You know, OCCASIONALLY your Wednesday-Friday morning editor feels kind of bad about piling onto a particular politician, no matter how odious/loopy his or her views. I mean, they’ve gotten pretty far in life, so probably they’re smarter than the out-of-context quotes in the “gotcha media” would imply, right? Plus, isn’t it just laziness on our parts? Shouldn’t your Wonkette be seeking out brave new frontiers instead of putting up yet another “holy shit, Rand Paul is crazy” post? But then Rand Paul does things like defending BP and pooping all over dead coal miners live on national TV, so, uh, here’s another “holy shit, Rand Paul is crazy” post.
After having kind of a bad first couple of days as an officially anointed Republican candidate for the Senate, Dr. Rand Paul went on Good Morning America today. Your morning editor doesn’t watch teevee news, on principle, plus the TV is all the way downstairs, but these morning shows are generally pretty softball-y, yes? Anyway, this is what Dr. Rand Paul had to say about British Petroleum, a foreign company that owned an oil rig in American waters that blew up and killed 11 people and is still, at this very moment, dumping lots and lots of oil into the Gulf of Mexico:
What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, “I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.” I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it’s always got to be somebody’s fault instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen.
To re-emphasize: Barack Obama’s criticism of the company that owned the thing that blew up and killed people and will affect the livelihoods of millions, and his proposal that maybe said company should pay for the damage caused, even if those damages amount to more than the lowball $75 million cap currently in place by law, and that indeed said cap should be raised — this is antithetical to American values, and is indeed the equivalent of standing on somebody’s throat. Because accidents happen, and there was actually, literally, no way BP could have ever prevented it.
Then Dr. Rand Paul, who is running for Senate in a state with a not-insubstantial coal mining industry, and is presumably courting many coal miners for their votes, made the following statement, on national television:
We had a mining accident that was very tragic. … Then we come in and it’s always someone’s fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.
It is true that sometime accidents happen! It is also true that there is a concept that lies between “active, malicious attempts to harm” and “unpreventable events that could never be foreseen.” It is into this realm that the legal concept known as “negligence” falls, a concept that is pretty well established in American law. One of the most common situations in which this legal concept might be important is one in which a company involved in resource extraction fails to minimize the risk of an accident, because doing so would cut into said company’s profits, and as a result people die.
Rand Paul, everybody. Jesus. [WaPo]