May 20, 2010

What Rand Paul really said about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Rand Paul is coming under attack for things he said about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed race discrimination in privately owned restaurants and hotels. He's also being defended, of course, notably here, by Allahpundit:
I don’t like to go back-to-back on the same subject but a hot rumor hit Twitter as the last post was being published that Paul told NPR he would have voted against the 1964 CRA. (Much like certain Democrats who are still serving in the Senate did.) As you’ll see, it’s not true. The reporter, smelling blood, badgers him about it, but Paul never quite gives him a straight answer. And he qualifies his response with enough virtue — he opposes institutional racism, would have marched with MLK, likes a lot of what was in the CRA — that there’s really no wound inflicted here. His reservations about the law have to do not with the ends but with the means of federal compulsion; he wants business owners to serve everyone but clearly prefers using boycotts and local laws to pressure them. It’s not a question of being pro- or anti-discrimination, in other words, it’s a question of how federalism and civil-rights enforcement mesh. The left’s going to give him plenty of grief for that — expect questions soon about whether he would have voted to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment — but the “closet Klansman” narrative that NPR’s going for here is D.O.A.
It's true that Rand made many expressions of his opposition to race discrimination in what was a hearty effort to blunt the effect of what he was saying, but it is not true that his "reservations" were limited to federalism concerns. (As to federalism, there was an argument, rejected long ago by the Supreme Court, that the Constitution did not empower Congress to regulate in this area.)

Rand was also expressing the view that owners of private businesses have a right to decide whom they will serve. Such a right would not run counter to the 14th Amendment, because the 14th Amendment only protects individuals from the actions of the state and privately owned restaurants and hotels are not the state. If you want a legal requirement that these businesses treat people equally, you need to pass a statute, which is why the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.  And that statute was susceptible to arguments it violated the right of the business owners to do what they wanted with their own property. When the Supreme Court upheld the Civil Rights Act of 1964, not only did it need to find an enumerated power for Congress to act, but it also had to deal with the argument that the Act violated the Due Process Clause. Rand's statement harkened back to both of those old arguments.

Look at what he said:
I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant—but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind....

I would not go to that Woolworths, and I would stand up in my community and say that it is abhorrent, um, but, the hard part—and this is the hard part about believing in freedom—is, if you believe in the First Amendment, for example—you have too, for example, most good defenders of the First Amendment will believe in abhorrent groups standing up and saying awful things. . . . It’s the same way with other behaviors. In a free society, we will tolerate boorish people, who have abhorrent behavior.
He likens private property rights to free speech rights. If you care about free speech rights, you defend even the people who say horrible things — Nazis, the KKK, etc. That's standard constitutional law doctrine. In Rand's view — and in the view of many libertarians — property rights work the same way. So you could have this horrible racist restauranteur who excluded black people, and the government would have to leave him alone, just as the government couldn't do anything about it if a white person had a dinner party at his house and only invited his white friends.

***

A few years ago, I was at a conference with libertarians, and I was confronted with exactly this point of view. I expressed my concern that they were putting an extreme and abstract idea above things that really matter in the world. I challenged them — in what I thought was a friendly conversation — to explain to me how I could know that their commitment to the extreme abstraction did not, in fact, have an origin in racism. Which came first, the proud defense of private property or the shameful prejudices that polite people don't admit to anymore?

For raising the subject, I was loudly denounced, both at the dinner table, and on the Reason Magazine website. As I said at the time:
I am struck -- you may think it is absurd for me to be suddenly struck by this -- but I am struck by how deeply and seriously libertarians and conservatives believe in their ideas. I'm used to the way lefties and liberals take themselves seriously and how deeply they believe. Me, I find true believers strange and -- if they have power -- frightening. 
I appreciate libertarians up to a point, but the extreme ones are missing something that is needed if you are to be trusted with power. I'm glad Rand Paul is on the scene, but I'm going to hold him to his own statements, and it is plain to me that Allahpundit has misunderstood or misrepresented what he said. I'm certainly not saying he's a racist, but he seems to support a legal position that would place racist private businesses beyond the power of anti-discrimination statutes.

UPDATE: Rand Paul goes on the Laura Ingraham show and, with the help of her very supportive questions, finally gets around to saying that if he were in Congress in 1964, he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act.  Here's audio of the entire segment. Here's a text summary.

UPDATE 2: Allahpundit responds to me:
Althouse’s point is that Paul opposes any government interference in how someone runs their business, which would be strong form laissez faire; I assumed, because he danced around NPR’s questions and because this was obviously about to become a major headache for him, that he was taking the more palatable, weaker form position that it’s more acceptable for state and local agencies to act against discrimination but that the feds should stay out. (As it turned out, he now says having the feds interfere is fine.) That’s why I brought federalism into it, and that’s why I thought the Fourteenth Amendment would eventually end up in the discussion. If Paul doesn’t want the feds meddling in private businesses to protect minority rights, does he at least support letting them meddle with state governments that refuse to do so?
"Meddle" in what way? Require the states to legislate? Under New York v. United States, that is more of a constitutional problem than directly regulating. Do you mean putting conditions on accepting federal funds? That could be done most easily. If you mean using §5 of the 14th Amendment, that shouldn't work, because the states are not violating rights by failing to control the choices private citizens that are not, in fact, rights violations. It's hard to believe Paul would support these things (even before he conceded that he'd vote for the CRA of 1964).

377 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 377 of 377
flenser said...

Just like a Chinese manufacturer who sells poisoned baby formula creates an opportunity for a competitor who doesn't poison babies.




Not selling your house to a person of a different race is not really analogous to killing someone, in either the abstract or real world sense. Why don't you try a different lame comparision?

John said...

"Should a lesbian bar be forced to serve men?"

I think this goes to the heart of the freedom of association question. Should a gay bar be forced to serve a straight couple? Should Jesse Jackson be forced to employ white staffers? Should a Jewish organization be forced to employ a Nazi if they're qualified for the work?

If you don't like how someone conducts their business, there are all sorts of ways to bring pressure to bear on them without making them stare down the barrel of a gun.

Speaking as a Jew, I'd far rather see anti-semites wearing their prejudice on their sleeves (as it were), than driven into the shadows by a government that thinks it can protect me from getting my feelings hurt.

I support Rand Paul, and if the Stormfronters do too, so what? Should I hold it against Rand if some shitheads support him for the wrong reasons?

-jcr

AlphaLiberal said...

Forgot who responded thusly:

AL - You certainly seem to think you are scoring big points. But if we make a list of fellow traveler groups of progressives it's not a pretty sight. Guilt by fan base is not much of an argument. .

Right. So Obama was supposed to reject some of his supporters during the campaign for much less, which he did.

But Rand Paul cashes checks from a white supremacist money bomb and that's hunky dorey?

danielle said...

John said ... "A business owner who excludes potential customers for an arbitrary reason like race creates an opportunity for a competitor."

This is true in the abstract; market are not perfect, and as was the case, this led to huge imbalances in wealth and access since many people with power and resources shared this view.

John said...

Chinese manufacturer who sells poisoned baby formula

Careful there, your racism is showing. I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that Chinese people want to kill their customers' children, did you?

-jcr

traditionalguy said...

FLS...You have me confused. My reference to cousins meant that historical study of the lower southern states from 1830 to 1840 shows that African men and women brought to the New World as slaves in fact became major parts of the Ancestry (DNA) of American citizens living in Mississippi, Alabama , Georgia and South Carolina as did the Cherokees, the Choctaws and the Chickasaws. Frontier life was not very segregated and a wife was a very good thing, at least until the laws and restrictions that started passing around 1840 for fear of the large increase in slaves working the Cotton Cash Crop would revolt. Repealing those evil laws was a 125 year or so struggle just because of the then accepted belief that 1% non-white blood took away a person's rights. But why is this even an issue today?

Damon said...

Maybe Ann is having an off day, or we are all being obtuse.

But Ann, asking someone to comment on "burdens imposed on others by the exercise of one's freedom..." that is pretty damn abstract.

That may have been your concern, but phrased as such with racism as the example is not good dinner table conversation. The definition of racism has been so twisted from reality that people do not know it when they see it anymore. Yes, I believe a philosophy should be able to be judged to its logical conclusion, but using racism inputs a lot of definitional noise into the conversation.

AlphaLiberal said...

The Civil Rights Act was passed to expand freedom. And it was opposed by conservatives.

Again, conservatives and so-called libertarians do not care if private actors constrain freedom. That's fine by them!

Their support for freedom is a farce. They care about freedom for the well-off and do not support freedom for all.

Calypso Facto said...

I'm predominantly of Libertarian philosophy, but I was really struck by mikeyes' comment way up thread about the private-public nature of commerce. He(?) points to a discernible distinction between me selling you (or anyone else I choose for whatever reason I choose) my used car as a private transaction and me being in the business of selling used cars to the public. Perhaps a "pure" Libertarian sees no difference, but I'd argue that in the latter case, the sales need to reflect our Constitutional affirmation that "all men are created equal" by allowing equality of opportunity to engage in commerce. No advantage or disadvantage, just the right to an equally open door with level pricing, all other factors being equal. So at what point is a business "public"? Perhaps when it takes on the protections of a public legal entity? Corporation or LLC = public. Individual, sole proprietorship, private club = do whatever the hell you want. Maybe?

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to read through 200+ comments, so sorry if this is redundant.

I think this issue is extremely relevant right now. Does a private photography business have the right to refuse to photograph a gay marriage?

What was the outcome on discriminatory clubs, such as male only country clubs?

I'm inclined to let the market take care of private businesses. If a pharmacy won't dispense birth control or the morning after pill and people don't like that, they won't shop there. If a restaurant won't serve hispanic customers, then hopefully people won't eat there.

Can you change the beliefs of people by force?

danielle said...

"Speaking as a Jew, I'd far rather see anti-semites wearing their prejudice on their sleeves (as it were), than driven into the shadows by a government that thinks it can protect me from getting my feelings hurt."

... um, against getting your feelings hurt ? Well, I'm not Jewish and I appreciate a country that doesn't collectively support anti-semite groups with a business license and whatever tax benefits they may get. Its about principle, not feelings.

Damon said...

AL - you are just showing people you are a dumbass over and over.

Hint: whatever point you thought you were getting across has been drown in the fact that you are obnoxious.

Alex said...

What's the greater evil - federal compulsion to violate private property rights of racists or the racism as such practiced? Obviously liberals believe any racist thought is thought-crime to begin with and should be punished with the maximum extent of the law. Heck if it were up to them, Charles Murray would be executed already for "the Bell Curve".

The Bear said...

I'm going to get into big trouble here, but there is a truth that needs to be told: Libertarianism WAS the real political position of the South when they fired on Ft Sumter.
A lot of folks in the South were opposed to slavery itself but the idea that the Federal government could step in and violate the agreement on their rights to live by the laws their state enacted under the Principles they signed onto with the final edit of the Constitution. was the rallying cry FOR secession.

Morally slavery and racism are some of the most ugly expressions of man's evil, but, legally the Southern States were within their rights to secede and Lincoln violated the Constitution in about 50 different ways during the war.

AlphaLiberal said...

Damon:

But Ann, asking someone to comment on "burdens imposed on others by the exercise of one's freedom..." that is pretty damn abstract. .

It really isn't. Rand Paul says that it is more important to him that private property rights be protected than that racism by private actors be limited to constrain freedom.

So, he would tolerate racism from private property owners and the oppression that visits upon the discriminated.

And reading this thread the gulf in world views seems enormous. To modern conservatives there is no racism anywhere. They deny the existence of any and all racism. Simple denial.

In the process, they protect racist acts.

There's no reasoning on this score, I have found. They will deny the most heinous racist acts are racism. It's a deeply sick and immoral position.

Alex said...

... um, against getting your feelings hurt ? Well, I'm not Jewish and I appreciate a country that doesn't collectively support anti-semite groups with a business license and whatever tax benefits they may get. Its about principle, not feelings.

There's nothing in the 14th amendment that says private individuals can't discriminate on the basis of race/gender/religion/ethnicity. It's the CRA that's unconstituional.

Jupiter said...

As a Great American once said, "If you were really a conservative, you would think where there is a problem and the only solution so far is a bad one that the right answer is first, do no harm. The default is nothing. (The Party of NO!)" Ann Althouse, 5/20/2010

In upholding the CRA, the Court allowed the government to swat a gnat with a sledgehammer. The gnat is gone, more or less, but the hammer remains, and will soon be descending upon those of us who do not care to buy the flavor of health insurance that Nancy Sibelius deems appropriate. Power granted for good cause will inevitably be used for ill.

former law student said...

Please provide your evidence that Rand Paul "champions" Jim Crow laws.

Assuming the quote in Althouse's post is correct, Rand Paul champions state and local laws over "federal compulsion." The problem with relying on state and local laws is that these were how Jim Crow was established.

From AA's post:

His reservations about the law have to do not with the ends but with the means of federal compulsion; he wants business owners to serve everyone but clearly prefers using boycotts and local laws to pressure them.

former law student said...

The market situation that tolerates a grave evil will hardly eliminate a lesser one, flenser.

flenser said...

a "pure" Libertarian sees no difference, but I'd argue that in the latter case, the sales need to reflect our Constitutional affirmation that "all men are created equal" by allowing equality of opportunity to engage in commerce.



Grrr! I'd like to think that the commenters on this blog are really smart people, but that's hard to do when so many people don't know their Declaration from their Constitution.

All men being created equal does not imply an equal "right" to engage in commerce. Unlike Warren Buffet, I can't buy fifty mill in grain futures. I don't expect the court to grant me that right.

traditionalguy said...

FLS... That should read, "from 1730 to 1840" which is 4 generations.

former law student said...

In China, melamine was deliberately added to infant formula to make it appear to have a higher protein content. Over 52,000 children developed kidney stones. There were over 13,000 hospitalizations and at least two deaths. -- AP

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So at what point is a business "public"?

And therefore subject to the laws that prevent discrimination.

Good question.

I would assume a hospital is public and should take everyone without discrimination. However, what about the Indian Clinics that exist in my particular corner of the world. They will not service you if you aren't of American Indian descent.


Public schools, obviously should not discriminate. They are funded by tax dollars. What about charter schools, private schools, religious schools. Does the Catholic school have to enroll athiests, Muslims, Santoristas?

Car lots. Are there not other places to buy cars? But should you be allowed to refuse to sell a car to someone if you are the only car lot in town? What if your refusal means they have to travel far away and get a worse deal on the car?

Restaurants? Grocery stores? Apartment rentals? Beauty Parlors?

Roger J. said...

FLS--let me suggest an alternative hypothesis re great evils--fix the small problems one at a time, and then the larger problems will go away--I rather assume you reject James Q Wilson on this thesis, but when the squeegie men of NYC were rounded up, many larger problems disapeared

AlphaLiberal said...

FLS:

Assuming the quote in Althouse's post is correct, Rand Paul champions state and local laws over "federal compulsion." The problem with relying on state and local laws is that these were how Jim Crow was established. .

Likewise, a lot of the opposition (from Ds and Rs alike back in the day) to the Civil Rights Act was described as support for "State's Rights," which included policies like poll taxes and Jim Crow.

So it would be helpful for a reporter to ask Rand Paul what he thinks about this subject. Does he think states should have the right to have Jim Crow laws?

It does seem that he supports this, which may explain the passionate support he receives and accepts from the white supremacist movement.

former law student said...

However, what about the Indian Clinics that exist in my particular corner of the world. They will not service you if you aren't of American Indian descent.

You think that's bad? Just try getting treated at a VA hospital if you're not a veteran.

What are those people's problems?

Calypso Facto said...

Flense--sorry! I saw too late for retraction the incorrect citation. Color me properly embarrassed.

That said, equal access to commerce is not the same as a $50 mil handout. I'm just saying IF you had the dough, you should be able to buy whatever you want from publicly established business. No?

flenser said...

The market situation that tolerates a grave evil will hardly eliminate a lesser one, flenser.




It is not the role of the market to either tolerate or eliminate evil.

By the same token, it is not the role of the courts to either tolerate or eliminate evil. Courts are supposed to be bound by the law.

That goes to your philosophical and legal confuson. As for your specifics, you are making a judgement call as to which evil is greater. Most people would rank the dead babies as the greater evil.

Darcy said...

Fascinating discussion. I have nothing to add - just my thanks.

DKWalser said...

@Althouse: I really wish I'd had time to comment on this thread before it attracted over 190 comments, since I've got something really important to contribute and I'm afraid my comment will be lost in everything that went before.*

As to your question about how one could prove their commitment to property rights was pure and not a camouflage for racist bias, allow me to offer this argument: I believe restaurants should be able to decide whether or not to allow smoking. I don't smoke. I've never smoked. I consider smoking to be a vile habit. I would be happy if no one used tobacco and we were able to convert the land and other resources used to produce and distribute tobacco products into something useful. More productive use of these resources would add, over time, to our wealth as a society and would increase everyone's standard of living.

However, none of my personal feelings about smoking or my recognition of the societal benefits that a decrease in tobacco use would generate cause me to support laws that prohibit smoking on private property. I think the marketplace can address this issue very well, if not fully to my personal liking. Worse, I don't think the potential benefits of anti-smoking laws are worth the risks to our personal liberty -- the ability to live as we want to live without undue interference from government. At the time these smoking bans were first being considered, many asked what was next, regulating fat intake? What was once supposed to be an absurd example illustrating the absurd lengths government might take it's power to regulate private behavior on private property is no longer considered absurd. It's happening. I don't want to live in a society where I need permission from Mayor Bloomberg to salt my steak.(I might not want to live in that society, but it might still be the best of the available alternatives.)

I feel much the same way about most of the civil rights laws we have in our country. My questions to you, Althouse: Is my position on smoking restrictions racist? If not, is my same position on civil rights laws racist?

*I fully realize I might be the only person on the face of the whole earth that thinks I've got anything worth contributing to this topic. I can't help it if everyone else is wrong.

Joe said...

The Civil Rights Act was proposed by Democratic President JFK

While true, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an extension of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 which was proposed by President Eisenhower and the Civil Rights Act of 1960, both of which were watered down by southern democrats. Eisenhower signed both laws.

While both had problems, they were probably instrumental in CRA of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965. (Though the March on Montgomery no doubt had a huge impact on passage of the voting rights act--the degree of blatant racism shown by the south had simply become intolerable to the rest of the nation.)

david7134 said...

CRA was one of the worse bills ever passed. It has violated much of our individual freedoms. It is being used to justify the hate for the people in Arizona and to put us all through hassels at the airport.

flenser said...

So it would be helpful for a reporter to ask Rand Paul what he thinks about this subject. Does he think states should have the right to have Jim Crow laws?


It does seem that he supports this, which may explain the passionate support he receives and accepts from the white supremacist movement.



You are probably the most stupid commenter I've encountered in ten years on political blogs.

I've already discounted the possibiity that you're simply being cynically dishonest.

Roger J. said...

Echoing Darcy--I thought this was a very enlightening discussion--thanks to all who participated. Off to propel my body around the tarmac at breathtaking speeds.

Trooper York said...

As a store owner I would never refuse service to anyone because of their race. But here is a question for you. I run a womans clothing store. Very occasionally a man (dressed as a man) comes in and wants to try on dresses. I vividly remember when my employee called me and said "There's a cross trainer in the dressing room."

I said WTF?

But the question remains. Shouldn't I be able to refuse to let them try on clothes in my store?

Please note that men dressed and identifying themselves as woman have often shopped in the store and have never been a problem. I don't go around checking Adams Apples so Ann Coulter is safe enough. If you identify as a woman I am not going to have a short arm inspection. But should any dude be able to walk in and fuck up my dresses by trying to squeeze into them just because he feels like it?

Trooper York said...

I will note that government, Federal, State and especially NY city do everything they can to destroy small business.

When they tell you they support small business they are lying sacks of shit.

I'm talking to you Nanny Bloomberg.

Joe said...

The Civil Rights Act was passed to expand freedom. And it was opposed by conservatives.

No it wasn't. Stop rewriting history. Goldwater voted against the CRA of 1964 precisely because of the over expansive use of interstate commerce in title II. Contrast that to Democratic Senator Russell: "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states."

From Wikipedia:

The Senate version:
* Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%-31%)
* Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)

The Senate version, voted on by the House:
* Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
* Republican Party: 136-35 (80%-20%)

AlphaLiberal said...

Rand Paul's new statement includes this:

"Let me be clear: I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws."

So he seems to have settled that question. But he still wants to allow private businesses to practice racial discrimination.

flenser said...

To modern conservatives there is no racism anywhere. They deny the existence of any and all racism. Simple denial.


That's a lot like saying that people who defend freedom of speech are thereby endorsing all the speech which comes as a result of it. Which is a very stupid argument to make.

Trooper York said...

Oh and I would never let Alpha Liberal, Jeremy or hdhouse shop in my store.

I have a very strict no commie rule.

Trooper York said...

But Ritmo, garage, Beth, Madison Man and vicky from Pasadena are always welcome.

garage mahal said...

Even IF I wanted to squeeze into one of your dresses?

AlphaLiberal said...

Joe:

As long as you're citing Wikipedia, from their Barry Goldwater entry:

"His stance was based on his view that the act was an intrusion of the federal government into the affairs of states and, second, that the Act interfered with the rights of private persons to do business, or not, with whomever they chose.[15]"

And, yes, there were southern conservative Democrats, a.k.a. "Dixiecrats" who opposed it for racist reasons. Those Dixiecrats were drive from the Democratic Party and now find their home in the Republican Party.

Ann Althouse said...

"You asked them to provide proof that they were not racists, or, if you prefer, you asked why you should not assume that they were racists. Which amounts to the same thing."

No, I didn't. I wish people would be more precise about language. You're creating straw men to fight. I asked how I could know that they aren't racists. It's a question phrased a particular way for a real reason. The answer is pretty obviously: I can't know. That's not the same as assuming people are racists.

I could have avoided asking a question and just said what I thought. It would be: You profess devotion to a political philosophy that would allow people to cause great and continuing harm to black people. You don't seem to care about that, and you seem quite pleased with yourself and smug about your ideas. For all I know, you are motivated by racism.

And: The more you talk about your political philosophy, the more I dislike you. If you don't say something soon that reaches me, I'm not going to want to talk to you anymore. You are completely missing the opportunity to win me over, and you have destroyed any inclination I once had to think of myself as libertarian.

flenser said...

So he seems to have settled that question. But he still wants to allow private businesses to practice racial discrimination.



Great. I also want private businesses to be "allowed" to "practice racial discrimination", as you so adroitly put it.

And your argument against it is?

AlphaLiberal said...

flenser:

That's a lot like saying that people who defend freedom of speech are thereby endorsing all the speech which comes as a result of it. Which is a very stupid argument to make. .

Not in the slightest. That's a horseshit analogy.

I've asked conservatives here in probably dozens of threads now, to name an act that is racist. A very few will do so.

Faced with examples of plain racism, they deny those are racist. They deny the existence of racism in modern America

You deny my comment but don't bother to name an act that is racist.

Not a convincing rebuttal!!

Jeremy said...

He and his ol' man are both racist pricks.

Anybody who's ever read a biography of the ol' man or read any of his disgusting newsletters already knows this.

And the apple, or in this case, racist, bigoted prick, doesn't fall far from the tree.

AlphaLiberal said...

flenser, my argument against that is that there is no right to discriminate or oppress. There is also equal treatment before the law.

Really, to have to explain something like this that has been so settled is crazy.

you value your ideology far more than actual freedom for living, breathing humans.

Jeremy said...

flenser said..."Great. I also want private businesses to be "allowed" to "practice racialdiscrimination", as you so adroitly put it. And your argument against it is?"

Typical asinine comment from yet another tea bagging bigot rearing his or her ugly head.

Better yet...why do YOU support any form of racial discrimination?

And can we all assume you're also...white?

Trooper York said...

No problem garage. I still have quite of few of the snappy numbers I sold to Gabby Sidhe. I am sure I can hook you up.

I would always make an exception for you.

Trooper York said...

A couple of ladies who comment here have actually bought that dress. We call it the "power" dress. Great for board meetings or when you want to dominate the cell meetings when the sleepers are activated. Just sayn'

flenser said...

I asked how I could know that they aren't racists. It's a question phrased a particular way for a real reason. The answer is pretty obviously: I can't know. That's not the same as assuming people are racists.


Then what is the point of the question?


You profess devotion to a political philosophy that would allow people to cause great and continuing harm to black people.


The nature of all freedom is that it has the potential to cause harm to somebody. That's not a very good reason to scrap it though.

“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.” Oliver Cromwell

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No problem garage. I still have quite of few of the snappy numbers I sold to Gabby Sidhe. I am sure I can hook you up.

I would always make an exception for you.


Please oh pleeeeeaaase....

Take pictures.

Trooper York said...

But if you want my recomendation garage, I would put you in our Lulu dress in blue paisley with our Franny jacket.

A great look for you this summer. My best selling dress.

Jeremy said...

Trooper York said..."Oh and I would never let Alpha Liberal, Jeremy or hdhouse shop in my store. I have a very strict no commie rule."

Right.

Anybody with a different view of the universe than you or your tea bagger buddies is a "commie."

Keep sucking on those balls...

AlphaLiberal said...

Well, it's an interesting debate. It's a contest between two freedoms.

On one side, the side of history, is the freedom from prejudice and discrimination based on skin color, whether the prejudice comes from private or public actors.

Now, the resurgent right is saying that is wrong, American history is wrong. That we should allow injurious bigotry in order to preserve the personal freedom to injure others with racial prejudice.

Rand Paul has unwittingly done the nation a service by revealing this dichotomy between the great majority of Americans and the runt minority of hardline rightists taking control of the Republican Party.

Trooper York said...

Well Jeremy I don't allow dogs and going by your avatar neither you or your mother would be able to shop for that reason alone.

flenser said...

Typical asinine comment from yet another tea bagging bigot rearing his or her ugly head.



Typical liberal with no ability to read but with a vastly overblown sense of his own moral worth.


Better yet...why do YOU support any form of racial discrimination?


If you stop stroking your ego for five seconds and go back and read my comment, you might notice that I never said I support any form of racial discrimination.

I support allowing individual citizens of this alleged republic the right to freedom of association and contract. That is to say, the right to engage in commercial transactons with whoever they damn well please without asking Big Brothers permission.

Ric said...

I believe many liberals see the country as one big pot of people to be stirred with the same spoon while libertarians see the country as many communities of people. Personally, I subscribe to the latter view.

Small, local governing is best for society, in my humble opinion. It's "agile" government. Bad local policy can be corrected and learned from much quicker and with lesser consequences than bad federal policies that take forever to repeal and cost huge sums of money. Healthcare reform is a great example here. This should certainly be a local issue rather than a federal issue. If the long-run outcome of this policy is financially disastrous, it'd bring the country to its knees (I never thought Greece would go bankrupt, did you?? and I never thought the UK would be a few steps behind them; I would prefer the US to be miles away from bankruptcy).

With regard to the law in discussion, the fundamental issue is this - is it better for society as a whole to have that law in the long-run, or is it better for society as a whole to not have that law in the long run.

I don't believe the law did anything to curb individual feelings of hatred, and I can't say what the outcome would be had the law not passed. I believe the libertarian opinion is that eventually, we'd be in the same boat, or a better one, that we're in today as far as that issue goes. At first, I thought Paul's argument about the 2nd amendment was a bad one, but I understand what he means - if the gov't gets involved in hashing out such details, it'll be only the tip of an iceberg of other detailed issues. Those issues could be handled much better on a local level. Also, the libertarian thought is that local gov't entities would have stepped forward with ordinances after the law passed, and proving they worked, others would follow suit. Some entities may not pass such laws, and people who didn't like it would move. There may still be small pocket areas today having open segregation (perhaps rather than closed?), and I believe he's saying that may just be the social price to be paid for keeping the federal gov't (rather than local gov't) away from continually hashing out social details.

All-in-all, I'm glad the law passed. It's one area where I believe it's probably helped our country more than otherwise for the gov't to intervene. I believe it was a special and extreme case in itself rather than what we're seeing today with people insisting the federal gov't step in on every little issue..... but I think many would argue people wouldn't look to the fed to resolve every little issue had it not intervened in the first place, even on big issues (as today, everything's a big issue to someone, right?).

Adam said...

As a weak-form libertarian, I've asked myself the same question AA posed, so I certainly don't find it offensive. Why, exactly, do I think that individual freedom (and responsibility) is a Good Thing? Short answer: On balance, IMO, freedom promotes greater individual happiness and prosperity, and responsibility promotes the development of personal ethics. These are long-run relationships, though, so the temptation to take a short-cut to desirable outcomes through state intervention is often present.

The difficulty presented by segregation was that it was almost certainly not an expression of the personal preferences of business owners (I don't think that Woolworth's lunch counters were segregated outside the South). Instead, it was probably a profitable response to the preferences of the customers of those businesses, and therefore the people being discriminated against had a hard time taking their business elsewhere. If I find that immoral, should I nonetheless tolerate it as an outcome of free choice?

My belief in personal freedom does not lead me to oppose laws prohibiting sex between adults and minors, despite that fact that some 13-year-olds may truly want to have sex with some elderly film directors. On the other hand, it does lead me to oppose the arrest of adults for their participation in swingers' parties. Where would I draw the line in terms of age? I'm not sure, but I don't know that I'm going to get a lot of guidance from libertarian principles. AA is simply asking anyone who favors freedom over morality (in any particular case where they clash) to explain their thinking. That seems like a reasonable question--and several commenters have provided reasonable answers.

AlphaLiberal said...

Insulting someone's mother? What kind of creep does that over issues debates?

Trooper, you're a sorry representative for conservatism. Too bad you're an accurate one.

AlphaLiberal said...

Adam:

Why, exactly, do I think that individual freedom (and responsibility) is a Good Thing? .

So you do not think that the Civil Rights Act protected freedom? What about the freedom of those discriminated against? Not your problem?

Jeremy said...

"So at what point is a business 'public'...versus 'private'?"

Regardless of how "privately owned and operated" a business is, if it's located on a public street or is provided access via roads, sidewalks, etc, all paid provided through "public" taxation, I have no idea why there is an argument for any form of racial discrimination.

If a business owner wants to forgo any form of assistance in such matters I suppose he or she can discriminate to their heart's content.

flenser said...

Rand Paul has unwittingly done the nation a service by revealing this dichotomy between the great majority of Americans and the runt minority of hardline rightists taking control of the Republican Party.



You are doing this nation a great service by revealing the batshit nuttiness of the American Left.

Your country thanks you.

Trooper York said...

But the Beastly Bite on Court Street has some nice sweaters for you. Just sayn.

AlphaLiberal said...

I meant to add, Adam, all the other benefits of freedom you point to apply as well to protecting the freedom of those who suffer at the hands of either public or private bigots.

garage mahal said...

Please oh pleeeeeaaase....

Take pictures.


I'm thinking a bet, football? Me in one of Trooper's dresses if I lose. And Trooper would have to.........? Hmmmmm.

Trooper York said...

And you are a true liberal pussy Alpha. Jeremy dishes out a lot worse every day in every single post.

AlphaLiberal said...

Let's not forget that the same crowd who want to protect a freedom to practice racial discrimination also tend to support a freedom to pollute, a freedom for bankers and Wall Street to steal, etc, etc.

It's really a sociopathic ideology.

They do not care for the freedom from pollution, from pins striped crooks or from bigots.

traditionalguy said...

@ The Bear...As a principle the States attempted secession was an issue that only got decided politically 63 days days after the results of the two day Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia was given by William Tecumseh Sherman to Lincoln. That alone raised the spirits in the North enough to not to elect the favored candidate named McClellan who had promised to let the South secede in peace. Also, letting the issue of private property trump all is a funny one, because it is the Government enforcement of laws of Property, Contract and Descent using its terrible Courts and those terrible lawyers that are 100% the cause of any and all private property having an existence among men. That's right...people are not born with private property rights, but they have to find and exercise them within the system of the Government that you you only see as taking them away.

Jeremy said...

flenser said..."I support allowing individual citizens of this alleged republic the right to freedom of association and contract."

And this "right to freedom of association and contract" you support is not just another term for discrimination?

Where would this business operate?

Would there be access via public roads? Any sidewalks? Lighting?

How about security? No police?

You're full of shit.

flenser said...

Insulting someone's mother? What kind of creep does that over issues debates?


Must be a damn teabagger! Those people have no concept of civility and decorum!

AlphaLiberal said...

Trooper, any liberal coming here and commenting gets no end of insults dumped on them by your ilk, regardless of how polite they are.

So when you spew out the sort of bile you do, you should not be surprised when strong words come right backatchya.

You can dish it out, but you can't take it.

And you have almost nothing of value to actually say. Like too many conservatives you join public debates simply to attack and insult. That's all your juvenile movement has.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Sure just tell them to suck your balls. That is what counts for reasoned debate in Alpha world.

Anonymous said...

Then what is the point of the question?

Since Althouse admits that the question can't be answered (by anyone), the point is pretty clearly to insinuate that the people being challenged-- sorry, "asked"-- are in fact racist, while maintaining deniability.

Trooper York said...

And as far is the bet goes garage, there is no way.. I repeat no way ...I would go to see that new Sex in the City movie with Sarah Jessica Horseface.

Anything else is on the table.

Including wearing a cheesehead to Giants Stadium.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Regardless of how "privately owned and operated" a business is, if it's located on a public street or is provided access via roads, sidewalks, etc, all paid provided through "public" taxation, I have no idea why there is an argument for any form of racial discrimination.


The outside of my business, (sidewalk, handicapped parking,road that runs past the parking lot) is public. The inside of my business office is private. I have the right to not do business with anyone that I want for any reason that I want. I don't have to disclose my reasons.

In fact I often refuse to do business with people.

I admit I do discriminate.

On the basis of stupidity and attitude. I don't do business with stupid people or people who have a bad attitude.

Stupid comes in all colors and can rarely be fixed.

flenser said...

Where would this business operate?

Would there be access via public roads? Any sidewalks? Lighting?

How about security? No police?


I'm not seeing what point you're trying to make. You're probably taking in liberal shorthand. For all the people here not privy to the inner workings of the liberal mind, why don't you elaborate?

AlphaLiberal said...

So... why should a private business gave to follow ANY laws? Where do you draw that line?

Injury is done through racial prejudice. Injury that, to appeal to the conservative mind, damages somebody else's property right.

Conservatives want to make that permissible. Do you even know why you want to allow that? Why do you trivialize the damages of racism, anyway?

I suspect a leading reason among many is simply that blacks vote Democratic in high numbers. If it served Republican politics, their answer would be the opposite.

i.e., there is really no principle at work.

Jeremy said...

Trooper - Fuck off.

You love to throw out tea bagger insults, calling those with whom you disagree "commies," as if anyone who isn't in line with your far right conservative views as being unAmerican.

Just keep sucking up to your fellow wing nuts and if you find my comments so disturbing...just do as I've suggested on many occasions: just don't read them and don't respond...because I don't give a flying fuck you think.

And I bet you're wearing one of those pretty little dresses right now...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Regardless of how "privately owned and operated" a business is, if it's located on a public street or is provided access via roads, sidewalks, etc, all paid provided through "public" taxation, I have no idea why there is an argument for any form of racial discrimination

Your house is on a public road etc.


Does this mean that the government can come into your home and tell you who you have to invite for your next barbeque? Tell you who you must bring home for dinner? Tell you what kinds of sex acts you can and cannot do?

Because you are on a public street you give the government the right to intrude into your private life and on your private property?

Really?

Adam said...

@AlphaLib, Your side is always asking for "nuance," but when you see it you don't seem to really want it at all. If you could read with an open mind, you'd have understood that I was explaining how someone with generally libertarian views could in fact support a law such as the 1964 CRA. But you don't actually want, or are intellectually incapable of participating in, a nuanced discussion. You just want to yell about big, bad polluters and bankers, and all the other bogeymen of your limited mentality.

Just keep making those sweeping denunciations of those you disagree with, and you'll win over exactly no one.

flenser said...

Injury is done through racial prejudice. Injury that, to appeal to the conservative mind, damages somebody else's property right.



Say what? If Peter refuses to sell a widget to Paul because Paul is a red-head and Peter hates red-heads, how have Pauls property rights been damaged? You don't understand the concepts you are throwing around.

Trooper York said...

Alpha, posting regurgitated talking points is not adding to the debate, but then everyone has their own style.

To say that conservatives can’t take it or respond in kind after the likes of Jeremy and his non-stop vile insults is laughable like most of your inane posts.

We have gone this long without interacting. Why not keep it that way. I am not interested in what you have to say because I have a very low tolerance for bullshit.

So let’s agree to disagree. I just don’t care what you think. As Feech Lamana said to Paulie Walnuts in the Sopranos “It’s a good thing that what you think means uh-gootzs to me.”

Have a nice life in cloud cuckoo land.

flenser said...

Like too many conservatives you join public debates simply to attack and insult. That's all your juvenile movement has.



What do you expect? Those stupid teabaggers were probably fans of Chimpy McHiterburton! Juvenile insults are all they have!

Plus, they oppose the CRA out of racism.

garage mahal said...

Anything else is on the table.

Including wearing a cheesehead to Giants Stadium.


Interesting! We'll have to come up with something fun for football season

Jeremy said...

flenser - You know exactly what I'm saying.

Trying to define a business as "private," thereby somehow enabling it to operate outside laws pertaining to discrimination, is just plain bullshit...and you know that, too.

Paul stuck his big-ass bigoted foot into his mouth and it's going to take more than a few press conferences or messages from his campaign manager to undo what he's said.

Read through some his daddy's newsletters and you'll get a good idea of where the entire family stands when it comes to race.

Trooper York said...

Right back at you Jeremy.

I have to admit you are at least not a pussy. I respect that.

Normally I do ignore your comments.

That’s very good advice. Thank you.

Adam said...

For those who insist on making this thread an occasion to bash Rethuglicans, there is this bit of inconvenient truth:

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 came to a vote after a 57-day filibuster engineered by Southern Democrats among them Sen. Al Gore Sr. father of the current Democratic presidential nominee. (Gore refused to vote to end the filibuster despite a personal plea from President Lyndon Johnson.) In the face of serious Democratic opposition, only strong Republican support could end the filibuster and ensure that the bill became law.

When the final congressional vote was tallied, Republican support exceeded Democratic support by a substantial margin. Eighty percent of House Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act, but only 63 percent of Democrats. Eighty-two percent of Senate Republicans voted yea, while only 69 percent of Democrats did so."

Trooper York said...

By the way, I enjoy the comments and respect the opinions of many posters here who are of the extreme liberal bent.

Ritmo, garage mahal, Beth, Madison Man and former law student are all valued commenters in my book.

I will always give what they have to say a fair hearing. They have earned that.

Anonymous said...

Is it "discrimination," or rather, natural selection?

Does a person have the right to choose his or her own friends? Do we have the right of free association?

Some here will remember Lester Maddox, and his refusal to serve blacks in his family restaurant. Tom Murphy (former Georgia House Speaker) stated: "He had a reputation as a segregationist, but he told us he was not a segregationist, but that you should be able to associate with whoever you wanted." (from Wikipedia)

Now fast-forward to the current "Affordable Housing" laws, which allow free association for some but not for others. In my area, for example, you may associate with whomever you like, provided your house/property is valued above $250,000. Below this trigger, the state gets to choose your neighbors.

reader_iam said...

Didn't Jim Crow laws--at least some of them, at least in some places--violate property rights, too? My understanding is that as part of the overall goal to segregate and/or resegregate the races, the laws in many cases prohibited the serving of of blacks in white establishments (and sometimes vice versa, as well?) OR at least established strict rules for how both races could be accommodated in a single building and/or business. Does this not mean that individual business owners who might have preferred to serve all comers were prohibited from doing that--that is, prohibited from using their personal property--in this case, business--as they saw fit?

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny Queen said..."Your house is on a public road etc."

You're right, and but if I haven't "invited" anyone inside or enticed them inside to do "business," I can say or do damn near anything I want inside that house, too. The "government" doesn't intrude on private matters unless they're somehow harmful to another citizen.

But if I step outside and start screaming racial or bigoted slurs at people...what would happen then?

This whole "BIG GOVERNMENT" is taking over thingie (Princess Sarah) is nothing more than tea bagger bullshit.

Tell me one thing the government stops YOU from doing right now...that is not illegal.

Jeremy said...

Almost Ali said..."Does a person have the right to choose his or her own friends? Do we have the right of free association?"

Of course.

Tell me how the government tells you otherwise.

flenser said...

flenser - You know exactly what I'm saying.


Trying to define a business as "private," thereby somehow enabling it to operate outside laws pertaining to discrimination, is just plain bullshit...and you know that, too.



Whoa! Back up there!

Are you saying that there is no such thing as a private business? That there is no such thing as a private commercial transaction? It sure sounded like you said that.

Don't tell me I know what you are saying. I would not be asking you to clarify if I did.

I think this is the fault line - the left believes that everything that happens is the business of the state, the right believes the state should have a limited sphere of operations.

flenser said...

Tell me one thing the government stops YOU from doing right now...that is not illegal.



It's not illegal to refuse to sell your house to a person on account of their race. But the government stops us doing it, via it's own illegal laws.

reader_iam said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that Jim Crow laws--at least many of them and/or at least in many places--weren't just about (if they were about the following at all) protecting the rights of individuals to associate with whomever they wished [or not] or the rights of business owners to serve whomever however they wished [or not]. It seems to me that, at least in cases and/or at least in many places, they were about RESTRICTING such associations, and in a particular direction as to who should be associating/accommodating whom, and how.

Have I got this completely wrong?

Anonymous said...

Jeremy said...
Tell me how the government tells you otherwise.

Affordable Housing.

M. Simon said...

People say "you can't legislate morality" and yes to a certain extent you cannot. However it isfolly to take that to a extreme. The Law is a moral teacher and it does have an affect

What does affirmative action and racial preferences teach?

M. Simon said...

Right. So Obama was supposed to reject some of his supporters during the campaign for much less, which he did.

I don't recall him rejecting socialist support. Wish he had.

flenser said...

reader_iam said...

That's correct. The Jim Crow laws mandated segregation in public facilities, with "public" bejng understood in the rational, non-jeremy, sense. They did not cover private actors.

Jeremy said...

flenser said..."It's not illegal to refuse to sell your house to a person on account of their race."

Federal Fair Housing Laws – In accordance with Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against a potential home buyer based upon race or color, gender, creed, nationality or handicap. These laws prevent refusal of a sale or price adjustment of a home based upon these factors.

M. Simon said...

The "government" doesn't intrude on private matters unless they're somehow harmful to another citizen.

You must be unaware of drug possession laws.

Jeremy said...

Almost Ali said..."Affordable Housing."

The "government" doesn't allow you to rent or buy "affordable housing?"

That's a new one.

Jeremy said...

M. Simon said..."You must be unaware of drug possession laws."

Possession of "illegal" drugs...is "illegal."

Possession of "legal" drugs, obtained "legally," is not "illegal."

What is your point?

Jeremy said...

M. Simon - Will YOU be refusing Medicare, Medicaid and other "socialist" benefits via the big bad government?

We ALL know the answer to that question...

Lisa Graas said...

Regarding the 14th amendment, I recommend you take a look at the Republican Party's pro-life plank.

flenser said...

Federal Fair Housing Laws – In accordance with Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against a potential home buyer based upon race or color, gender, creed, nationality or handicap. These laws prevent refusal of a sale or price adjustment of a home based upon these factors.



Those laws are illegal under the US Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy said...
The "government" doesn't allow you to rent or buy "affordable housing?"

I think you're being intentionally obtuse. Or maybe you're unfamiliar with Affordable Housing laws?

Want to take a stab at Eminent Domain instead?

reader_iam said...

DBQ: I can appreciate the argument you're making, about "forcing" as opposed to letting things evolve over time. However, I would argue that the Jim Crow laws were, to a large degree, designed to PREVENT that evolution--and, in fact, were motivated out of, if not fear of where that might lead, then at least the desire that society not go "there." In this sense, I think one could characterize Jim Crow laws precisely as an attempt to impose a single vision, a morality of sorts, if you will--though indeed a different one than either today's vision or a more, perhaps, neutral one than Jim Crow or today's vision. In any case, Jim Crow was NOT a neutral, in my opinion--either in terms of race relations OR property rights.

mikeyes said...

flesner sez:

"That's not the way it works. The Constitution is a check on government power. Any power not granted to it is forbidden it. The Constitution does not grant the goverment the power to infringe on our freedom of association. It is not necessary for "freedom of association" to be mentioned in the text of the Constitution for us to have it."

Here is an expert talking about the CRA and the constitution:

"Even though this matter was settled when I was 2, and no serious people are seeking to revisit it except to score cheap political points, I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"Let me be clear: I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

"As I have said in previous statements, sections of the Civil Rights Act were debated on Constitutional grounds when the legislation was passed. Those issues have been settled by federal courts in the intervening years."


Rand Paul today.

mikeyes said...

Here is the complete Rand Paul statement including his feelings about the federal government:

“I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person. I have clearly stated in prior interviews that I abhor racial discrimination and would have worked to end segregation. Even though this matter was settled when I was 2, and no serious people are seeking to revisit it except to score cheap political points, I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

“Let me be clear: I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.”

“As I have said in previous statements, sections of the Civil Rights Act were debated on Constitutional grounds when the legislation was passed. Those issues have been settled by federal courts in the intervening years.”

“My opponent's statement on MSNBC Wednesday that I favor repeal of the Civil Rights Act was irresponsible and knowingly false. I hope he will correct the record and retract his claims.”

“The issue of civil rights is one with a tortured history in this country. We have made great strides, but there is still work to be done to ensure the great promise of Liberty is granted to all Americans.”

“This much is clear: The federal government has far overreached in its power grabs. Just look at the recent national healthcare schemes, which my opponent supports. The federal government, for the first time ever, is mandating that individuals purchase a product. The federal government is out of control, and those who love liberty and value individual and state's rights must stand up to it.”

“These attacks prove one thing for certain: the liberal establishment is desperate to keep leaders like me out of office, and we are sure to hear more wild, dishonest smears during this campaign."

GMay said...

Jeremy blurted: "M. Simon - Will YOU be refusing Medicare, Medicaid and other "socialist" benefits via the big bad government?

We ALL know the answer to that question..."


It would be pretty fucking stupid to refuse the benefits of a program the state forced him to pay into. But you're not really above making pretty fucking stupid points are ya buttercup?

knox said...

I was giving them a chance to explain the charm of their political philosophy, which was coming across as rather repellent. They responded by getting very belligerent.

Do you not see that we live in a world where anyone who expouses non-liberal political philosophies--extreme or not--are accused of being racist? And do you not see that this is a vary dangerous situation for us to be in?

Well, I do. And so do others on the right, who are tired of the accusation being flung at them recklessly, again and again.

Let's just say that I think our society is in more danger from Political Correctness, which seeks to intimidate and silence other points of view than it is from racist libertarians.

Frankly, I think it's weird that you played the racist card and defend it to this day. Weird and depressing.

MikeDC said...

No, I didn't. I wish people would be more precise about language. You're creating straw men to fight. I asked how I could know that they aren't racists. It's a question phrased a particular way for a real reason. The answer is pretty obviously: I can't know. That's not the same as assuming people are racists.

That's weak... especially when you give away that you think what really motivates them is racism...

I could have avoided asking a question and just said what I thought. It would be: You profess devotion to a political philosophy that would allow people to cause great and continuing harm to black people. You don't seem to care about that, and you seem quite pleased with yourself and smug about your ideas. For all I know, you are motivated by racism.

And: The more you talk about your political philosophy, the more I dislike you. If you don't say something soon that reaches me, I'm not going to want to talk to you anymore. You are completely missing the opportunity to win me over, and you have destroyed any inclination I once had to think of myself as libertarian.


We could just avoid asking a question you've pre-determined to ignore the answer to, and admit that there was never an "opportunity to win you over" in the first place.

I'm fairly steeped in libertarian thought, and your question is not a serious one. It's an absurd one that pre-supposes the answer that to believe that, you must be a closet racist.

A libertarian should, and is correct to say say that devotion to his political philosophy would cause great and continuing benefit to black people.

The answer is that for every non-regulation of private property that causes harm to black folks, such as allowing racists to discriminate against them, there are more regulations of private property that cause harm to black folks.

The libertarian political theory says folks should be legally free to do as they wish across the board. Nowhere is obeying the law more difficult than for poor black folks living in inner cities. The tax code, labor law, property law, and the criminal law, all things libertarians would simplify and roll back, are so burdensome that people must break the law to get by.

Beyond the immediate social and economic problems of black people, much of the framework of the regulatory state, especially with respect to property and contract, is clearly stacked against them. Do you really think the Davis-Bacon act is doing good things for Black people?

So across the board, your question is disingenuous because you've given away that you already had an answer rather than an open mind. It is stupid, because the question is just out and out wrong on the facts. And thus it is insulting, because regardless of how you try to parse a "precise" means of saying it, being stupid, disingenuous and asking people to distinguish themselves from racists is just plain offensive. Woman up and admit your own unconscious led you to screw the pooch.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ: I can appreciate the argument you're making, about "forcing" as opposed to letting things evolve over time. However, I would argue that the Jim Crow laws were, to a large degree, designed to PREVENT that evolution--and, in fact, were motivated out of, if not fear of where that might lead, then at least the desire that society not go "there."

Thank you. And I agree with you that the Jim Crow laws were meant to be an obstacle.

The issue is not that the regional Jim Crow laws should have been repealed (they certainly should) but rather should the Federal Government step in and make wide sweeping laws that affected not just the segregated South but also changed private property rights all across the land and the rights of people to choose with whom they want to associate.

The CRA went much further than just allowing people to eat at the lunch counter (I know that was trivial) and extended into the rights of businesses to do business as suits their plan and demographics and that of private individuals (Boy Scouts for example) to associate with freedom.

What it did was to create a new legal class of people who can be discriminated against. It also is today used to create new and completely unintended classes of the "discriminated".

Gay marriage, if it goes the way of CRA, will retard the acceptance of gays being married because, once again the government is intruding into the process. Acceptance of gay marriage is increasing yearly. Again...not as fast as the advocates want, but you CANNOT legislate people's opinions.

While well intended, the CRA legislation has probably held true societal restructuring back and created divisions that resonate today.

GMay said...

AA defends with: "I wish people would be more precise about language. You're creating straw men to fight. I asked how I could know that they aren't racists. It's a question phrased a particular way for a real reason."

I was just going to call this hopelessly pedantic, but I really like MikeDC's takedown above.

Roger J. said...

MikeDC pretty well sums it up--bad post, supported by bad reasoning, obfuscation, and ad hominem attacks on posters and the libertarians that you ended up not liking for whatever reason.

What you said is pretty straight forward--it speaks for itself.
Not your finest hour Professor, but we all have bad days. That said, I still enjoy your blog.

AJ Lynch said...

I'd like to be on Laura Ingraham.

mikeyes said...

Dust Bunny Queen sez:

"The CRA went much further than just allowing people to eat at the lunch counter (I know that was trivial) and extended into the rights of businesses to do business as suits their plan and demographics and that of private individuals (Boy Scouts for example) to associate with freedom."

SCOTUS agreed with your take in Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale although I think it was decided on First Amendment grounds and not the CRA being defective.

Kirby Olson said...

I know a woman in Bowling Green, Kentucky who went to Rand Paul for eye surgery. She claims her whole perspective is owed to him.

marc.satterwhite said...

A hypothetical I am shamelessly stealing from another blog (I'd cite, but I can't remember where I saw it) : A black guy is driving through North Dakota in winter. His car breaks down. He calls a towtruck, but it when it gets there the owner/driver refuses to help him because he is black. He manages to hike into town, but the only hotel refuses him a room because he is black. He can't buy a meal in the only restaurant open. He freezes to death. This is a deliberately extreme example, but Rand Paul apparently thinks is, if not morally OK, at least legally permissible.

And why is it so hard for certain people to understand that a business that you open up to the public isn't "private" in the same sense that your home is?

Finally the idea that the "marketplace" or rational self-interest will eventually eliminate discrimination is ahistorical nonsense. Let's say I owned a business in Alabama in the 50s, a diner, a dry goods shop, a bowling alley, whatever. Let's say I wasn't a racist, and wanted to open my doors to all customers with a dollar in their pockets. What do yo think would have happened? At a minimum I would be boycotted, more likely my business would be vandalized or even destroyed, and murder wouldn't be out of the question.

Richard said...

This is a prominent example of "Rhetorical Exhumation" digging up a dead issue and then jumping into the hole and burying oneself.

Trooper York said...

The New York City Council has proposed a law that would end the
"at will employment" law and force every business to keep on employees regardless of their behavior. Or enter binding arbitration or get a lawsuit.

Thus every small business would not be able to hire and fire based on what is best for your business. If you needed more help during a certain season, you couldn't hire more people because you couldn't fire them without the risk of a lawsuit. The wording is so nebulous that almost everything would be gist for the lawyers mill.

Along with the health care fiasco this will spell the death knell for many businesses. The only small businesses that will survive are the ones that have only family members working for it.

Mitch H. said...

Bear, don't be a fool. The antebellum South was a militarized police state, as was Sparta, as are all mass-scale slave societies. They have to be, by their very nature. Men don't stay in bondage by the forces of tradition, sweet persuasion, and moral authority - it requires force - organized, military force at the local level. The same militias which were political patronage jokes in the North were serious business in the antebellum South, and represented at least part of the initial military advantage of the Confederacy.

Me, I think that asking a "libertarian" about his attitude towards the Confederacy is a much, much better proxy for crypto-racism than the CRA.

As for being tarred by your supporters - hey, AlphaLiberal - was Lincoln a Marxist Communist? One of his most important German-American supporters - he gave him a generalship, despite a total lack of military talent or experience - was Carl Schurz, as Red a '48er as you can find. Similarly, Carl Marx himself wrote a series of adulatory contemporary commentaries on the course of the War which were ferociously pro-Union. He saw the South as a feudal remnant, and supported the capitalist North as obviously more progressive and dialectically preferable.

And: The more you talk about your political philosophy, the more I dislike you. If you don't say something soon that reaches me, I'm not going to want to talk to you anymore.

The funny thing is I'm not a libertarian, and it isn't my philosophy. I'm more of a neoconservative, and quite fond of utilitarianism. It's just I'm also fond of More's thick laws, and well-aware of man's limitations.

flenser said...

A black guy is driving through North Dakota in winter. His car breaks down. He calls a towtruck, but it when it gets there the owner/driver refuses to help him because he is black. He manages to hike into town, but the only hotel refuses him a room because he is black. He can't buy a meal in the only restaurant open. He freezes to death. This is a deliberately extreme example, but Rand Paul apparently thinks is, if not morally OK, at least legally permissible.



Everything should be prohbited except for those select things which the state says are permissible.

That same black guy could die from the crappy health-care system you want to fost on him and you'd have no complaints, so spare me this notion that you're concerned for his welfare.

How about this?

"A guy is driving through North Dakota in winter. His car breaks down. He calls a towtruck, but it when it gets there the owner/driver refuses to help him because he is broke. He manages to hike into town, but the only hotel refuses him a room because he is broke. He can't buy a meal in the only restaurant open. He freezes to death."


The moral of the story - we need to eliminate the use of money. Hey, it makes as much sense as what you said.

Synova said...

Over 300 posts and who knows where the discussion is now. I've been busy today. I don't know how much I'll be able to catch up on.

I just wanted to say, though... I don't think that this is an example of extreme libertarian ideas. It's pretty ordinary, actually. If property means anything at all, then it *is* very like speech. And as much as a person should not be forced to allow just anyone in their home, they should be free to decide who they will do business with for their own reasons, whatever those reasons are.

What Paul says he prefers is also pretty ordinary, rather than extreme, libertarianism which is that people ought to avoid businesses that discriminate, boycott or picket them. But even without that the best business model is going to be one where everyone's money is green, and that's good enough.

But would that have worked in 1964? We're probably inclined to say no, it wouldn't have... but it seems that in order to get laws passed (usually) public opinion has to *already* be where it needs to be or nearly so. So who's to say it wouldn't have worked? We don't know.

Also... Lastly...

If someone asked me to prove I wasn't a racist, I'd be really pissed. Honestly, Althouse, it surprised you that people got mad?

Synova said...

Over 300 posts and who knows where the discussion is now. I've been busy today. I don't know how much I'll be able to catch up on.

I just wanted to say, though... I don't think that this is an example of extreme libertarian ideas. It's pretty ordinary, actually. If property means anything at all, then it *is* very like speech. And as much as a person should not be forced to allow just anyone in their home, they should be free to decide who they will do business with for their own reasons, whatever those reasons are.

What Paul says he prefers is also pretty ordinary, rather than extreme, libertarianism which is that people ought to avoid businesses that discriminate, boycott or picket them. But even without that the best business model is going to be one where everyone's money is green, and that's good enough.

But would that have worked in 1964? We're probably inclined to say no, it wouldn't have... but it seems that in order to get laws passed (usually) public opinion has to *already* be where it needs to be or nearly so. So who's to say it wouldn't have worked? We don't know.

Also... Lastly...

If someone asked me to prove I wasn't a racist, I'd be really pissed. Honestly, Althouse, it surprised you that people got mad?

A.G. said...

I could have avoided asking a question and just said what I thought. It would be: You profess devotion to a political philosophy that would allow people to cause great and continuing harm to black people. You don't seem to care about that, and you seem quite pleased with yourself and smug about your ideas. For all I know, you are motivated by racism.

With all due respect, I think that this mindset fails to take into account some of the socio-psychological effects of racism/perceived racism. What I mean by this, is that this view seems to suggest that real/perceived racist views can be legislated away by more Federal protection. But has it really?

Instead, we have racism that used to exist in an outward form (KKK, segregation, etc.) by certain whites in the south that has now shifted to a pervasive form that (supposedly exists) everywhere and in everything. "All" corporations are "racist" to many minorities; all actions by whites- "smiling faces, lying to the races"- are racist. Blacks and minority groups are now driven away from interactions with whites, and job opportunities that would better their economic situation, because of this inherent mistrust; this view of pervasive racism. Time and time again, I've heard from both blacks and whites how individual relationships between the races are better these days in the South than in the North, where the "pervasive form" has lingered for decades because of covert housing discrimination, union members in the North not allowing Blacks migrating from the South to join, etc. And now we have many Blacks in the North living in destitution; in jail; in broken homes; in gangs, etc. Think again then- who is really hurt the most by this; where the "great harm" is really coming from?

If somebody really is racist and discriminatory, wouldn't you rather have it out in the open (race-based violence being a separate matter, obviously) instead of the stealth form? I relish the opportunity to hear Jeremah Wright and Farrakhan speak about whites- that way I know not to trust those guys with anything.

As for the libertarian property rights argument- I'm not studied in libertarianism, but I would ask, how is it really any different when devout Muslim cab drivers won't allow people who have been drinking to go in their cabs? Yeah, it's a religious decision, but it has a large racial discriminatory effect on whites, Hispanics, Asians, and others who aren't Muslim. And yet, I've always defended the rights of the Muslims who make this decision in their own private property of the cabs they own. You don't like it- patronize another cab.

Jeremy said...

Almost Ali said..."I think you're being intentionally obtuse. Or maybe you're unfamiliar with Affordable Housing laws? Want to take a stab at Eminent Domain instead?"

You show me any "government" guidelines or laws that prohibit anyone from buying or renting "affordable housing."

As for eminent domain...that's another argument entirely.

Jeremy said...

flenser said...that Federal housing laws "are illegal under the US Constitution."

Show me where that appears in the U.S. Constitution.

Ridiculous.

Alexander said...

The 14th Amendment obviously doesn't apply to private party discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was probably a good idea, but probably exceeded Congress's enumerated powers. However, I do think that the purpose of Congress and all legislatures is to experiment legislatively with enacting social norms, and that it is the province of our courts to restrain them. Inasmuch as the courts have sustained the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to properly apply to private businesses under the commerce clause, I cannot in good conscience argue against it. Is it a good idea? Probably not. Forcing people to not be overtly racist as a consequence of operating a business simply means that closet racists get supported by an ignorant populace. I think it would be better for society to let the emerging social norms put them out of business.

Let me ignore the rich irony of the chicken-egg dispute by conceding it is quite unlikely that without the Civil Rights Act it is quite possible that there would still be openly segregated lunch counters. Instead, we presently suffer de facto segregation. I'm not convinced that's any better.

Jeremy said...

GMay said..."It would be pretty fucking stupid to refuse the benefits of a program the state forced him to pay into."

Many people never pay a dime into Medicare, Medicaid or even Social Security.

My point is the same as always, asshole...whining about "socialism" would carry more weight if those doing the whining agree to give up the services and benefits afforded them through what they refer to as "socialistic" government.

Anonymous said...

What this whole mess really proves is that the nation is STILL unable to have a principled argument about the proper roll of government in combating bigotry without resorting to pure name calling. Cries of racism are all we get. We (OP included) have a lot of growing up to do.

flenser said...

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was probably a good idea, but probably exceeded Congress's enumerated powers. However, I do think that the purpose of Congress and all legislatures is to experiment legislatively with enacting social norms, and that it is the province of our courts to restrain them. Inasmuch as the courts have sustained the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to properly apply to private businesses under the commerce clause, I cannot in good conscience argue against it.




You admit that the CRA is unconstitutional (exceeds Congress' enumerated powers) but you can't argue against it? Something there does not compute.

flenser said...

Show me where that appears in the U.S. Constitution.


Jeremy, it is not the case that anything not explicitly denied to the government in the Constitution is permitted it. It's the other way around - the government can do only what to is expressly granted permission to do.

Nothing in the US Constitution permits the federal government to tell a homeowner who he may or may not sell to. Therefore that is forbidden to the government, and laws it passes to that effect are illegal.

c3 said...

.Oh and I would never let Alpha Liberal, Jeremy or hdhouse shop in my store. I have a very strict no commie rule.

then
Right.

Anybody with a different view of the universe than you or your tea bagger buddies is a "commie."

Keep sucking on those balls...


then

Well Jeremy I don't allow dogs and going by your avatar neither you or your mother would be able to shop for that reason alone.
then
insulting someone's mother? What kind of creep does that over issues debates?

Seriously!! Humor followed by gross sexual insult then followed by somewhat lighter insult. I believe Jeremy long ago left the "issues" discussion. And that's probably because he has "issues"

Alexander said...

Flenser-

Forgive me for being unclear. I happen to disagree with the Wickard v. Filburn line of cases, and most of the history of the commerce clause. That being said, this whole thing is essentially an exercise in mental masturbation. It is the law, it has been sustained through the very constitutional challenges considered, it's a good idea, etc. I just think that racists should be easily identifiable by allowing them to proclaim their opinions publicly, so I can avoid doing business with them, rather than requiring racists to do business with everyone.

Damon said...

Ann - "You profess devotion to a political philosophy that would allow people to cause great and continuing harm to black people."

That political philosophy does A LOT more than continuing harm to black people. To focus on that one minute aspect and infer that is the reason for the philosophy... well, that is very narrow minded. And, simply put, you are not a libertarian. No amount of cajoling from a friendly crowd will change that fact.

Libertarians believe in the right to be left alone. You don't believe that. It is pretty simple actually, and everyone thinks they can change your mind with an argument. You truly are one of the few pragmatists who take that philosophy to its conclusion. That said pragmatism is also build on underlying philosophies (it cannot stand on its own), so don't think you are not an ideologue. It just isn't as apparent and since it is cloaked behind the pragmatism it is much harder to ascertain and discuss.

A.G. made excellent points that the end result of government intervention has not been a solution to racism and its harms. It has only pushed it underground making it impossible to confront. Well said A.G. That is the true conservative argument against affirmative action.

Jeremy said...

flenser said..."Nothing in the US Constitution permits the federal government to tell a homeowner who he may or may not sell to."

Nor are the words “separation of church and state,” “separation of powers,” and “checks and balances.”

Are you opposed to those principles, too?

Specific laws are created to address specific changes in our country.

How is it possible for you to be unaware of that?

Jeremy said...

c3 - I never insulted anybody's mother.

If you say that I did, you're a liar.

Oh, and when you get a chance, spit out those balls and fuck off.

MikeDC said...

As for the libertarian property rights argument- I'm not studied in libertarianism, but I would ask, how is it really any different when devout Muslim cab drivers won't allow people who have been drinking to go in their cabs? Yeah, it's a religious decision, but it has a large racial discriminatory effect on whites, Hispanics, Asians, and others who aren't Muslim. And yet, I've always defended the rights of the Muslims who make this decision in their own private property of the cabs they own. You don't like it- patronize another cab.

I am studied in libertarian thought and I agree.

That being said, I'm not sure there isn't something to be said for common carrier principles within libertarian philosophy and I've always thought that was a decent way to attack discrimination from a voluntarist perspective. But that's sort of an idle musing too...

flenser said...

flenser said..."Nothing in the US Constitution permits the federal government to tell a homeowner who he may or may not sell to."


Nor are the words “separation of church and state,” “separation of powers,” and “checks and balances.”

Are you opposed to those principles, too?


Actually, I am, at least as the liberals on the court try to interpret them. But that's all misdirection on your part in any case. The constitution lays out the different powers of the different banches of government. It's not necessary for it to say the words "separation of powers" for that thing to exist.

The Constitution does not, in any way, shape or form, even hint at giving the federal government any control over who I sell my house to. The laws it passes to that effect have zero basis in the Constitution. If it were otherwise you'd be citing the text to me now instead of squirtng ink.

flenser said...

Forgive me for being unclear. I happen to disagree with the Wickard v. Filburn line of cases, and most of the history of the commerce clause. That being said, this whole thing is essentially an exercise in mental masturbation. It is the law, it has been sustained through the very constitutional challenges considered, it's a good idea, etc.




All those things may be true. You can add: It's an unconstitutional and illegal law. That's also true.

Alexander said...

Flenser-

I may opine that it's unconstitutional, but as a practical matter (and when I teach my con law classes [transparent appeal to authority]) my opinion in this case is wrong.

Jeremy said...

flenser said...in regards to whether he is opposed to "separation of church and state,” “separation of powers,” and “checks and balances.”

"Actually, I am, at least as the liberals on the court try to interpret them."

Flenser...you're just another tea bagging wing nut who thinks it's his or her duty to whine about literally anything associated with anyone with whom you disagree.

Especially if it's a black Democratic president.

Trooper York said...

I have to agree with Jeremy. He did not insult anyone's mother.

Other than his own by his continuing existence.

But by now she must be used to the shame

A.G. said...

Damon,

Thanks for the kind words, sir.

I think when it gets right down to it, it's pretty tragic what's happening in the inner cities. The statists put a simple tag of "racism" to everything so they can create their agencies, their race-seminars, their teacher's unions, their ethnics studies programs to basically give themselves employment, and despite the constant increase in Big Gov, the "problem" never seems to go away. But they of course don't want it to, because if the problem "went away" so would the Racial-industrial complex.

I'm not going to attempt to apologize for the racism and violence in the old days in the Deep South (I wasn't there anyways), but at the same time I'm not going to let some Lib tell me that the self-inflicted violence and poverty in the inner cities is my fault, and that we have to work within their frame of reference to solve the "problem".

They know damn well that if we ever got our hands on the reins that we would put an end to the sham, end the union b.s. and demand that minorities received a quality education (Stand and Deliver style) -And that's what they're terrified of. (And I would think that libertarians would agree with me on this, if I'm correct). And it's sad that the Libs have such a, um, laissez faire attitude about what's happening in the inner cities.

GMay said...

Jeremy ejaculated: "My point is the same as always, asshole...whining about "socialism" would carry more weight if those doing the whining agree to give up the services and benefits afforded them through what they refer to as "socialistic" government."

Ok, so I can conclude you always make a shitty point.

I'll bet dollars to donuts that the people who never pay a dime into SS, Medicare and Medicaid aren't posting on this board. Unless maybe they're a dumbass leftard like yourself.

If you're one of these deadbeats, go ahead and gladly suck on the teat of the productive members of society if you can bring yourself to remove your lips from the scrotums of the Teabaggers.

For those of us that have been paying into these programs by force, you can bet your sorry ass we have every right to complain, yet still draw from the program we were forced to pay into.

Can you wrap your drug-addled brain around that?

Bruce Hayden said...

My view is that the Jim Crow laws, per se, are misdirection and a straw man. I think it likely that they could have been struck down under the 14th Amdt. by itself, or if not, then the Reconstruction Amdts. would support legislation to strike them down.

The distinction here is that they involve state action. Using federal law or Constitution to trump state law is really uncontroversial in this context. What is controversial, and what I read Rand troubling over is the federal government mandating private behavior.

It was this, the intrusion of the federal government into private businesses that is controversial, and could not be supported by the 14th Amdt., which is why they needed to use the Commerce Clause instead.

What Rand seems to be saying, and Goldwater before him, is that assuming that discrimination, esp. as we were still seeing in the mid-1960s is bad (and both agree/agreed with that), is it good for the federal government to so greatly extend the reach and power of the Commerce Clause so as to address this evil at the level of private business.

What I don't think that liberals understand here is the idea that the ends do not always, and often do not, justify the means. It isn't/wasn't the ends here that are/were in question, but rather, the means. (And let me suggest that putting ends ahead of means is one place that does distinguish the left from the right here - which is why almost all allegations of fraudulent voting are by the right against the left).

So, what has been the result of the use of the Commerce Clause to pass the 1964 CRA? I would suggest that we have come to the point where we rejoice at the rare instance where the Supreme Court does not find private behavior impacting interstate commerce. Growing pot in your own house for your own consumption? Obviously interstate commerce because it reduces the demand for the illegal drug on the black market, while increasing the demand for electricity, which may drive up prices in the power market.

Bruce Hayden said...

Jeremy, it is not the case that anything not explicitly denied to the government in the Constitution is permitted it. It's the other way around - the government can do only what to is expressly granted permission to do.

That attitude on the left is part of why they are so scary.

Methadras said...

Racism is no more an abstraction than the 1st amendment is. People can express their views of racism ad infinitum as abhorrent as they are, no? I don't have to allow anyone in my home that I don't wish to be there regardless of the color of their skin don't I? How about my place of business? If I don't like your face, would I be then called a faceist? Color of you hair? Your general attitude that might drive other customers away? Why does it have to come down to the color of skin? How about if I don't like your familial relations and hold it against you too? Is that illegal? This is the nonsense that has been engendered by the law and has seen a backlash against it by people who wish to operate as they see fit as long as it's legal.

Methadras said...

John said...

Careful there, your racism is showing. I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that Chinese people want to kill their customers' children, did you?


How about their dogs?

Methadras said...

Another question should be asked is, if CRA was never instituted by law, but yet the supports of desegregation and civil rights continued to press forward, would society unto itself have adopted, via societal evolution, their stance? If changing society into a way of thinking rather having it forced down the collective throats of the people via federal legislation, then would we be having the larger discussion of racism if people, over time, adopted views of racial unity rather than forced government institutionalization of it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Methadras

You are singing my song. This is the theme that I have proposed in many posts in this long thread

then would we be having the larger discussion of racism if people, over time, adopted views of racial unity rather than forced government institutionalization of it?

My point. It was happening already. Yes, it wasn't happening as fast as people wanted....but by instituting a fiat/top down law from the Federal Government, the dynamics of natural acceptance and elimination of segregation would happen.

I doubt that you can totally eliminate predjudice, but by naturally allowing people to change...you can certainly minimize it.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have actually found this an interesting discussion. I hope that our dogmatic approach here does not permanently scare Prof. Althouse off or into the other camp.

I can understand why it is possibly offputting for her. It surely is for some of my moderate family members. A lot of them just don't want to invest the energy to debate the fundamental issues here. They have better things to do with their lives. And, yes, they don't see things nearly as black-and-white as many of those here probably do.

Why is this debate of any interest? The left, as evidenced here by AL and Jeremy, would desperately like to be able to tar the right as either hypocrites or racists, or, preferably both.

My answer, I think, is that conservatives got complacent after 1994, and even more so after 2000. Acting as Democrats-lite was just fine. Tom DeLay rose to a leadership position by out-Democrating the Democrats in terms of influence peddling and pork distribution. President Bush (43) wouldn't stand up and veto spending legislation that he probably should have, in order to have the political goodwill to conduct his wars. That sort of thing.

Then, along came the election of 2006, where the Republicans got hammered, and then 2008 where they got creamed even worse. And, all of a sudden, their house of cards fell down. And many of us think that this happened because they didn't stick to their principles, but rather, allowed the Democrats and others on the left to set the debate.

So what are those principles?

The tea party movement has made a good start there. Government spending is out of control. It was bad under Bush, but has gotten far, far, worse under Obama. And, in the long run, that will be disastrous for this country. Maybe even in the shorter run, given the unemployment levels we are seeing right now, and our failure to recover from this recession.

One could legitimately say that excessive government spending is bad on its own. But Rand here has pushed the debate even further. The question is what is the role of the federal government, and what should be the limits to its powers.

I think that a fair reading of our Constitution would lead most of us to believe that we have a government of limited enumerated powers, granted to it by the consent of the governed. Or, at least that is what one would likely believe just reading the document. Yet, today, it has massive power, and instead of dealing with enumerated powers, we have liberals here arguing that it should be able to do anything that it isn't strictly prohibited from doing.

And we seem to have a government today which has adopted that approach to Constitutional Law.

Why is that bad? Because ultimately, it will lead to tyranny. Invariably, the justification for the tyranny will be benevolence. Sure, there are those, esp. at the top, who are in it for their own good. Our government is filled with those people. But I doubt that our resident leftists are evil people. Rather. I would suspect that they are liberal because they have good intentions. So, the tyranny will come for all the best reasons and intentions.

Concluding. I would have had similar problems that Dr. Paul had here if I had been asked those same questions. What we are talking about is corrupting the means to get to a much desired end. That is acceptable if you are on the left, because, in the end there, the only real principles are winning and power. But the lasting damage it has done to our system of government with limited enumerated powers is non-trivial.

Jeremy said...

WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Paul blamed the 24-hour news cycle for the controversy, a point his father, Rep. Ron Paul, emphasized.

In a sometimes testy exchange with reporters in the Capitol, he said liberals were treating his son unfairly and reporters were hoping to stop his political momentum with a "gotcha" based on out-of-context remarks.

"Making something out of nothing is just not fair," he said.

Jeremy said...

SHOCKING DEVELOPMENT:

GOP Senators Distance Themselves From Paul Comments

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And I didn't "accuse" anyone of racism. I challenged them to talk about why they believe what they believed. Basically, I was giving them a chance to explain the charm of their political philosophy, which was coming across as rather repellent. They responded by getting very belligerent.

I need to know why people believe the things they do. We are human beings living in the world. People who want to argue in abstractions make me suspicious. I have too much experience dealing with abstract arguments to sit around for hours listening to the sort of assertions libertarians made -- with a very smug superior attitude that seemed cold and inhuman to me. I wanted to give them a chance to speak to me at the level I needed -- connected to the real world of human life. They refused. Adamantly. That meant *a lot.*

I had had a lot of experience dealing with the way lefties make their arguments and have long had good instincts about where their bullshit is. That experience with libertarians heightened my instincts about extreme libertarians. I might have been able to think of myself as a libertarian if I hadn't had that contact with them.


Well, the obvious explanation is that these libertarians were just cold, heartless people. Which, insofar as personality types go, would not be at odds with their philosophy.

former law student said...

I hope all of the commenters who endorse people being able to use their property as they see fit, even if it physically hurts some customers and employees (as in the smoking cases) go over to the Greenberg yard art post and support his right to decorate his front yard as he sees fit. The more so because:

No law regulates Greenberg's yard art.
Greenberg has not contracted away his right to decorate his front yard as he sees fit.

The alleged diminution in neighbor's property value from art confined entirely to Greenberg's property is surely less significant than the diminution in employees' and customers' lung capacity after being in the smokers' environment.

Regarding the possibility that we would all have joined hands to sing Kum By Ya had the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not mandated serving food to and renting rooms to black people.

To me it doesn't matter if societal attitudes change as long as I can get a bite to eat and go to the bathroom. The restaurant owner can hate me all he likes; I don't care. (As long as he doesn't spit in my food.) The restroom attendant may hate my guts; just let me go pee. (In Europe, restroom attendants often hate you.)

And such laws act in my own self-interest: In our children's lifetime, whites will be a minority in this country. And presumably we would all like our children to be able to get a bite to eat.

reader_iam said...

Another question should be asked is, if CRA was never instituted by law, but yet the supports of desegregation and civil rights continued to press forward, would society unto itself have adopted, via societal evolution, their stance?

That's a hard thing to answer, especially when, as part of the premises of the question, you haven't stated whether this includes or does not include even simply overturning Jim Crow laws (and not, in law, either prescribing or proscribing something else, in the place of Jim Crow laws, which of course did both).

Part of the reason I'm having a hard time with some of the arguments I'm seeing here is a continued--unconscious or not--using of pre-CRA times as an era in which the laws were either race neutral or private-property neutral, or both. Of course, they were not either of those things--not only in Jim Crow places and states, but especially in those that were.

Of course, they were not. They weren't.

Were they?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I see Trooper made an extensive appearance earlier on. I'm glad he did. I've always appreciated Trooper because, 1) He's a nice, down-to-earth (perhaps extremely so!) guy who's not afraid to see when others have a good point to make, 2) He realizes politics isn't life. At least, it's surely not everything in life.

As far as different political philosophies and even policies or positions go, I tend to agree with Ann. People generally have an emotional, sentimental or otherwise visceral attachment to seeing things a certain way, and arrange their political affiliations and arguments around that.

Given the vigorous persistence in democratic republics of the right and left, I assume that both perspectives are valuable and whether one wins out has to do with either which approach is more applicable to the times or, perhaps, which perspective is stronger in that generation.

I see value in both the conservative and liberal (although the precise antonym should probably be "progressive") views. I just make up my own mind on when and where they are most useful. Same should go for the libertarian view. As long as one stays away from authoritarianism, I'm fine. That's the one strand I can't stand.

Also, I think there should be multiple paths available to reach a given outcome in any society. And history shows that there are often more than one movement at work at any one time that allow us to reach a certain point. We should stop assuming that the conservative or liberal approach is better than the other and just accept that at times, leaders or movements emerge that are better suited to their times - and the political affiliation of these things is secondary to how well suited they are to steering the ship of state or society at that time.

AlphaLiberal said...

A very good point by Bob Cesca about the practical implications of the libertarian ideology espoused by Rand Paul.

Combine "everything must be done by the private sector" with "civil rights legislation should not affect the private sector." And we get very few protections against racial prejudice.

Interesting observation.

Cesca:
"Private industry can pave roads, educate children, put out fires and protect our streets from drunk drivers. It can shuttle our kids to corporate schools and back, it can provide clean water to our homes and they can guarantee our meat and vegetables aren't contaminated with diseases. And by the way, in a nation that's 70 percent white, private businesses can choose to do all of these things for white people only. Private businesses can provide everything we need, but only offer those services to white people."

reader_iam said...

Define white, Alpha, given that 70%.

Also--actually, if I had to choose, I'd prefer this one first-define "racial prejudice." You use this term as if it's a neutral construction. Is it? Is that how you mean to use it? Is that how you use it?

When you say "racial prejudice,' what do you mean, exactly?

Hyphenated American said...

"I challenged them — in what I thought was a friendly conversation — to explain to me how I could know that their commitment to the extreme abstraction did not, in fact, have an origin in racism. Which came first, the proud defense of private property or the shameful prejudices that polite people don't admit to anymore?"

Ms. Althouse, I presume you believe in the right of adults to engage in sex with each other without the government's right to stop them. I am friendly asking you to prove to me that your support for this does not have an origin in the fact that you are a slut. Can you prove it to everyone's satisfaction?

I hope you won't be too upset at this rather honest question.

reader_iam said...

Also, Cesca's clearly not given much thought to supply chains.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I think the Supreme Court erred in 1964 in upholding the statute, both because you cannot change people's minds by either legislative or judicial fiat

Well, then, I guess we should do away with those ridiculous laws against murder and rape.

Fen said...

AlphaLibtard: And reading this thread the gulf in world views seems enormous. To modern conservatives there is no racism anywhere. They deny the existence of any and all racism. Simple denial.

Not at all. Blacks are the most racist demographic in America, according to FBI Hate Crime stats.

And you Alpha, you're a racist. The only reason you voted for Obama was because of his skin color.

Lots of racists, mostly on the Left. Huge blind spot.

Fen said...

Morally slavery and racism are some of the most ugly expressions of man's evil

Not back then they weren't.

We were a very young nation. We evolved. Our culture evolved. I still expect a paper damning the Founders for not including Animal Rights in the Constituion... stupid Libtards thinks Liberty arrives for everything all at once or its a sham.

Whats ironic is that the same people damning America for racism and slavery will be damned themselves for abortion. We will evolve further and look back at them with disgust.

And someone will write: "Morally, abortion is one of the most ugly expressions of man's evil"

Celebritiz said...

http://althouse1.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-rand-paul-really-said-about-civil.html

Hamster said...

For the most part, What you do in your own home is your right.

If you want to have sex, run around naked or practice racism at home no one is going to bother you. You can hang out a sign saying "no blacks allowed", invite whites only to your barbecue, watch "whites only TV" etc....that's all fine

But in public, a whole different set of rules apply.

If you open up a business to serve the public...you have to serve the public...blacks and whites, men and women, citizens and immigrants. And you have to serve them equally.

Trying to use "property rights" as an end around "civil rights" won't fly.

Jason Greaves said...

Ann, I am late to the party here, and have not read all of the commentary, but I have read your responses.

You may not have "accused" anyone of racism, but the fact that your first reaction to someone discussing a legitimate political idea is to ask yourself if they are acting from some kind of subconscious racism, says a lot about you.

The fact is, it doesn't matter if they are racists. What matters is the idea, and if you are incapable of debating an idea, without questioning the character of your opponent, than you are no better than AlphaLiberal.

Government regulating what you can and cannot do with private property violates fundamental human rights (the "pursuit of happiness" part, which incidentally should have read "property").

That is why people with strong convictions are belligerent about this topic. For them, it is personally offensive that anyone could tell them how to think, speak, or conduct business on their own property.

I was pretty shocked at your denouncement of Everybody Draw Muhammad Day because I thought you would feel an equal belligerence about freedom of speech, as a scholar and a blogger.

You said that you find people of strong convictions to be "strange" and "frightening". I might find people with opposite convictions from mine to be wrong headed and/or stupid, but I find people who lack them entirely to be cowards.

Jason Greaves said...

@Hamster

Sorry, but the correct definition of civil rights is "equal treatment under the law".

That does not mean equal treatment by private citizens.

As stupid and ignorant as it is, people have a right to be racists, sexists, homophobes, etc. Zoning an area for commercial use does not remove that right.

When you open a restaurant, you are not serving the "public". You are serving your clients, and you get to choose your own clients, not matter what business you are in.

Rick said...

All racists oppose the Civil Rights Act.

Mr. Jones opposed the Civil Rights Act.

Therefore Mr. Jones is a racist.

Hmmmm....

Mickey said...

Hi Ann,

I remember your original post about your experience with those libertarians at that conference a few years ago. I have not read your blog since, but your words stayed with me and, upon hearing this news about Rand Paul, I looked you up again.

You challenge libertarians to explain the "charm" of their position, which can come across as repellant. I guess libertarianism is charming or repellant to the extent that free people are charming or repellant.

Moka Moh said...

al3abfun amazing this is such a great bloog wooow .

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