Rand Paul’s self-serving version of identity politics

Rand Paul was in Guatemala this week. Eliana Johnson reports that during his visit, Dr. Paul worked with a team of surgeons to perform eye surgeries at Salama’s Hospital de Ojos.

Paul opined that doctors are superior to lawyers when it comes to serving in political office:

I personally think that if we got rid of all the lawyers and replaced them with all the doctors our country would be much better off because doctors are “problem-solvers” who don’t get caught up in partisanship.

Was Paul being serious? I don’t know. Either way, his statement reveals considerable ignorance.

Most lawyers are problem solvers; otherwise they couldn’t command their fees. Lawyers help clients solve tax problems, estate problems, domestic relations problems, property problems, litigation problems (usually through settlements designed to avoid unacceptable consequences for both parties), etc.

As for “partisanship,” it may be the case that lawyers are more politically active and politically ambitious than doctors. But there is no reason to think that doctors who are politically active and ambitious — such as Rand Paul — are less partisan than their lawyer counterparts.

In any event, why is “partisanship” inherently bad in a politician. If you don’t want the Republicans to nominate a “partisan” for president, you should support Susan Collins or Jon Huntsman, not Rand Paul.