I will give Senator Rand Paul (KY) credit for being steadfast with his filibuster, which says he actually believes what he is saying, or else he has serious designs on a possible run for president in 2016. I would suppose it is a little of both. The man’s fear of our government I think is typical of many ultra-conservatives who I think has little knowledge about what they are talking about and find it easy to allow their own imaginations to take over from what is real.
This fear of drones killing American citizens became an issue because of the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki who was an American citizen who joined Al Qaeda and declared jihad upon his own homeland. He was killed by drone attacks while he was in Yemen back in September 2011.
What is so ironic about Senator Paul’s fear of our government is that he is a part of that government. In fact, he is a member of a body that has a great deal of control over our nation, our armed forces and our law enforcement agencies, even the CIA.
There has also not been one American killed on American soil by a drone attack that I know of. I understand Paul’s desire to see that there are adequate checks and balances when it comes to the use of drones in the United States but he should draft legislation that addresses the issue as a U.S. Senator instead of using a filibuster and block the flow of government.
Fortunately, two Republican colleagues of his see things in a much clearer way. Senator John McCain (AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham both lambasted Paul after his 13-hour filibuster. Sen. McCain called Rand Paul’s warnings about drones killing American citizens on American soil simply because of political opposition, “totally unfounded.”
“To somehow say that someone who disagrees with American policy and even may demonstrate against, it is somehow a member of an organization which makes that individual an enemy combatant is simply false,” said McCain.
Sen. Graham I think said what really needed to be said and revealed the two-ton elephant in the room:
“To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you?” Graham said. “They had a drone program back then; all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?” asked Graham.
Both the senators, McCain and Graham have not been big fans of President Barack Obama. John McCain lost to him in his 2008 Republican bid for the presidency and both men have been outspoken critics of the president. Yet, their remarks sound much like any Democrat. I myself have noticed the amount of criticism that has been heaped upon Obama by Republican lawmakers, and yet when George W. Bush was president, some of these same lawmakers were defending him for actions that were indefensible as far as I am concerned. Let us not forget warrantless wiretaps, torture, renditions and spending like there was no tomorrow; those consistent critics of the president had not a word to say, just rubber stamped everything he sent to them.
I do not think this is about drones as much as it is about President Obama. Though this man has done nothing so out of the extraordinary than any other president, especially his predecessor Bush, he has been treated as someone who cannot be trusted, an enemy of the United States, not our president.
It has been about stroking fear with the American people, consistently working to undermine his character and therefore his agenda. Republicans in Congress have not given this president a chance; perhaps McCain and Graham have come to realize that.
We have been told to believe that Obama is out to destroy the country by his socialistic ideology and his empathy toward Muslims. His birthright was questioned beyond any president before him, because of his name and his skin color. We were told by some that he was a secret Muslim and that he was trying to take law-abiding citizen’s guns away from them, yet not one tidbit has proven to be true.
Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster is just the latest episode in fear-mongering and self-serving political maneuvering, and as all the posturing coming from Republicans in Congress these days, it will serve him naught.