UnNews:Rand Paul filibuster fizzles

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Rand Paul filibuster fizzles

Straight talk, from straight faces

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21 May 2015


The libertarian superhero may be losing his super-powers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to filibuster the U.S. Senate Wednesday night but shut it down after only ten hours.

The move drew instant derision from fellow candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX), who in 2013 "kept it up" for a full 21 hours. Paul retorted that Cruz's move was technically not a filibuster at all.

The "World's Greatest Deliberative Body" requires a 3/5 vote to curtail its greatest deliberation, which is impossible in practice, as barely 1/5 of the suit-coated peacocks are ever willing to as much as frown at a colleague. An unsuccessful vote for "cloture" lets the Senate kill a bill, and lets 59% of the Senate go home and claim to have voted for it. In the mean time, however, someone has to stand at the podium and flap his gums.

Paul said, "I hope I've raised important questions about the government’s claims of broad powers to snoop on Americans." Senators love to raise important questions, just before voting for business-as-usual. The House sent over a renewal of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act — a bill the nation had to "pass to find out what was in it" even before Obama-care — that removes language the NSA took as permission to spy on citizens. The bill is called the U.S.A. F.R.E.E.D.O.M. act because it makes permanent the law's other violations of the Constitution. Speaker John Boehner boasted that "you'll have to pass this just to find out what the initials stand for!" However, Senate leadership prefers ... business-as-usual.

Paul said he ended the filibuster because "my voice is rapidly leaving," although there is no Senate rule that unlimited debate has to be audible, and the late Robert Byrd (D-WV) repeatedly proved it didn't even have to make sense. Cruz immediately asked, "What if that happened to a President Paul during a shoting-match with Vladimir Putin?" He charged that Paul's vocal cords disqualify him to preside over a nation that needs a fit gab-meister. Paul apologized to Senate pages and staffers, who had to stay on duty until 23:49 to record every word uttered for the sole purpose of making noise. A previous Paul filibuster, about the U.S. killing its own citizens abroad with drones, or something, ended after a puny 13 hours. His career average of 11.5 hours per filibuster puts him at risk of being sent down to the minors before he can advance to the White House.

Cruz's 2013 gab-fest bought the Republican Party a crucial 21 hours to decide what it wanted to achieve — perhaps a repeal of Obama-care, perhaps a one-year delay, perhaps a pinkie promise of no government funding for abortions until President Obama's next Executive Order. Sadly, the party could only decide to wage the 2014 elections with no ideas at all — a choice that proved so successful that both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton hope to win with it in 2016.

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