FRANKFORT — We know politics makes for strange bedfellows. Odd matches engage in political pillow talk rather frequently at every level of government.
Seldom, though, have I seen stranger bedfellows than those who got together for a pajama party during U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's visit to the state Capitol last week.
When I first heard the Bowling Green ophthalmologist would drop in on the General Assembly session, I thought he might want to take lawmakers to the woodshed for foolishly passing legislation (foolishly signed into law Thursday by Gov. Steve Beshear) allowing optometrists, who are not medical doctors, to perform surgical procedures heretofore performed only by ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors. Paul lecturing state legislators on their lack of foresight about the possible negative repercussions of their action would have been fun to watch.
Alas, Paul didn't ride into town as a visionary white knight who would fight to the death to protect Kentuckians' eye health. He was here to support a resolution, sponsored by Senate President David Williams, calling for a federal constitutional convention to come up with a balanced budget amendment for our nation's most revered legal document.
In the crowd seated behind Paul as he touted Williams' resolution to a Senate committee were three distinct groups opposed to the measure.
■ Representatives of labor. No surprise there. We all know unions lean left. And those representing public employees particularly want Uncle Sugar to keep following his spendthrift ways.
■ Members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Again, no surprise. They're just a bunch of tree-hugging environmentalists who also believe in the ridiculous notion that poor people deserve a voice in our political discourse. Geez, haven't they heard of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission?
■ And folks from the conservative coalition Take Back Kentucky, including some members of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party.
Whoa! Some members of the Tea Party movement, the movement so instrumental in electing Paul last year, now think he's blind in one eye and can't see out of the other when it comes to a constitutional convention?
It seems the fear of a convention, once called, running amok and doing some serious damage to our constitutional rights can strike folks all along the political spectrum.
Although Williams repeatedly assured everyone a convention could be limited in the subject matter it addresses, the Take Back Kentucky folks were not swayed. They went from the committee meeting to the Capitol Rotunda, where they endorsed the gubernatorial candidacy of Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, one of Williams' opponents in the Republican primary.
Politics not only makes for strange bedfellows, it also can make for some strange logic, as Williams and Paul demonstrated in their pitches for the resolution.
"I happen to think you can trust the people of the United States to make political decisions," Williams said, just a few breaths after responding affirmatively when asked if the people elected to Congress are incapable of balancing the budget.
Sounds like Williams' trust in the people to make political decisions doesn't extend to the product of those decisions — the folks the people send to Congress.
Of course, one might argue that, by sending folks to Congress who can't balance a budget, the people have decided a balanced budget isn't necessarily their top priority. Otherwise, wouldn't they be making different political decisions?
Paul had his own offbeat way of explaining the need for an amendment. "We (members of Congress) are disobeying the Constitution," he told the committee.
If members of Congress are disobeying the Constitution now, what in the world makes Paul think they won't disobey a balanced budget amendment? Because it contains a "pretty please" or two?
Oh, wait. Maybe the amendment will invoke the power of Aqua Buddha.