In a rather media savvy statement against White House drone policies, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is ticking off a who’s who of civil libertarian bloggers, in an old-fashioned filibuster on the Senate floor today. Bloggers mentioned so far include the Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald, FireDogLake’s Kevin Gosztola and the Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf, who’ve each written critically of "signature" drone strikes and their legal justification.
The theatrics, which you can watch on C-SPAN this very moment, are lighting up Twitter as journalists go about humble–bragging that they’ve just been mentioned on the Senate floor, which in turn bring’s more attention to Paul’s principled diatribe. While comparisons to Jimmy Stewart in the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are already circulating, another more current pop culture reference comes to mind in the West Wing‘s "Stackhouse Filibuster" episode, where a cantankerous congressman attempts to grind the Senate to a halt by reading extensively from a cookbook. But who needs to waste time with recipes of deep fried fantail shrimp when you’ve got pages and pages of blogs posts, which will set the Twittersphere on fire? Watch the speech in progress here.
Certainly impressive that Rand Paul has continued to deliver a speech, rather than resorting to cheap tricks like reading a magazine.
— Joshua Hersh (@joshuahersh) March 6, 2013
Whatever you think of @senrandpaul, he’s raising critically important issues on drone strikes, due process & "limitless war."
— Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) March 6, 2013
Wouldn’t it be great if Rand Paul just started reading all of @conor64‘s posts verbatim from start to finish?
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) March 6, 2013
Even with notes and repetition it takes some talent to keep speaking for an hour-and-a-half on a single subject as Rand Paul is doing.
— GregorydJohnsen (@gregorydjohnsen) March 6, 2013
He ain’t really the GOP, but Sen. Paul is doing a real filibuster — a la Jimmy Stewart — to stall the John Brennan #DCIA nomination.
— AOL Defense (@AOLDefense) March 6, 2013