Patterico's Pontifications

3/9/2013

How Critics of Rand Paul and His Supporters Get It Wrong

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:20 pm



The Washington Post says Rand Paul “held the Senate hostage” and “was rightly taken to task for gross and irresponsible mischaracterizations of the Obama administration’s policy.” Then fails to cite a single mischaracterization.

David Frum weighs in, calling Paul’s scenario “far-fetched.” Says the Frumster: “Executive assassinations, hyperinflation leading to populist dictatorships, ordinary Americans protecting themselves by launching insurgencies against the state – these are themes of Rand Paul’s politics, now endorsed by his Republican Senate colleagues. Out of what doom-haunted imagination are such dark fantasies born?” Yeah, hyperinflation is a crazy dark fantasy. And hyperinflation leading to an economic situation that creates a dictatorship? When did that ever happen?!

John McCain terms Paul one of the “wacko birds.” Get off my lawn, wacko birds!

And John Podhoretz claims that Paul’s ideas are “dangerous.”

And finally, we have our old friend Glenn Greenwald, who supports Paul but wants to call many of his supporters hypocrites:

All of these critics and commentators miss the point. All of them.

This is not a black and white issue. When it comes to Greenwald, let’s remember that while he does have an admirable consistency on these issues, he also loves to call people hypocrites when they are not. You don’t have to have a Glenn Greenwaldesque hatred of drones in all scenarios to support Paul’s point, and you’re not a hypocrite for “standing with Rand” on this issue while failing to decry Bush’s use of drones. Speaking personally, I was a critic of Bush’s at times Kafkaesque adjudication procedures for Gitmo detainees, so I would reject the label of hypocrite, if anyone were to attempt to hang it around my neck.

As I have repeatedly made clear — and Paul made clear several times in his filibuster — the U.S. reserves the right to defend itself in a 9/11 situation, such as shooting down a Flight 93, even though it has innocent Americans on board. Drone strikes on terrorists abroad pose different questions than assassinations on American soil, where law enforcement has free rein and there are no battlefields.

The speeches of John McCain and Lindsey Graham have seemed to many of us to imply that we can target “enemy combatants” on American soil whether they pose an imminent threat or not. On one side of their mouth they decry the concept of domestic drone assassinations as “ridiculous.” Why, even to ask the question is offensive. But all they have to do in order to justify such attacks is to term the drone target as a “combatant” — a term that seems to have a flexible definition. As Allahpundit says:

Paul’s not worried about Obama targeting noncombatants; what he’s saying is that there should be special protocols when dealing with “enemy combatants” if they’re American citizens and within reach of law enforcement here in the U.S. His point about Jane Fonda being theoretically targeted is that the definition of “enemy combatant” can be murky and potentially easily abused; to this day, the hard evidence that Awlaki was more than a propagandist and actually an operational leader is classified.

Unlike John McCain’s petty and stupid reaction, Lindsey Graham had some sensible words of criticism for Paul’s larger non-interventionist views of foreign policy. I don’t “stand with Rand” on Iran. But that’s a different issue, and why Graham chose to make that point in this context is a mystery to me.

It seems that, in the warring camps, you have support for Paul from the Code Pinks and the Glenn Greenwalds (DRONES BAD!!!) and opposition from the neocon McCains, Frums, Grahams, WaPo editorial board, and the like (DRONES GOOD!!!). And what neither side can understand is that there is a broad swath of us in between those extremes, who don’t oppose the use of drones in every situation where they target terrorists overseas, but do have concerns about whether a President is going to operate within a predetermined set of legally defined strictures when he claims the right to use them against Americans on American soil.

Lindsey Graham, I don’t trust Obama on this. It’s not good enough for me that he hasn’t done it before. But then, I wouldn’t eat dinner with the guy either. So maybe you and I are just different people.

And indeed, we are. I respect the Constitution, and Graham and McCain do not. They have both been haughtily disrespectful of the Constitution — the First Amendment in particular — when it gets in the way of their pet issues. Graham is the guy who said: “Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” And McCain is the first name on “McCain/Feingold” — enough said.

Paul may be an anti-drone extremist in his heart, but in making the point he made, he made a very American point about the limits of Constitutional power — a point that resonates with a lot of us outside the Beltway. Career politicians like McCain and Graham ignore our deep respect for the Constitution at their peril.

113 Responses to “How Critics of Rand Paul and His Supporters Get It Wrong”

  1. This post started out as a link dump, but it turned out I had a few things I wanted to say about the links.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. a lot of this is cause of Mr. Senator Rand has presidential ambitions so douchebags like Meghan’s coward daddy and Bill Kristol what think of themselves as arbiters of such things are inclined to be offended.

    me I like Mr. Rand ok but I’m a long way from thinking of him as presidential material

    I’m still processing how he said benghazi was the worst tragedy since 9/11

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. Greenwald needs to be careful throwing the hypocrite label around when he himself was sanctioned for illegal wiretapping in a trial. He was wrong on the issue of indefinite detention based on the laws of land warfare and he crashed and burned following John Murtha and jihadi propaganda on Haditha.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  4. Fineswine is another career politician who has a rather cavalier attitude towards the parts of the Constitution that she doesn’t like.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  5. I guess I’m one of the hypocrites. I’m a big fan of the Law of Armed Conflict when we as Americans apply it to other people.

    But when my government proposes to apply the LOAC to me at home, my panties get all bunched up and I say, “Hey, wait a minute, that’s not right.”

    All of a sudden it’s not right, you see, to suspend the Constitution inside our borders when dealing with citizens while I’ve never objected to suspending the Constitution outside our borders when dealing with non-citizens (or just enemy combatants).

    Such is my hypocrisy.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  6. Hey, can someone remind me when Bushitler’s FBI director said he wasn’t quite sure if he could legally assassinate a US citizen?

    Because that’s what FBI director Mueller said last March when asked about powers that Obama could delegate hime under the 2012 NDAA.

    Mueller: I Can’t Say Whether I Now Can Kill Citizens In The United States Under Obama’s Kill Doctrine

    I’m sure I’m such a hypocrite I never complained about the FBI director possibly having the power to order the assassination of a US citizen on US soil but I was so hypocritically focused on ignoring all sorts of other things that the occasion when I ignored it under Bush escapes me.

    Little help?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  7. “But when my government proposes to apply the LOAC to me at home, my panties get all bunched up and I say, “Hey, wait a minute, that’s not right.””

    Steve57 – But the Obama Administration wants it both ways. They want to treat the war on terror (ooops, can’t use those words) as a law enforcement matter on the one hand. Hence they bring OBL’s son to the U.S. to give him a civilian trial in NYC. WTF?

    Oh, they say, our record of civilian terror trials is good. Look at the Times Square bomber and the Underwear bomber. Guess what, those splodey dopes were apprehended in the U.S. by law enforcement, not the military, so it makes sense. It’s not nutty like attempting to try KSM in NYC in civilian court.

    Then they insist on Mirandizing prisoners overseas. WTF? They say killer drones are fine overseas because Obama loves his personal hit list but won’t say whether or not he will refrain from using them in non-lethal situations in the U.S., e.g. a law enforcement versus military mode.

    President Both Sides of His Mouth rides again.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. They want to treat the war on terror (ooops, can’t use those words) as a law enforcement matter on the one hand.

    Let me help you out. It’s the “War on Workplace.”

    After all, wasn’t it the Obama administration that figured out that Major Nidal Hassan shot 13 fellow soldiers in an act of workplace violence? Obviously he had personal business cards printed that proclaimed him “Soldier of Workplace.” And, clearly, as he was shooting those other soldiers he was shouting in Arabic “Workplace is Great!”

    And hasn’t the Obama administration been waging a war on places of work? As one administration official put it, putting its boot on the neck of workplace. With Al Armendariz conducting the occasional crucifixion of those who advocate workplace while the EPA orchestra providing the background music.

    The Chrysler bondholders are the real terrorists, Mr. daley. They are underwriting workplace.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  9. I got booed at another site for saying he didn’t go far enough. He said he would stay there until he got an answer but he didn’t (I know he went 13 hours still, he should’ve been prepared).

    I believe it was more a political stunt (although a very well formed one and making a good point) to gin up money and backing for a ’16 run at President.

    Maybe they changed the rules enough from what I was taught but I thought that he could recognize another Senator who could then continue the filibuster. He didn’t have to do it all by himself but that would mean he would share the main spotlight and lose control of the filibuster.

    What he did was okay but didn’t go far enough and as we saw the next day, Brennan was approved and the answer from Holder (and not by Obama) was still a bit vaguer than it should’ve been.

    His act did point out that Democrats are the most hypocritical of creatures and anything they say can a should be held against them if there’s ever am Republican President or majority in the Senate again. When they start in with the Hype, they need to be reminded of their rubber stamp for Obama days.

    I’ve watched too many politicians play the electorate like guitar and never actually do anything that’s beneficial but boy we sure FELT like we made a difference.

    Pah. A pox on them all.

    Jcw46 (f33482)

  10. Now thanks to the miracle of ObamaCare, providing material support to workplace is a federal crime. Look at the BLS statistics and tell me if the Obama hasn’t been waging a war on workplace.

    Fewer Americans are now collaborating with workplace then evah.

    And those numbers will only get better as Obama continues his War on Workplace.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  11. “The Chrysler bondholders are the real terrorists, Mr. daley.”

    Steve57 – Don’t forget about the evil Delco employee obstructionist wreckers what are suing the Administration and threatening to derail our glorious recovery.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  12. Suspending the Constitution at home….

    The 9th Circus has done itself proud in a ruling that trims back DHS’ intrusion into your laptop/etc when you enter the country.
    In an en banc decision in U.S. v. Cotterman, they told DHS that the 4th-A does apply to the contents of electronic devices even at the border, and that just because your device is password-protected, that is not a trigger that suspends the 4th-A.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130308/13380622263/9th-circuit-appeals-court-4th-amendment-applies-border-also-password-protected-files-shouldnt-arouse-suspicion.shtml

    askeptic (2bb434)

  13. Kristol, Krauthammer, Ace, many others dont like Rands isolationism, pacifistic droning.

    Everyone, sick of Obama’s crap leapt at the imagery of someone standing up to him except he wasnt, and ended up voting for the guy he was filibustering which is typical.

    Rand thinks he can win a nomination by smearing conservatives with his libertarian purism which this country has rejected since its beginning.

    But the message in troubled times is very seductive.

    Oh, and the legislative history of McCain Feingold has been convienently misstated for years by liberarian and tea party types.

    McCains original bill was to limit or eliminate UNION and Corporate interference in elections, restrict PAC’s from being formed by same and empowered citizens, to be able to form their own and contribute I believe up to 20,000 per election, 10,000 for the primary and 10,000 for the election.

    But what came out wasnt close to what McCain proposed, but was better than the system we had before it was passed.

    EPWJ (016f5f)

  14. No, better would have been the McConnell bill that would have removed all financial restriction on donations, but would have imposed a “real time” e-reporting requirement.
    But, that wasn’t what the Pew-driven mob on K-Street wanted.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  15. I think t was nice of Sen Paul to draw such a bringht line, so people like epwj can self-identify.

    JD (b63a52)

  16. The only true conservatives are not conservative.

    JD (b63a52)

  17. I don’t know how many times Rand Paul could have emphasized he wasn’t filibustering the nomination of Brennan.

    He was taking the opportunity of Brennan’s nomination to filibuster in order to force the administration to admit there are Constitutional limits on its authority.

    The CIA director will have some relationship to any drone program whereas a nominee for Secretary of the Treasury or Education will not. So Rand Paul merely took the opportunity.

    I didn’t watch all 13 hours of his filibuster, but he said several times he wasn’t opposed to Brennan.

    …and ended up voting for the guy he was filibustering which is typical.

    How many dozens of times would he have had to say it before it made dent, EPWJ?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  18. Those true conservatives:
    We’re Jeffersonian’s when it comes to the size and scope of the government domestically;
    and Jacksonian’s when it comes to our interests externally.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  19. Uh, Steve, he started his conversation by saying that he arose to “filibuster the nomination of John Brennan.”
    How could that not be a filibuster of John Brennan?

    Personally, I think he should have used the term “extended debate” at his opening.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  20. Great post. I especially like the last 3 paragraphs.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. 11. “The Chrysler bondholders are the real terrorists, Mr. daley.”

    Steve57 – Don’t forget about the evil Delco employee obstructionist wreckers what are suing the Administration and threatening to derail our glorious recovery.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 3/9/2013 @ 1:30 pm

    War on Workplace, daley.

    Unionized “workers” (snort, guffaw) are ok because they don’t actually work. Besides, the unions are waging their own private war on workplace. I believe the NLRB has been empowered to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal to legitimize their war on workplace as an officially sanctioned act of the USG.

    But salaried workers who didn’t put up such brave resistance to workplace, and in fact cooperated with it, need to hurry up and die.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  22. Steve57

    you dont vote for cloture and then vote no – thats a weasel lawyer career politician thing.

    You and others here can wish all you want to make it go away, but there it is.

    EPWJ (016f5f)

  23. A little illustration of what you missed;

    http://www.volokh.com/posts/1111435135.shtml

    narciso (3fec35)

  24. THis was when they thought they weren’t being watched;

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/mar/22/20050322-091242-2078r/

    narciso (3fec35)

  25. I’m not wishing anything. If I were wishing something, it would be that Rand Paul objected to Brennan personally.

    USA Today: Rand Paul ends epic filibuster over Brennan

    “I’m going to speak as long as I can to draw attention to something I find very disturbing,” Paul said when he started speaking around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. He finally ceded the floor at about 12:40 a.m. local time on Thursday.

    He made it clear from the start why he was filibustering, and it wasn’t because of an individual.

    Paul, a critic of Obama’s unmanned drone policy, started his self-described filibuster by demanding the president or Attorney General Eric Holder issue a statement assuring that unmanned aircraft would not be used in the United States to kill terrorism suspects who are U.S. citizens.

    Paul said that his opposition was not about Brennan himself, but the constitutional issues involved. “We really just want [Obama] to say he won’t” attack noncombatants on U.S. soil.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  26. Steve57

    you dont vote for cloture and then vote no – thats a weasel lawyer career politician thing.

    BS. One is procedural, and the other is a nod towards letting the President nominate who he wants to his Cabinet. You just don’t like liberty.

    JD (b63a52)

  27. 26. You just don’t like liberty.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 3/9/2013 @ 3:15 pm

    As the Obama reign continues we’re seeing lots of people don’t like liberty.

    And think there should be as many laws as are necessary to prevent it.

    Have you watched any of the back-and-forth between gun control freaks and rape victims in Colorado. The Democrats are far more comfortable with women getting raped then with them being armed.

    See, if a woman is getting raped, that only effects her. But if she’s armed? Sheeeeit! That could effect them.

    They’d hold her legs before they’d let her carry a gun.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  28. It is scary, Steve.

    JD (b63a52)

  29. When asked why I need an AR-15 and “high powered magazines,” JD, is it sufficient answer that it’s because I just don’t like the size of the box the Hugo Chavez fans are building for me?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  30. Tell them the 2nd Amendment exists because of fascist statists like them.

    JD (b63a52)

  31. I started my filibuster with the words, “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak”

    And that Nomination hearing is where he brought up the point about drone strikes on US soil. Supposedly because as director of CIA, Brennan would be involved in that. Interestingly, Brennan would NOT be involved if there WERE any strikes designated on US soil as the CIA has no oversight in the US for those kind of operations.

    Either way, He filibustered to stop Brennan’s nomination. He knew he couldn’t stop it as the R’s didn’t have the votes so he was going to settle for an answer to his question about the Drone strikes on US soil.

    I take him at his word. If he changed the reason after some point, so be it but that’s not how he began.

    He’s not a conservative either.

    This reminds so much of the praise and the ooh’s and aah’s of people about Christie when he was talking tough to the teacher’s union. Boy everyone thought we’d found the new Reagan to hear everyone talk.

    Now couple years later and we realize, no. He’s not even CLOSE to conservative but because we’re so desperate for someone to come and lead us out from under this losing streak and the path the country’s on that we jump at anyone who so much as LEANS right and says things we want to hear.

    You’ll learn. I have after 40+ years of listening to the rhetoric of R’s. And that’s all it is and all it will every be. Reagan was a fluke. He got in by mistake. The establishment had him pegged as another liberal Republican because he originally was a Democrat so they thought he’d govern like that. Turned out he was an OLD TIME Democrat and that’s more conservative than any current (or then) Republican.

    It will take a new party led by those who truly wish to roll back government to actually do so. And they will have a tough row to hoe even so as there are thousands of bureaucrats whose power would be at risk who will fight them tooth and nail. Let alone the paid politicians who are in their employ.

    Jcw46 (f33482)

  32. Good Allah. We should just shoot him now.

    JD (b63a52)

  33. Thank Allah Rand didnt drink any bottled water or we might have to impeach him.

    JD (b63a52)

  34. “Everyone, sick of Obama’s crap leapt at the imagery of someone standing up to him except he wasnt, and ended up voting for the guy he was filibustering which is typical.”

    “you dont vote for cloture and then vote no – thats a weasel lawyer career politician thing.”

    EPWJ – You seem confused. Your earlier comment seems to claim Paul voted for Brennan, which you also claimed yesterday. He actually voted against the confirmation of Brennan.

    I don’t understand your weasel career politician thing statement.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. I don’t understand your weasel career politician thing statement.

    Neither does he.

    JD (b63a52)

  36. 30. Tell them the 2nd Amendment exists because of fascist statists like them.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 3/9/2013 @ 3:54 pm

    I doubt the Hugo Chavez fanboys of robbing, shutting down, beating up, and imprisoning their opposition are interested in a chat.

    http://olive-drab.com/gallery/photos/m1doesmytalking_sm.jpg

    Steve57 (60a887)

  37. I asked if my answer was sufficient, JD. Not like they’d listen to it.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  38. ‘This is why we can’t have nice things,’ Steve,

    narciso (3fec35)

  39. But the scenario Paul described isn’t going to happen. Nobody is going to get “droned” in this country when a simple arrest is possible. It’s a fantasy.

    CK (ae4bf1)

  40. CK, then why couldn’t the Obama administration say that when he first asked the question?

    SPQR (768505)

  41. Perhaps, CK, because the scenario Paul described wasn’t the one you are describing

    SPQR (768505)

  42. “I wouldn’t eat dinner with the guy either.”

    That’s a good rule you have there Rico. Stay clean by shunning, walking away from evil.

    That’s why old Ron Johnson is living dangerously associating with and schmoozing these people.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  43. CK: Did you ever stop to think that the reason you think it is a fantasy is because real people prevent the fantastical from happening.

    I can give examples if necessary.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  44. 41. Perhaps Rand had something on this order in mind:

    time-to-tell-everyone-you-know-about-jeremiah-wrights-down-low-club-barackobama-presobama-26407

    In Chicago life is cheap, people often just disappear. On the other hand things aren’t as neat outstate.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  45. Well without going there, the Countering terrorism center report, ‘unexpectedly’ blaming one class of bitter clingers, gives one pause.

    narciso (3fec35)

  46. Both McCain and Graham were correct to point out that the filibuster was fought on what is basically a non-issue. As I wrote on Wednesday, while Paul was conducting his filibuster, the Kentucky senator’s real beef is not with the imagined threat of the government ordering a drone strike on a U.S. citizen sitting in a café on U.S. soil. Rather, it is with the war the United States is fighting against Islamist terrorists who continue to pose a deadly threat to the homeland as well as to our friends and interests abroad. Paul’s goal is to withdraw from this conflict and to pretend that it is not one that is being forced upon us by our enemies. That is a dangerous position that deserved the censure of the two GOP amigos.

    -Jonathan Tobin – commentary magazine

    EPWJ (016f5f)

  47. “As I wrote on Wednesday, while Paul was conducting his filibuster, the Kentucky senator’s real beef is not with the imagined threat of the government ordering a drone strike on a U.S. citizen sitting in a café on U.S. soil. Rather, it is with the war the United States is fighting against Islamist terrorists who continue to pose a deadly threat to the homeland as well as to our friends and interests abroad.”

    EPWJ – Doesn’t make a lick of sense since Paul only demanded clarification of policy on attacks on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. 48. Tobin is not an honest broker.

    Again this echoes Podhertz, ‘Paul’s thinking is dangerous’. What thinking. ‘Oh, you know, his dad’s isolationism, right?’

    Right.

    Now which paranoid schizophrenic shall I trust? You or me?

    Shall I listen to the voices in your head, or mine?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  49. If I didn’t know better, I would suspect it was all for show;

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-lawyers-who-denounced-bushs-claim.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  50. 45. As narciso points out, the case for heightened awareness, if not fear, with this admin is robust.

    DHS, DOJ, EPA, NLRB, Interior, etc., all mean us harm over and above the letter. McVain’s remonstrations to the contrary, any damn fool has cause for concern.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  51. If you are okay with the premise of the Waco raid, then you’d want drones in the area. And if they can save ATF guys from getting killed in the raid by targeting and killing the residents, then you have no argument for being against drones killing Americans on American soil. If it was a government sniper in a helicopter as part of the Waco raid, would it be okay for the sniper to take out some Davidians before they got off shots on the ATF raiders? If so, then your only argument is that no one dies when the drone is attacked so you want a fair fight between government and those they target. You want some government skin in the game.

    When you have a dilemma, you have to go back and find the fallacy that led to the dilemma. In this instance, the problem is that there shouldn’t be an ATF. If you do have an ATF, then you don’t want them to die and you’d want to use drones to kill those who would kill your little government raiders.

    j curtis (8c5c10)

  52. 51. Yeah, the old unlettered incompetence versus personified evil, the thugocracy versus Marxist conspiracy dilemma.

    It’s soup.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  53. Actually there’s another choice, available;

    http://www.armsandthelaw.com/gunlaw//FOPA/hearings.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  54. 53. I believe you’ve settled on the iconic example.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  55. 55. Quiet waters run deep, narciso.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  56. Frum forgets about Lincoln. He might agree with Lincoln, but the next Lincoln’s beef won’t be with slavery. How certain can you be that you’ll be on the next Lincoln’s side and not on the other side?

    What motivates today’s “righteous activists” like slavery motivated the “righteous activists” at the time of Lincoln? What will motivate the next decade’s righteous activists to that extent? Do you expect America to continue forever without a need to fight the government?

    Obama’s science czar gave a lot of thought to secretly sterilizing Americans with the food and water supply at one time. But I’m sure everything will be okay, forever and ever.

    j curtis (8c5c10)

  57. there’s very little if any rah rah rand for president enthusiasm expressed on this thread

    I think that’s healthy and quite mature of you people

    do carry on

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  58. Perfectly said, Patterico.

    MayBee (f32100)

  59. Patterico, talking about Obama, says “But then, I wouldn’t eat dinner with the guy either.”

    But I seem to remember, early in the guy’s Presidency, Patterico patting himself on the back over his civic virtue in declaring Obama a basically good guy (with wrong political beliefs), and chiding those who saw Obama more clearly.

    I demand profuse appy polly loggies (although I personally didn’t participate in that debate.)

    Brian (31a878)

  60. Someone else gets it

    http://www.nysun.com/editorials/rand-pauls-beginning/88217/

    Submitted by Betty in LA, Mar 9, 2013 08:24

    If Senator Paul wants to stop the problem of increased adminstrative power then he needs to write legislation to REVERSE the inroads made by not only a bipartisan consensus but a strong GOP push for such laws after 9/11. To try to blame the President for making use of a whole body of laws written in the last 10 years or so, sponsored by the GOP, with strong GOP approval is less than honest, it’s outright lying. For instance, the majority of dissenting votes on the last version of the Patriot Act were Democrats. Only Congress created this situation and only they can reverse it. If he wants to make a change, stop grandstanding, and start sponsoring bills successfully – something his father was never good at.

    Baby spoiled country club rand spanked again

    EPWJ (590d06)

  61. EPWJ – Was Ted Cruz spanked along with Rand?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  62. I missed where the GOP sponsored and supported legislation to target and kill Americans with drone strikes on American soil. Linkie?

    JD (31065f)

  63. 62. As if Ogabe will let little things like laws impede progress.

    Betty has the LA way with non sequitir.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  64. He can follow that law like he followed the War Powers Act.

    But yes, I agree Paul should sponsor some legislation. The problem is, failing to pass such a law wouldn’t make it legal to kill Ameicans on Americansoil with no imminent threat and no due process. And Obama’s party holds the Senate right now.

    MayBee (f32100)

  65. Patriot, doesn’t ordinarily mean killbot, but I could be wrong,

    narciso (3fec35)

  66. Don’t you hate it when facts get in the way of the template;

    http://www.paul.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=331164

    narciso (3fec35)

  67. Paul asked whether “the President has the power to use lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.”

    Holder responded first that the U.S. has not conducted drone strikes in the U.S. and has no intention of doing so and, further, the President rejects the use of military force where law enforcement authorities in the country provide the best means of incapacitating a terrorist threat. He next noted that Paul’s question thus is “entirely hypothetical [and] unlikely to occur” and responded: “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the [U.S] for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the [U.S.]”

    Duh! The Civil War is a case in point.

    Yet Paul grandstands, during which he concedes Holder’s point and suggests that is not the question he had in mind: “Nobody questions if planes are flying towards the Twin Towers whether they can be repulsed by the military. Nobody questions whether a terrorist with a rocket launcher or a grenade launcher is attacking us, whether they can be repelled.”

    Holder then responded: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘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.”

    Again, duh! And, so it seems, Paul and Holder agree–on both his general and specific questions.

    Yet Paul grandstands some more–to what end, other than grandstanding for his own political sake, is not clear. In that, given the tenor of some comments, he appears to have been quite successful. Bully show!

    Doug Indeap (5eb761)

  68. allowing the same food stamp whore president what has defined “spending cut” as a reduction in the rate of spending increases to define “engaged in combat” is foolish foolish foolish

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  69. I love how some just call it grandstanding so they can be dismissive.

    JD (b63a52)

  70. ‘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.”

    Doug Indeap – How long did it take for Holder to answer that seemingly simple question?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  71. Doug Indeap, how amusing that you impliedly misrepresent the time frame it took to get the administration to actually answer Paul’s question.

    SPQR (768505)

  72. EPWJ, full of horse manure you remain. The PATRIOT Act had nothing to do with the President’s war powers at all.

    SPQR (768505)

  73. Paul may be an isolationist. Dunno. He may be a secret pacifist. Dunno.

    But what I do know is this. Rand Paul asked a simple question of the Obama administration. Does Obama have the constitutional authority to assassinate US citizens on US soil?

    The glee with which the Obama administration brags to the press it didn’t concede a damned thing because it refused to define terms like “combat” tells me Paul is onto something.

    Steve57 (60a887)

  74. 71. I love how some just call it grandstanding so they can be dismissive.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 3/10/2013 @ 10:23 am

    Yes. Yes. The fans of Obama cancelling meat inspections and White House tours are now lecturing us on grandstanding.

    Ain’t it just about perfect?

    Steve57 (60a887)

  75. And hyperinflation leading to an economic situation that creates a dictatorship? When did that ever happen?!

    Never. It’s supposed to be the depression that led to a dictatorship in Germany.

    But Rand Paul is all for “sound money” and so he’s got to pretend that inflation is worse than a depression.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  76. McCain was right that Rand Paul was misleading people by pretending the possibility of a drone being used on American soil was serious. The thing is, the Obama Administration did not want to make location (or the situation in a location) a criteria.

    It doesn’t matter what a legal opinion could be interpreted to read. Legal opinions don’t give Presidents any rights or powers.

    John Ehrlichman thought a president could even kill an American citizen, on national security grounds, if I remember right.

    Such in-house opinions don’t give presidents any extra authority. Of course you could have the concern that somebody might think so and act on it

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  77. Sammy, JD,

    When Rand actually sits down with both sides and tried to write legislation, actually put his hubris on the line, then people cant really be that dismissive of him grandstanding. Otherwise he’s jut marginalizing the conservatives by carving off people by misleading them – at this point he might as well just be a democrat

    EPWJ (590d06)

  78. Sammy,

    If we filibustered every stupid memo in washington nothing woul get done… wait a minute….

    Paul is sooo self absorbed even his staff thinks he’s bonkers….

    Just wait the Rand man show is just starting

    EPWJ (590d06)

  79. “inflation is worse than a depression”

    Or the inverse, obverse, postverse, preverse or perverse.

    What’s more trivial than minutiae?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  80. Court decision about mens rea:

    https://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/546/546.F2d.910.74-1882.html

    (What I’m thinking about is some testimony by Ehrlichman to the Senate Watergate Committee. I’m not sure how far he went. Senator Sam Ervin retorted something about the 4th amendment)

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  81. 81. As I said, Rand Paul didn’t know what he was talking about.

    These little (actually not so little) mistakes are a window in his general state of knowledge,

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  82. If you really know what you are talking you don’t make errors like that.

    Rand Paul was trying to argue that the prospect of drones being used on American soil, was somehow, realistic – since he is so interested in the currency he makes the hyperinflation the cause.

    But hyperinflation ends dictatorships, or makes it easier for them to end. It doesn’t start them

    Zimbabwe is better off after the hyperinflation, not worse.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  83. SPQR, Paul first wrote on January 25 and, following the disclosure of the DOJ white paper a couple weeks later, followed up with letters asking additional questions on February 12. Brennan addressed those questions during the hearings of his nomination. Dissatisfied with those responses, Paul wrote again on February 20. Brennan responded to that letter on March 5, saying that as CIA director he had no power to authorize lethal operations within the U.S. On March 4, Holder responded to Paul’s question about the President’s authority.

    I’m not sure what you would make of the timing of these responses. Is the timing, rather than the substance, the big deal?

    Doug Indeap (5eb761)

  84. Are we to assume Mr. Finkelman, Germany was also better after hyperinflation?

    Perhaps it would be wiser to observe “But Sometimes hyperinflation ends dictatorships, or makes it easier for them to end. It doesn’t start them”, but sometimes it does.

    Hoagie (3259ab)

  85. “Zimbabwe is better off after the hyperinflation, not worse.”

    Really? Better than what, Samolia?

    Hoagie (3259ab)

  86. 84. The Left is sure that Paul is wrong about Lochner.

    Dude should not have been out of his padded cell except for exercise and showers.

    What’s to question?

    “If you really know what you are talking you don’t make errors like that.”

    I think most of the population will never have a worry about knowing whereof they speak.

    Finding their fly is trouble enough.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  87. 88),Muller and Bunting, some three and twelve years apart, set some guidelines to follow, whereas Adkins compounded the situtation,

    narciso (3fec35)

  88. at this point he might as well just be a democrat

    He and Cruz are drafting legislation. Your failure to familiarize yourself with facts is a recurring theme. As is your tendency to try to define Republicans, usually claiming true R or conservative as the likes of McCain or Scozzafava, and other statists.

    JD (31065f)

  89. I question the timing.

    JD (31065f)

  90. McCain is noxious to our freedoms noxious to America

    it’s very sad

    what an awful person

    he should just go away

    everyone thinks he’s an asshole

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  91. 87. Better than it was before. But unfortunately Mugabe is still in office.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  92. 86. Germany wasn’t better off after 1923, but that did not bring Hitler.

    Hyperinflation is simply not disruptive enough to life..

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  93. “Hyperinflation is simply not disruptive enough to life”

    Sammy – How do you know?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  94. Sammy, sadly I cannot separate your bizarre from your sarcasm.

    SPQR (120c64)

  95. just one clear moment
    the peeps will rise and remove
    gangster government

    Colonel Haiku (162624)

  96. Hyperinflation is simply not disruptive enough to life..

    Really !??!?!?

    JD (b63a52)

  97. Bring on the hyperinflation, bitchez!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. wait wait wait I’ve had my eye on some avocados

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  99. 92. mr. happyfeet, Amen.

    mg (31009b)

  100. Everyone on the Left love to make fun of Sen. Paul as they are this Grillo jester in Italy.

    So while Boehner blows his progressive wad during the 113th Italy spins its wheels for 6 months without a government.

    Bet the Italians get the ship righted before we do.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  101. Boehner needs the house gavel shoved up his kiester.

    mg (31009b)

  102. Of course, the technocrats in Italy, think they need to ‘dial up to eleven’ to get it right.

    narciso (3fec35)

  103. Holder then responded: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘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.”

    Again, duh! And, so it seems, Paul and Holder agree–on both his general and specific questions.

    Comment by Doug Indeap (5eb761) — 3/10/2013 @ 10:09 am

    The problem is who gets to define the word “combat”? Do Branch Davidians qualify when they are on their own property firing on ATF agents that are invading their property? Do Weather Underground Pentagon bombers like Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers qualify? Could I drone attack the leader of a group if a member of the group carried out an attack on behalf of the group?

    j curtis (33bcc5)

  104. When serious inflation hits, probably still years away, city markets will simply close rather than meet price freezes, accepting food stamps when costs jump daily. Gas stations will mirror markets.

    Cities will be unliveable within weeks, death traps in additional days.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  105. j curtis, Naturally, the meaning of Paul’s question matters. Are you suggesting that Holder should have asked him to clarify what he meant by “combat” before Holder answered?

    Doug Indeap (5eb761)

  106. If Holder and Obama hadn’t ignored this, parsed, and prevaricated, it would have never happened. It should have been damn easy to answer the actual question he asked.

    JD (b63a52)

  107. Why is it that when President Obama changes his mind on a position, he has “evolved”, yet when somebody changes their position on drones (from under Bush to under Obama)they are labeled hypocrites?

    THAT seems hypocritical to me.

    I’m just sayin…

    Steve Young (b78bf9)

  108. JD,

    Have you read the letters? Holder answered exactly what Paul asked. Both times.

    Doug Indeap (5eb761)

  109. “Holder answered exactly what Paul asked. Both times.”

    Dougie – That’s a good one!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  110. Have you read the letters? Holder answered exactly what Paul asked. Both times.

    Only in a leftist world. Kind of like how he answered Cruz?

    JD (b63a52)

  111. My simple question, was Dorner engaged in combat within the United States? He was alone in the woods, isolated, and the police had problems reaching him.

    I don’t like the idea of drones being used on American’s overseas while they are sipping latte’s. I really don’t like the idea that the feds could put me on a secret insurgents list and see me as a target of opportunity. We’ve all seen how bad the no fly list got so very fast, how would the kill list be any better?

    Allen (20f45d)


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