I was transfixed by Rand Paul filibuster yesterday, watching/listening from two o'clock until almost 11pm.
I found Paul's passion for the constitution to be almost thrilling; his questions about the nature of the drone program troubling, and his desire to protect all of the American people from a potentially dangerous future to be a noble cause, even if his attempt, as he alluded to at the outset, was an exercise in tilting at windmills.
But isn't that part of the definition of courage, daring to go into battle and risk all even when you know victory is already out of reach?
I see what Texas saw when they elected Ted Cruz. His love of his home state shone through when he read of the Alamo, and his respect for the institution to which he was elected was made clear as he effusively (almost tearfully, I thought) thanked Paul for giving him his first opportunity to speak on the Senate floor.
Marco Rubio is certainly an impressive figure as well, although I will admit to a certain amount of skepticism on my part as his appearance on the Senate floor. No doubt he will be running for president in 2016 against Rand Paul, and he wasn't about to let his suture rival bask in the love of the core without making sure some of that spotlight was shining on him as well. Still, his presence and command will make him a formidable voice for conservative causes for years to come.
I liked Mike Lee too. Dude looks like a linebacker, but spoke with the clear and direct language that propelled him to victory in Utah over incumbent senator Bob Bennett and the GOP-endorsed Tim Bridgewater. Another member of the class of 2010, Pat Toomey, spoke at some length to give Rand Paul a breather.
You know what would have been nice, though? To see Orrin Hatch show up. Or John McCain. Or any of the old guard of the Republican Senate caucus. Just to show some freakin' support for the effort the young guns were making to preserve our constitutional democracy....
And they wonder why so many of the Paul-Cruz-Lee ilk are rising up in their home states and challenging them in the primaries...
[ UPDATE: Sens. Lindsey Graham, Tom Coburn, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Pat Toomey, Bob Corker, Ron Johnson, Saxby Chambliss, John Hoeven, Dan Coats, Richard Burr and Mike Johanns were out to dinner last night with Barack Obama. Figures.]
What I saw last night - and what any Americans who were watching saw - was that the Republican party has a young, deep, principled group of Senators, and that their message - unfiltered by the sneer of the liberal media - is coherent, logical, and just.
God bless you, Rand Paul, for taking a stand, and leading through courage. You showed us that there may be hope for the party - and the people - after all....
Props must be given to Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, for being the only member of his party with the guts to join Ron Paul on a non-partisan issue. Had Wyden made this speech when Bush was in charge, the Left would be clamoring for a presidential run: