And I hope he means it.
The Senate has the power to restrain the executive branch — and my filibuster was the beginning of the fight to restore a healthy balance of powers.
Read on, do you see those names listed by the good Senator from Kentucky? Those are your new Conservative Leaders. Those representatives still have spines, unlike Senators Graham and The Traitor John McCain and the rest of the ‘establishment’. Its time for the broken down, the sold out, the go along to get alongs to go. I hope they leave quietly into the night and let the these new, real leaders to get on with restoring America to its rightful place.
By Rand Paul, Published: March 8
Rand Paul, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Kentucky.
If I had planned to speak for 13 hours when I took the Senate floor Wednesday, I would’ve worn more comfortable shoes. I started my filibuster with the words, “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak” — and I meant it.
I wanted to sound an alarm bell from coast to coast. I wanted everybody to know that our Constitution is precious and that no American should be killed by a drone without first being charged with a crime. As Americans, we have fought long and hard for the Bill of Rights. The idea that no person shall be held without due process, and that no person shall be held for a capital offense without being indicted, is a founding American principle and a basic right.
My official starting time was 11:47 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.
I had a large binder of materials to help me get through my points, but although I sometimes read an op-ed or prepared remarks in between my thoughts, most of my filibuster was off the top of my head and straight from my heart. From 1 to 2 p.m., I barely looked at my notes. I wanted to make sure that I touched every point and fully explained why I was demanding more information from the White House.
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.
Sen. Reid came to the Senate floor to ask me when I would be done so he could schedule a vote. But I wasn’t ready to yield. I felt I had a lot more explaining to do.
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.
Sen. Cruz came to the floor again just before 7:30 p.m. and said, “Given that the Senate rules do not allow for the use of cellular phones on the floor of the Senate, I feel quite confident that the senator from Kentucky is not aware of the Twitter-verse that has been exploding.”
I had little idea of what was going on. I was allowed only to talk and listen to questions. As I started to walk around the Senate chamber to loosen up my legs, I was energized by the responses on Twitter. Sen. Cruz really lifted my spirits when he read the tweets.
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. Justin Amash (Mich.), 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 the end of the night, I was tired and my voice was cracking. I ended by saying, “The cause here is one that I think is important enough to have gone through this procedure.” I talked about the idea of compromise, but said that “you don’t get half of the Fifth Amendment.” I argued that we need more extended debates. And finally, at 12:40 a.m., I yielded the floor.
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed John Brennanas director of the CIA. But this debate isn’t over.
The Senate has the power to restrain the executive branch — and my filibuster was the beginning of the fight to restore a healthy balance of powers. The president still needs to definitively say that the United States will not kill American noncombatants. The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment applies to all Americans; there are no exceptions.
The outpouring of support for my filibuster has been overwhelming and heartening. My office has fielded thousands of calls. Millions have followed this debate on TV, Twitter and Facebook. On Thursday, the White House produced another letter explaining its position on drone strikes. But the administration took too long, and parsed too many words and phrases, to instill confidence in its willingness or ability to protect our liberty.
I hope my efforts help spur a national debate about the limits of executive power and the scope of every American’s natural right to be free. “Due process” is not just a phrase that can be ignored at the whim of the president; it is a right that belongs to every citizen in this great nation.
I believe the support I received this past week shows that Americans are looking for someone to really stand up and fight for them. And I’m prepared to do just that.
Compare the above leadership with this from The Traitor John McCain:
Sen. John McCain of Arizona kept up his criticism of some of the GOP’s younger wing on Friday — this time calling Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan “wacko birds.”
“They were elected; nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else,” McCain told The Huffington Post in an interview. “But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.”
When asked to clarify the statement, McCain said he was referencing “Rand Paul, Cruz, Amash, whoever.”
“I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans,” McCain told The Huffington Post. “They’re not.”…
Meanwhile, conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh praised Paul’s filibuster move and said that attacks by McCain, Graham, and other senior Republicans reflected a broader concern of the junior Kentucky senator.
“There is a fear among McCain, Lindsey Graham, and others who favor an interventionist foreign policy,” Limbaugh said on his afternoon radio show. “They’re worried that Rand Paul’s diatribe on drones really means that Rand Paul wants to bring the military home and not use it unless we’re attacked.
“Rand Paul made a connection with the American people,” Limbaugh continued. “These other people do not. Therefore, he has the ability to influence and motivate people. They’re afraid that what Rand Paul was doing was not just speaking out against the use of drones on American citizens on American soil.
“They’re afraid that Rand Paul is actually setting the stage for building up public support to stop the interventionist usage of American military might and foreign policy all over the world,” Limbaugh said.
McCain clashed with Amash over a joke the senior senator made on Twitter about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Amash called it “racist.” McCain told The Huffington Post that the congressman was “defending” Iran’s leader.
And McCain attacked Cruz for saying during the confirmation hearings on Chuck Hagel as defense secretary that he had accepted money from terrorist groups.
“He was making a presentation that said that Chuck Hagel might have taken money from Palestinian organizations, people connected with all that,” McCain told The Huffington Post. “Look, you can’t, without any basis in fact — you just don’t go around saying that kind of stuff.”
In response to McCain’s attack on Friday, Amash said on Twitter: “Sen McCain called @SenRandPaul @SenTedCruz & me ‘wacko birds.’ Bravo, Senator. You got us. Did you come up with that at #DinnerWithBarack?”
McCain and Graham were among a dozen GOP senators who had dinner with President Barack Obama on Wednesday as the president sought to shore up support among more moderate members of the party.