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Fun With A Filibuster

by Eric M. Blake March 12th, 2013 | Conservative Considerations
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paul senateSome time back, I made it absolutely clear that were Rand Paul to throw his hat into the ring for the 2016 GOP Presidential Primary, I would support him in a heartbeat.  (Unless, of course, Marco Rubio’s also going to run—in which case, Rand would probably be my #2.  But I digress …)

This past week’s helped to demonstrate why.  He’s not his father (thank heaven for that!) but he’s a rock-solid Libertarian Conservative, firmly grounded in the Constitution — and he’s not afraid to stand up to the typical Washington mindset.  “Not afraid” in this case means: willing to stand up on the Senate floor, catheter at the ready … and give a good, hearty, old-school filibuster.

(For “low-information voters”: a filibuster is Senate-speak for when a Senator, ticked off about some policy or appointment brought to the floor, proceeds to block it by talking … and talking … and talking.  As per Senatorial rules, floor debate — and this counts as “debate time” — goes on until stopped by 60 votes to do so … and then, the vote to pass the darned thing.  If you don’t get the magic number of 60, debate continues — in theory, until the Senate adjourns.  It’s more of an “intimidation” tactic than anything else — it scares the side pushing the policy/appointment into pulling it, in favor of a more satisfactory alternative.  But again — I digress.)

Here’s Rand’s beef: It seems President Obama’s drone strike policies have been a little too … vague lately.  I know — Obama’s administration being vague.  What else is new?

In this case, the question is the limits on the anti-terrorist drones  in regards to American citizens.  Let’s be honest: when what’s-his-face got whacked by the drone, he was Al Qaeda’s propaganda man.  He was guilty of more than high treason: he was waging war against America.  Those engaging in warfare against the U.S. should be treated as though they were engaging in warfare against the U.S.  In common vernacular, that means: blow their brains out.

The question is: When American citizens — on our soil — are suspected of “aiding and abetting”, what do we do, drone-wise?  Do we go through due process, or no?

If the answer in your heads, dear readers, is “Well…duh…”—  brace yourself.  Because, as is so often the case in Constitutional matters, our alleged Constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office has been silent on such things — and until Senator Paul forced his hand, so was the increasingly pathetic and incompetent Attorney General Holder.  (No I will not say his first name — for obvious reasons.  I have enough problems with sharing a birthday with our president!)

Anyway, debate proceeded on the Senate floor in the meantime, concerning Obama’s appointment for CIA director, John Brennan.  Until, that is … Rand stood up on the Senate floor, and spoke up.  Joined by fellow greats Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee (a real constitutional lawyer), Tim Scott (the only African-American in the Senate — a Republican, who knew?), Pat Toomey (from my beloved Pennsylvania), and even Democrat Ron Wyden — Rand held forth for darn near thirteen hours.

Meanwhile, Reince Priebus, boss of the GOP, made sure to rally support among the Senate.  Celebrities like John Cusack spoke up to Tweet “#StandWithRand”… and even Code Pink offered their support.  At long last, the Far Left is choosing principle over party — had it been Bush, they’d have led the stupid filibuster.  After all, as CIA director, Brennan will more or less help the Defense Department oversee the drone thing.  The Left would’ve had his head on a platter, had Bush appointed him.  We should be so vehement …

Well, when you gotta go … filibuster’s over.  So Rand took his bow — and the Tea Party saw a brand new day in the spotlight.  For it’s the Tea Party Freshmen who led the fight, here — leaving old dogs like John McCain and Lindsey Graham to sulk and heckle.  One wonders if their sipping wine with Obama during Rand’s speech had anything to do with it.

Anyhow — folks, this could well be the moment we have been waiting for.  After all — in addition to the sequestration making the proponents of big government looking like a bunch of screaming idiots … we now have our side — Conservatives and Libertarians alike — held as the heroes.  And thus — the opening, the foot in the door.

Rand Paul…I salute you.

(Photo: Office of Rand Paul)

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