Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul calls criticism of BP "un-American."

Rand Paul, the new Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky is a hero of the Tea Party.

Some hero. For starters, he said that he believes businesses should have the right to refuse seating to minority customers. Welcome to the Kentucky of 1955.

And now he's out there saying that President Obama and his administration are anti-business and "un-American" for criticizing oil giant BP (officially British Petroleum) over their handling of the oil spill.

I guess "American values" now includes having no clue how to stop the gusher, and it's perfectly OK (pro-business) if you kill off miles of coastline for at least a generation. Hey, it's 'business,' right?

One almost has to feel for minority leader Mitch McConnell. He and Senate political architect John Cornyn (R-TX) pushed his state's other Republican Senator, the gaffe-prone Jim Bunning, into retirement so he could put his hand-picked candidate, Trey Grayson up against the Democrats in the general. But then Paul beat Grayson Tuesday, and by a large margin. And then the past reached out and grabbed him. Don't blame Democrats for that either. Paul's past statements are public record; if Grayson was too dumb to look them up, well maybe he should have. Paul said it, didn't he? And it was Paul, and Paul alone, who contended that not only is it wrong to criticize an oil company for an oil spill, but in fact that to do so is 'un-American.' Presumably that's his favorite adjective, one we can expect to hear pop out of Paul's mouth frequently if he ever gets to the U.S. Senate. Joe McCarthy, anyone?

This has all backfired so exquisitely on McConnell, that Bunning, who was known to resent McConnell for pushing him out of the Senate, can hardly be blamed if he is having a secret but hearty laugh about this somewhere.

Kentucky Republicans have made their choice. Now they have to live with him, at least until November.


sandyh said...

Well, I suppose they managed to live with Jim Bunning's senility for two terms? Why not Rand Paul's greedy musings?

Have they suffered enough?

Oh, no. A comedian on Ed Schultz just called him Rand Paulin. So true. So true.

Eli Blake said...

Sandyh, Paul is so bad that by now I suspect that McConnell is thinking back to how he drove Bunning into retirement and asking, "What have I done?" Even Bunning was smart enough to never suggest bringing back Jim Crow.

And Bunning is having a secret laugh or two at his home state 'colleague.'

Anonymous said...

Hey doofus,

Rand Paul said he thinks its horrible to deny seating to blacks. But he doesn't think the government should try to force people to be nice to each other.

I own a restaurant and I tell you I don't want your business then you'll take it to the restaurant down the road. The only loser is me. Do it often enough and the competitor will be booming and I'll be hanging the 'for sale sign' out in front of the building. No need for the Government to try and teach me that lesson and I'll learn it better on my own.

Rand Paul gets it.

Robert CZ said...

Do you think that the things you have to say become somehow more important when you do things like call someone a "doofus"? I think it makes you look less intelligent right off the bat. Furthermore, although you seem to think that free enterprise will cause most people to be openminded enough as to not discriminate against people I think that is incredibly naive. I dont care if you are a business owner or not and I am really glad that it is THE LAW that you, as a business owner, are not allowed to not have certain people in your restaurant for the wrong reasons. Uhm...DOOFUS.

dorsano said...

Paul is a "libertarian" - I don't think he's a bigot (though his ideology facilitates those who are) - he's trying to be intellectually consistent in articulating his ideology in a very unartful sort of way (though I don't think it's possible to get from his starting point to reality by any way, artful or not). In any case, I hope he gets more air time to explain himself.

dorsano said...

Anonymous said "government should (not) try to force people to be nice to each other"

Libertarians take issue with the 'general welfare' and 'uniformity clause' of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8 (the tax and spending part)

which provides that the federal government may enact laws as it sees fit to promote the health, safety, morals, and well-being of the people governed.

sandyh said...

In some neighborhoods in some cities a "No blacks, No gays, and No uppity women" sign would increase business and we all know it.

It wouldn't be too long before Jews and Catholics would also be encouraged to frequent restaurants only in on their side of town. Just look at some of those Teabagger signs at their American "freedom and liberty" funfests.

Let's not be coy about bigotry. It thrives when people encourage its legitimacy through arguments that insist no one would ever accept it ever again. It's alive and kicking.

I don't need Rand Paul lecturing me on the finer points of allowing people to hate whomever they wish. Racists can do it in your own homes but not in a public restaurant while I'm trying to eat a meal with friends.

No way, no how, no theoritical argument meets the political smell test on this one.

It makes me wonder what other human justice questions Paul is ready to argue away on the basis that it's good for business.