Do Palin and Morris endorse Rand Paul's laissez-faire attitude on racial discrimination?
Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY
Regarding Rand Paul's victory in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, it's been argued (not least by Paul's opponent, Trey Grayson) that Paul had no greater campaign asset than Fox News, which gave scads of airtime and publicity to the Tea Party-favored candidate in the run-up to the election. Part and parcel of Fox News' fawning treatment of Paul were the endorsements he garnered from high-profile Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Dick Morris.
So seeing as Morris and Palin (and, arguably, the rest of Fox News) have hitched their wagons to Rand Paul's rising star, it would be interesting to know whether or not they agree with Paul's newly revealed views on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Of particular note is his suggestion that the law should not have prohibited racially discriminatory practices in private businesses.
ThinkProgress highlighted this portion of a recent sit-down Rand Paul had with the Louisville Courier-Journal:
INTERVIEWER: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I'm all in favor of that.
PAUL: You had to ask me the "but." I don't like the idea of telling private business owners--I abhor racism. I think it's a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant--but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that's most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind.
When the interviewer pressed the issue, Paul dug in:
INTERVIEWER: But under your philosophy, it would be okay for Dr. King not to be served at the counter at Woolworths?
PAUL: I would not go to that Woolworths, and I would stand up in my community and say that it is abhorrent, um, but, the hard part--and this is the hard part about believing in freedom--is, if you believe in the First Amendment, for example--you have too, for example, most good defenders of the First Amendment will believe in abhorrent groups standing up and saying awful things. . . . It's the same way with other behaviors. In a free society, we will tolerate boorish people, who have abhorrent behavior.
Sarah Palin, in endorsing Paul, said that she "respects" and is "proud to support" Paul because of his views on "limited government." Dick Morris said he'd vote for Paul because he is "the kind of change the Republican Party needs." Washington Monthly's Steve Benen wrote that "it's time to start asking Republican leaders across the country a straightforward question: 'Your party's Senate candidate in Kentucky has a problem with the Civil Rights Act. Do you think he's right or wrong?' "
Posing this question to Palin and Morris would be a good place to start.