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Klavan On The Culture

Rand Paul vs. the Harrumphies

March 10th, 2013 - 8:31 am

If political tone deafness were a capital offense, let me just say I would be the first to petition to have John McCain’s death sentence commuted in light of his brave service in Viet Nam. But come on, Senator! After Senator Rand Paul’s dramatic, courageous, and ultimately triumphant filibuster against at-home drone strikes last week, Paul’s Arizona colleague made a complete fool of himself by harrumphing at Paul on the subject and by calling him and Senator Ted Cruz “wacko birds.”

To be clear, McCain’s disagreement with Paul was not wholly without merit. The ever-brilliant John Yoo strikes me as correct in saying that the president’s powers to strike at America’s enemies — even if they’re Americans and even if they’re on American soil — have not essentially changed. Only the mind-boggling incompetence and stupidity of Attorney General Eric Holder (and I’m only leaving out his dishonesty because it doesn’t apply here) caused the misunderstanding that brought Paul to his feet in the chamber for nearly 13 hours.

But seizing on the stupidity of your opponents and making political hay out of it is part of the job! It is one of the ways in which senators and other politicians serve their countries. Rand Paul did it brilliantly. If McCain and his fellow harrumphy Lindsay Graham couldn’t support that effort as a means of striking a blow against the radical, irresponsible, and corrupt party in power, then they should have followed the wise and honorable course and kept their mouths shut. Giving any sort of political fodder to the other side was simply not the right or proper thing to do.

I haven’t made up my mind about Rand Paul in general yet. I didn’t fully buy his rationale for voting to confirm Chuck Hagel to Defense secretary and I worry it means he bears some measure of his father’s dangerous kookiness on the subjects of foreign policy and Israel. But hey, I don’t have to agree with him on everything. This is a time for smart, shrewd, tough political action against the Obama assault on our political system. Rand Paul took that action in a piece of perfectly staged political theater.  And if the antiquated Harrumphies of the GOP can no longer lead — and they can’t — and they’re unwilling to follow, the least they can do is get the hell out of the way.

Also read:

The Real Reason McCain-Graham Attacked Ted Cruz

 

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I think we missed the most important question.

If we do drop a Hellfire missile on his head and fail to kill him, but only injure him,as a US citizen ...is he still eligible for Obamacare?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The ever-brilliant John Yoo strikes me as correct in saying that the president’s powers to strike at America’s enemies — even if they’re Americans and even if they’re on American soil — have not essentially changed."

Agreed, but so what? This administration has trouble with the basics, and I don't blame the Civil Libertarians for seeking confirmation that this administration understands the limitations under which we all think we agree it operates.

It's also illegal to run guns into Mexico, and there are hundreds of dead Mexicans because this administration deliberately refused to enforce our laws.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (30)
All Comments   (30)
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Term limits for Senators. And like most employees, when the job is done, so are the perks and handouts. McCain, get out of the way !!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rand got out front and raised a valid issue, got himself and his party in the news, Rand said nothing wrong, it was a good exercise, it does not have to be necessary or earthshaking, it does not have to involve kissing Obama's toes, and most of all it does not have to involve kissing McCain's ring. In fact, much better if it does not.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Term limits. Please. Flat tax. Please.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Using military or indeed federally owned to kill a US citizen on US soil without some kind of due process is morally wrong and Consitutionally wrong, and only a damn fool like Eric the Red Holder would hesitaite to say so.

John McCain lost his common sense years ago, if he ever had any. C'mon Arizona, I'm sure you can do better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am distressed that Rand Paul's neo-isolationism has not been spotted more often on the Right. See http://clarespark.com/2013/03/07/blogs-on-neo-isolationism/. There is often a subtext of antisemitism in the defense of Rand or Ron Paul.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rand is not Ron and there is no subtext anywhere in the defense of Rand. You want to beat on Ron, have at it. But don't make stuff up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Have you read this?
http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2013/03/09/mccarthy-to-rand-paul-leave-the-constitution-alone/

Because we have. And we will never forget. Has PJMedia turned into a cheap imitation of the Nancy Boys at National Review? It is certainly looking that way, isn't it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
McCain is just a sour, and jealous Rand stole some airtime from the supposed 24/7 McCain/Lindsey show.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rand Paul was rocking the boat - and McCain, Graham and Co are doing some very fine fishing in the polluted waters of the Potomac.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What angers so many people like Graham and McCain is not just what Paul said but the fact that he rose and said it aloud, unafriad that he might be called a "racist" for challenging Obama and his selection. Maybe he just pulled down the zipper of the MSN and a mouse crawled out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Giving any sort of political fodder to the other side was simply not the right or proper thing to do."
Does that include Rand Paul's latest and greatest fans -- Code Pink and Van Jones?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Having codepink join Rand was good for us. It is deviding the left against itself, and making them join in an anti Obama speech. It also exposes the hipocracy of the left that did not join Rand on this issue, since the left has traditional been concerned about executive overeach on war powers, except apparently when Obama is doing the overeaching.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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