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Tilting at Windmills

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August 9, 2010

RAND PAUL AND HIS AQUA BUDDHA.... As a rule, adult political candidates shouldn't have to endure too much scrutiny about their college-age activities. We've all had "youthful indiscretions" that we wouldn't want held against us.

But I can't help but notice that Rand Paul, the extremist Republican Senate candidate in Kentucky, really is a strange guy.

The strangest episode of Paul's time at Baylor occurred one afternoon in 1983 (although memories about all of these events are understandably a bit hazy, so the date might be slightly off), when he and a NoZe brother paid a visit to a female student who was one of Paul's teammates on the Baylor swim team. According to this woman, who requested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, "He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot."

After the woman refused to smoke with them, Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman recalls. "They blindfolded me and made me bow down to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.' At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no."

A lot of folks had some rowdy experiences in college, but I suspect the number of Senate candidates who kidnapped a fellow student, forced her into some bizarre ritual, and worshiped the "Aqua Buddha" is fairly low.

This is, by the way, the same Baylor University that Paul didn't graduate from, despite some suggestions to the contrary.

In the grand scheme of things, Paul's radical ideology -- he's the one who opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act -- is far more relevant than his ridiculous behavior in college. But given the right-wing ophthalmologist's razor thin public record -- he's never sought or held public office at any level -- incidents like these help flesh out a better understanding of Rand Paul's background.

And as we're learning, Paul is a weird dude.

Steve Benen 1:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (46)

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"When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible."

Posted by: Ralph Kramden on August 9, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Just watched Gov Ed Rendell on TV talking about these new repub candidates, his remark was 'they're all whacky - where did these guys come from'
My fear - they may be elected by the whacky repub electorate - and govern us!!!

Posted by: js on August 9, 2010 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

I did much weirder things in high school and college, though none of my antics involved a bong. Rand Paul's constituency would need to be VERY traditional-minded for this anecdote to shake their support for him. Its an interesting story, though.

Posted by: troglodyte on August 9, 2010 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see if this did or does make it into Drudge, considering his pimping for the teapotty.

Posted by: n e i l b on August 9, 2010 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'll bet that Flying Spaghetti Monster can kick Aqua Buddha's ass any day of the week.

Just sayin'...

Posted by: Ranger Jay on August 9, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

"At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no."

So, if he had been doing "Bong Hits for Jesus," Baylor would have been cool with that?

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on August 9, 2010 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Aqua Buddha," wasn't that an aftershave favored by followers of Zen?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on August 9, 2010 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, for "Aqua Buddha" on Google:
about 555,000 results (0.29 seconds)
That's impressive, so fast!
(Actually, not all about Rand Paul but still ....)

Posted by: neil b on August 9, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

that he smoked enough pot to worship Aqua man makes him a more appealing candidate. Seriously, who cares? Its a little weird, she didn' think it was a "kidnapping" at the time (enough to call the cops, anyway), so let it go.

Posted by: do on August 9, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Libertarian in Utopialand

Bong hits and Ayn Rand novels...
Lord have mercy...

Posted by: koreyel on August 9, 2010 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I am floored that kidnapping a person and obviously frightening her and forcing her to do something against her will is actually being treated as some light hearted boys will be boys jest. It is a brutal and mean-spirited action, and is very telling.

Posted by: Carol on August 9, 2010 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Carol is right. This was technically kidnapping and scary to this girl, even if "not serious" in terms of ultimate purpose etc. It's a major character flaw and game for being a big (new!) question mark over whether this guy Rand is fit for office (not that he is anyway ...)

Posted by: neil b. on August 9, 2010 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I am floored that kidnapping a person and obviously frightening her and forcing her to do something against her will is actually being treated as some light hearted boys will be boys jest.

I'm with you. Bong hits are misdemeanors, but kidnapping? That's a felony.

Posted by: dob on August 9, 2010 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

(BTW - before we jump on RP too hard yet, how viable is this story?)

Posted by: neil b . on August 9, 2010 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

This was technically kidnapping

There's no technically about it.

Posted by: dob on August 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

In my circle of friends, Ohio State c. late 70s, that was a normal weekend - except the abduction would have been pre-approved (no innocent civilians).

My frosh year I was assigned to a dorm floor in Park Hall that housed much of the male swim team. I could not keep up with the weirdness, but it was entertaining.

Posted by: Keith G on August 9, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Rand fans don't need

to repent

for them to reach

enlightenment!

Aqua Buddha

Posted by: Ralph Kramden on August 9, 2010 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

As they say, libertarians are Republicans who smoke pot. I didn't realize that included forcing others to smoke it, too. But I guess that fits with their "my way or the highway" attitude towards freedom.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on August 9, 2010 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

"would it be irresponsible to speculate? it would be irresponsible not to ..."

full disclosure: i did smoke quite a bit of pot in college then hung out with girls...never had to resort to kidnapping to do that tho...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on August 9, 2010 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Paul is a weird dude" pretty much nails it. Not weird funny, or weird interesting, but weird disturbing, and fully consistent with his bizarre world-view.

Posted by: Jimbo on August 9, 2010 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

ps: perhaps he meant "aqua-boogie"

http://s0.ilike.com/play#Parliament:Aqua+Boogie+(A+Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop):23656:m783579

Posted by: dj spellchecka on August 9, 2010 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

This "Aqua Buddha" story distracts from the fact that Paul doesn't have a bachelor degree and therefore wouldn't even be considered for most jobs in the current economy. So why is he up for consideration for a job in the Senate?

But by laughing about the Aqua Buddha, this point gets missed.

Posted by: Philonius on August 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

So, let me see. This same Rand Paul who is against a woman's right to choose, is the same man who kidnapped a woman when he was in college.

Not to be blunt, but that's seriously bigoted behavior. So, Rand Paul isn't too fond of disabled folks, not too impressed with the Civil Rights movement or Civil Rights protections, and has actually been violent against women.

This is the BEST the GOP can do? This is the embodiment of the Tea Party movement?

*SHUDDER!*

Posted by: Brat on August 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm familiar enough with weed to know that most people don't smoke pot and then think "Yeah, let's go kidnap our friend as a joke". It's usually something along the lines of "Let's call up so-and-so and have him/her bring over some food (and more weed)".

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on August 9, 2010 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

(BTW - before we jump on RP too hard yet, how viable is this story?)

Indeed - I can see this being put up by Republicans as an example of character assassination by the "liberal media."

Posted by: terraformer on August 9, 2010 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Does Rand think that laws against kidnapping are unconstitutional since they expand the government and are not mentioned explicitly in the constitution?

Posted by: bob on August 9, 2010 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

This actually makes me like him better...apart from the kidnapping. The bong and the aqua buddha make him stand out from the unrelieved nanny-ness of the tea party crowd.

Posted by: Dan on August 9, 2010 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

First, I think Rand Paul is a horse's rear end. That being said, I think this "lack of a Bachelor's degree" thing is a red herring. I had a cousin who first went to a private, liberal arts college for his pre-med, and he was on course to be valedictorian of his class. When he was able to get into Medical School after 3 years of undergraduate work, he was gone in a flash. Why?

Two good reasons stand out.

1. Tuition - it's one less year of expenses and the value of the BS or BA degree pales in comparison to that of the MD.

2. Time - The medical field already involves years of medical school, intern status and residency before the career really begins, often with a ton of debt, so getting one more year to earn and get started on working down that debt a year sooner is a no-brainer!

Again, those that can get into medical school after 3 years are usually the smarter ones, although they can still fall short in some areas of character, as Dr. Paul has demonstrated. With so many ways to vilify him being available, his (admitted) lack of a Bachelor's degree should not be one of them. There's lots of other low-hanging fruit.

Posted by: threegoal on August 9, 2010 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, welcome our new, Aqua Buddha overlords.

And all hail the Hypo-Toad,
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on August 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

@Carol & Neil B:

This sort of attitude was fairly prevalent at schools like Baylor at the time. I went to a school like that, and saw firsthand. Guys - particularly politically/socially connected frat boys - could get away with just about anything.

Posted by: boatboy_srq on August 9, 2010 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

This is the first time I've heard a federal felony (kidnapping) described as a youthful prank. I assume the woman must have thought it was all a joke, since she didn't press charges, but still!

Posted by: T-Rex on August 9, 2010 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

boatboy,
He wasn't a socially connected "frat boy". The society in question was The NoZe Brotherhood, an anti-establishment society that poked fun at their more stuffy, formal, counterparts and took particular pleasure in mocking the Baylor Administration and Conservative Religious Groups. During Paul's time at Baylor, the group was outlawed, and you could actually be expelled for merely being a member. They were the misfits and nonconformists, not the "frat boys".

Posted by: FatDrunkAndStupid on August 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

@ Philonius: "This "Aqua Buddha" story distracts from the fact that Paul doesn't have a bachelor degree and therefore wouldn't even be considered for most jobs in the current economy. So why is he up for consideration for a job in the Senate?"

Michael J. Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs for Duke University in Durham, N.C., said his schools records show that Rand Paul received his medical degree from Duke in 1988 and completed his residency there in 1993.

I dont think medical schools such as Duke are influenced by an applicants legacy, he said. The student has to have the grades and Rand Paul did.

Its the norm today for most medical schools to require applicants to hold a bachelors degree, but exceptions are made, said Henry Sondheimer, senior director of student affairs and programs with the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C.

More medical schools in the 1970s and 1980s admitted students without bachelors degrees, he said, but he was not able to immediately provide specific numbers. The association represents 113 accredited medical schools in the United States and 17 in Canada.

Posted by: Lei on August 9, 2010 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

@ Philonius: "This "Aqua Buddha" story distracts from the fact that Paul doesn't have a bachelor degree and therefore wouldn't even be considered for most jobs in the current economy. So why is he up for consideration for a job in the Senate?"

Michael J. Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs for Duke University in Durham, N.C., said his school's records show that Rand Paul received his medical degree from Duke in 1988 and completed his residency there in 1993.

"I don't think medical schools such as Duke are influenced by an applicant's legacy," he said. "The student has to have the grades and Rand Paul did."

It's the norm today for most medical schools to require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree, but exceptions are made, said Henry Sondheimer, senior director of student affairs and programs with the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C.

More medical schools in the 1970s and 1980s admitted students without bachelor's degrees, he said, but he was not able to immediately provide specific numbers. The association represents 113 accredited medical schools in the United States and 17 in Canada. (per link referenced in article)

Posted by: Lei on August 9, 2010 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

@ Philonius: "This "Aqua Buddha" story distracts from the fact that Paul doesn't have a bachelor degree and therefore wouldn't even be considered for most jobs in the current economy. So why is he up for consideration for a job in the Senate?"

Michael J. Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs for Duke University in Durham, N.C., said his school's records show that Rand Paul received his medical degree from Duke in 1988 and completed his residency there in 1993.

"I don't think medical schools such as Duke are influenced by an applicant's legacy," he said. "The student has to have the grades and Rand Paul did."

It's the norm today for most medical schools to require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree, but exceptions are made, said Henry Sondheimer, senior director of student affairs and programs with the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C.

More medical schools in the 1970s and 1980s admitted students without bachelor's degrees, he said, but he was not able to immediately provide specific numbers. The association represents 113 accredited medical schools in the United States and 17 in Canada. (per link referenced in article)

Posted by: Lei on August 9, 2010 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Look there's a time and a place for everything and it's called-- Wait, tied me up and tried to force me? Nope, even college is not a time and a place for that.

Otoh, look for Aqua Buddha to be the new hit series on [adult swim] this fall! Gurgle gurgle gurgle...

Posted by: Baldrick on August 9, 2010 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's an obvious point. But the bullshiite that some guys will think is funny will never cease to disgust me. Funny how it so often involves the absence of consent.

Posted by: burien top team on August 9, 2010 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

When I went to Baylor we didn't have those type games. I guess I missed out...the most fun I got was drinking Salty dogs while doing laundry.

Posted by: mishanti on August 9, 2010 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of folks had some rowdy experiences in college, but I suspect the number of Senate candidates who kidnapped a fellow student, forced her into some bizarre ritual, and worshiped the "Aqua Buddha" is fairly low.

We had a quite a few of these douchebags like Paul in my dorm, but it was always an unspoken but standing rule among my group never to sell weed to them because all it did was magnify their total assholishness. This little anecdote about him pretty much proves the point!

Posted by: electrolite on August 9, 2010 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Paul or/and his "NoZe brother" may have THREATENED his alleged kidnap victim in some way to induce her not to alert the cops, so I'm not automatically buying the "she didn't feel it was a big enough deal to call the police" line I'm seeing from a few of you here.

Posted by: daniel rotter on August 9, 2010 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, rather lately - when I said "how viable is this story", I meant "how credible." Do we know?

Posted by: neil b on August 9, 2010 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

I also find that the chalking up kidnapping to a relatively "youthful indiscretion" going on here to be a a problem. Think about it for a second - a couple of guys you sort of know kidnap you without your consent - how can you be sure what else they might do without consent? Anyone who has been assaulted before (as many, many women have) or who even has a basic understanding of psychology, understands that this kind of "joke" could easily have retriggered PTSD issues.

At the same time, looking at the number of people who think this is "no big deal" makes it easy to see why someone would hesitate go to the police with this.

Posted by: ananke on August 10, 2010 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

@FDAS:

It was a Southern, Xtian school; Paul was white, male and presumably not poor. 'Nuff said.

That the wealthy and connected could do more stuff like that without consequence was just a feature of such institutions in the day.

Posted by: boatboy_srq on August 10, 2010 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the abductee has stated "They never hurt me, they never did anything wrong..." So it's my suspicion that, if true and accurate, they never hurt anyone or did anything wrong. Perhaps the vague happenings of 27 years ago aren't all that important to this political race?

Posted by: Timothy Archer on August 11, 2010 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that leftists would be willing to use these lies, which have not been confirmed, and are repeating them as fact behind the anonymity of the web is quite telling about the fascism that embodies the left in this country. Either the woman is lying, or GQ completely invented her (notice that they cleverly use the "but she has to remain anonymous" cover story.) Until the left can PROVE that this occurred, it didn't happen. It's that simple. Anyone who repeats these lies can be subject to a defamation action.

Posted by: Wallace on August 18, 2010 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised at the number of people who believe this story with lack of evidence.

It's from a woman who gives no name and no proof. And the fact she was kidnapped but never pressed criminal charges. Yet so many believe it happened...

I guess Rand Paul should go find a woman out on the street and pay her to say things about his opposing candidate since we now go by word alone.

Posted by: Jack on October 18, 2010 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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