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Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Rand Paul and Social Justice

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Posted on May 27, 2010
On Thursday Robert Scheer responded to reader questions and comments about his column "Blame Clinton, Not Paul." Scheer said, "both Democrats and Republicans have betrayed the interests of black and brown people and those who got stuck with subprime mortgages, and that's the pressing civil rights issue right now."

The following is a transcript of a chat that took place on Thursday, May 27th at 3 PM PST.

2:44 Truthdig
Thu, 27 May 2010 22:44:59 GMT
Comment: Welcome everyone, feel free to chat amongst yourselves while we wait for Robert Scheer to arrive.

2:54 Truthdig
Thu, 27 May 2010 22:54:52 GMT
Comment:
  We'll stagger questions to give Bob a chance to answer, so feel free to send them now.


3:02 Truthdig
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:02:53 GMT
Comment:
  OK. Let's get started.


3:02 Comment From haroldbeu
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:02:58 GMT
Comment: [Bill] Clinton certainly has much to answer for concerning the financial debacle, but Rand Paul would further de-regulate the financial sector. But I am puzzled why you are not outraged at Paul's equivocation concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It may not be a racist stance, but it is certainly inhumane and naive.

3:05 Robert Scheer
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:05:17 GMT
Comment:
  Look, just to be clear, I have no intention of supporting Rand Paul to be president or senator or anything else. I am trying to say that the demonization of this guy is all wrong; he makes some valid points that should be debated that concern the waging of unconstitutional war.
He said he would have opposed the war that most Democrats supported and he was against the banking bailout. I am much more concerned with the failure of leadership of the people I voted for. I voted for Clinton, I supported him and I feel he betrayed the trust I put into him.


3:06 Truthdig
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:06:10 GMT
Comment:
  Ken Horton in Santa Monica asks: Can you cite one country that employs Libertarian principles successfully? One of the things Libertarians never want to come right out and declare, is that you want to PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING! No Public Schools, No Water Works, No Fire Department, No Police, No Military, No Garbage, No Roads of any kind, No Judicial Entities, etc. WHY IS THIS NOT INSANE AND TOTALLY UNWORKABLE EXCEPT IN SOME BIZARRE UTOPIA?


3:08 Robert Scheer
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:08:23 GMT
Comment:
  Well, you know, utopian construct can also be very useful; at the heart of what is appealing about Christianity is a utopian concept. Every major political philosophy comes from utopia. I wouldn't discard libertarian critiques. I certainly think that if there's one group in this country that has had the guts to challenge the marriage with Wall Street and the government, it's been with libertarian views, and I applaud that.


3:08 Truthdig
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:08:30 GMT
Comment:
  Question from the Internet: "Why is the media focusing on Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act?
   "Meanwhile the left indiscriminately bomb the brown people of the Middle East...

"The real racists: Obama and Pelosi. Woolworth's isn't even a store any longer. Meanwhile Afghan children become orphans daily. But don't bother bringing that up, media! It's better for ratings if you paint Rand Paul a racist just for supporting the First Amendment and property rights."


3:10 Comment From Larry Scruggs
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:10:17 GMT
Comment: And just how, exactly, are Obama and Pelosi racists?

3:11 Robert Scheer
Thu, 27 May 2010 23:11:45 GMT
Comment:
  (Answering question from the Internet) I think the media is distracted by Rand Paul because he is the target of the day and he is new to fresh perspective, and he is threatening in a way he shouldn't be. Enormous bloated government is good for us -- I don't agree with that. I think that $800 billion defense budget on wars that are unnecessary is a big mistake, and Rand Paul has been willing to challenge some of that spending, and the banking bailout is an enormous waste. I think he is correct to criticize that, so why not agree with someone when they make good points. I do believe there is a need for public education and I do support that.



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By alibrarian, May 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama “smarter than FDR.” Don’t make me throw up. I have read that Ob watches ESPN but doesn’t even watch the News. (Alter confirms that he does watch ESPN—while autographing photographs??? Does he think he’s a movie star?) You know what, he’s President—WATCH THE DAMN NEWS. And it’s cute that he takes time to go to Malia and Sasha’s sporting events, but I think we need a full time President. (Frankly, as a working mother, I almost never was able to attend my daughter’s games.) If ever we needed a full-time President, it’s NOW! The economy, the oil-spill, wars—and we are stuck with an amateur.

I felt, during the campaign, that Ob was just NOT ready, to be President—even though I voted for him. His performance as President has confirmed that feeling over and over. As a life-long Democrat, this makes me so sad because it may be many years before we get another Democrat elected, and despite flaws, I sincerely believe that the majority of us (WE the people) have better life-chances with a Democratic President.

I will not be bothering to buy or read Mr. Alter’s Obama-BROMANCE. And somebody tell him he needs a new anecdote—we’ve all heard about Ob’s lecturing the generals—for his interviews.

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By 10hawks, May 29, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like Rand Paul too.

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By T. A. Madison, May 28, 2010 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Many thanks for providing needed perspectives Mr. Scheer.  Your comments help considerably especially in noting Paul and Palin as “sideshows” that distract from ending “unconstitutional war”.  Many thanks.

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By 1212, May 28, 2010 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyone thought about the housing market crash
as a deliberate policy decision to reduce the cost
of housing employers must factor into pay and thus
make the U.S. more competitive?  I know that for
years various business policy groups here in
California bemoaned how much they had to pay to
attract people to Silicon Valley and other burgeoning
areas.  Certainly it would be typical that addressing
the problem would involve dumping the costs on the
little guy and putting money in the pockets of the
usual suspects.  Don’t reject this notion out of
hand because it sounds like a conspiracy theory.
Wake up, folks!  I can testify from personal experience that our society is governed by conspiracies.  Call them trade associations, chambers of commerce, or law firms lobbying in
capitols.  They are how things get done in the USA.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, May 27, 2010 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

“I do believe there is a need for public education and I do support that.”

Awesome, Robert Scheer!

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