March 6, 2013 the junior Senator from Kentucky, Dr. Rand Paul, son of Libertarian figurehead Ron Paul, made history. Starting at 11:47 A.M. he began filibustering the nomination of John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency by President Obama. Why is he doing this? Well, on February 12, Senator Paul wrote a letter to Brennan asking his stance drone strikes U.S. citizens in the United States.
Due to no clear response, Senator Paul began his filibuster by stating, “I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”
News outlets and social media sites began to blow up with people all over the world talking about this once a lifetime event. As Senator Paul gained support from fellow Senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, majority leader Mitch McConnell, and others throughout the day, discussion of a possible record-breaking filibuster arose. The longest filibuster to occur in the United States Senate was in 1957 when South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond spoke for 24 hours 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Since he wasn’t allowed to leave the chamber, go to the bathroom, or even sit down, Senator Paul had staff and fellow Senators bring him candy and refreshments throughout the day. One of the funniest moments of the day was when Senator Paul was trying to eat a candy bar and talk at the same time with caramel dripping from his mouth. Some other hilarious moments came when quotes from The Godfather, Wiz Kalifa, and Jay-Z were made.
Seeing as he wasn’t out to make history, but simply bring up something that needed to be discussed, Senator Paul made his concluding remarks at 12:41 A.M after 12 hours, 54 minutes of filibustering. In his concluding remarks, Senator Paul stated that he hoped this debate will not go ignored and that hopefully President Obama and John Brennan will soon answer the extremely important question on the use of drones against U.S. citizens on U.S. ground.
This is only the beginning. A new generation of Conservative leaders are rising in the Republican party. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, etc. are standing up against President Obama and his fellow Democrats. These Conservative leaders are making it clear that Obama’s second term will be anything but easy. With the 2014 midterm elections essentially right around the corner, Democrats are gearing up and hoping to gain back the House. However, the Conservative movement is getting fired up yet again, and won’t go down without a fight.
UPDATE: March 7, 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder sent Senator Paul a letter around noon in which he said both himself and President Obama do not support the use of drone strikes on Americans in the United States.