So our favorite libertarian crank went on TV this morning and made even more of an ass of himself. But as it turns out, not only is Paul associated with militia movement and neo-confederates, he's associated with yet another far right fringe group as well. (In fact, is there any far right group he isn't associated with?) Here's Bruce Wilson:
In Rand Paul we have a mild-mannered non-Civil Rights Act supporting eye surgeon who in April 2009 attended a rally held by a political party [the Constitution Party] that's been heavily influenced by a movement whose founder, Rousas Rushdoony, advocated executing homosexuals by stoning, wanted to reimpose the institution of slavery, and maintained that the Earth rotated around the Sun.
Wilson reports that Paul, like his father, likes to appear at Constitution party events. Here is a rally in Minnesota from a year ago which preceded another event at which Paul was the featured speaker:
He makes Amity Schlaes sound like John Maynard Keynes. Later that night he was featured speaker at the Constitution Party of Minnesota's 'event of the year."
The odd thing about Rand and Ron Paul's political tendency is that it offers liberals and progressives a number of points of agreement, probably more than with more 'mainstream' conservative GOP politicians. For example, Ron Paul has been a principled opponent of the invasion of Iraq and US military adventurism in the Mideast generally, and Rand Paul espouses the same position.
He has an interesting dodge on that, I've noticed. He says we need a "formal declaration of war" which he offers up as some sort of protection against wars like Iraq, which is just silly. They congress voted on Iraq just as if it were a declaration of war and if it had been "formal" the outcome wouldn't have changed a thing. He is running for the Senate as a Republican, which makes it difficult to be an isolationist, so perhaps he's just being cute for political purposes.
More intriguing is his critique of the Fed, which he explicitly says should be ended not mended and leads a chant at the end to that effect. What's interesting is his reasoning for that, which is radical, and his prescription, which is utter nonsense. He didn't go into the "gold standard" rap, but the signs behind him say it all.
And then there's Ron and Rand's close association with The Constitution party, which is founded on Christian Reconstructionist principles:
But it's hard to get much more extreme than Christian Reconstructionism, whose founder Rushdoony was a Holocaust denier, a racist, a creationist, and an advocate for slavery who claimed that African-American slaves were lucky.
Weigh it for yourself -- Howard Phillips, who founded the Constitution Party, has, according to journalist Frederick Clarkson, described Rousas J. Rushdoony as "my wise counseler."
As Rushdoony wrote in Politics of Guilt and Pity:
The white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off. The life expectancy of the Negro increased when he was transported to America. He was not taken from freedom into slavery, but from a vicious slavery to degenerate chiefs to a generally benevolent slavery in the United States. There is not the slightest evidence that any American Negro had ever lived in a "free society" in Africa; even the idea did not exist in Africa. The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro...
None of this, of course, is Rand Paul's direct responsibility. But it certainly is suggestive.
Yes, there are suggestions all over the place that, like his father, Rand has issues with race --- and that he's a full-blown, far right, fringe nutcase. Which makes him the perfect manifestation of the Tea Party. In fact, I don't think they could have found a more perfect candidate.