Thursday, May 20

Rand Paul, the anti-Obama

Three things about Rachel #Maddow 's amazing interview with Rand Paul last night, in which he prevaricated about the rights of black people to be seated in restaurants, because then we are forcing restaurant owners to let armed-with-guns people in there, too. (No, really. That's what he said.) :

1. Maddow is the classiest person on television. She did not raise her voice once or freak out, like the whole of Twitter did during this interview.

2. Watching the interview was like watching a micro-version of Frost/Nixon. Rand Paul did not see the devastation that was happening to him. I think Goldman Sachs can short sell the Rand Paul campaign now.

3. I am no longer worried that 2008 Obama voters will lack motivation to turn out in races that need them. Lookee here.


  1. Anonymous7:51 AM

    This time last year I made several bets on the 2010 race, including McCain not being reelected and Dems not losing many if any seats in the Senate.

    I like my odds.

    Bloggers can learn a lesson from Rachael, she eviscerates guest with a smile.


  2. It was a great interview. Thoughtful, polite, and even warning Rand Paul that this was an issue he wasn't going to be able to duck so he'd better start working on his answers. Now, of course, we're hearing the right wing foam about Paul being blindsided, but the reality is it was a very thoughtful discussion conducted with complete civility. I have a hunch that until the blowback started, Paul didn't even realize the damage he had done to his campaign.

    It was also a nice example of what happens when an ideology runs into the real world -- Paul's now in a no-win position. If he starts to back away from his original hard core libertarian principles he ends up getting hammered for being a typical politician willing to compromise on anything just to get votes, and if he sticks with the ideology, he's seen as too extreme for most voters.

  3. Blue Gals Dad10:21 AM

    I think Rand is getting a raw deal in this debate. He's a dyed in the wool, doctrinaire Libertarian for Christ's sake! As such, he questions and deplores the Federal Governments capacity to exercise control over a private individual, no matter how big an a-hole he or she make of themselves. He should have said that right off the bat.

    Rachel should have asked Rand about his Libertarian view of legalizing drugs just to see how that resonated with his supporters. Wait a sec! Cannabis might be Kentucky's biggest cash crop!

  4. The problem with Libertarians, Dad, is they assume that individuals will ultimately act in society's best interest. Rand clearly assumes that a restaurant owner will recognize that a big "Whites Only" sign in front of his establishment is bad for business. He assumes that BP and Halliburton and Goldman Sachs will act in their customers best interest in order to stay viable.

    But that's BS. People act in what they THINK is their own best interest, and that thought is colored with prejudices, even to the point of working against their own economic self-interest.

    The Civil Rights Acts are there to force us, yes force us, to act better than many of us would otherwise not only for our own domestic tranquility, but for the sake of our international reputation, this being something BushCo completely disregarded. Our treatment of Blacks hurt us internationally during the Cold War.

    Also, Rand is an idiot to try to have an intellectual discussion about individual verus collective rights while running for office in the age of cable news. If he wants to argue semantics, he should start a think tank. The US Senate requires people, for good or ill, to be politicians, not pedants or, to be kinder, pragmatists.

    And if someone supports the Libertarians merely because of pot-legalization, they can bite me. There won't be any Social Security check or work-study money to buy a baggie under the Libertarians. Join the Green Party if that's your issue of choice.

    (Love ya, Dad. xo)

  5. Hi Cuz:

    The other problem with Libertarian thinking is that it presumes that people act even in their OWN interest, or their collective interest, and so "all will be well", if we just Let them Act.

    In fact, the types of sociopaths and insanely greedy people who often rise to the highest levels of executive power are so crazy and obsessive that they do not act even in their own interest, to whit:

    Arthur Anderson was destroyed by Arthur Anderson execs.
    Worldcomm was destroyed by Worldcomm execs.
    Enron was destroyed by Enron execs.

    ...Bear Sterns ... Bernie Madoff ...

    ...well, you get the point.

    To a large extent, the Republican party, was at least temporarily, destroyed by opportunistic Republicans who's allegiance to the party was ultimately trumped by their own power-lust. To hell with their supposed "conservative principals" (fiscal responsibility, civil rights) -- when they had absolute power from 200 to 2006, they were absolutely corrupted by it.

    Unfornately, the honest, hard-working employees under the above execs lost their jobs as a result of this myth that their bosses' "freedom" could only work for the General Good.

  6. Blue Gal's Pop9:39 AM


    Let's get this straight. In my first comment, I wasn't defending Rand Paul, simply pointing out how true to his "principles" as a dyed in the wool, doctrinaire Libertarian, he was. As of now, I believe he's scuttled his own ship with a lot of backtracking and over explaining of his positions. He seems to be a decent guy, but he's fatally burdened with a host of untenable and troglodyte notions about the role of the federal government in the affairs of man, and the capacity for Americans to do the right thing without some legislative prodding every once and a while. Hi nephew Karl. Good to see you're on the right side of the debate.

  7. I agree, Pop. We agree. Hopefully his candidacy helps to propel dyed in the wool Libertarians off the ballot for many times to come.


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