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January 25, 2013



I happened to be watching CNN a few days ago and witnessed the questioning of Secretary Clinton on the Benghazi disaster. As with any Senate hearing, she was either lauded or put down, depending upon whether the questioner was a Democrat or a Republican. These hearings, ostensibly, are for the benefit of the senators on specific committees to learn the facts about matters of great public moment to aid them in fashioning legislation.

Truth be told, the members of the committee already have the substance of what is going to be testified to and such hearings are mostly held for these senators to establish and/or embellish their political bona fides for the folks back home. Showing that you are on the job is the name of the game; the facts testified to are already well known to senators on the committee.

In time-honored tradition, Republican senators took Secretary Clinton to task on what she did and didn’t do in connection with the Benghazi affair. That was not surprising. What was surprising was the arrogant questioning and insulting demeanor of the newest member on this important committee, Senator Paul of Kentucky.

His conduct was far beyond unacceptable for that of a senator pretending to be in search of facts. His questions and conclusions were personally insulting and beneath the dignity of a fact-finding senator, and I have an opinion that the possible result of his insolence may  ultimately be to the great detriment of the Republican party.

My opinion is this: That a previously undecided Secretary of State may as a result of his utter insensitivity and overall misconduct decide to run for president in 2016, and that his misconduct will assure a Democratic White House until 2024. Words have consequences.

Paul is not a Republican, though he ran on that ticket. He is a libertarian of the old John Wayne/gold standard school, a far-out individualist from the frontier in a country of some 310 million people (and counting). His views are so far out of touch with reality that one is tempted to question his mental stability, but whatever such a mental evaluation might confirm or fail to confirm, he needs to understand that the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky elected him senator, not God, not one endowed with all the answers for all America.

Arrogant or ignorant (or both), I suggest that he spend his free time in Mammoth Cave there in Kentucky with the rest of the cavemen. He is clearly out of place in the Senate and I will never understand how his fellow Kentuckian and minority leader in the Senate, Senator McConnell, ever allowed such an insulting and insensitive member of the Senate to sit on a committee charged with the legislative oversight of the foreign relations of the United States of America. I shudder to think of how his insolence will play out in future hearings of this important committee.

I have some advice for Senator McConnell, advice he didn’t ask for – remove Senator Paul from this committee and appoint him to committees (like Weights and Measures) where he is not likely to damage the foreign policy of the United States and disrupt whatever potential remains for bipartisanship in this country. Do your party (and America) a favor. GERALD E

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