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If GOP Foghorn Leghorns such as Cruz, Graham and Hawley had stopped interrupting Judge Jackson long enough to let her fully answer their questions, they might have been surprised by what they heard.

Judge Jackson hardly came off as a “flaming liberal with a leftist agenda” during Day One of her confirmation process. Quite the contrary. In fact, she frequently sounded like John Roberts or even Antonin Scalia. She spoke of judicial restraint, justices “staying in their lanes,” respect for precedent and a desire to dig deeply into the minds and intentions of the Framers.

I’m never “disappointed” by the likes of Cruz, Graham and Hawley, although Tuesday’s performances were notably clownish, even by their clown standards. They obviously came to the hearing only to grandstand, pontificate and pander, intent only on getting the sound bites they wanted to check off their lists.

And Judge Jackson never stumbled. So much for the Three Stooges.

But John Cornyn pissed me off.

John Cornyn is not an idiot. Which makes his Tuesday incoherence and dishonesty inexcusable.

It was as if the GOP Culture Warriors divvied up their subject matter. Graham never uttered a single word that had anything to do with the purpose of the hearing. So he got the “deflection, distraction and whataboutism” assignment. Check.

Cruz and Hawley then pitched the opener and nightcap of the “soft on crime” and “friend to child pornographers” doubleheader. Embarrassing. For them, I mean. Check. Throw in a little impertinent drivel about “CRT.”

But it was Cornyn who pegged the Stupid Meter. His chosen tangent about same sex marriage made no sense, logically or Constitutionally.

Cornyn voiced the position that same sex marriage rights should be left to the voters and legislators of our 50 states, rather than be considered a federal Constitutional rights issue.

Uhh…what? What?

The Pretzel Logic put forth by Cornyn would make even Steely Dan blush. Cornyn said the Constitution makes no mention of marriage. But it clearly lays out the right to assembly and association. That would include marriage.

Cornyn then asked Judge Jackson a ridiculous, binary question about whether marriage is a civil or religious institution. The answer, as it is for most matters, is “It depends.” Some folks consider marriage as a secular agreement. Others view it as a religious sacrament. And a whole lot of couples would answer, “It’s both, you blustering blowhard.”

Same sex marriage rights should be determined by popular vote?  We don’t “vote” on matters involving basic citizen (and human) rights. That’s why we have a Constitution. And that’s why we have a Supreme Court.

We essentially took a “vote” on slavery in 1860. Slavery won the “vote” in the states that forged the Confederacy. How’d that work out?

What makes this all the more disgusting is that Cornyn is not a stupid man. He’s a dishonest one. That makes his buffoonery all the more deplorable.

Vote on same-sex marriage rights? You say same-sex marriage violates your religious convictions?

How is it violating ANYONE’S religious convictions?  That would make sense only if the government were forcing an individual to marry someone of the same sex. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.

Nobody’s violating anyone’s religious convictions. Courts are merely prohibiting people from imposing their religious convictions on others.

That’s not “persecution.”


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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.