Sen. Rand Paul has ended his day-long filibuster against President Obama’s claim to be able to kill any U.S. citizen on his own authority without criminal charge or conviction. What was most striking about this principled stand is the virtual total absence of Democrats in speaking out against Obama. Just this week, Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that this policy could include killing citizens on U.S. soil with drones. Yet, the Democrats worked to stop not the kill list policy but Paul’s filibuster. Obama apologists have attacked Rand for some of his other positions to avoid dealing with the fact that Obama is claiming the powers of an Imperial President. I do not agree with Paul on many things, but I commend him for this stand and condemn those who remained silent, again, in the face of this authoritarian policy of Obama.
The filibuster was to block the nomination of John Brennan who has been opposed by most civil libertarians due to his connection to the torture program and other abuses. His more senior colleagues, like John McCain, told him to “calm down” — telling advice from our political leaders that authoritarian power is nothing to get upset about if it does not affect you. Lindsey Graham stated that against up against the unilateral killing of citizens “ridiculous” and just not how things are done in Washington.
Rand fell short of the record of former Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
He shared some time with other Republican senators. However, after five hours, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to limit the remaining time.
The lack of opposition to Obama’s kill list policy is a national disgrace. It shows the triumph of a cult of personality within the Democratic ranks where both members and voters have chosen Obama over long-standing values of civil liberties that once defined their party.