Rep. Clyburn: Rand Paul ‘Not Good for This Country’

May 21, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Rand Paul, the tea party Republican senatorial candidate from Kentucky, needed just 24-hours after his primary win on Tuesday to self implode under the weight of his extreme views. As soon as Paul shared his fringe libertarian views with the national media, most notably on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s show last night, we have now come face-to-face with his disturbing worldview. Sen. James Clyburn (D-SC) has called Paul’s views on the Civil Rights Act and other federal laws protecting Americans from discrimination, appalling.

During his appearance with Rachel Maddow, Paul refused to say whether he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act when it was enacted in 1964. He took particular issue with the public accommodation section of the law prohibiting privately owned establishments from discriminating. In Paul’s world, the specter of segregated lunch counters are protecting the rights of private property owners. Racism and discrimination, although opposed by Paul in principle, are seen as necessary evils in his libertarian laissez faire paradise.

Regarding the disabilities act, Paul thinks private property owners should not be “forced to put in a hundred thousand dollar elevator.” When asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer if Paul would have voted for the disabilities act, he demurred, saying “I would have to look at it and see.”

Since his interview on Rachel Maddow, Paul has tried to walk back his comments on the Civil Rights Act, releasing a statement, saying he has no intentions of repealing the law.

But Sen. Clyburn is not reassured by Paul’s statement. “I was absolutely appalled,” Clyburn said referring to Paul’s Civil Rights remarks and holding his victory party at a private club. “He made it very clear to the voters in America exactly what their movement is all about. They are parsing words. They are sending signals. They are saying things that ought to give all of us great pause” said Clyburn.

“He just cannot have it both ways. He needs to lay out for the American people exactly who he is, what he is. And I do believe that he is not good for this country going forward,” added Clyburn.

Since all of the media attention on Paul’s far-right fringe remarks, he has blamed the controversy on the “loony left.” But his right of mainstream views have been long-standing. A recent letter to the editor of the local Daily News, written by Paul, objected to the paper’s support of Federal Fair Housing Act. Again, Paul returned to familiar themes: that the rights of private property owners trump any federal interest in protecting Americans from racism and discrimination:

“But the Daily News ignores, as does the Fair Housing Act, the distinction between private and public property. Should it be prohibited for public, taxpayer-financed institutions such as schools to reject someone based on an individual’s beliefs or attributes? Most certainly. Should it be prohibited for private entities such as a church, bed and breakfast or retirement neighborhood that doesn’t want noisy children? Absolutely not. Decisions concerning private property and associations should in a free society be unhindered. As a consequence, some associations will discriminate.” […]

“A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination – even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin.”

Rand Paul’s fringe libertarian beliefs have no place in the 21st century.


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