fake libertarian

Mr. Paul’s Integrity

"U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks in Washington on Dec. 2, 2014." (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

“He has integrity. That’s pretty much it in a nut shell.”

Dominic Damiano

While we’re on the subject of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the question arises as to what, exactly, is this myth of integrity about the Kentucky junior.

There is, certainly, Simon Maloy’s consideration of Paul’s coming presidential run―

The true “compromise” that’s happening here is on Rand Paul’s much-vaunted libertarian principles, which he’s shown an eager willingness to shed as he moves closer and closer to announcing his presidential candidacy. He debuted on the national scene as a Republican who would stand on principle to buck the Republican establishment, and since then he’s steadily diluted his own positions to bring them into closer alignment with the mainstream of the party. The Rand Paul who once scoffed at the Republican “hawks” and “interventionists” has since joined their ranks in calling for a sustained military campaign to “destroy” the Islamic State. He used to support cutting aid to Israel, but now denies ever having espoused that position.

Reversals like these also undercut what is supposed to be the core of Rand Paul’s appeal: that he’s a “different” kind of Republican who can hold on to hardcore conservatives while simultaneously poaching traditionally Democratic voters. “Rand is the Republican who has the best chance of keeping and energizing the base while going into their constituencies,” a Paul aide said last August. “It’s kind of dangerous to have a Republican like Rand.” With each flip-flop, Rand is turning himself into the thing he can’t afford to be: just another Republican.

―but even that examination of a “spectacular crash” starts with the erroneous presupposition that the fake libertarian was ever a “man of principle”. And perhaps it is true that he was in some context a man of principle, staunchly dedicated to being a racist and misogynist with some assertion of integrity about his supremacist paranoia, but that doesn’t mean he should be allowed anywhere near children.

And with such a definition of “integrity”, neither, it seems, should Mr. Damiano.

____________________

McLaughlin, Tom. “Rand Paul hosts fundraising dinner in Destin”. Northwest Florida Daily News. 30 March 2015.

Maloy, Simon. “Rand Paul’s spectacular crash: How a man of principle turned into a generic politician”. Salon. 26 March 2015.

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A String of Obvious Questions

Detail of framegrab from FLCL episode 2, 'Firestarter'.

File under Stupid:

Green River Community College went into lockdown Monday morning after a threat was made against the school, Auburn police said.

Cmdr. Steve Stocker of the Auburn police said an unknown person made the threat to a faculty member at about 10:15 a.m., saying something to the effect that there was going to be a shooting.

(KOMO News)

Perhaps a number of factors are coincidental. We do, in our society, have a problem with misogyny that reached a dramatic height at GeekGirlCon earlier this month, when someone issued a bomb threat against the convention; apparently the mixing of females and technology is a mortal offense? And the deadly violence at Marysville-Pilchuck High School seems, ostensibly, to have been about a girl.

But we don’t really know what pushed the GRCC terror threat, and that is important to note.

Yes, we need to address misogyny, but there are also a number of other factors to consider.

The thing is that each part of the issue has a way of spilling over its banks and soaking the others. This sort of overlap causes confusion for many people; indeed, we at This Is have a good friend who is bright and rational and all of those nice things we appreciate about people, but he is by nature incapable of comprehending what guns have to do with anything.

Not that we need to campaign against guns, specifically, but it does make some sort of point to acknowledge that there are people in this world who wonder what guns have to do with mass murder by firearm. It happens. To wit, he says, “Don’t make new laws, enforce the ones we have!” But there are some laws he believes exist everywhere despite observable reality.

And, you know, it might be kind of a low blow, but he also wonders why anyone would ever prosecute someone who negligently shot his own son to death with a handgun he was prohibited by law from carrying. And while that tragedy out of Pennsylvania has seemingly little to do with what has been going on around the Seattle area of late, there is also more there than it seems.

(more…)