I, like many of you, are disappointed in what I consider misguided criticism from Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham in regards to the issue of drone strikes and Rand Paul's filibuster. As I've already pointed out, McCain took to the floor of the Senate yesterday to call Senator Paul's filibuster a “political stunt” that was not “helpful to the American people.” In an article published yesterday in the Huffington Post, McCain called Senators like Rand Paul “wacko birds.” Here's a little bit from that interview:
When I asked him if "these guys" -- having just mentioned Amash, Cruz and Paul by name -- are a "positive force" in the GOP, McCain paused for a full six seconds.
"They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else," McCain said. "But I also think that when, you know, it's always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone."
"I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They're not," he continued.
Is McCain right? Does Rand Paul and others like Ted Cruz represent a “wacko bird” fringe of the GOP that is not reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans? Based on America's reaction to Rand's Stand, McCain may be misreading the desired trajectory of the Republican Party. Rand Paul's filibuster generated over a million tweets. When was the last time Republicans managed to generate that kind of reaction or enthusiasm based on a principled stand for conservative values? Mind you, Lindsey Graham managed to generate a lot of Tweets too, but most of those were negative in reaction to his criticism of Rand Paul. Senator Paul has since responded to McCain and Graham saying the two “think the whole world is a battlefield.”
What has conservatives energized about Rand Paul's filibuster is that they finally feel as though they have someone in Washington who is willing to fight for our Constitution. At the end of the day, Rand Paul's question about the use of drone strikes was a simple Constitutional matter; It was a no-brainer, which should not have been difficult for this administration to answer. Yet this administration didn't answer, which is a theme we've seen all too often lately. So finally someone stood up to the administration on behalf of our Constitution, and in the end he did end up receiving a response, albeit a condescending one. Rand Paul took a principled stand that is good for the American people and will ultimately be good for him and the GOP politically.
Between President Panic's unsubstantiated fear-mongering and then Rand Paul's filibuster, there is an energy among grassroots conservatives that had been swelling for a long time, just waiting for this time of leadership to emerge. It is a leadership based on our core values – our Constitution – and I think it will ultimately help this country. With all due respect to John McCain and Lindsey Graham, they'd do their country a service by embracing the young stars of the GOP – Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee – instead of fighting them.