Rand Paul not racist just ignorant

Rand Paul won the right to be on the ballot for the US Senate from Kentucky. He comes from a family known for their libertarianism – his father is Ron Paul. The problem with his libertarianism is what is wrong with libertarianism in general – it ignores reality and so it sounds stupid.

On the Rachel Maddow show on May 19th Rand Paul claimed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went too far by forcing integration of private businesses. He believes that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate. He isn’t a racist per se but is ignorant of history.

The common libertarian argument about social issues in a private setting is that people will “vote with their dollars”. They feel that the free market will force out any businesses that do discriminate because it isn’t acceptable behavior.

The problem for that argument is that it makes sense for white men who have never experienced discrimination.

Back in the 1960’s integrated businesses were the exception not the norm. There were business sections for whites and separate area for blacks – even in Columbus Ohio. Mt Vernon Ave was a strong African-American business area.

That type of discrimination lasted more than 100 years after the end of slavery and the 14th amendment. Either the voting with dollars doesn’t work or is very slow.

Today a business that is overt about it – putting up signs or calling the police to remove non-white people – is ridiculous BECAUSE of laws like the Civil Rights Act.

Of course Paul’s beliefs aren’t surprising:

But the idea that the Civil Rights Act overstepped in its pursuit of guaranteeing racial equality in the South is hardly an alien idea to political right. In fact, in certain conservative circles — especially the anti-government, libertarian wing Rand Paul represents — it’s practically an article of faith.

Consider Ronald Reagan, now part of the pantheon of Republican and conservative heroes. Reagan got his start in national politics stumping for Barry Goldwater, whose fierce anti-government views led him to view the Civil Rights Act as an attack on “the Southern way of life.”

When Reagan made his own run for the presidency in 1976, he positioned himself as Goldwater’s heir, picking up his first primary win in North Carolina on a platform stoking resentment of government intrusion in the South. In 1980, the Californian consciously launched his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi — just miles from where three civil rights activists were killed in the 1960s.

Like Rand, Reagan insisted his views were anti-government and not pro-discrimination — ignoring, of course, that in practical terms, opposing federal civil rights standards would ensure that discrimination persisted.

Why Rand Paul’s views on civil rights are no surprise

Of course some conservative Republicans are trying to use the Paul blow up to try and rewrite they history of the civil rights movement. They want to blame Democrats for fighting the Civil Rights Act back in the 1960’s while white washing the GOP’s racist campaigning since Reagan.

“Everybody knows that in 1964, a proud southern Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson, pushed hard to secure the Civil Rights Bill, with the aid of a coalition of northern Democrats and Republicans,” Wilentz said. “This sent the defeated segregationist Southern Democrats (led by Strom Thurmond) fleeing into the Republican Party, where its remnants, along with a younger generation of extremist conservative white southerners, including Rand Paul, still reside.”

NRSC Calls Dem Condemnation Of Paul Civil Rights Act Statements ‘Ironic’

Jon Husted standing up to strawmen

Jon Husted is running for Ohio’s Secretary of State office. In the first TV commercial I’ve seen, he hits the usual conservative talking points even if he has to use strawmen to do it.

Husted is currently a State Senator for the 6th District.

Jon Husted campaign commercial

First of all Husted didn’t “stand up to liberal ACORN to prevent election fraud” since there was no proof or charges of fraud perpetrated by ACORN in Ohio in any election.

Rights are not given to us by God. They are written into the US Constitution.

I am still not sure what “immoral government debt” I need to be worried about or it will hurt my children.

It is obvious that Husted is not a fan of the separation of church and state – see the example about the prayer in the state house – but he also supported exemption for priests involved in pedophilia back in 2007 under Senate Bill 17.

This is just the beginning and it already seems Husted is wrong for the job.

Courier finally uses some ink on Democrat in Mayor’s race

Sorry I am tardy on this post but I kind of overlooked the recent article on the campaign of Thomas Knopf, who is running for the now open Mayor’s office in Findlay, Ohio, against Republican Pete Sehnert in November. Sehnert beat current Mayor Tony Iriti in the recent primary.

Staff writer John Graber used about 800 words on the front page of the July 20th edition to talk about Knopf and point out that unlike Sehnert, Knopf has some actual ideas about what he wants to do in office when he is elected.

That is more ink for Knopf than I have read since the election season began. Most articles before now usually added him at the end with a kind of “oh, by the way Thomas Knopf is running too” in an article focused on Republicans.

Graber makes an interesting point:

A quick glance at the numbers do suggest that Knopf’s got a chance. Of the 26,424 registered voters in Findlay, 10,027 are registered Republicans. The Democrats have just 1,663 voters filling out their roster, but 14,734 registered voters in Findlay have no party affiliation.

Can Dems win city mayor’s office? Little-known GOP candidate giving them high hopes July 20, 2007

Local Democrats plan on a big push for Knopf after the Hancock County Fair at the end of August. I do hope Knopf doesn’t ignore the biggest event in the county. I remember as a lad that you weren’t a serious candidate unless you had a booth at the fair or at least grab hands with your presence there.

For more info:

Thomas Knopf for Mayor

Findlay Mayor Race Open?

The usual way things go in politics in Findlay is if you are an incumbent you pretty much can phone in your reelection. Findlay doesn’t change very fast if at all and as long as you don’t get in trouble you don’t have to worry about elections – especially if you are an incumbent Republican.

Mayor Tony Iriti found out that some Republicans didn’t like how he was doing his job and they decided to nominate political novice Pete Sehnert as the GOP candidate for mayor in November.

Sehnert’s campaign consisted of doing a lot of footwork to visit voters and pledging to get “Back to basics”. That was it.

While Iriti had some big ideas and changed a lot of the way Findlay government operated the GOP voters threw him out.

The local paper, The Courier, speculated that the negative vote was due to low turn out (only 4,391 Republicans voted out of a city population of 39,000), changes he made (eliminating and combining city jobs), and some PR blunders that made it look like he was throwing bones to his business supporters (like having the city buy a burned out building whose owner was a friend).

There are some conservative voters in Findlay – who vote – who HATE spending any tax money for any thing except basic city services (police, fire, water etc…).

Democrat Tom Knopf had no challenger in his primary so he will face Sehnert in the November election.

Knopf now has a campaign website which has more information on him than has ever been written in The Courier.

Knopf also has taken Iriti to task for some of the same issues that led to his defeat – spending money on projects like decorative light poles on Main St or on the environmental impact study of the Brandeman tire dump site. He also proposes to create more channels of communication with “all” members of the Findlay community.

One real issue addressed by Knopf is his proposal to use the land of Brandeman tire dump site to build low income housing – something Findlay has always lacked enough of. My sister was on a waiting list for 3 years and still wasn’t able to get into one of the few apartment complexes that allowed low income residents.

When I was a boy I lived in a trailer park on Trenton Ave. just outside the city limits. The county health department cited the owners because our well water was not drinkable – it was contaminated with sulfur – and the park’s sewer service was substandard. Being so close to Findlay, the owner petitioned to be annexed into the city so we could get city water and sewer service. The city rejected the request. Why? The official reason was the city didn’t see a good reason to approve it – after all we all had lower incomes and lived in trailers that violated city regulations on house trailers. Did you know the city of Findlay basically will not allow a trailer park to be built in the city?

Eventually my family moved into the city and today you can visit the old trailer park when you go to the new Wal-Mart. The land was sold and developed into retail space and then annexed into the city.

Even though Tom Knopf doesn’t have to worry about battling an incumbent for the office of Mayor, he will still have a big challenge against Pete Sehnert simply because Sehnert will have “Republican” next to his name on the ballot.

I think it is sad that in a city that advertises itself as highly patriotic and flies the flag almost as a bodily function would be less than advertised when it comes to the democratic process. The local media doesn’t help the matter by its lack of detailed coverage of the candidates or the issues.

Thomas Knopf for Mayor

Yes, I will gloat in the Democrat victory

I have not hidden the fact, even though I am politically independent, I dislike the GOP so much that I will not vote for a Republican. However, I did vote for one on Tuesday and that was Joe Testa who is Franklin County Auditor.

I am pleased as punch that the GOP lost BIG Tuesday. They lost most of the offices here in Ohio including Governor. They lost the majority in the US House and are on the brink of gaining control of the US Senate.

The national victory for the Democrats is a HUGE rebuke to President Bush, the GOP, and their neo-con cronies. They were the ones who squandered the budget surplus, got us into a protracted war in Iraq on fabricated evidence, and ruined our reputation in the world community.

The wingnuts can try and spin it anyway that will help them feel better but the GOP LOST and they lost big.

The Democratic victory was also a rebuke to the cable TV and radio talking flacks who had no clue what was going on, so much so that until today kept attacking Democrats on behalf of their GOP masters.

You can stick it up your asses Karl Rove and Fox News…..

After 2004, I really thought my fellow citizens were mentally challenged but after tonight they are just slow on the uptake. It took them 6 years but they finally arrived at my conclusions and turned the bums out.

The other small satisfaction I got is in two different races related to my fight to keep church and state separate.

Deborah Owens Fink, the state school board member who was leader of the movement to force Intelligent Design into Ohio public schools, lost her election to another term. She had only 28% of the vote as of 11 PM

In Indiana, Rep. James Hostettler (R-IN) who introduced the “Public Expression of Religion Act” that was passed as the “Veterans’ Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals, and Other Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act of 2006”, lost his House seat tonight.

See also:
A Voter Rebuke For Bush, the War And the Right