Rand Paul yesterday was HOT! Or as others say…“Awesome on Stilts”
I listened to him for most of the day and really, he was great. He stayed on track, he sounded completely sane, he understood exactly what Eric Holder had said earlier and he kept his one demand clear with the full acknowledgement that this was not going to go on forever and that Brennan would be confirmed.
He talked conversationally and fluently, even when voicing views with which some hawks disagree (i.e., whether a war can go on without time and geographic limits). He appeared principled but not unhinged, managing to unite Republicans and put the left and the media (I repeat) on defense for not having taken up the drone cause themselves and for failing to demand any level of transparency from an administration that has refused to cough up information on everything from the Osama bin Laden files to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. And Paul used his time wisely, not merely reading from speeches or documents (or the phone book, as in the old-style filibusters), but speaking about the danger of aggregating power in the executive.
I like to believe that this happened:
The entire GOP got a shot in the arm, and as he was in the sequester, the president was outfoxed on substance and style. One senator — that is all it takes.
Except it probably didn’t.
I believe the entire, what I think of as the Tea Party, got a shot in the arm. Not the entire GOP.
The GOP isn’t into these young bucks.
via the Wall Street Journal:
Calm down, Senator. Mr. Holder is right, even if he doesn’t explain the law very well. The U.S. government cannot randomly target American citizens on U.S. soil or anywhere else. What it can do under the laws of war is target an “enemy combatant” anywhere at anytime, including on U.S. soil. This includes a U.S. citizen who is also an enemy combatant. The President can designate such a combatant if he belongs to an entity—a government, say, or a terrorist network like al Qaeda—that has taken up arms against the United States as part of an internationally recognized armed conflict. That does not include Hanoi Jane.
Such a conflict exists between the U.S. and al Qaeda, so Mr. Holder is right that the U.S. could have targeted (say) U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki had he continued to live in Virginia. The U.S. killed him in Yemen before he could kill more Americans. But under the law Awlaki was no different than the Nazis who came ashore on Long Island in World War II, were captured and executed.
The country needs more Senators who care about liberty, but 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. He needs to know what he’s talking about.
This subject is important especially to those of us with a libertarian bent. Mr. Paul’s question regarded a citizen who could easily be arrested vs one at the point of being immediately dangerous. This video will bring you to what Eric Holder finally conceded after 3 and a half minutes of the same question put to him over and over.
And frankly, the concession is not good enough. What Rand Paul did was bring some serious attention to the amount of power government will take, if allowed.
He pointed his finger at it and said that Congress, the governing body of the people need to quit passing that power over to the executive no matter who the executive is.
More power to him. He is someone I could follow.
UPDATE: McCain is a old old man who has zero vision. Via Hot Air, Rand Paul:
As Noah Rothman puts it, he chipped away at the Democrats’ “monopoly on romance,” which may mean something to young voters.
What else could possibly be better. He spoke from the heart, he got his answer today, he got the country talking about something that they would all rather hide under the table. McCain is a putz.
He somehow thinks that no president from now until eternity could ever legally kill a Jane Fonda (or Kent State kids) or others who the president (any president) would ever drone with a missile is ridiculous.
The fact that he talks of the specifics of NOW vs the potential of forever tells us clearly why our 2nd amendment rights are also under threat.
No Mr. McCain, I am not actually concerned that President Obama will kill me, but I am actually concerned that some president at some time might simply because I (and by I, I mean my descendents) disagree with them. It happens, it has happened, it will happen. Is the US of A special? Yes, we have a lot of checks/balances, BUT people in power get power hungry. It does happen. Suddenly as evidenced in the media, anyone who disagrees is an enemy. Or a racist, or a bad person or whatever. We are not immune to abuse of power. Just ask Stacy Lynne of Fort Collins how those in power are happy to abuse it.