For more than half of an almost magical day, Sen. Rand Paul treated American political junkies to something we haven’t seen much of lately: senators doing senator stuff. Dripping with decorum, “Thank yous” and gentlemen from everywhere, we were treated to a drawn-out grand political spectacle the likes of which doesn’t happen much in the short attention span era.
Sen. Paul relentlessly made his case for civil liberties, receiving support from Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon, as well Code Pink and the American Civil Liberties Union, two groups not known for cheer leading Tea Party politicians. From his own party, Paul was backed up by Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee (who did the heavy relief lifting to spell Paul), as well as host of others who showed up to lend support in the eleventh hour. Several members of the House were also seen milling about as the evening wore on. He even got a support tweet from Van Jones.
And all he wanted was some assurance from The Lightbringer that he wouldn’t get drone-happy with his own citizens. He didn’t get it.
When I was a kid I imagined that this was what Congress was like – elected leaders holding polite debates on important issues of the day. The reality is very different, but for one shining moment Hollywood came to life.
You don’t have to like Rand Paul or agree with him on other issues, but yesterday he was right on. Unfortunately too many people closed their minds to his words because of his infamous father and the party he belongs to. (He’s not just a Republican, he’s one of them “Tea Party” types.) That’s really too bad because they missed a helluva show.
Will it make a difference? I have no idea.
But it was great to watch. You had to have CSpan because the networks ignored it but the Twitterverse followed every word. The drama spiked when other Republicans showed up and joined in. Then Harry Reid tried to cut it off but failed. Before it was over even Mitch McConnell made an appearance.