☰ Menu
All Da King's Men

Republican Rift

By David King Published: March 8, 2013

Following Attorney General Eric Holder's controversial statement that allowed for the possibility of the President carrying out drone strikes on American citizens here in America, Sen. Rand Paul began asking questions. He asked if "the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial". I really wanted to hear the answer to that question myself.

Holder responded:

"...the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so...we reject the use of military force...where well-established law enforcement authorities...provide the means...We have a long history of using the criminal justice system...The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States."

Sen. Paul didn't iike this answer, because it sounded suspiciously like a roundabout way of saying "yes, the President can carry out drone strikes against  American citizens".

Next came Sen. Paul's 13-hour filibuster, which angered some of the old Republican guard, like Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham. I'll get back to them in a moment.

The good news is, the filibuster worked. AG Holder penned a second letter to Sen. Paul, a very short letter. This is the entire body:

"It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no." 

Hurrah !!! There's the answer we've been waiting for !!! The correct answer is NO !!! How hard was that ??? Eric Holder wins a stuffed Teddy Bear for getting it right on his third try.

Sen. Paul proclaimed, "Under duress and under public humiliation, the White House will respond and do the right thing." 

Now back to the angry Republicans. Here's McCain, who said Paul "should know better" than to pull stunts like his filibuster:
"If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids. I don't think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people." 
Sen. Graham was on C-SPAN basically saying the government can do whatever it wants, anywhere it wants, so long as it suspected Al Qaedans were in he area. Hopefully, those suspected Al Qaeda members won't live in YOUR apartment building should Lindsey Graham ever become President. I've heard drone strikes can make quite a mess, and I doubt renter's insurance will cover the collateral damage, not that you'll be around to collect.
McCain and Graham have lost me. Getting clarification about whether the government thinks it can carry out a drone strike against Americans on American soil seems pretty important to me. Hardly a non-serious topic.
Paul slapped down the two angry neocons, saying they "think the whole world is a battlefield, including America. I don't think the laws of war apply to America. I think the Bill of Rights do".
Speaking as one of those "impressionable libertarian kids" (except for the kid part...sigh), all I can say is, SWEET. You tell 'em, Rand. See, we have this thing called the Constitution. McCain and Graham should look it up. Ya think those two know how to use the internet ?
In the rift between the new libertarian Republicans like Rand Paul and the old guard Republicans, let's hope those "libertarian kids", as McCain calls them, come out on top.



About This Blog

Prev Next