Someone actually speaking logic, truth and compassion during a GOP Presidential debate is completely unexpected. This morning on Fox and Friends Senator 'Aqua Buddha,' as customary, did not blow a gasket and become suddenly irrational, flip-floppy or downright insane at the 5:00:00 mark of the interview. Remarkably, after Paul's triumphant return to the main stage last night, he followed up this morning with another display of reason and sanity.
The always piquant and peppery pundit, Charles Pierce, did see this coming with Senator Rand Paul. In fact, even Charlie has recognized that maybe Paul is gradually abandoning the five minute rule for a bit:
There are moments, I decided, in which Rand Paul, old Aqua Buddha himself, sounds like the last hippie in America, even more than Bernie Sanders, who sounds like the guy who taught the last hippie in America political science. These moments are worth going on with.
It's true, he really sounded like a rational, thinking person for the entire duration of the interview with the Giggling Couch Tumors™ of Fox's early morning program. He was asked his opinion about his biggest rival at the debate: Ted Cruz. It's obvious that Paul has the same disdain as most people when it comes to Tailgunner Ted. He commented last night about Ted Cruz's flip flop on immigration.
RAND PAUL: What is particularly insulting though is that he is the king of saying, 'Oh, you're for amnesty, everybody is for amnesty except for Ted Cruz.' But it's a falseness and that's an authenticity problem that everybody that he knows is not as perfect as him, because we're all for amnesty, I was for legalization, I think if you have border security, you can have legalization. So was Ted, now he said it wasn't so, that's not true.
Cruz was, in fact, on Paul's side in 2013 when they were both in favor of the legalization and accommodation of undocumented residents who are already living here. He pointed out, accurately, that Marco Rubio is equally guilty of flip-flopping and being inauthentic on the matter. So score one for Rand.
The matters of drug addiction and judicial injustice were addressed, and Paul correctly remarked on the disparate percentage of minorities, mostly Blacks, in the prison system. He admitted that both Blacks and Whites use drugs at equal rates but only the Black population is being decimated by this war on drugs. Surprisingly for a Republican, he used the word compassion without referencing religious liberty, a.k.a. freedom to discriminate.
He also mentioned that more imposing mass surveillance, particularly of mosques, goes against the basic tenets of our nation's Founding Fathers. Kilmeade tried to fear-monger the idea of being more proactive, increasing mass surveillance, to prevent a 'radical Islamic' terrorist attack. Paul didn't take the bait to expand the capabilities of the NSA.
Senator Paul agreed that radical Islam is an 'aberration of the Islamic faith' but wouldn't go as far as some of his psychotic contemporaries and condemn all Muslims. By cautioning against toppling secular dictators in the Middle East to prevent a more theocratic leader from ascending to power, he sounded like a genuinely reasonable policy wonk.
This was a rare display of sanity and honesty for a GOP candidate. One could therefore conclude that he isn't long for this world in this Republican race, but it was nice to hear a modicum of sensibility.