Rand Paul's #Filiblizzard Enters Its Sixth (Now Tenth) Hour
Starting at 1147ET, Rand Paul began his James-Joycean discussion on US-based Drone strikes, six hours later (and with some minor aid from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)), he is still going. Have you ever felt so strongly about something that you were willing to talk about it for over six hours? From Cruz's note that today is the 177th anniversary of the fall of (or stand at) the Alamo to Paul's rhetorical (we think) question to the President: "Are you going to just drop a hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?" We suspect the night is yet young as the snowquester continues.
The Atlantic summarizes:
Rand Paul spent Wednesday doing something you don't see very often—an honest-to-goodness, non-stop filibuster speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Lacking the 41 votes necessary to prevent a cloture vote that would block the nomination of John Brennan to be the CIA director, Paul chose to stall the old-fashioned way, through the original meaning of the talking filibuster. As long as Paul spoke (and stood), he held the Senate captive — and he had a lot to say about drones.
Paul opened by vowing to "speak until I can no longer speak." He held true to that, though senators from several other states (including a Democrat from Oregon) came to the floor to ask questions, during which breaks Paul presumably attended to necessary personal needs.
Paul's was the first talking filibuster since Bernie Sanders spoke for 8.5 hours back in 2010, beginning at around 11:45 a.m. and lasting well into the evening. Whether or not Paul's intended audience — the president — paid any attention remains unclear.
By way of reference (via About.com), The record for the longest filibuster goes to U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957, according to U.S. Senate records. Thurmond began speaking at 8:54 p.m. on Aug. 28 and continued until 9:12 p.m. the following evening, reciting the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, President George Washington's farewell address and other historical documents along the way.
Some choice, totally out-of-context quotes, so far (via The Atlantic):
"If there was an ounce of courage in this body, I would not be here alone."
"The point isn't that any body in our country is Hitler..."
"If you're going to kill people in America, you need to have rules and we need to know what those rules are. ... I don't want to find out that having seven days worth of food in your house is on the list."
"To be bombed in your sleep? There's nothing American about that."
Live video (via The Washington Post):
The Twittersphere's take on it all:
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