A Real Live Filibuster!

At about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul took the floor of the Senate to launch one of the chamber's rarest spectacles: a genuine filibuster.

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Gary Cameron / Reuters

At about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul took the floor of the Senate to launch one of the chamber’s rarest spectacles: a genuine filibuster. Paul, a libertarian, announced at the outset of his remarks that he would filibuster Barack Obama’s nomination of John Brennan as CIA director over concerns that the administration’s use of drone attacks against Americans abroad and on U.S. soil was unconstitutional.

Rampant abuse of the filibuster has stifled the Senate in recent years, but the kind of marathon soliloquies immortalized in movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are now exceedingly rare. The last genuine talking filibuster was performed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who held the floor for more than 8 1/2 hours on Dec. 10, 2010, in objection to an $858 billion tax bill. To curb the use of the tactic, liberal reformers like Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, New Mexico’s Tom Udall and Iowa’s Tom Harkin spearheaded an effort to change the chamber’s rules to require members to hold forth on the Senate floor if they want to hold up a bill or a nominee. (Subscribers can read my recent story about their efforts, which is behind TIME’s magazine paywall.) However, their efforts to reform the filibuster were stymied by institutionalists leery of relinquishing the minority party’s greatest weapon. Instead, the Senate passed a toothless bipartisan “reform” package that mostly sustained the status quo. As a result, the filibuster has continued to beguile the majority; on Wednesday, the Democrats failed to break the Republicans’ filibuster of one of Barack Obama’s judicial nominees.

Proponents of the so-called “talking filibuster” provision would cheer Paul for upholding the spirit of the filibuster. Paul’s office signals the senator will speak for at least a few hours.”I’m here today to speak for as long as I can hold up,” Paul said. If you’re following on Twitter, the (lamentable) hashtag is #filiblizzard. We’ll see how long he can last. A vote on Brennan’s nomination, which could have taken place Wednesday, is now held up until Paul sits down.

You can watch Paul’s filibuster here.

71 comments
bobell
bobell


Alex -- A bit late, but maybe you'll see it anyway:

I'm pretty sure "beguile" is not the word for what you meant.  How about "bedevil"?

mydads1st
mydads1st

As time goes on, we are finding out who is against America and who is for America and which Senators are filibustering? It has been determined that Senator Ron Wyden, adding Senator Mike Lee, Senator Rand Paul and Senator Ted Cruz have all conspired to keep America from doing business. All this started when Obama won the right to run against McCain and intensified when he thumped McCain decisively. Now the TEA-quest-traitors are maneuvering around to shut down the government and economy with every turn. America needs a new House of Representatives. Get involved and start registering people to vote in the u-coming 2014, 2016 and 2018 elections to replace the combative and confrontational TEA-types with Democrats who will work with Obama and then Hillary Clinton! Get registered and V.O.T.E.(Vote Out The EncumberancesAnd so goes the constant barrage of Obama haters in shutting down everyone he nominates for any office. TEA-type haters, who run the GOP, are firmly in charge of the once proud Republican party and are holding back on everything Obama proposes. These radical misfits need a good "Come to Jesus" thumping again! Get organized and oust as many as possible in 2014, 2016 and 2018!

wadesworld
wadesworld

Well Time, your snarky article..."lets see how long he can last"....hasn't stopped him from going for 10+ hours. My guess is if this was a Democrat making a point with filibuster against Bush, you wouldn't be calling it a "spectacle". Nice journalism. 

reallife
reallife

wow! you mean someone is governing? someone has principles?  i forgot what that was like

Go Rand go!

hmmm let me think: a hilbilly sounding president...  hahaha ...  that would kill'em LOL



forgottenlord
forgottenlord

I disagree with his position, but I can't tell you how happy I am that someone's actually using a real fillibuster

CaseyPeterson
CaseyPeterson

This is a bipartisan filibuster... Sen Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) is filibustering right alongside Senator Rand (R-Kentucky) and Senator Cruz (R-Texas).


Glad to see that Americans are uniting despite party affiliation in concerns over a) the abandoning of certain civil rights afforded by the Bill of Rights and b) rightful dividing of power amongst the 3 branches of government as set forth by the Constitution so that the Executive Branch doesn't grow too powerful by being able to declare wars and being able to kill American citizens without due process.

outsider
outsider

Thank you, Dubya:

In addition, Holder embraced a view of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that completely ignores the legislative history of the law that authorized the war against al-Qaida. “We didn’t exempt the homeland in the AUMF, did we?” Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked the attorney general, in a question setting up his support for presidential use of lethal force in the U.S. “No,” Holder replied, “I don’t think we did.”

The attorney general may believe Congress authorized the use of lethal force in the U.S. with the AUMF, but former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has made it clear that Congress refused to authorize military force in the U.S. “Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote,” Daschle revealed in a 2005 Op-Ed that described the legislative process behind the AUMF, “the [George Bush] administration sought to add the words ‘in the United States’” into the authorization. Such a change, Daschle continued, “would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas — where we all understood he wanted authority to act — but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens.”

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/06/does_eric_holder_know_the_law/

sacredh
sacredh

Rand Paul is just droning on and on.

Kingdo_Goodbomber
Kingdo_Goodbomber

Code Pink just tweeted in support of Rand Paul.  What a bunch of right wing reactionary racists who hate the President.

Kingdo_Goodbomber
Kingdo_Goodbomber

Liberals and progressives and democrats are such cynical tribal cowards.  Just like Bush cultists. 

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

I plead as guilty as anyone to holding a double standard on civil Liberties issues. There's no shortage of things I could slag on Rand Paul over but today's performance is not one of them.


Kingdo_Goodbomber
Kingdo_Goodbomber

If Obama can kill a US citizen without trial or charge, what can't he get away?  What could you possibly oppose if you think assassination is okay?

Kingdo_Goodbomber
Kingdo_Goodbomber

"Rand Paul is being mocked by liberals for fighting for something Senate liberals aren't liberal enough to fight for."

For those mocking Rand Paul, how does it fell?  You know?  100% total acceptance of the Bush Doctrine.  Does it feel good?  Traitors.

hjs06460
hjs06460

@mydads1st I say this as a liberal: pull your head out of your ass. They're filibustering based on concerns about CIVIL LIBERTIES, they're doing it the proper way, by talking, and calling people traitors is the kind of crap the Bush Administration pulled. Obama's record on civil liberties has been less than stellar, and is valid grounds for complaint.

reallife
reallife

@mydads1st   hahahaha  getting nervous huh?   get ready for Shellacking 2.0

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@reallife A hillbilly sounding president? How about you honor your best and since the Mr. Howell sounding candidate lost, beat it!

reallife
reallife

nobody cares about what you think, you're canadian... keep walking

bobcn
bobcn

@CaseyPeterson

"This is a bipartisan filibuster..."

Not exactly.  Wyden engaged the gopers in debate.  He's not trying to block Brennan.  He has already voted in favor of Brennan in committee and he supports Brennan for CIA director.

bobcn
bobcn

@sacredh 

The last time I saw Paul drone on and on was when he was on the Rachel Maddow show.  She let him just talk and talk, without interruption.  It seemed to fluster him as he obviously expected to be stopped.  After using his standard talking points (about civil rights vs property rights)  he seemed to have a need to continue talking to fill the empty air.  That's when he started ad libbing and made a fool of himself.

He later complained that he'd been 'tricked' by Maddow.  The only trick she used was to let him talk.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@Kingdo_Goodbomber Why wouldn't it be possible to kill a US citizen who joins a foreign military and takes up arms against the US? The whole issue is ridiculous. You attack the US you get killed, that you're a traitor is irrelevant.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@Kingdo_Goodbomber If mocking Rand Paul is being a traitor, I'm happy to say that I'd trait all day long if I could. Rand Paul is an idiot and a bigot, and unlike his dad his repulsive views aren't masked behind the image of a lovable doddering old kook.

paoligarcy
paoligarcy

@hjs06460 Thanks HJS. I'm an independent and I agree.

@mydads1st: THERE IS A DEMOCRATIC SENATOR IN THIS FILIBUSTER. I REPEAT, IT IS NOT A TEA PARTY FILIBUSTER.  Please use the brain before commenting, it's there for a good reason. Don't just spout your party line. Even Democratic party senators aren't as partisan as you!

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@reallife @mydads1st Shellacking 2.0? Was Shellacking 1.0 last fall when you bet Romney would win, lost and then reneged on your bet and continued to post regardless?

Heian
Heian

@reallife You always find a way to say the most senseless things.

bobcn
bobcn

@reallife 

Hmmm....  forgottenlord has 4 likes and reallife has none.

The public has spoken!  Nobody cares what reallife thinks.

I certainly don't.

paoligarcy
paoligarcy

@bobcn   Bob, you are wrong. I watched Wyden speak, he was HELPING RAND to keep the filibuster going, he gave Rand time to eat, drink and relax.  Wyden isn't filibustering Brennan BUT NEITHER IS RAND. He is filibustering the PRINCIPLE of being able to kill Americans on American soil without a trial.

 And frankly, if Obama has this power. America is a dictatorship. Obama can be judge, jury, and executioner of someone who isn't an IMMEDIATE threat (since Obama has changed the word "eminent" to not mean eminent anymore!).

paoligarcy
paoligarcy

@Tero  Tero, enemy of the constitution, lover of tyranny and covert assassinations of Americans.

Kingdo_Goodbomber
Kingdo_Goodbomber

@NP042 @Kingdo_Goodbomber not as crazy as people who fancy themselves as liberals or progressives and support regressive policies like drone assassination just because they like the guy who is [currently] doing the whacking.

evil.aaronm
evil.aaronm

@WilfTarquin @Kingdo_Goodbomber So, someone calls into the WH hotline and reports that you've joined a foreign military and taken up arms against the US.  You get added to the drone target list.  Without any chance of defending yourself in court, you're expediently taken out.  You don't see anything wrong with this?

Kingdo_Goodbomber
Kingdo_Goodbomber

@WilfTarquin @Kingdo_Goodbomber No, pretending to be a liberal and mocking people who are brave enough to stand up for things that you aren't (while pretending to be a liberal/prog/dem/etc,) is what makes you a traitor.  A liar, a cynic, a backstabbing fraud.  Take your pick.

Heian
Heian

@paoligarcy @hjs06460 @mydads1st 

 You can say you're independent, which is fine and all - as long you don't take into account your views, comments, rhetoric and icon. But I'm sure saying it makes you FEEL more credible.

bobcn
bobcn

@paoligarcy @hjs06460 @mydads1st 

By the way,

When you make personal attacks on someone you don't agree with, while at the same time getting your facts wrong it makes you look like a childish jerk.  In the future you might want to refrain from the insults and personal attacks, and check your facts (preferably using sources more objective than Fox News, Redstate, or Brietbart).

bobcn
bobcn

@paoligarcy @bobcn

Nope.

From The Oregonian:

However, Wyden made it clear that he intended to support Brennan's nomination,  and was satisfied by the response that Attorney General Eric Holder made in a letter to Paul.

Wyden said in an interview with The Oregonian's Washington correspondent, Charles Pope, that he did not believe he was actually joining Paul's filibuster.  Wyden said his actions did not actually extend the filibuster.

http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2013/03/wyden_joins_rand_pauls_filibus.html

bobell
bobell

@TyPollard Somewhat belated: Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom.

Apply liberally at the end of every sacredh comment.

tommyudo
tommyudo

@Kingdo_Goodbomber @WilfTarquin 

Junior Paul is a 100% fraud. If it was a Republican in the White House he would be one of the main cheer leaders for drone strikes, all the while casting doubt on the patriotism of anyone who disagrees.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@Kingdo_Goodbomber @outsider2011 @WilfTarquin Why would we? We're not the people dreaming of armed rebellion in the USA, who stockpile assault rifles and talk of "watering the tree of liberty". You nuts are. And you know it: you think the drones are for you, that's why you fear them.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@outsider2011 @Kingdo_Goodbomber @WilfTarquin He thinks being liberal means having to love everyone, including your enemies. It's a common mistake among libertarians, who rarely have any clue at all what liberalism actually is (and even less socialism, another term they incessantly misuse).

Kingdo_Goodbomber
Kingdo_Goodbomber

@outsider2011 @Kingdo_Goodbomber @WilfTarquin so why aren't liberals filibustering with in opposition of drone strikes on US citizens?  Because being a liberal means you don't care?  Why is Rand Paul the one in the Senate opposing the program and not the antiwar progressives, Libs,dems,etc?  Where are THEY?  Why are they rolling over for Obama?

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@Kingdo_Goodbomber @WilfTarquin I'd mock Hitler even if he was bravely standing up for genocide too. Scum is scum, I'm not going to like them just because they are _consistent_ in their obnoxious scumminess.