ebrown p wrote:
The Libertarians are upset for a couple of reason. First of all, the Libertarians were as offended as anyone by the civil rights fiasco (they don't want to be tarred with this extremist view).
Although I agree they don't want to be tarred, I think that's mainly opportunism. Rand Paul's view of the Civil Rights Act are perfectly libertarian.
Orthodox libertarian doctrine cherishes most of the Civil Rights Act, but not all of it. Most importantly, it cherishes it for abolishing the Jim Crow laws. These laws had forced employers to discriminate against employees, forced businesses to discriminate against their customers, and forced government agencies to discriminate against their citizens. Jim Crow laws thwarted individual liberties, and libertarians bide them good riddance. By the same token, Libertarian orthodoxy also welcomed the Civil Rights Act for equalizing the enforcement of voting rights, and for desegregating government facilities---especially schools. But that's as far as it goes. Although libertarian orthodoxy frowns on discrimination between private parties, it never approved of the government criminalizing it. That's a regulation of private enterprise, which libertarians reject, and violates the freedom of contract, a central norm of theirs.
Rand Paul's views seem consistent with all of this. He said he agreed with 9 out of 10 titles of the Civil Rights act, but "would have raised questions" about title 2, which deals with discrimination between private parties. He's a libertarian alright. The libertarian pundid's problem with Rand Paul, then, isn't that he's too illibertarian. It's that he's too inept to effectively dodge an issue when campaign tactics require him to dodge it. But Paul's critics can't publically say,"we need a better issue-dodger; someone slicker, with more teflon on him". So they disparage his libertarian credentials instead.
Second, Libertarians are pro-choice (Paul is pro-life).
Not generally true about libertarians. To begin with an obvious point, libertarians oppose infanticide as much as everybody else. And the central question of abortion---whether embryos are "close enough to being infants" to have human rights---is orthogonal to the principles of libertarianism. You can come down on either side of the abortion issue and still be a consistent libertarian.
Libertarians are in favor of same sex marriage (Paul is spewing the "one man one woman" Republican line).
That's true as far as it goes, but he is also "spewing" that this decision belongs to the states. Because Paul is running for federal office, that means he should end up voting against federal legislation like the late term abortion act or the federal marriage amendment. That's what his father did anyway---and run-of-the-mill Republicans didn't. From your perspective as a Democratic voter, that's the best deal you can expect from any
In fact, Libertarian part ways with Republican on many issues-- from the Patriot Act to foreign wars to the war on drugs.
... both of which Rand Paul opposes, and the Republican mainstream supports.
To real Libertarians, Paul is a run of the mill (albeit conservative) Republican.
On my credentials as a real, if increasingly softcore libertarian, I have to disagree with this. Libertarian embarrassment with Rand Paul may be justified on other grounds---it isn't justified by any deviations of Rand Paul's from libertarian orthodoxy.