Patterico's Pontifications

3/7/2013

What Democrats Won’t Vote On — And Why Yesterday’s Filibuster Was So Important

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am



Mary Katherine Ham has the language of the “sense of the Senate” resolution that Rand Paul wanted passed:

Resolved, that it is the sense of the Senate that:

1. The use of drones to execute, or to target, American citizens on American soil who pose no imminent threat clearly violates the Constitutional due process rights of citizens.

2. The American people deserve a clear, concise, and unequivocal public statement from the President of the United States that contains detailed legal reasoning, included but not limited to the balance between national security and due process, limits of executive power and distinction between treatment of citizens and non-citizens within and outside the borders of the United States, the use of lethal force against American citizens, and the use of drones in the application of lethal force within the United States territory.

That bold language is important, because (as I argued yesterday) a President has to have the right to act in a 9/11 situation where a Flight 93 remains in the air. If Paul’s filibuster was not a partisan issue where we decry executive overreach only when the other guy is in office — and it wasn’t — we have to devise rules that make sense regardless of who is in the Oval Office. Senator Dick “Dick” Durbin raised the Flight 93 issue with Sen. Paul last night, who acknowledged that everyone agrees a Flight 93 situation poses a different question.

But when you have no imminent threat — when an American citizen is sitting at a cafe (Paul’s and Sen. Cruz’s example) on U.S. soil — the government has no Constitutional right to simply snuff him out with a drone. This would seem such a simple proposition. Why wouldn’t Senators bring it to a vote? Why wouldn’t Obama make a clear statement to that effect?

A report says that Brennan’s nomination can still be filibustered, because Mitch McConnell gave his blessing to opposing cloture. That report was filed before Durbin came in at the end of Paul’s filibuster and uttered some sort of parliamentiary incantation, and I’m not positive it’s true. I hope it is.

There is a collection of videos from yesterday’s filibuster here. To whet your appetite, here is one in which Paul calls Obama a hypocrite on civil liberties:

Paul makes the point, as I say above, that the law has to apply to everyone, because you never know who’s coming next.

Finally, I said this last night and I stil believe it: this event was far more important than most in the media realize. The filibuster made the front page of the L.A. Times, but it was only part of a larger story centered around the debate prompted by the white paper on drone attacks. I think what happened yesterday went beyond the issue of drone attacks. Conservatives saw, at long last, two men (Rand Paul and Ted Cruz) willing to literally stand up for what they believe in. It felt like the first time that had happened since Ronald Reagan. It was inspirational, and it won’t soon be forgotten.

35 Responses to “What Democrats Won’t Vote On — And Why Yesterday’s Filibuster Was So Important”

  1. Commence the Leftist smear machine on Paul and Cruz. At least they didnt drink bottled water.

    JD (b63a52)

  2. i wonder if this opens up for a future president the option of using drones to execute idiot nobel committee flunkies what sprinkle peace prizes on murderous fascist pig presidents like food stamp

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. Remember all that Democrat outrage about Bush and his supposed immense assault on freedom? All the claims of “warcrimes”?

    All lies.

    Imagine my surprise.

    SPQR (768505)

  4. Remember all that Democrat outrage about Bush and his supposed immense assault on freedom? All the claims of “warcrimes”?

    it is horrible to interrogate them, or imprison them. Just fine to vaporize them.

    JD (b63a52)

  5. HufPo reports:


    Senate Republicans took the floor on Wednesday, launching an historic filibuster in an attempt to extract an answer from the White House to a simple question: Does the administration believe it has the legal authority to kill an American citizen on American soil with a drone strike?

    ….

    “We all agree that you can repel an imminent attack,” Paul said. “None of us disagree with that. We are talking about a targeted drone program” against citizens who are “not actively engaged in combat. … I don’t think that standard can be used in the United States.”

    Except for Senators Ron Wyden and Dick Durbin, Democrats went missing, not anticipating how important this Rand Paul filibuster turned out to be, because of it’s content. Let us see what if any follow-up occurs from the Dems.

    I posted this yesterday, so if you’ll permit me, I repeat it again here:

    I agree, which is why I commend Patterico for calling attention to this most important filibuster.

    This is not a Republican and/or TEA Party issue, this is an American issue for which we must all be concerned.

    In my mind, this story goes back at least to Lyndon Johnson with his Gulf of Tonkin incident, and to George W Bush with his false WMD justification, and now to Barack Obama with his authority grab for the use of drones, perhaps even on American citizens.

    This is not an issue about now CIA Director Brennan, rather it is an issue about transparency and telling the truth, therefore it transcends political parties and goes to the core of who we are as a nation.

    Now let us seize the moment by acting against undue secrecy and hidden agendas, instead by promoting policies of which we can be proud. Let us turn off the dysfunction and turn on collegiality where we begin working together again for the good of all people.

    Perry (329aa5)

  6. Keep building those bridges and bridging those gaps, Perry.

    JD (31065f)

  7. Last night was the first time in my lifetime where the Senate remotely resembled the body it was designed to be. I already liked Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, but they both impressed the hell out of me.

    radar (257ad5)

  8. Good job of repeating long debunked lies, Perry.

    SPQR (768505)

  9. Senators Graham and McCain showed their true colors today. Purple at best.

    dfbaskwill (c021f2)

  10. more like yellow

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  11. Re: Perry

    You know what you get when you mix an ounce of dog poop into a gallon of ice cream?

    A gallon of dog poop.

    Pious Agnostic (6ff605)

  12. But when you have no imminent threat — when an American citizen is sitting at a cafe (Paul’s and Sen. Cruz’s example) on U.S. soil — the government has no Constitutional right to simply snuff him out with a drone.

    Technically they’re snuffing him out with a Hellfire missile.

    The Hellfire has been around since the 80s. How did we get along for 30 years without using this valuable crimefighting tool domestically?

    I think I know the answer to that question.

    Barack Obama is destined to go down in history as Tricky Dick Nixon with an air force.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  13. milk is a colloid so it’s really useful for making relatively durable suspensions of particulates is my understanding

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  14. * I don’t care about drones _per se_; I think drones are a red herring and the real issue is what level of due process is used for domestic non-police police activity.

    * There are a lot of things that I don’t like about Rand Paul, but i’m glad he did this, and _on this issue_ I think he’s right.

    * I find it darkly, cynically amusing to see conservative Senators endorsing the kinds of things Glenn Greenwald has been saying for close to a decade now, and I find it darkly, cynically disappointing to see liberal Senators not join in the crusade.

    aphrael (c41e1e)

  15. When people reach across the aisle stand up for the right thing, they deserve praise.

    I give a lot of credit to Senator ROn Wyden, who because of principles is probably having a very bad day.He has also been more of a budget hawk than some GOp senators. Well done, sir.

    Further we knock dumb Hollywood actors. John Cusack deserves praise for stepping out of the Hollywood echo chamber and standing up for the Constitution.

    And can McSame and Grahamnesty please go home already. Enough.

    I hope SOMEBODY at the GOP gets the message. we’ve ahd it with the hacks. Stand up for yourselves or go home.

    Bugg (ba4ca9)

  16. Dear Perry:

    please spare us the baby talk.

    No Love,
    the adults

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  17. “what happened yesterday went beyond .. stand up for what they believe”

    It’s almost like their fight is a bigger story than the antiChrist given rein for a time, times and half a time.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  18. The very first words on the video already seem to indicate that Rand Paul doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I wouldn’t say he loses me there, because he lost me a long time ago. He’s trying to diostance himself from his father but he doesnb’t break enough from him.

    In 1923, they did NOT elect Hitler. He was imprisoned and wrote Mein Kamph. (he wrote another book too, which he didn’t publish)

    With a different constitution, he could never have gotten in. That’s not true in all cases were a dictator or near dictator comes to power, but it probably is true of 1933 Germany. There were repeated elections in the 1932 and 1933 period, and finally he sneaked in with around one third of the seats in the Reichstag.

    The catalyst, if anything was not inflation, but the depression.

    The connection to the 1923 inflation is that Hitler appointed the man who had ended it, or recreated a currency, Hjalmar Schacht, as his finance minister.

    Schacht was put on trial at Nuremberg, on charges of planning aggressive war, because he’d help make possible the military buildup,
    but acquitted. (This was the second of the possible category of charges. The first was the seizure of power, the second was planning aggressive war, the third was war crimes, and the fourth was crimes against humanity – crimes that were not war crimes)

    He was already on the outs with Hitler by 1938, and by the end of the war was imprisoneed in Dachau.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  19. Rand Paul could cite India and Indira Gandhi in 1975 if he wanted an example.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  20. I actually think John Brennan is probably a very bad choice – but not because of the issue of drones. It’s the issue of honesty.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  21. The very first words on the video already seem to indicate that Rand Paul doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I wouldn’t say he loses me there

    you and McCain must be buddies

    JD (b63a52)

  22. 9, 15. I’m sorry they induced Ron Johnson to tag along like a good little pup. I may have held out more hope for the WI contingent than merited.

    Sen. Johnson seems a few Watts short of overcoming inertia. He did promise ‘one and done’.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  23. 21. It is no proof of anything that Sammy lost me ages ago. I skim everything and could be burning thru content, of some worth, possibly.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  24. 16. Mr. “I will do everything in my power to get answers for Benghazi” is kinda indiscriminate with those he fellates.

    He needs a new barber too, or is that a hair piece?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  25. One additional prime benefit of this filibuster: it makes it damned awkward for Reid to ban filibusters any time soon.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  26. “* I find it darkly, cynically amusing to see conservative Senators endorsing the kinds of things Glenn Greenwald has been saying for close to a decade now”

    aphrael – Don’t find yourself too amused because ten years ago Greenwald was a neophyte on international law and many of the positions he staked out on prisoner detention and interrogation were not only stupid, but they were blindingly wrong.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. aphrael – Plus, positions Greenwald advocated ten years ago are not analagous to the current debate.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  28. I actually think John Brennan is probably a very bad choice – but not because of the issue of drones. It’s the issue of honesty.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman

    ya goofy bastard, ya…

    Colonel Haiku (ab2570)

  29. 21. Comment by JD (b63a52) — 3/7/2013 @ 12:06 pm

    The very first words on the video already seem to indicate that Rand Paul doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I wouldn’t say he loses me there

    At that point, he’s saying that Hitler became dictator of Germany because of the Weimar republic inflation in 1923.

    you and McCain must be buddies

    No, but of all the candidates running in 2008, he was my first choice. With all his faults. I thought Guiliani was well past his prime.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  30. Mitt Romney didnt know anything about economics
    Rand Paul didn’t know what he was talking about last night

    Every time Sammy can’t figure out what someone is saying, the default position is they don’t know what they are talking about.

    With Perry that is a safe assumption. Paul, not so much.

    JD (b63a52)

  31. Yes, Brennan with his penchant for describing Jerusalem as Al Quds, Hezbollah as not being a terrorist organization, and burning a once in a life time asset in AQAP, that suggests a thumbs down,

    narciso (3fec35)

  32. Oh my God.
    Aprael sees darkly sinister things !

    But that Obama person whose closest friends are Jew-haters and domestic terrorists is worth re-electing as President.

    I swear, a Liberace concert is in order.
    Or at least a Wagner epic, in appreciation of Hitler.

    Elephant Stone (a089b7)

  33. I hate to jump on bandwagons, they have a habit of becoming manure spreaders, but between Paul and Rubio I’d take the Dr. But then beggars can’t be choosers.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  34. The detractors claim to worry about a Flight 93 situation being allowed to pass because of block on drones?
    Ah, how can a drone interfere with a jet liner?

    Bill G (6fb832)

  35. BillG – do you really think our concern is over Obama taking out a plane with a drone? After reading here, and listening to Sen Paul, that is the conclusion you arrived at

    JD (b63a52)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.5141 secs.