Well what do ya know. After finding the article below outlining all the “conservatives” who have attacked Rand Paul, I stumbled upon this article about some ”libertarians” who are refusing to back him up.
There are a few issues involved here. First, there is the constitutional issue. That the feds lacked the enumerated power to regulate private businesses in this manner is a slam dunk. If you think otherwise then please produce for me the Article and Section or Amendment that authorizes it. Conservatives, who should generally be originalist, should therefore hold that the CRA was unconstitutional as most at the time, such as William F. Buckley, National Review and Barry Goldwater, did. If someone is generally an originalist and/or an enumerated powers person, but believes the issues involved with the CRA were so important that they required extra-constitutional federal action, then he should so state. Much as a staunch constitutionalist conservative might support some federal action on abortion against his general originalist principles because the issue is so grave. This would be what you might call a principled exception. But none of the three libertarians cited here do this. They don’t raise Constitutional concerns at all. They seem to take Federal authority here for granted.
The other issue is freedom of association. From what I can tell from the Rand Paul interview, he was primarily making a libertarian absolute freedom of association argument more than he was a constitutionalist argument. Here conservatives of good faith could disagree, because conservatives are not under the same philosophical obligation that libertarians are to value the primacy of individual rights above all else. Although a general Burkean argument could be made that imposed change from above brought about too much societal upheaval too quickly and slow change would have been more natural and brought about better results in the long run.
But it doesn’t seem to me that for the philosophically consistent libertarian, the freedom of association argument is negotiable. So by supporting the CRA the three libertarians cited in the article are being less libertarian. Now this isn’t necessarily bad. As a conservative I wish libertarians were less libertarian on a lot of things – immigration, abortion, gay marriage, etc. – but I can’t help but think that these libertarians are being conveniently less libertarian on this hot button issue because they have either embraced or fear the recriminations of the PC thought police.