Thursday, August 14, 2014


*UPDATE: This is no longer true -- Rand Paul has responded in a Time op-ed, which I'll comment on shortly.

Yesterday, at The Washington Post, Paul Waldman wrote that libertarians have been largely absent from the discussion of events in Ferguson, Missouri. Waldman got a lot of pushback for that. Some of it is justified -- yes, as, Ed Krayewski writes, he and his colleagues at Reason have written quite a bit about the Michael Brown shooting. But the most common response with regard to libertarian politicians has been "I'm rubber, you're glue." Krayewski:
... prominent liberal Democrats haven't said much either. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has made no statement about Ferguson, Missouri. I contacted her DC office but there did not appear to be anyone there to take phone calls.
National Review's Greg Pollowitz:
It's not just the president who has been silent on the events in Ferguson, Mo.

Nancy Pelosi hasn't said anything, but did find time to comment [on Twitter] on her love of dark chocolate...

Harry Reid hasn't said anything, but did find time to congratulate a local Little League team...
Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy echoed these complaints.

The president, of course, did call for peace in a statement on Ferguson. But as for Warren, Reid, and Pelosi, please remember that they haven't strutted around as constitutional superheroes, sworn to rescue our founding documents and the liberties they enshrine from the grasp of evildoers. They don't inject the words "constitutional" and "liberty" into every second sentence they utter, as a way of marketing themselves to voters. They don't act as if they're entitled to co-brand with the Constitution, as libertarian-leaning congressman Justin Amash does:

See also Rand Paul's Twitter page:

"Individual liberty and the freedoms that make this country great"? That was apparently relevant when Rand Paul was defending Cliven Bundy ("... the federal government shouldn’t violate the law. Nor should we have 48 federal agencies carrying weapons and having SWAT teams") -- defenders of libertarianism say that Ferguson iasn't taking place in Senator Paul's state or Congressman Amash's district, but the Bundy ranch isn't in Kentucky last time I checked.

Oh, and don't forget that Rand Paul is running for president on speeches like this:
Our nation has come a long way since the Civil Rights Movement. But we must realize that race still plays a role in the enforcement of the law.

Just ask Raliek, Daequon, and Wan'Tauhjs, who were just standing on a street corner when a policeman arrived and told them to move on or be arrested.

What was their crime?

I guess it was: "Waiting While Black"

The boys explained that they were waiting for a school bus to take them to their game. They were handcuffed and taken to jail.

Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice is just not paying close enough attention.

Whether you are a minority because of the color of your skin or by virtue of your political or religious persuasion, it is imperative to restrain the power of the majority, to restrain the power of government.

Patrick Henry understood this when he wrote that the Constitution was intended to restrain the government, not the people. (Excerpted from Sen. Rand Paul's address to the Urban League on July 25, 2014)
Incidents like this make fine anecdotes for Paul's campaign orations, as a means to try to win non-white (or, more likely, white moderate) votes, but I guess he can't be bothered to speak up in real time, when violations of black people's constitutional rights are actually taking place.

This appears to be the only response to Ferguson so far from any libertarian/"constitutional conservative" politician:

One tweet. That's it.


UPDATE: Here's Elizabeth Warren's response:


The New York Crank said...

I'm guessing there will be many more tweets and other comments as time goes on, because Ferguson is turning from a probable unwarranted police shooting to a case of massive police coverup and even more massive overreaction.

The Ferguson and St. Louis County cops are clearly trying to gloss over what appears to be a homicide. When they start shooting protestors (and news reporters) with rubber bullets, the matter escalates from one likely police homicide and overall police incompetence to a massive and deliberate violation of civil and human rights, worthy of world attention and of Federal intervention.

If President Obama has the guts that President Kennedy had, he will in due course send in Federal troops, just as Kennedy sent troops to the University of Mississippi in 1962.

Keep your eye on this one.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

Victor said...

Bundy, and that crew of armed yahoo's and sociopaths, have full constitutional rights.

In Ferguson, the kid who was killed, and the protesters, are only eligible for 3/5th's of the rights of people like Bundy.

And, in the words of Mayor Daley during the riots during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968,
"The police aren't here to create disorder. They're here to maintain disorder."


ladyblug said...
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