but that implies that he thinks it should have been dropped right after. Which is something Republicans have always said about protections. Oh, we don’t need this anymore, see how Xpolicy hurts the white man? He’s not sincere.

  66. 66
    Dannie22 says:

    @ Jrod: I agree

  67. 67
    El Cid says:

    I agree that this is another stunning example of the permanent Republican majority’s ethnic outreach committee.

    We just need a prominent Republican to clarify that while he’s all in favor of women’s rights, and now agrees with settled law, he would have opposed the 19th Amendment giving women the vote, but not because he’s in any way sexist, he just didn’t think it was right for the federal government to force its way into states’ voting policies.

  68. 68
    matoko_chan says:

    There are those who think John and I are wrong to want to move the discussion of Rand Paul away from the topic of whether or not Rand Paul is a racist.

    No, I think you both need to acknowledge Rand Paul IS a racist.
    His claim to be a libertarian is wholly invalidated by his position on anti-abortion legislation. Since he is NOT actually motivated by libertarian principles he must be motivated by race.
    quod erat demonstrandum.

    and yes, it is a GOOD THING to openly question Paul on race, or AllahP and NRO will bury the whole thing in a perfect snowdrift of spin.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    Racism isn’t less awful because its not accompanied by an ugly leer and a tendency to tell lynching jokes. We do a serious disservice to the discussion by allowing Republicans to insist that Racism is so awful that no normal, nice, grandpa like guy can be guilty of it.

    But that’s generally not what they argue. They argue that nice grandpa can’t be a racist because he has black friends/a black grandchild/loves Bill Cosby.

    That’s what the right-wingers have been so spectacularly successful in doing the past 40 years: making it all about racist people and/or feelings and not racist actions. They then use that loophole to try and wiggle out of taking responsibility for their racist actions — I can’t possibly be a racist because I don’t have a white hood in my closet, so therefore what I did couldn’t have been racist because only racists do racist things.

    In other words, what Fern said.

  70. 70
    DougJ says:

    @SectarianSofa:

    Thanks.

  71. 71
    soonergrunt says:

    So you’re saying that the Pauls, like Reagan, are even more despicable people becuase it’s all a contrivance?

  72. 72
    DougJ says:

    @Jrod:

    Worrying about what truly lies within his heart of hearts is wankery.

    Yes.

  73. 73
    matoko_chan says:

    @cat48: cat, that would be…

    When someone shows you who they are, believe them!
    The first time.

    Cole and DougJ seem to wanna give Paul a do over.
    :)

  74. 74
    DougJ says:

    @soonergrunt:

    No, it’s terrible because of its effect. And for that reason, Paul can’t compare to Reagan or Atwater.

  75. 75
    DarrenG says:

    Ezra Klein also had a good post earlier today on why the “is he racist?” obsession is a harmful distraction.

    Paul is a True Believer who rejects history and empiricism in his beliefs on property rights and the role of government, and this takes him way out to the extreme edges on many key political issues like mine safety, offshore drilling regulation, minimum wage law, and tons of other areas above and beyond anti-discrimination laws.

    This dovetails with what DougJ and John are saying, and is why narrowing the discussion to racism is a bad idea. Since it appears he believes markets and free individuals will solve all social ills on their own and result in a better society, get him on the record in as many areas of this as possible, continually asking for an example of markets self-correcting any social ill, anywhere, at any time.

  76. 76
    WereBear says:

    I thank the FSM that maybe, just maybe, the crazy has reached a point where the oblivious independent voter has noticed it.

  77. 77
    stuckinred says:

    Somehow you all are assuming this is going to hurt him in Kentucky?

  78. 78
    Jrod says:

    @maus: Indeed. The left probably thought they scored a great victory when disgust towards racism became nearly universal. Unfortunately, those who are invested in white supremacy simply latched onto whatever other issue they could find that would allow them to keep the other down, without actually mentioning race.

    We should not have been surprised. Even Jim Crow laws never mentioned race, they talked about literacy tests and grandfather laws.

    Another effect of this is that people are now fully capable of being goddam racists, but since they’ve internalized that racism is bad and aren’t interested in any self-reflection, they just know that they can’t really be racist because they aren’t bad. These clueless types are prone to saying racist shit because they don’t actually understand what racism is, only that it’s very very bad. And the people who call them out for saying racist shit are really just saying that they’re bad, but they’re not bad. These sorts can really identify with poor Rand Paul, getting called a racist when they’re clearly not a pure evil caricature straight out of a cheesy cartoon.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jrod:

    Who fucking cares how racist any individual is? Ok, it’s important on a personal level, assuming you don’t want Klansmen as friends. But in the bigger picture, all that really matters are the institutions. Can black people vote, can they freely take part in civil society, do they face constraints that white people don’t; these are the important issues. This is why we shouldn’t have any qualms about calling Paul a racist: his preferred policy would result in black people being denied full access to society.

    I was with you right up to that final line, because I really don’t think it serves a purpose to call Paul “a” racist. It puts it back on the right-winger’s ground and lets them debate what’s “really” in his heart and how he’s such a nice guy and all of that bullshit.

    Rand Paul supports racist policies. It doesn’t matter what his personal feelings are towards anyone, he supports racist (and anti-disabled, and anti-woman) policies. He needs to explain why he supports those racist policies, not how much he really loves black people.

  80. 80
    bemused says:

    @maus:
    Rand really does seem put out that everyone is bugging him to be clear. He reminds me of John Stossel who gets all pissy if people don’t just can’t see how brilliant his views are.

  81. 81
    Cat Lady says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I think that’s right – they’re more despicable because they know better. The dog whistling is done because the dog whistlers know they can’t say nigger in polite company, so they feel they have to be sneaky. They know that they’re preying on ignorance. It’s despicable.

    ETA: I don’t give Paul half the credit that DougJ does. I don’t think Paul is that intellectually naive or a policy wanker. At all.

  82. 82
    BethanyAnne says:

    Fine, I’ll repost the damned thing

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Your earlier post about rasci^omgdrugname^m and tribalism was something I’ve railed about for a while. I see it in queer groups – for those of us on the edges of gender identity and expression. It seems that the first thing a group does is dump all over the other groups. Been a source of frustration for years. Deeply annoying to see an oppressed group desperately searching for a way to oppress someone themselves.

  83. 83
    DarrenG says:

    @stuckinred:

    As long as it’s all about racism and civil rights laws, sadly no.

    Which is another reason why it’s important to get him on the record about what his political philosophy says about the minimum wage, mine and farm safety, social security, medicare, and other things that will either cost him support or paint him as a hypocrite.

  84. 84

    OT, but I can’t believe the crack staff of BJ media-watchers missed this latest bit of WH Press Corps whining.

    ETA: Via TBogg

  85. 85
    HumboldtBlue says:

    What a fascinating thread, some wonderful comments and they left me with a few points to ponder and think about.

    Then it hit me … I don’t give a flying fuck about Rand fucking Paul, his views, his loves or his hates. He’s Rand Paul, the son of a dipshit who wears his hereditary dipshittiness on his forehead.

    Plus, the Flyers are down 3-0 to the fucking Canadiens … and the Sharks are two games behind the fucking Blackhawks.

  86. 86
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @stuckinred:

    Somehow you all are assuming this is going to hurt him in Kentucky?

    Although it’s early, all non-Rasmussen polls indicate Conway is well within the margin of error. Right now, at least.

    And again, I think people are significantly underestimating just how repulsive and extreme Rand Paul’s views are on a wide range of issues. This race is just getting started, and I feel confident in saying this certainly isn’t how the Great White Republican Hope was supposed to kick off his campaign.

  87. 87
    Jrod says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Rand Paul supports racist policies. It doesn’t matter what his personal feelings are towards anyone, he supports racist (and anti-disabled, and anti-woman) policies. He needs to explain why he supports those racist policies, not how much he really loves black people.

    That is my point, though. As far as I’m concerned, a person who pushes for policy that has racial discrimination as the obvious outcome is a racist. Even if that person they turns around a donates a million bucks to the NAACP, their actions would still make them racist.

    We need to get away from defining racism as a way someone feels. Bigoted is a word that works perfectly well for that definition. Of course, I realize that this is probably a losing battle, but that’s why I comment on blogs, rather than planning political campaigns.

  88. 88
    stuckinred says:

    @Midnight Marauder: That’s good. He’s a little weasel shit either way in my book.

  89. 89
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @stuckinred: Yes. Even in Kentucky.

    It might not hurt enough for him to lose (though I think it will) but it will hurt enough to turn what should be a walk over into a knife-fight.

  90. 90
    DougJ says:

    @BethanyAnne:

    Sorry about the moderation issue!

  91. 91
    Marshall says:

    Of course Reagan was a racist. Philadelphia, Mississippi, is all you need to know on that.

    I am from the South. I know plenty of died-in-the-wool racists. Lots of them (especially the Southern ones) have black friends and acquaintances. Doesn’t change a thing. Racist is as racist does.

  92. 92
    kid bitzer says:

    “Once things become personal, Republicans can wriggle off the hook”

    you have got to–got to–watch jay smooth on this very point.

    “focus on the “what he said” conversation. do not focus on the “what he is” conversation.”

    “how to tell people they sound racist:”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Ti-gkJiXc

    awesome, awesome video, and totally relevant to this post.

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jrod:

    It’s nitpicky, but, hey, that’s who I am — I’ve really come to hate the construction of calling someone “a” racist, because it’s been so demonized that the kneejerk reaction is, “Nuh-uh, I’m not one of those people!” I feel it takes attention away from the action and puts it on the personality.

    What can I say, I’m a natural pedant. Having Daffy Duck announce that he keeps getting shot because of “pronoun trouble” makes me laugh every single time.

  94. 94
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    It might not hurt enough for him to lose (though I think it will) but it will hurt enough to turn what should be a walk over into a knife-fight.

    But this is the larger point, and it gets back to what DougJ said to kick off the thread. No matter how much damage Rand Paul suffers from this, the Republican Party as a whole will also be dogged by this issue for the entire election season. And look at how their leadership is responding so far. Jon Coryn went with no comment. So did Eric Cantor. John Bohener had no idea what to do with it. None of them do. Except Mitch McConnell, who helped to pass the Civil Rights Act back in 1964 and gave Rand a nice little bitch smack with his statement today.

    But these guys are going to try and run from this issue, and we can’t let them. We need to make sure they are pressed on every nonsensical, bigoted policy or idea Rand Paul every attached his name to.

    It should be a full-out blitzkrieg from now until November.

  95. 95
    Fern says:

    @bemused: He’s talking and acting like someone who only talks to people who agree with him and is completely unused to being challenged on anything.

  96. 96
    WereBear says:

    @Fern: He’s talking and acting like someone who only talks to people who agree with him and is completely unused to being challenged on anything.

    Well, he is a doctor.

  97. 97
    Jrod says:

    @Mnemosyne: I do agree that making the campaign against Paul about him being “racist” is probably a loser, and not just because he’s running in Kentucky. Even decent folks are easily prone to racism-fatigue, which would in a sane country be what you get from too much racism, but here in Crazyland refers to what you get when people are called out on their racism too much.

    Looking past the next election, though, I think it’d do the left a lot of good to move the definition of racism back to referring only to actions and institutions. Of course, that would require getting some measure of control over the media, so it’s unlikely to happen before some Republican malfeasance finally gets us all killed.

  98. 98
    Cat Lady says:

    @Fern:

    Why on earth did he go on Maddow? Did he think she was David Gregory? BTW, yay for Rachel – I hope all the Villagers learned something about being a tenacious questioner. A girl can dream.

  99. 99
    Will says:

    Reagan’s “actual feelings” about race matter about as much as Lindsey Graham’s “actual feelings” about health care reform.

    Yep. Lyndon Johnson regularly tossed around the “n” word, even abusing his black chaffeur with it, and was mentored by Richard Russell, dean of the segregationist Southern Democrats. But when push came to shove, he enacted the most important civil rights legislation in our country’s history.

  100. 100
    oklahomo says:

    @Marshall: Yes. And these people know when a politician is speaking right at them, telling them what they want to hear.

    Doug, it’s more than just a few people in trailer parks. There are places in this country that would have the sundown signs back at the city limits if the rest of the country would look the other way.

    Someone here in the commentairat said it best, that these people are angry and frustrated but they would be fine with their lot in life as long as the (insert hated minority here) has less.

    And people like Paul know this and use it, and don’t care about the effect.

  101. 101
    bemused says:

    @Fern:
    Yes. That’s the only explanation for Rand being flummoxed by all the attention. I was thinking earlier today that the guy must not get out much among people other than his family & Libertarians. How else could he not realize that his former spokesperson, Hightower who wears KKK clothing, just might be a really bad idea when running for office.

  102. 102
    Jrod says:

    @WereBear: It’s bad form to discuss politics with the guy who’s currently shooting a laser into your eye.

  103. 103
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Okay, I’m seriously late to the party– but I think part of the problem we have is a lack of terminology.

    We say “racist,” and they hear “has a personal animus against black people.”

    That may not be the case at all. However, one can still, as did Saint Ronnie, support a system of white supremacy.

    It sounds more harsh… but I think it cuts closer to the truth.

  104. 104
    stuckinred says:

    @WereBear: He’s a fucking Dookie too, some of us recall the conversations back in March about dook.

  105. 105
    eemom says:

    Booman sez this is a no brainer:
    http://www.boomantribune.com/s.....172419/389

    I seem to be missing the point a lot around here lately. Why even argue about whether he’s a racist, much less give him the benefit of the doubt like you all have weirdly done? The point is he advocates racist policies. Under the guise of “libertarian” or what-the-fuck-ever, they’re still racist. Why isn’t that END of story?

    IIRC even George Wallace never made a big deal out of segregation until he discovered what a political gold mine it was. So are we gonna engage in a stupid metaphysical debate about whether HE was really a racist?

  106. 106
    bemused says:

    The awesome Maddow is smoking tonight on Rand & civil rights history.

  107. 107
    Dannie22 says:

    Rachel Maddow is good tonight

  108. 108

    @DougJ: Explain please. I’ve never watched Morning Joe so I don’t know what role he plays in recognizing the “My Black Friend” switcheroo for what it is.

  109. 109
    freelancer says:

    @freelancer:

    Still in mod hell @ #3.

  110. 110
    stuckinred says:

    @Dannie22: Smoking with the tuning fork!

  111. 111
    Mike Kay says:

    R Paul and Libertarians make a great argument, if we believe in freedom, then shouldn’t we be free to discriminate.

  112. 112
    DougJ says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    There’s no trick so stupid that Joe and Mika won’t fall for it.

  113. 113
    Fern says:

    @Cat Lady: Something tells me he won’t be making that mistake again!

  114. 114
    stuckinred says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: Joe has a couple of brothers on regularly. Harold Ford, John Ridley, Jonathon Capehart and Eugene Robinson. I really dislike Joe and Mika but they do have more in depth conversation on issues than anyone, especially on morning tv.

  115. 115
    colleeniem says:

    You guys, you guys…Rachel just killed this shit. For reals.

  116. 116
    stuckinred says:

    @colleeniem: She’s not done.

  117. 117
    WereBear says:

    @Jrod: Ah man, I know.

    Since people’s brains are far more compartmented that we generally realize, it’s entirely possible that he is a knowledgeable doctor and a loon on social issues. (Though if I found out my doctor had such a tangled mental set, I would feel uncomfortable about him shooting a laser anywhere. He might point it at the right place, but he might have a wrong view on when to use it.)

    It’s the root of why people say things like “They are a doctor/lawyer/accountant/holder of a higher degree, so how can they be so stupid?”

    Well, to get that degree they were tested on the names of the major nerves or Dred Scott v. Sanford.

    They weren’t tested on stupid.

  118. 118

    @kid bitzer:

    awesome, awesome video, and totally relevant to this post.

    Exactly. It is not required to use the most inflamatory name for a person rather than to describe the behavior. That won’t satisfy some who just can’t get around a need to pitch names around.

  119. 119
    Xenos says:

    We can’t know what is in Paul’s heart, but we can conclude that he is objectively pro-racist, can’t we?

  120. 120
    WereBear says:

    Yes, Rachel is tearing things up tonight! Bless her a million times. Whether anyone admits it or not, she got this thing rolling, as she often does.

  121. 121
    Mike Kay says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Why on earth did he go on Maddow? Did he think she was David Gregory?

    Because up to NOW, rachel had been a supporter of Ron and Rand Paul. She got along so well with the Pauls, that Rand kicked off his senate candidacy on her show. Not Fox, not some local Kentucky event, but on HER show.

    This shouldn’t be surprising, plenty of liberal leaning libertarians or libertarian leaning liberals have supported Paul, including his Eminence, glen greenwald.

  122. 122
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Agreed. But wait, there’s more.

    The Tea Partiers have been making a lot of noise for some time now, but suddenly we’re going to test them to see if the noise meets the reality.

    There are three Senatorial Tea Party races to watch: Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Florida. That’s Paul, Toomey, and Rubio respectively.

    If the Tea Party noise meets reality, all three are looking at strong victories. If the Tea Party is basically “just Republicans” we’re looking at results in line with ‘normal’ — which is a win by 3-6 points in KY, a tight race in PA, and a victory for Rubio with Crist in the single digits.

    If the TP is as abhorrent as I think, we’ll see KY and PA Democratic victories by a definite margin, and we’ll see Crist get larger numbers than Rubio in Florida.

    One could be just the candidate – Paul being the easiest example. But if all three have similar behavior and resulting performance, it can be considered a message to the party.

  123. 123
    El Cid says:

    I don’t get MSNBC so I’ll have to wait til sometime tomorrow morning when the iTunes vidcast becomes available.

  124. 124
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike Kay: We have plenty of young “hipsters” around here with Paul bumper stickers plastered over their Nader bumper stickers.

  125. 125
    Cat Lady says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I’m not getting out of this boat. What does GG think, in 10 words or less?

  126. 126
    Jrod says:

    @WereBear: On the other hand, it might be a good thing for an ophthalmologist to be a little myopic.

  127. 127
    John Cole says:

    The problem I had with John’s angle is – why move away from the real horribleness of what he said to a discussion of whether he’s a racist or not at all? This is a big exaggeration, but it’s like saying, “Yeah, but I don’t necessarily think it means OJ hates women.”

    Because who the fuck cares if Paul is racist or OJ hates women? Paul’s policy will beget racism and are fucking crazy, and two people are dead regardless of whether OJ hates women or not.

    I don’t know or care if Paul is personally a racist, because he is a fucking idiot with an ideology that is pure fancy and incompatible with modern life. And if Paul gets his way, there will be a helluva lot more racism and bad shit happening. That to me is more important than whether or not he is a racist.

  128. 128
    sloan says:

    I figured at least one Republican would have a “macaca” moment and there would be another Palin running but I didn’t think they’d be the same candidate.

    What did anyone know about Rand Paul before he was put in the national spotlight with his “I’m not racist, but…” talking points? When I saw him on Maddow last night he was totally unprepared for the most obvious question. How did that happen?

    He might have teabaggers hot and bothered but he’s really not that good.

  129. 129

    @Mike Kay:

    Because up to NOW, rachel had been a supporter of Ron and Rand Paul. She got along so well with the Pauls, that Rand kicked off his senate candidacy on her show. Not Fox, not some local Kentucky event, but on HER show.

    I don’t think you can qualify their appearances on her show as “support.” IIRC, I’ve seen Paul the Elder on her show discussing auditing the fed, for instance. I don’t know why Paul the Younger was on when he made his announcement. She’s usually respectful to her interviews unless they get snippy like that FAIR guy recently.

  130. 130
    Jrod says:

    @Cat Lady: “Paul might be loony, but at least he’s principled.”

    Just guessing.

    What’s sad is that this does, in fact, make him marginally better than the average repug.

  131. 131
    celticdragonchick says:

    @freelancer:

    The last 40 years of American politics haven’t been destroyed by a bunch of dumb, racist crackers, they’ve been destroyed by cynical conservatives who were all too willing to play on the fear of dumb, racist crackers for political gain.

    That whole block quote at #3 could be my manifesto for why I left the GOP.

    Out-frakking-standing.

  132. 132
    stuckinred says:

    During an appearance on MSNBC’s Ed Show, Democratic National Committee chairman referred to Paul as a “Kentucky fried candidate.”

  133. 133
    Fern says:

    @El Cid: I was able to watch the Paul interview last night here:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/

    Apparently they post the show by 11pm Central, though yesterday it was a bit earlier than that.

  134. 134

    @El Cid: You can watch it on msnbc.msn.com. Rachel’s show usually shows up around 10 p.m. Central, except on Fridays, when apparently all the web interns don’t bother to post the shows until Saturday morning.

  135. 135
    celticdragonchick says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I’m watching her now and she said she did not expect that interview to go down that way at all.

  136. 136
    stuckinred says:

    @celticdragonchick: Which says even more about her because most would have let him off the hook while she gave him a 9mm vasectomy.

  137. 137
    El Cid says:

    Ayn Rand really admired a serial killing child kidnapping and child dismemberer as a representation of her preferred Nietschean super-manity, but Randians think her ‘philosophy’ of over-verbalized infantilized comic book selfishness is some sort of sophisticated, well-thought out social system, rather than the thoughts of a fangirl of a child dismemberer.

  138. 138
    ericblair says:

    @Marshall:

    I am from the South. I know plenty of died-in-the-wool racists. Lots of them (especially the Southern ones) have black friends and acquaintances. Doesn’t change a thing.

    The distinction between northern and southern racists is supposed to be: the northern racist will not have a problem with a black person as their boss but won’t have a black person over for a beer, and the southern racist will have a black person over for a beer but never ever tolerate having him for a boss. Sounds sort of right, but of course it’s not anywhere as clear cut.

    There’s also the fact that a lot of these prominent libertarians just happen to have won the sperm lottery right off the bat and have had a life of privilege and opened doors. Makes it a lot easier to leave everyone to the fickle hands of fate when you don’t even realize how easy you’ve had it.

  139. 139
    freelancer says:

    @kid bitzer:

    Is it really meta that the guy in the video sounds black?

    [Ducks, runs off to find my “tons” of black friends]

    “Oh, hey, AJ, what’s up?”

  140. 140
    Mike Kay says:

    @Cat Lady:

    You can understand why, like stuckinred says at comment #124, Ron Paul’s radical band of populism is similar to ralph nader’s brand of evangelism.

  141. 141
    celticdragonchick says:

    @bemused:

    Rand really does seem put out that everyone is bugging him to be clear. He reminds me of John Stossel who gets all pissy if people don’t just can’t see how brilliant his views are.

    That is a commen problem with reguler readers of Reason, I find.

  142. 142

    @Fern:

    Apparently they post the show by 11pm Central, though yesterday it was a bit earlier than that.

    MSNBC.com’s posting schedule is so random. Like sometimes, KO will be up by now. Tweety goes up almost immediately after it’s taped. Ed Schultz can sometimes take all night.

    You’d think they could automate that stuff.

    Late ETA: Tweety’s segment on Obama’s “cool” was just about as sickening as I’ve seen him lately. He actually said “I heart the president.” blecch.

  143. 143
    Mike Kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: oh c’mon. they practically kissed. but no you’re right, rand paul kicking off his candidacy on her show, as opposed to fixxed news or on the internet or somewhere in Lexington is indicia of nothing.

  144. 144
    colleeniem says:

    Yaaay! I know I’m really contributing to the conversation this evening when I say…
    I love you Jay Smooooooooth.
    Carry on.
    +0 (so weird)

  145. 145
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Cid:

    Ayn Rand really admired a serial killing child kidnapping and child dismemberer as a representation of her preferred Nietschean super-manity, but Randians think her ‘philosophy’ of over-verbalized infantilized comic book selfishness is some sort of sophisticated, well-thought out social system, rather than the thoughts of a fangirl of a child dismemberer.

    She really did have some interesting shower-time fantasy material, didn’t she?

  146. 146
    freelancer says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Wow, Mike, throwing out a $20 word, and providing the link to its definition. Not a little smug. How long have you been waiting to throw that into conversation?

  147. 147
    sloan says:

    Live stream of MSNBC here.

    It doesn’t do any good now if you’ve missed half the show but there it is if anyone wants it.

  148. 148
    Mike Kay says:

    @stuckinred: Where is “here?”

    It’s quite understandable why some progressive would have a interest in Paul, he hates the Fed, he blames US foreign policy in part for the 9/11 attacks, he denounces Israel’s invasion of Gaza, he wants to decriminalize drugs, he’s against the patriot act, he says wall street is fascist. A lot of progressives feel this way. But they get so worked up they forget Paul wants to gut social security, medicare, public university, and civil rights protections.

  149. 149
    Cat Lady says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Ugh. “Reality be damned, man the torpedos”, watch the collateral damage, and pat yourself on the back for adhering to your bullshit principles. Nice.

  150. 150
    Dannie22 says:

    @ Mike Kay

    that explains why Maddow didn’t expect her interview with Rand to go down the way it did.

    I still give her props for going after him. He expected a lightweight interview.

  151. 151
    Mike Kay says:

    @freelancer: heh! don’t make me post 14 updates!

  152. 152
    Honus says:

    @inkadu: when I mentioned that I was interested in libertarianism to a friend of mine about 30 years ago he described it as “the politics of selfishness” I’ve never looked back.

  153. 153

    @Mike Kay:
    If you’re talking about this interview where he announced his candidacy, you’re full of shit. It’s a pretty straightforward interview.

    She’s not O’Reilly, and as far as that goes, she’s a helluva lot more balanced than KO.

  154. 154
    Mike Kay says:

    @Dannie22: Great catch. Yeah, she did say that. She probably thought it would be another love fest.

  155. 155

    @Mike Kay:

    She probably thought it would be another love fest.

    She probably thought he’d have a lot better explanation for his bullshit answers to the Lexington Herald-Leader editorial board question. But that was her *first* question, so she could hardly have expected a love fest.

  156. 156
    Little Boots says:

    there is new thread, but honestly, this is much more interesting down here.

  157. 157

    @DougJ: Reasons I rarely watch the toob #6,580.

  158. 158
    Mike Kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: why would tweety’s pro obama sentiments bother you? Today, Obama has only been president for 1 year and 4 months, and we have people who burn him in effigy and teach the geometry of his assassination. we could use something positive, not simply neutral, to balance the offensive acts of the teabaggers and firebaggers once in a while.

  159. 159
    Mike Kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: what’s wrong with you, it was the Louisville courier.

  160. 160
    Honus says:

    Rand Paul’s basic point is that there is no difference between banning black people from your restaurant and banning someone carrying a gun from your restaurant. He said this quite explicitly a number of times during his interview. The task is to point this out to voters and ask if they agree. It’s really just that simple. let’s see if Kentucky democrats can figure it out.

  161. 161
    Mike Kay says:

    Ya know, I always wonder what the teabaggers are foaming about when they scream “obama is taking our freedoms away”.

    I guess they mean the freedom to racially discriminate – particularly who holds the white house.

  162. 162

    @Mike Kay:
    What’s wrong with you? It was the Louisville Courier-Journal!

    I’m sorry, I get the only two major newspapers in Kentucky confused sometimes.

    (and don’t even get me started on the hyphenated-name b.s. that newspapers still cling to)

  163. 163
    Mike Kay says:

    @Honus: I’m surprised Paul would say ANYTHING against the 2nd amendment – saying business establishments should have the right to ban guns, as well as fags and negros. I can understand banning the latter, but guns! – banning guns in a business establishment is unAmerican!

  164. 164
    Cat Lady says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I agree. It’s always surprising to hear someone in the media acknowledge that they think he’s doing a good job, even if it’s Tweety, who thought only lefty loons didn’t like Chimpy. Jeebus, think about McCain facing these crises, then get down on your knees and thank the FSM.

    ETA: the only freedom anyone has lost since the election is the freedom to not have a black president. This is the only thing that teabaggers mean. They want to be free to discriminate freely, which is what Rand Paul thought he was elected to promote. Whoops.

  165. 165
    Martin says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    To be fair, that’s not what he’s saying anymore:

    That’s only because he got his ass handed to him in the press today and he had to run from it. He was perfectly clear in the 3 interviews and the one LTE prior to today. If he’s saying something today, it’s not what he really believes. Those weren’t slips before, they were well considered arguments.

  166. 166
    Little Boots says:

    It’s so much more than that mikek. and so much more complicated. It all gets so tangled together: gun nut rights, homophobe rights, racist rights, fat old men in business suits rights, the right to hate environmentalists, the right to hate evolution. It is so much weirder and more convuluted than any explanation like “they hate that there’s a black guy in the
    white house” can really account for.

  167. 167

    @Mike Kay:

    why would tweety’s pro obama sentiments bother you?

    I don’t mind him talking about positive things about Obama, but the way he phrased it just creeped me out, sort of like the “thrill up his leg” remark, or Lowry’s “starbursts” moment with Palin.

    ETA: I should say I did like the way Tweety took on Limbaugh with his daily “challenge to Republicans” bit. And he did some good stuff on the oil spill.

  168. 168
    Martin says:

    @Honus: I can leave my gun in the car. I can’t leave my skin color there. That needs to be pointed out.

  169. 169

    @Mike Kay:
    You really are more consistent than most trolls, better – no; but consistent.

  170. 170
    Liberty60 says:

    Coming in way late to this party-

    I agree that turning it into a question of Paul’s/Reagan’s/ Whoever’s racist beliefs lets them wriggle off the hook, but worse, it turns the principle of egalitarianism into a fashionable platitude, like someone being able to say they are a Christian, without actually having to follow the teachings of Christ.

    Notice how smoothly Rand slipped in his smug soothing words about MLK, as “proof” of how non-racist he was- as if having warm fuzzies for MLK made up for the support of policies that were savagely cruel to the man himself.

    I honestly don’t know what is in Paul’s heart, and don’t give a damn- he supports policies that are unjust and cruel, and that hurt an entire ethnic group.

  171. 171
    Marshall says:

    @eemom – Drive By Truckers “The Three Great Alabama Icons” Check it out.

  172. 172
    Mike Kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    it’s okay. but don’t be so hard on tweety or anyone showing our president some love. In these ugly-hateful times, we need some love.

  173. 173
    Mike Kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher: thanks. it’s not easy being the best.

  174. 174
    Martin says:

    And from a political standpoint, we need to keep hammering on the libertarian argument coming from the GOP. It’s a perfect wedge issue between the vocal and active fringe and the rank-and-file Republicans. Let’s see how many Republicans are willing to go on the record to say the government has no business regulating wall street, or oil drillers, and so on. The world isn’t just the 2nd amendment and gay marriage. The more we can drag the issue into broader areas of libertarian ideology, the harder the GOP will have to work to hold the ranks together.

  175. 175

    @Mike Kay:
    Best was not a word I got anywhere near using…

  176. 176
    El Cid says:

    I think it’s pretty unfair to the concept of liberty to allow the GOP’s chaos-embracing super-rich favoring deregulatory / anti-regulatory fetishism to name themselves “libertarian”.

    F*** them. They’re not about “liberty”, they’re about cellular baronial feudalism.

  177. 177
    Jeffro says:

    Funny how we don’t see a lot of middle-or-lower-income libertarians, isn’t it?

  178. 178
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Martin:

    That’s only because he got his ass handed to him in the press today and he had to run from it. He was perfectly clear in the 3 interviews and the one LTE prior to today. If he’s saying something today, it’s not what he really believes. Those weren’t slips before, they were well considered arguments.

    I did say “to be fair” for a reason. I was noting precisely what you are pointing out, that this is a feature of Rand Paul, not a bug. I mean, for someone to take the time to commit their thoughts in a letter to the editor, they must be pretty firm about those beliefs. Firm enough to write something like this:

    A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination – even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin.

    To borrow a page from a wise man, there shouldn’t be no comin’ back from that.

    Edit: Contrary to Honus, I think the above is central to Rand Paul’s point.

  179. 179
    Little Boots says:

    I don’t know if all that really works Martin. The GOPers I know, and I was one, are pretty comfortable with all that kind of hypocrisy. What gets them is, gay scandal, actual corruption in high office, meaning real bribes or shit, how John ensign is hanging on I’ll never know, or some kind of “proof” that the person in office is soft on the crazy ass issue du jour.

  180. 180
    El Cid says:

    @Jeffro: I have. I’ve known a bunch. They’ve all considered themselves rugged individualists. Most weren’t. One was, and I wouldn’t have wanted to live anywhere near his fantasy property.

  181. 181
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Martin:

    Exactly. I want to see Mike Huckabee excoriating Paul this week (Huckabee can’t stand libertarians or racists…but that goes for teh ghey also) as a kickoff for the civil war in the GOP.

  182. 182
    Dannie22 says:

    @Mike Kay

    I think your funny. Your one of the few who makes me laugh. Carry on.

  183. 183
    BethanyAnne says:

    @DougJ: np :)
    … damned filter >.<

  184. 184

    @Dannie22:
    You’re pretty easily amused…Sat morning must be a real blast around your place.

  185. 185
    Little Boots says:

    Mike Kay is genuinely entertaining, it’s true.

  186. 186
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Jeffro:

    Indeed, but that is because they are moochers and need to be bitch smacked by the unseen hand of the market for their temerity in taking resources from all of those polyesther patriot Galts in the tricorn hats.

    (polyesther patriot is a derogatory term in the re-enacting community, since we use period accurate fabrics, patterns and fasteners in our clothing)

  187. 187
    Mike Kay says:

    every gop punk should be force to answer whether they agree with Paul.

    I mean, I remember when ever Howard Dean would make the least controversial remark, every Democrat faced interrogation by the corporate media.

  188. 188
    El Cid says:

    @celticdragonchick: The Battle of Alamance was fought to prevent the British from imposing health care. It’s why the locals all stapled teabags to their heads back then. Learn some history. Jeesh.

  189. 189
    You Don't Say says:

    What is racism but discrimination based on race, which Mr. Paul said he would not do himself but believes should not be criminalized?

    And why can’t the focus be, as you suggested, his political philosophy which guides his actions is an extreme ideology that results in undesirable things such as racism?

  190. 190

    @Little Boots:
    There’s a real difference between spit strewn screaming at GOPers that have no idea what the hell you’re on about and swinging that middle voter and that all pissedoffRacistrant won’t do the job. Neither will Hitler or Stalin or…

    You know how well it works from watching the loons do it. Ronnie R sold his bullshit by being Mr Nice Reasonable (rude word, rude word) not by being all pissed off.

  191. 191
    Little Boots says:

    Yeah, you “communications” majors out there, study the Dean campaign and the reaction thereto. It was an eye opener for some of us, and an important historical lesson forever.

  192. 192
    Redshift says:

    @Jrod: I dunno, making the senate campaign a few years ago about whether George Allen was a racist certainly wasn’t a loser in Virginia, and people didn’t seem to get fatigued with it as long as new revelations kept coming.

    In a similar way, I expect that the Rand Paul discussion will soon move on to wackadoodle libertarian political views he holds on other topics, because unlike George Allen, my sense is that he doesn’t dwell on racist attitudes or racism-enabling policies particularly (though considering his dad, I could be wrong.) But consequently, I don’t think there’s any drawback to focusing on the racist aspect and making other Republicans as uncomfortable as possible trying to deny it while not pissing off their racist base, because while the other issues may be more potent for campaign purposes, those will come out naturally now that he’s the focus of media attention, whereas the media may well drop the racism angle if there aren’t new revelations.

  193. 193
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Cid:

    I sprayed coke on the screen. Damn!

    LMAO! :D

  194. 194
    Mike Kay says:

    @Little Boots: gracias, L.B.

  195. 195
    Little Boots says:

    But Chuck, it ALL works, from the guns to the bible to the skin color to the fag bashing. It ALL works, and it’s all of a piece. The song remains the same, and it ain’t just Dixie.

  196. 196
    kay says:

    @eemom:

    I seem to be missing the point a lot around here lately. Why even argue about whether he’s a racist, much less give him the benefit of the doubt like you all have weirdly done? The point is he advocates racist policies. Under the guise of “libertarian” or what-the-fuck-ever, they’re still racist. Why isn’t that END of story?

    I don’t know, and I can’t decide which is the better approach. This seems to be a recurring argument, though, so there must be something about this dilemma that grabs people.

    My gut-level response is like yours, and all the equivocating feels like a retreat, somehow, or a concession, but (hah!) I see the other side, too.

    I can’t decide.

  197. 197
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Cid:

    Heh! I take it you read my bit about the Regulators and the Battle of Alamance in 1771…

  198. 198
    El Cid says:

    @celticdragonchick: You should limit yourself to carbonated sugar-free water for just this reason. No stickiness.

  199. 199
    Martin says:

    @Little Boots: Sure, they are, but we’re not talking pundits here, we’re talking people running for office. They know that what they say will get hammered in 30 second ads. What appeals to teabaggers in the south isn’t going to work for moderate Republicans and independents in the rest of the country. Republicans in Massachusetts aren’t looking to secede or repeal the ADA. A lot of the libertarian love these days has nothing to do with belief in any of these principles and has everything to do with wanting to flee from the federal government which is fully embodied by Obama. Republicans in the north and west don’t hate Obama like they do in the south. They’re not going to respond to that knee-jerk response to having a black guy in the White House.

    Once these libertarian ideas on legislation get teased out and explored, it’s going to cause a rift.

  200. 200
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Cid:

    My spouse will kill me. It’s her computer… ;)

    And yeah…I am a terminal history geek.

  201. 201
    Little Boots says:

    John and Doug are trying to head us off from rushing into a trap. I think they’re right. There is a real danger, yeah, there really is, on the left of saying racism too often. It’s too easily dismissed in some cases, and it leads people to dismiss everything. That’s what they’re getting at.

    And yet, aimai, as so often, makes me stop and think, and some others too. So … I’m not sure. I lean toward Doug and John, but still …

  202. 202
    CalD says:

    Outstanding point DougJ!

    Our side needs to learn to stop setting up the right wing’s straw men for them.

  203. 203
    El Cid says:

    @celticdragonchick: Yeah. I knew about it, though I’ve never been huge on the details. I’ve been referring to the Tricornertard Teabaggers as engaging in Revolutionary War cosplay, with all the weird sexual implications that such a term implies.

  204. 204
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Little Boots:

    The GOP gets real mileage out of yelling “Race Card!!”. It’s another Pavlovian dog whistle in their culture war grievance game and it works.

    Don’t call him a racist. Just keep pointing out how obscenely unfair his law theories would be to anybody in a wheelchair or minority trying to get a bank loan for a new business and go from there.

  205. 205
    Phoebe says:

    @El Cid: NObody said it was ok, in fact, in the video, it was likened to wallet theft. Watch the video.

  206. 206
    Cat Lady says:

    @Little Boots:

    What turned you towards the light? For John Cole, the tipping point was Schiavo. Was it one thing?

  207. 207
    Little Boots says:

    Again, I’m not sure Martin. Reagan could sling the libertarian bullshit with the best of them while, what?, doubling the size of government. I really do think Goopers are entirely used to lying through their few remaining teeth while really going on and on about abortion or them homos. Conservatism, as practiced today, is entirely divorced from any need to be coherent or logical or tethered to reality in any way.

    Maybe I’m being unkind, or worse naive, but have you been to a tea party rally? I have.

  208. 208
    El Cid says:

    @Little Boots: There should be a difference between what people feel like saying on blog comments and what rhetoric is used as part of major public debate and of politicians and parties and candidates.

    People on a blog named Balloon Juice shouldn’t worry about whether or not they use the terms “racist” and “racism” so much, as long as they aren’t using these blog comments to script the next county commissioner candidate flyer.

  209. 209
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Cid:

    I’ve been referring to the Tricornertard Teabaggers as engaging in Revolutionary War cosplay, with all the weird sexual implications that such a term implies

    I don’t need a vision of that in my head.

    *shudder*

  210. 210
    Little Boots says:

    honestly Cat Lady it was teh gay. I sometimes wish it were more noble, but that really set the ball in motion. I realized one day, these people hate me. Why do I like them?

  211. 211
    Little Boots says:

    then I started thinking about everything. Why do I so easily hate the hate group du jour?

  212. 212
    El Cid says:

    @Phoebe: What do you mean “nobody”? I’m telling you, right wingers have been shouting defensively for over a year that their jihad against ACORN and their blaming of the economic collapse on black people getting houses they couldn’t afford thanks to Jimmy Carter and Barney Frank in no way was racist, and that liberals who suggested so were offensively calling them personally racist.

  213. 213
    kay says:

    Congressional Republicans were peppered with questions about Mr. Paul’s position on civil rights. “I just want to be on the record that I believe the Interstate Commerce Clause was properly used by the courts and the Congress to make sure that when you travel in this country you can’t be denied food and lodging based on your race,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said. “That is not a big heavy lift for me.”

    That’s a specific and strong repudiation, and he actually mentioned the loathed and feared (by conservatives) Commerce Clause, to make it clear. I’m a little surprised. They must be worried.

  214. 214

    Goddam, there’s a reason it’s called dog whistling and there’s a reason it is done. It’s like calling somebody homophobic over Sanctity of Marriage – maybe they are or not, but the insult freezes them in place in defense and any discussion is done. I’d say that Sanctity of Marriage is certainly discriminatory toward gays and that it harms creation of family units whether it’s proponents are bigots or just tradition revering folk.

    The sentiment toward property is pretty strongly engrained and going against that asks for difficulties, pointing out that the results of Libertarianism in regard to property are guaranteed nasty is another thing and to boot you haven’t made something out of an insult. It isn’t retreat, it is close targeting rather than carpet bombing. Why the hell do you want to get involved in some endless bullshit over the value of the black couple the Pauls had over for dinner? Leave the damn tag alone unless you’ve got on the record, “damn niggers ruin everything…” George Allen got caught out doing that, a different thing. I don’t care about some aide, do you want to do a Rev Wright redux?

  215. 215
    El Cid says:

    @celticdragonchick: They called themselves Teabaggers.

    I have nothing against people who need to dress up like Mel Gibson’s The Patriot and staple teabags to their hats and carry Obama = Hitler signs in order to get excited and get it on, I just don’t want to have them shove their sexuality in my face in public.

  216. 216
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Little Boots:

    That is what really did it for me as well. I’m in the T part of GLBT.

    I got sick of having my erstwhile allies using me as an example to fundraise against.

    I know there are Republicans who do accept and welcome gay, lesbian and trans people, but they are not calling the shots in leadership.

  217. 217
    Silver Owl says:

    Take away the childish excuse of “but but it’s a business” what do you have?

  218. 218
    Cat Lady says:

    @Little Boots:

    So then you questioned all of your other beliefs? I find that process completely amazing, and admirable. That’s why I enjoy Cole’s take on things so much. He’s come to them from such a long way away. I inherited my leftiness.

  219. 219
    Little Boots says:

    Honestly, El Cid, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. I don’t think I read all the Rand Paul posts, but what are you saying? That they flung around “racist” too much, or that they ignored obvious racism to make some kind of point?

  220. 220
    Little Boots says:

    yeah, I pretty much did, Cat Lady. Everything. My religion, my politics, my job (I was a speechwriter for a Republican governor), my marriage, everything came crashing down. It was one hell of a year.

  221. 221
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Cid:

    I have nothing against people who need to dress up like Mel Gibson’s The Patriot and staple teabags to their hats and carry Obama = Hitler signs in order to get excited and get it on, I just don’t want to have them shove their sexuality in my face in public.

    Pure win!

  222. 222
    Little Boots says:

    that is sorta awesome, El Cid.

  223. 223
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Little Boots:

    Oh dear… :(

  224. 224
    kay says:

    “Rand Paul has this tendency to get in public or get on national cable shows and feel like he wants to give me a lecture on constitutional law,” said Conway. “I’m the attorney general of Kentucky. He didn’t go to law school. I did. I don’t need a lecture on Constitutional law from Rand Paul or Sarah Palin.”

    It’s really past time someone said that to tea baggers. Good for him. Extra points for bringing Palin in :)

  225. 225

    @Little Boots:
    When that much goes south it is a good time to take a real close look at the foundation. A tough year.

  226. 226
    Little Boots says:

    It was a long time ago, celticdragon. I’m so much younger than that now …

  227. 227
    Dannie22 says:

    @Chuck Butcher

    Saturday mornngs aren’t especially funny at my place. But I bet the Disney channel runs 24/7 in yours. Touché

  228. 228
    Little Boots says:

    It was indeed, Chuck. And I looked at everything. I actually like that. Not that everyone should have to so through some trauma … but everyone should have to go through some trauma.

  229. 229
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Little Boots:

    I’m glad you came out okay. I know what it’s like to have a tough year or three.

  230. 230
    Little Boots says:

    yeah, I think I did, celticdragon. I’m not sure everyone on these here intertubes would entirely agree, but overall, I think I’m okay.

  231. 231

    I’ve been in a deep hole at one time, it is “interesting” on the way out.

  232. 232
    Cat Lady says:

    @Little Boots:

    Wow. That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Open hearts and open minds are the way to go, so stick around and we can figure out how to think our way through all this craziness. Hate and fear are a dead end.

  233. 233
    kid bitzer says:

    dougj–

    thanks for posting the jay smooth video.

    can i haz hat-tip? (cf. #92)

  234. 234
    Little Boots says:

    I always hated that expression, cat lady, but lately … I don’t know. There’s definitely some truth to it.

  235. 235

    @kid bitzer:
    you already got one from me but you deserve a bit more.

  236. 236
    Johnny B says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve made similar comments in other diaries on Paul. We on the left would do ourselves and the nation a great service if we focused on the substance of his actions and policy views, rather than worry whether those actions and policy views reveals a heart motivated by racism.

    I care not a wit if Reagan, Paul, Palin, or anyone else actually is a racist. I care a great deal about what actions they have or would take and what policies they want to see advanced.

    We have very strong arguments to demonstrate Paul’s idiocy regarding the Civil Rights Act. We don’t need to lean on the accusation of racism (and in fact I’ve been impressed with how few people on this site made such a claim).

    I have often felt that the left’s willingness to accuse conservatives of racism when faced with a policy position concerning race revealed a fear that they couldn’t win the political argument on the merits.

    We can win this one on the merits. Quite frankly it’s not that hard. Try: “I don’t want to live in a country where my family and I have greater opportunities to enjoy travel, entertainment, and shopping than African Americans or other minorities simply because we’re white.”

  237. 237
    Little Boots says:

    I think if I were straight, right now, I would really be the enemy. It’s a weird feeling, but I know, I would have stayed at the Heritage Foundation writing god knows what, but none of it honest, and none of it truly right. (Well, right in one sense, but you get the idea.)

  238. 238
    daryljfontaine says:

    @El Cid: Cosplay in and of itself doesn’t have sexual overtones, unless the source material has sexual overtones. Calling them Rev War Furries might get you closer to the right connotation (though the non-sexual Furries would argue).

    D

  239. 239
    Little Boots says:

    and still, I think Doug and John are right overall. racism is a dangerous card to play in this country, and sometimes does more harm than good, even when somewhat accurate.

  240. 240

    @Little Boots:
    Humans hate change, really. But once it starts it is pretty difficult to put the genie back and it goes on for some time, longer than you’re likely to care for.

  241. 241
    Little Boots says:

    You gotta be clear, always, about what exactly you are saying when it comes to race in this weird country. Okay, I love this country generally speaking, but damn, we are weird in some very obvious ways.

  242. 242
    El Cid says:

    @daryljfontaine: I dunno — I think when you bring the terms ‘Teabagger’ and ‘cosplay’ together, I think you’ve got the Republican version of tentacle porn.

  243. 243
    Little Boots says:

    it’s true, Chuck. It’s not exactly been peaches and cream for the past ten years (oh, damn, do I have to admit to 20?) , but still, change sometimes has to be forced upon us, and then sometimes you realize, yeah, that was actually a good experience. Thank you. It kinda sucked for a while, but thank you, now.

  244. 244
    Little Boots says:

    I do have a funny question all of a sudden. Do you all think this will be a completely nonracist country in ten years? twenty? thirty? ever?

  245. 245
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Little Boots:
    I wonder how many others are waiting for the courage to make that jump. Have you noticed that you don’t see prominant people/bloggers etc defecting to the right at this time?

    Look where Charles Johnson, John Cole etc have gone. See what happens when any Republican goes off the reservation even for a moment.

    My start to leaving the party I had grown up in was coming out (you know what I mean), and then watching as 50 years of reputation in foreign affairs was flushed down the toilet in Iraq. Hurricane Katrina sealed the deal. I turned out the lights as fundamentalist theocrats screamed “satanic pervert molester!” at me.

    And that was that.

  246. 246
    Little Boots says:

    completely is a bit much, but you know, not racist in the sense that I think we’re really not anti-semitic as a culture these days, despite some holdouts?

  247. 247
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Cid:

    I dunno—I think when you bring the terms ‘Teabagger’ and ‘cosplay’ together, I think you’ve got the Republican version of tentacle porn.

    Coming soon to an animated hentai porn site near you.

  248. 248
    Little Boots says:

    what’s really funny, celtic, is that the more closeted you are, the more likely you are to embrace the “conservative lifestyle,,” if I can put it that way. But you’re getting at something else.

    Yeah, there is a hesitation, I’m guessing temporary, for now. But I suspect the financial awards on the right will always outweigh those on the left, and for the foreseeable future, I think a lot of people will have to go through that testing time.

  249. 249
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Honus:

    Rand Paul’s basic point is that there is no difference between banning black people from your restaurant and banning someone carrying a gun from your restaurant.

    I remember the Supreme Court declaring corporations to be people, but I guess I missed their decision where they declared that guns are people, too.

    Is your car a person, so therefore McDonald’s is discriminating against it if a particular location doesn’t have a drive-thru?

  250. 250
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    It’s like calling somebody homophobic over Sanctity of Marriage – maybe they are or not, but the insult freezes them in place in defense and any discussion is done.

    Believe it or not, I agree with you. (It must be snowing in Hell right now.) Once you throw down that card, you can’t ask questions like, “Why the hell is the state deciding whether or not something is ‘sanctified’? Should the government really be deciding whether or not God likes someone’s marriage? What’s next, declaring that only Catholics are allowed to get married because Lutheran marriages aren’t sacred enough?”

  251. 251
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Little Boots:

    Exactly.

    I was uncommonly lucky enough to go through my test and still keep my marriage intact, but my fundamental life views changed dramatically.

  252. 252
    celticdragonchick says:

    Good night all. :)

  253. 253
    Little Boots says:

    Not to pry, but did your wife’s views change also, celtic? (My ex-wife is actually pretty awesome I have to say, but still …)

  254. 254
    Fern says:

    @Little Boots: No. I think human beings are naturally tribal in orientation. And the Other was a competitor for food, territory or other resources. So maybe they’d go raiding back and forth or get a good hate on for whoever the tribe/clan/whatever that lived nearby. Or maybe a number of groups would align themselves together to go after another tribe or alliance that they hated even worse than their neighbours.

    And I think that we are still at core tribal except now a lot of us live in nation-states with a bunch of people who come from somewhere else and things get complicated because there is still a tendency to think people like us = good and people not like us = bad and a threat.

  255. 255
    CarolDuhart says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    I think what he means is that these days, everybody probably is at leastacquainted with a black person-maybe a co-worker they speak to, or a colleague they may socialize with at a club dinner or association dinner. Now these people may not even know where their “friend” lives or invite them over for a purely social function, but then again who asks questions to ascertain how deep the “friendship” goes?

    Indeed, if you have to say that outworn phrase, it’s a clear sign there are no friendships worthy of the name among the group mentioned. There is no “some of my best friends”, just a best friend, or just a friend who just happens to be the group mentioned when its a real relationship.

  256. 256
    Gian says:

    all this handwringing about what’s in his mind and heart of hearts is nice, but he’s employed a guy in his staff with a photo of a lynching on his myspace page (resigned when it came to light)

    he espouses policies clearly designed to appeal to racists because of their impact, he employs racists until they get caught posting lynching photos for MLK day, at what point do you say it walks like a duck, quacks like duck…

    does Rand need to bust out a bull whip and extol the dred scott decision? it’s pretty clear that he has a lower opinion of some people than others based on race.
    but it begs the question

    to me, it’s enough to call you a racist when you decide to make political decisions to appeal to people who are racists, when you pick up the flag of “I can stop a black guy from eating here because he’s black and the restaraunt is my property”
    you are a champion of racism
    and when you don’t say “it’s a RIGHT to join a UNION and associate with other people who have the same job” while claiming liberty trumps all, you’re a lying sack, period.

    I mean look, dude runs with racists and espouses legislation which is clearly racist in it’s impact. I don’t need to see him take off a white hood to know he’s a racist.

  257. 257
    Mr Furious says:

    The segment from tonight’s Maddow Show following-up on Wednesday’s Paul interview that people are raving about upthread is available to view online now.

    It’s very good. And watching this segment will save you the stomach-churning spectacle of Paul spending twenty minutes dancing around whether or not he thinks Woolworth should have to serve black people.

  258. 258
    hamletta says:

    I don’t care what’s in Paul’s black little heart, I care about what policies he espouses.

    Being a quasi-libertarian, he’s probably against all manner of mine safety regulations. In the wake of what’s happened in the last few years, how can he hold that view?

    How many coal miners are there in Kentucky? How many children and grandchildren of coal miners are there in Kentucky? If he says the puny regulation scheme we have now is onerous to business, how many people will that piss off?

    ETA: I love that video. I don’t even remember the media shitstorm-du-jour that inspired it, but I remember the video.

  259. 259
    Little Boots says:

    Does tribalism have to be built around race, Fern. It has not always been, and in a lot of countries it still isn’t. Why do we cling to this, long after abandoning things like religious hatred, and again I have to mention anti-Semitism. It was universal once, and taken for granted, but now, not so much. Is racism just more inbred in our culture?

  260. 260
    maus says:

    @hamletta:

    In the wake of what’s happened in the last few years, how can he hold that view?

    The Truly Free Market will not allow miner deaths, surely there will be some sort of consumer sanction and a competitor will triumph..

  261. 261
    Fern says:

    @Little Boots: Doesn’t need to be about race. But I think the race part of it came to the fore during the colonial era – in North and south America, Australia, Asia etc.

  262. 262
    SectarianSofa says:

    @daryljfontaine:
    Disturbing and hilarious.

  263. 263
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    Oh how many times I’ve had this conversation. Countless.

    Thanks for posting the videeo.

  264. 264
    Brachiator says:

    @Little Boots:

    I do have a funny question all of a sudden. Do you all think this will be a completely nonracist country in ten years? twenty? thirty? ever?

    Who knows? But then again, if you had asked ten, twenty, thirty years ago whether there would ever be a black president of the United States, how many people would have answered Yes, how many would have answered No.

  265. 265
    maus says:

    @Little Boots: No. Which is why it’s so necessary to use social sanctions to push these fuckers to the outskirts of society where they belong.

  266. 266
    Jamey says:

    This video discriminates against stupid people. Also.

  267. 267
    rickstersherpa says:

    I give the Pauls credit for sincerely believing their libertarianism, but it is no coincidence that libertarians are usually upper class whites (like me) and asian-American (see Jindal & Malkin), who born with an inheritance of a huge amount social capital (just to name the most obvious, highly literate parents wiht hig educational level and plenty of good food, all benefits of upper-middle class standard of lving and social order), assume it was because of their genius and God’s blessing. Libertarianism justifies them in keeping what they have and not feeling any guilt for those born without the same social capital. But there is a reason he resonates with a certain kind of voter who are not usually associated with his private country cludo

    As for race and politics and the Republican party, its an old story, as this excerpt from a great Wikipedia article on the “Southern Strategy” reveals.

    “Southern Politics in the 1990s by Prof. Alexander P. Lamis, in which Lee Atwater discussed politics in the South:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
    And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger”.[4]”

    I still believe that deep understanding comes from reading good books. Right now I can’t think of a better book on the subject of how our current politics got as messed up as they currently are then Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland.”

  268. 268
    kay says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    I give the Pauls credit for sincerely believing their libertarianism,

    Well, I don’t. Let’s review. He was asked a perfectly legit question and answered it, with libertarian dogma. A little twist, because he used First Amendment freedom of association rather than the usual whining about the Commerce Clause, but, in any event, that’s his sincere belief. When he found out that’s not mainstream enough for the candidate of a major political party (he’s a Republican, not a “Tea Party Candidate”) he tried to backtrack without really acknowledging the error. When that didn’t work, he went further. Now he and his father are complaining that he was treated unfairly, in a purely political posture, because they don’t want to lose the lunatic vote. Because what Rand Paul said is what the Tea Party believes.
    How is that “sincere belief in libertarianism”? It’s sincere belief that Rand Paul should be a Senator.
    Ron and Rand are full of it. When they’re asked to defend these positions that they hold, they won’t do it.

  269. 269
    kay says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    And, incidentally, screw Ron Paul. It isn’t about him and his son. It’s about what they believe, because even if we don’t vote for a Paul family member, his son is going to be in the Senate, and a lot of people are going to be subject to his ideas. Since no one knows what they are, we’re allowed to ask. It’s not my fault or the fault of the media that the over-hyped celebrity tea party candidate slipped up and said what he thinks. The same thing happened to Ron Paul during the GOP primary debates, when it was revealed to anyone who was actually listening that Ron Paul doesn’t know the first thing about the economy, and Paul whined then too.
    His son doesn’t know anything about the civil rights act, or civil rights, but he feels perfectly confident expounding on it, with a stock set of meaningless phrases. If the Pauls want to be in the US Congress, maybe they study up.

  270. 270
    beergoggles says:

    U know, I was watching the video and it got me thinking that if u switch racist with gay, we’ve been pretty much arguing the exact opposite.

    U have sex with members of the same gender, ur gay.

    U promote racist legislation, ur.. uh.. probably not a racist.

    And then of course, this morning I run into a Sullivan article about how the xtian right always attacks gays for ‘homosexual activity’ and refuse to admit that actual gay people exist. Just drove home the similarity between the two and how we’re arguing the opposite thing for different groups of people.

  271. 271
    Cerberus says:

    I understand why that method is politically sound and necessary as a “strategy”, but I’m so tired of it all.

    It seems every conversation about race gets decided between two sides of white people playing debate club “arguing the margins” bullshit to define this clear and dividing line between “so unracist that MLK would have fellated them with pride” and “a member of the KKK complete with hood” with no ground in the middle.

    The thing is sociologically, we are all swimming in a racist-ass culture, with racist-ass cultural messaging, and with racist-ass dominance of one group over the others in all walks of life actively making life harder for them.

    And we’ve got the proud open racists, the people who know they are supporting something they should be ashamed of, trying to hide in so-called “intellectual rigour” so that a separate set of privileged white people who are ashamed of their internalized racism in many areas will let them off the hook in order to let themselves off the hook.

    Oh, the Arizona legislature isn’t racist, they just haven’t thought through the consequences of their law (even though it was written by open white supremacists). Oh Sully isn’t racist, he surely has a good explanation for quoting “The Bell Curve” positively. Oh Rand Paul isn’t really racist (even though he’s arguing openly for segregation), he’s just strongly libertarian (a philosophy that posits that those with monetary privilege should be favored by governmental protection and be allowed to discriminate as much as they want, is overwhelmingly populated by white men, and began its rise in popularity at the exact same time as the Civil Rights Act).

    Why?

    Because less racist white people down the gradient don’t want to have to examine the racism they harbor. They don’t want to think about how they assume that high melanin areas will be high-crime by default, that low melanin areas will be low-crime by default, how economic benefits would be wasted on poor blacks, or how they get nervous when they see a young black male coming their way.

    But that doesn’t help any of us. We need to get over ourselves, frankly. We, the collected white people of America and start actually thinking and growing on the issue of race.

    That means first, we all need to work on ourselves (and we can always be improving) to see what land mines are under there and why we need to realize that it really doesn’t matter your intentions, when you support racist shit, you are now a fucking racist in that aspect.

    Rand Paul is a racist because his worldview would make life worse for black people if implemented.

    Making everything either a sanitized debate club where we all preface how non-racist he is before we discuss one aspect makes it so easy for them to duck out of the aspect and avoid any further backlash. And John is right that making it all personal can allow them to eel out that way, but we really need to be having more conversations about institutionalized racism and what it means to support this racist ass shit.

    Cause right now, everyone is playing amateur lawyer and trying to avoid the hard conversations and arguing the margins between two supposed extremes so that the problem can just sort of go away.

    Oh, there’s no racism here, it looks nothing like anything anyone would do. And it has to be active hate.

    And in the meantime, all those “non-racist” areas just happen to pass laws that continue to make life for anyone with high melanin count resemble the second or third world and we need to start holding people accountable for that.

    Yeah, your sweet grandma who’d never say a bad word against anyone with different skin might just be a fucking racist, you too, now let’s please grow up and start becoming LESS racist.

  272. 272
    Shinobi says:

    Every time I watch that illdoctrine video I want Watermelon.

  273. 273
    John Bird says:

    How about this, guys: his proposal to consider legal segregation is racist, he is by extension a racist, and it doesn’t matter whether you have a magic lens to see into his heart. Just go ahead and use the word ‘racist’, because it applies, and don’t worry about his ‘black friends’. Just call it what it is.

    Do we really need to question whether people who are against gays in the service are anti-gay if they say it’s because they’re ‘concerned about the morale of our troops’? No. Their support for that discriminatory policy makes them anti-gay.

    Support for ‘re-examining’ the legislation that ended legal white supremacy in the United States is racist. It doesn’t very well matter how wonky your reasons are. I’m very sorry that Good Liberals, as Greenwald puts it, have decided to cede the term, so you can’t call anyone racist unless they are on TV using racial slurs.

  274. 274
    John Bird says:

    P.S. After all, what would you have said a year ago if someone told you that a Republican candidate was going to go on TV, say we should maybe repeal the part of the Civil Rights Act, specifically the part that said Woolworth’s can’t tell blacks to get away from the lunch counter, and then was going to follow it up with the argument that he wasn’t a racist because he personally was okay with black people so you shouldn’t consider calling him a racist – and that you yourselves were going to back him up on that?

    Would you have said, “sure, and I’m the Queen” or would you have predicted that Balloon Juice would be helping him make the second part of his argument?

  275. 275
    charlequin says:

    I would very much like to live in the world where we won the battle of perceptions and made “racist” a useful term to throw at people who are, in fact, racist so as to convince others not to listen to them… but I don’t.

    Instead, I live in this world, where what should be a useful term is instead basically a conversation-ender. Given that, I would always much rather not have this conversation:

    Rand Paul is a racist person

    when I could have this conversation:

    The Civil Rights Act is a cornerstone of America and it would be wrong in every conceivable way to repeal it or scale it back

    instead.

  276. 276
    maus says:

    @Cerberus: Media framing allows for phrasings like “post-racist” to be created and used. I sincerely doubt there’s any academic basis for its origins and perpetuation. I mean, what other form of media allows for the introspection of innate bias? Not really newspapers, certainly not the local media (aside from the alt-weeklies, which I still love.) The Wire? I’m not really finding much else :(

  277. 277
    David Moisan says:

    @inkadu:
    This this this this!

    I was reading another comment thread and came across a libertarian saying, “all we want is to eliminate state power, all of it.”

    Another political theorist once put it this way: “The State will wither away.”

    There are very few if any federal powers that were not once assumed by the states. And few state powers that were not assumed by some municipalities.

    WTF do Libertarians think will happen?

    Libertarianism, as I read one conservative commentator put it, is nothing but “Marxism of the Right”.

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