Still burping up undigested arugula that Michelle makes Barack serve to dinner guests, War Hawks Johnny and Lindsey emerged from the shadows of fellow Republican Rand Paul’s drone-limit filibuster triumph with senatorial jealously dripping from their respective lips:
From those of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)…
“This idea that we’re going to use a drone to attack a citizen in a cafe in America is ridiculous.”
From those of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)…
“Calm down, Senator,” McCain said, in an admonition to Paul. “The U.S. government cannot randomly target U.S. citizens.”
“If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in college dorms.”
“To somehow say that someone who disagrees with American policy and even may demonstrate against it (like Jane Fonda did in Vietnam), is somehow a member of an organization which makes that individual an enemy combatant is simply false…[and] in the realm of the ridiculous…”
“What we say yesterday is going to give ammunition to those critics who say that the rules of the Senate are being abused. I hope that my colleagues on this side of the aisle will take in that information.”
“It’s always the wacko birds (later clarified as “Rand Paul, Cruz, Amash, whoever.”) on right and left that get the media megaphone.”
Senator Paul looked calmer, patiently waiting for more than 45 days for either the Commander in Chief or the Attorney General to answer the supposedly ridiculous question, than did Senator McCain while expressing his “randomly target” non sequitur and while ignoring Senator Graham’s apparent parting of the ways with McCain over why Paul’s question was ridiculous:
“To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you?” Graham said. “They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?”
Graham, who has railed against the president for the administration’s handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, praised Obama’s use of the drone program.
“People are astonished that President Obama is doing many of the things that President Bush did. I’m not astonished. I congratulate him for having the good judgment to understand we’re at war,” he said. “And to my party, I’m a bit disappointed that you no longer apparently think we’re at war.”
Sounds to this non-wacko rooster that Lindsey wishes Barack and Eric had refused to answer Rand’s question or that it had been answered in the affirmative. After all, we’re at war! But mention Islamist terror as somehow related to the War on (mere) Extremists (the description all the president’s men prefer) and watch the dissembling begin. Yet, we don’t recall McCainGraham admonishing anyone in the Obama Administration to “calm down” nor hurling “ridiculous”, “wacko bird” invective at any its members.
No, much as liberal Democrats speak glowingly of fellow Leftists, like Hugo Chavez (who also happen to be tyrannical dictators) while accusing their political opponents in the GOP of being racist, bigot, homophobes that care not for the poor, elderly and otherwise infirm; ruling class, establishment Republicans save their most vicious vitriol for conservatives in their own party, rather than for Democrats that share their view of federal government power as plenary at home and abroad.
After all, Lawyer Lindsey thinks that because the Chief Executive is elected, his nominees-for-life to rule the coequal judicial branch of government are entitled to the advice and consent of the supposedly coequal Senate legislative branch unless they are found with a dead girl or live boy, or vice versa depending, presumably upon varying orientations, but I digress.
Seriously, Attorney Graham and Senate batcheoler (so far)-for-life, this fellow South Carolinian thinks it would have been instructive, prior to your votes to confirm Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, had their been a non-lawyer/junior senator from Kentucky around to ask and answer the following question:
Are nominees to the Supreme Court entitled to be confirmed even if they view the U.S. Constitution as a ‘living document” and thus, will necessarily violate their oath to uphold it, just because they are nominated by an elected president and have not been convicted of a felony (unless their name is Bork, and then, of course, all bets are off)? Answer: No
Now, wouldn’t that have been helpful Lindsey?
Moreover, this Fighting South Carolina Gamecock takes a backseat to no one, including fellow neo-cons, on war hawkism; yet, I had never considered a credible American deterrence to be dependent upon an unfettered right of the Commander in Chief of its armed forces to deem the entire face of the Earth a battlefield and any person he designates an enemy combatant subject to having his life snuffed out sans due process? Or does Sen. Graham think lives are put at risk by explicit statements of the limits of government power based upon the explicit document we hold up us the supreme law of the land?
No, we don’t recall any Republican taking to the floor of the Senate between 9/11/2001 and Obama’s First Inaugural to challenge then-President George W. Bush to forswear the use of drones to kill enemy American citizen combatants (not then engaged in combat) on American soil. And?
Maybe you should have asked that question of him Lindsey, but then again, your recent supper club host’s predecessor didn’t regularly exceed his executive authority by violating court orders striking down his own moratoriums on oil drilling in deep Gulf of Mexico waters or usurping the power of Congress to make work a condition of receiving welfare or enact Dream Acts granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
Still waiting to hear accurate characterizations of Barack Obama’s constitutional venality as vitriolic as the inaccurate ones hurled at Rand Paul or those you hurled at fellow Republicans from the bully pulpit of La Raza. Yes, we remember, when we wacko birds were also bigots if we didn’t favor McCainGrahamBush amnesty back in the day, but again, I digress.
Wonder if John McCain remembers any of his voluminous gifts of megaphones from media since he started attacking conservatives as tax cut crazies, as a Chris Matthews-approved “Straight Talk Express” as early as A.D. 1999? We do.
We would have loved to have had Dr. Paul examine 2008 GOP presidential nominee-McCain in 2007 to find out what physical malady prevented him from pronouncing Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s name, much less in asking his Democrat opponent how in God’s name he could endure 20 years of Hate Godda**ed America sermons and still yet deign to ask Americans who love it, to let you lead it.
I guess that would have been ridiculous, but we are comforted in the assurance that should Rand Paul seek the Republican nomination to face your honorable friend (and protector of Libyan diplomats and moderate Syrian Assads) Hillary Clinton; John McCain will be there to assure voters that Bill Clinton’s wife never abused U.S. Senate rules with ridiculous questions like media-megaphone seeking wacko birds, asking ridiculous questions, who Straight Talker so described above as: “Rand Paul, Cruz, Amash, whoever.”
We discerned who are Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and (Rep. Justin) Amash (R-MI), but wondered who was “whoever”. We found out. They were, as related by Sen. Paul, as follows:
Just before 3 p.m., Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) came to the Senate floor to help out. Under Senate rules, I could not yield the floor or my filibuster would end, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could have shut me down. The only way for me to continue and allow Sens. Lee and Cruz to speak was to yield the floor for questions.
Their presence gave me strength and inspiration. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) also arrived to help. Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the only Democrat who came to my defense, explained how we have worked together to demand more information from the White House about the rules for drone strikes. At about 4:30 p.m., Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) joined. I was flagging for a while, but these senators kept me going.
At about 6:30 p.m., something extraordinary happened. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who has been recovering from a stroke, came to the floor to give me something. I was not allowed to drink anything but water or eat anything but the candy left in our Senate desks. But he brought me an apple and a thermos full of tea — the same sustenance Jimmy Stewart brought to the Senate floor in the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” That was a moment I will never forget…
Then something unexpected happened. House conservatives started appearing in the back of the chamber to show their support. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who stayed for five hours, offered me his boots when I complained that I had not worn my most comfortable shoes. My good friend Rep. Thomas Massie from Kentucky came over. And then came the conservative cavalry of Reps… Ron DeSantis (Fla.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Garland “Andy” Barr (Ky.), Trey Radel (Fla.), Michael Burgess (Tex.), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Raul R. Labrador (Idaho), Keith Rothfus (Pa.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Bill Huizenga (Mich.), Richard Hudson (N.C.) and David Schweikert (Ariz.).
Over the evening I had the support of Republican Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), John Cornyn (Tex.), John Thune (S.D.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.). And Sens. Cruz, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) used the opportunity to make their first speaking appearances on the Senate floor. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) came at the end to speak, but after midnight, I had said enough.
By our current count, the Wacko Bird GOP Caucus (aka Tea Party) numbers at least (not counting Obama and Holder, despite the fact that they deemed Rand’s question worthy of answering, albeit only after being forced to do so by effective and exhaustive cross examination) 32 House and Senate members.
The McCain-Graham caucus numbers 2 or 3, including Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), depending upon whether one deems McCain-Graham or McCainGraham to be one person or two. Still looking to see where Lindsey ends and the john begins.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson