Radicalism Is Not A Gaffe
June 10, 2010
The most important macro-development of the last thirty years of American politics is that organized conservatism, once an opposition movement that existed mostly outside of mainstream politics, captured the Republican Party in toto. The interesting micro development of the last two years is that the party is starting to be infiltrated by figures who come out of smaller and even more ideologically radical subcultures -- candidates like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle.
June 10, 2010
In 1984, Ron Paul ran for the United States Senate. It was an audacious gamble. Paul, who represented Texas’s twenty-second congressional district, had to give up his safe House seat to compete in the state’s Republican Senate primary.
Rand Paul Revisionism
June 07, 2010
The New York Times profile of Ron and Rand Paul notes, "When his son faced criticism recently over comments that some interpreted as skeptical of federal civil rights laws, the congressman was shaken." Some interpreted?
Is It Interesting to Criticize the Civil Rights Act? Down to Cases with Rand Paul and John Stossel
June 03, 2010
I have held off on writing about Rand Paul’s take on the Civil Rights Act. Partly because I am finishing a book. But also because his idea that it shouldn’t have been made illegal for businesses, as private institutions, to discriminate strikes me as, oddly, both too interesting to sound off on without long-term reflection and too uninteresting to get excited about in the moment. Uninteresting because who among us really thinks that there will be a move any time soon to legalize segregation for American businesses?
Rand Paul Versus The "Amero"
May 27, 2010
David Frum has found another one of Rand Paul's conspiracy theories: Campaigning in Montana for his father, Ron Paul, in 2008, Rand Paul explicated his belief in an elite plot to replace the U.S.
May 27, 2010
Suppose you're the Libertarian Party of Kentucky. Rand Paul has snatched the Republican Senate nomination away from the party establishment, providing the chance to elect the most libertarian-friendly national politician in the country -- a man so wedded to libertarian principle that he endured two days of disastrous national publicity rather than admit that the government has a right to ban private segregation. What would you do in that circumstance?
Rand Paul's Principled Absurdity
May 25, 2010
Rand Paul’s touching (and temporary) display of honesty on the Rachel Maddow show last week has triggered an enormous amount of criticism. Liberals and progressives have denounced as morally offensive Paul’s constitutional concerns about certain provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Conservatives, meanwhile, have taken to ridiculing Paul as a political novice who doesn’t know when to compromise his principles for the sake of expediency.
Rand Paul's Flight
May 22, 2010
When you watch a media feeding frenzy of the sort currently engulfing Rand Paul, it's hard not to feel some sympathy for the target. Paul has a coherent worldview, and news reporters encountering unfamiliar worldviews tend to ignore all the subtlety of the thought and reduce them to caricature. But two of Paul's qualities make me feel that he is actually, in an odd sense, getting off lightly. The first is that Rand is wildly evasive. He's not attempting to explain his ideology while falling victim to a sound-bite press corps. He's desperately trying to deny his ideology.
Rand Paul: Pressure On BP "Un-American"
May 21, 2010
We've had to wait all week, but Rand Paul has finally decided to bless us with his thoughts on the oil spill in the Gulf: STEPHANOPOULOS: But you don’t want to get rid of the EPA? PAUL: No, the thing is is that drilling right now and the problem we’re having now is in international waters and I think there needs to be regulation of that and always has been regulation. What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, you know, “I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.” I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.
Rand Paul Encounters The Mainstream
May 20, 2010
It's fascinating to watch Rand Paul dodge and weave on the question of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Paul holds a position, standard to libertarians but alien to mainstream politics, that the government had no business forbidding businesses and employers from discriminating on the basis of race. Paul is honest enough not to abandon that position. But he's not honest enough to defend it openly. So instead, every time he's asked a question on the topic, he changes the subject.