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Listening to the GOP presidential debate on a drive across California on Tuesday night, I was stopped cold more than once by Rep. Ron Paul. My God, I thought, compared with the others, he sounds positively sane. He made coherent point after point. After the debate, it appears there was a net-polling consensus that he actually won it. On debating points, no doubt he did. But who is this man?
Today Andrew Sullivan takes a look at Ron Paul and the reaction from the Republican Amen media corner. Why are they scared to death of this man?
“They attack us because we’ve been over there,” he declared unblinkingly. “We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East [for years]. I think [Ronald] Reagan was right. We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics.
“Right now, we’re building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We’re building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting.”
The crowd in South Carolina started to applaud Paul’s derision of a distant war until they were cut off by the Fox News questioner, and then by Rudy Giuliani, who accused Paul of saying that the US deserved the September 11 attacks.
Of course, the transcript showed that Giuliani was wrong. The man who said that the U.S. deserved the September 11 attacks was named Jerry Falwell. And he died earlier that day. Rudy got them confused, apparently.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”