Republican Senator Rand Paul filibustered the nomination of John Brennan yesterday. He used the filibuster the way it was intended to be used; to get answers and to pose arguments for the minority holding up a vote. The filibuster was even joined by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (OR) The filibuster lasted almost 13 hours.
According to the New York Times
The filibuster started just before noon on Wednesday, with Mr. Paul ostensibly objecting to Mr. Brennan’s nomination. But in fact, Mr. Paul’s main concerns were those of the civil liberties and Constitutional rights, which he said are under attack by the administration’s potential use of unmanned drone strikes on American citizens on United States soil. (By Mr. Paul’s own admission, Mr. Brennan, who as the White House counterterrorism adviser was the chief architect of the largely clandestine drone program, served as a good proxy.)
“What will be the standard for how we kill Americans in America?” Mr. Paul asked at one point. “Could political dissent be part of the standard for drone strikes?”
Rand Paul won over Jon Stewart for this one act, his past bad deeds notwithstanding.
Rand Paul had sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking just a simple question. Can the President use a drone to take out an American citizen on US soil? You’d think you would get a letter back like ‘No way!’. Holder writes him back a letter that while never addressing the question kind of sort of imply that hypothetically in the right – YES, yes we can do that. We can do that we probably won’t yes. So Senator Rand Paul to draw a little attention to the issue of the execution of executive executions executed the classical school filibuster. I mean he is out there talking. This isn’t one of those oo I am not going to do anything. He is using the filibuster the way it is meant to be used.
Ultimately Rand Paul use of the filibuster in the form he used it should be commended by all. Hopefully he will set a precedent for others in his party to follow. Hopefully the mainstream media will scold Republican Senators going forward in this session as they attempt to “silent filibuster” bills necessary to move forward.