Rand Paul: Welcome to the Big Leagues

First, I want you to know that I came up with the title of this blog post before I saw that Domenico Montanaro at MSNBC beat me to it.

Until this week national news media was only mildly interested in Rand Paul, but now that he won a blowout primary election and is the front-runner (so far) in a Senate race, he’s getting closer scrutiny. And it appears he wasn’t ready for prime time. Yesterday he wanted to uphold the right of businesses to exercise racial discrimination, and today he said the Obama Administration was being “un-American” to criticize BP Oil.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you don’t want to get rid of the EPA?

PAUL: No, the thing is is that drilling right now and the problem we’re having now is in international waters and I think there needs to be regulation of that and always has been regulation. What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, you know, “I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.” I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault. Instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen. I mean, we had a mining accident that was very tragic and I’ve met a lot of these miners and their families. They’re very brave people to do a dangerous job. But then we come in and it’s always someone’s fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.

And there are reports Rand whined that he wasn’t getting a “honeymoon” with the press. As a great man once said, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

22 thoughts on “Rand Paul: Welcome to the Big Leagues

  1. It sounds like Randy has a case of foot-in-mouth disease.
    If I took a 55 gallon drum of 30 weight and dumped it into the lake I live near, even if I did it by accident, I shudder to think what the “authoritahs” would do.
    Last night on “Hardball”, Chris Matthews wondered aloud why someone doesn’t just send some “frog men” down there with wrenches to shut the damned leak.
    The “leak” is a spewing demon of oil 5,000 feet beneath the Gulf.That would be one hell of a “frog man”, even if working at that depth was possible, which it is NOT.We should ask for a volunteer to go down and shut it off, just think of the hero you would be……
    There was obviously no contingency plan other than the BOP, which obviously did not work.
    The Ass-kickings should begin with the fools who allowed BP to drill without a reasonable plan of action should something go wrong, and work down stream.
    The only people on the planet who can fix the spewing well head are the professionals in the offshore oil industry; the military ( yes, some idiot on NPR was wondering why the military isn’t more involved, I guess they could just blow up the well head)Can’t fix it, they don’t do oilfield stuff, and don’t have deep water vehicles needed to get at the subsea completion unit.
    I hope this is a wake up call for the “drill, baby, drill” idiots; they have no idea what it’s like to live and work offshore; on the rigs, you work 12 hr shifts, sometimes without a break for months.
    Rand Paul is like a guy in a hole who just can’t quit digging.
    The fact is that someone screwed up which caused an explosion and fire which killed 11 men, injured a bunch more, sank a god-damned multi-million dollar semi-submersible oil platform, and caused the worst oil “SPEW” in history.
    Any one issue stands alone as a crime, we have the trifecta.

  2. “Maybe sometimes accidents happen”

    Yeah why get upset, hell why even try to stop the oil at all eventually the well will run dry, sometime accidents happen, brilliant.

  3. I’m confused. IF, as Rand suggests, the oil spill/spew/disaster was an accident then it would follow that Rand would believe that BP didn’t have to pay for the clean-up because accidents happen, so somebody else has to and that somebody is the tax payer. On the other hand, Rand also believes that tax-payer funded TARP was uncalled for/wrong/a travesty because the tax-payer wasn’t responsible? Was the tax-payer responsible for the BP disaster?

    Lord, I fear we’re going to be, yet again, forced to listen to the idiotic rhetoric of yet another no-nothing, think-nothing blatherer and we’re going to waste valuable time not to mention sleepless nights combatting the blather.

  4. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault.

    Is it me, or is this guy on an intellectual par with Dubya?

    He does not understand “cause and effect”? “Success versus failure”? “The tort of negligence”? “Responsibility”?

    His idiocy would be amusing if it weren’t still pretty likely he’ll get elected in November. And I’m not about to blame that on Kentuckians, because hey, I’m from Nebraska… land of Ben “omg he’s such an embarrassment” Nelson (D).

    But really, people, really: Rand Paul is not worthy of anyone’s attention, let alone national office.

  5. “Leave poor BP alooooone” I can hear Rand moaning. Is the guy so tone-deaf he doesn’t realize that BP has become Bad Petroleum in many people’s minds?

    This is the kind of conservative I really enjoy – someone who’s not afraid to speak his mind – and scare the hell out of everyone but his nutty followers.

  6. Science Friday had a discussion and some brainstorming on this subject last week. If memory serves, there is one more little problem in addition to the depth. The oil is under great pressure and exerts 50,000 p.s.i.

    I think we’re going to need a bigger faucet.

  7. Pingback: Tea Party Hero Rand Paul Tells George Stephanopoulos In Interview: Get Rid Of Corporate Regulation NOW | THE GUN TOTING LIBERALâ„¢

  8. I don’t think “accident” means what Rand Paul thinks it means.

    Much as it might discomfort Rand Paul to acknowledge it, both the recent mine disaster and the Gulf Oil Catastrophe were entirely preventable and predictable events in which the bottom-line obsessed and arrogant management of well-connected companies failed to prudently avoid.

    The fact that encouraging such businesses to behave that way was the express policy of the Bush-Cheney administration is a sad truth that seems too uncomfortable for the DC-centric media to take notice of. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    However, to give Rand Paul credit where it is due, I must admit he did make me laugh when he combined a tirade about the “blame game society” with his whining about how the liberals and their talking points were to blame for his spate of media attention. It’s important to get a good laugh in every day, so I’m grateful for that.

  9. mahabarb (and everyone else)… this leak continues because no one in the U.S. government is willing to seize control of the well in the name of protecting the general welfare. At any time, with either a nuclear depth charge or a couple of tons of conventional explosives (my preference would be, obviously, for the latter), this well could be sealed in 48-96 hours from the time the decision was made. The hold-up is that it would destroy the well utterly and millions of dollars would be lost (by BP). Truly we need masses of people standing outside BP’s headquarters chanting but I doubt that even that would do any good.

    On a side note (and more germane to the post we’re commenting on, Randy was invited to be on Meet the Press on Sunday. Given his “not ready for prime time” performances this week, he has turned tail and run like a bunny. Don’t expect to see him off Faux Snooze for the rest of the election cycle.

    To replace him, David Gregory has invited Joe Sestak, the Democrat from Pennsylvania. I’d prefer to have seen Conway get a chance to make with the chicken dance at Paul, but I like Sestak too (very much) so I’m not unhappy.

    • mahabarb (and everyone else)… this leak continues because no one in the U.S. government is willing to seize control of the well in the name of protecting the general welfare. At any time, with either a nuclear depth charge or a couple of tons of conventional explosives (my preference would be, obviously, for the latter), this well could be sealed in 48-96 hours from the time the decision was made.

      Couldn’t that make things worse just as easily? I admit I have absolutely no clue as to how the well works, but just blowing stuff up seems a bit uncontrolled.

  10. Well, the Soviets used exactly that technique four or five times back in the 60s to seal runaway wells off their coast. It is a proven technique. You reduce the top couple hundred feet of the seabed into rubble and that plugs the well more effectively than golf balls.

    Search this wikipedia article:
    for “Urtabulak” to see what I’m saying.

    As I said, I’d prefer to go conventional, but even a small nuclear device is, to me, preferable to having 40-60,000 barrels of oil leaking per day until the middle of June *at least*!

  11. err… the wikipedia mention is dry land, but I read another article that mentioned doing this at least once in the Arctic Ocean. Damned internet! I can’t find it now 🙁

  12. Here we go,
    To some people, nuclear weapons can solve problems ranging from toe nail fungus to out of control dictators.
    It is rumored that the former Soviet used nuclear charges to blast a new right-of-way for the Volga River back in the 60’s.
    Let’s put on our little thinking caps for a moment, and review the benefit / loss ratio involved in detonating a nuclear device.If it works, we have a capped off well, plus the place is dirty for 10,000 years, and there is radioactive fallout in the atmosphere and Gulf just 50 miles from the Louisiana / Missippi/ Texas/ Alabama” Florida coast; which coiuld enter the loop current / Gulf stream.
    If it doesn’t work, we have all of the above PLUS a gusher.
    If this was an easy fix, it would have been fixed by now.
    If we wish to try explosives ( which is gonna kill a lot of sea life also),
    one would think the conventional type would be the choice, but even that might make things worse.

  13. As long as were going to play the blame game, let me start with cheney, he is the one who met with energy corporations behind closed doors and deregulated everything, and not only that he agreed to give them more government subsidies. This was done right after he was elected V.P.

  14. If this was an easy fix, it would have been fixed by now.

    Absolutely. I’m sorry, but “the Soviets used to do it sometimes” is an excellent reason not to do something. Their worse-than-casual attitude toward creating longterm environmental damage will be their only lasting legacy.

    As long as we’re going to play the blame game, let me start with Cheney….

    The least astonishing aspect of this entire disaster, for me, has been that Halliburton installed the seals that failed. More ka-ching for the Dick’s retirement fund, massive disaster to follow… S.O.P. for that guy and his corporate Flying Monkeys.

    Somebody (on wonkette, probably) suggested using Cheney to plug the well. For once he might contribute to the general good.

  15. I suspect that blowing up the area around the well to cap it – with nuclear or conventional devices – is not as proven as some would believe, otherwise it would’ve been done. If it were 100% effective, the calamity would be over, BP would end up the hero, and it could simply drill another well to tap the oil (which of course is expensive, but a cost of doing business).

    What better way to convince the public that off shore oil drilling is “completely safe” by effectively dispatching an actual disaster of this magnitude? Everyone would then be chanting “drill baby drill”.

    Rather, I suspect the “blow it up to cap it” procedure is viewed as extremely risky, and therefore is off the table presently.

  16. I imagine that calculating the performance of explosives in the cold and extreme pressures a mile below the surface is not a well-examined science, and effectiveness of the technique probably varies with local geological conditions. It seems preposterous to suggest that such an approach is a “slam-dunk” in any but the George Tenet sense.

  17. Great article over at After the Future, What Libertarians Don’t Get:

    …Libertarians are often very intelligent, but I also think that they are adolescent in their thinking and immature in their social development. They are like bright high-school debaters who take a simple starting point, and with relentless consistency develop a one-dimensional system of thought they promote as “principled”…

    Libertarian one dimensionality is rooted in its assumption that Liberty is the only value that matters for Americans; it forgets that Equality is part of the picture, too. It’s not one or the other. They both keep one another in a kind of tension and balance. When Liberty dominates, equality suffers; when Equality dominates, Liberty suffers. A healthy democracy finds ways through its use of tools in the political sphere to keep the two in a rough balance.

    In a healthy society, amity, or a peaceful balance, between freedom and equality has implications for activity in the economic sphere. The free exchange of goods and services is an essential element in the healthy functioning of activity in the economic sphere, but, once again, Liberty is not an absolute, and it must be checked when severe inequalities in wealth (and the power that comes with it) emerge. Neither is some rigid idea about Equality an absolute, and so, of course, any healthy society would reject a program to implement a top-down redistributionism in which some ideal of complete Equality was the goal. The challenge is not to celebrate equality as preferable–or liberty–but to find a balance point that defines social health, and the health of activity in both the political sphere and the cultural sphere depend on this balance being struck in the economic sphere…

    It’s actually an indictment of the whole conservative mentality. I’m hoping that Rand Paul’s main contribution to our country, is that someone, and it could be Jack Conway, gets on a soapbox, and blasts a full throated rebuke of right wing one-dimensionality, along the lines of the above, into the public discourse. I’m tempted to send Paul a contribution just to see this happen.

    Whelen (who wrote the article) uses the words “liberty” vs “equality”, but other pairs are just as applicable: competition vs cooperation, yang vs yin. America is long overdue for a redress of conservative excess, which was all about shifting the balance toward individual liberty. The fact that so many of us understand this so clearly now, after several decades of conservative rule, makes me think the opposite pole (yin, cooperation, equality) is more than ready for to gain ascendance. It just has to kick over the dying ideology (something we were waiting for Barack Obama to do).

    And so I’m looking forward to Rand Paul to continue to spout his nonsense, and for Jack Conway to decide he’s had enough.

  18. As a follow up to Moonbat’s comment, I have an older friend (in his 70’s) who I have a phone conversation every Saturday. This morning he told me Randy was set up by Rachel maddow. I told him that Randy should have been smarter in his response.
    Jim Croce wrote ” You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with Slim”
    Well you also don’t mess around with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    this is politician kindergarten stuff…….

  19. Rand is like that immature kid who’ strying to show he’s as smart as his old man; and since he thinks his old man is very damned smart, he thinks the rest of us are ididots.
    And, to show his intellectual chops, he decided to take his stand on Libertarian views on Civil Rights. In a century marred by 2 World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and other sundry horrors like McCarthy, Father Caughlin, and the rise of the conservative Chriatianist right, we have the Panama Canal, the rights of women to vote, Civil Rights for EVERYONE, and the moon landings as the few in the plus column for humanity by the US (yes, defeating Germany and Japan belong there).
    The reason Nimrod Paul failed is his vanity. Instead of going on FOX where they’d let him bloviate his Libertarian BS, and drool in admiration, he decided to go on TV with one of the handful of actual reporters who’s not drunk on Village media Kool-aid. She asked him questions. Jesus, not even very though ones, and he actually had to defend the indefensible using Libertarian gibberish that only gets a nodding of the head in the affirmative by Randian (Ayn) fellow travelers – who usually travel on PUBLIC ROADS!!!
    ‘Private businesses should be allowed to determine who they do and do not serve.’ This sounds reasonable to Libertarians who, with the conviction of the religiously converted, sit up and bleat, “Why, this makes perfect sense.” Except to anyone with a functioning brain, who realizes that there is no clear line where public and private are wholly seperate. Even if you have a restaurant on the top of a mountain that you built without pulbic roads, have your customers hike to eat, drill a well and use that water, and create your own electricity, compost every bit of garbage on your own property, then, maybe…
    But, guess what, you STILL don’t have the right to deny service, because the government has to insure that the food is safe, the water pure enough, and that the garbage you produce doesn’t flow into aquifers used by non Libertarians, otherwise known normal people with functioning brains. Why does the govt have to do that. Well, Nimrod Libertarian, sit down and I’ll tell you – because if my brother dies eating in your libertarian MickyD’s on the Mountain, either from food poiisoning or a fall from the there, I’ll sue the living shit out of the owner. And when he/she closes in order not to pay – he’s a Libertarian, you can’t sue him, that’s an infraction on his/her rights, fine, I’ll will sue the village, the town, the country or the state, whomver I can get to pay firstest with the mostest, because they were clearly derelict in their duty in preventing my brothers death from preventable causes on private property. Believe me, I’ll win. One of the reasons, is that the law doesn’t recognize absolute private property rights anyway – eminent domain, anyone?
    So, Nimrod Paul, son of Dipshit Paul, couldn’t come up with a reasonable argument, because there isn’t one. At least not in the world outside the Libertarian echo chamber.
    So, stay in FOX’s safe waters, Nimrod, because the sharks of logic will now circle anytime you venture into deeper waters. Shit, you’ll even have Village Idiot’s like David Gregory ask you about this. Now, enjoy your run for office. GO CONWAY!!!

    Sorry for the long rant. Have a nice weekend, all.

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