Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul Said What??

Ron Paul may have faded from the political limelight since his Presidential quest went down in flames but his son's star is on the up and up. Rand Paul is now the Republican nominee for the Senate seat in Kentucky, besting the local party's pick to replace Senator Jim Bunning. Paul's victory is a testament to the nascent power the teabaggers are beginning to hold in various conservative strongholds around the country. However, his views and recent statements are showing the mainstream just how far out there Paul and others like him are.

From Crooks and Liars:

Presidential bashing of corporate crime, corruption and greed is as American as apple pie. While Republican Teddy Roosevelt decried "malefactors of great wealth," his distant Democratic cousin FDR announced, "I welcome their hatred." But now just days after insisting the federal government had no right to bar racial discrimination in public accommodations, Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul again reversed victim and villain in calling President Obama's criticism of BP, "un-American."

In the face of the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Paul rushed to the defense of BP on Good Morning America. When George Stephanopolous asked, "But you don't want to get rid of the EPA?" Dr. Paul's diagnosis was that the Obama administration was persecuting the oil giant and the American free enterprise system. Accidents, he insisted, "happen".

Paul's assertions may reside upon libertarian values, but they certainly are not American values. Accidents do not always just "happen," oil spills like that of which we are dealing with now must have consequences when the companies at fault did not take adequate precautions to prevent millions of barrels of oil from polluting the Gulf of Mexico. The same goes for enforcing anti-discrimination laws so that commercial establishments do not keep black people from sitting at the lunch counter as Woolworth's did not fifty years ago.

Mr. Paul, we have government for a reason, and that is to make people behave civilly and to respect each other's liberties. BP does not have the liberty to destroy an ecosystem that millions of people depend upon, let alone the myriad species that live in the waters and surrounding shorelines. The fact that someone with such horrifying views has made it a general election is both shocking and depressing. This year, it is the responsibility of the Kentucky Democratic party to take this seat back not only for politics, but for the common good.