The Conversation

Filibuster: Rand Paul's Filibuster

McCain attacks Cruz

Sep 25, 2013 12:14 PM PT

John McCain tried to grab a few minutes at the end of the Ted Cruz filibuster, leading magnificently sarcastic Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan to Tweet that McCain wanted to give the Democratic response to Cruz' speech.  

Eventually McCain got to the floor, and sure enough, he handed out Democrat talking points left and right, including a variation on Barack Obama's "I won" insistence that "elections have consequences," so good little Republicans should play ball with ObamaCare.  He also spent a bizarre amount of time railing against Cruz for daring to say (in the course of over 20 hours of speaking!) that people slow to battle against ObamaCare were like those who appeased the Nazis in the Forties. 

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While all the lefties are busy sneering at Ted Cruz and his talking filibuster...

Sep 24, 2013 8:57 PM PT

... the guy in the White House just said the world is more stable than it was five years ago, and ObamaCare is lowering insurance premiums even more than anticipated.  

He's either a certifiable lunatic, or one of the most shameless liars ever to hold high office in the United States.  Maybe you guys on the Left should be a bit more worried about that, and a bit less concerned about Ted Cruz putting everything he's got into standing up for his convictions.

Closing the Door Completely

Mar 7, 2013 8:28 AM PT

In response to They've Already Done the "We'd Never Do this" Spiel:

You're right. They did use the "of course" line once. As you noted that was the response Sen. Paul found unsatisfactory since it leaves the door open a crack. I suspect future answers to this same question will have to go farther. It would be quite a story if they refused to close the door on this completely after that day long filibuster calling attention to it.

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They've Already Done the "We'd Never Do this" Spiel

Mar 6, 2013 10:32 PM PT

In response to Possible Response: Of Course the President Would Never Do This:

 Tomorrow when Carney is asked he can claim that this is much ado about nothing because of course the President would never use drones on Americans inside the US. Who would ever suggest such a thing? That way they give a response but the tone says move along, nothing to see here. They'll claim the President is a champion of civil rights and that these questions are misguided and maybe even offensive.

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I don't want to burst everyone's bubble...

Mar 6, 2013 5:25 PM PT

In response to Best.Presidential.Campaign.Kickoff.Ever:

But... as awesome as Sen. Paul and others are on the Senate floor are right now, I can't help but think this is one of the moments when all of us conservatives and libertarians are in our own bubble.  I suppose it will depend on how the media covers this (assuming they do) because the average American is watching American Idol or Survivor right now, not C-SPAN 2.

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Krauthammer: This Is The Moment That Launched Rand Paul As A National Figure

Mar 6, 2013 4:38 PM PT

On today's Special report Charles Krauthammer disagreed with Senator Paul's stance on the use of drones in the U.S. (and I disagree with Dr. Krauthammer, which rarely happens. ) Krauthammer posited that he could think of a scenario in which an American terrorist, sitting at a cafe, posing no imminent threat, could/should  be blasted with a drone strike.

But he also conceded that Rand Paul is making some very good arguments, and is obviously sincere in what he's saying. He called the filibuster of John Brennan nomination for CIA director a "stroke of political genius." He also said "This will be a moment that people will say has launched him as a national figure."

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Rep. Gohmert Delivers Cough Drops And Chocolates To Sen. Paul During Filibuster

Mar 6, 2013 3:59 PM PT

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R - TX) went to the floor of the Senate and delivered chocolates and cough drops to the long filibustering Senator Rand Paul (R - KY). Senator Paul, with the help of Senators Mike Lee (R - UT), Ted Cruz (R - TX), and Ron Wyden (D - OR) among others has been filibustering Barack Obama's CIA nominee John Brennan since 11:47 AM on Wednesday. The Senators are discussing the the dangers of the government's use drones that could kill Americans on U.S. soil. 

Excitement and exhaustion

Mar 6, 2013 2:32 PM PT

In response to This is Exciting:

I share your feeling about the energy surrounding Rand Paul's filibuster, Ace.  Not to be a wet blanket, but I also remember how that Tea Party energy faded by 2012.  It's not gone completely and never has been, but it's hard not to notice the very sharp contrast between the 2010 and 2012 electorates.  Depending on how much weight you want to assign to various exit-poll results, you had a combination of the Tea Party fire guttering low, and the zombie hordes of Obama supporters marching listlessly to vote in droves for a candidate who didn't really excite them.  It didn't matter that a lot of them were yawning when they pulled the lever for Obama.  "Meh" votes count the same as "oh, yeah!" votes.

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This is Exciting

Mar 6, 2013 1:38 PM PT

In response to Marco Rubio to Filibuster Brennan:

I have the same feeling of receding cynicism I did when the Tea Party first exploded on to the scene and began doing things that just weren't done in America anymore -- taking politics seriously, taking the Founders' legacy to us seriously, showing up at Town Halls to ask their once and future representatives some real questions, engaging, questioning, insisting, demanding.

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Utah's Republican Senator Mike Lee Joins Rand Paul Filibuster

Mar 6, 2013 12:05 PM PT

After three-hours and ten minutes of Kentucky senator Rand Paul employing a good old-fashioned talking filibuster, Utah senator Mike Lee has stepped in to relieve his Republican colleague.

Currently, both men are holding a discussion on the Obama Administration's drone strike policy. The focus is mainly on how the White House is defining "imminent" as "not at all imminent."

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Politico's James Hohmann: Paul Launched Filibuster to 'Improve His Own Political Prospects'

Mar 6, 2013 11:37 AM PT

True to form, Politico and MSNBC once again became one just a few minutes ago.

Here's Politico's national political reporter, James Hohmann, explaining Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster motivations on MSNBC:

Rand Paul's concern is his own base of support. He has his eyes on a 2016 campaign. This isn't really the Republicans, he knows Brennan is going to get confirmed. He's trying to shore up the people who supported his father, Ron Paul, even as he tries to make inroads with national security conservatives and others in the Republican coalition to improve his own political prospects.

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Holder: Obama Plans to Explain Drone Policy

Mar 6, 2013 11:16 AM PT

Rand Paul's filibuster should only ensure Obama sticks to this:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told a Senate committee Wednesday that he expects President Obama to explain the legal rationale underpinning the use of armed drones to target and kill U.S. citizens overseas.

Obama said in his State of the Union speech last month that he would be more transparent about the targeted killing program, and Holder said the administration is struggling with the need to fulfill that pledge.

Under questioning from Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee about the drone policy, including circumstances in which it might be appropriate on American soil, Holder said he expects “you will hear the president speak about this.”


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