…But It Might Get Better Results

I’ve for a long time been something of a fan of the candidacy of of Representative Ron Paul. I wouldn’t vote for him in a million years, but I respect a lot of the things that he’s said so far, and I commend the man for unflinchingly taking on the jingoistic tirades of the “Mayor” during the few scant moments the GOP frontrunner has even bothered to look in Paul’s direction.

I don’t know, maybe it was the way he stood up and introduced himself in the first debate as a “Champion of the Constitution.” Maybe it was watching him accurately describe the circumstances surrounding the 9/11 attacks. But I’ve been rooting for the little guy, and strangely enough not for the same reason I’ve been rooting for Giuliani to win the nomination (of course because I think burying Rudy under his own failed, faulty, flawed and fictitious rhetoric would actually be kinda fun).

Unfortunately, Ron Paul has just recently opted to line himself up firmly in the wingnut demographic when he renewed his call to capture Osama bin Laden… by hiring bounty hunters.

Er… yeah.

And it wasn’t just Osama bin Laden. I would actually welcome a debate for catching him and him alone via this method I suppose. I could see haggling the specifics and giving some thought to it as opposed to dismissing it out of hand. No, what gets me touchy is the little anyone-that-has-anything-to-do-with-al Qaeda add on.

When you have language like that, it can get mighty easy to identify anyone as having ties to al Qaeda, especially when you have money on the line. If throwing an Arab in traditional dress and making up a little white lie could net you some cold hard cash, you’ll start seeing a whole bunch of Arabs, many innocent, stashed in people’s trunks.

Seriously, this is the kind of behavior that has a high probability of getting us in trouble, and feeds the fire that surrounds things like Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. Our treatment of detainees is one part of the equation, the fact that many of them are innocent… well, I’m sure you know how that goes in our PR battle for hearts and minds.

At best, such a policy would be ignorant, at worst, it is irresponsible; and I am not inclined to call Paul ignorant out of hand. He knows better, and if he doesn’t, he should.

And yet still… it might get better results than what we’ve seen so far… I mean, we still do care about capturing bin Laden, right? This is a focal part of this administration, dead or alive, and all that jazz? I suppose in a world of insanity, the least insane ideas might start sounding good.

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