Dec 7, 2013
Rand Paul: The Minister of Misinformation
Posted on Oct 18, 2013
So you think Rand Paul plays a little loose with facts? You’re right, according to Jill Lawrence over at the National Journal.
And it’s by design.
Lawrence’s profile of the libertarian Kentucky senator, ophthalmologist and likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, starts off with a revealing anecdote in which Paul recently told medical students that while in college he and a few friends relied on spreading misinformation when it came to exam time (presumably the exams were graded on a curve). They would tell classmates that, for instance, they knew a looming pathology test was going to be about the liver, leading their competitors for high grades to run down a cul de sac as they crammed the wrong material.
Funny, that Rand Paul guy, the students laughed. As Lawrence explains, the anecdotes are part of the “charm,” and help obscure a decidedly austere view of the role of government in society. And a predisposition to keep facts at arm’s length. Paul followed the med school memoir with a series of half-truths and outright falsehoods about Obamacare.
He’s among the right wingers who want to kill Obamacare by defunding it, and like many of his colleagues is ready to misinterpret history to make it seem to support his position.
So call him the Minister of Misinformation (others already have on Twitter). The general sense from the political left and center is that Paul, like his father, Ron Paul, is too iconoclastic and doctrinaire to win a national election, let alone the GOP’s nomination. And Paul’s relative “truthiness” will blow up on him in the national spotlight. Maybe. But there is a phrase to remind us that the seemingly politically inconceivable has a way of happening in the U.S.: President George W. Bush.
—Posted by Scott Martelle.
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