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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He spoke a little while ago. Quoted Shakespeare, Patton and Reagan.

alchemist19 on March 7, 2013 at 12:20 AM

And he was good.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Why didn’t the GOP do this during the Obamacare legislation?

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Damned if I know

NerwenAldarion on March 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Look, a bigger Dick

Zaggs on March 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Durbin you ignorant slut, was Osama Bin Laden an American citizen? Was Osama Bin Laden on American soil.

Gingotts on March 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Bin Laden wasn’t on American soil.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Dick Durbin bringing up Bin Laden.

topdawg on March 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM

APACHE’, I believe that’s the closest thing to a “thread winner” I’ve in this one.

I haven’t read all the comments, though.

One of the Republican Senators should have brought up “Waco”, and thrown it at them. It’s straight to the point.

listens2glenn on March 7, 2013 at 12:17 AM

If they admit that Rand is right, then Clinton broke law.

Tater Salad on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Bin Laden was a threat as long as he breathed.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

I’m falling asleep and I have training in the morning.

God Speed Senator Paul. Keep at it.

gophergirl on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Sic em Ted

Jason Coleman on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

I really like how more Senators are finally showing up to support Rand. But, it has to be asked…where were they earlier tonight/afternoon?

mythicknight on March 7, 2013 at 12:16 AM

I think this was gamed out earlier in the day.

By having Rand do it by himself for most of the day, it created a great news story – One Man Stand.

Now, by having these guys show at the dead time, it keeps this going.

I’m praying he makes it to the morning news. That will PWN the news cycle through Thursday.

budfox on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Why didn’t the GOP do this during the Obamacare legislation?

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Remember the Dems cheated then, they treated this as a budget thingie, thus no filibuster was allowed. The closes we got to that was Michele Bachmann’s last minute desperate plea for peeps to who up at the Capitol that day to try to get last minute votes against it.

Instead we were treated to that shameful parade of Pelosi with the Black Caucus weilding that extremely large gavel walking through the crowd, and then later claiming the tea party protestors spit on them and called them racist slurs, which did NOT happen. That day is burned in my mind.

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Cruz again.

topdawg on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Cruz!

idesign on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

If they can keep this up until the morning news shows I bet Mika’s head will explode. Soledad is going to be pissed.

Tater Salad on March 7, 2013 at 12:12 AM

Does Soledad still have a show?

bw222 on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Loved that… The hearing we had yesterday.

Midwestprincesse on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Why didn’t the GOP do this during the Obamacare legislation?

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Yes! But they can still grow spines.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Cruz is back…!

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Why didn’t the GOP do this during the Obamacare legislation?

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Cloture. The SOB’s locked the GOP out.

redwhiteblue on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Yeah. My bad. I didn’t know his name (and neither did C-Span apparently).

ptcamn on March 7, 2013 at 12:20 AM

Heh. I was able to figure it out because Paul said “Senator from Arizona” and it was six hours past McCain’s bedtime.

Gingotts on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Rock it Cruz!

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Bin Laden had committed multiple crimes.

We KNOW what Obama intends: Killing Americans who OPPOSE his Regime.

It is Obama who is the terrorist at that stage, not the opposition.

wildcat72 on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

All right, folks. I’m calling it a night. I need to grab a few hours of sleep before work in the morning. #StandWithRand!

Othniel on March 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM

McCain & graham were blocked from entering the senate chamber after having been found trying to smuggle in sleeping pill laced coffee and cookies to senator Rand Paul.

portlandon on March 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM

The Dems are pulling the straw man crap.

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM

@MelissaTweets: Now @tedcruz is going to explain some constitution stuff to Durbin. He is a Wise Latina. #StandWithRand

idesign on March 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM

Durbin knows. He’s watching the entire GOP party cede authority to Rand. That’s what McConnell did.

budfox on March 7, 2013 at 12:08 AM

Yep. Leadership! From the front! Also, think how this screws up the poor donks who agree with RP on civil liberties.:)

a capella on March 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM

Hmmm, so you would like US citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki to be given the same Constitutional liberties as any other citizen when on our soil? Citizen or not, if our government has cold, hard evidence that a US citizen is in fact a terrorist, they forfeit their Constitutional liberties.

Tripwhipper on March 7, 2013 at 12:03 AM

No, they do not and shame on you!

Remember all of that “evidence” the Federal government had on Randy Weaver???

Sure, he was acquitted and it was proven that the government entrapped him, lied and killed his wife and son, along with shooting him, BUT HIS WIFE AND SON ARE STILL DEAD!

The Feds sought an unprecedented change in the rules of engagement from DC and got a shoot to kill order based on lies. You have a lot more faith in the government than I do or ever will. You also have a lot more than the Founders did. They believed that government was a necessary evil.

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

OK, I’ll support Rand Paul for President. He’s got guts, and, as the old DI said, guts is enough. Besides that, this is very clever; he’s turned the Democrat advance!

claudius on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

budfox on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

I don’t think it was “gamed out”. Rand could have very well started this all on his own. Both Cruz and Lee are smart enough to figure out the game very quickly … and now the bandwagon is building.

gh on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

A filibuster for liberty, what a heartening event.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

Is the Bin Laden analogy remotely applicable when the issue has to do with American citizens on American soil?

anuts on March 7, 2013 at 12:27 AM

Durbin is a clear and present danger to U.S. all.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM

All anti-Americans are.

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 12:27 AM

You know McCain is sitting somewhere watching this with that grumpy old man look on his face. “Who do these upstarts think they are!”

Mark1971 on March 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Cruz schooling Durbin, Love it!!

bluefox on March 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Why didn’t the GOP do this during the Obamacare legislation?
katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Mitch McConnell made a deal with Reid so they could all go home Christmas Eve. He said it was negotiated and the republicans were getting more in return. Wonder what they got?

lonestar1 on March 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Othniel on March 7, 2013 at 12:19 AM

The US Armed Forces swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The context of this entire discussion is domestic enemies in an extraordinary circumstance, such as a terrorist seemingly minding his own business while planning a terrorist attack on our soil. They may be citizens, technically, but not Americans.

Tripwhipper on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Why didn’t the GOP do this during the Obamacare legislation?

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Remember the Dems cheated then, they treated this as a budget thingie, thus no filibuster was allowed. The closes we got to that was Michele Bachmann’s last minute desperate plea for peeps to who up at the Capitol that day to try to get last minute votes against it.

Instead we were treated to that shameful parade of Pelosi with the Black Caucus weilding that extremely large gavel walking through the crowd, and then later claiming the tea party protestors spit on them and called them racist slurs, which did NOT happen. That day is burned in my mind.

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Of all people, Bohener did something like this (not as long) when he started reading the bill (which hadn’t been done up to that point since Dems had posted it the night before, or something to that effect). It wasn’t nearly as long as this, but nothing happened in the Senate due to reconciliation.

ptcamn on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Man they’ve crafted this well – well done GOP.

gophergirl on March 7, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Hey girl.

I think you’re giving them too much credit. I think this is all Rand Paul, upstaging everyone, including Obama who the media haven’t permitted to be upstaged for the last five years.

Brilliant political theater. He saw the weakness and the opportunity, and he had the brass to seize the moment.

That is leadership, and not from behind , either.

novaculus on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

The CRUZ smack down!! Woo hoo

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

McCain would redeem himself, after all the water-boarding stuff, to speak up to this.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Dude – Van Jones has said Rand Paul is right.

Good Lord. The progs are physically going to attack Rand.

…isn’t he also speaking at CPAC?

Sweet jeezus, I bet that’s carried live now.

budfox on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

I don’t think it was “gamed out”. Rand could have very well started this all on his own. Both Cruz and Lee are smart enough to figure out the game very quickly … and now the bandwagon is building.

gh on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

I have to agree. “Gaming it out” would only have meant that the usuals like McCain and Graham take it over for a showy four hour filibuster before throwing it to Durbin and his “hearings” so they don’t have to miss their dinner date with Barky.

Gingotts on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

@BenHowe: FYI, @Sentedcruz went to both Harvard & Princeton, beat the UN in court & argued in front of SCOTUS. In terms of debate he’s a badass mofo.

idesign on March 7, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Dang! This is almost the ONLY topic on Memorandum:
http://www.memeorandum.com/

Drudge has got all sorts of links…

This is trending on Twitter….

Go Paul, Cruz, Lee, et al! GO, GO, GO!!!

theotherone on March 7, 2013 at 12:30 AM

budfox on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

I don’t think it was “gamed out”. Rand could have very well started this all on his own. Both Cruz and Lee are smart enough to figure out the game very quickly … and now the bandwagon is building.

gh on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

If it was planned it was between those 4.

Paul…Lee, Cruz and Kirk (snacks) as backup.

They were there early…

And snacks are important.

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 12:31 AM

That is leadership, and not from behind , either.

novaculus on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

I agree Rand started this with only Cruz and Lee on board. But by afternoon, McConnel made the decision to have everyone wait until after the Barry Dinner, or else the narrative becomes “Rand sabotages Obama’s outreach”.

budfox on March 7, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Can Cruz squeeze in the TSA?

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Cruz missile.

Cody1991 on March 7, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Cruz giving the answer Rand Paul should’ve give. Maybe Paul would’ve been a little sharper in response to Turbin if he hadn’t already been talking and standing for 12 hours.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2013 at 12:32 AM

I’m Out.

Hope to see this going in the AM…

budfox on March 7, 2013 at 12:33 AM

Some Republican Senators are giving Rand cover. Cruz now is letting Rand go to the bathroom and have a bite.

Jabez01 on March 7, 2013 at 12:33 AM

test

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 12:33 AM

isn’t he also speaking at CPAC?

And Ted Cruz is Keynote!

ccrosby on March 7, 2013 at 12:33 AM

Who will filibuster the GUN BILL coming up????

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:34 AM

gh on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

I don’t think it was all gamed out either, I just think the reaction has been wide, deep and unexpected so everyone’s scrambling to get some of the lightning Rand seems to have caught.

alchemist19 on March 7, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Where’s Miss Lindsey? I can’t believe he’s letting Tim Scott carry the SC load alone when there’s air time to be had.

a capella on March 7, 2013 at 12:34 AM

The CRUZ smack down!! Woo hoo

katy on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Cruz is the constitutional legal expert with actual impressive experience that Obama pretends to be.

Cruz clerked for Rehnquist.

Worked in the DOJ.

He’s written over 80 briefs and argued before the Supreme Court for Texas.

He’s the real deal and he’s backing Rand Paul’s argument with legal language to stand against Holder’s legalese.

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Cruz shines tonight. Paul is a saint.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Durbin now getting hit with a Cruz missile. #standwithrand

idesign on March 7, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Isn’t’ nice to know our guys are smarter than their guys. Ted Cruz vs Durbin. HA!

bluealice on March 7, 2013 at 12:35 AM

@BenHowe: FYI, @Sentedcruz went to both Harvard & Princeton, beat the UN in court & argued in front of SCOTUS. In terms of debate he’s a badass mofo.

idesign on March 7, 2013 at 12:30 AM

And to think the lamea$$ GOP establishment bent over backwards to try to defeat this guy in the primary over that RINO nothing Dewhurst. They all need to be taken behind the woodshed and beaten to an inch of their lives, the establishment guys.

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Rand sounds exhausted.

alchemist19 on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 12:31 AM

I still don’t think so. Rand has the balls to go out there on his own and both Lee and Cruz are really sharp. They both probably kicked themselves for letting Rand beat them to the punch.

If the did plan it, then more power to them.

gh on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Hmmm, so you would like US citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki to be given the same Constitutional liberties as any other citizen when on our soil? Citizen or not, if our government has cold, hard evidence that a US citizen is in fact a terrorist, they forfeit their Constitutional liberties.

Tripwhipper on March 7, 2013 at 12:03 AM

If that’s the case, what’s the point of having any Constitutional rights? Rights that are at the convenience of the government aren’t rights at all.

claudius on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Sounds like he is wrapping up.

thphilli on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Oh God, he is finishing?

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Sounds like Paul is about done.

topdawg on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Resist We Much on March 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

The entire case against Weaver was fabricated by a BATFE agent who wanted to leverage charges against Weaver to flip him as an informant against white supremacists.

The government is just people. No one can be trusted with the power of life and death that many of Obama’s followers would happily cede to him.

novaculus on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

listens2glenn on March 7, 2013 at 12:17 AM

.
If they admit that Rand is right, then Clinton broke law.

Tater Salad on March 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

.
Clinton DID break the law at the Branch Davidian Compound, Waco, TX.
.
Oh, wait ….. no ….. it was Janet Reno’s fault.
Clinton said, “The ‘buck’ never got here”, after that.

listens2glenn on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Don’t stop now, Rand. This could be an epic stand.

quikstrike98 on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

This is where all of us who have been sitting, eating, and urinating all day tell Rand Paul to keep going.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2013 at 12:37 AM

Thank you Rand Paul.

All who died in the cause of freedom.

It is U.S. or a long darkness on the earth.

We are the few who protect freedom, the others are many more and they will never quit this struggle.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 7, 2013 at 12:37 AM

Cassius Clay, a lion of liberty.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:37 AM

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 12:31 AM

I still don’t think so. Rand has the balls to go out there on his own and both Lee and Cruz are really sharp. They both probably kicked themselves for letting Rand beat them to the punch.

If the did plan it, then more power to them.

gh on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

either way it was a beautiful thing.

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Don’t stop now, Rand. This could be an epic stand.

quikstrike98 on March 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

It’s pretty darn epic as is.

alchemist19 on March 7, 2013 at 12:38 AM

About 500 comments page 25?

Steveangell on March 7, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Where’s Miss Lindsey?

a capella on March 7, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Bath house?

bw222 on March 7, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Next time: real tag-team filibustering! Hear hear!

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Paul just yielded the floor.

newtopia on March 7, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Aww another 8 minutes he’d have had 13 hours.

Gingotts on March 7, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Let’s all stand and applaud this valiant effort!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Its over.

thphilli on March 7, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Brilliant political theater. He saw the weakness and the opportunity, and he had the brass to seize the moment.

That is leadership, and not from behind , either.

novaculus on March 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

I doubt it. I think he just had enough. Rand Paul is as firm on principle as his father … but without the craziness. Pure balls.

gh on March 7, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Dang it. Good job, Rand. Hope we get an answer.

cptacek on March 7, 2013 at 12:40 AM

good show.

rndmusrnm on March 7, 2013 at 12:40 AM

Thank you, Senator Paul.

alchemist19 on March 7, 2013 at 12:40 AM

BRAVO.

mintycrys on March 7, 2013 at 12:40 AM

And we are done. And resounding applause for Rand.

Magnificent job Senator. Truly great.

ptcamn on March 7, 2013 at 12:40 AM

Now, a list of traitorous letches.

AshleyTKing on March 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM

Ended up being just under 13 hours. No phone books were read, no recipes recited aloud, just 13 hours of actual substantive debate. Bravo to Sens. Paul, Lee, Cruz, Wyden, and everyone else who pitched in, even McConnell.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM

…Dipsh!t Durbin is on…I can hit the mute for that toot that JugEars sent!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM

OK, so do they have to do a cloture vote or what? I just got lost.

karenhasfreedom on March 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM

Agreed.

More intelligent debate is needed.

Thank you Senator Paul

Cody1991 on March 7, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Thank You Sen. Paul.

workingclass artist on March 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Bravo, Sen Paul!!

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

It’s tabled until 10 am.

Midwestprincesse on March 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

I expect butthurt on liberal news tomorrow on the level of a cosmic buttextinction event. They are NOT going to know what to do with themselves after this.

Counterpoint amendment to earlier statement: Kinda makes me wish I hadn’t cut the cable…

mintycrys on March 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Vaya con dios ti you sen Rand Paul

Fred

jrsrigmvr on March 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

I think failing to get 60 voter this continues tomorrow.

Steveangell on March 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

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