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Bravo, Rand Paul, whatever you were doing

I do not entirely understand why Rand Paul spoke in the Senate for ten hours, accompanied by ten other senators, three Republicans and seven Democrats. It was something to do with derailing an extension of the Patriot Act. Apparently if he had gone on fifteen more minutes longer, past midnight, it would have been a proper filibuster. But he did not. Weird. Still, Paul is a man whom I credit with having a decent reason for pretty much whatever he does. Well done, I think.

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14 comments to Bravo, Rand Paul, whatever you were doing

  • Note the Party breakdown. The Party normally thought to be in favor of State control was over represented and the Party normally thought to be against it was under represented.

    The same thing is showing up with respect to Drug Prohibition.

    It is a wonder.

  • Mr Ed

    Dr Paul was, I understand, seeking to highlight the issue of the bulk collection of data under the Patriot Act and to drag out a vote on its extension. A 10 hour partial filibuster is quite an achievement, and should remind everyone that he was seeking to stop the sort of people who would actually want to make us all listen to a Castro-style 4 hour rant on a daily basis.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/cuba-fidel-castro-famous-long-winded-speeches-finally-discovers-brevity-85-article-1.1098479

  • James Strong

    But what was the outcome?
    Was it any different from a jinking winger running from inside his own 22, beating 5 opponents and then losing the ball in contact just inside the opponents’ 22, thereby allowing them to regain the ground and negate the attack?

  • 18 years and counting

    Well short of his record, though. In 2013 he spoke for 13 hours in protest at executive power…

    What Hath Rand Paul Wrought?

  • Douglas2

    What does it accomplish? It gets him shown on the evening news and written about in the morning newspapers. As the last time, I think Rand Paul at this point knows that he is tilting at windmills in terms of actually changing legislation, but that doesn’t stop him from taking advantage of the occasion of the vote in order to advance his branding as the pro-liberty person in the Senate.

  • Paul Marks

    Rand Paul sincerely believes in the 4th Amendment – and the rest of the Constitution also.

    This is a rare thing in these evil days.

    The media accuse him of having a short temper – but in this world of treason not being annoyed would, itself, be a betrayal.

    “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.

  • lowlylowlycook

    Natalie, if you fully understood the rules, procedures and etiquette of the United States Senate, they would have to destroy it and start another, even more Byzantine Senate.

    Some believe that this has already happened. Several times.

  • Besides the news factor I believe it indicates that getting enough votes to pass this turkey may be difficult. Some sites are reporting that.

    And the comments here at HuffPo are quite interesting.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/20/nsa-reform-bill_n_7345268.html

  • Laird

    The House bill to rein in the NSA passed by a very lopsided and entirely bi-partisan majority.* Paul is trying to get the Senate to vote on the same bill, and if permitted to do so I’m sure it would pass by a similar majority. The only impediment is Mitch McConnell, who is employing every available procedural trick to prevent that from happening. McConnell’s goal is to find some way to extend the current law, which I consider wholly unacceptable. So kudos to Paul for playing the same game, and using the Senate rules to his own advantage.

    I think he’s just trying to run out the clock. If he does get the Senate to vote on the House bill, I would consider that to be a second-best outcome. The optimal result would be no action at all. The Senate goes into recess tomorrow, and without an extension Section 215 expires by its own terms on June 1 (before the Senate could reconvene and act on it). That would be an even better result than enacting the (flawed) House bill. Fingers crossed!

    * That bill doesn’t go nearly far enough (I won’t get into details here), but it is a step in the right direction and that in itself is remarkable.

  • gongcult

    Tilting at windmills is the first step. If we can get our doofus americani interested in the substance of mr.Paul’s arguments then we will be closer to a dialogue on the lack of liberty in America

  • bobby b

    Yeah, what good can it do?

    I mean, aside from generating many articles in the media about what he was doing and why. Aside from countless blogs discussing his actions and the Patriot Act itself. Aside from heightened public awareness of the steady erosion of our Constitution. Aside from highlighting in a very public way how the current crop of politicians, liberal and conservative, no longer worry about serving their own constituencies, but would rather be parts of a power structure.

    I mean, what a doofus! Everybody’s talking about it!

  • It is my considered opinion that a certain faction of the power structure wants him to be President. The main reason being that Prohibition is no longer an asset. It is a liability.

    Now let’s think this through. Will the spying on Americans stop if Paul “wins”? No. And certainly not. So what will be gained? Evidence gathered will not be useable in court. They will have to resort to parallel construction. That is not bad as it limits them to some extent.

    Let us not forget. There IS a war on. And in war spying is essential.

  • Niall Kilmartin

    Paul’s action makes people more aware that this monitoring is happening. This seems to me a simple good, regardless of any other good that may or may not accrue. Even supporters of this monitoring must, if rational, recognise the danger of abuse (e.g. to victimise the president’s political opponents). Such abuse is (a bit) less likely when the fact of monitoring is known. Under a stricter system where specific warrants and reasons were required, actual terrorists would still always be nervous such monitoring had been warranted against them, so I don’t think terrorists are made more cautious (i.e. more able to evade it) by the public’s knowledge.

    (One of the horrors of a state like North Korea is that the state has the latest bugging devices, bought from the west, while many of its citizens may be genuinely ignorant that such devices can exist.)

  • Metadata. It’s all Metadata these days…