Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bill Kristol: Rand Paul Sophisticated, Complicated, Attractive, Plainspoken, Honest and Thoughtful.

Does Bill Kristol ever tire of getting things wrong?

BAIER: The Republican nominee in the Kentucky Senate race Rand Paul explaining a number of times today his stance on the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

He's not apologizing for his libertarian views. He does not care for the laws that dictate to private business but says he does support overall the Civil Rights Act.

This is causing quite the kerfuffle, as you can imagine. We're back with panel. Bill?

KRISTOL: He has a sort of sophisticated, complicated libertarian view of the Civil Rights Act. One of the ten provisions of the act applies to private businesses.

Look, the country decided 45 years ago we have to abrogate our normal deference to the private sector to do what it wants to insist on non- discrimination even in private restaurants and private hotels and the like because the segregation was so deep in the south, especially, and the injustice was so great.

I think that was the right thing. Rand Paul thinks it's the right thing. It's probably unwise if you're a Senate candidate to engage in some theoretical discussion of what might have been or could have been.

But I also have to say, and I'm not a huge fan of Rand Paul, but if you watch the clips with him, there is something attractive about him. I mean, he's plainspoken and seems like an honest and good-natured guy.

This could be one of these flaps that everyone in Washington has a heart attack about and if you are a voter in Kentucky you think, you know what, he thought about this and says he won't change the Civil Rights Act.

He's a thoughtful guy with a libertarian bent. You could do worse than having him in the Senate.

I'm not sure it hurts him at all with the actual voters in Kentucky.

There is nothing "sophisticated" or "complicated" about Rand Paul's view. It is simplistic and over reliant on the power of the market to always do the right thing.

I think Charles Krauthammer was far more on the money than Kristol in understanding this situation.

KRAUTHAMMER: This is not going to sink him, but it is a negative. If on the first day of the general election campaign you have to issue a statement saying I'm not in favor of repealing the Civil Rights Act, you have a problem. Why are you even discussing it?

There is a reason why in America that libertarians are admired and their ideas are current, but they get half a percent of the vote when they actually want to govern. People don't want this purist individualism actually in government.

Krauthammer is correct when he states that this was "a huge unforced error". Whatever point Rand Paul thought was making, this was simply a disaster. There are areas where one is allowed to be ambiguous, civil rights simply isn't one of them.

But it's amusing to watch Bill Kristol once again attempt to make a positive out of a negative.


daveawayfromhome said...

Bill Kristol is a perfect example that the marketplace (in this case the marketplace of ideas and the ability to get yours media time) is not "self-correcting".

Kel said...

Oh, he is proof of that. He is wrong more than any other person on TV, but it doesn't seem to diminish his access to the platform.