When Rand Paul filibustered on the Senate floor to raise questions about drone policy he got support from 14 Republicans senators. But that's hardly mainstream GOP opinion, and colleagues are pushing back hard against the Kentucky Republican senator.
Sen. John McCain blasted Paul on the Senate floor Thursday morning for his 13-hour filibuster to block John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director. "Calm down, senator," McCain intoned. "The U.S. government cannot randomly target U.S. citizens."In his filibuster Wednesday, Paul criticized the White House over its drone policies, and for refusing to rule out military strikes against U.S. citizens on American soil. But McCain wasn't impressed, Business Insider reports. "If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids," McCain said, adding: "I don't think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people."
And while Paul raised some worthwhile criticisms of drone policy, there's an unsettling undercurrent to his views, writes Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary. "Though I'm deeply sympathetic to the worries that he and other Republicans have about the unchecked expansion of government power, I think the obligation of the executive branch to defend the homeland means it must be granted far greater latitude than Paul is comfortable with," Tobin writes.
He adds: "The attempt to shift the discussion about drones to the fanciful suggestion that the Justice Department might target Tea Party members is a red herring. Paul's core objection to the drone program remains what he calls the 'perpetual war' against Islamist terrorists."
Via Business Insider and Commentary.