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Rand Paul in Kentucky: Campaign 2010's Most Important Senate Contest

4 years ago
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The other day, I was wondering which of the 37 Senate races underway at the moment is the most important. The one in Nevada? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could be booted out of the top Senate position by former Republican state assemblywoman Sharron Angle, a Tea Party darling who has called for phasing out Social Security, who has scolded out-of-work workers seeking unemployment benefits as "spoiled," and who is doing all she can to avoid taking questions from mainstream reporters. Or is it the Illinois race? This contest features two weak and flailing candidates; Republican Rep. Mark Kirk has been caught fibbing repeatedly about his military service and employment past, and the bank owned by the family of Democrat Alexi Giannoulias failed and was seized by the U.S. government. Still, this is Barack Obama's old Senate seat, and whatever happens to it will carry much symbolic value.

Or the most significant Senate race could be any that produces an unforeseen GOP win that brings the party the 10th Senate pick-up it needs to seize control of the upper chamber.

Rand PaulBut then I came across a short news item about Rand Paul, the libertarian ophthalmologist and Tea Party activist who won the GOP Senate nomination in Kentucky. He's had a rough ride since his primary election victory. He said he did not fully support the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He accused Obama of being "anti-American" for applying pressure on BP. Like Angle, after making a series of controversial (read: stupid) comments, he began ducking the media. But the latest Paul news is utterly dumbfounding -- and a profound cause of concern.

As reported by Details magazine, Paul, while campaigning recently in Kentucky's coal country, maintained that there should be no federal regulation of the mining industry: "If you don't live here, it's none of your business." Asked about the Big Branch mining disaster in West Virginia, where an explosion killed 29 miners last April, Paul said,
Is there a certain amount of accidents and unfortunate things that do happen, no matter what the regulations are? The bottom line is I'm not an expert, so don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules. You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You'd try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don't, I'm thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.
I'm not an expert. Don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules. Ponder the implications of this. So members of Congress who are not oil industry engineers should not regulate deep off-shore drilling? Actually, by Paul's logic, legislators should not impose any health, safety, or environmental standards on any industry. And the answer to such tragedies as mining disasters is . . . well, nothing. The workers in unsafe facilities can simply quit their jobs -- that is, unless they've already been blown apart due to bad company practices.

Paul wants to become a senator so he can do nothing. No doubt, that's an attractive notion for some Kentucky voters; he's been leading Democrat Jack Conway in the polls. But when the economy is in the dumps following a crash of free-wheelin' Wall Street, when climate change is a continuing threat, and when U.S. global competitiveness is slipping, doing nothing ought not be a top-priority item. Worse, Paul is celebrating his lack of knowledge, while suggesting that no one in Washington is really capable of governing. As his comments about the BP oil spill suggested, he would have no problem granting corporations free rein -- even after they screw up. His motto could be "BP Knows Best."

In Nevada, Sharron Angle, who has called for abolishing the departments of Energy and Education and the EPA, appears to be losing credibility and is slipping in the polls. But Rand is running strong -- despite his libertarian extremism and steady string of outlandish remarks. That makes the race in Kentucky the most significant Senate face-off of this electoral season. If he wins, it will signal the power of know-nothing Tea Partyism.

While commenting about the Big Branch disaster, Paul said, "I want to be compassionate, and I'm sorry for what happened, but I wonder: Was it just an accident?" After the worst U.S. mining disaster in decades, Rand Paul would rather contemplate a possible conspiracy theory than consider government steps that could prevent another tragedy. Should a person with such priorities win a Senate seat, responsible government will lose.

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sksmith4321

The author says "But when the economy is in the dumps following a crash of free-wheelin' Wall Street, when climate change is a continuing threat, and when U.S. global competitiveness is slipping, doing nothing ought not be a top-priority item."

The crash of Wall Street was led by the collapse of the housing market. The collapse of the housing market was due to over regulation. The government forced lenders to lend to underqualified people and fed ruled institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were rife with corruption and regulation heads.

Climate change used to be called "global warming". Now that it may not be warming, it is called "climate change". And it is a contested science. The exposure of corruption in fudging facts (i.e. "climate gate") seems to be remiss in the author's statement.

As for global competitiveness, statists seem to not understand that when you increase the cost of doing business via regulation and taxes, companies have to either cut costs (usually by shedding jobs), raise prices (i.e. inflation), or go bankrupt. All three of these things have been happening due to regulation. It should come as no surprise that our worst industries are the most heavily regulated (i.e. banking, housing, automotive, airline, energy, etc).

The author needs to pause for thought and think honestly about cause and effect. Rand Paul's alleged "do nothing" is false. Rather, he'd hopefully actively dismantle the tyrannical regulation that is without a doubt destroying our country and free way of life.

August 10 2010 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sksmith4321

The author says "But when the economy is in the dumps following a crash of free-wheelin' Wall Street, when climate change is a continuing threat, and when U.S. global competitiveness is slipping, doing nothing ought not be a top-priority item."

The crash of Wall Street was led by the collapse of the housing market. The collapse of the housing market was due to over regulation. The government forced lenders to lend to underqualified people and fed ruled institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were rife with corruption and regulation heads.

Climate change used to be called "global warming". Now that it may not be warming, it is called "climate change". And it is a contested science. The exposure of corruption in fudging facts (i.e. "climate gate") seems to be remiss in the author's statement.

As for global competitiveness, statists seem to not understand that when you increase the cost of doing business via regulation and taxes, companies have to either cut costs (usually by shedding jobs), raise prices (i.e. inflation), or go bankrupt. All three of these things have been happening due to regulation. It should come as no surprise that our worst industries are the most heavily regulated (i.e. banking, housing, automotive, airline, energy, etc).

The author needs to pause for thought and think honestly about cause and effect. Rand Paul's alleged "do nothing" is false. Rather, he'd hopefully actively dismantle the tyrannical regulation that is without a doubt destroying our country and free way of life.

August 10 2010 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
norfwest

"You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You'd try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don't, I'm thinking that no one will apply for those jobs."

That is big talk from an ophthalmologist. "If you don't like your job, quit. Better yet, don't take the job in the first place." That is his answer? What if it is the only job in town? How, then, will a coal miner provide for his or her family? I guess he'd say to that, " Move to another state." In some counties coal mining is the driving force behind the entire economy. And what if, upon complaining about the conditions of the work place, the owner threatens to close down the mine? Then what?

August 05 2010 at 5:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
kimberpara214

So when has the goverment ever been held acountable for anything ! He's right on one asspect . It is none of there business ! And for B.P . I would think they do know better ! Oil drilling , coal mining , It's all rough work , and these people that do it ; My hats off to them ! We should let the states handle there own affairs ! I'll bet osha didn't dig any of those miners out of that mine !
Oh well I'm starting to ramble !

August 05 2010 at 12:54 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
tmondero

I for one believe that the government has to be able to make certain regulations. If they didn't who knows what some people will do to make a buck. The system failed with the BP disaster because of individuals not doing their jobs properly. It was not because of government regulations. Corners were cut to save costs but were not noticed or just overlooked by inspectors whose job it was to ensure those corners weren't cut. Your car is built better to save your life because of regulations. You may think it isn't because in a wreck it crumbles around you but it is designed to do that to absorb the impact so you don't have too. Your food is safer because of federal regulations. You have rights as an employee or as an employer because of regulations. Civil Rights is another item. If it wasn't for that women and non-whites couldn't even vote for one thing. There is nothing wrong with the system. What is wrong is the people who are part of the system that do not do the right thing. They are willing to take a few extra bucks from someone to overlook something or complain why should I do my job better because they don't pay me enough to do the paper work to make them do the right thing.

August 04 2010 at 11:32 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
pvandyne

Well....I wonder if the writer is a liberal or a republican? Real journalism is dead. It seems that all journalists have an agenda on both sides of the political spectrum. I thought editorials were supposed to be in the editorial section....now they are on the front page. The day has come and gone for me to trust journalists. I put them in the same pile with attorneys.

August 04 2010 at 10:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
antietam53

Well it certainly seem that this site will cut you off if they do not like what you have to say. Everyone who blames BP for a leak is missing the main point...OUR governmet will not let the oil companies who drill for the easy oil we demand to consume because they are to busy kissing the tree huggers. And for those who think we should drive electric...how do you get electricy..COA and, ATOMIC ENERGY where is the benifit in the trade off...if you look around you see oil products that build our cars, homes, roads...where is the solution? we could go back 110 years to horses and buggies...but what do you do with the waste from 100 million more animals...where do get the feed for these animals....
We can not move backwards....we can not ask a government to regulate people with such a wide set of value structures...

If you were not paying attention...millions of peoples jobs left the USA 15 years ago...they said we were becoming a service economy....well do you see noe that is a failed economic concept
We have all shopped at the "super store" for the cheap prices made available by low cost imports
Did the Federal government no see the end result well before today

I feel bad for Rangel...it is too bad journalist write the easy stuff...so why believe ANYTHING they want to talk about...and this article make my point

August 04 2010 at 10:02 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to antietam53's comment
jetpack!

When it comes to oil there is no point in moving backwards but we cant keep going for the easy way out. Oil is the easy way out. Theres no way for us to maintain our collective lifestyles for that much longer, oil is finite and it will run out so the only way to move forward is researching new sources of energy. And the blame on BP should also be on the government, not for stopping them from drilling elsewhere but for not properly regulating the drilling in the gulf. They are ruining an entire ecosystem because they cut a few corners to save a few dollars. Disgusting.

August 05 2010 at 12:24 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
chardonnayone

Yay Rand- Govt can start today to get its nose out of our faces (and I am being polite). Govt screws up ABSOLUTELY everything it produces and overregulates. We're all being strangled by EPA-"Dispersents are fine, but check those life jackets kids..." By the justice Dept: Going after Universities that are experimenting with using Kindle, since Blind people cant use it (This is a true new case), while they cant make a case against Black Panthers with a club on film intimidating white voters. Fun house mirror days are here...

August 04 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
mikecarlo610

Does anyone see the contradiction in calling people lazy for being out of work but then suggesting that workers in coal mines should quit their jobs or not take a job where there are safety issues? If their local economy thrives on coal mining should they take out loans to go to school for something unrelated and then have to commute 2 hours to get a job in that field? Will they have the money to afford a car to commute? Will they have the money to relocate with no job? Old money in the US is already established, the system of meritocracy that existed in the Rockerfeller era is dead, and Rand Paul must have really had to struggle growing up and must really be in touch with decisions the average American has to make since his daddy is a Doctor/Career Politician. What a joke!

August 04 2010 at 9:25 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
brydawg33

I'm with Rand Paul. Government needs to stay out of my life and stop trying to micromanage it. I want to live in a free society not one where the government tries to tell me whats good for me and what isn't. I can decide that on my own.

August 04 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to brydawg33's comment
JUST MOOSE

With what information will you make those decisions?
It is the government that mandates disclosure of information by businesses and individuals. Can you make a choice about consuming a food product without knowing what is in it, or under what conditions it was repaired. When you fill up your tank with premium gas, don't you want it clearly labelled as such and not just "gasoline." Without government regulation, you could be paying premium prices for regular octane.

August 04 2010 at 9:38 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
conlibhatr

Amen. That goes for abortion, gay marriage, and drugs as well.

August 04 2010 at 10:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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