Breaking: Rand Paul launches talking filibuster on Brennan confirmation; Update: Mike Lee too? Update: Rubio chimes in on Twitter; Update: Cruz joins in; Update: Democrat Ron Wyden joins too; Update: Rubio speaks

posted at 1:01 pm on March 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this Rand Paul’s Mr. Smith Goes To Washington moment, and an answer of sorts to filibuster reform.  Paul has vowed to continue his speech until Barack Obama himself declares that he has no authority to launch a drone strike on an American citizen on American soil.  Paul accused Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill for hypocrisy as well, pointing out that they were ready to accuse George Bush of making himself king and wiping his feet on the Constitution.  Where are their voices now, Paul wonders:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has launched a talking filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“I’m here to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination to be director of CIA,” Paul said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I will speak for as long as it takes.

“I will speak today until the president says, ‘no’ he will not kill you at a café.”

Paul has said he wants more answers from the administration on whether American citizens can be targeted by armed drones inside the United States before he’ll lift his filibuster on Brennan’s nomination. …

“Has America the beautiful become ‘Alice in Wonderland’?” Paul said. “When I asked the president can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer — an unequivocal no.

“But his answer was, ‘I haven’t killed anyone yet and I have no intention of killing Americans, but I might.’”

Paul spent a considerable amount of time on the Posse Comitatus Act, pointing out that the government is barred from using military force on American soil unless war or an insurrection is declared.  The point, Paul says, is that military and police power are separated from judicial power for a reason, and the reason is due process.  Without that separation, the executive will be transformed into a tyrannical power, regardless of whether the executive chooses to exercise that power or not.  The answer from Eric Holder that “we probably won’t exercise that power” doesn’t address the issue.

Tangentially, this is also interesting in the context of filibuster reform.  The presumption of both sides was that no one was really interested in talking filibusters any longer.  Obviously, that’s not the case, and this one might be lengthier than others.  Rand Paul is much younger than an average Senator, having just turned 50, and he’s in good shape.  Presumably, his stamina won’t come into question for at least several hours, so we may get a very large helping of Paul’s views on everything from the topic at hand to the need for the Washington Redskins to give RGIII more protection on the O-line.

While I’m updating this, Paul just asked whether this power would have been so acceptable to Democrats 40 years ago.  What if, Paul wondered, someone had dropped a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda or college students at the time who were raising money for the Viet Cong? Would the same Democrats who are sitting on the sidelines now have protested such tactics at the time? After all, raising money for the enemy is arguably treason, and Paul said he’d have called it that — but those students would have deserved to get their day in court.

Somehow, I doubt that Obama will respond, but perhaps Jay Carney will need to issue a clarification in the next few hours for Reid to get his chamber back.  I doubt that Republicans will step in to help stop Paul’s filibuster, as long as he’s talking.

Update (AP): And then there were two.

Update (AP): Rubio’s late to the party, but the more buzz his prospective 2016 rival gets for this filibuster, the greater the pressure on him to speak up too. Just across on Twitter:

Update (Ed): Ted Cruz has just joined in to ask questions of Paul, in what looks like a pretty smart strategy.  Paul has specifically stated that he will take questions without relinquishing control of the floor, and both Cruz and Lee are asking oddly lengthy questions.  In other words, they’re providing Paul with short opportunities to rest his voice, and to add more ammunition to his rhetorical magazine.  Puns very much intended, by the way.

Update (AP): This thing just turned bipartisan:

Last week, Eli Lake dubbed Paul and Wyden the odd couple on drones.

Update (AP): Annnnd at 4:19 ET, Rubio finally speaks.

Update (AP): “Let me give you some advice — keep some water nearby.”


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Supposedly Preezy picked up the tab personally. Wanna bet he submits an expense report to get his money back?

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

He gets a $50,000 a year expense account for stuff like these dinners. We paid for it…one way or another. If BO & MO can’t figure out a way to do it, OOO will (OOO = Oval Office Overlord = Valerie Jarrett).

As I quipped a few months ago to Schad, your (mine now, too) Emperor is more high maintenance than my (former) Queen.

The entire Royal family costs British taxpayers about $70 million a year. The Obamas cost American taxpayers $1.4 billion last year.

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Now ABC radio news is playing the rap songs that Rubio was talking about last night. Rubio may be a joke, but he’s hip with the kiddies.

FloatingRock on March 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Boy is the lsm digging that McCain Graham trashing of Paul

Shameful

cmsinaz on March 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM

OK Sarah, time to choose your dance partner now. Yes you supported Rand last night. Now it’s time you repudiate MCCain and Graham for their ridiculous display today.

can_con on March 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I really hate those 2 peckerwoods. After that hard fought battle, they want to, will give up, any gained ground.

Mirimichi on March 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM

OK Sarah, time to choose your dance partner now. Yes you supported Rand last night. Now it’s time you repudiate MCCain and Graham for their ridiculous display today.

can_con on March 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Definitely someone needs to get McCain and Grahamnesty to stop carrying Obama’s water.

petefrt on March 7, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Regardless of what Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart.com says, I watched all but the first hour of Rand’s filibuster yesterday, and IMO the people who deserve the most credit, who made the most substantial contribution, are Rand, Cruz and Lee. Rand, Cruz and Lee were all awesome! Between Cruz and Lee, I’m not sure which was better, but I put Cruz first because of the three I know that he opposes amnesty for illegals.

Rubio was way down the list. Without reviewing the transcript, Rubio agreed with Rand Paul on this narrow legal point and thought Paul’s filibuster was fair and just, which was great, but still Rubio is allied with McCain and Graham on a lot of things. Perhaps this is a signal that Rubio is going to start allying with the liberty movement more and McvCain/Graham/Obama less, then I look forward to Rubio’s transformation.

In his second appearance Rubio was talking about rap song lyrics, some of which he wasn’t even sure how they were relevant, which I thought was pretty ridiculous… but anyway, it remains to be seen if Rubio is salvageable. Certainly he isn’t if he tries to amnesty illegals.

Yet some people are hyping Rubio today and trying to replace somebody who is far more worthy, Mike Lee, with Rubio. It’s wrong! We’ll see how Rubio shapes up over time, but in this case he and his surrogates in the media seem to be cutting in line.

FloatingRock on March 7, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Go Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz!!!

FloatingRock on March 7, 2013 at 1:19 PM

“Hey, Kids! TURN THAT CONSTITUTION MUSIC DOWN! YOU ARE VIOLATING THE RULES OF THE SENATE & ABUSING ITS SENSE OF DECORUM!”

- John McShamesty

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 1:20 PM

lonestar1

Mother American Citizen.

Son is by birth an American Citizen.

Just because the family was living in Canada at the time has shit to do with it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 12:47 PM

The point is actually that this doesn’t matter anymore. Since the left refused to address this with Obama, there is no longer any standing to doubt Cruz’s eligibiliy. Precedence is a b*tch.

Nutstuyu on March 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM

http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.contactform

davidk on March 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Done. Thanks.

petefrt on March 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Headlines at http://www.DrudgeReport.com

McCain tells Sen. Paul to ‘calm down’…
Graham calls freshman ‘ridiculous’…
DUO DINED WITH OBAMA DURING FILIBUSTER…

davidk on March 7, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 1:20 PM

: )

FloatingRock on March 7, 2013 at 1:29 PM

“I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll.”

- Sen. Rand Paul to Sen. John McShamesty

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Somewhere earlier in this thread someone summarized Cruz’s resume. Very impressive. Now I know how he ran circles around holder at the hearing yesterday. Cruz has solid accomplishments: clerked for Rehnquist, argued cases at SCOTUS and won, solid on the 10th amendment, effective at making Holder look ridiculous with mad cross examination skills. What is there not to live? He is my front runner for 2016.

Where is he in amnesty?

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Yep, Lindsey Graham is pawing and snorting pretending to be a bull…when in reality he is a steer.

d1carter on March 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Balogna bull? More like Gomer bull.

cptacek on March 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM

What are lady cows called? That is what I think of when I think of grahamnesty

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 1:43 PM

“I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll.”

- Sen. Rand Paul to Sen. John McShamesty

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 1:37 PM

LOL! Did he really say that?

FloatingRock on March 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM

What are lady cows called? That is what I think of when I think of grahamnesty

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Heifers. If they haven’t had a baby yet. “Cows” otherwise :)

cptacek on March 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM

What are lady cows called? That is what I think of when I think of grahamnesty

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 1:43 PM

What’s that part of the cow immediately below the base of the tail called? That’s what I now think of when I think of McLame and Grahamnesty.

Gingotts on March 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM

LOL! Did he really say that?

FloatingRock on March 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Yes, back when McCain gave his infamous speech on the Senate floor criticising “Tea Party hobbits.” He got Tolkien completely backwards. The Hobbits are the GOOD GUYS! lol

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

BTW: “Economist” Paul Krugman is declaring personal bankruptcy. Doesn’t he know that you have to SPEND MORE MONEY TO AVOID GOING BANKRUPT? /

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Oh. My.

can_con on March 7, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Here we go again.
D-fusit on March 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM

No, its not here we go again. I have never said this of anyone. Cruz has spoken of being from Canada and spent the 1st 4 years of his life in Canada.
If I am mistaken, I would like to be corrected. Nothing would make me prouder than voting for Cruz for President.

lonestar1 on March 7, 2013 at 2:27 PM

BTW: “Economist” Paul Krugman is declaring personal bankruptcy. Doesn’t he know that you have to SPEND MORE MONEY TO AVOID GOING BANKRUPT? /

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

LOL. Schadenfreudig.

cptacek on March 7, 2013 at 2:34 PM

BTW: “Economist” Paul Krugman is declaring personal bankruptcy. Doesn’t he know that you have to SPEND MORE MONEY TO AVOID GOING BANKRUPT? /

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Tell me that’s satire. There is no way that a day after Paul’s filibuster that that would happen. I am not that lucky.

alchemist19 on March 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM

I am very happy to know that in a few years I will be able to cast a ballot for Cruz for POTUS! He is a true leader.

lonestar1 on March 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Where is he in amnesty?

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 1:40 PM

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz Statement on Immigration Reform Proposal

Contact: (202) 228-0462 / press@cruz.senate.gov
Monday, January 28, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued the following statement regarding today’s bipartisan immigration reform proposal:

I appreciate the good work that senators in both parties have put into trying to fix our broken immigration system. There are some good elements in this proposal, especially increasing the resources and manpower to secure our border and also improving and streamlining legal immigration. However, I have deep concerns with the proposed path to citizenship. To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally.

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 7:43 PM

It is a sad day indeed when the GOP elitists become as predictable as the Democrats.

The only party I fully support today are the TEA Party’s.

DannoJyd on March 9, 2013 at 2:17 AM

The GOP elitists have become as predictable as the democrats, thus I was able to forsee the Palinization of Paul before it was reported.

Chalk it up as proof that the Democrat Party is much like today’s Republican Party, or vice versa. The actions of both can be easily predicted just as long as you don’t act like an ostrich.

DannoJyd on March 9, 2013 at 2:22 AM

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