Don't be fooled by Rand Paul's vaccine stunt
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on April 23, 2014.

So Rand Paul, in an effort to turn the tide of negative publicity for his pandering to anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists, ran out and got a booster vaccination to show that he's not anti-vaccination, completely with brooding about how he's such a victim of "misreporting" known as "quoting him directly".


Setting aside the question of why it is that Mr. I Love Vaccines neglected to get his booster until right this minute, the larger issue here is that none of this addresses the real issue at stake, which is Rand Paul's comments about how children are property and that "freedom" requires giving parents broad rights to neglect basic medical care for children. I know he says this is misrepresenting him, but here's a direct quote: "The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

He also defined "freedom" as being able to neglect your basic responsibility to care for your own children: "I guess being for freedom would be really unusual."

He also did, whether he likes to admit it or not, imply that vaccines cause "profound mental disorders" Sure, he didn't say outright that it caused the disorders, but did that whole thing anti-vaxxers do where he says that there was a vaccine and then there was the mental disorder and just letting the listener assume there's a causal relationship. But denying that's what he was doing is profoundly dishonest. 

None of his arguments are being contradicted here. Most anti-vaxxers are dodgers and weavers like this. They talk about "freedom" instead of the science. They refuse to openly say that they think vaccines cause autism, but just say, "Oh, first you get the shot and then the autism comes", and let the implication do the work. Or they focus on some vaccines they have arbitrarily decided are less bad and try to use that to argue they aren't anti-vaccine---but the fact that an adult is getting a hepatitis vaccine has nothing to do with whether or not you buy the bullshit lie that the MMR for toddlers is dangerous. Paul has yet to actually take back any of the anti-vaccination bullshit he rolled out, and so the accusation that he's pandering to anti-science folks who treat children like property instead of people stands.

Look, if you say publicly that you think parents have a right to force their kids to sleep outside, you aren't redeemed by showing pictures of yourself laying in bed. You're just highlighting that you're accessing the life necessities that you would deprive others of. This is no different.