Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) do not want to end all funding for Planned Parenthood (PP). They wrote: “The program has successfully reduced the number of unplanned pregnancies, therefore helping to reduce health care costs.” However, they both voted for the GOP budget (HR 1) which cuts off PP. HR 1 contained an amendment of Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) which eliminated the Title X family planning program, which provides contraceptives to low income women. Sens. Jim DeMint (SC) and Rand Paul (KY) both voted against the GOP budget. Continue reading
Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) repeated his call this morning for significant cuts in the defense budget. The new lawmaker avoided the national news media during his campaign but this morning appeared on the ABC program “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” Paul is portraying himself as a spokesman for the Tea Party movement and said he wants to establish a caucus on their behalf in the Senate. Continue reading
Editorial Note by Gregory Hilton: JD Sparks frequently makes insightful comments. He lives in Kentucky and I can understand his frustration with Rand Paul and the isolationist libertarians. JD is a member of the bipartisan group, “Kentuckians Against Rand Paul.”
My top priorities are national security, foreign policy and economic issues. I would not have a big problem supporting a moderate to conservative Democrat, but that is not the choice in Kentucky. Attorney General Jack Conway (D) is a big spending cap and tax liberal.
The moderate Democrat, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, lost in the primary. He came within 1.2% of defeating Sen. Jim Bunning (R) six years ago. I could never support a liberal such as Conway, but I also have to admit JD has many valid arguments.
Republicans Should Not Support Rand Paul: We Must Sacrifice the Kentucky Senate Seat by JD Sparks
I am a loyal Republican but I can not vote to elect Rand Paul to the United States Senate. It would be similar to supporting KKK leader David Duke when he was the GOP Senate nominee in Louisiana many years ago. Republicans should stick to their principles and platform, and sometimes it is necessary to lose a battle in order to win the war.
Jack Conway is a liberal, but Rand Paul’s election would have even worse implications for the future. We all want to cut the deficit and reduce the size of government, but Rand Paul will not help us. He is totally unreasonable and will fight the GOP just as hard as many of us are fighting the Democrats. He wants to transform the Republican Party, and has already said that is his agenda.
He admits that he is running as a Republican because he can not win as an independent. Over 70% of his money is from out of state and his candidacy is being promoted by Code Pink, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and antiwar.com
This is the wrong direction for the GOP and Paul has already said he may not support and will push to have our senior Senator, Mitch McConnell, removed as the Republican Leader. This would be an enormous setback for Kentucky.
Rand Paul will make the citizens of Kentucky appear to be fools. He has already embarrassed us in front of the nation with his racist comments on civil rights and fair housing, and is clearly unqualified for the U.S. Senate. The smartest thing he has done is breaking with his father on several issues and avoiding the national news media.
Sorry, but I don’t want a country where we have “no Christians allowed,” “no whites allowed” or “no blacks allowed” signs on Main Street. I want to keep the days of segregation buried in the past, but Rand Paul thinks that era was A OKAY.
It is very painful for me to say this, but Republicans must sacrifice the Kentucky seat we currently hold in the U.S. Senate. I am going to concentrate on helping Republicans in other states. We can not inflict Rand Paul on the nation. We need to keep our self respect and demonstrate that Kentucky is not run by conspiracy theory advocates.
Ran Paul is not a Republican and has always demonstrated his disdain for the GOP. His foreign policy is well to the left of the Obama administration and he is dangerous to our national security.
I can not directly vote for Jack Conway, but I certainly can not support Rand Paul. I could never look in the eyes of my half Japanese children and tell them it was acceptable to have Rand Paul represent us in the Senate. I need to tell them that Republicans are the party of Abraham Lincoln and that their father went public with his opposition to Rand Paul.
We can fight a liberal Democratic Senator all the way. As Lisa Graas has written:
I sincerely believe that anyone who supports Rand Paul’s candidacy is complicit in an attempt to destroy the Party of Lincoln. You may succeed in gaining a Senator who has an “R” after his name, but he won’t be a Republican. He will be a ‘RINO’ — Republican in Name Only — a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Rand Paul is the ultimate RINO and if he wins we will be told to shut up, sit down and obey his lunacy because we all need to be good little Republicans. We will be expected to remain silent while Rand Paul trashes the GOP on a daily basis. With a Democrat we can at least be the loyal opposition.
This has been a great year for self described “Constitutional conservatives.” They defeated establishment GOP Senate candidates in Kentucky, Nevada and Utah, and now have their sights set on Washington state, Colorado and Alaska. The Republicans they defeated were also conservative, and there was no major issue dividing them. Continue reading
Dear Rand and Sharron:
I disagree with both of you on several issues and supported your primary opponents, but I now hope you will be victorious in your U.S. Senate campaigns. Your opponents are liberal Democrats and they must not win. You have both changed several positions since the primary, but I do not consider this a flip/flop. Your decisions were wise.
All Republicans should enthusiastically support civil rights, voting rights, fair housing and America’s special relationship with Israel. Thank you for clarifying those positions.
Both of you are now leading in the polls and 2010 will be an excellent year for the GOP. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has high negatives ratings, and voters should be reminded of his claim that the war in Iraq could not be won. The Senate Democratic primary in Kentucky has been over for a month, but Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo has still not endorsed the victor, Attorney General Jack Conway. This infighting will help Rand Paul.
We already know the strategy of your Democratic opponents. They will try to win support from moderate and independent voters by driving up your negative ratings. Both of you will be portrayed as extremists, and some of your controversial past statements will be repeated this Fall. One of the most effective issues for the Democrats is your desire to have America pull out of the United Nations, and to abandon our veto power in the UN Security Council.
There is Nothing Wrong in Advocating UN Reform
I hope both of you will reexamine your position, and there is nothing wrong in criticizing the UN or in asking for significant reforms. Major reforms were enacted when America refused to pay its dues for 22 months, but more needs to be done.
You should emphasize that the UN has passed many unwise resolutions and it has not been fair to Israel. Nevertheless, Israel is not withdrawing its ambassador from the UN. The worst thing that could happen to Israel would be for America to give up its veto power.
Iraq’s oil for food program was authorized by the UN, and it was a tremendous scandal. It is appalling that nations such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran were allowed to serve on the Human Rights Council.
Working with democratic nations on peacekeeping rather than the UN General Assembly is a fine idea. It is already being done. The UN mission in the former Yugoslavia failed, and it was necessary for NATO to replace the UN.
America Can Not Expect The U.N. To Handle Peacekeeping
You are wrong to advocate U.S. withdrawal because of the UN’s inability to handle peacekeeping missions. We have known that for over half a century, and the world body should not be entirely blamed because America always opposed the creation of a UN army. The poorly equipped UN member states are not good at peacekeeping when two sides are shooting at each other.
Belgium and Canada failed in their 1994 peacekeeping role in Rwanda where over 800,000 people died in a four month period. The Dutch were not successful in guarding the UN “safe haven” at Srebrenica in 1995 where over 7000 civilians died.
The Dutch soldiers threw down their weapons and ran away when the Serbian troops approached. When Germany agreed to send peacekeepers to Afghanistan in 2001, they had to lease transport aircraft from the Ukraine, and their equipment was outdated.
This does not mean the world should abandon peacekeeping, or that America should abandon its allies. America is the world’s only military super power and we are the sole nation which has power projection capabilities. No nation comes close to having our technical ability, and we are the only country with five global command centers and carrier battle groups in every ocean.
The UN Serves America’s Security Interests
The term was first used by President Franklin Roosevelt in the “Declaration by United Nations” on January 1, 1942. This was during WW II when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. The UN was formed in the US in 1945 and Americans wrote the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
The UN supported the United States during the Korean War and the liberation of Kuwait, but that does not always happen. The most glaring example is Operation Iraqi Freedom.
There was unanimous approval for UN Resolution 1441 which authorized the use of force to get rid of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. There had been 17 similar resolutions which had been enacted since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
The United States sought approval of an 18th resolution before the intervention, but this was stopped by a threatened French veto. While the United States has had to bear the brunt of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, our coalition partners also have a crucial role. Over 1000 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan, and over 600 soldiers from our allies have also died. America is not alone.
We regret the “road map” for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has not been successful, but the problem is Hamas, not the UN. When North Korea threatened to deploy nuclear weapons, the UN fostered multilateral talks involving America, China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
What Has The United Nations Accomplished?
- The cost of 1991’s Operation Desert Storm was $54 billion, but America did not pay any of this. The UN member states (primarily Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) paid for everything.
- The UN was the forum in which over 80 nations achieved their independence. Most of these countries had previously been colonies.
- The UN was used to establish and maintain democratic elections in 85 nations.
- This year the UN is providing relief and protection to 23.3 million refugees. The largest UN operations are in the former battle zones of Darfur and the Congo.
- During the past six decades at the UN, more efforts have been made to protect and promote human rights than in the entire previous history of humankind. The UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted by the United States.
- The UN has responded to practically every natural disaster with generous contributions from its member states. The largest food aid organization in the world is run by the U.N., and is now assisting 113 million people, primarily in Africa.
- UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, saves millions of lives every year through immunization. They deserve tremendous credit for the eradication of smallpox and polio.
- It would be wrong of the United States to leave the UN and to retreat into isolationism. America has made progress through the UN, but as Iraq demonstrated, there will be times when the U.S. will act alone. The U.N. did not stop us, and they eventually assisted our efforts.
- Americans should be proud our nation has not ignored evil in the world. America has had a strong voice at the UN in stopping genocide, ethnic cleansing and other human rights abuses. Even the liberal National Conference of Catholic Bishops acknowledged the importance of America’s role when they quoted Pope John Paul II: ”The principles of sovereignty of states and noninterference in their internal affairs . . . cannot constitute a screen behind which torture and murder may be carried out.”
PHOTO: Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) with his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). They both oppose key sections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
On Tuesday night Rand Paul (KY) won the Republican Party’s nomination for an open seat in the U.S. Senate in a landslide. He hit the interview circuit Wednesday for the first time as the official nominee, but immediately stunned many political observers. Paul refused to say he supports the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Every GOP Senate candidate for the past two decades has supported the Civil Rights Act. Paul, an ophthalmologist, has never before sought political office but his candidacy received massive support from Libertarians across the nation. His father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), was the 1988 Libertarian candidate for president and sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008.
Incumbent Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) is retiring and on Tuesday evening Democrats narrowly nominated state Attorney General Jack Conway, 40. Conway was on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews on Wednesday evening and said civil rights will be a major issue in the campaign. Conway said he supported the Civil Rights Act while Paul was opposed to it.
The legislation banned racial discrimination in public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants and movie houses.
On Wednesday afternoon, Paul, 47, was asked about his position on segregation. Three times on National Public Radio (NPR), the GOP candidate was asked if he would have supported the Civil Rights Act had he been a Senator in 1964. He evaded the questions, but said he would have preferred local solutions to the problem of racial discrimination.
On Wednesday evening Paul appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, where the question was once again raised three times. When he did not give a direct answer, she played a tape of Paul saying he was opposed to the Civil Rights Act. Paul emphasized that he is not a racist but was against the portion of the Civil Rights Act which says businesses cannot discriminate.
Paul says he supports ending discrimination in the federal government, but opposes the regulation of private business. The candidate said he was opposed to Title II of the Act because it made it a crime for private businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of race, and he viewed that as a violation of the first amendment. One exchange was as follows:
Maddow:… How about desegregating lunch counters?
Paul: Well what it gets into then is if you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says ‘well no, we don’t want to have guns in here’ the bar says ‘we don’t want to have guns in here because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each-other.’ Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion.
Maddow: Well, it was pretty practical to the people who had the life nearly beaten out of them trying to desegregate Walgreen’s lunch counters despite these esoteric debates about what it means about ownership. This is not a hypothetical Dr. Paul.
The Civil Rights Act banned segregation in schools and public spaces and made it illegal to discriminate in housing and hiring processes. Private organizations and clubs can discriminate. Businesses however are public, and therefore the Civil Rights Act applies. A business can not deny the equal rights of a consumer. Jim Geraghty of National Review says “Libertarianism aims to protect individual rights but segregated lunch counters negate individual rights.”
In an interview with the Louisville Courier Journal, Paul said “I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners. I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time I do believe in private ownership. But I think that there should be absolutely no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding.”
An editorial in the Louisville Courier Journal two days before the primary said Rand Paul has a strange interpretation of the 14th Amendment regarding civil rights and equal protection of the law:
The trouble with Dr. Paul is that despite his independent thinking, much of what he stands for is repulsive to people in the mainstream. For instance, he holds an unacceptable view of civil rights, saying that while the federal government can enforce integration of government jobs and facilities, private business people should be able to decide whether they want to serve black people, or gays, or any other minority group. He quickly emphasizes that he personally would not agree with any form of discrimination, but he just doesn’t think it should be legislated.
Rand Paul’s father, Congressman Ron Paul, says the Civil Rights Act is a violation of the Constitution and it reduces individual liberties. He was one of only 33 Congressmen to oppose the renewal of the Voting Rights Act. A 2008 interview on “Meet The Press” featured the following exchange with the Congressman:
Q: In a speech you gave in 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, you said: “Contrary to the claims of supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the act did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.” That act gave equal rights to African-Americans to vote, to live, to go to lunch counters, and you seem to be criticizing it.
A: Well, we should do this at a federal level, it’d be OK for the military. Just think of how the government caused all the segregation in the military until after World War II.
Q: You would vote against the Civil Rights Act, if it was today?
A: If it were written the same way, where the federal government’s taken over property–it has nothing to do with race relations. It has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the Constitution and private property rights.
Rand Paul has repeatedly said he is not a racist. Strom Thurmond and George Wallace also said that when they ran for president as “States Rights” segregationists. They wanted civil rights to be decided by the states, not the federal government.
The Supreme Court has upheld Title II (public accommodations) of the Civil Rights Act. A business which is open to the public cannot discriminate in terms of race, sex or national origin. Civil rights provides equal opportunities for all, and if you want to serve the public, you can not tell customers that black, Jews, gays or any other minority is not welcome.
This is definitely an area where the federal government was needed, and it is best described in Martin Luther King’s book “Why We Can’t Wait.” King said blacks had been waiting for over a century since the emancipation proclamation, and little substantive action had occurred. The solution demanded action from the federal government.
In 1963 King helped to launch the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama. He tells the story of bus boycotts, lunch counter sit-ins and prayer marches to change the policies of both public and private business. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act resulted in significant positive change, and very few lawmakers would advocate their repeal.
Once again, Rand Paul says he is not a racist, but he has hired them. Those who wanted legal segregation to continue were able to obtain it by saying the federal government should stay out of private businesses. Today it is accepted that businesses which serve the public should not be able to discriminate. In the past it was not possible to solve this issue on the local level.
Unfortunately it was necessary for President Eisenhower to send the 101st Airborne Division from Kentucky to Little Rock, Arkansas. President Kennedy sent federal troops to the University of Mississippi and he had to take over Alabama’s National Guard. There are times when federal action is required to make sure there is not any roll back in civil rights policies.
Several commentators are now criticizing Rand Paul’s simplistic approach to the Constitution. Even the framers knew there were limits to the rights of those holding private property.
For example, what if a property owner along the U.S. border said they would allow egress to America because they had an unfettered right to use their property in any manner they desired. Or perhaps a business in the middle of a war decided to sell its property to the enemy based on a better price or simply opposition to the war?
There have been laws and regulations concerning the use of property even before the US was created. The water laws in the original colonies rested upon the argument that the upstream property owner did not have an absolute right to use the water anyway they wanted.
There is a huge distinction between private property used as a home and private property on which a business is conducted for profit and to which the general public is invited. Business can’t be divorced from the community in which they operate.
For that reason, no one would say that they shouldn’t be required to follow certain health standards, building codes, safety regulations, zoning laws and child-labor laws — all ways in which businesses are regulated in the public interest. The Civil Rights Act simply extended that principle to another problem of grave public concern.
Simply put, what you do privately or in your own home is your own concern, including who you invite as guests and who you choose to marry. It has no relationship to the laws or regulations that govern running a business open to the general public. And when you’re running a business, declining to serve a customer because of the way he or she behaves or because of the person’s reputation, such as a low FICO score, has no relation to refusing service on the basis of that person’s race.
We should also note that there are no absolute rights in a democracy. The argument that property rights are sacrosanct ignores the fact that all rights are relative to the rights of others. In a different time and age, for instance, supporters of slavery once argued for the continuation of that institution on the grounds that slaves were private property.
Furthermore, there were actually laws on the books in southern states mandating segregated private facilities at that time. It wasn’t the business owners, but their customers, who were demanding it. The Supreme Court case of Plessey v. Ferguson involved a state statue criminalizing transportation of Blacks and Whites in the same train car.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
The Civil Rights Act has nothing to do with the First Amendment. The owners of restaurants, hotels and other establishments that serve the public are completely free to hate blacks, Jews and other minorities as much as they want. They’re completely free to believe that any group other than their own is inferior and to shout that opinion from the rooftops.
But refusing to serve a particular group based on race, religion or ethnic background when you’re in the business of serving the public at large crosses the line from speech to behavior and infringes on the rights of others. It’s not unlike that old quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “The right to swing your fist stops at my nose.”
UPDATE, May 29th
Last night the Republican-controlled Kentucky State Senate unanimously passed a resolution vigorously supporting the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Why were they debating legislation which was decided over 40 years ago? Because all KY Republicans are now being asked about civil rights in light of Rand Paul’s comments. He said “I think a lot of things could be handled locally.”
The KY Republicans emphasized it was naïve to think southern states would have voluntarily stopped discrimination. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was necessary to create a “more perfect union,” because the states rights approach under a decade of the Articles of Confederation was creating havoc.
The federal government would be needed to end segregation, child labor, unsafe food and projects such as the transcontinental railroad because a national solution could not wait for local action.
This Norman Rockwell painting entitled “The Problem We All Live With” depicts the day in 1960 when 6 year old Ruby Bridges of Louisiana became the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.
The Eisenhower administration had to send federal marshals to escort her to school every single day of that first year. All but one of the white teachers refused to have a black child in their classroom.
Her father immediately lost his job and her grandparents were thrown off their land. The civil rights struggle was just beginning. Rand Paul’s father still opposes the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act. He does not speak for the Republican Party and never has.
U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) continues to have a significant lead in both the primary and the general election. His opponents have powerful issues to use against him, but with a month to go they are not having much of an impact.
A survey sponsored by his opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R-KY), shows a tight race among likely primary voters, but Paul is maintaining a 15% lead in four independent polls. One of Grayson’s ads quotes Paul as saying America was responsible for the 9/11 attack, but the frontrunner has since changed his position on this and several other key issues.
Paul is the strangest Senate candidate to emerge in the 2010 cycle. He talks of his opposition to the North American Union (NAU), which he claims will be similar to the European Union. He also says he does not want the Amero currency to replace the dollar.
This raises eyebrows because neither the NAU or an Amero exist, and no one is planning on creating them. There has never been a bill in Congress to establish an NAU. It only exists as a topic among the conspiracy theory crowd, and their fears are fanned by articles on the websites of WorldNetDaily and the John Birch Society.
Benjamin Sarlin, a journalist previously associated with the New York Sun, interviewed Rand Paul and said he:
“echoed his father’s strong isolationist streak. He brought up fears of a united North American government, including Mexico and Canada, that would replace American currency, an idea he said was being actively promoted by David Rockefeller. He doesn’t discount all conspiracy theories. ‘Some of the fears of world government are legitimate,’ he said.
‘When you hear about the ‘Amero,’ a new North American money,’ he said, ‘you might say that those people are just conspiracy theorists. But if you said the same thing about the euro 30 years ago they would have said, ‘Oh, you’re crazy, we’ll never get rid of the pound and those currencies, and lo and behold we have a euro currency. So some of the fears of world government are legitimate.’ . .
Paul’s father was criticized during his presidential race for speaking out against a nonexistent federal plan for a ‘NAFTA superhighway’.
“Asked whether he believed the Trilateral Commission and other groups had a secret agenda to control the world, Rand Paul . . . was not entirely clear how much distinction there was between his position and the John Birch Society.”
Rand Paul has repeatedly said he wants to “preserve personal liberty, and repel national security threats without intruding into personal lives.” Similar to the Libertarian Party, personal choice is one of his major themes, and his definition is unusual. For example, he doesn’t believe automobile passengers should be required to wear seat belts, and says “I think the federal government shouldn’t be involved. I don’t want to live in a nanny state where people are telling me where I can go and what I can do.”
Since 1968, Federal law has required all vehicles to be equipped with seat belts, but legislation requiring vehicle occupants to wear seat belts is left to the states. Based on data from the past decade, 63% of all traffic fatalities involve people who are not wearing seat belts.
For the sake of his wife and children, I hope Rand will buckle up. It does impact your personal choice when the law says you can not drink and drive, or you can not speed in a school zone. Most of us have common sense and understand the importance of these laws, and I do not know any lawmaker who is trying to repeal the mandatory seat belt requirement.
Rand Paul’s father was the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, and Rand also wants to overturn all bans on public smoking. It costs a considerable amount to support emergency assistance for traffic fatalities, and we all pay in increased health-insurance costs when smokers are ill.