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“The Rand Corporation”: Old-School Southern Segregationist’s Who Still Believe Negroes Should Know Their Place

Hey, wait a minute–didn’t Rachel Maddow already disqualify Rand Paul as a serious presidential candidate five years ago?

It appears the Beltway has long since forgotten about Paul’s disgusting May 2010 interview with Maddow, during which he made clear his belief in separate and unequal treatment for people of color in the private sector. Back then, I was horrified to see Paul defend his 21-century segregationist views, and was convinced that the man would be a clear and present danger to American democracy if he were elected to the United States Senate.

At the time, I was also surprised that prominent figures on the right didn’t stand up to denounce Paul’s views in the name of being logically consistent. After all, the right’s thought leaders had long pushed the idea that Republicans were the real leaders on civil rights. Consider this 1997 letter to the New York Times from conservative Harvard professor Stephan Thernstrom:

”Political Right’s Point Man on Race” (news article, Nov. 16) describes Clint Bolick of the Institute for Justice as typical of a generation of white Republicans who ”readily say their party was on the wrong side” in the civil rights struggles of the 1960’s. This equates the Republican Party with Barry Goldwater, its 1964 Presidential candidate, who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

But 80 percent of House Republicans voted for the 1964 legislation, as did 82 percent of Republican senators. In the House, three of four votes cast against the bill came from Democrats, as did four of five votes in the Senate. Likewise, 82 percent of House Republicans and 93 percent of Senate Republicans backed the Voting Rights Act the next year.

Now, you would figure that the “Republicans-were-the real-party-of-colorblindness!” crowd would rise up and denounce Paul for suggesting that the Republicans who voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act voted for an unconstitutional piece of legislation. Of course, the right’s thought leaders—with rare exceptions—gave Paul a pass, and largely denounced the “liberal media” for making a big deal about Paul’s abhorrent remarks.

Nothing I’ve seen out of Rand Paul’s mouth in the past five years has changed my view that in his heart, he is an old-school Southern segregationist who believes Negroes should know their place, and that the white man should be in a place above them. In Rand Paul’s America, business owners could still have signs on their doors saying, “We Do Not Serve Coloreds.” In Rand Paul’s America, black people would have no rights that white people must respect.

Speaking of respect, Rachel Maddow deserves our continued respect for ripping the mask right off Paul’s face five years ago and exposing him as the bigot’s best buddy… and Paul deserves nothing but our continued contempt.

 

By: D. R. Tucker, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, April 18, 2015

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Bigotry, Rand Paul, Segregation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Huck Starts Sawing Off Social Security Plank”: Casting A Harsh Light On Christie And Bush On Entitlement Reform

In the past I’ve often criticized Mike Huckabee for claiming a “populism” that seemed content-free, and not at all in any conflict with your typical plutocratic conservative economic gospel. But I dunno about now. Last month he blasted “globalism” and past trade agreements with China and also signaled opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that most congressional Republicans are lining up to support in a rare accommodation of Barack Obama. And now, on the very day that Jeb Bush seems to have climbed off onto the same limb–or perhaps it’s a plank over shark-infested waters–as Chris Christie on entitlement reform, ol’ Huck is preparing to saw it off (per a report from the Weekly Standard’s John McCormick):

As he gears up for another presidential campaign, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is making a big break with the Republican party on the issue of entitlement reform. Meeting with reporters at a hotel in Washington, D.C. this morning, Huckabee strongly criticized New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s proposal to reform Social Security and said he would not sign Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform into law if he were president.

“I don’t know why Republicans want to insult Americans by pretending they don’t understand what their Social Security program and Medicare program is,” Huckabee said in response to a question about Christie’s proposal to gradually raise the retirement age and implement a means test.

Huckabee said his response to such proposals is “not just no, it’s you-know-what no.”

McCormick is quick to quote Huckabee as having said positive things about Paul Ryan’s Medicare voucher proposal in 2012. But I suspect what matters more about this isn’t any affection it gains Huck but the harsh light it casts on Christie and Bush and anybody else that goes back down the entitlement reform highway to political hell.

Huckabee said Republican proposals to reform entitlements are “disastrous, not only politically but I think they may be disastrous in terms of further breaking the trust between the government and its people.”

This probably will not improve Huck’s relationship with the “Club for Greed,” will it? But it will give him something to say on the campaign trail when he or his audience gets tired of whining about being persecuted along with that poor Duck Dynasty man.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, April 17, 2015

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Police, Warriors Or Guardians?”: Replacing The “Warrior” Mentality Of Police Training With A Self-Concept Of “Community Guardians”

The almost constant examples we are experiencing of police officers gunning down unarmed suspects of late–or treating the communities they patrol as enemy bastions to be approached with overwhelming military force–are a particular shock to those of us who thought the principles of “community policing” had taken deeper root in the culture of law enforcement agencies. That’s clearly not the case. And in fact, to get back to something like community policing will require a serious reorientation of police training. The task is explained in depth at Ten Miles Square today by Seth Stoughton, a law professor at the University of South Carolina who is also a former police officer.

Becoming a “warrior” on hair-trigger to answer violence with violence has become central to police training, says Stoughton:

In this worldview, officers are warriors combatting unknown and unpredictable—but highly lethal—enemies. They learn to be afraid. Officers don’t use that word, of course. Vigilant, attentive, cautious, alert, or observant are the terms that appear most often in police publications. But officers learn to be vigilant, attentive, cautious, alert, and observant because they are afraid, and they afraid because they’re taught to be.

As a result, officers learn to treat every individual they interact with as an armed threat and every situation as a deadly force encounter in the making. Every individual, every situation — no exceptions. A popular police training text offers this advice: “As you approach any situation, you want to be in the habit of looking for cover[] so you can react automatically to reach it should trouble erupt.” A more recent article puts it even more bluntly: “Remain humble and compassionate; be professional and courteous — and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

Add in racial stereotypes and limited experience with the community an officer is “protecting” and you can understand how regular interactions between cops and citizens have entered a frightening world remote from the trust-based assumptions of community policing.

Stoughton suggests replacing the whole “warrior” mentality inculcated by police training with a self-concept of “Community Guardians.”

[W]hat’s the difference? Both Warriors and Guardians seek to protect the communities they serve, of course, but the guardian mindset takes both a broader and a longer view of how to achieve that goal. Put simply, the guardian mindset prioritizes service over crime-fighting, and it values the dynamics of short-term encounters as a way to create long-term relationships. It instructs officers that their interactions with community members must be more than legally justified; they must also be empowering, fair, respectful, and considerate. It emphasizes communication over command, cooperation over compliance, and legitimacy over authority. In the use-of-force context, the Guardian mindset emphasizes restraint over control, stability over action. But the concept is even broader; it seeks to protect civilians not just from crime and violence, but also from indignity and humiliation.

Stoughton offers some practical steps for how to train police officers to be “Guardians” rather than “Warriors,” including special training in how to de-escalate confrontations and how to safely exercise tactical restraint. But the starting point is admitting we have a real problem when public servants are trained to think of the citizenry as a mob of potential killers.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, April 17, 2015

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Community Policing, Police Abuse, Police Shootings | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Field Starting To Get Pretty Crowded”: Everyone’s Hopping On The Populist Bandwagon; Will It Lead To Actual Policy Change?

There’s no shortage of groups and people who want the 2016 presidential race to be about their issue of choice, hoping that all the candidates will be forced to answer their questions and maybe even support their preferred policy solutions. But if you call yourself an economic populist — even if the word “populism” wasn’t so central to how you talked about the economy a year or two ago — you may have a better shot than most at seeing the 2016 debate move to your ground.

The populism bandwagon is starting to get pretty crowded. As Matea Gold reported yesterday, the Democratic millionaires and billionaires of the Democracy Alliance were heartened at their recent gathering by Hillary Clinton’s argument that “the deck is stacked in favor of those already at the top,” and “the organization is urging donors to contribute to an expanded suite of advocacy groups and think tanks devoted to economic inequality.” As one participant said, “The election will be won or lost on this.”

This morning I got on a conference call with a group of liberal organizations holding a conference in Washington this weekend called “Populism2015,” the primary goal of which seems to be political organizing aimed specifically at pushing issues of economic equality into the presidential campaign.

Groups with a general ideological perspective like the ones involved in this effort (including the Campaign for America’s Future and USAction) often shift their focus as the political debate changes. When we’re debating health care, they make a push on health care; when we’re debating trade, they do the same with trade; and so on. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of political opportunism, since it’s often how movements make progress, by adapting their message and demands to the environment of the moment. And if their goal is to get Hillary Clinton (and whatever other Democrats run) to talk about inequality, then they’ve already succeeded.

But the devil is really in the details.

The Populism2015 folks have an agenda that includes increased public investment to create jobs, higher taxes on the wealthy, a $15 minimum wage, breaking up the big banks, increasing Social Security benefits, and opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal President Obama is currently trying to get through Congress. It’s likely that Clinton will embrace some of these items, but not others. The question is whether grassroots activism can generate the pressure that will not only bring her over, but ultimately translate into policy change.

That’s where it gets daunting. For instance, one of the items the liberal groups listed was getting big money out of politics. When I asked how they were going to accomplish that given a string of Supreme Court decisions making it easier for just the opposite to occur, they said that the first step was to organize to change state and local laws, and that would ultimately translate to a national effort. Which is great, but they didn’t seem to want to talk about how it’s all but impossible to imagine how a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United could be accomplished (and for the record, Clinton says she’s got a campaign finance reform plan, but hasn’t yet revealed what it is).

Campaign finance reform could well be one of those issues that lots of people pay lip service to, but little definable progress ends up being seen on in the near term. On some of the other items on the populist agenda, on the other hand, it’s easier to envision policy change relatively soon. One state after another is passing increases in the minimum wage, and the push for a $15 minimum could make the $10.10 rate President Obama has advocated seem like a moderate compromise.

As Roger Hickey of the Campaign for America’s Future said on the call: “We’re in a populist moment here in America, and even conservative Republicans tell us that.” It’s true that the GOP candidates are starting to frame their arguments in populist terms, as weird as it is for a Republican advocating something like eliminating the capital gains tax to say he just wants to help the little guy fight against entrenched power.

When the other side is adopting your language and claiming to share your goals, you may be halfway to victory. It’s the other half that’s the hard part.

 

By: Paul Waldman, Senior Writer, The American Prospect; Contributor, The Plume Line, The Washington Post, April 16, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Democrats, Economic Inequality, Republicans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Rand Paul’s Past Continues To Haunt Him”: He’ll Face The One Thing His Father Never Had To, Attack Ads From Republican Rivals

About four years ago, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) faced booing during debates for the Republican presidential candidates when he said American foreign policy led to the 9/11 attacks. The response – from the audience and the other candidates – made clear that the party has no use for such an argument.

Four years later, it’s Ron Paul’s son who’s now running for president – and he’s said largely the same thing.

Rand Paul said in 2007 interview that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East was at the core of the reasons for terrorism and that the 9/11 Commission showed that the September 11th attacks were made in response to U.S. presence in foreign lands. […]

In the interview, Paul went on to take aim at then-President George W. Bush, calling him “ridiculous” for saying “they hate us for our freedom.” Paul said Americans should try to understand “why they hate us” and what policies create terrorism.

As the BuzzFeed report noted, Rand Paul said in the 2007 interview, “I mean, you have to recognize what policy creates terrorism. Because you can’t kill every Muslim in the world. There’s a billion Muslims. We have to learn to live together to a certain point.”

Is it any wonder the Kentucky Republican is eager to declare his pre-Senate remarks as irrelevant?

This area will only become more problematic for Rand Paul in the coming months. For one thing, he was quite active as a public voice for his father’s agenda and fringe worldview, delivering all kinds of speeches in which he made very controversial remarks. This BuzzFeed report is damaging in the context of the 2016 race, but similar reports will surface – many times – throughout the year.

For another, if Rand Paul is positioned to credibly compete for the GOP nomination, he’ll face the one thing his father never had to worry about: attack ads from Republican rivals. And in light of what he’s given for the ad-makers to work with, those commercials are likely to be pretty brutal.

Finally, as we talked about the other day, if the senator thinks he can dismiss the relevance of this record, he’s likely to be disappointed. Rand Paul has suggested quotes from 2007 to 2009 are out of bounds, as if there’s a statute of limitations that has run out.

But we’re not just talking about youthful indiscretions that seem irrelevant decades later – “Aqua Buddha,” this isn’t – we’re talking about public remarks Paul made as a surrogate for a presidential candidate.

Whether Rand Paul likes it or not, presidential candidates don’t have the luxury of declaring much of their adult lives off-limits to scrutiny. So long as he’s being quoted accurately, his public remarks on major issues of the day matter and deserve consideration as he seeks the nation’s highest office.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, April 16, 2015

April 20, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, Rand Paul, Ron Paul | , , , , , | 1 Comment

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