Friday, September 07, 2018

Libertarian In Name Only

The other GOP senator from Kentucky- the one not running theUnited States Senate- has endorsed libertarian Gary Johnson  for the US Senate seat in New Mexico in which incumbent Martin Heinrich is opposed by Republican Mark Rich. Unsurprisingly, the Democratic chairperson in New Mexico is unimpressed and stated

Rand Paul is the least surprising DC endorsement Gary Johnson could get. Both put on a big show about their so-called independence, but at the end of the day, both are rubber stamps for the extreme agenda of today’s Republican Party. We know both would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and both want to gut the types of programs that help New Mexico families thrive.

To be fair, Senator Paul was one of only ten senators who recently voted against the gargantuan, wasteful $717 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.

But that Democratic chairwoman is correct: Paul will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh for a pivotal seat on the US Supreme Court, just as he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and in favor of the GOP's Corporate Tax Scam of 2017.

On Thursday, a leaked email confirmed suspicions that Kavanaugh does not believe Roe v. Wade is "settled law," and on the same day he referred during his Judiciary Committee hearing to contraception as "abortion-inducing drugs." That should please Senator Paul, who on July 2, 2018 was asked

whether he wants President Donald Trump to nominate a judge who thinks "an unborn child with a beating heart is a 'person' entitled to equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment." Fetuses generally develop beating hearts roughly three weeks after fertilization.

"I think we do need a pro-life justice, and I've always been in favor of that," Paul responded.

"Equal protection of the law" is code for abortion should be flatly prohibited, no questions asked.

Once posing as a fighter for freedom against government, Paul never believed in liberty for the half of the population composed of women. This week he exploded any pretense to being a libertarian as

In the wake of the anonymous op-ed essay published in The New York Times on Wednesday written by a senior administration official who claimed to be part of a “quiet resistance” against the president, Republican Senator Rand Paul recycled the idea of administering lie detector tests. The Kentucky senator said anyone with a security clearance who works in the White House should be subjected to one, according to multiple media reports that were confirmed to Newsweek by Paul’s press office. 

“It’s not unprecedented for people with security clearances to be asked whether or not they’re revealing things against the law under oath and also by lie detector,” Paul said. “We use the lie-detector test routinely for CIA agents and FBI agents. If you have a security clearance in the White House, I think it would be acceptable to use a lie detector test and ask people whether or not they’re taking to the media against the policy of the White House.”

That argument might carry weight if this had anything to do with national security, rather than the right of Donald J. Trump to be shielded from criticism.

The President of the USA can fire the individual found to be responsible for the controversial op-ed. He can fire the individual he suspects. He can fire any individual he wants to fire by claiming that he or she wrote the piece. He can fire any appointee he wishes.

But a lie detector test- except possibly to eliminate someone not seriously suspected of being the culprit anyway- makes little sense. In the video below, Jason Miller, chief spokesman of Trump's 2016 campaign, criticizes the op-ed (beginning at 19:15 of the video below) as "effectively a soft coup" but adds (at 20:09)  "now, I think the whole idea of a lie detector is silly and a non-starter."

Silly, and ineffective. Liars, such as the consummate one in the Oval Office, know how to beat a lie detector while innocent individuals may inadvertently implicate themselves when strapped to a polygraph machine.

Whatever the dangers or even merits of a lie detector test, it is not administered (or ordered) by an executive branch with any interest in the individual liberty libertarians are allegedly obsessed with. It is time to do away with the idea that Rand Paul is anything but a right-wing Republican, turned toady to President Donald Trump.

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