Friday, March 08, 2013

Of Blind Squirrels and Broken Clocks

(Editorial cartoon by Jack Ohman / Sacramento Bee (March 7, 2013) and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge and then return.)

Sen. Rand Paul's old fashioned, actual talking filibuster on Wednesday was a wonder to behold.  And you know what?  I was cheering him on, something I never thought I'd do.  Apparently some of his GOP colleagues were not as thrilled as I was at his attack on drones targeting American citizens, however.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The political fallout from Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster has begun as fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham switched Thursday to support John Brennan as CIA director, saying the vote has become a “referendum” on the drone program.

Graham’s changed position comes after Paul, the Kentucky tea party favorite, became an overnight political sensation for holding the Senate floor nearly 13 hours as he pressed the Obama administration for assurances Americans would not be targeted on U.S. soil by unmanned military-style aircraft.

“I was going to vote against Brennan until the filibuster, so he picked up one vote,” Graham said. “This whole argument that somehow Brennan and the president are operating outside of just good logic and human decency – I don’t want to cast a vote to suggest that I think that’s credible.”

The South Carolina Republican and his longtime GOP ally, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, held the Senate floor for their own moment Thursday, as they defended the drone program and criticized Paul’s effort as misguided.   [Emphasis added]

What Sen. Paul did was bring the whole issue of drones before the Senate and the American people in a very colorful and newsworthy way.  For that I give him lots of style points.  I also give him credit for taking on the issue of drones being used on American soil against Americans.  I would have really liked him to go further and declare the use of drones for assassinations everywhere against anyone to be contrary to the American and International rule of law traditions.  But at least he said something, and did it for nearly 13 hours.

Way to go, Rand! 

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Blogger John Gardner said...

i'm with you on this one. I thought it was a rather impressive show :)

I can't believe that some of the other GOP reps/senators gave him crap the next day about it, though. "you never asked president bush these questions", etc.

Well yeah, 6+ years ago, the drone strikes weren't anywhere near as common as they are today.

Locally, Seattle PD wasn't even contemplating their own drones years ago.

And now they have one (hooray for militarization of police, ugh) and then got so much negative press about it that they've all but gotten rid of it. For now. Because they have an extensive network of security cameras, bought and paid for by federal "anti-terrorism" grants.

Strange days.

10:23 AM  

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