The other night Rand Paul was on Dave Letterman. I ceased to be a fan of Dave long ago, when he stopped being a cutting edge late night comedian and started allowing liberalism to turn him into a bitter crank. Why people still watch him going through the motions like a listless factory floor worker ready to die from repetition I’ll never know. Regardless, John Nolte still tunes in, as do millions of others every week, so it’s worth writing on when someone like Sen. Paul exposes Dave for the sad hack he’s become.
After Letterman conveniently framed the debate around the false notion that “government” merely operates within the realms of policemen, fire fighters, and teachers, Sen. Paul got to the heart of the matter:
“You want to always keep the public sector at a minimum because [it’s] inefficient. It’s not that government is inherently stupid — although that’s a debatable point — they don’t get the same signals. You and I get a signal–you have to pay your employees, you have to make a profit, you have to make earnings for the people who want to advertise with you. You’re forced to do something to give a product; the public sector doesn’t do that,” (Sen. Rand Paul).
The above argument, by Dave’s own admission, confused him, so the conversation was redirected to easy applause lines to the effect of: teachers making $80,000 per year should receive “twice that” and that rich people should be taxed more. Rand, not phased, was ready with facts and figures to make Dave’s head spin once again:
“If you look at the income tax, the top 1% pay about a third of the income tax. The top 50% –those who make 70,000 and above–pay 96% of the income tax. So the middle class and above are paying all of the income tax. We are paying our fair share. Even you are probably paying your fair share.”
“I think there’s something wrong with those numbers. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with them. [Dave to his audience, which begins clapping] Thank you! You’re applauding my stupidity. God bless you.”
Like trained seals the liberal members of audience took to clapping for their master, which was odd considering that the only indicator he was giving them was that he was out of his league and should be left alone (presumably to the strange adultery lair above the CBS Studios once occupied by The Late Show interns). That didn’t happen, and since a kind soul never cut to a commercial Dave was left to continue the sparring match with Sen. Paul over education. Paul pointed out that Washington, DC spends roughly $20,000 per pupil, its education system is still abysmal, and that more money isn’t the answer. Dave’s response?
Dave: “If we’re going to throw money at something, what about education? You know, for God’s sakes, let’s just see if it improves somehow.”
Like any good liberal, the answer is always the money hose—the one that’s connected to the side of your house. And your brother’s house. And your sister’s house. And your next door neighbor who is trying to get a small business off the ground. Dave never stops to think that an ideology that views money as the primary driver to successful public policy might create perverse incentives in those tasked with making that success happen. After billions upon billions for (fill in your favorite liberal public policy disaster with a bad track record decades long), guys like Dave continue to say that if only there were more money allocated to the problem…everything would be all right.
What makes Dave Letterman such an interesting case is that he’s so invested in his own ideology that even when faced with an argument he knows deep down is sound, he can’t recalibrate. When Dave says he’s stupid he may very well be telling the truth, because one way to identify an intelligent man is by presenting him with evidence contrary to his worldview and watching his adaptations. In light of Senator Paul’s adroit Government 101 presentation on The Late Show, all Dave could do was turn to the bald guy in the corner who’s paid to agree with him while dishing out snappy tunes. My guess is that Rand won’t be on for some time, if for no other reason than it will take Letterman’s ego (splattered across time and space) time to congeal and heal into a solid mass capable of dealing with the Freshman Senator.