It’s always frustrating when a conservative tries to, seemingly, ingratiate himself with liberals—or get published in a mainstream media publication, but we repeat ourselves—by trotting out their tired conventional wisdom, as opposed to a critique that benefits from the author’s right-of-center perspective.
A recent case in point is Ramesh Ponnuru’s analysis of Ron Paul:
“In 2004, the House voted 414-1 for a resolution celebrating the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul not only voted no but gave a speech arguing that the act should never have been enacted. Employers who wish to discriminate against blacks, in his view, should be free to do so. A federal government that claims the power to override their decisions, he said, could also impose racial quotas. ‘Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.'”
Ponnuru sniffs at Paul over this episode and leaves it at that. What, exactly, is wrong with Paul’s position? Even if one thinks that government action is necessary to right historic wrongs, Paul’s point about the government being liberated to go further and impose racial quotas should have been a legitimate consideration in debating the Civil Rights Act. He is not offering any critique of Paul’s reasoning, reducing his argument to the liberal trope of “you are against ‘civil rights.'”
We actually agree with most of Paul’s positions cited in the article, except for some of his foreign policy (too isolationist at times) and conspiracies against the CIA. (The main reason we am sure that the CIA does not “run everything,” as Paul says, is because they are way too incompetent for that.)