Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sat down for an interesting interview with Fox News yesterday, reflecting on President Obama’s governing philosophy – or more accurately, Paul’s apparent understanding of the president’s governing philosophy.
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake highlighted the most remarkable part.
“The danger to majority rule – to him sort of thinking, well, the majority voted for me, now I’m the majority, I can do whatever I want, and that there are no rules that restrain me – that’s what gave us Jim Crow,” Paul said. “That’s what gave us the internment of the Japanese – that the majority said you don’t have individual rights, and individual rights don’t come from your creator, and they’re not guaranteed by the Constitution. It’s just whatever the majority wants.”Paul added: “There’s a real danger to that viewpoint, but it’s consistent with the progressive viewpoint. … Progressives believe in majority rule, not constitutional rule.”
That’s quite an assessment. It’s also remarkably nonsensical, even for Rand Paul.
First, Rand Paul opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, then partnered with neo-Confederate who celebrates the birthday of Abraham Lincoln’s assassin. Given this, maybe the senator should avoid incorporating Jim Crow into his arguments.
Second, Rand Paul’s embrace of “individual rights” rings hollow given his belief that the government can and should dictate American women’s reproductive choices and the government can and should prevent same-sex couples from getting married.
Third, if Paul or anyone else has evidence of President Obama saying he’d do whatever he wants because there are no rules that restrain him, I’d love to see it. As best as I can tell, Obama has spent the last five years pleading with congressional Republicans to work with him towards compromises – on just about anything and everything.
Fourth, if Paul or anyone else has evidence of President Obama saying majority rule should trump constitutional law, I’d love to see that, too.
And finally, since when do “progressives” reject “constitutional rule”? What on earth is he talking about?
Update: Ed Kilgore’s take on this is a real gem.