Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surely curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”     Robert A. Heinlein

September 16, 2010

Jack Conway’s Unfair Attack on Rand Paul

by TomStrong

I’m not a Rand Paul fan, not a Kentuckian and am not going to endorse him or give money to his campaign. Given that, all of the above is true of his Democratic opponent Jack Conway as well. His disingenuous advertisement attacking Paul for an alleged laissez faire approach to law enforcement is absurd and actually makes Paul look like a much more attractive candidate:

As has been made fairly clear by my posts and also by my colleague Stephen Littau, law enforcement in this country has gone out of control into zones of paramilitary tactics that are frightening.

Littau posted a Cato Institute video that showed a police arrest of a motorcyclist by an armed police officer showing no badge who looked on all accounts as if he were conducting a robbery.

Over at the Agitator, Radley Balko reports on the murder of Michael Sipes, seventeen, by police after responding to a noise complaint. As the drug war continues to escalate in Mexico, a smaller escalation appears to have occurred at home, with arrests up and disturbing lethal attacks on homes, including many where dogs have been killed. In 2007, drug arrests for marijuana possession alone totaled 775,138! If a Senator Paul will introduce legislation that would eliminate non-violent arrests for “crimes” like marijuana possession, more power to him.

I can not express enough how much I disagree with Paul on the Civil Rights Act and, given being told by a Kentuckian that racism was benefitting Paul in his senate race, it makes me distrust him highly. Given that, if Paul does think non-violent crimes should be at least a lower priority, that makes me give him a second look. The last thing we need is the “cops know best” approach that Jack Conway seems to be endorsing.

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10 Comments

  1. What do you think his position on the CRA IS? He says he would have voted for it, because of the state of state mandated segregation at the time. However, he is troubled by the idea of government interfering in private preferences, good or bad, in private action. He is denouncing racism at every turn, so to say he is benefiting from racism is a pretty nasty charge. Did you note that in Survey USA he got 37% of the vote from African Americans? Clearly they don’t suspect him to be racist.

    Comment by JKD — September 16, 2010 @ 3:52 am
  2. Paul has two black employees on his campaign, his opponent Jack Conway has all white people.

    Paul stood up from private property, not racism.

    This isn’t the 1960′s …. It’s 2010 the race issue was settle long ago and no one is looking to change it.

    Comment by Thomas — September 16, 2010 @ 8:48 am
  3. I don’t think he’s a racist – I just think his position on CRA is stupid. The federal government does have the authority to protect the civil rights of American citizens, and that authority is not limited to government establishments. I don’t see exactly why a private organization needs to maintain the right to discriminate – how exactly does that promote freedom?

    When someone says they are a libertarian, I am forced to determine whether they are a) a legitimate libertarian who is concerned about excessive government, and is willing to have intelligent discussions on where the line should be drawn (most of the people on this site). b) a mental patient escapee who uses big government as an excuse to rile up the other escapees (Glen Beck). c) an inconsistent hypocrite who only wants smaller government in the areas where it is convenient (most republicans).

    From what I’ve seen, Rand Paul is a C. His position on CRA is nonsense, and his positions on the Mosque and abortion are downright anti-libertarian (and very rong). His position on non-violent crimes sounds good, but that makes him 1 for 4 in my book. Not very convincing.

    Comment by cjs — September 16, 2010 @ 9:14 am
  4. This site needs an edit function. Very WRONG not rong. And I think Glenn Beck has two ns.

    Comment by cjs — September 16, 2010 @ 9:15 am
  5. Oh and by the way, one positive of his position might be that we get more recognition for what I’ll call the “smart on crime” campaign. The downside is that its spokesman has otherwise shown himself an idiot, so it might actually discredit the campaign.

    But either way, this is something that goes well beyond Rand Paul. This is one of the most severe threats to liberty in this country (and that’s something most liberals will agree with you on). We need to find ways to combat this soft on crime nonsense and inject some rationality into the criminal justice system.

    Comment by cjs — September 16, 2010 @ 9:18 am
  6. I agree, this political ad (like most political ads) is very disingenuous. I think Rand Paul could have articulated what he meant by “violent crime” better though (and maybe he did; it’s possible that there is some context missing). I can’t speak for Paul but when I think of a “violent crime,” I consider any action which threatens the life, liberty, or property of another individual through force or fraud an act of violence. This would cover the vast majority of the crimes (i.e. theft, burglary, white collar crimes, etc.) these cops seem to think that Paul would legalize if he had his way.

    As for selling drugs to minors, again I can’t speak for Paul but I think that *most* libertarians believe that it should remain a crime for adults to provide mind altering substances to minors. Most of the time when libertarians say drugs, prostitution, and gambling should be legalized, we are talking about legalization for adults NOT CHILDREN (where the line should be drawn is another debate entirely).

    So let’s review:

    Selling drugs to children = a violent crime

    Selling drugs to adults = NOT a violent crime

    Wall Street fraud, Mortgage fraud, burglary, theft = a violent crime

    Someone who is promoting (?) prostitution = NOT a violent crime

    Comment by Stephen Littau — September 16, 2010 @ 10:31 am
  7. As far as Rand Paul and the CRA is concerned, I’ll stick to what I wrote here and here.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — September 16, 2010 @ 10:42 am
  8. I’d disagree that Wall Street and mortgage fraud are violent crimes, just because they don’t cause physical harm to anyone else. Given that, they obviously do cause harm of the financial, emotional and psychological sort.

    Comment by Michael O. Powell — September 16, 2010 @ 5:03 pm
  9. Also, JKD, I never said Paul is a racist. I did say that I had heard from a Kentuckian libertarian that racism was helping him succeed and that I don’t trust him. I have no clue what his personal social views are.

    Comment by Michael O. Powell — September 17, 2010 @ 6:49 pm
  10. If one were to perform a simple search for the video snippet with Rand Paul, he-or-she would find that the context is a discussion about gambling and how Paul’s opponent of the time was against allowing private casinos, while seeing no problem with state-run lotteries. Paul was explaining that he doesn’t believe legislators should tie up law enforcement with gambling laws against private companies and that they should be worried more about violent crimes. Paul also explained the absurdity of how the government is considering making people earning $80,000/yr qualify for Medicaid as impoverished. He also explained how government shouldnt require more in taxes than is described as a tyranny by the Holy Bible – more than 10% – and the only state taxes should be collected in sales tax. He also discussed the fallacies of dumbing down of school tests in order to get the desired results, rather than requiring accountability and better teaching in school. Rand Paul all the way – not the Con-way!!

    Comment by Dennis — September 17, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

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