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DATE: 24 May 2010


TO: My Political E-Mail List


SUBJECT: Tea Party Libertarians by any other name are ...

So let me get this straight. Tea Party darling and Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul says that even though the government should not discriminate on the basis of race in public accommodations, it’s “unconstitutional” for the government to stop business from discriminating on the basis of race (etc.) in its private business dealings.


I have just one question: Did President Lincoln step out of constitutional bounds with the Emancipation Proclamation? Here I’d just heard the argument from the “states rights” crowd, that the Northern states were infringing on the power of the Southern states to make their own laws.


But according to Paul and the Tea Partyers, it’s even more basic than that: Apparently the government has no right to make any law that “infringes” upon the “rights” of any business or individual to do as it, he, or she pleases, the consequences to any other individuals be damned. The “marketplace” will presumably sort it all out.


News flash: It didn’t. With their abominable practice having grown over the centuries into a quite “respectable” institution, the slaveowners didn’t set their slaves free in the 1800s — and innumerable department stores (etc.) didn’t open their “whites only” lunch counters (etc.) to African-Americans in the 1900s — until the federal government made them do so.


Although Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the Tea Partyers are usually identified with the Right — most by far do vote Republican — they’re actually far, far to the Left: What’s “Libertarian” to some — those left unrestrained by any meaningful laws — is Anarchy to the rest of us — their victims.


Ironically, insidiously, as the Tea Partyers rail against Wall Street bailouts, it is their very own philosophy that left big business far too unregulated for far too long, with catastrophic consequences for the rest of us.




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