While I’ve been devoting much of my TV time to House of Cards and Justified, I’ve taken roughly five hours out of my week to watch almost half of Rand Paul’s filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to the Director of the C.I.A. I wasn’t a huge fan of Paul, or his father for that matter, until the filibuster. After watching him perform the Senatorial equivalent of two or three Boston Marathons, he’s certainly gained my support.
The filibuster had all the makings of an American masterpiece— our nation’s modern day answer to Downton Abbey (both Paul and the Dowager Countess have made references to the works of Lewis Carroll). I laughed, I cried, and I was very entertained. The fact that the thirteen-hour nonstop talk fest seemed like a work of fiction is very telling to the dynamic of the American political landscape.
While some might denounce Paul’s filibuster as a mere publicity stunt, that’s missing the point. Paul did not take the floor for over half a day to prevent Brennan from taking over the C.I.A. He took it because an answer to a very obvious question was missing from the White House.
We see far too many politicians beat around the bush with regards to simple answers from fellow politicians and more importantly, the American people. The Senator from Kentucky’s approach might have been extreme, but it was hardly unnecessary. It isn’t too much to ask that the people who take an oath to uphold the liberties of the American people at least put forth an effort to pretend that they have even the slightest intentions of doing so.
It was certainly entertaining to see over half an hour of tweets read by Senator Ted Cruz on the Senate Floor. Such use of social media shows our government’s willingness to get with the times. But there was a more important indication at hand last week.
The dedication of our government’s desire to seek answers to issues that affect the lives of noncombatant Americans living on American soil was the most entertaining aspect of them all. The actions of Paul and the senators who came to his aid is worthy of recognition as a part of an American Masterpiece Classic (some food for thought, PBS). This shouldn’t be a partisan issue and hopefully the actions of last week will represent a changing of the times. Such displays of patriotism should not come about so sparingly.