I watched the Very Serious People on Morning Joe discuss the filibuster led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and of course everyone pulled out the YouTube clip of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and made the comparison. It works only if you cast Adam Sandler as Mr. Smith.
Anyway, the basis of Mr. Paul’s filibuster was that he couldn’t get a yes or no answer out of Attorney General Eric Holder and the White House as to whether or not they would rule out using a drone against an American citizen here on American soil. Seeing as how that is a hypothetical of the highest order, seeing as how this or any administration would probably not like to make a hard and fast statement on something like that — what about Pearl Harbor or September 11 — and seeing as how no matter what Mr. Holder or the president said they wouldn’t believe them in the first place, the exercise Mr. Paul went through was an entertaining footnote to a pointless discussion. It chewed up time on C-SPAN, it was a shiny object for the cable guys, and since nothing much else is going on in Washington — it’s snowing, I hear — and there aren’t any missing white women to hunt for, it was better than watching Bruce Boxleitner sell hair replacement kits on cable.
And, of course, does anyone doubt that if this had been under the administration of George W. Bush, John McCain, or Mitt Romney and a Democratic senator took to the floor of the Senate to talk for 13 hours to filibuster the nomination of John Yoo as the director of the CIA, we wouldn’t have the flaming gasbags of Fox News and the orcosphere calling for his immediate expulsion and a one-way ticket to Gitmo for doubting the methods of the never-ending War on Terra?
It doesn’t really matter who’s in the White House. The defense system we have is in place if it’s a Democrat or a Republican. The only difference is who gets to point the fingers when they want to distract us from the fact that we Americans are killing a lot of people using roughly the same methods we use to download a movie on Netflix. That’s more disturbing than listening to Rand Paul drone on.