May 20, 2010

The Proud Ignorance of Rand Paul - Politics - The Atlantic

The Proud Ignorance of Rand Paul - Politics - The Atlantic

18 comments:

Smitty said...

A couple thoughts.

I love that these guys all see themselves as little constitutional scholars. They hide their terrifying views under this veil of being "constitutional purists." Thus, hey gets to say "hey, I hate that I have to say this because some of my best friends are black, but the 1st amendment protects racist business owners." In reality, the courts over 2 centuries have defined the extent of the 1st amendment (and others). Strangely, the civil right act has never been found unconstitutional either as a whe or in part.

My other thought is that this is not simply ignorance (proud ignorance as The Atlantic mentions). It's, in one of my all-time favorite phrases from steve, obstinate ignorance. Willful, purposeful ignorance, clinging to a clearly outmoded and universally discredited thought process.

leighton said...

I find myself linking Josh Marshall a lot, and today is no exception:

Then there is the simple matter of priorities. To a degree the argument Paul is making is something like saying that I don't like rape or murder, I just don't believe in a police force to prevent it or a judiciary to punish the offenders. The reason we, albeit imperfectly, have equality before the law and in the society at large (in terms of public accommodations and so forth) on racial grounds in the whole of the United States is because of federal legislation that forced that to be the case. The reason we don't have white and colored drinking fountains or pools for whites only, etc. You can say you think all those things are awful and you may be telling the truth. But what are you going to do about it? The variant of libertarianism which Paul espouses, while internally consistent in theory and separate from race, has you saying, I wouldn't do anything about it -- though I'd decry it as an individual.

Monk-in-Training said...

Simply put, Rand Paul and his community value property rights over human rights.

God, however seeks justice for the poor, and oppressed. Human rights trump property rights.

Isaiah 10:1-2 (New International Version)

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, 2 to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.

Smitty said...

Monk:

Unfortunately, Rand and his fellows only stop at the first half of that quote (Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees) as justification; it's taxes and civil rights laws that are oppressive. They fail to take the second half; the to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people" part.

Streak said...

"obstinate ignorance" is fabulous. I am going to file that one away.

As I told a friend today, this right wing seems to have either not thought things through, or as Monk and Leighton note, their policy is actively destructive.

I think the willingness to remain ignorant despite any outside evidence is widespread and incredibly bad for our republic.

Monk-in-Training said...

Streak,

I am trying not to use "proactively stupid" these days, but it is still a cute phrase

6000 said...

Given the great gulf that divides you leftists from conservative Americans, should we try to find a way to divide the country geographically and separate from one another? That might be the only way to avoid bloodshed.

Streak said...

Right, 6000, violence and bloodshed? Nice threat. The only real threat of that is from right-wing idiots like you.

Streak said...

Oh, and 6000? Way to make Monk's point almost by yourself. Proactively and obstinately stupid.

leighton said...

Not conservative Americans, 6000, just batshit crazy Americans. Conservatives with even rudimentary social skills tend to be decent at interpersonal conflict resolution. It's not them I'm worried about.

6000 said...

leighton,

How many "just batshit crazy Americans" are there? And, have you considered that if you push Conservatives as far a hussein obama wants to push them, they might lose their patience with you leftists?

leighton said...

6000,

Have you considered that your attempts to pretend to be mainstream, let alone part of a majority, are really hilarious and provide much-needed amusement for non-batshit-crazy people? Thanks again. :)

steves said...

Obstinate ignorance came about when I found myself in arguments with people that just ignore reality, reason and logic. There are many things where reasonable minds can differ, but there are some things where that doesn't occur. Unfortunately, there are some people that are incapable of being ignorant and show no effort at any kind of intellectual development.

I am libertarian on many subjects, but I don't agree with them on the concept of property rights, especially as it is related to businesses and places open to the public. If you want to exclude whomever from your house, camp, cottage, or the like, fine by me. If you have a business that is open to the public, I don't think you should be able to do that.

I suppose it would be possible to make some sort of Constitutional argument that this should be allowed, but it has been many decades since any court would allow this and it is highly doubtful that this will ever change. Pragmatically speaking, it is stupid to suggest a change to this rule.

The same can be said about not allowing smoking in restaurants and bars in Michigan. There are non-smokers that think businesses should be able to decide this, and I should probably agree with them, but I just love being able to go into a place like that and breathe unpolluted air. After spending 5 days in Louisiana, where 90% of the population smokes, I was glad to be back in Michigan.

I'm sure Paul's defenders will dismiss this interview as a lefty hit-job. But Maddow gave him every opportunity to correct the record, or defend it, and Paul answered with a series of feints and dodges.

I don't really care for Maddow and I don't believe for a second that she really wanted to give him a fair shake. That being said, if you want to "play in the majors", you better be able to handle yourself in this kind of situation and articulate your views. Otherwise, you end up looking like a boob.

Streak said...

Let's not forget what 6000 and his idiot friends are mad about--how the president is "pushing them."

1) He is black, and duly elected as President. That is enough to inflame the racist idiots like 6000.

2) He dared to push for legislation that those voting for him in an election wanted--to expand healthcare so that more people would have access to coverage.

Note. He didn't argue he could listen in on their phone calls without warrants. He didn't threaten them with jail if they disagree with him. He didn't tell them he was coming to take their guns out of their cold dead hands.

He expanded healthcare. That is what causes idiots and racists to threaten violence.

This reminds me of the Spanish requiremento where the conquistadores read to indigenous peoples their intentions and justifications. If the people would submit and agree with the Spanish on every front, things would go well. If they didn't, the Spanish warned them, they would enslave their women and children, and kill the rest, and it would be the Indian's fault!

Now, 6000 and his Glenn Beck listening idiots are telling us that since we don't agree with them, they are going to become violent and it will be our fault--our fault for voting and legislating and daring to tax people.

As for Maddow, I am not sure what your problem is with her, Steve, nor what she could have done to give Paul a better shake. She made no pretense of objectivity, but gave him every chance to answer one simple question--a question he could not answer. If that isn't a fair shake, and one where he was treated respectfully throughout the interview, then I don't know what a fair shake is.

steves said...

As for Maddow, I am not sure what your problem is with her

I wouldn't say that I had a problem with her. Like most pundits, I just don't care for her and would prefer to watch/listen to others. Just a preference.

She made no pretense of objectivity, but gave him every chance to answer one simple question--a question he could not answer. If that isn't a fair shake, and one where he was treated respectfully throughout the interview, then I don't know what a fair shake is.

I suppose a fair shake would be having some sense of objectivity. I wasn't defending Paul at all. He knew damn well that this wouldn't be a easy interview and did a lousy job. He could have easily refused the interview and picked a more favorable forum. I don't feel any sympathy for him at all.

Smitty said...

I found this to be extremely poignant.

steves said...

That is a good way handling that. It is frequently used in couples/family counseling. Instead of saying "you are a jerk," you focus on what what said..."what you said hurt me."

Streak said...

I suppose a fair shake would be having some sense of objectivity.

But that usually means "fake" objectivity where everything the person says is taken at face value. That isn't fair, and it isn't really objective. It allows the interviewee to say whatever they want. She allowed that, but challenged him on the facts, and didn't pretend that she agreed with him.

I will take that every day. Civil, yet firm. Follow up when people dodge, and clearly challenging a bullshit answer.

In my book, that is a fair take, and what is most important for the viewer, a decent interview. Paul was able to duck the question on NPR and everywhere else. Maddow didn't let him duck. But she didn't yell at him either.

I don't watch her that often, mostly because I find the news that she and Olbermann covers tends to make me angry. But I am always amazed at her intelligence and quickness and her absolute civility when interviewing people.