Commentary: Rand Paul's toilet tantrum

We're still puzzling over the treatment Sen. Rand Paul gave the Energy Department's Kathleen Hogan last week at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

If you missed it, the junior senator from Kentucky first challenged Hogan, the deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, on abortion rights, then ranted extensively that Big Government comes into his bedroom, bathroom and beyond, dictating the use of low-flow toilets and energy-efficient light bulbs, restricting his (morning constitutional?) right to choose. "I blame you, and people like you. ... You don't care about my choices," he said.

The senator went on to deride the government for shipping jobs overseas, for threatening to jail toilet-non-compliant Americans, and for choosing coercion over persuasion. "Cajole me. Extol me."

Leave aside the galling inappropriateness of comparing termination of a pregnancy to shopping for lighting and plumbing fixtures. Ignore the hypocrisy of the senator's own anti-choice abortion position, and the dubious implication that U.S. industry is somehow incapable of producing energy-efficient products.

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