Republican Senator Rand Paul is a Kentucky conservative, and a proud Tea Party member. Paul publicly stated that he opposes the Civil Rights act of 1964, the legislation which at last gave some semblance of legal rights to black Americans. Paul typifies all of the beliefs central to right wing Republican dogma. He is against civil rights and a staunch opponent of abortion, a proud poster child for retrograde politics.
Yet when members of the United States Senate had the opportunity to stand against an imperial president claiming a right to murder, it was Paul instead of supposedly liberal Democrats who took to the Senate floor for thirteen hours in an act of protest against what ought to be a high crime.
Rand Paul proved that there is almost no one charged with upholding the Constitution who will actually do it. Democrats attacked the Bush administration when it claimed a right to designate anyone an enemy combatant and destroy their rights to due process. But in a twist reminiscent of Alice falling down the rabbit hole, it is now Democrats who stand idly by while both domestic and international law is torn asunder by one of their own.
In an example of politics making strange bedfellows, leftists can thank Paul for proving a point they have been making for years. The Democratic Party is not just ineffectual, it is actually a partner with the Republicans working against the aims of achieving a peaceful and just country and world. The Democratic Party still garners support because of an old and undeserved reputation as the champion of civil rights and workers and as the party of peace. Democrats are seen as the last bulwark against the barbarian Republicans at the gates. In point of fact the Democrats have a long history of making war around the world and of doing the right thing at home only when forced by the actions of masses of people.
Barack Obama claims that he and a super secret group of terrorism “experts” and lawyers can determine that he has a right to label anyone a terrorist and then order that person to be executed. Paul used the president’s nomination of John Brennan for the position of CIA director as an opportunity to bring attention to what should be an outrage – as counter terrorism czar Brennan took responsibility for creating the now infamous Obama administration kill list.
Actually, it was the president himself who used willing reporters at the New York Times to claim responsibility for deciding who to kill and how to kill them. When a few eyebrows were raised Brennan suddenly said that he was in fact the architect of death. It isn’t clear if the administration was lying with the first statement or the second.
The right wing southerner exposed the cravenness of the Democratic politicians and the blatant hypocrisy of progressives. Why was the Tea Party conservative alone in asking attorney general Eric Holder if the president claimed the right to kill United States citizens on American soil? That question should have been on the lips of every member of Congress, not just a man who had been dismissed as a racist and a crackpot.
Of course, Paul is a racist and he would move the country’s political life back to the 1950s, a time when white people didn’t have to deal with black people unless they wanted to. It is sad that it is this man who attempted to get even a vaguely worded and troubling denial from Holder who, despite what liberals think, stated clearly that the president has the right to kill Americans in America if he says they are terrorists. “ ‘Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.’“ In other words, if Obama says someone is engaged in combat on American soil, that person can be killed on his orders. White House press secretary Jay Carney tried to make Holder say something he didn’t. “The president has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.”
The deciphering of semantics would not be needed if the Elizabeth Warrens and Al Frankens made good on their reputations and stood up to Obama. At the end of the day, only two Democrats (Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley) and independent Bernie Sanders joined Republicans in opposing Brennan’s nomination.
Instead of using Paul’s filibuster as an opportunity to engage in reasoned analysis, progressive pundits mocked the senator and labeled him paranoid because he had the temerity to ask whether Americans are safe from their president. MSNBC’s cadre of butt kissers were front and center but so were other people who more than anything want to belong and to be friends of the powerful more than they want to see any political beliefs made manifest.
Ever since his filibuster ended there has been much debate about whether or not the senator should get credit for his actions, but the wrong question is being asked. The question is how do leftists disentangle themselves from useless and untrustworthy people who show time and time again that they are not worthy of their votes and their support. Like the broken clock that is right twice every day, Rand Paul proved himself to be somewhat useful. That is far more than the Democratic Party is able to say for itself.