Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul and his "extreme" views on race

According to Stephanie Condon at CBS news, Rand Paul, a Tea-Party supported libertarian who won the GOP Senate nomination for Kentucky,  has some pretty extreme views about race.

She quotes Rand Paul as saying this in an NPR interview:
"What I've always said is that I'm opposed to institutional racism, and I would've, had I've been alive at the time, I think, had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to overturn institutional racism, and I see no place in our society for institutional racism," Paul said.
But to Condon it gets worse. She writes "However, he added":
"I think a lot of things could be handled locally. For example, I think that we should try to do everything we can to allow for people with disabilities and handicaps. You know, we do it in our office with wheelchair ramps and things like that. I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who's handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator. And I think when you get to the solutions like that, the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions."
So supporting local initiatives as opposed to Federal mandates is now an extreme view. I guess in the liberal mindset, it is.

It gets better. I couldn't make this stuff up:
Paul's views on the issue first came under scrutiny last month during an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal.

"I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I'm all in favor of that," he said. "I don't like the idea of teling [sic] private business owners -- I abhor racism... I do believe in private ownership."

The Courier-Journal in an editorial said that Paul's remarks were "repulsive" and declared that it could not endorse either Republican in the Senate primary.

Paul's primary opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, attacked Paul's extreme views during the primary campaign, though that clearly did not deter enough voters from supporting Paul. Now that Paul is in a broader campaign, his Democratic opponent, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, is using the same strategy.

"These are not the views of mainstream Kentuckians," Conway said about Paul's beliefs in an interview with Talking Points Memo.
This is all well and fine, I guess, because she is quoting others, except for the reference to extreme, which is her own opinion inserted into a news story. She used the same term in her lead, which makes it hard to view this as an objective story. She should have stated that Paul's opponent used the term.
Now that the Tea Party-backed Rand Paul has the GOP nomination for Kentucky's open Senate seat, the media and his Democratic opponent are pouncing on his extreme libertarian views -- particularly with respect to his position on racism in private businesses and whether he would have supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act. [emphasis mine] 
This would have you believe that Paul would not have supported the Civil Rights Act and would not be against racist practices in private businesses, and while not true, Paul has a little trouble articulating his philosophy.

I could understand some neophyte reporter writing a weak report, but to have it clear her editors is beyond me. And for the Louisville Courier-Journal to label Paul's comments as "repulsive" is repulsive to me, but at least they did it in an editorial. But it seems nowadays if you disagree with the "establishment liberal religion" you are racist somehow. Not sure I understand this, but I get tired of hearing it. 
So, someone tell me how this CBS news article is an unbiased report. From my point of view, this is so biased that it makes the people over at Fox news look like amateurs.

For another look at Paul and racism in a more balanced way, see this article at Outside the Beltway.

Note: Condon's story has received several updates since I wrote this, but she has not changed her lead or the tone of the story.

As of 3:30 pm CDT, there were about 220 comments posted on this story. Obviously, CBS visitors are mostly liberals. It's hard to read such hate-filled, vile attacks they make on their political opponents. These people don't debate the issues, they just make personal attacks. After the second reference to Nazism, I quite reading...


jeffrey said...

A very simple argument actually.

Should "private" businesses who sell to the public be able to refuse service on the basis of race?

Rand Paul says YES. (I believe his position is that the federal gov't shouldn't be able to force businesses to do so even though he personally finds racism repugnant)

I think this IS an extreme view as very few Americans would agree with it.

I do however worry that many are conflating his philosophical POV with him being a racist himself.

Steve said...

While it may be an extreme view, it should not be the responsibility of a news reporter to label it as such. She can quote others, but unless she is identifying the article as opionion, she should stay away from labels. This is basic journalism 101 as I learned it, but it seems not to be the standard anymore.

Your points above make sense to me, however. It is difficult to take a strict libertarian philosophy and translate it into politically correct language.