#StandwithRand: The Filibuster that United Libertarian and Progressive Activists

“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court. That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is an abomination.” 

– Senator Rand Paul during his 13-hour talking filibuster yesterday

One of the biggest disappointments for me during 2012 was Ron Paul’s failure to run as a third party candidate for President.  Last January, I wrote a very popular post titled Why I Support Ron Paul in which I predicted that the Republican establishment would sabotage his attempted run and that he needed to break ranks and run on his own.  The reason I was so adamant on this point was not because I thought he would necessarily win (although I think he would’ve done much better than most people think), but because his being up there next to Romney and Obama would have exposed both political parties for the frauds that they are.  It would have exposed the fact that on the most important issues like the Federal Reserve, TBTF Wall Street criminal banks, aggressive and short-sighted foreign policy and civil liberties they are completely on the same page.  It would have brought certain issues to the fore that the establishment parties don’t want debated in public.  They’d much rather divide and conquer the nebbish with issues like abortion, gay marriage and gun rights.  Issues that while very important to many, are easily used to split people along geographic and cultural lines and do not represent existential issues core to the survival of the spirit of the nation itself. To paraphrase, I agree with the statement “to know who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”  Ron Paul would have criticized those people and institutions in a very public forum in a third party run and elevated the debate for all of us.  It didn’t happen and the public debate went back into the gutter.

Then Rand Paul stood up and talked for 13 hours.

Personally, I would have preferred the issue that united libertarian and progressive activists to have been the Federal Reserve, since it is the core cancer of this country and indeed the world. Without Federal Reserve funding, none of the awful things our government and multi-national corporations do at home and abroad would be possible, but you don’t always get what you want.  If civil liberties is the issue that does it, so be it.

I follow an eclectic group of people on Twitter.  Several of them are what would be best described as “progressive” journalists and activists.  When I witnessed several of them tweet in support of Rand Paul, my antennae shot up straight into the stratosphere.  Then I realized that Rand had quoted the work of several of them on the Senate floor (including one of my favorite journalists Glenn Greenwald), and I knew I something special was happening.

Ever since the dawn of Occupy Wall Street, I have pushed heavily to try to unite the “tea party” and OWS.  I recognized that at their core these two resistance movements had the same grievances with “the system.”  Unfortunately, the tea party was largely co-opted by mainstream Republicans, while OWS was crushed by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.  In reality, it isn’t about these two “movements,” rather it’s about ideas.  At this stage in the game, we have very established activists on both the libertarian and progressive side of things.  As someone that reads them all, I can tell you that the prominent ones on both sides are genuine, moral and intellectual.

What Rand Paul did yesterday was finally bring the public debate to where it needs to be.  In doing so, he united activists that are quite opposed on many issues (less than they think, but that’s for another day).  This is extremely significant and we need this momentum to continue.  Those of us that care about the core principles that made this country great need to stick together, find common ground and not allow the establishment to control the debate any longer.

It’s quite fitting that as Rand Paul stood for 13 hours in an impassioned attempt to call attention to the systematic dismantling of The Bill of Rights occurring in America, President Obama was having dinner with many establishment Republicans.  These included the two Senators that have done more to destroy the GOP than any one else; John McCain and Lindsey Graham.  Two guys who would drone their own grandmothers if it made them feel tough for a minute.

While they dined and talked about how best to rule over us, tens of thousands of Americans watched C-SPAN excitedly for the first time in their lives.  This is a very good sign.

Thank you for that moment Rand.  Now it’s up to us to carry the torch.

In Liberty,

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the filibuster.  Enjoy.

“Alarm bells should go off when people tell you that the battlefield’s in America. Why? Because when the battlefield’s in America, we don’t have due process. What they’re talking about is they want the laws of war. They call it the laws of war. Another way to put it is to call it martial law. That’s what they want in the United States when they say the battlefield is here… When people tell you that America is a battlefield, when they tell you that the battlefield is here, realize what they are telling you. They are telling you your Bill of Rights don’t apply, because in the battlefield, you really don’t have due process, and I’m not arguing for that.

“Certain things rise above partisanship. And I think your right to be secure in your person, the right to be secure in your liberty, the right to be tried by a jury of your peers — these are things that are so important and rise to such a level that we shouldn’t give up on them easily. And I don’t see this battle as a partisan battle at all of the I don’t see this as Republicans versus Democrats.

“I would be here if there were a Republican president doing this.

“The interesting thing about these battles is they are not really always Republican versus Democrat. These are battles that are sometimes really coalitions of people from the right and people from the left who have gotten together and fought on these things.

Where is the Barack Obama of 2007? Has the presidency so transformed him that he has forgotten his moorings, forgotten what he stood for? Civil libertarians once expected more from the president.

“Barack Obama of 2007 would be right down here with me arguing against this drone strike program if he were in the Senate. It amazes and disappoints me how much he has actually changed from what he once stood for.”

But you will a never know because nobody is told who is going to be killed. It is a secret list. So how do you protest? How do you say, I’m innocent? How do you say, yes, I email with my cousin who lives in the Middle East, and I didn’t know he was involved in that? Do you not get a chance to explain yourself in a court of law before you get a hellfire missile dropped on your head? So I think that really, it just amazes me that people are so willing and eager to throw out the bill of rights and just say, oh, that’s fine. You know, terrorists are a big threat to us. And, you know, I am a so fearful that they will attack me that I’m willing to give up my rights, I’m willing to give up on the bill of rights? I think we give up too easily.”

“If there were an ounce of courage in this body, I would be joined by many other senators saying that they will not tolerate this, that we will come together today in bipartisan fashion and tell the president, tell any president that no president will ever have the authority to kill Americans without a trial.

Where are the civil libertarians in the president’s party that we must rely on a Tea Party Republican to champion this issue?

Big kudos also go out to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who was brave enough to join the filibuster and he powerfully stated:

Mr. President, what it comes down to is every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them.

Indeed we do.


 Add your comment
  1. I couldn’t agree more, Mike — OWS and Tea Partiers need to start communicating.

    But boy is it frustrating trying to talk to my libtard friends! Talk about close-minded.

    I s’pose it’s the same with the reptards who supported baby Bush til the end, but I don’t have any friends of that ilk.

    • sorry but “ows” is a wholy owned subsidiary of the denicratic party and the socialists who planed out and funded there original activities and ows has made no effort to break that hold in two years sorry they are a FAIL

      the tea party on the other hand was originaly an effort to capitalize on ron pauls primary run in 2008 where again he had more momentium than the gop but the establishment could not stomach his platform
      in that case his grass roots wanted to have one last rally wich they called a “tea party” the turn out was so large that the gop could not help but try to co opt it………..lol never try to “co opt” somthing that is BIGGER than you are or you will be the one “used” as we see with the curent situation with the “tea party” now being the tail that waggs the gop dog and the tea party been purging establishment gop and neocon hangers on stedily ever sence it at one poing came very close to an armed fight with a certain senator using armed security in an atempt to “fire” tea paty employees at a PAC he was a share holder in.
      the result was his fellow backers buying HIS ass out reinstating the teaparty employees and sending him off to run the “heritage foundation” like the has been that he is. love em or hate em the tea party is for real. while all ows has done was provide the FBI with usefull idiots to entrap as “domestik terrorists” .

    • I’ll go so far as to say you MIGHT be right as far as the leadership of OWS. On the other hand I’ve heard the same about the Tea Party.

      Frankly, I don’t have the patience to sort out the intrigue. It’s the ideas and principles that matter to me.

      And on the other hand, I call BS on your spiel. Whether or not the leadership of either or both movements was co-opted, it’s the regular people that are moved to get involved in either one, out of a desire to address the problems of the country, that matter to me. It’s THEM who need to start communicating and crossing ideological lines.

      And that is what I mean by libtard and reptard–people who just swallow the party line and can’t hear any ideas not so packaged.

      A real world example. I was talking with a ‘liberal’ friend last week and I brought up Rand’s letters to Obama and Brennan. My friend thought it was more important that I not cite a ‘wacko’ like Rand than it was to focus on the issue, that the POTUS is taking dictatorial powers unto himself. THAT is a libtard.

  2. I am not real excited about Rand.

    He worries about killing Americans “on US soil”. Does that mean killing them overseas is OK?

    The other point in his propaganda that got emailed to me was about “oversight” for drones. So drones are OK “with oversight”? “Oversight” hasn’t worked for anything. If anything, “oversight” usually just makes things worse.

    Ultimately I see Rand as part of a false dichotomy and suckerbait for people who think his proposals will make a difference. Even if he got what he wanted I don’t see anything of substance coming from them. Indeed, I see his proposals as actually legitimizing drones.

    I have not trusted this SOB since his Romney endorsement. I doubt I ever will. What he did was unforgivable. I understand wanting to be a “party man” but he could have at least waited until Romney had actually won the nomination at the convention.

    • good god you people need to get over it , he was REQUIRED to indorse “the parties choice” PERIOD had he failed to do so he would be facing a gop canpaign to oust his ass at next opertunity and been totaly marginalized untill they could do so………. this is the real world GROW UP for god sake.

      “I understand wanting to be a “party man” but he could have at least waited until Romney had actually won the nomination at the convention”.

      and had he done that his dad would have been TOTALY blacked out during the convention and that would have been the end of the liberty movement period.

      ron pauls rump convention was CRITICAL to the future of the movement both from a idiological and fundraising perspective and the GOP had them by the balls at that moment having gained total control of ALL venues in the area so again by not comprimising on an INCONSEQUENTIAL isue they would have LOST the main fight wich was ALWAYS to inform and educate not win the nod per se ! lol and what a convention a better contrast could not have been made to what the ptb have done to the political prosesss and what it can and should be

      go look at the time line the SECOND rand gave his weak ass “endorsment” poof all gop objections to rons convention evaporated and sence we all knew by that point that:

      1 romnie was geting the nod no matter what the voters wanted.
      2 that romnie would LOOSE against obama

      rand got somthing huge out of the gop for NOTHING gained for the gop as romnie lost and was ALWAYS going to lose.

      in point of fact ron paul as president would have at best ended up in the same boat as ronald reagan a “lame duck” from the moment he took the oath with an establishment vice presedent runnning the show from the behind the curtain
      notice that at NO point did ron paul even speculate as to who would be his running mate should he have goten the nomination. this is very telling as to the tight rope he was walking.

      at worst we would have all been handed another JFK……..

      ignorence as to how our government is curently set up is a HUGE part of the problem with this country hence the need to RE educate the electorate as to where the power ACTUALLY lies wich is and always has been in the “Senate” yes on the surface “congress” has passed more and more power to the oval office BUT the “Senate” in point of fact controls the exicutive branch through the “appropriations process” so the effect is to cut out the house of representives wich is nearly impossable for the PTB to control.

    • @ugly american – Ron got nothing out of it and all Rand got was the permanent distrust from people like me.

      Oh, and YOU PEOPLE, need to lose the ALLCAPS. It only makes you look like nutcases.

    • Troll.

    • I know you are but what am I?

  3. YEP rand is playing the game like an old school baller but even more impressive was the manuvering he did to pull this off with out ending up a pariah in congress! both he and his dad are masterfull statesmen , but DUDE get OVER this third party delusion of yours , ron paul RAN as a libritarian ONCE………..think about what it says that he refused to do so a second time then take a CRITICAL look at why the LP candidate FAILED miserably this election cycle. lol it was not like the PTB had to work at supressing them they did that to themselves.

    the libritarian party is intended to fail and they do so by running on a platform of NOTHING but drug “legalization” (a bad idea*) and gay marage (a TOTAL non isue to the non gay population AKA “the majority” of voters)

    (*what is required is nullification and repudiation of the feds claims that they can dictate to the states ANY form of “prohibition” of any sort for any reason PERIOD!
    every one of these “legalization” schemes end up as a GIANT can of worms with we the people ending up with yet another “sin tax” to pay and the cops finding some way to “enforce” a fine scam and also harass and arrest minors for underage usage.
    the authors of such stupidity never seem to think through the unintended effects of there idiocy , for instance right now the cops can arest people for dui who have levels of caniboids in there blood above an ARBITRARY level …… with alchol “intoxication” levels have been clinicly defined and are well understood same with opates but after YEARS of study NO such level has been defined for caniboids in fact ALL that has beeen defined is that most pot smokers drive SLOWER the more stoned they get………. slow drivers may be anoying but they hardly constitute a hazzard!! and that is the ONLY quantifiable result that i have ever heard of but if you smoked weed 2 weeks ago and get caught in a dui check point odds are that they will find dectable levels of caniboids in your blood and off you go to jail even in a state with “leagalization”)

    while ron paul may be in favor of people being able put what ever they wish in to there bodies and living what ever life style they wish (as long as it effects no one but them selves) he did NOT want HIS canpaign to be defined by an EXTREEMLY narow platform that the LP seem incapable of widening even for a national canpaign for president………..to me the kotch bros. and the cato institute they control are INTENTIONALY kneecaping the LP.

    im not even shure that a “party” made up of anarco-(place your lable here) types is even possable it sounds more like a oxymoron to me! that said the LP was coopted by the kotch bros at the behest of the “GOP*and the other “third parties” are ALL owned by the dems. including the so called “independant party”

    google murray rothbard and cato , the kotch bros forced out rothbard and the austrian econimists back in the 80sand have been busy marginalizing the libritarian party ever sence

    what we need is an independant voters PAC to back candates in ANY party who espouse libritarian values……….oh LOOK the pauls have TWO of ’em one activly backing candidates and the other (ron’s) REeducating the electrate as to what constitutional liberty IS and why they need it.

    Dr Ron Paul may not have “won” the nomination but that was not the fight he was fighting. listen to what he ACTUALLY said through out the canpaign and you understand that he won a much larger battle and the opportunity to carry the fight to the next level.

    • With all due respect to your ideas, please get and use a spell checker. Your arguments evaporate into uneducated blather with so many gross errors. And yes, I do think it matters how you present your ideas as to whether you are taken seriously.

  4. People need to rally around the Constitution and stop the name calling.

  5. Man, you are a useful idiot.

    OWS = the Sturmabteilung (SA) of the NWO.

    The Elites tested OWS as a trial balloon for to test the winds for a populist socialist revolution. The “bankers” were an easy target, though of course since the whole thing was orchestrated by Obama and his Goldman Sachs masters, they were never in much real danger…

    OWS was being positioned as a paramilitary force to crush opponents should Obama’s reelection be in danger of getting overturned. When they knew Barry had the eleciton in the bag, OWS was quieted disbanded (though the mechanisms for reforming it still exist).

    Worked like a charm on a sheep like yourself, I see… Anyone with half a brain could tell the OWS was a manufactured “movement” of hard-core socialists, statists and other tools of the Elite. Nearly all of them VOTED for Obama last year, I’d bet you.

    • Michael Krieger

      I’m glad you’ve got it all figured out Joe! Good to know I am a sheep and have half a brain as well! Wow, you really enlightened me an my readers this morning. Interesting, but your wild statements about OWS are the same that progressives say about the tea party. Sounds like you are a little divide and conquer guy. Perhaps you’re the disinfo agent. Wouldn’t that be fitting.

    • Sure, I’m a disinfo agent — by telling you the obivous! Let’s just pick 4 ways to show the OWS is a centralized tool of the elite and the Tea Party movement is not. 1) The OWS is pro-socialism and pro-state, most Tea Party members are not, 2) The “Tea Party” is a misnomer. It started out as thousands of spontaneous regional movements, focused on local/state leadership. In contrast, OWS was direct by a cabel, with a centralized target and centralized planning, with goals congruent with the Elite. 3) The Establishment GOP hates the Tea Party, while the Establisment Democrats love OWS, with Obama himself giving them lip service, 4) OWS begun and funded by a banker… GEORGE SOROS… along with SEIU Stephen Lerner (Democratic party operatives and statists to the core), and ACORN – yep, the same ACORN which counted our Dear Leader among its members until his Sanctification, cough, election.

    • Michael Krieger

      Wow, you are delusional. I’ll let other people respond to you if they like as I have other things to do like try to unite people against the 0.001% oligarchs rather than spend my time trolling websites trying to get people to fight, which seems to be your mo. Even if what you say is true (which it’s not), uniting people agains the system is the key, not trying to divide, which is all you seem to be capable of. Obama tried to control the message, it failed because OWS was very anti-Obama and then he had Bloomberg clear them out. If they were advantageous to the state, they never would have spied on them, called them domestic terrorists and then aggressively cleaned them out. You are like most people: Tribal and just looking to be part of a little team and think you are good and others are bad….and I’m the useful idiot!

    • “OWS was being positioned as a paramilitary force to crush opponents should Obama’s reelection be in danger.”

      WaaaaaHaaaaHaaaaa, ROFLMAO

      Where do you come up with this stuff? Most of those people are scared of guns, much less capable of acting as a paramilitary force.

      Socialist fools and Obama voters? Yes, many of them. Just like many Tea Partiers were GWB supporters.

      THAT is why the OWS & TPers need to start talking to each other. I don’t care about their leadership. Amongst the regular people behind either banner are a great many people with good intentions, trying to figure things out and fix the problems that our ‘leaders’ won’t. They won’t manage it if they don’t start communicating across ideological lines, and opening their minds.

    • Study the the Sturmabteilung (SA) and get yourself educated. A mass movement of thugs doesn’t need guns… just muscle and the ability to spread mayham and panic, especially on election day.

      Funny, I didn’t think GWB was president when the Tea Party was started…

      OWS was started and funded by GEORGE SOROS. If you consider him “regular folk” then you are probably the disinfo agent here.

      For the record, the Tea Party ceased to exist sometime around 2009/2010. They are a non-entitiy, just based on last Novemeber’s results.

      Like I said, OWS is probably still in place (the central planning and mechamisms), ready to deploy to serve the interests of the Elite. If the GOP is looking to take the Senate and hold the house in 2014, we’ll likely see this “movement” rolled out again like the tools they are…

    • A few points.

      1 – I wasn’t at OWS b/c I was out of the country. But I went to plenty of anti-war/WTO/World Bank/IMF protests ten years ago, and from the descriptions of the OWS I’ve seen it sounds like the same crowd. Overwhelmingly good and nonviolent people, not thugs, though I don’t like their socialist leanings. So by and large you’re wrong. Might there be troublemakers mixed in, representing who knows who? Of course.

      2. Your comment about GWB & the TP indicates either a lack of intelligence or a preference for arguing over illuminating. Or both.

      In case it’s a lack of intelligence, I’ll spell it out for you: many TP’ers were *once upon a time* supporters of GWB. So, in my opinion, they were misled, just like OWSers sympathetic to Obama & socialism. Doesn’t mean they aren’t well-intentioned, and capable of learning.

      3. Soros. Evidence? Not saying you’re wrong, b/c I don’t know. Evidence?

      4. TP a ‘non-entity’ vs OWS ‘probably still in place’. Once again, you miss the point, to say nothing of whether you’re right or wrong in your assessment (again, evidence?).

      It’s the people who found some expression of their ideals in these movements that matter. They’re still there, and still wanting to fix the problems we’re facing, banner or not.

      5. I have to agree with Mike, debating you seems like a waste of time.

      But thanks for letting me mop the floor with your divide and conquer ‘arguments’.

  6. The Forces of Niceness took over the Democratic party over some 50 years. The Tea party and like minded Liberterians need to do the same to the Republican party but much faster.

  7. While I do indeed support Libertarian/Anarchist ideals, I have no love for this or any other state and therefore have no interest in prolonging this one. History suggests that the only chance of establishing Natural Rights is through a total reset, however it is initiated.

  8. The world would be much better off if we had less of the likes of John McLame and Lindsey Grahamnesty among the ruling class.

    The real cruel twist was that after that dinner for the two branches of the Demopublican party, McLame decided to elucidate on his opinion of Sen. Paul’s filibuster. He ended up calling it a stunt!

    McLame and Grahamnesty are two yapping, mealy-mouthed complainers that can’t tolerate someone else from the Republican party being in the spotlight. What a sick joke!

    What is the level of credibility the Republican party has when it nominated that tired old yapper for President of the United States four years ago? That was the death blow to the Republican party. It also explains why they had to manipulate the Tea Party people into their fold; if they didn’t, they would have become extinct by now.

    I think the Tea Party is trying its best to work within the restrictive confines of the Republican party because they are able to get a national voice without having to expend the money to create a real third party. This will either cause them to be range-bound by the constrictive and ridiculous policies of the group they try to win over, and be assimilated into their fold; or they will save the current Republican party from obsolescence.

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