Bob Franken

Rand Paul: Get Unreal

Will someone please tell me why there is so much attention paid to the newly announced scientific development, where researchers, using computers, were able to create synthetic life? What’s the big deal? We’ve had synthetic life in Washington like forever.

How real could it be here when we find out some of our Senators have never used an ATM? Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, for one, told the Omaha World Herald this week “It’s true, I don’t know how to use one”. He isn’t great at withdrawing his own money, in other words, just spending ours.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who watches our leaders flounder around. The first impression anyone gets is that they are really out of touch. It’s also the second impression…the 10th, the billionth. If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone with the Tea Party.

The problem is that this fuddy-dudiness plays right into the Right’s hands…gives grist to the mill of the Regressives, who want to impose their simplistic approaches to life in the early 21st century and take us back to the Dark Ages.

What they don’t know as they take their easy shots at entrenched Washington is that there is one thing the robotic inhabitants are good at and that is craftiness. All the experience with intrigue allows them to take the occasional new savior who comes expecting to shake things up and chew him or her up then spit him or her out.

That is unless the novice doesn’t do it to him or herself. The latest case, is a Him…Rand Paul, the newbie from Kentucky. Just one day after he rubbed Senate Minority Leader and state icon Mitch McConnell’s nose in whatever was lurking in the bluegrass, Paul stepped in it himself.

Instead of preaching to his usual choir, this time he was trying his chant on Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. She’s a hellaciously good interviewer. Before they were done, he was. He had taken his philosophy to its logical extension and suggested that the limited government he constantly preaches about should be so limited it shouldn’t have power to enforce civil rights in privately owned establishments…if the owner wanted to segregate and discriminate, so be it.

From that point on he showed that if backstepping was an Olympic sport he would easily win the gold medal. He couldn’t find enough news outlets to declare how much he abhors discrimination and supports the Civil Rights Act, and all that stuff. He sounded for all the world like someone saying “Why some of my best friends are…”

And of course he went to much friendlier confines than MSNBC (didn’t someone warn him that MS is different from Fox News?) to tell the pliant Laura Ingraham and her true believer radio listeners that the “Loony Left” was out to get him.

Well, Senator-wannabee Paul you ain’t seen nothing. When it comes to the “out to get” skills, Washington, DC is the home of champions. The people here…certainly those in the Senate club, have never seen a back they didn’t want to stab…and particularly a rookie they didn’t want to haze with pranks like sneaking up and putting on “Kick Me” signs.

Of course, Rand Paul is taking all the fun out of it, by kicking himself. Maybe, just maybe, all those who believe that any fool can come here and solve our problems will realize that first they’ll have to overcome all the old fools. They may not know how to use an ATM machine, but they sure know how to stymie anyone who doesn’t get with the program. That’s why it doesn’t take long before the new arrival settles in with everyone else with all his firebreathing snuffed out. Life here may be unreal, but it’s irresistible once you learn to know your place.

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