‘Henny Penny’ Paul

rand paulKentucky ’s junior senator reminds me of Henny Penny, AKA Chicken Little.

“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” hapless Henny was ever clucking.

“A Hitler is coming! A Hitler is coming!” Republican Rand Paul frequently forecasts.

Henny was a chicken who was chicken. The tea-party tilting Paul wants to be president.

He fired up the far-right faithful — and a few lefties — in his filibuster against John O. Brennan as CIA head. “In a democracy, you could some day elect someone who is very evil,” he warned. “That’s why we don’t give the power to the government.”

Paul summoned Hitler’s ghost while he droned on about drone strikes under President Obama.
It was another Paul fudge.

The senator seldom misses a chance to slam our “socialist” president. So he brewed another tempest in a teapot, this time over a letter Attorney Gen. Eric Holder sent him about drones.

Paul had written Brennan wanting to know “the Administration’s views about whether ‘the president has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen, on U.S. soil, and without trial.’”

Holder replied that “as members of this Administration have previously indicated, the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so.” The attorney general added, “the question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront.”

Holder also supposed it was “possible…to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which” a president, “under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States” could employ military force to kill an American on American soil. “For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.”

drone rand paulNever mind that Holder’s response to Paul’s letter was only a supposition in response to a hypothetical. Paul pounced. He cranked up the fear-mongering and started his gabfest.

Some Republicans supported his talkathon. So did dovish Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon.

On the other hand, Sen. John McCain, hardly an Obama fan, took Paul to task. He said Paul and lawmakers who backed his filibuster did the country a disservice by trying to scare John and Jane Q. Public into believing “they’re somehow in danger from their government. They’re not.” McCain added, “We spent 13 hours talking about a scenario that won’t happen and can’t happen.”

For extra measure, he called Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Justin Amash — a GOP tea party trinity — “wackos.” (Wyden and McCain voted for Brennan; Paul didn’t and Amash couldn’t.)

Anyway, after Paul’s bloviation, Holder wrote the senator again. This time, he declared flat out that the president doesn’t “have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil.”

Paul said he was happy with Holder’s answer. But the senator was predictably “disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it, but we did get the answer.”

I suspect mum would have been the word from Paul on domestic drones had Mitt Romney won last November.

Even so, I was surprised Paul stopped at drones. Did he forget the black helicopters?

To be sure, the senator swore up and down he wasn’t comparing Obama to Hitler. He wanted John and Jane Q to make the link.

More than a few of Paul’s tea party boosters don’t shy from Obama-Hitler comparisons. They love Paul’s Hitler rants and his raves about how government run by “socialist” Democrats — and even “statist” Republicans — imperils “freedom.”

Usually, Paul’s targets are down to earth. He is crazy about unfettered, red tooth in claw, survival of the fittest, greed-is-good, capitalism. But he’s not big on unions and laws that safeguard workers’ rights to have unions. Likewise, he’s not a fan of regulations that promote worker safety and health on the job, safeguard the environment and protect consumers against shoddy or dangerous products.

Paul was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Texas and ended up in Kentucky. I’m a Kentuckian, born and reared. I have lived all of my life in the Bluegrass State, the state that gave the country some of our greatest senators: Henry Clay, Alben W. Barkley and John Sherman Cooper, to name a few.

They skipped the demagoguery and fear-mongering. They had faith in republican government and in the majority of the body politic to do the right thing by the country.

So do I. I’ll believe my country could democratically elect somebody like Hitler when hogs fly and kids don’t shoot hoops in Kentucky any more — nah, not even then.

Okay, there’s not much that John McCain and I agree on.

Berry CraigBut McCain was on the money when he said of Paul’s talkathon, “It’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.”

I’m a union card carrying lefty and proud of it. But I’m the first to admit that some far-lefties are looney-tunes, too. I mean the ones who, like uber-righties, are given to conspiratorial flights of fancy. Only the loopy lefties use “Hitler” and “Nazi” as synonyms for “Republicans,” but sometimes, too, for “Obama” and “Democrats.”

It’s way past time for those on the political fringe to cool it with the Hitler stuff.

Berry Craig

Monday, 11 March 2013

Comments

  1. Ryder says

    Perhaps the WORST transgression of all time is the Wickard v. Filburn decision. The government has no power over free men.

    It does, however, have the power to regulate interstate commerce.

    In the Wickard case… the government fined and shut down a farmer from growing food and being self sufficient. He was ordered to destroy his crops.

    Why? Because by being self sufficient he didn’t have to buy food grains from the market, and for his FAILURE to PARTICIPATE in the free market, he was therefore affecting the free market and interstate commerce, and therefore fell under federal control.

    Welcome to America, Mr. Craig.

  2. Ryder says

    I would totally agree with Mr. Craig… EXCEPT… It would be totally unthinkable that the federal government would round up Americans and imprison them without warrant or charges.

    Except that is EXACTLY what happened in the camps the government made when they rounded up Japanese Americans just 60 years ago.

    And of course it is totally unthinkable that the government would take land from people living in their homes… just so that they can tear them down and turn the land over to corporations for no other reason than to enrich the government treasury…

    Yet this is exactly what happened in the city of New London. Families, kicked out of their homes, and off their land… to have it seized and used for the filling the treasury.

    And of course no court in the US would hold that a free man had no rights… yet in the Dred Scott decision, that is exactly what the Supreme Court held… and took a man living in states where slavery was illegal, and returned him to slavery…

    Yep… I would agree with Mr. Craig completely… except for one thing:

    I live in the real world.

  3. Jonathan Baker says

    Mr. Craig, you ad hominems in support of your premise really
    diminishes you to a place where rational, thinking people have a hard
    time wanting to debate with you.

    I cannot believe that you do
    not see the potential danger that faces this country from the federal
    government;

    government war hawks who proclaim that America is now a
    battleground in a world-war against “Evil”;

    an administration that feels justified in murdering Americans
    overseas rather than bringing them home and given a trial because
    they are so called “imminent treats” and “combatants”;

    broadening the meaning of “combatant” way beyond that of
    an enemy shooting at our troops;

    an administration that will not release to the citizens of America
    the legal justifications it claims give it the right to perpetrate
    those murders;

    a candidate for head of the CIA referring questioning Senators
    back to the White House for an answer as to whether or not the CIA
    could or would use drones on US citizens on US soil;

    the head of the DOJ equivocating on the question of whether or not
    the President has the authority to act extra-judiciously toward
    American citizens on American soil (killing without trial and
    conviction);

    and being very specific in tailoring an answer demanded by Senator
    Paul to the use of weaponized drone attacks on American citizens on
    American soil to exclude those the government deems to be a
    “combatant”, thus begging the question once again, will or
    will not the government kill an American citizen on American soil
    without benefit of an indictment and a trial.

    Senator Paul has done the American people a great service in
    bringing into high focus the potential (some say imminent) dangers
    the present and future administrations pose for its citizens.

    Mr. Craig, can you respond without resorting to ad hominems,
    making it a rational, thinking man’s response?

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