As a gaggle of GOP senators were returning from a cozy dinner with President Obama Wednesday night, the junior senator from Kentucky was in the midst of a marathon filibuster giving CSPAN2 what must have been its best ratings ever.
I couldn't turn it off, and scanning twitter, I saw it was clear that neither could legions of Americans transfixed by something that we hadn't seen in some time in our nation's capital --- courage and conviction.
By now we know that Paul was holding up the nomination of Obama's CIA director John Brennan because of unanswered questions about the use of drones on domestic soil. Although Paul eventually gave up his filibuster (because nature called), he won an important moral and PR victory that his party desperately needed.
Targeted, sanctioned US government assassinations on US soil of people who are not enemy combatants is an unconstitutional use of Executive Power and should never be permitted.
The Attorney General's failure to categorically rule out such Executive kill lists is unconscionable. It is the duty of the legislative branch to check and challenge such blatant and dangerous over reach by any president, regardless of party.
Yet few Democrats who call themselves civil libertarians showed up to offer any support for the filibuster. We are only to conclude one thing from their absence: their primary allegiance is to Obama, not the Constitution.
Rand Paul didn't eat for much of the day himself, but with his filibuster he fed an electorate hungry to hear from a politician of principle.
For almost 13 hours, Paul put the Constitution in the front seat, and his own convenience and comfort in the way back.
Let the record reflect the names of those who stood with him in the early hours of his effort ---Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
In other words, the tea party spirit is alive and well.
"The times they are a changin'...."