Two crazies in California

No, it's not a parody of a Republican primary debate. It's the real thing:

The candidates had one of their liveliest moments during a lightning round in which they were asked whether anyone on the federal government's no-fly watch list should be able to purchase a gun.

Campbell said no, while Fiorina and DeVore said yes.

That caught Campbell off guard. "Oh, my goodness," he said, sparking laughs.

"It's called the Second Amendment, Tom," DeVore said.

"That's why Tom Campbell has kind of a poor rating from the National Rifle Association, right there," Fiorina chimed in.

Campbell said someone should wait until he is off the no-fly list before buying a gun. Fiorina disputed that, saying that many people undeservedly land on the no-fly list, while DeVore said it would infringe on one's right to a trial.

"That is not an infringement on anybody's Second Amendment rights," said Campbell, a former law professor at Stanford. "It seems somewhat unusual to take that position – except perhaps in a Republican primary."

In the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the three candidates stuck to their pre-spill positions. DeVore and Fiorina said they support more offshore oil drilling, and Fiorina said it was regrettable that the United States did not drill more in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Campbell said he does not support new offshore drilling but instead supports slant drilling from land into the ocean floor.

"I've always opposed putting new drilling platforms off the coast of California, and I'm very sorry to see what's happening in the gulf," Campbell said. "I think a position of consistency over the years should matter for something."

Based on just these two data points: one electable candidate and two crazies.

Just so you know: the no-fly list is the absolutely strict list. This is not the list of people who need additional screening before they get on the plane. This is the list of people that the airline should call the FBI on. The Time Square would-be bomber was put on the no-fly list and he got to board the plane only because he boarded just before the airline re-downloaded that list (you can be sure this bug will be fixed). Even if the plane had taken off, it would have been diverted and he'd have been apprehended because his name was on the no-fly list. The no-fly list consists of the kind of people that would cause an airline bound for Dubai to turn around and land in Frankfurt. It's that kind of list. So, given a choice of being tough on terrorists or strong on guns, the crazies go with guns.

The oil drilling position is not illogical, but is an indicator of temperament. It's one thing to say that we should not run away from off-shore drilling because of one freak accident that is only so bad because of four unlikely events that all happened to coincide. It's another to brazenly ignore the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

What marks a sure crazy is an inability to adjust to a changing world.

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