Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hellfire Rains on Senate; Our View; Sen. Rand Paul Puts Old- Fashioned Filibuster to Good Use

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hellfire Rains on Senate; Our View; Sen. Rand Paul Puts Old- Fashioned Filibuster to Good Use

Article excerpt

The 13-hour filibuster in the U.S. Senate carried on between noon Wednesday and early Thursday morning by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has so many fascinating angles to it, its hard to know where to start. Theres the fact that it was one of the few actual standing filibusters these days, and one of the longest in history. Mr. Paul openly stated his reasons for blocking a vote and talked as long as he could in service of his mission. Theres the fact that while Mr. Paul was wrongly standing in the way of President Barack Obamas choice to lead the CIA, John Brennan, the reason he chose seeking more information about the presidents rationale for using drones on American citizens was a worthy one. Theres the fact that when it comes to that issue an Americans constitutional right to due process, as guaranteed in the Fifth and 14th amendments those on the left and right of the political spectrum are in agreement. Mr. Paul, who is more libertarian than he is Republican (by todays standards anyway), is far to the right on most issues. But heres New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, a favorite among liberals, following the filibuster last night on Twitter: Shameful that no Dems but (Oregons Ron) Wyden have joined this. I mean some things are just not partisan. Case in point: This page has been trying to draw attention to the drone issue since October 2011, when we wrote: But the Constitution grants rights to U.S. citizens, no matter how hateful and loathsome their beliefs, that it doesnt afford to citizens of other nations. It makes no exception for citizens who take up arms against their country. Traitors can be hanged, but not summarily. Theres the fact that after the filibuster failed, as it inevitably had to, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., went to the Senate floor to harangue his colleague and anybody who supported him, saying: I dont think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people. Presumably Mr. McCain believes his increasingly frequent, but shorter, harangues are helpful. With all due respect to the one- time maverick, hes just dead wrong. Mr. Pauls filibuster was helpful for two reasons.

The most important one is that Americans, some of them anyway, turned their attention away from all the sequester spin cycle long enough to discover that Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter Monday suggesting that, hypothetically, if the president knew that another Sept. …

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