Ron Paul is lone GOP voice on unequal justice• www.usatoday.com
So he probably wasn't surprised when ABC News' George Stephanopoulos asked him during a televised debate three days before the New Hampshire primary how that could have happened without his knowledge. But no one on the stage with the Texas congressman — not the other contenders for the Republican Party's presidential nomination who bristle with contempt for their libertarian colleague or the panel of journalists wielding the questions — was ready for Paul's answer.
Other candidates mum
And when Paul finished what the Associated Press later called "a positively leftist rant," there were no follow-up questions, no clamoring from the other candidates to have their say on the issue. There was just a moment of uneasy silence — and then a commercial break. When the debate resumed, there was no return to Paul's charge of unequal justice, an indifference that is a haunting metaphor for the nation's failure to address an issue that is even worse than Paul suggests.