Though foes of drones on the right and left cheered Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster this week, with the tea partier delaying confirmation of CIA director John Brennan for a day, Paul's rant targeted a nonexistent dispute: whether or not Obama administration officials believed they could use drones (or other weapons) to kill American citizens within the borders of the United States without due process. Take away all Paul's hyped-up hysteria—watch out, Jane Fonda!—and he didn't truly disagree with the administration's position that in an extraordinary circumstance, such as an ongoing terrorist attack, the US government can deploy lethal force against evildoers who happen to be American citizens. So why did Paul go ballistic? Here's a clue: The day after he ended one of the longest filibusters in US history, he tried to cash in on his stunt by zapping out a fundamentally inaccurate fundraising email for his 2016 reelection campaign.
How bad was it? Pretty awful:
So I stood for thirteen-straight hours to send a message to the Obama administration, I will do everything in my power to fight their attempts to ignore the Constitution!
Millions of Americans chose to stand with me and put President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and Congress in the spotlight...
And the good news is, it worked!
Just hours ago, I received a letter from Attorney General Holder declaring the President DOES NOT have the authority to use drones to kill Americans on U.S. soil.
Patriot, this shows what we can do when stand together and fight.
You got it. Rand Paul is now taking credit for the Obama administration's position. Only one problem: As Corn points out, Rand Paul agrees with the Obama administration that under an imminent threat situation, the President can indeed do that.
Paul thoroughly mischaracterized Holder's statement for his money-shaking email. The attorney general limited his no-drones declaration to Americans "not engaged in combat." An American participating in a terrorist attack that constitutes an extraordinary circumstance could still end up on the wrong end of a Hellfire missile (with Paul supporting such a development).
Paul did not force a change in Obama administration policy or even a clarification of policy. What Holder said in the second letter was a reiteration of what he said in the first letter that Paul essentially endorsed while filibustering.
But I had to put up with all kinds of "progressive" people this week telling me how principled Rand Paul is. Maybe it will make them feel better to be suckered into being props for his fundraising for 2016, but I'm pretty sure they don't care because they hate President Obama more than they dislike Rand Paul.
Got news for you: that doesn't make you a principled progressive, it makes you a stooge.
Oh, and if you need final confirmation you're being played like idiots, behold John Podhoretz:
The lesson: Do interesting, unexpected things and you can highlight issues important to you, advance policy goals you think are critical for the future of the country and elevate your own standing to the level of a national figure.
Be the shiny object for our idiot village media to chase, and you get to be a "serious national leadership figure". Thanks for playing along, suckers.