Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Rare Bird

Yes, I’ll admit that I got a charge from Rand Paul’s filibuster. I don’t care if he’s a Republican or if he reads a passage from Ayn Rand every morning before breakfast. I don’t care if his filibuster was designed to raise his profile for a future presidential bid. I will applaud anyone who stands up and says, “I don’t care for the erosion of the rights of Americans to due process. I don’t care for the military conducting domestic law enforcement activities. I don’t care for a lawless executive.” Even if it’s a dog who finally decides to go on the paper instead of the carpet, you have to give it a biscuit, and reward the behavior in the hope of seeing more of it.

But the real surprise to emerge from Rand Paul’s filibuster is the reaction he got from John McCain. In an unmistakable allusion to Paul and his allies, McCain said, “it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone (source).” This is surprising because, usually, Republicans show an impressive level of party loyalty. They nearly all vote the same way on legislation. They’re willing to forgive Todd Akins for not brushing up on his reproductive biology. They’re even willing to defend the quality of Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention. And when erstwhile Republican heroes like Chris Christie succumb to a man-crush and walk hand-in-hand with President Obama, they are resoundingly ostracized and disinvited from social gatherings.
Digoutius wacciosus

But there’s more. McCain also said, “People are astonished that President Obama is doing many of the things that President Bush did. I’m not astonished. I congratulate him for having the good judgment to understand we’re at war,” he said. “And to my party, I’m a bit disappointed that you no longer apparently think we’re at war (source).”

Shortly after he was thrashed by President Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign, it seemed like Senator McCain would remain deeply bitter about the experience. He was gracious in defeat, but it was graciousness-with-gritted-teeth. It was “don’t make me say another kind word about the president because I may explode” graciousness. But now, McCain is praising President Obama for how well he is upholding the Bush legacy. Maybe, in a couple of months, he'll have forgotten all about Benghazi and will be praising President Obama for military action in Syria or Iran. Because, we are at war, and the enemy list changes every other day. And the scary thing is, liberal democrats hardly seem to notice.


  1. It is truly disturbing that no liberal democrats have anything to say on this issue. It allows libertarians such as Rand Paul to steal the spotlight and denounce a grave and serious infringement of rights and liberties.

  2. Mr. Paul might merit an iota of credibility if, instead of chasing hypothetical hazards, he would address genuine hazards by supporting some kind of gun violence reduction legislation.

    1. I didn't intend the post as an endorsement of Rand Paul. Hm! I think some of my (former) readers may have come to the wrong conclusion! But I will celebrate anyone who brings attention to the abuse of executive power that started with Bush and has continued under Obama. Maybe some politician out there (ideally someone who is more agreeable than Rand Paul) will notice the positive reception that Rand Paul's remarks have received from progressives and conservatives alike, and take away the lesson that Americans care about civil liberties.