The Silence Of Our Friends

Last night, watching that massive douchebag Rand Paul be right about something for 13 hours straight, I was struck, not by anything Paul was actually saying but by what other Republicans were doing:

“There was a hell of a lot of team play tonight,” a senior GOP leadership aide said Thursday morning, acknowledging that Paul’s filibuster had given the GOP a much needed jolt of energy. “Everybody’s in a three-point stance, helmets on and ready to fight,” the aide said.

“I think it was a great show of unity by the Republicans, and I think that the White House really missed an opportunity to tell the American people on this specific issue what the American people want to hear,” said Sen. John Barrasso, who as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, is the fourth ranking member of leadership.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who after an initially strained relationship with Paul has come to embrace him, was effusive in his praise. “I wanted to congratulate him for his tenacity, for his conviction, and for being able to rally the support of a great many people and also people who have come over from the House of Representatives who felt also, I gather, that this is a legitimate question,” McConnell said.

As I said on Twitter, imagine this was the Democrats on the Iraq War. Or on Afghanistan, for that matter. Or on FISA, back in Chris Dodd’s day or hell, right goddamn now.

Imagine if someone had stood up like that.

Would other Democrats have rushed to the aid of the man or woman speaking?

Would they have gotten out of bed or put their drinks and hookers down, come to the Senate floor, asked question after question, in part after part?

Would they have praised that brave Senator as gushingly as McConnell praised a guy he truly thinks is an assclown, just for the cameras?

Or would they have gone on Fox News and complained that this man or woman was making the whole party look bad, like hippie pussies, when truly the party LOVES war, and please don’t think we’re a bunch of sissy girls?

Would they have written op-eds decrying the partisanship that leads to such terrible divisions in our country?

Would they have made sure some embarrassing story broke just in time to discredit the speaker, or if one did, would they shake their heads in dismay at finding out that yet another potential hero wasn’t perfect and stop returning his calls?

Would they have opined soberly that surely there had to be a better way to make a point, a more polite way, a more gentle and unemotional and civil way?

We are, after all, talking about the party that for the most part ignored anti-war protests in the millions prior to Iraq, and helped make sure the American press ignored them too.

We’re talking about the party that couldn’t be bothered to stand behind its own presidential candidate after he lost, behind Dodd when he tried to stop FISA, in favor of not fucking the dog in Iraq when a unified party would have saved us from that mess. We’re talking about the party that still believes despite the evidence of five decades to the contrary that if we’re just nice to Republicans one last time they won’t shoot us in the dick with a staple gun.

I used to think it was maybe that they lacked examples of political courage. Even if I agree with him on drones and oversight, I loathe Rand Paul and think this was as much about him as it was about principle (though who the hell knows what’s in his head because the canary feathers and glitter are all over everything) but for the rest of the Republican Party? This was about supporting one of their own, and I’m not opposed to us learning from that example.

Imagine, after all, if this had been us when it counted.

A.

10 thoughts on “The Silence Of Our Friends

  1. pansypoo says:

    we have to sit back + let them shoot 1st. no inch.

  2. “Would other Democrats have rushed to the aid of the man or woman speaking?”
    How many Democratic senators joined in the House’s objection to certifying the election results that installed Bush in power? They just needed one. Not a one would step up.


  3. dapaPa says:

    I lost interest when it was announced that Jean Arthur wouldn’t bet available to make an appearance. Apparently she died over two decades ago, long after the time Randy’s rendition of the filibuster did.
    Apparently John McCain wasn’t thrilled by some of what Paul said during his time blathering. McCain was quoted as saying his old friend Jimmy Stewart did a much better job of filibustering, that he loves drones, and Democrats are sissies. There you have it.

  4. gratuitous says:

    You make a great many good points, to which I would add only that this is just the latest example of why voter fervor flags from time to time. It was bad enough in 2002 and 2003 to feel like I was on an island against invading Iraq. It felt even worse when the elected officials on Capitol Hill couldn’t be bothered to stand up with me and others.
    I certainly wish the messenger yesterday had been just about anybody else but Rand Paul; but where are the progressive voices speaking out for due process, fair trials, presentation of evidence, and other constitutional principles? I think our Constitution is durable enough to prosecute even a war on terror; but it seems too many in our government don’t trust the Constitution to work properly. Maybe the oath of office needs to be changed so that citizens quit thinking that our elected officials’ first responsibility is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?
    Some of us are still deluded into thinking that without the Constitution, we don’t have a United States of America.

  5. adrastos says:

    As you already know, quite a few Gopers are already shooting at Senator Aqua Buddha. I only wish it was because of his incessant Hitler/chaos/Weimar Republic references.

  6. Rmj says:

    As ThinkProgress pointed out, in those 13 hours Paul took time to praise the Lochner decision, the Plessy decision of labor law (and overruled in the ’30’s). Paul also didn’t propose changing AUMF, or anything else that mught actually be effective.
    Pardon me if I don’t praise his grandstanding or think we finally live in a Capra movie. Rand Paul is not Jimmy Stewart.

  7. Roadmaster says:

    Paraphrasing Steve Simels (and echoing Watertiger), the Democrats have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. I would add one caveat to that – they have become incredibly adept at fund-raising – whether Bludgeoning for Bucks via e-mail slams on We Proles, or bedding down with the Wall Street/Banking Succubus.
    As always, A., your commentary is impeccably well-written. We are all in grave danger.

  8. Aaaargh says:

    This is why Democrats are a heaping helping of fail, all day, all the time. I suppose I don’t, as Will Rogers said, want to be part of an organized political party, but you do have to envy the discipline that the fascist right uses to Always, fucking Always, get Their Way.
    Meanwhile, Obama concedes on the Chained CPI again and puts Social Security back on the table. Thanks a lot, asshat.

  9. Dbp says:

    Jimy Stewart wasn’t mister smith.

  10. watertiger says:

    Democrats – the masters of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory.

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