Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rand Paul's Filibuster Ends

Rand Paul's old school filibuster ended shortly before 1:00 AM ET, 12 hours and 52 minutes after he began.

In the end, it was his bladder that couldn't continue.

From the New York Times:

A small group of Republicans, led by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, stalled the Senate on Wednesday by waging a nearly 13-hour old-school, speak-until-you-can-speak-no-more filibuster over the government’s use of lethal drone strikes — forcing the Senate to delay the expected confirmation of John O. Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

Mr. Paul, who opposes Mr. Brennan’s nomination, followed through on his plan to filibuster the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee after receiving a letter this month from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that refused to rule out the use of drone strikes within the United States in “extraordinary circumstances” like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

On Wednesday, Mr. Paul did exactly as promised, taking to the Senate floor shortly before noon and holding forth for 12 hours and 52 minutes.

Mr. Paul finally wound down shortly before 1 a.m. on Thursday, surrounded by a group of Republican senators and House members who had joined him on the Senate floor in a show of solidarity.

“I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond’s record, but I’ve discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I’m going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here,” Mr. Paul said to knowing laughter as he referred to the legendary South Carolina senator known for his 28-hour filibuster. (Mr. Paul could not leave the floor to use the bathroom, making his filibuster at a certain point seem less a standoff between the senator from Kentucky and the administration than a battle between Mr. Paul and his own bladder.)

After almost 13 hours, Mr. Paul offered his final words: “I thank you very much for the forbearance and I yield the floor,” he said, to loud applause.

Earlier in the evening, as the filibuster moved into its 11th and 12th hours, the mood grew increasingly punchy, with Mr. Paul’s Republican Senate colleagues — who had joined him on the Senate floor periodically throughout the event — making repeat appearances and quoting liberally from pop culture and literature.

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, at one point seemed to stage a mini-filibuster of the filibuster, reading from Shakespeare (“Henry V”) and quoting from “Patton.”

Not to be outdone, Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, took to the floor for his second appearance of the filibuster, quoting the rapper Wiz Khalifa, as well as “that modern-day poet by the name of Jay-Z.” Mr. Rubio also quoted from “The Godfather” three times — including, he said, a quote that never made it from the script into the movie. (“A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than 100 men with guns can steal.”)

“I don’t know how that’s relevant to this,” Mr. Rubio admitted, “but I thought I’d bring it up.”

At a certain point, as the hour edged closer to midnight, participating in the filibuster seemed to become the gold standard among Senate Republicans, with a parade of Republican senators — Jeff Flake of Arizona; Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate; and Tim Scott of South Carolina — emerging for the first time to show their support for Mr. Paul’s cause, not to mention the C-SPAN cameras.

...The filibuster, which by its end had become must-watch reality television for much of the inside-the-Beltway crowd, offered its fair share of quirky moments. Mr. Paul, for instance, ate a “dinner” of a mystery candy bar, continuing his speech through mouthfuls of chocolate.
We shouldn't think of this political theater as "must-watch reality television."

The focus should be on what Obama is doing, allowing the U.S. military to be used on U.S. soil to kill American citizens.

It shouldn't be on Rubio citing Wiz Khalifa or quoting from The Godfather.

It should be about the matter of the Obama administration's use of drones to kill Americans within our borders. It should be about the disconnect between Obama pontificating about the inappropriateness of torture while having no problem with killing people.

Not only Republicans questioned Obama's proposed use of the military.

Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon showed support for Paul.

“The executive branch should not be allowed to conduct such a serious and far-reaching program by themselves without any scrutiny, because that’s not how American democracy works,” [Wyden] said.
At least one elected Democrat had the decency to voice concern over Obama's "lethal drone program."

Unfortunately, Obama supporters don't seem to mind that his administration has run amok.

The utter unwillingness by Obama and his regime to be forthcoming when asked direct questions is unacceptable. The secrecy is inexcusable.

With the liberal media as enablers, Obama can do whatever he feels like doing.


jimspice said...

Wow, thanks to alerting me to the fact that the president is "allowing the U.S. military to be used on U.S. soil to kill American citizens." I was unaware of this. I await your post tomorrow about how he is currently using trained baboons to break into our houses at night to install secret cameras in our toilet bowls with the long term goal of amassing a complete database of citizen butt photos. You're right, he should condemn and eschew every conceivable maleficent act, and his refusal to do so is PROOF he is currently involved in said act.

Mary said...

Good grief.

The discussion was about exactly what I stated. You've distorted my statement.

At no point in my post did I say Obama had already used a drone to kill an American citizen on US soil in connection with his "lethal drone program."

However, after a great deal of dodging, Eric Holder finally did state the administration believes that Obama has that authority.

Some of us don't agree. As Dem Sen. Wyden said, "The executive branch should not be allowed to conduct such a serious and far-reaching program by themselves without any scrutiny, because that’s not how American democracy works."