Rand Paul: lunch counter Libertarian

By now, you’ve no doubt heard that, yesterday, Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, who just won the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky, said that he would like to live in a world where segregated lunch counters were allowed. And, I’m not exaggerating. Paul, a Libertarian purist, said that, although he detests racism, he feels that business owners should be allowed to serve whomever they please. If you don’t believe me, check out this footage from the Rachel Maddow show.

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While I respect his honesty, and his commitment to Libertarian principles, regardless of how distasteful, you’ve got to wonder what in the hell he was thinking as this stuff left his mouth. Even the most bat shit insane Republican racist knows that you don’t go around saying that you want to repeal the Civil Rights Act and bring back segregated lunch counters.

In Paul’s world, the free market would no doubt solve everything. People who found the practice of segregation reprehensible would simply boycott those businesses where blacks weren’t served, and, as a result, they’d quickly go out of business. It sounds good in theory, right? But, if it were true, we wouldn’t have needed a Civil Rights Act to begin with.

My main problem with Libertarians is that they’re idiots.
-Mark Maynard

Without government intervention, women would still be unable to vote in this country, blacks would still be drinking from separate water fountains, and kids would still be working in coal mines for a dollar a day. That’s what the free market, left to its own devices, gives us. And to argue otherwise is to completely misunderstand both history and human nature.

And, as Ta-Nehisi Coates mentions at The Atlantic, if you follow Paul’s logic, it goes beyond just lunch counters… Here’s a clip from his article:

…But what about red-lining? Does Paul know anything about blockbusting? Does he think banks should be able to have a policy of not lending to black businesses? Does he think real-estate agents should be able to discriminate? Does he think private homeowner groups should be able to band together and keep out blacks? Jews? Gays? Latinos?…

In Paul’s defense, maybe he hasn’t thought that far ahead. Or, maybe, like a great many wealthy white folks, he just doesn’t care about such things… Speaking of which, I haven’t looked into it yet, but, if I’m reading the comments of Representative Jim Clyburn correctly, Paul held his recent victory party in a private, members-only club that excludes on the basis of race.

Given these new developments, one wonders whether Paul supporters in Kentucky will put his signs up in their yards, or, more importantly, contribute money to the campaign. I suppose these recent comments could help him with some folks, but I would think that most non-racists would think twice about embracing him publicly.

And, as if that weren’t enough, then there’s the stuff about how he wants to privatize several federal departments, and abolish the Department of Education.

But, if you can believe it, there were bigger assholes in the news today. Or, at least there was one. Newt Gingrich came out to say that Barack Obama – you know, that guy who fought for a more inclusive health care system – was a bigger threat to America than either Stalin or Hitler… Check out this video.

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  1. Knox
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    All the libertarian purists in the world should name their children either Galt, Rand of Ayn. It would make life so much easier if you could know who the nuts are right out of the gate.

  2. Oliva
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Here’s hoping he gets soundly beaten come November. And here’s the end of a good post by Bruce Bartlett (good comments by readers there too):

    I don’t believe Rand is a racist; I think he is a fool who is suffering from the foolish consistency syndrome that affects all libertarians. They believe that freedom consists of one thing and one thing only–freedom from governmental constraint. Therefore, it is illogical to them that any increase in government power could ever expand freedom. Yet it is clear that African Americans were far from free in 1964 and that the Civil Rights Act greatly expanded their freedom while diminishing that of racists. To defend the rights of racists to discriminate is reprehensible and especially so when it is done by a major party nominee for the U.S. Senate.

  3. kjc
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    mark, this thing where you listen to an interview with someone, find the implications of their views repugnant, and say so—apparently it’s called demonizing. i just learned this.

  4. Peter Larson
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    “To defend the rights of racists to discriminate is reprehensible and especially so when it is done by a major party nominee for the U.S. Senate.”

    Paul may not be a bigot himself, but he certainly has no problem with receiving votes from people who are. Although he likely will not admit to this publicly, this is my feeling given the recent activities in Arizona and other states who have introduced similar legislation in an election year. I think it’s incredibly sad that American politics has reverted to bigotry in order to gain political power.

  5. Kim
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Libertarians are, generally speaking, white men that never amounted to much, and live under the delusion that this is due to affirmative action, government regulation, or something else. They’ve also watched too many Dirty Harry movies.

  6. Edward
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Daddy Ron to the rescue:


  7. Robert
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Brackinald Achery seems strangely absent from these threads.

  8. TeacherPatti
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Kim, you hit the nail on the head. I dated (and by “dated”, I mean “banged”) some Libertarians in law school and they were exactly as you described. Now this could lead us to question my judgment, but instead I think we should appreciate your comment for all of its “truthiness”.

  9. Andy C
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    It would be wonderful to live in a country where there was no need for the civil rights act BUT that’s not America and discrimination does exist. I’d love not to have to lock my front door, but once again that’s not realistic. Imagine grocery stores refusing to sell people food.

    Libertarian is more idealistic that practical. Unfortunately it gets a bad rap and filled with racist trying to find an excuse to bring back segregation. After Goldwater the “right” has been for less control over corporations and more control of the people. It’s so backwards.

    And Knox, have you ever read anything by Ayn Rand? Probably not. That’s like blaming Jesus for the crusades.

  10. Brent
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Kim, I think you’re my new hero for your comment. I first thought Mark’s quote was the best I had heard about libertarians, but you have trumped that quickly.

  11. mSS
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    TeacherPatti, look up truthiness. I think you’re right in proscribing it to Kim’s comment, but I don’t think you mean to be.

    And he’s not named after Ayn Rand. His name is Randal, and his wife decided to call him Rand after they got married.

  12. KLT
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Newt is a depleted douche.

  13. Meta
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Rand Paul calls Obama “un-American” for criticizing BP:


  14. TeacherPatti
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    mSS…yeah, I thought it meant something else…oopsity poopsity. See, if the stupid school district didn’t block urbandictionary, I’d have known that :)

  15. mSS
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    “if I’m reading the comments of Representative Jim Clyburn correctly, Paul held his recent victory party in a private, members-only club that excludes on the basis of race.”

    Nope, you did not read that correctly. It was a private, members-only country club. Their website doesn’t say “whites only”, but we can assume that it is not, because, as is the point of this entire post, that’s illegal.

  16. Posted May 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Go Rand! Hahaha! Suck it, racism projectors!

    (that’s special just for you, Mark)


  17. mSS
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Since we’re on the topic, let’s play “name this white supremacist”:

    “I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or political equality of the white and black races. I am not now nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people. There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality. There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I am in favor of assigning the superior position to the white man.”

  18. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    That would be honest Abe, no?

  19. Bob
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    People should reject this guy for his terrible hair alone.

  20. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt that the political power of this blog and Rachel Maddow’s show will prevent the progressive reader/viewership of said media outlets from voting for Rand Paul as Senator for Kentucky. An impressive feat for which you should be duly proud.

  21. Robert
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for registering a comment here BA. You didn’t let me down.

  22. Robert
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and TeacherPatti has just become my favorite commentor to this blog, for obvious reasons.

  23. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I aim to please, Robert.

  24. Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Country clubs, especially in the south, can still very much be whites only. They may not come out and say that on their websites, but just see if you can spot any non-whites represented on their websites. Of course, they don’t say that it’s race. There are, after all, other criteria you look at when you’re assessing new members.

  25. Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    And, BA, will you still be supporting Paul now that he’s switched positions, saying that he would not repeal the Civil Rights Act?

  26. Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    And thank you Patti, for admitting to having banged “some” Libertarians while in Law School. One day, after a few strong drinks, you’ll have to elaborate on just how large the sample size was, and whether or not their love-making styles were similar.

    I’m wondering if you could, for instance, identify someone as a Libertarian just by making love to them blindfolded… It might be a good table for the Shadow Art Fair.

  27. Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Jake, for what it’s worth, I don’t believe that Paul is racist. And, if you look at my post, you’ll see that I mentioned as much. What I said was that he’d like to see a world where racists were enabled and protected under the law… So, in summary, I think he’s stupid, not racist.

  28. Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I just commented here because you told me to on the facebook.

    I do agree with him, though, I thought it was a pretty good interview. His different and refreshingly candidish take on a “settled” subject cleared the what-we’re-allowed-to-think air like a smoking ban, in the philosophical sense.

  29. Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, Jake, you’re not alone liking Paul. David Duke likes him too.

    And, when you get a chance, I’m curious what you make of his sudden reversal. Is he still refreshing now that he says he supports the CIvil Rights Act and would have voted for it?

  30. Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s true, I’m a Facebook bully.

  31. Posted May 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I just answered you on facebook. Maybe we should have some sort of live link to my status updates so everyone can follow along, and my Blob-like ego can start squeezing under the door of your blog.

  32. Posted May 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    How’s this about the David Duke thing — we’ve got some people who like us who are over-the-top liberal interpretive dancing hippies, some who are chubby burlesque dancers, some militia members, some dancing children, and at least one guy who killed a man in prison. So what does that make us?

    Answer: awesome.

    I hope that POS David Duke buys a CD, I don’t discriminate.


  33. TeacherPatti
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Aw Robert, thanks :)
    Mark, that’s a lot of beer you will have to buy me. I should mention that one of these incidents, IIRC, happened after my one and only time drinking Dr. McGillicuddy.

    Friends, please learn from me–if someone pulls Dr. McG out their freezer, run away. Run far, far away.

  34. Posted May 22, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Yeah, personally I don’t attribute a lot to the fact that Paul has Duke’s support. I realize that that kind of this happens, and that you can’t control to some extent who your supporters are. I do, however, think it’s important to note that racists find common cause with him. If anything, I think it should give him cause to reassess his position.

  35. Posted May 22, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    And thanks for the time on Dr. McG. I have to go and pick up a few bottles.

    Also, on a related note, isn’t it Dr. McG who directed the Charlie’s Angles movie?

  36. Joanna
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    According to Rand Paul on the Rachel Maddow Show, there are indeed still clubs who are able to exclude on the basis of race.

  37. Peter Larson
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes, there are many in Mississippi. While they may not officially be white only, I would really hate to be the first black person to challenge it. Buses are one thing, golf courses are quite another.

  38. Tiny
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I think Greg Kinnear should play Rand Paul in the movie version.
    I used to frequent a bar that refused to serve prostitutes.

  39. Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Since mSS brought up Nineteen Century politics, I think it’s worth noting that the “recent” partisanship in politics is nothing new, just a return to the norm. We had what is historically an atypical period during the middle of the Twentieth Century during which, for various reasons (Cold War, domestic social unrest, etc.) the two major US political parties found themselves generally in agreement on many key issue, with disagreements being more over implementation than strategy. But look back at political campaigns of the mid- to late-Nineteenth Century, and you’ll find them at least as uncivil as those of today.

  40. Peter Larson
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Below is off CNN. What a fucking lightweight! He hasn’t even held office yet and he’s “exhausted” and running from the tired “liberal bias” of the media. This is all these bozos have to offer?

    “Paul, the Tea Party-backed eye doctor who won Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary last week, cited exhaustion as well as a desire to put behind him controversy over his comments on the Civil Rights Act in deciding against a previously scheduled appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” according to host David Gregory.

    Gregory also said Paul’s spokesman issued a statement saying Paul wanted to avoid the “liberal bias” of the media. “

  41. Edward
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    That’s one hell of a spokesman you’ve got there, guys.

  42. Stephanie
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    This comment reminded me of what Teacher Patti said.

    In Kentucky, the Democratic Party’s primary winner, Jack Conway, and the Democrats’ runner-up, Dan Mongiardo, each had more votes than the Republican primary’s winner, Rand Paul, but it’s Paul who’s been crowned winner by the media. He’s apparently more headline-worthy than the oil disaster in the Gulf or anything else in the world.

    Rand Paul is every preppy schmuck at every Libertarian Party meeting I attended so many years ago when I was a libertarian. He has the same assumption that his principles will solve every problem. He offers the same solutions that sound swell but disintegrate if they’re brought into real world daylight. He has the same knee-jerk affection for any giant corporation, the same confidence that government has no standing to do much of anything, and the same righteous stand against racism in theory but in practice other principles come first.

    I swear, it’s like I know the guy. He was at every supper speech and every tax protest, with Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard books under his arm. If I met Rand Paul in person I’m sure he’d clumsily hit on me all over again. Only two things have changed — he’s apparently solved his dandruff and pimple problem, and we haven’t yet heard his extended speech on the wisdom of investing in gold (to most libertarians, gold is more important than freedom). But he makes up for the latter by believing in the mythical Amero.

    Rand Paul is principled but woefully sheltered, and so naïve he’s never stopped to think past his libertarian platitudes. Like, what happens if the government doesn’t ban discrimination at gas stations and restaurants? When racist owners of these businesses say “No Blacks”, “No Jews”, “No Mexicans”, then what happens when a Black Jewish Mexican walks in? In Rand Paul’s libertarian state, the owner points to his “No shirts, no shoes, no Blacks, no Jews, no Mexicans” sign and demands that the Black Jewish Mexican leave — and if the Black Jewish Mexican doesn’t leave quickly enough, what then? Presumably, tax-paid cops are supposed to arrest this Black Jewish Mexican fellow for trespassing, and tax-paid county prosecutors are supposed to bring him to trial, and tax-paid jailers are supposed to house him for a year as he serves his imagined debt to society.

    In my perspective, if a business is open for business then a customer’s right to buy a meal or use the toilet trumps a bigoted business owner’s property rights to kick out Blacks, Jews, Mexicans, or whomever else he hates. In Rand Paul’s world a businessman’s right to hate you is more important than your right to eat or pee. Sounds very libertarian, she said snidely. Which is another reason I’m no longer a libertarian.


  43. Meta
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    As Peter mentions, Rand skipped out on the Sunday morning talk shows. There’s a great article about it at Salon. Here’s my favorite part.

    This is simply not something that Paul gets to decide. Talking about important issues is not a favor that a candidate does for the press. It’s an obligation, and at this point, he’s produced nothing better than a haze of misdirection. (And if I hear one more white Republican condescendingly reassure us that civil rights law is not an important issue, I’m going to blow my stack. Besides, Paul’s stand on most major issues is now in doubt.) Representative democracy just can’t work if candidates act like this.

    The rest of the article:

  44. Robert
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    So are we going to run BA for Senate or what?

  45. Peter Larson
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Paul is a wind bag of political cliches designed to get votes without offering anything of substance. Even BA has more to offer than this guy.

  46. Ypsitucky
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Black Jake, are you proud of Paul even when he hides?

  47. Posted May 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Sure, what the hell. This is fun.

  48. DeweyFleecum'nHowe
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Yeah! I am with you guys.
    Fuck ideals.
    And people with pimples and dandruff.
    Do we sense a pattern here?
    Young (perhaps slightly desperate) women “banging” pimply idealists; then becoming older, more intelligent but jaded, cynical (read:worldly) professionals and regretting it.
    Sounds pretty steamy.
    But not really.

  49. Meta
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Rand Paul’s lead in KY has fallen 17 points.


  50. Robert
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I especially admire BA for the way he disappears when he’s most needed. And he’s just an anonymous blog commenter. Imagine if he were our senator.

  51. Edward
    Posted August 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Who cares about lunch counters. I want to know what he thinks about kidnapping young coeds and forcing them to smoke dope and worship idols!


  52. Kim
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Said a friend on Facebook:

    As voters realize that Ayn Rand Paul is the George W. of the Paul family, they like him less and less. Let’s all pray to the Fountainhead in the sky that the Tea Party costs the GOP easy wins in Delaware, Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky and Alaska. Amen.

  53. diabetic droid
    Posted September 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    For all we know, black people don’t even like lunch.

  54. Meta
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Rand Paul lies and tells the students of Howard that he never said anything about segregated lunch counters.


  55. Lizette Creitz
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Senator Paul was in Detroit today telling us about how we didn’t need a minimum wage or environmental laws.

  56. Harland
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Finally, a politician who stands up for the racist golf courses and private clubs of America.

5 Trackbacks

  1. […] get me wrong, I do believe Rand Paul really wants to re-segregate the lunch counter if the good folks at Woolworth think that’s the way to go. And I’m convinced that Sarah Palin […]

  2. By The Constitution requires interpretation on September 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

    […] and say that there isn’t room for interpretation. As someone who doesn’t want to see segregated lunch counters in this country again, I can only hope that a majority of people feel as I […]

  3. […] right – she orchestrated the whole thing to make Rand I don’t have any problem with segregation Paul and his supporters look […]

  4. […] may be OK with black people not being served at lunch counters, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wants it known that he’s got no problem with black lungs. The […]

  5. […] Paul, who is expected to announce his candidacy for President next week, made news by saying that business owners should have the right, if they choose, to segregate their restaurants, country clubs…. This “freedom,” it would seem, is central to his Libertarianism. Paul and others, of […]

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