Allahpundit rounds up some reports on McCain digging himself ever deeper in to the Ruling Class hole over Paul’s filibuster – best comment:
“Senator McCain is obviously well aware of the politics of this – he just doesn’t care,” said one McCain aide. “He’s doing what he thinks is right. Unlike many of these guys, he’s actually been involved in a few national security debates over the years. He knows that jumping on the Rand Paul black helicopters crazytrain isn’t good for our Party or our country, no matter what Twitter says.”
Just to clarify, “black helicopters crazytrain” is those people who think that we’ve built concentration camps in Montana and that blue helmeted UN troops are already here, ready to declare martial law. Paul isn’t within a country mile of such people. But I’ll tell you who is crazy – John McCain and all those establishment types, left and right, who think that we’re going the right thing in our War on Terror policies.
Those who have been reading this blog over the years know that I was an ardent supporter of President Bush’s policies regarding terror. 100% support of the invasion of Iraq. Still think it was the right thing to do. I believe that Iran is a gigantic threat and that we will have to deal with it militarily. But for goodness sakes, what happened between 2003 and today should cause some re-assessment of the best way to go about things. Clearly, maintaining relationships with Muslim tyrannies in the name of “anti-terror” policies is asinine. Clearly, giving Muslims the ability to freely vote for their own government doesn’t mean they’re going to vote for a government we like. Clearly, the Islamist radicals are more determined that ever – and ever more brutish in their treatment of non-Muslims (seriously; just google “Muslims attack church” and see how many hits you get, and how many very recent events).
The height of insanity is our decision to continue military aid to Egypt – including providing powerful F-16 aircraft – a Muslim Brotherhood regime which is the enemy of everything we hold dear. That is insane – and anyone want to bet where McCain stands on that? Paul is crazy for wanting a simple declaration that the President may not kill Americans on American soil without due process? Whatever you say, McCain.
For now, whatever it is we were trying to do in the Muslim world has come a cropper. It is time to withdraw and re-assess. Now, there is that one in a million chance that our withdrawal will actually cool down the Islamists. I very much doubt that. More than likely, it will be interpreted as a sign of weakness and they will resume their attack at the earliest opportunity. When that happens, however, we would be able to approach the whole issue un-tied to any past commitments and free to do what we wish. To just keep going on, grinding out with what we’ve been doing and adding to it increased drone attacks doesn’t seem wisdom in my view. To defend the President on drones simply because you want to be “tough on terrorism” is idiotic. It is time for a change, and Rand Paul sees it; McCain doesn’t.
UPDATE: Paul went 13 hours and laid down the marker: everyone now knows that there are, for certain, GOPers who will bring things to a screeching halt on matters of principal.
As of this moment, he’s still at it, 8 hours going strong. Joining in support are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and even Democrat Ron Wyden. The issue is Paul’s demand that President Obama answer – without equivocation, yes or no, please – whether or not he’d order a drone strike on an American citizen within US territory. This is a genuine filibuster and no one can make him stop – only exhaustion, or Obama actually answering the question, brings this to an end.
This is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time and goes a long way towards restoring faith in our legislative branch. For too long all Administrations – but especially Obama’s – have managed to skate past oversight simply because no one took oversight duties all that seriously (and forget about it on getting almost all the MSM to find out – the are completely controlled by Obama). Paul does take this duty seriously. Now, will we get a straight answer from Obama? Probably not – but the marker will be laid down that the people have a right to know what the Executive proposes to do, and Obama (and his Democrats) know that Republicans will stand tall at need.
Discuss this and all issues of constitutional government.
You can watch Cruz’ dismantling of Hagel over at The Right Scoop. Hagel is ill-informed, often has strayed in to anti-Semitism and is clearly unfit to be Secretary of Defense. Obama will probably still get him through as Democrats do hold the Senate majority, but it will be clear for all time that Obama picked an unfit man and Democrats approved an unfit man simply because they wanted someone who could twist the GOP…and, of course, be Obama’s willing tool in hollowing out our military and coddling our enemies.
In Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey (all of whom were unwanted by the GOP establishment) we have just the sort of Senators we need – leaders who are well informed, aggressive, capable and able to communicate the truth clearly to the American people. They are revitalizing the GOP brand as we speak – as we sit here, still in the slough of despond over our loss last year, here is the future…here is where we pick ourselves up and get back in to the fight.
From Allahpundit at Hot Air:
Excellent, and not just the Libya stuff. Stick with it for Paul’s questions about how smart it is to be arming the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt when Morsi is already wheezing about Jews controlling the media in official diplomatic sessions with the U.S. If you’re wondering why it fell to Paul to ask this question instead of any of the more senior senators who preceded him, it’s because the Senate was perfectly happy to have Obama act unilaterally on Libya. The Iraq war authorization came back to haunt many of them; no one knew at the time how messy Libya might get. O did them a favor, left and right, by freeing them from a tough vote. But Kerry can’t say that so instead he squirms through a few minutes of how the two bombing campaigns are different because they just are. Frankly, Paul let him off easy. You could, if you chose, defend U.S. actions in Cambodia as a cross-border extension of the war already being fought in Vietnam. No such defense for Libya; if anything, the Libya war cut against the AUMF against Al Qaeda that was passed after 9/11 because, as we’ve recently learned, eliminating Qadaffi was actually a boon to jihadist groups like AQ…
Do go to the link and check out the video of the questions. Allahpundit is exactly right that Congress was perfectly happy to let Obama go off on his own in Libya – because it prevented any of them from having to take a vote which, at election time, may have been a burden to carry. The atrophy of the legislative power of the United States was starkly displayed in the Libya mess, as it is now being put on display in Mali. This is not actually Obama’s fault – at least in the sense that he didn’t make it all happen by himself. All Presidents since World War Two have routinely encroached on legislative powers, with the only time Congress acting in a Congressional manner during the Nixon years, and even that wasn’t on principal but merely because Democrats wanted to get Nixon (why? Because Nixon – establishment Republican that he was – was also a stout anti-communist in the 50’s and was actually more effective, in certain ways, in exposing liberal fellow-traveling with communists than McCarthy ever was; they hated Nixon because he exposed the truth about liberals). Rand Paul, being a strict constitutionalist, is actually behaving like a Senator who has oversight powers over the Executive branch…and Paul should watch out: the more he exposes the truth, the more the left is going to hate him.
So, Hillary had continual conversations with the Libyan government about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi…and, then…
Paul notes that Hillary didn’t read the cables from Benghazi which called attention to the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi…
Essentially, Hillary’s contention is that she was on it, but then didn’t bother to read the most important information provided: that of her ambassador on the ground, whom she has said elsewhere she selected for the job and thus must be presumed to be someone Hillary had trust in. Paul points out that its not a matter of expecting the Secretary of State to read all cables – that would be both impossible and pointless. But Libya was clearly a hot spot – we had engaged in military actions to help remove the previous Libyan government and we were making strenuous efforts to forge a viable, pro-western government in Libya…certainly something which should command the interest of our chief foreign policy officer. Basic competence would require that Hillary read every bit of data coming out of Libya at that time – it strains credulity well past the breaking point to believe that she didn’t read all the cables. But, she says she didn’t – which might, in a legalistic mind like Hillary’s, get her off the hook but which, in reality, just makes it worse: it was her job to know. It is what we paid her to do – and she didn’t do it.
As I expected, Hillary’s testimony as nothing but a patchwork of lies and blame shifting. Of course, Hillary’s main purpose here was to protect the Clinton brand. She is thinking of running for President in 2016 and right now she’s very popular in the polls…but Benghazi is the symbol of the utter failure of Obama’s foreign policy as executed by Secretary of State Clinton. When she does run in 2016, not only will Republicans keep asking about this, but her competitors in the Democrat primary will, too (though Joe Biden will be reticent about it). Hillary wants this to go away – but between Rubio and Paul (both of whom will probably run in 2016), her utter failure is exposed.
Hillary probably expects her answers to be the final word – more than likely, she won’t ever take any future questions on the matter except in the most friendly venues. Is pressed, she’ll refer all to her Senate testimony and claim that its old news and there’s nothing more to be said. But the people of the United States know – with certainty – that by her own words, Hillary failed as an executive officer of our government.
From the Daily Caller:
Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul is planning a filibuster sometime next week to bring the debt ceiling negotiations to the Senate, the Huffington Post is reporting.
“We’ve not had one minute of debate about the debt ceiling in any committee,” the Kentucky Republican told C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” in a Sunday interview. He said after not having a budget or an appropriations bill in two years, he’s “part of the freshmen group in the Senate that’s saying, ‘No more.’”…
What Paul and other TEA Party Senators would really like is to link an increase of the debt ceiling to a balanced budget amendment. So far, McConnell, the GOP Leader, says that is a non-starter – not enough votes for it. To which I answer, “yeah, so?”. Put the pressure on the Democrats for once – it is quite reasonable, and in keeping with American opinion, to demand some really hard and fast fiscal discipline. In fact, the people are more and more demanding it. Put it right in Reid’s lap – tell him that you don’t have enough votes to pass an increase unless Reid can round up enough votes for an amendment.
The good news here is that I feel more confident that our side will prevail, in the long run, than ever before. Usually when we get to these points it is time for the GOP to cave and liberals to get what they want…now, not quite like that. Unless there is some serious debt reduction, no deal can pass the House. Naturally, Obama, Reid and the rest of the Democrats are hoping that the old tried and true tactics of allowing the MSM – and its manufactured polling – to stampede the GOP in to going along…but I don’t think it will work this time. I think that when push comes to shove both TEA Party principal as well as political survival will rule the day: the GOP will stand firm.
Getting it exactly right:
I’ve been on about this for ages – you can’t have a right to health care. Why? Because rights are something that individual human beings have – if you can’t, at least in theory, do it entirely on your own, then it isn’t a right, it is a privilege – and all privileges are determined by the larger society. We may decide to grant you the privilege of free health care, but you cannot demand it as a right…because just as Paul points out, if it were a right then you conscript – enslave – health care providers at will (this is also why there is no right to marry – it takes at least two people to have a marriage, and as you need the consent of another for the act, it is a privilege, not a right…and just as in all other privileges, society will determine the rules; and if those rules don’t fit your particular ideas, you still haven’t had your rights violated).
Our liberals want everything to be pitched in terms of human rights because that is the shortest rout to enslaving all of us – they want us to have so many “rights” that we have no freedoms. If we all have a right to food, housing, medical care, clothing, transportation, education, etc, etc, etc then it will take a lot of government power to make all that happen…and the more powerful government is, the less free the people are. The perfect, liberal world is where I have a right to everything but must get government permission before I do anything.
Paul’s statement is exceptionally timely – and I hope it sparks a nation-wide debate on the meaning of “human rights”…because that is another fight we of the right will win.