Matthew Walther is the latest TAS contributor to take issue with my criticisms of Senator Rand Paul.
Amongst other things, Walther complains that I compared Paul with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The comparison is only accurate insofar as both men speculated that the Syrian rebels were responsible for carrying out the chemical weapons attack in Syria last month. The similarities end there.
As for the 9/11 truther allegation, consider this passage from my article:
Now I'm not implying that Paul shares all of (Alex) Jones's views, particularly those about 9/11. But Paul should still answer the question of why he has had no qualms about chatting amiably with - humoring, even - the man who espouses them.
I embraced conservatism in the months following the September 11th attacks. I did so because too many on the Left were eager to say either that the United States had the attacks coming or was somehow involved in them. On the other hand, a majority of conservatives argued that this country's virtues outweighed its vices and that our virtues are something for which we must fight. Mostly these virtues can be fought peaceably, but sometimes we must go to war for them. The vast majority of conservatives in this country do not believe America deserved to be attacked on September 11, 2001 nor do they believe our government had any involvement in it.
Needless to say, I find it deeply offensive when someone either says we invited the attacks upon ourselves or that we were involved with them. That's where Alex Jones comes in. Matthew can call Paul's association with Jones a fallacy all he wants. According to Jones, his association with Rand Paul goes back nearly twenty years. That's about how long Barack Obama's association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright lasted. As late as last year, Paul was a guest on Jones' show. Is anyone going to seriously tell me that Rand Paul doesn't know that Jones believes the attacks were engineered by our own government?
Rand Paul is, of course, welcome to repudiate Jones and his views and may very well do so if he has a realistic shot at capturing the GOP nomination. Unlike Obama's repudiation of Wright, Paul cannot say of Jones with a straight face, "This isn't the man I knew."
The long and short of it is that I got a big problem with a sitting United States Senator who knowingly pals around with a 9/11 truther. I have a bigger problem when that the same U.S. Senator wants to be President.