Too many pundits in the national news media glibly stated over and over again that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul stood on the floor of the United States Senate — for nearly thirteen straight hours last Wednesday — to “filibuster” President Obama’s nominee for CIA Director. And sure, while this is technically true, in my view this sort of political analysis completely misses the mark. Writing in the Washington Times on Friday, the senator explained in his own words why he rose to speak that day — namely, to defend the principles enshrined in the United States Constitution:
On Wednesday, I rose to begin a filibuster on the nomination of John O. Brennan to be director of the CIA. I stood up with the intent of speaking until I was no longer able to speak. I vowed to speak as long as it took, until an alarm was sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that our rights to trial by jury are precious, and that no American should be killed by a drone on U.S. soil without having been found guilty in a court of law.
I didn’t rise to oppose Mr. Brennan’s nomination simply based on him as a person. I rose to defend the principles of our Constitution, principles for which we have fought long and hard. To give up on that principle — the Bill of Rights, the Fifth Amendment — is a travesty. I will not sit back and allow the president to shred our Constitution.