Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act

Much has been made of Rand Paul's non-support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Over at No More Mister Nice Blog, aimai comes closest to what I was thinking. My comments there were:

These people don't start in a vacuum, discover a political philosophy and then realize their philosophy doesn't allow them to support the Civil Rights Act. They already have their biases and prejudices and then discover a philosophy that justifies them. I don't think libertarians and tenthers are unique that way. But having a philosophy like that is sort of a get of jail free card. If I support a progressive initiative, I have to defend it on the merits. A "constitutionalist" can say they oppose it on philosophical grounds and not have to get dirty arguing about policy and the implications of that policy. Maybe Rand Paul is so committed to libertarianism that he regretfully can't support civil rights laws. Maybe Sam Ervin was so committed to the sanctity of the constitution that he couldn't support them either. It certainly never prevented him from being reelected senator.

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