Kudos to Rand Paul, the Republican running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. When his debate with Democrat Jack Conway ended Sunday night, Paul exited stage left without shaking Conway’s hand. That, after a bitter debate low-lighted by an exchange over a Conway campaign ad claiming Paul, as a student at Baylor University, belonged to a secret society that mocked Christianity and that one time Paul and another student bound and blindfolded a woman and tried to make her bow down to their god, “Aqua Buddha.”
Paul lit into Conway. “You know how we tell when you’re lying?” Paul asked, referring to Conway. “When your lips are moving. You’re accusing me of crimes. … You’re going to stand there and accuse me of a crime from 30 years ago from some anonymous source? How ridiculous are you? You embarrass this race,” he said. “Run a race like a man … instead of calling me names.”
Well now. The point isn’t Conway’s claim, Paul’s alleged collegiate exuberance or the relevance to Kentucky. It’s Paul’s refusal have a bunch of gunk dumped all over him and then pretend to like the smell. Politicians do it all the time: call each other every imaginable name, dig up muck (or stuff that’s muck-like) and spew it all around — and then shake hands. Really? Say this for Rand Paul: He was angry, but it was real.