You would think Maverick might at least seize the opportunity to note that the guy who beat him five years ago did so in part by campaigning on a lie, but that would mean giving an inch of ground to the isolationists on his own side. So instead he sides with O even though everyone from Reince Priebus to Fox News to the Ron Paul fan base to Jon Stewart is patting Paul on the back, and inexplicably he insists on being nasty about it just in case anyone who enjoyed Paul’s performance hasn’t been completely alienated by McCain yet. Question for my fellow hawks: Is this really the hill to die on vis-a-vis paleocon/libertarian foreign policy? Arguing in favor of a president’s power to fire missiles at an enemy combatant on U.S. soil even if he’s a U.S. citizen and isn’t engaged in terrorism at the time when the FBI could just as easily go in and grab him? If that’s a “wacko bird” position, then a lot of people who agree with it will be left wondering whether the entire mainstream rap on libertarians and paleocons as being “fringe” and “extreme” is a lie. Maverick and Graham need to learn to pick their battles.
And if you really want to read someone lay into McCain, check out PJM’s Michael Walsh. Reading Michael’s piece, I got an ever-so-slight aura of a penumbra of an emanation that Michael might not be a fan of the ole self-professed Maverick. You might come away with a similar take on Michael’s article yourself.
Another establishment figure unhappy with Paul is MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who dubs Paul as “ridiculous, sick, paranoid,” as Reason’s Matt Welch writes:
Was it a momentous occasion Wednesday when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) drew praise from Rush Limbaugh to Code Pink, from Van Jones to Jennifer Rubin, by forcing the Obama administration to cough up at least some ball-advancing if unsatisfying answers about how and when it feels OK about assassinating American citizens on U.S. soil? MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell thinks so. And not in a good way: “It was the first time the black-helicopter crowd out there had one of their own, speaking into a Senate microphone,” O’Donnell hissed.
Black helicopter crowd you say? That’s awfully rich when O’Donnell’s associate Chris Matthews going the full Oliver Stone on the topic:
[T]here is a possibility somewhere out there on the edge that a tough– not going to say he did it– but somebody pretty far on the far right like Dick Cheney, who has pushed waterboarding and things, will push this thing that far? Do you think it’s possible that a Jane Fonda could be targeted even by the most right-wing American politician we can imagine?
Not to mention coming from O’Donnell himself, who is prone to describing himself as “not a progressive. I am not a liberal who is so afraid of the word that I had to change my name to progressive. Liberals amuse me. I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals, okay?”
Welch describes O’Donnell’s attack against Paul as “vein throbbing.” Which reminds me — who wouldn’t trust O’Donnell to be in charge of ordering up drone strikes against Americans?
* MSNBC’s David Corn describes Holder’s letter to Paul yesterday in response to his filibuster as having “a very silent FU in it somewhere.” But what proclamation from Obama or his associates doesn’t have at least a tacit FU to the American people in it somewhere?