For all the problems with his mention of Lochner and his unconcern about the use of lethal and surveillance techs on non-US-citizens and his multitude of other shitty positions. . .
. . . Senator Rand Paul did a solid in filibustering since-confirmed CIA chief John Brennan on the issue of presidential authority over the use of drones against American citizens.
And fie on those Democrats who didn’t support him. President Obama has been dreadful on drones, and there is not a little justification for those who claim that many Dems* who screamed about power grabs by President Bush are rather aggressively silent when it’s their guy doing the grabbing.
I’m not surprised by this silence, mind you, but goddamn Democrats, do you have to be so disappointingly and opportunistically predictable?
(*It is not fair to go after leftists and liberals in general, as this is among a number of issues about which various libs, commies, and other malcontents have excoriated Obama and the Dems.)
I’m sympathetic to (my old grad school colleague) Sarah Binder’s concern that “In an age of intense policy and political differences between the parties, no corner of Senate business is immune to filibusters.” And she notes that Paul’s talking filibuster overshadowed the threat-filibuster of the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the DC Court of Appeals, which meant her nomination was blocked.
I was among those who, back when the Democrats were in the minority in the Senate, believed that the filibuster ought to be reformed; that the old asses of the Democratic leadership knocked back any chance of real reform at the beginning of this session is an ongoing irritation. I believe in effective and accountable government, and the way the filibuster has been all-too-often deployed hinders responsible government.
Still, if ever the filibuster were to be justified, this is it. Given the expansion of presidential power in the ever-expanding national security state—with the acquiescence of the majority of the members of Congress—Senator Paul’s willingness to take a stand on the matter of a presidential perogative to assassinate citizens ought to be applauded.
And so I do.