Thursday, October 2, 2014

Block versus Wenzel on Rand Paul, part 3; Is Walter Block Misreading Rand?

By Robert Wenzel

Walter Block writes:
My friend Bob starts off with “Rand Paul Sucker Punches Walter Block.” In it he quotes Rand’s statement in The New Yorker:
“I really was disappointed,” Rand said, his voice rising. There was a quote “from some guy who I’ve never met saying something about how slaves should have been happy singing and dancing because they got good food or something. Like, O.K., so now I’m in the New York Times and you’re associating me with some person who I don’t know.” He went on, “It’s one thing to go back and interview my college professor or groups that I actually was with. But I was never associated with any of these people. Ever. Only through being related to my dad, who had association with them.”

This is pretty devastating. Here I have been defending Rand, and this is how he treats me? He calls me, in effect, a racist (pretty much everyone knows precisely who he is talking about), and doesn’t even have enough respect for me to mention my name. Pretty awful stuff, if true (see more about his below).
And yet he chooses to support Rand. Dr. Block continues:
 Rand Paul is still the most libertarian member of the Senate at present, and perhaps for all time. Hillary Clinton is a war-mongering feminist socialist interventionist of the worst sort. Rand is still not a Rothbardian nor a Ron Paulian. He is his own man. But compared to Hillary? C’mon, libertarians, get serious. Did you hear that joke about the elephant and the mouse. The latter rode on the former’s back across a rickety bridge, and said, “Boy, we made that bridge sway.” On a scale of zero to a hundred on my libertarian meter, Rand gets about a 70, and Hillary gets a 5, if that much. There is no more comparison between these two possible candidates for the highest office in the land than there is between the weight of the elephant and the mouse. They are just simply in two different universes, when it comes to comparisons of this sort.
But how does Walter know that Rand is so great, so libertarian? This I believe is Walter's weakness when it comes to Rand, he is simply too trusting of Rand, too willing to interpret every one of Rand's distorted pronouncements as if it was pure libertarian gold---or at least that there is some libertarian gold in the Rand statements. My view is that Rand wants power and will do and say whatever is necessary to gain power, just like any other politician. In the end, it would be extremely difficult to know on what issues Rand will be better than Hillary on.

A friend, who is also a friend of Walter's, and who had been (is?) a supporter of Rand's emailed me half way through the current brouhaha and said:
I agree with your main point: Rand can be a loose cannon and is not to be trusted. 
But Walter still seems to believe.

Now, he tells us that he has been told by a "highly placed person in the Rand Paul campaign" that the New Yorker misquoted Rand.

Writes Walter:
I admit it. I was fooled. I read what The New Yorker quoted Rand as saying, and I initially believed it. I was dismayed. It is one thing to be mistreated by The New York Times, but to be dealt with in such a manner by Rand, who I had defended, by the son of Ron who I revere? This was, how shall I put it, harsh? In the event, I should have known better. I recently had an experience of my own about being misquoted by a mainstream journal, the New York Times. You would think that once bitten, twice shy: I should have discounted as a misquote what Rand supposedly said about me. I am an idiot. Why should I, knowing full well just what the mainstream media is capable of, think that another member in good standing of that club would accurately report a quote?
Well Walter, it appears that  it is the "highly placed person" next to Rand that is the one that is lying, and lying directly to you. The New Yorker, as I reported yesterday (SEE: HOT: New Yorker Has Audio Recording; Denies Rand Paul's Charge of Being Misquoted), says they have a recording of the interview and that "the interview is quoted accurately and in context, as reported in the piece."

Some one is, indeed, lying here, and it would be pretty insane for it to be The New Yorker, since Rand could call on them to release the tape at any time. Walter, perhaps you have been away from your youthful stomping grounds, Brooklyn too long. A great scholar you are (Nobel Prize worthy, in my view, as I have previously indicated) but your street savvy is slipping. You are being played by Rand Paul and team.

They will say anything to advance themselves on the road to the 8 Year Throne, including that you are a racist, and then lie to your face about it. Walter, the one thing I have learned in observing you is that you tell it straight. I think you are projecting a truthfulness on Rand and company that is just not there.

Rand dissed you to a New Yorker reporter, when he  knows full well how NYT distorted your comments. The "highly placed person" next to Rand, then lied to you about that. Walter, back in your Brooklyn days, what would you have called someone who bought such a whopper?

What is going on here, in what can only be called "The Dissing of Walter Block" scandal, does not surprise me. I believe it reflects the expedient nature of the Rand Paul campaign. 

I am the one that is not disappointed in Rand's comments about you, only because it is the type of thing that I view as par for the course at Rand & company. Who knows what libertarian principle or person they will throw under the bus next?

And, yet, you say that Rand is some sort of significant alternative to Hillary. On what do you base this? Is it because you believe him the way you believe the "highly placed person' next to Rand, that says  Rand didn't diss you?

I will tell you how we can solve this. Since you are the one disparaged in the article, will you be willing to allow me to ask The New Yorker, on your behalf,  for a copy of the relevant portion of the audio recording of the interview?

Let's seek the truth here, Walter. If the tape proves that Rand was misquoted and your "highly placed person" next to Rand, is correct, I will shut up about Rand and admit that I may be miss reading him. 

If on the other hand, the reporting by The New Yorker proves accurate, will you concede that you may be misreading Rand and company?

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