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Happily Droning On About Rand Paul

by John on 03/08/2013


We should applaud Rand Paul – and not just for his performance.

Sure, he is described as a wing-nut.  And he has said his share of ridiculous things.  Don’t let him off the hook for those.

And yes, he looked like he was grandstanding with the filibuster speech.  It was a publicity stunt that worked.  It got him the attention he needed.

But here’s my take-away – and the good in his performance.

  • He raised an important issue – that is forward thinking.  Paul, at least on this issue, is being proactive.  I always drone on (pun intended) that our leaders are always looking backwards.  Paul isn’t here.
  • Drone technology is something we need to deal with now. Our skies will be filled with drones doing surveillance, watching traffic, and bringing us live news stories.  The technology is getting cheaper and more affordable.  But we need regulations to prevent police from over-reaching but also some hormone-driven knucklehead who wants to fly a drone over Susie’s house to watch her sunbathe and determine if she is Brazilian.  (I need a woman editor.)
  • Paul is flexing his muscles in the GOP.  Angering Lindsey Graham and John McCain is a good thing.  But McCain and Graham, I thought, had some legitimate counter arguments.  Granted, they treated Rand like he was a Democrat.  But, in defense of them, there could be sleeper cells in the US and we are in a constant state of war.  Who’s right?  They both are.  These things need to be reconciled and discussed further.  Bravo to both sides.
  • Paul is also bucking one of the GOPs’ traditional donors (bribers, really) – defense manufacturers.
  • Paul may seem to be agitating the Obama White House.  But really he was laying the groundwork to restrict future Administrations.
  • That’s how a filibuster works.  If it is something you’re passionate about, then get up and speak about.  Don’t sit behind some bureaucratic mechanism that delays action on a bill while you sit on your fat ass.  Paul put in the time.  Bravo.
  • If he’s running for President, then he has chosen a much better issue than any of the GOP candidates in the 2012 race.  He hit an issue that crosses party lines.  Even Democrats sided with him.  Was it a publicity stunt to jump-start his run in 2016?  Probably. If so, it was a good stunt – that worked.
  • This is also good for the Republican Party.  They need an ideology shake-up.  The GOP has been too rigid with its neo-con foreign affairs and the Federalist Society doctrines.  They have only brought us war, income inequality, and an inflexible Congress that all need to go.  Maybe Rand Paul is a small catalyst to get us back to Bill Buckley.
  • Maybe Paul has broken the ice with all members of Congress.  You can buck your party leaders and survive.  Add this to the President’s dinner with GOP members and maybe — fingers crossed — a Grand Bargain is not far behind.


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