Rand Paul has yet to say that he disapproves of assassinating presidents, but the Southern Avenger has left his Senate payroll.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

14 thoughts on “Progress”

  1. Has Obama said he disapproves of assassinating presidents? Certainly he doesn’t disapprove of assassinating the various people he orders assassinated every “Terror Tuesday”.

    1. In all fairness, the “assassinating president” question has a specific meaning and history on this blog. It doesn’t fairly relate to Obama’s claimed power to order the murder of anyone he wants killed, anyplace, anytime and based on secret evidence. I think all regular readers of this blog know the question Mark was asking and why it is appropriate to demand that Rand Paul answer it.

      In context, then, while I don’t believe that President Obama has been asked specifically whether he would have supported the assassination of Abe Lincoln, my guess is that he’d be against it. By contrast, the Paul Family seems to regard both Lincoln and Obama as illegitimate tyrants deserving of death.

      Based on his statements and looking at the people he surrounded himself with, I think it’s a fair inference that Rand Paul would consider the killings of both Obama and Abraham Lincoln to be justified acts of tyrannicide. In that light, it seems perfectly fair to ask him if he approved of the assassination of Lincoln. Indeed, I think it is legitimate to ask Rand Paul whether he would consider the murder of Barack Hussein Obama to be tyrannicide.

        1. “the Paul Family seems to regard both Lincoln and Obama as illegitimate tyrants deserving of death”

          [Citation Needed]

  2. Behold the power of Borking! Score one for the screech gallery.

    In other news, Mark Kleiman has yet to say that gastroenterologists who see more patients per day than even the most prolific “Kush Doctors” makes him even sicker to his stomach.

    1. I don’t understand two things:

      First, what any of this has to do with Robert Bork, I do not know and wish you’d explain.

      Second, Robert Bork’s nomination was derailed when his opponents made people aware of his extreme political opinions. Opinions that were out of touch and frightening to mainstream America, including what was then the mainstream of the Republican Party. I was interning at the district attorneys office in NOLA at during those hearings and was spending a lot of with some very, very conservative people in Southern law enforcement that Bork scared the hell out of.

      He was sunk because his own words, fairly construed and in context, demonstrated him to be a far right extremist at a time when his views were unacceptable to a majority of Americans.

      1. Yes, Mitch, exactly! And you don’t see the parallels?
        Hunter’s extreme statements were outed (he was Borked), and now he’s off the government payroll, sunk because of his own words.

  3. So, being Catholic, I guess I would have preferred if that strange man had done some soul-searching and issued some sort of deep, long and thorough apology, after which he could, imo, have kept his job. Maybe it seems soft to some, but I am not fond of just throwing people out.

    But since that didn’t happen, this is good news. It was probably hard for Paul to do, since the guy must be a good friend or one would never hire such a nut to begin with.

    Ideally, the guy will finally come clean and reform, Paul can hire him back or help him find another job, and then we can all forget about this.

    Incidentally, it occurs to me — and this is totally obvious, as in “duuuuuhhhhhh…” — but, if the GOP ever solves its racism issues, then elections will get a lot tougher. I’ve watched a tiny bit of Fox News coverage of the President’s *excellent* speech of last Friday, and found it quite odd, but then today on Hardball, a guy was saying he thinks the GOP is anti-anti-racist, in that they can’t even handle the topic being discussed at all, like it’s bad form or something. (HB was also giving a lot of free publicity to some complete idiot, whose name I don’t remember …)

    I don’t think he was saying that there isn’t an actual racism issue there, and I would agree with that. He was just saying there is some kind of weird immunity-system-gone-awry on the other side of the aisle. Food for thought.

    1. You might find this article more in line with your redemptive sensibilities:

      Derek Black, son of the former Alabama Klan leader who now runs the largest racist Web forum in the world, has renounced white nationalism, saying that he had been through “a gradual awakening process” and apologizing for his past activism.

    2. With all respect, a problem I have with your brand of Catholicism is with something you didn’t use in describing the Souther Avenger’s path to forgiveness, namely, “sincere repentance”. A reluctant acceptance that remaining on Paul’s staff would be impolitic isn’t remotely the same as repentance. Acceptance of political reality is not the same as a heartfelt confession of error.

      I’m certainly not a Catholic and as a secular Jew I’m obviously in the justification by works school but, even so, my understanding is that even for Catholics repentance and contrition, as well as the taking of positive steps to demonstrate one’s contrition would be a sounder basis for forgiveness.

      Really, not even other crocodiles are impressed by the shedding of crocodile tears. You shouldn’t be either.

    3. My understanding (as an Atheist Jew) is similar to Mitch Guthman’s: the apology, forgiveness, and redemption you describe is really about transgressions against God; for his transgressions against his fellow man, a sincere and thorough attempt at recompense is required for his debt to be made whole. He spent many years in public life working to destroy the idea of a welcoming, equal society. He doesn’t get to just shrug and say he’s moved on. Maybe if he were to act out boldly, to say that he is inspired by his own misguided youth to be outspoken on these issues (in a constructive direction), to prevent other people from going down the path he followed, the path he used to lead them down, he could earn redemption. But no mere apology will cut it. Deeds, not words.

      1. for his transgressions against his fellow man, a sincere and thorough attempt at recompense is required for his debt to be made whole.

        I know – or think I do – that this is essential to Jewish ideas about sin and forgiveness, as is the notion of asking forgiveness from the human victim(s) of one’s transgressions.

        I do not know if Catholicism has similar requirements.

  4. This is kind of hat trick for Paul, isn’t it; (i) hiring this toad, (ii) keeping him on long enough after it was clear to everyone who he was to certify he’s OK with Hunter, and then (iii) not having the courage of the convictions demonstrated by (i) and (ii) to stand by his guy.

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