American politics can be offensive. It’s the nature of the beast on that front. Senator Lindsey Graham called Rand Paul’s question about whether drones would be used on Americans not engaged in combat on American soil offensive. I’m sorry Sen. Graham, but the offensive thing is that it took so long for such a simple question to be answered and that such senior Republicans didn’t feel in needed to be answered.
It wasn’t a difficult question. In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder finally answered it in a single paragraph yesterday by saying that no, the president does not have the authority to kill Americans who aren’t engaged in combat. All of that, and it took a 13 hour filibuster to actually get such a simple answer to such a simple question.
In most instances, a question like this is quickly asked and just as quickly answered. It’s a non-story in the long run. It might make a few blog headlines, but then it’s quickly forgotten. Unfortunately, that isn’t what the Obama Administration did. Instead, they danced around the question with moves that would put Beyonce to shame. They just didn’t answer the question, which made a libertarian leaning senator like Paul feel like he needed to do something.
Paul stated yesterday on Fox News that he didn’t intend to filibuster when he walked in the chamber. Not really. He wasn’t even use he could get the floor, but he did. He seized the opportunity to make a point, and it’s a point that had to be made. Graham and his partner in crime, Sen. John McCain, didn’t particularly like it. In fact, Graham decided to vote for John Brennan’s appointment as CIA director just to spite Paul (despite the fact that Paul never said a word against Brennan. It was never about him).
McCain called the filibuster a stunt that “fired up the libertarian kids”. Well, as one of those so-called “libertarian kids”, John McCain has just painted a target on his back, as did Lindsey Graham. Both have earned the enmity of these so-called “libertarian kids” who do not believe the executive branch of government has a right to execute Americans here in the United States.
You see, while Rand Paul was making a stand for the United States Constitution, Graham and McCain were having supper with President Obama. While some of their colleagues, including our own Saxby Chambliss, joined Sen. Paul on the floor of the Senate, these two have instead sided with an administration that seemed pathologically incapable of saying that they had no authority to kill Americans on American soil who weren’t engaged in combat with the United States government.
The fact that this stand was controversial in any way simply shows that politicians like McCain and Graham know nothing about the constitution they both swore to “protect and defend”. Yes, the Albany Journal stands with Rand Paul on this. We will continue to stand against governmental overreach that sets dangerous precedence for future presidents who may or may not share our value of due process or even free speech.