One thing the Rand Paul filibuster showed was that, in 2013, the Democratic party is the part of national defense, foreign policy, and antiterrorism. I think this realization may be behind the Graham/McCain freakout.
But when you look at the reaction to Paul’s filibuster, it seems like there are different reactions than you might expect. People who have mostly supported Obama were critical. Conservatives have split over it. It’s almost like the 60s in reverse, and this isn’t the first time I’ve thought this.
Now, put me on the record as someone who simply doesn’t understand why a drone is different than an F-16 or a cruise missile (or… a nuclear-tipped ICBM).
And it’s funny because at first “firebagger” was not meant to signal any ideological affinity with teabaggers. But now, it seems, people who never met a U.S. foreign policy action they didn’t hate are lining up with conservatives on this issue, but for different reasons.
Of course, this is the result of extreme Neo-Confederate rhetoric that claims to be only anti-government, but which is anti-American. At some point, Americans are going to notice. This deprives the GOP of their flag waiving privileges and it takes away their ability to claim Democrats are pussies because they hate war and without that, I’m not sure what they have left on this alley.
Now, of course, Bush, the Republican, launched the Iraq war. Obama killed Bin Laden, ratified a nuclear arms treaty, and and has had a lot of success otherwise in fighting terrorism. But drones? That’s a filibuster?
The best argument that the left has is that “you’d be against this if Bush was president.” Maybe. But he isn’t. And there is nothing in the law that deprives a President of these powers (in fact, the AUMF gives it to him), just like there’s nothing in law that keeps my ex-girlfriend from having a driver’s license, but that doesn’t mean that I feel safe in a car with her. And no, the President can’t shoot your house with a drone unless you are acting militarily against the government. If he does, he is liable for a crime. If the government can prove that you were, however, fighting against the US, he’s not—just as General Grant. A bunch of people with Ph.Ds can’t seem to understand these rather obvious distinctions, partly because they don’t want to.
But that’s not an argument on the merits. It’s an argument that the people who feel that way are hypocrites, at least, on the basis of a supposed inconsistency.
I say fine, start a new coalition of academic liberals and tea party “libertarians.” You will get about 10% of the vote.