13 Hours Later, Rand Paul's Filibuster Ends
He ended it with a joke
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2013 2:00 AM CST
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., walks to a waiting vehicle as he leaves the Capitol after his filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director on Capitol Hill in Washington, early Thursday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – Rand Paul made it nearly 13 hours: The Republican senator/Tea Party favorite ended his old-style filibuster shortly after midnight today, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would continue to oppose confirmation of John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director. Paul's performance, which centered on questions about the possible use of drones against targets in the United States, clearly energized a number of his GOP colleagues, who came to the floor in a show of support and to share in the speaking duties. Some highlights:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz read Twitter messages from people eager to "Stand With Rand"—along with passages from Shakespeare's Henry V and lines from the 1970 movie Patton, starring George C. Scott.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio made references to rappers Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa.
  • Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, and red tie, Paul read from notebooks filled with articles about the expanded use of drones.
  • Paul's Twitter account adopted the hashtag #filiblizzard to commemorate his feat, notes Politico.
Paul ended his lengthy speech with a joke. He said that he was tempted to go another 12 hours and try to break Sen. Strom Thurmond's record (he filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957), but he needed to use the bathroom. "I discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I'm going to have to go and take care of one of those in a few minutes," Paul said. After Paul yielded the floor, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin filed a motion to cut off debate on Brennan's nomination, setting up a vote for later this week.

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Mar 7, 2013 1:03 PM CST
The Attorney General Washington, D.C. March 7, 2013 The Honorable Rand Paul United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Paul: It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: "Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no. Sincerely, Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Mar 7, 2013 10:37 AM CST
Sorry. Rand Paul is a deluded and paranoid conspiracy nut. A total tool. Yes. Please. We need someone to stand up and insist the president not launch drone strikes against Dearborn, Michigan. What, in heaven's name, is the need people have to construct straw man arguments, attribute bizarre motives to the administration and feign outrage? People in American cafes should worry about a drone strike? How stupid can you be? People in those cafes have a lot more to worry about (as we have seen recently) from gun-toting militia members.
Mar 7, 2013 10:28 AM CST
They are planning to put thousands of these drones into U.S. airspace. Can you say Big Brother on Steroids?! It's an utter violation against our rights as human beings to have some level of privacy and to be able to have some private time with yourself for thinking and personal introspection. Everyone should fight against this when this time comes. It really unnerves me that there will be one big eye monitoring all of our movements during the course of the day when we are out side of our houses and possibly even INSIDE of our houses! George Orwells' 1984 is swiftly becoming reality!!!!