Monday, March 11, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, A week post Filibuster, Editorials, right, left and center, overall applauding, speculating from the New York Times to Anchorage – what unites us?

In a world of the 24/7 news cycle, generally what happened yesterday is old news – or perhaps, if “interesting enough” at least a 2 day event – there is the rare exception indeed when one man, one event, can hold the attention span of the American Public for nearly a week. That man, Senator Rand Paul, (R-KY), has done so with his 13 hour Filibuster and the toxic response of Republican Leadership, specifically John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who both dismissed and attacked Paul. It was to their discredit, as Paul had certainly struck a nerve regarding civil liberties that spanned parties’ lines, had the attention of the world, and was, for all intents and purposes, genuine. It was not the usual rhetoric one finds droning on in the hallowed halls of Congress – pun intended.

For many, it was the first time in a lifetime one saw members of both parties standing united on an issue, and using the protocol of the Senate to make a stand. For others, they will not be able to miss the event, as the news cycle is continuing to either support or dismiss the Senator and his actions. There are also those, on both sides who see 2016 and Paul Rand as a potential candidate – from Libertarian Conservatives as a hopeful and from the left – the seeds are being sown now, preemptively.

In a piece from the New York Times, editorial columnist Ross Douthat opines “But where Huntsman and Paul the elder mostly failed, Rand Paul has been enjoying remarkable success. The Kentucky senator’s recent ascent to prominence, which achieved escape velocity with last week’s 13-hour filibuster delaying the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee to lead the C.I.A., hasn’t just made the younger Paul one of the most talked-about politicians in Washington today. It has offered the first real sign that the Republican Party might someday escape the shadow of the Iraq war and enter the post-post-9/11 era.”

The editorial focuses on the specifics of the filibuster and its overall content, including a glimpse away from civil liberties and into foreign policy. The articles closes:

“Paul, by contrast, has actually challenged that consensus in a substantive and constructive way. And far from being excommunicated for it, he’s been rewarded with greater prominence and increased conservative support.

For those with ears, let them hear.”

This editorial was picked up today by a variety of newspapers, including the Rutland Herald.

A Dallas Morning News Op-ed suggests that McCain, Graham, and their ilk, get out of the way of the younger, more civil liberty minded Paul, noting that they are content to get along, rather than to do the job for which they were sent. The piece is biting in its criticism of the two senior Senators, and gracious to Sen. Paul.

The Anchorage Daily News picked up the Senator’s rebuttal to those on the right, first published days before, “Our Rights are Precious” (That’s why I filibustered)

From AntiWar Blogs to the Richmond Register There is positive chatter regarding Paul’s defense of liberty.

Then one begins to see the telltale signs of a threat to the status quo and any possible political aspirations that the Senator may have (yet has not so much as mentioned): From the very nature of his parentage (specifically his father, Ron Paul), to the Filibuster itself one finds such articles as the examiners: Rand Paul’s Filibuster will Hurt Him Against Hillary in 2016 it is apparent that the man who would do the job he was elected to do – it seen as a threat.

What, in reality, is at issue, is the fact that the Senator from Kentucky brought attention to the process of government, he stood his ground, and in an old-fashioned, yet so new to so many who had no idea that watching C-Span might not be akin to watching paint dry – became vested in the message of protecting civil liberties. In the following days, those who are from the right and the left of politics, seemed to agree on two points: one, that those who may argue consistently, found this one man agreeable, and two, the old guard, as it is referred to in so many pieces, were rankled, weather it was due to being upstaged, or more to the point, Paul shook up the building and brought attention to that august body – perhaps more will be tuning in.

In speaking of a run in 2016, it is not unusual for many a straw to be grasped upon this early in the game (although in reality, the game began in January of this year), as the old guard drags out Jeb Bush, and one see’s the signs that some of the players from 2008 and 2012 are on short and long-lists as potentials. One might suspect that, given the response Paul has received, both at home and abroad, either the man himself or his equivalent (should one be found) would upend the entire field – on both sides of the aisle. The American public has had it with those who would divide, and are yearning for someone who, not only campaigns on uniting, but has actually done something to prove that he has that ability. To boot, Paul never wavered from his core beliefs this past week, and should he stay in that frame (with no indication he would not), then he would be a sane choice for the American People. He also communicated clearly, without pause for 13 hours, something that has been lacking in the “Shining City on the Hill” – That is what united us. Of course, at this point, one has no clue as to who the major players in Washington will chose to either win or lose the Presidency in 2016. That said, someone who has the ability to drive a news cycle, and communicate clearly across party ideology – is indeed someone one might want to keep an eye on.

Suggest reading the entire article by Ross Douthat in the Times, noted above for perspective.

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