Now that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has announced that he is the biggest defender of minority rights in the Senate (against all facts to the contrary including his own hiring of a neo-confederate pro-secessionist), he thought it would be clever to compare President Obama taking executive action on immigration to FDR putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps.
Watch here, courtesy of American Bridge:
Speaking in Lexington Kentucky the day after Obama’s announcement, Paul said (transcript courtesy of TPM), “I care that too much power gets in one place. Why? Because there are instances in our history where we allow power to gravitate toward one person and that one person then makes decisions that really are egregious. Think of what happened in World War II where they made the decision. The president issued an executive order. He said to Japanese people ‘we’re going to put you in a camp. We’re going to take away all your rights and liberties and we’re going to intern you in a camp. We shouldn’t allow that much power to gravitate to one individual. We need to separate the power.”
This is a huge, Beckian fallacy.
Let’s reverse it. “I care that too much power gets in one place. There are instances in our history were we allow power to gravitate to one person and that one person makes decisions, like hiring secessionists who advocates for the secession of the South as chairman of the “implicitly racist group” League of the South and supports the assassination of President Lincoln, that are really egregious. Think of what happened in World War II, when Hitler hated on certain segments of the population. He said, you’re Jewish so you need to go to this camp, which is the same as saying you’re black so you need to be a slave. Like being against the Civil Rights Movement. We’re going to take away all of your liberties and lock you up in slave camps and put you in gas ovens. We shouldn’t allow that much power to gravitate to one individual.”
Paul’s hiring of the racist Hunter was troubling to even the Daily Caller (the place where they yell at the President in the middle of his speech). Media Matters noted at the time:
Matt Lewis wrote a post after the publication of the Free Beacon story criticizing Paul’s association with Hunter, writing: “It’s one thing to have an aide with baggage (even very bad baggage), but the larger problem here is that this also speaks to credibility and honesty — to Paul’s fundamental character.” Lewis did not mention that Hunter has written for his site.
I observed a pattern at the time:
Rand Paul’s Senate campaign employee Tim Profitt stomped on a liberal woman’s head at a Paul rally. That could have been an anomaly, but then we also have his own son being arrested for aggressive physical force against a female flight attendant. Add in this new associate who is fringey and you have a pattern.
But none of that makes Paul guilty of being just like someone who put people in internment camps. Just comparing someone’s actions to internment camps doesn’t mean they have any relationship whatsoever to internment camps. It would be ridiculous to accuse Paul of being like Hitler, and it is also ridiculous to accuse Obama of putting anyone in an internment camp.
In actuality, President Obama did the opposite of putting people in an interment camp, and this is what makes Paul’s comments so troubling. Is it that he doesn’t understand what being an internment camp really is, or he doesn’t understand the realities regarding Congress not providing enough funding to deport everyone, or he doesn’t understand the need to act with compassion but also respect for the law?
Speaking of abuse of power, it was Rand Paul who told a group of Tea Partiers, “I think the first executive order that I would issue would be to repeal all previous executive orders.” Oh, so that’s totally not a dictator move. He’s just going to erase everyone else’s input from the beginning of our country. That’s over 10,00 executive orders that Rand Paul thinks should be just wiped out. As in, he is planning to put tons of power in his own hands should he get elected. He thinks he should have more power collectively than these other presidents each had. This is what makes Rand Paul an empty suit. Some of the things he says make sense, until you look under the hood and see how craven and unprincipled his stands really are.
This isn’t freedom or liberty speaking, it’s ignorance. This is what ignorance sounds like. Play it again. Yup. Just another teenager trying to sound smart. But this one is going to run for President.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.