David Corn argues at Politics Daily that the most important midterm race this year is in Kentucky. If Tea Party candidate Rand Paul wins the open Senate seat, Corn writes, "it will signal the power of know-nothing Tea Partyism."
Corn refers to a comment Paul made about the recent Big Branch mining disaster in West Virginia. "Is there a certain amount of accidents and unfortunate things that do happen, no matter what the regulations are?" Paul asked reporters. "The bottom line is I'm not an expert, so don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules."
Corn is dumbfounded:
I'm not an expert. Don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules. Ponder the implications of this. So members of Congress who are not oil industry engineers should not regulate deep off-shore drilling? Actually, by Paul's logic, legislators should not impose any health, safety, or environmental standards on any industry. And the answer to such tragedies as mining disasters is ... well, nothing. The workers in unsafe facilities can simply quit their jobs -- that is, unless they've already been blown apart due to bad company practices.
Paul wants to become a senator so he can do nothing. No doubt, that's an attractive notion for some Kentucky voters; he's been leading Democrat Jack Conway in the polls. But when the economy is in the dumps following a crash of free-wheelin' Wall Street, when climate change is a continuing threat, and when U.S. global competitiveness is slipping, doing nothing ought not be a top-priority item. Worse, Paul is celebrating his lack of knowledge, while suggesting that no one in Washington is really capable of governing. As his comments about the BP oil spill suggested, he would have no problem granting corporations free rein -- even after they screw up. His motto could be "BP Knows Best."
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