Columnist George Will is rarely at a loss for words, but he could only respond with cliches yesterday when Barney Frank asked him to square his alleged libertarian leanings with his authoritarian views on personal liberties. Another guest on the show, the Ayn Rand admirer Paul Ryan, tried to change the subject, but Frank wasn’t having any of that:
“Let’s get off marijuana,” Ryan interrupted, eager to move to the next topic.
“It’s a great embarrassment to the conservatives,” Frank pointed out. “They want to tell people who they can have sex with. Come on, all this is big government! Who can I have sex with? Who can I marry? What can I read? What can I smoke? You guys, on the whole — not all of you — but the conservatives are the ones who intrude on personal liberty there.”
Footnote: Another guest on the program, Robert Reich, recently wrote,
If you run a giant bank that defrauds millions of small investors of their life savings, the bank might pay a small fine but you won’t go to prison. Not a single top Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for Wall Street’s mega-fraud. But if you sell an ounce of marijuana you could be put away for a long time.
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Barney is great. He said once that Republicans believe life begins at conception and ends at birth. He’s absolutely freakin right in everything he says.