Those who are even slightly into current events could not have missed last week’s historic nearly thirteen hour filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination as CIA Director by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky last Wednesday.
Rand Paul made it clear that he was not so much filibustering Brennan himself but rather the President and his administration’s obstinacy regarding information about the drone program.
This filibuster was historic in several ways. It was the longest old fashioned talk until you drop filibuster in recent times. It was historic in that it united factions of the political world who under normal circumstances would prefer to claw each others’ eyes out.
Whenever you have Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity agreeing with liberal talk show host Cenk Uygur you definitely know something is afoot.
Even Van Jones, a former member of the administration who resigned after a brouhaha about his radical views, tweeted in support of Rand Paul. The left wing group Code Pink tweeted its support of Rand Paul and delivered him a heart shaped thank you card the next day.
One of the most historic things by far, however, surrounding this filibuster is the importance that social media, especially Twitter, played. Not only were tweets in support of Rand’s actions read aloud by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on the Senate floor but he Twitter tag #StandWithRand was for part of the night trending worldwide.
Filibuster, Rand Paul and CSPAN were also trending nationally. Whenever CSPAN is trending on Twitter it is safe to say that the political nerds have taken over the internet.
It was emotionally moving to see a vast number of people from all political persuasions ranging from anarchist to hard core leftist united in demanding that the President Obama’s administration clarify the use of drones domestically in the United States. However the next day it was quite clear that not the entire nation shared this enthusiasm.
The War Street, I mean Wall Street Journal, published a harsh editorial that was read aloud by John McCain on the Senate floor.
One sentence of note stated, “If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms.”
As a libertarian who was fired up as I sat in my dorm, I can say I found this very condescending and would answer in rebuttal that I was impressionable in 9th grade when I wanted a statist, war-mongering politician like you to be President.
It was quite fitting that it was John McCain who read this editorial as it provided the perfect metaphor of the Republican establishment; namely of a tottering, grumpy, old man waving his fist and shouting at those darn libertarian kids to get off the lawn.
Well Senator, those “impressionable” young kids are taking over the Republican party whether you like it or not, because face it, your breed of establishment Republican is literally dying out and whether it is through attrition, defection or the result of the civil war the GOP is currently engaged in you and your war-mongering ilk will lose.