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I have no idea what Rand Paul did when he was an undergraduate at Baylor University, but I doubt that he ever seriously worshipped false idols.  (Full disclosure: when I was young and cynical, and as yet unacquainted with that instrument of God’s grace to whom I am now married, the only times I entered  houses of worship were to attend  weddings; I thought that all smart people were atheists and that, at most, prudence demanded hypocrisy.  It is fortunate—or should I say providential?—that I do not plan to run for public office.)

Many—well, at least some—of us did foolish and irreverent things in college. If these “hijinks” rose to the level of criminality, our legal system has a way of dealing with them. I presume that Jack Conway, Kentucky’s Attorney General and Rand Paul’s opponent, is acquainted with the requirements of due process. To repeat anonymous allegations seems unbecoming of a state’s highest law enforcement officer.

But that’s not my biggest concern here. I do not believe that Jack Conway takes seriously the accusations he is hurling at Rand Paul. He knows that Paul is no idol worshipper. So why is he offering up these claims? Doesn’t he have to assume that some people in Kentucky will take them seriously, that some people in Kentucky will lack the perspicuity to distinguish between alleged youthful irreverence and the apparently mature faith of an adult. In other words, Jack Conway is displaying his contempt for the judgment and intelligence of the people whose votes he is seeking. ”Those backwoods rubes will believe anything ,” he must be thinking.

How many Jack Conways are there out there?  Or perhaps we should ask: how many Barack Obamas are there out there?

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