GOP moderates call Rand Paul’s concerns ‘ridiculous’ and ‘paranoid’

Lindsey Graham
Photo Credit Think Progress

In the wake of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s heroic one man filibuster Wednesday, there has been a lot of focus on his Senate colleagues who stepped forward to support his efforts.

Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, in particular, did yeoman’s work in coming to Paul’s aid.

Paul’s stand was an attempt to prompt the Obama administration to acknowledge that it did not have the legal authorization to use a drone strike to kill Americans on U.S. soil, a simple concept based on the constitutional guaranteed right of due process.

Something the administration has yet to acknowledge.

In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder said that while the administration has “no intention” of carrying out drone strikes in the United States, it could use them under “an extraordinary circumstance.”

Not surprisingly, some Republicans were not as enthusiastic about Paul’s performance.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who was having dinner with President Obama as Paul was making his stand on the Senate floor, said the prospect of drones being used to kill people in the United States was “ridiculous,” NPR reports.

He also called the debate “paranoia between libertarians and the hard left that is unjustified.”

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) seems to agree, according to NPR. Rogers said it is unconstitutional for military or intelligence agencies to conduct lethal counterterrorism operations in the United States against U.S. citizens.

Suggesting they can or might, Rogers said, “provokes needless fear and detracts attention from the real threats facing the country.”

Never mind that is was Holder who prompted the debate by being less than clear when asked to simply affirm the rights of American citizens.

So, in the eyes of Graham and Rogers, clarifying our constitutional rights at a time when the Obama administration consistently overreaches, goes around Congress whenever possible and has established a habit of picking and choosing which laws it will enforce is “ridiculous” and “provokes needless fear.”

Fellow moderate Sen. John McCain, fresh from his dinner date with Obama, took to the Senate floor Thursday to slam Paul in reading from a Wall Street Journal editorial:

“The country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.”

And while the continued disarray within the Republican Party gives Democrats every reason to be confident, the American people have legitimate cause to be concerned when so called leaders of the opposition party go to such lengths to provide political cover for the dubious actions of this White House.


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Tom Tillison


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