01/06/2014 02:20 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Where Did Chuck Todd Get The Idea That Ron And Rand Paul Favor Women's Rights?

Alex Wong via Getty Images

People be toking in Colorado, and "Meet The Press" is on it!

Tepidly, anyway, judging by this weekend's panel. During a brief discussion Sunday of what moderator David Gregory termed "the growing public policy debate that the states are having," there was a lot of tut-tutting. Gregory and guest Judy Woodruff fretted about parents and kids. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) -- a fairly reliable progressive -- played it safe, saying, "Marijuana can be dangerous. Yes, it can be fun, as David Brooks wrote about in his column this week, but there are other issues." It fell to former John McCain advisor Steve Schmidt to argue that we've spent too much money and incarcerated too many people as part of this country's weird War On Cannabis.

But it was Chuck Todd's brief discussion of "the Rand Paul/Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party" that provided the essential needle-scratching-on-a-record moment.

CHUCK TODD: The Rand Paul/Ron Paul libertarian wing of the Republican Party has no issue with what you do in your home, whether it comes, in some cases, with the issue of a woman's body, and in other cases, with things like marijuana.

Emphasis mine, because what now?

Is it possible that Chuck Todd knows a different Ron and Rand Paul? Because there's no evidence for the claim that the Pauls "have no issue" with what women do with their bodies. Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the guy who believes that there is a distinction between "honest rape" and ... some other sort of rape, I guess? He believes there should be criminal penalties for abortion providers. He has stated his firm belief that the way the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade is "one of the most disastrous rulings of this century."

And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced the "Life At Conception Act," for crying out loud. He holds to the notion that women's rights are automatically trumped by fetal personhood. In fact, Paul held up a vital flood insurance bill on the brink of hurricane season last year because he was demanding a vote on his personhood bill. (By the way, in utero-Americans are, by definition, classic "moochers." Just saying.)

There are definitely some parts of the Pauls' bespoke political philosophy that are congruent with a libertarian worldview. Their stance on the drug war is one of them. But let's not get it twisted -- they don't have a libertarian take on women's rights and its wrong to suggest that they're carrying some sort of "let women make their own decisions about their bodies, because liberty" brief. They aren't. They don't. This is not a gray area. Their own actions say otherwise.

I've got no idea why Chuck Todd would even say this, in a million billion years.

What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days [Esquire]

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