Talking is the national sport in Washington. For the old geezers in Congress it’s more fun than watching baseball, complaining about the weather or remembering sex.
Nobody drones on like a United States senator and nobody loves the sound of his raspy voice like a senator. Rand Paul, the freshman from Kentucky who stars in the bad dreams of every Republican geezer in town, talked for almost 13 hours on the Senate floor this week to delay a confirmation vote on John Brennan as director of the CIA, and earned only the scorn of the geezers.
Mr. Paul’s remarks occasionally strayed a few degrees over the top (enough of the Hitler comparison), decrying the prospect of using drones against American citizens in America, but he strayed no farther over the top than almost any congressman on almost any day on Capitol Hill. Mr. Paul argued at length (though not at record length) that killing an American, even an evil terrorist with an American passport, deprives him of the due process guaranteed by the Constitution.
Challenging Barack Obama on anything will earn anybody the sneers and scorn of Democratic senators, but some of the Republican geezers joined the din of disdain, mostly about the temerity of a freshman senator talking when he should be listening to a housebroken geezer talk. It’s not the sharks who trouble the waters in Washington, but the minnows who nibble good men to death.
John McCain of Arizona rebuked the filibusterer just as he was sitting down, and just after Mr. McCain and a few of his Senate pals emerged from a cozy dinner with President Obama in the glow of fine wine and the warmth of a full belly of beef. Mr. McCain had a little patronizing advice for his talkative colleague: “Calm down, senator, the U.S. government cannot randomly target U.S. citizens.” ...
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