Senator Rand Paul severely beaten while mowing lawn, unable to return to DC; neighbor arrested

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This will be an interesting thread.


… Aside from the fact the dude works in a hospital…


so you’re saying maybe we should wait for the dust to settle before donating to cover court costs.


It wouldn’t surprise me if right about now a whole bunch of Republicans are loading various weapons and muttering “challenge accepted” to themselves.


Rand Paul is a piece of shit as a politician, but he still doesn’t deserve to be assaulted and beaten like this.


No, he deserves to be voted out, driven from politics, reviled and mocked, and possibly sued for his actions, if they’ve been bad enough. Not assaulted and beaten at random.

The rule of law applies also to assholes.


The fact that he pissed someone off enough to beat him up surprises me far less than the fact that he mows his own yard.


You don’t resort to violence except in the face of violence.

No matter what.

Otherwise we’re just going to end up in a race to the bottom, with no concept of what moral high ground we once fought over.


The news about this attack quickly evolved from “ha ha, dude sucker-tackled Rand Paul, but he’s totally okay, what a doofus” to “holy shit, his neighbor beat the crap out of him, that’s not cool.”


How far you the food chain does your rule allow going? Is only the mook personally handling the violence acceptable? Can you go after the provider of his orders instead?(indeed given the odds, in situations of organized or state sponsored violence, that the point man is just some dumb kid, quite possibly a conscript; is it actively preferable to go as high as possible?)

One can argue that Paul’s preferred policies aren’t actually violence(I wouldn’t; but it could be done); but the point is that, if you’ve made US Senate, you don’t ever need to do violence personally. You can have it done on your behalf with much greater efficiency. Does the moral high ground require only taking it out on whoever handles the implementation?

(Please note: the above does not constitute a position that attempting to beat the Senate into line is a remotely good idea, which I strongly suspect it is not; just distaste for the idea that you have some moral imperative to wait until some peon comes for you, then take it out on him, in order to maintain moral status.)


We should probably circumvent a confusing Chidi-style exploration of the complexities of moral philosophy here, because I think you can boil it down to something simpler:

There are no ends, only means.

The more you let yourself be convinced that some context lets you do something that’s otherwise problematic, the more you sink into a morass where you can rationalise away anything in the name of ethics.

So you have to try and stay true to what you stand for, right until you’re forced not to.

And unless you think that ‘meting out violence on people who you think deserve it’ is a fine rubric to live by, and will make the world a better place, then it’s something to avoid.

You shouldn’t live your life as if your morals are an annoying hindrance getting in the way of all the stuff you want to do; if you have to get your hands dirty, it should be regrettable and distasteful, not a glorious shining moment of righteousness allowed by a brief window of opportunity.


That one has high aphorism value; but I’m not sure that it even means anything. If there are no “ends”; what does it mean for something to be a “means” rather than just an arbitrary action? “Means” are usually defined in terms of their relation(or at least intended relation) to an end.

This in no way implies that the ends always justify the means, I would say that they often don’t (though for at least three distinct flavors: “means could be justified, but end isn’t up to the job”, “means are not justifiable for any end”; and “means proposed would be detrimental to desired end”); but denying the existence of ends leaves you with very little to work with.

I’m also not sure how you can reconcile your other statements with that one: “you don’t resort to violence except in the case of violence” is very much a statement about which ends(countering violence) justify which means(resorting to violence). Phrased in a restrained way, rather than a “make my day” way; but draws a distinction that would be meaningless if ends were not both present and ethically salient.

Similarly, if “what you stand for” doesn’t include some ends, what would it include?


Let’s keep in mind we’re talking about an asshole who consistently votes against common sense gun restrictions and who votes against socialized healthcare. One does not need to feel sorry for this asshat senator or his slovenly, drunken son.


“How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?”

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If he’d returned the hedge-trimmer, none of this would have happened.


I feel sorry for the neighbor. I imagine it would take a lot to cause a healer to attack someone, politics aside. Not only did he have to live next to this asshole, now his career and freedom is in jeopardy because he acted against said asshole.

I wish he had a better solution than beating the shit out of the guy, but I guess you would have to feel pretty trapped by life to make that the only way you can resolve your issues.


And yet, of the Republican in Congress, Rand Paul is one of the few to have done anything most of us would agree with.

Or do you forget things like his drone filibuster, for one.

Of the 50 or so Republican Senators, how many have ever voted against their party in a way you liked?


“When the man comes around”

J. Cash


I’m fascinated to know the story behind this. I have to imagine this is rooted in something far deeper than political differences. Like sucker-punching the President, attacking a Senator isn’t something a man does who has any hope of seeing daylight for the near future.