Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took to the floor of the United States Senate to stage a filibuster against President Obama’s nominee for the Director of Central Intelligence, John Brennan. He protested the president’s drone policies at home and abroad. He’s concerned about the targeting of American citizens on foreign and domestic soil. He spoke about his problems with targeting terrorists via “signature” or behavioral analysis, and without knowing the names of the targets.
Generally speaking terrorists don’t live on streets with their surnames hung on decorative door plaques on delightful homes with adorable yards bordered by white picket fences that house adorable puppies and bunnies and happy little families. Terrorists have aliases. They hide. They disappear. They reappear. They rarely advertise their location, identity, and intended targets and methods of destruction in advance.
I share concerns about executive power when it comes to the use of drones on American soil. I don’t like the idea of Joe Arpaio or some small-minded police captain having the power to send a drone out into any neighborhood to conduct surveillance or target American citizens. I am concerned about Posse Comitatus and extra-Constitutional, extra-Judicial acts. Serious matters require serious people, maturity, and an acknowledged desire to uphold the Constitution and honor the oath they took to serve the American people. Hysteria rarely advances thoughtful dialogue.
It wasn’t long before Paul’s “endless war” diatribe came, and Senator Dick Durbin stood firmly to Rand Paul’s political right. Paul proved he was his father’s son. If he wants to run for president in 2016, then he can expect to see many of the ignorant things he said last night on the floor reappear in ads during the Republican primary.
Republican primary. Hmmm. Conservatives are quick to shout at moderates, declaring they are Republicans In Name Only, RINOs. Translation: RINOs are not “conservative” enough. Here’s the thing, I am a Republican. I’ve never claimed to be a conservative. I am not. Conservative and Republican aren’t interchangeable, they are not synonyms. To those same folks, let me give you a hint: you are the ones embracing Jane Fonda-esque anti-war radicalism. You’re the RINOs. You’re the ones embracing people who called former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney war criminals. You’re the ones embracing Code Pink – who harass and denigrate the service of our Armed Forces. You’re the ones breaking bread with anti-War, anti-military lunatics who don’t understand reality. You’re the ones who are chewing the Paulian Tin Foil.
You are the RINOs. And hypocrites to boot.
Leadership is about intellect, experience, courage, and a moral center. Not ignorance. It is terrific there was a debate. It would be better if the participants were informed about the issues and policies before taking to the floor of the United States Senate to complain about un-returned phone calls from the president and Attorney General. There are real issues with President Obama’s Executive style. Theatrics won’t solve them.