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Sen. Rand Paul talks with reporters, March 2, 2011.
Sen. Rand Paul talks with reporters, March 2, 2011. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
It's probably safe to say when most people discuss abortion rights, low-flush toilets don't typically enter the conversation.
But Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one of Congress' new Republican stars, established early during his campaign last year that he could be an unorthodox thinker, to say the least.
He reminded us of that Thursday when he reprimanded Energy Department official Kathleen Hogan for federally imposed rules that require manufacturers to offer consumers products deemed environmentally friendly even if they're not so user friendly.
To make his point, according to Politico.com's Darius Dixon, Paul asked Hogan a question Energy Department officials don't normally get at a hearing on appliance efficiency. Was she pro-choice on the abortion issue?
Hogan deftly side-stepped that landmine by saying she was pro-choice on lightbulbs.
Paul's allegation was that while Democrats tend to be pro-choice on abortion, they favor less choice when it comes to consumer products. And he was particularly ticked off about the lack of choice in certain plumbing fixtures.
A Politico.com excerpt:
Back to abortion, he said, "I think there should be self-examination from the administration on the idea that you favor a woman's right to an abortion but you don't favor a woman, or a man's, right to choose what kind of light bulb, what kind of dishwasher."
In the middle of her response to Paul's line of comments, Hogan said, "My view is what you want —"
"Is to buy a toilet that works!" Paul interrupted.
Hogan replied: "I can help you find a toilet that works."
"I've been waiting 20 years to talk about how bad these toilets are," Paul later said.
Chairman Jeff Bingaman responded, "Well, I'm sorry about your toilet."