Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Stars in "Night of the Talking Filibuster"

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USA Today
After nearly 13 hours of talking, Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster is one for the history books.
The Kentucky Republican comes in at No. 9 on a draft list of longest Senate speeches kept by the historian's office, clocking in at 12 hours and 52 minutes.

From Daily Beast
Give Rand Paul credit—he decided to kick it old school on the Senate floor and filibuster in person rather than simply filing a procedural motion.

The result was the kind of spectacle we only see in Frank Capra films and Strom Thurmond lowlight reels: a U.S. senator on a one-man speaking marathon designed to bring national attention to an issue he believes is of critical importance to the country and the Constitution. In this case, it’s the Obama administration’s reluctance to say it would not rule out drone strikes against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. That’s why Paul decided to filibuster the president’s nominee to be CIA director, explaining: “I don’t rise to oppose John Brennan’s nomination simply for the person. I rise today for the principle.”

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Things got off to a surreal start around 11:50 Wednesday morning when, a few minutes into his filibuster, Paul asked: “Has America the Beautiful become Alice’s Wonderland?” and then imagined the queen screaming “Release the drones!” This is a scenario Lewis Carroll never contemplated.

Instead of resorting to cheap filibuster tricks like reading the dictionary or a phonebook, Paul delivered a real speech—albeit Castro-esque in length—discussing the constitutional principles at stake more or less off the top of his head for nearly 13 hours.

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