ANOTHER THOUSAND EMAILS, PLEASE…..Well, since you asked, the reason I think Ron Paul is a crank is because he wants to repeal the 16th amendment, eliminate the personal income tax, abolish the minimum wage, deep six the Federal Reserve, and return the United States to some kind of weird quasi-gold standard. In addition, he’s fond of referring to paper currency as “fiat money” — a term pregnant with conspiratorial meaning among goldbugs — and apparently believes that we invaded Iraq largely because they wanted to price their oil in euros. And these aren’t just peculiar but harmless idiosyncracies. Paul is obsessed with “fiat money” and talks about it every chance he gets.

Now, your mileage may vary. Maybe you think Paul is onto something. But in my book, Paul’s economic views are more than enough to earn him a spot in the crankery hall of fame.

Still, if I had to choose between Ron Paul and, say, Rudy Giuliani for president, would I vote for Paul? You bet. There are worse things than being a crank.