McCain and Graham rush to defend drones from mean Rand Paul
In case you were feeling conflicted about Rand Paul's epic filibuster of CIA director nominee John Brennan -- and there is some stuff to feel conflicted about! -- Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham today did their best to make sure that all right-thinking people made up their minds to be on Team Rand on this one.
John McCain and Lindsey Graham actually had planned on holding up the Brennan nomination the usual way, with aggravating delay tactics based on the abuse of Senate rules, a once-rare tactic that is now standard minority practice for just about everything the Senate debates, but Paul's talky filibuster seems to have offended McCain personally (which, I know, not hard to do), because he brought up Jane Fonda and because it is much more gentlemanly to just block all Senate business and explain your reasons on the Sunday shows than it is to hold stuff up for a while with a really long floor speech. McCain even said that Paul's filibuster is going to "give ammunition to those who say the rules of the Senate are being abused,” which is just amazingly wrong. People (and the press) love talky filibusters, because of Jimmy Stewart. Lots of Americans who don't follow news and debates about the Senate closely -- which is to say probably most Americans -- think filibusters are great, because they think that is how they still work! Only senators like the kind of "filibuster" where you just tell Harry Reid you're filibustering and then you go get a drink or go home for the night. The thing where every bill and nomination now requires 60 votes -- which was not how the Senate was designed to function -- is why people think the rules are being "abused." Because John McCain and his friends are abusing them, routinely.