Monday, March 11, 2013

Now We Know

Some have called Rand Paul's filibuster historic. Some have called it pointless. It has simultaneously been referred to as a success and as a failure. Senator Paul did indeed get Eric Holder to admit that the President believes it is unconstitutional to use drones against Americans on American soil without a trial, which is what he was asking for. But many believe that words are cheap, especially when those words come from anyone in the Obama Administration. And it may indeed be that this means nothing for the future of drone usage in America. Sen. Paul himself has said that this is just the beginning of the fight. But if the filibuster achieves nothing else, it did have one extremely important outcome. In the world of politics, it can be hard to distinguish one person from the next. Corruption is everywhere and words, as mentioned above, are cheap. It can be very hard to know which politicians mean what they say, and which care only about their own pockets. Well Rand Paul's filibuster made things a whole lot clearer on Wednesday.

As Senator Paul stood on the Senate floor for just under 13 hours, fighting to bring attention to the erosion of our rights as Americans, he was joined by fellow senators. But only a handful. 14 Republican senators stood behind, and with, Rand Paul as he tried to defend the Constitution. Only 1 Democrat senator did. 15. 15 (16 including Paul) out of 100 chose to go against their parties, president, and the status quo in order to try and make sure Americans retain their rights. That is a staggering number. Yet many of us have believed for a long while that most of our representatives in Congress are sell outs. Now we know who they are. Republican or Democrat, it does not matter. What matters is our Constitution which defends our Freedom. Either you are fighting for it, or you are fighting against it.

Those fighting for it include: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).

The Blaze also reports that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was in attendance and supported Paul’s filibuster by bringing the senator a thermos and an apple, a likely reference to “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” However, Kirk, who recently returned to the Senate after suffering a stroke, did not speak during the filibuster. The Blaze article also has a full list of the other 32 Republican senators who did not choose to join the filibuster.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) was the only Democrat to support the filibuster, much to the chagrin of liberals who, whaddaya know, also don't want drones killing Americans without due process on U.S. soil. The ACLU and John Cusack were discouraged at the lack of Democrat support.

I think we all are a little discouraged that the men and women we elect to defend our rights are willing to so easily sell us down the proverbial river, but at least now we know who we can trust to stand up for us and who we can't. My advice: Don't ever vote for anyone not on that list again. Rand Paul's filibuster may not have achieved much, but it has exposed the dirty politicians from the (relatively) clean ones. Now we know who to trust. And as G.I. Joe taught me: knowing is half the battle.

(It should be noted that a number of representatives from the U.S. House also attended to support the filibuster, but I have yet to find a definitive list of who as of yet. If I do, I will update with it.)

UPDATE: In an op-ed Paul wrote for the Washington Post, he included the members of Congress who stood with him during his filibuster. Sixteen House Republicans showed up in the Senate to show solidarity. They are: Louis Gohmert (TX), Thomas Massie (KY), Justin Amash (MI), Ron DeSantis (FL), Doug LaMalfa (CA), Garland Barr (KY), Trey Radel (FL), Michael Burgess (TX), Jim Bridenstine (OK), Raul Labrador (ID), Keither Rothfus (PA), Paul Gosar (AZ), Steve Daines (MONTANA), Bill Huizenga (MI), Richard Hudson (NC), and David Schweikert (AZ). It should also be noted that Senator Angus King, an Independent from Maine, also stood on the floor in support of Paul.

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