Democrats Leave Republicans To Stand Up For Civil Liberties Alone


As Senator Rand Paul took a stand on the floor of the Senate, mounting a 12 hour and 54 minute filibuster of President Obama’s CIA nominee while demanding answers to questions about drone assassination, Democrats were for the most part nowhere to be found:

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans took the floor on Wednesday, launching an historic filibuster in an attempt to extract an answer from the White House to a simple question: Does the administration believe it has the legal authority to kill an American citizen on American soil with a drone strike?

It’s a question that seems fairly nonpartisan on its face, but a second one occurred to those watching the C-SPAN broadcast late into the morning: Where are all the Democrats?

Republicans, from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to filibuster-leader Rand Paul (Ky.), spoke for more than 12 hours. But only one Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, spoke in support of Paul during that time. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) tweeted support, but otherwise progressives who might have assumed to have been supportive were absent, leaving members of the GOP as the sole defenders of civil liberties. The White House was equally silent.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) even joked that Paul’s filibuster was “background noise.”

Meanwhile, in the White House press room, Press Secretary Jay Carney was busy dodging questions like, “Why can’t the government at least admit that civilians have been killed?”

The answer is that such an admission would be politically inconvenient for the Obama administration.

Remember, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, but Senator Paul is reduced to using a filibuster to get the administration to answer whether or not they feel US citizens can be killed with drone strikes.