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.
What Paul has nicely done is illustrate that libertarianism, taken to its complete extreme, is a ridiculous and useless ideology. Paul’s argument is, essentially, that in a free society you have to tolerate some assholes, and that some of them will be racist. I don’t think that makes Paul a racist, but I do think it kind of makes him an idiot.
I like freedom as much as the next person and want as little government intervention into every aspect of life as possible, but if I have to make a judgment call, I place the right of people to be free to be racist below the right of minorities to be freed from racism. Call me crazy. We’ve also decided as a society that we draw the line at allowing people the freedom to rape their kids, to murder each other, and all sort of other stuff. This is not a revolutionary concept, and we tolerate that government “interference” quite capably.
Politically, this is evidence of even more of the GOP minority outreach. I’d like to hear Rand Paul ask Michael Steele how long he would have been willing to wait for local officials to decide whether or not Jim Crow or separate water fountains is unacceptable.