Saturday, May 22, 2010


I'm not going to address every point made by David Weigel in his defense of Rand Paul, but this one seems particularly wrongheaded:

It's essential to put Paul's belief in the context of 2010 instead of the context of 1964. He sees less of a need now for the government to intervene against discrimination in private business because there is less discrimination now. And go and try to prove him wrong on that.

So, um, we should simply strike laws from the books when it appears they're no longer needed?

Back in the 1990s, Boston made a concerted effort to reduce crime, particularly crime aimed at juveniles. The effort was so successful that there were no teenagers murdered in the city over a 29-month period. Should Boston have simply struck its laws against murdering a teenager from the books? (Crime, including the murder of juveniles, eventually returned in Boston.)

Should we eliminate laws against child labor in U.S. factories? After all, Americans now find the practice abhorrent (at least stateside), and we don't really have all that many factories in this country anymore anyway. Surely the practice of employing children as laborers couldn't possibly come back here, could it?

Hell, you could say the same thing for slavery -- we're repulsed by it. Why bother to keep it illegal?

And as for the matter at hand -- discrimination against certain customers in restaurants -- gosh, I can't imagine any ethnic group being treated that way on a widespread basis anywhere in America today; what group of people would engender that sort of contempt?

There's a lot of claptrap in this libertarian argument, but this might be the worst of it.

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