For over 13 hours yesterday, Rand Paul (R-KY) took a stand in defense of the Constitution of the United States. By way of a good-old-fashioned filibuster, he used the confirmation of John O. Brennan to be the new Director of the C.I.A. as an opportunity to bring attention to the growing acceptance by government that we must surrender liberty for safety.
At question was whether the President of the United States---who believes the Constitution is flawed and has displayed great willingness to ignore it when it interferes with his agenda---believed he had the authority to use drones to kill Americans on American soil without due process. After Attorney General Eric Holder refused to confirm the obvious answer to this question---which is to say, NO!---Senator Paul seized the opportunity to bring it to light.
The move proved to be quite popular with Conservatives and Libertarians. Twitter reported over a million tweets were sent concerning the filibuster---putting it on par with the 1.36 million from Obama's most recent State of the Union address---and even Harry Reid found it worthy of praise.
Sadly, two of the most pathetic members of the Republican establishment---G.O.P. Hall of Shame member, John McCain, and future Hall of Shame member, Lindsey Graham---couldn't put their egos aside long enough to praise their colleague. In a bit of theatre more suited for a losing Presidential campaign---you know what that's like, right John?---the Senator from Arizona and his BFF from South Carolina attacked Paul and protected Obama.
Mr. McCain quoted from a Wall Street Journal editorial: “The country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.”
The senator went on to say that he didn’t “think that what happened yesterday was helpful to the American people.”
And where Democrats praised Mr. Paul for using Senate rules properly to launch a filibuster, Mr. McCain said it was an abuse of rules that could hurt the GOP in the long run.”What we saw yesterday is going to give ammunition to those who say the rules of the Senate are being abused,” the Arizona Republican said.
Mr. Graham said asking whether the president has the power to kill Americans here at home is a ludicrous question.
“I do not believe that question deserves an answer,” Mr. Graham said.
Speaking to reporters after he came off the floor Wednesday, Mr. Graham said he defends Mr. Paul’s right to ask questions and seek answers, but said the filibuster has actually pushed him to now support Mr. Brennan.
Mr. Graham said he had been inclined to oppose the nomination because he’d found Brennan to be qualified for the job but also “arrogant, kind of a bit shifty.” He said he wasn’t going to filibuster him but would have voted against him on final passage, but now he’ll vote for him.
“I am going to vote for Brennan now because it’s become a referendum on the drone program,” he said.
Wow. I guess the $85 lobster they had on their date night with Barry was really good. By the way, is it possible that the President's sudden outreach to Republicans to discuss the budget took place on the night of the filibuster? Things that make you go hmmmmmmm. . .
After yesterday's events, two things are clear: when it comes to protecting the Constitution, Rand Paul is a hero and John McCain and Lindsey Graham are cowards.
This post was originally at The Strident Conservative