District of Corruption

Civil Rights Kowtow

I'm shocked to hear about Rand Paul's recent caving-in to the liberal-neocon establishment. From the evidence it would seem that our minimal-government senatorial candidate from Kentucky regrets he could not have marched with MLK during the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s. Never mind the fact that vocal opposition to King and to both his tactics and rhetoric extended from National Review (when it was still a recognizably conservative publication) to the New York Times, and from WFB to Will Herberg, and Harry Jaffa. We are now supposed to bow down before all the authorized Civil Rights Icons, and this is especially true for Republicans, whose electoral support among blacks since they began their ritualistic groveling has shrunk from about 10 to two percent. With a little more kowtowing, the GOP and Rand Paul may succeed in driving the numbers even lower.

As for Rand Paul's comment that set off the media hysteria, it was bland enough to have been ignored, if GOP magnates and civil rights leaders had not weighed in. Does Congressman (and House Minority Leader) John Boehner honestly believe that Paul's failure to back every jot in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, including the enforcement of non-discrimination in accommodations in Title I, would cause a mass defection of his otherwise likely voters to the opposition? Will Paul's share of the black vote now shrink because of his seemingly tactless reservation about one title in the Civil Rights Act? How the hell can the GOP get "government off our backs," if Title I and the agency it requires for its enforcement legitimate constant government incursions into the workplace?

The worst form of government incursion I can think of is the relentless attempt by public administrators to socialize us in accordance with the latest formulations of PC. What Rand Paul suggested during a lucid moment is that we might begin our counteroffensive by reconsidering the government's mandate to re-educate us socially and culturally, a mandate that the Civil Rights Act most definitely provides. Given the purpose that the candidate wished to pursue, it seems that he was offering an exceedingly modest beginning to an almost insuperable task. A more reasonable beginning is to repeal the entire act and all the federal directives imposed afterwards in pursuit of non-discrimination everywhere in our society. The same thing should be attempted at the state level, although the states have more constitutional right on their side when they engage in leftist social engineering.

This brings me back to the point I've made before, about Republican pathologies, from which Rand Paul has apparently not escaped. GOP candidates feel driven to ingratiate themselves with those who despise them. In contrast, Democrats, and particularly liberal Democrats, behave with more dignity. They have no trouble writing off those groups they're not likely to attract. By the way: I'm still waiting for Chuck Schumer to apologize to Bob Jones University for having failed to take biblical Christian moral positions as a senator. I'm also waiting for Hillary to address the Right to Life organization and to promise to devote the remainder of her life to fighting abortion.

Needless to say, none of this will happen, because Democrats do not act like Karl Rove, John Boehner and (I'm ashamed to say) Rand Paul. Democrats know they're on the left, even if they dissemble in some congressional districts, in order to pick up a few votes, before going on to Congress where they'll vote with Obama. But the rhetorical concessions, e.g. on gun right issues, are purely cosmetic, and they do not involve the acts of self-debasement that Republicans typically engage in while trying to conciliate the civil rights lobby. Even more importantly, the Reps get nothing for their crawling. Those they're reaching out to, wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole, and those on the traditional right, as opposed to Pavlovian Republican voters, are understandably turned off. It is truly upsetting that someone who seemed a superlative candidate from our perspective should practice the usual Republican boot-licking -- and within days of his primary victory. Perhaps I was expecting too much from him.