Thursday, March 7, 2013

Filibuster Fever in the DC Swamp

Drone Wars (ABC News)
PPPS (Washington)—For nearly 13 hours yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) held the Senate floor, and the nation's rapt attention, as he filibustered the nomination of John Brennen for Director of the CIA.

C-Span had it's longest, and most-watched program in years, and the Twitterverse was dominated last night, and still is this morning, by #StandWithRand.

The issue, of course, was not John Brennen, but Attorney General Eric Holder's response to a letter sent to him in January by Senator Paul regarding the question of whether the Administration could use drones to kill American citizens on American soil.

Rather than the obvious responses of "No!" or "Hell No, that would be unconstitutional!", the Attorney General instead finally responded on Monday in a letter with a vague and evasive answer. Here is the a part of that letter.
The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.
Rand Paul responded by going to the floor of the Senate and speaking up, beginning at 11:47 AM yesterday.

People across the nation were soon watching on C-Span2, gaining an education about Senate filibuster procedures and the constitution, reminiscent of the famous movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  The real version was easily as entertaining as the movie, with thousands, perhaps millions, unable to leave their TV sets or the live-stream on their computers and mobile devices. It was history in the making, live and unfiltered by the liberal press.

Next door, in a Senate hearing room, Senator Ted Cruz grilled Attorney General Holder about his letter and the drone issue, finally eliciting a reluctant and tepid no on the issue.

Senators Cruz, Lee and Rubio took turns relieving Senator Rand for brief periods on the Senate floor, entertaining viewers with their own statesmanlike and educational lectures on the constitutional issues at hand. They were joined by Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon. Other Republican Senators showed up as well, spurred by #StandWithRand fever, and perhaps some gentle prodding from constituents.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a brief appearance in hopes that he could derail the filibuster before more American viewers could join in the fun. Democratic Senator Dick Durban, to his credit, stayed on and posed a few questions. And, although Durbin's questions were intended to deflect the issue away from the President, he actually made a few cogent points, which Senator Paul acknowledged, then quickly demolished in his responses.

Senator Ron Johnson, delayed by dinner with the President, showed up near the end at midnight to provide a scathing but educational history of the  intransigence on budget issues displayed in Senator Reid's leadership over the past four years.

The most fun though, could be found on Twitter, where millions worldwide were cheering Senator Paul to keep going. Here are tweet samples from yesterday, last night and this morning found under hashtag #StandWithRand.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

RT if you in demanding answers from the White House on unconstitutional drone strikes in US.
You will learn more about Constitution form filibuster than any knowledge dispensed by our law professor President
Without a teleprompter, for 9 1/2 hours and has yet to drone on like the President does in every speech.

Don't care if they've adjourned. Still standing and clapping for a great Patriot!
On Nov 6 and each day since the flame of liberty has grown dimmer. Last night, someone brought a torch to the party.


  1. I watched the whole thing... figured, if he was speaking for me, the least I could do was listen. 13 hours....gazillions in air time, getting to know Rand Paul. Wise move, and we the taxpayers weren't ask to donate to the campaign. 13 stood with him, 1 along side. Millions cheered him, Cruz, Lee etc. Almost felt like election day, a moment of hopeful expectation...then today, the day after shock. Rinos funded Obamacare, poo pooed Paul....same ol'poo.

    1. Thank you for your comment Sunny and for spending the time to listen to history being made.

      I am confident that this event has gone a long way towards tipping it back in terms of saving our country. But we all have to do our part. The Rhinos days are numbered. God bless.

    2. Hey Peter--always good to see something written by you as I read my usual articles. I watched the last few hours--once I started, I couldn't turn it off. Rand gave me more optimism and excitement than I've had for a long time. Let's hope the torch stays lit and burns brightly for a long time. Louise G.

    3. Louise G - Thanks for the kind comment (check in mail). It will be because of people like you who are fanning that flame that I am confident it will burn brightly for a long time. God bless.


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