For my birthday, Sen. Rand Paul started a filibuster.
I jest. The junior senator from Kentucky had something more important than my big day on his mind: the U.S. Constitution.
At 11:47AM, Sen. Paul took the floor: “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes.”
I didn’t watch all of his endeavor (yet). What I did catch was amazingly eloquent.
It was also very specific. The Kentucky senator had asked candidate Brennan not one but two substantial lists of questions regarding the drone strike program. He also asked the Obama Administration whether the president thinks he has the constitutional right to use drone strikes against non-combatant Americans on American soil. Brennan had answered well enough, but left the administration to answer for itself. Attorney General Eric Holder responded, later, evasively.
And so Rand Paul took to the floor. And spoke at length — without teleprompter. He was joined, later, by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. And then some Republicans, including Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.
Though Rand Paul’s office had started a Twitter hashtag, #filiblizzard. It didn’t take off. Instead, #StandWithRand became the international trending topic.
The world watched.
But filibusters have to end. About 13 hours in, Rand Paul did end it, though not before insisting that, with regard to our rights, compromise is very, very bad: “The Fifth Amendment is not optional.”
If this filibuster solidified that constitutional principle, what a present that would be — and not just to me, but to all Americans. And the world.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.