Rand Paul on Civil Rights: Private Restaurants Wouldn't Have To Serve Martin Luther King

Rand Paul doesn't think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. He just doesn't believe a private business should have to serve the President of the United States if they don't want to.
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Wednesday on "Hardball," Jack Conway charged that Rand Paul wanted to do away with the Civil Rights Act. In fact, Rand Paul's words to the Courier-Journal, in their editorial board interview, were even more extreme than the paper's editorial reveal.

The interview that reveals Rand Paul's views on civil rights was done in April. People have linked to the editorial, but the transcript has not been circulated.

Conway's charge today on "Hardball" sent me searching. Below is a transcript (the piece below is at the very end of the interview):

Question: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Rand 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.

Questioner: But...?

Rand Paul: (nervous laugh) You had to ask me the "but." um.. I don't like the idea of telling private business owners - I abhor racism - I think it's a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time I do believe in private ownership. But I think there should be absolutely no discrimination on anything that gets any public funding and that's most of what the Civil Rights Act was about to my mind.

Questioner: And then it was extended by most to most localities to include all... Would you be in favor of just local--

Rand Paul: On a local basis it might be a little different. The thing is I would speak out in favor of it. (pause) I mean, I look at the speeches of Martin Luther King, and I tell you I become emotional watching the speeches of Martin Luther King. I love it because he was a transformational figure... [...] (goes on to talk about Martin Luther King for a few moments)

Questioner: But under your philosophy it would be okay for Dr. King to not be served at the counter at Woolworths?

Rand Paul: I would not go to that Woolworth's, and I would stand up in my community and say it's 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 to, for example-- most good defenders will believe in abhorrent groups standing up and saying awful things, and we're here at the bastion of newspaperdom (sic) and I'm sure you believe in the First Amendment, so I'm sure you understand people can say bad things. It's the same way with other behaviors. In a free society we will tolerate boorish people who have abhorrent behavior, but if we're civilized people we publicly criticize that and don't belong to those groups or associate with those people.

Questioner: But it's different with race, certainly a hundred years, discrimination based on race was codified under federal law.

Rand Paul: Exactly, it was institutionalize and that's why we had to end all of the institutional racism in um.. I was in favor of completely of that ...

It's just stunning.

The current playbook being used by Rand Paul was first used in Virginia by Bob McDonnell, regardless of whether they know each other or not. It's simply how ultra conservative candidates are running their races, focusing on economic issues, while hiding their extreme views on social issues, including women's rights, but also on civil rights where Rand Paul is concerned.

There is an undercurrent of opinion dogging the Tea Party that posits they are racist. It has also dogged the Republican Party since their Southern strategy was implemented, of which the Tea Party is an extreme element.

From the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board, after their interview with Rand Paul, an article entitled "In Republican Senate race, a dismal choice" was an indictment on the Republicans in the race. That was an understatement where Rand Paul is concerned.

The trouble with Dr. Paul is that despite his independent thinking, much of what he stands for is repulsive to people in the mainstream. For instance, he holds an unacceptable view of civil rights, saying that while the federal government can enforce integration of government jobs and facilities, private business people should be able to decide whether they want to serve black people, or gays, or any other minority group.

He quickly emphasizes that he personally would not agree with any form of discrimination, but he just doesn't think it should be legislated.

His perspectives -- like Mr. Grayson's -- are repellent to those who believe in a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion. Indeed, Dr. Paul wouldn't even permit exceptions in the case of rape or incest. He says the mother and the unborn zygote have equal rights.

If you still care, considering Paul's civil rights views, on Sarah Palin being qualified to be president he says "absolutely," also saying he feels "a kinship with her," because of her Alaska outsider status that catapulted her to power. "She also has something you can't buy and that's likability," he said of Palin.

However, nothing matters after Rand Paul's views on women's rights, but especially on civil rights, which is hair raising.

It's the nakedness and naïveté of Mr. Paul's views on civil rights laws, that legislation should not impact businesses, that is not only evidence that he's unfit for Congress, but that he's actually dangerous. To think that the United States would no longer require laws to protect minorities is just ignorant and lacking in experience in the real world.

As for his anti-women's rights views, especially on individual freedoms, it's absolutely discriminatory against women. It's appalling in this day and age that a doctor would believe that women should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against her will. The editorial board found his views "repellent" and they are correct. To say that the unborn has "equal" rights to the woman is simply wrong.

As for DADT, Mr. Paul danced around it, but came down on a "non-fraternization" policy for everyone.

Oh, but Rand Paul doesn't think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. He just doesn't believe a private business should have to serve the President of the United States if they don't want to.

Taylor Marsh is a political analyst out of Washington, D.C.

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