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Rand Paul's 12-Hour Filibuster of John Brennan in 120 Seconds: VIDEO


As you may know, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) engaged in a more-than-12-hour filibuster yesterday of John Brennan's nomination to director of the CIA, much of which was about drone surveillance and warfare.

In case you missed it, Politisphere has polished down the marathon session to a spare two minutes:

Paul's filibuster, which lasted more than 12 hours and was joined at times by several other senators, focused on the government's use of drone strikes. Paul specifically expressed his extreme disapproval of Attorney General Eric Holder's refusal to rule out using drone strikes against American citizens on American soil, which Holder said in a recent letter to Paul could be ordered in "extreme circumstances."

Paul ended the filibuster after making a joke that nature was calling.


The end:

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  1. what a gloriously embarrassing way to waste time and stall.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2013 12:40:35 PM

  2. Yeah, nature was calling for him to go in the woods, be mistaken for a troubled deer, and shot.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 7, 2013 1:02:17 PM

  3. Rand Paul was specifically addressing the killing of NON-COMBATANT Americans on American soil. As much as I hate to agree with him on principle, he is right.

    Posted by: AKConstant | Mar 7, 2013 1:07:02 PM

  4. Note the twins McCain and Graham have denounced Paul's real filibuster as a stunt. Unlike the phony ones they endorse week after week.

    Paul and yes, even Ted Cruz did the country a great service yesterday, much as I disagree with virtually everything else either one of them has ever done. The question of whether an administration can execute American citizens on American soil without those pesky trials and rules of evidence should not be a hard question to answer. Further it exposes the wider issue of how these drones are used everywhere. For instance, do we even have a complete list of where they are bring used? There is no transparency and no accountability.

    Posted by: melvin | Mar 7, 2013 1:21:41 PM

  5. I am disgusted by Rand Paul's stance on gay rights...

    **BUT** I applaud him for this.

    No president or government has the right to kill it's civilians without trial, drone or no drone!

    Posted by: Chrisme | Mar 7, 2013 1:29:37 PM

  6. @Little Kiwi: Think what you may about Paul, what he did in this instance was right. He was right not only about the issue he took a stand on but gave a great example of what filibusters should be like. Enough with the phony filibusters both sides have engaged in for years, if you want to hold up a bill or action then put on some comfortable shoes and get ready to keep gabbin'.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Mar 7, 2013 1:37:32 PM

  7. I hate to admit that I also agree with Rand Paul on this. Probably the first time I've ever agreed with him. Bravo, sir

    Posted by: Lucas | Mar 7, 2013 1:39:27 PM

  8. Yeah, Nature called. She's doing a recall on the defective brain. It was originally meant for a worm. She's fairly pissed, because it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Mar 7, 2013 1:40:06 PM

  9. look, i'm a stereotypical canadian pacifist - i loathe war culture.
    but there's a way to do things with passion and then there's just plain old wanking.

    but you're right - i'd rather a filibuster with a point than the nonsense we've been seeing for the last few years.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2013 1:40:50 PM

  10. kiwi is a stereotypical dem hack. nothing more. if paul had D after his name and the president was republican, every dem hack would be praising the filibustering senator as a true hero.

    Posted by: AG | Mar 7, 2013 1:45:38 PM

  11. i'm canadian. the dems are too conservative for me :)

    i suppose a large part of my frustration is that the GOP was all but silent about that patriot act nonsense.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2013 1:57:37 PM

  12. I loathe him, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. And Mr. Paul was right his two times in this instance. First, this is how fillibusters must be done, and it was so nice to see it actually performed instead of the nation's business being halted by phoning in one's intention to actually fillibuster.

    Second, of course, he is absolutely right in objection to the notion of the president, any president, having the authority to assassinate American citizens on American soil without charge or any due process of criminal justice.

    Posted by: Zlick | Mar 7, 2013 2:03:03 PM

  13. I appreciate Paul doing a filibuster the way a filibuster should be done.

    That being said, he was off the mark. He filibustered Brennan's approval for an issue unrelated to Brennan's ability to do the job he was appointed to do.

    Paul's issue is with Obama's response (or lack thereof), not Brennan's qualifications.

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Mar 7, 2013 2:10:02 PM

  14. We need Sky Net deployed. Then, it won't be about Obama.

    Posted by: Mawm | Mar 7, 2013 2:15:32 PM

  15. does anyone remember that early-90s flop film "TOYS"?

    weirdly - it's pretty much about drones.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2013 2:18:48 PM

  16. This was one of the greatest political and democratic moments in recent memory. I might loathe Paul's views on marriage (which contradict his supposedly libertarian stance), and I might hate that he aligns with the GOP, but I applaud what he did here.

    I can see that LITTLEKIWI might view this as wanking, since it really didn't accomplish any legislative goal. But it did generate a lot of media attention, and it did start a lot of conversations at water coolers around the country. I was cynical about it at first too, but eventually I had to admit that it mattered. A lot of liberal and progressive Americans who would be upset about the drone policy (and other actions taken by Obama) have disturbingly written him a blank check on executive power just because he's a Democrat. And republicans who have been critical are being so obviously hypocritical and operating under anti-Obama sentiment that they're easy to ignore.

    Paul was taking a stand on principle, not on party affiliation. And he wasn't reading phone books or restaurant menus or such--he was talking substance the whole time. It's very rare in the U.S. to see this happen anymore, and I think it reminded a lot of people of an era of democracy that seems all but extinct.

    Posted by: Thomas | Mar 7, 2013 2:19:07 PM

  17. Thomas - well stated. I concur.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2013 2:22:34 PM

  18. Seriously, what is up with his hair?

    Posted by: Dave | Mar 7, 2013 3:09:09 PM

  19. it's Libertarian hair - it does whatever it wants, even if it goes against itself :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 7, 2013 3:11:57 PM

  20. The law here is very convoluted, largely because the president's war powers are separate from his executive authority. President's have a variety of emergency powers, that if used with malice could do a lot of damage. The only thing stopping a president from using them is the fact he would have to rely on others to execute the order, which is not as easy as it sounds. Whenever a hypothetical case is made, like Holder is doing, it prevents justice dept. officials from stopping the execution of a particular order, much like they did with Bush on torture.

    For those not familiar with how the WH works, order issued by the president are done in writing, and must be reviewed by justice dept attorneys, usually before they are signed. Then they work their way down the chain of command. There are exceptions, but every order is subject to a post hoc review. In theory, a president could be arrested for issuing an illegal order (though in theory he could pardon himself immediately). The AG would have to arrest the president himself or order the secret service to do so.

    So what Holder has done here is prevent the justice dept. from saying "No".

    Posted by: anon | Mar 7, 2013 3:15:59 PM

  21. "Even a broken clock is right twice a day".

    Broken clock Rand Paul was dead right this time. And he also did us the favor of reminding us what a REAL filibuster should look like. He did more, singlehandedly, to explain filibusters to the American public than anybody in... oh... modern history.

    Posted by: dw | Mar 7, 2013 3:20:06 PM

  22. Wait he seems to be leaning on the desk. Isn't that a rule of the filibuster that you can't lean on anything??

    As for breaking Strom Thurmond's record you may be able to beat the timing Rand but not even you can't possibly top the douchebaggery of trying to block the most sweeping civil rights law ever created in our country. Thurmond is still an ass even in death.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Mar 7, 2013 3:30:59 PM

  23. I almost never agree with Rand Paul and I almost always agree with President Obama. However, I think Paul's filibuster was a worthwhile thing. The Obama administration has to tell us more about their ideas on the possibility of using drone strikes against terorists on American soil.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 7, 2013 6:09:25 PM

  24. Who the f*ck clapped for that sh*t?!

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Mar 7, 2013 6:15:08 PM

  25. Obama is turning into Saddam Hussein. He'll scrap the Constitution next.

    Posted by: rise | Mar 7, 2013 6:25:48 PM

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