Sen. Rand Paul – A Stand-Up Guy

Who would have thought one could be mesmerized by a live-feed on CSPAN of a senator filibustering a presidential nomination?  But there he was, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), the star of the show, standing up for the Constitution, due process, and the 5th Amendment.  He should be nominated for an Emmy.

 

Filibustering is an old-fashioned way of blocking a nomination when the vote is in the other party’s favor.  Strom Thurmond held the record of 24 hours.  A movie was made about a freshman senator holding a one-man filibuster, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring Jimmy Stewart.

The rules are pretty simple:  once you take the floor, you don’t yield to anyone as long as you can keep on talking.  Other senators may help you, but like Jeopardy, but they must begin and end their statement in the form of a question.  Jimmy Stewart didn’t have any help and fainted from exhaustion at the end of the movie.  Rand Paul had help from co-star Ted Cruz, and a cast of Courageous Conservatives Marco Rubio, and towards the end, Jeff Flake of Arizona; Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate; and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

The filibuster was against Obama’s nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA.  Also, at issue was Obama’s vow to use drones against American citizens on American soil if he believed that they were a threat – presumably, a terrorist threat – to the United States.  We have hordes of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border with local and state police under threat of arrest themselves if they arrest any of these people.  There’s a surge of AK-47-wielding drug cartel thugs on our border, ready to make war.  But they’re not American citizens.

So just who does Obama intend to use these armed – yes, armed – drones on? 

Rand’s filibuster was unique in that it did not involve reading the telephone book, the encyclopedia, and voter registration lists.  He was well-prepared to defend the Constitution and argue the qualifications of Brennan and the right (or wrong) of the President of the United States of America to kill Americans not directly engaged in an act of war on American soil.

“I will not sit quietly and let [the president] shred the Constitution.”

“Where’s the cacophony that stood up and said ‘How can you tap my phone without going to a judge first?’ I say: ‘How can you kill someone without going to a judge [and jury] first’?”

“I have hounded and hounded and hounded him [Brennan, for answers]… Only after yanking his chain… does he say he’s going to obey the law. We should be alarmed by that.”

On vague wording of drone strike criteria: “Are you going to just drop a hellfire missile on Jane Fonda? Are you going to drop a missile on Kent State?” He later added, “That’s gobbledygook.”

On Obama’s civil liberties flip-flop: “I think it’s also safe to say that the Barack Obama of 2007 would be right down here with me arguing against this drone-strike program if he were in the Senate.”

On the Constitution and the law: “I’m not saying that anyone is Hitler, don’t misunderstand me.  But what I am saying that is…when a democracy gets it wrong, you want the law to be in place.”

Taking a stand: “I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees [an unconstitutional move Congress never should have passed]…But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution.”

On his colleagues in the Senate: “If there were an ounce of courage in this body, I would be joined by other senators… saying they will not tolerate this.”

On White House “kill list”: “The people on the list might be me.”

On Obama: “He was elected by a majority, but the majority doesn’t get to decide who we execute.”

On making a point: “This will be a blip in his nomination process. But I hope people will see it as an argument for how important our rights are.”

On Congress: “Nothing ever happens around here.”

On Courage:  At around 8:09 p.m. ET, Paul asked Americans, “Are you so afraid that you are willing to trade your freedom for security?”

Brennan is said by Conservatives to be a dangerous choice for CIA director.  His record indicates he’s rather a strange choice for Obama’s Progressive-Socialist administration.  Brennan defended the use of torture and other methods for intelligence gathering.  In April 2012 Brennan was the first Obama administration official to publicly acknowledge CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere. In his speech he argued for the legality, morality, and effectiveness of the program. The ACLU and other organizations disagreed. In 2011/2012 he also helped reorganize the process, under the aegis of the Disposition Matrix database, by which people outside of war zones were put on the list of drone targets. According to an Associated Press story, the reorganization helped “concentrate power” over the process inside the White House administration.

The drone strikes have been highly popular among the American public and helped bolster Obama’s image as Defender-in-Chief.  Anything that got the terrorists was all right by them, while Liberal foes of Bush wept over the innocents killed in non-combat areas of operations.

Now, the two sides seem to have switched.  Are Democrats (Progressives) who decried the killing of innocents abroad in drone strikes now going to support the possible killing of innocent Americans?  On 9/11 morning, there was no possible way Pres. Bush could have ordered the first airliner to be shot down when they weren’t absolutely certain of its target.  Bush took heat for that understandable delay.  Were another airliner hijacking occur, would Obama order a strike on that airliner before he knew the hijackers intentions?

Obama was quoted on the possibility of ordering a drone strike on Americans as saying, “Probably not.”  “Probably” not?  But he still wants to keep that option open.  Perhaps he wants to turn public opinion against the use of drones altogether, even though these weapons helped him wipe out many terrorists in Afghanistan.  Afghanistan was a war zone, however.  America is not.  Yet.  The greater danger comes from the invasion of privacy the drones represent.

Drone surveillance can discourage the gathering of “anti-government” groups such as the Tea Parties or other like-minded patriot groups, whom the government itself declares to be a dangerous threat to the government.  They can monitor the movements of gun owners.  The force of bureaucratic law is enough for most Americans.  They don’t need a hellfire missile dropped on their heads to persuade them to conform to social engineering.

Today is Free Speech Day and Sen. Rand Paul is a modern national hero.  Thanks, Sen. Paul for standing up for us.  We stand with you.

 

 

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Published in: on March 7, 2013 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

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