Friday, July 9, 2010

It's the Silly Season....

...and there's not much happening on the political front. Congress is in recess, so there's even less work being done there than usual. The Gulf oil spill is more of same. And the economic news is a) bad or b) tells you nothing.

So news junkies like me are getting our fix watching the Congressional races. And the Kentucky Senate race is a gift from the gods. The Republican candidate is Rand Paul, son of complete nutcase libertarian icon Ron Paul. Where shall I begin?

In the race he's been touting his professional experience as a physician (an ophthalmologist, specifically) to make the case that he would be an informed legislator on health care issues. From his campaign website:

As a doctor I have had first-hand experience with the vast problems facing health care in America. Like other areas of the economy where the federal government wields its heavy hand, health care is over-regulated and in need of serious market reforms. As Senator, I would ensure that real free market principles are applied to fix this problem.

Now what's interesting about Rand Paul's professional standing is that he has claimed to be a "board-certified" ophthalmologist. But he is not certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, which is the only organization recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify ophthalmologists. Paul is instead certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, which he himself founded in 1999. He is also its current president.

Perhaps having competing ophthalmology certification boards is one of his "free-market" solutions to health care problems.

And it gets better: he seems to be in favor of allowing private businesses to act as if Jim Crow laws were still in force. However, he did backpedal on that after the backlash. Racism is uncool in 21st-century America. Who knew?

And as if he hadn't learned anything from that little lesson in the perils of political tone deafness, he stuck up for BP, and now he's been saying to America's poor, you're not so bad off.

And now, political genius that he is, he's told the people of a state with a huge farming sector that he's against agricultural subsidies.

Where do the Republicans find these people?

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