Rand Paul may be getting attacked by establishment politicians like John McCain, but the Kentucky Senator seems to have made an impact across normal political lines.
Judging by the reaction of some on the left, Rand Paul’s 13 hour filibuster exposes some deep-seated fears about Barack Obama’s potential for dangerous totalitarianism. When the progressive left is worried about overreach from Obama, it’s time for everyone to pay attention.
For example, one of the most recommended and commented on articles recently on progressive blog DailyKos is a piece titled “Answer The Question, Mr. President,” and it expressly calls out both Barack Obama and Eric Holder.
…the president, through his attorney general, told us that the president does assume the power to kill us, even at home. But he still dodged the direct question that has been asked of him by both citizens (in a Google+ hangout session) and elected officials, including some elected officials who are responsible for oversight on committees.. Holder gave some information, but left the question still very much up in the air.
Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic, says that Holder’s recent response is “non-responsive, evasive, and deliberately manipulative”. I agree. Significant pressure needs to be applied by all concerned Americans until we understand clearly what power this president has assumed, what kinds of things might get us killed, or what circumstances might put us in close proximity to someone else they might target for assassination.
It’s not just the author up in arms about Obama’s evasiveness. Judging by the DailyKos comments, there’s widespread concern. The normally non-self-aware progrssives even seem to recognize Democrats’ hypocrisy on the issue.
One commenter writes: “If the Bush Adminstration had implemented this policy a few years ago, he’d be criticized and ridiculed to death on this blog. When a Democratic administration does it – headed no less by a former constitutional law professor – it is equally appalling.”
That comment got rating of 134+/0-, 134 people in favor of it, zero disagreement.
The sentiments at DKos are echoed across the left blogosphere. Here’s Zaid Jilani at the extremely progressive blog In These Times:
I’ve spent my entire political life working with the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. I’ve worked for the Democratic Party-aligned think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP). I’ve raised money and organized campaign volunteers to elect progressive Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Alan Grayson. I’ve never voted for a Republican.
Yet when right-libertarian Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took to the floor yesterday to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination as CIA director, I was joining staffers at the Koch Brothers organization FreedomWorks and writers at RedState.com by tweeting out the hashtag #StandWithRand. I did so with the full realization that this would put me at odds with much of the progressive movement and partisan Democrats.
While it’s true that some liberals have fought back against any support for Rand Paul, the voices supporting Paul’s activism on the floor of the Senate seem to be carrying the day. It’s a trend that should make both establishment Democrats and Republicans take notice.