John McCain’s criticism of Rand Paul’s filibuster has set off a chain reaction of chaos within the Republican Party and the conservative movement.
Here is Rand Paul saying that the government would drop a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda and Kent State:
Here is the video of McCain on the Senate floor:
McCain said, “Well, Mr. President, I watched some of that ‘debate’ yesterday. I saw colleagues of mine who know better, come to the floor and voice the same concern, which is totally unfounded. I must say that the use of Jane Fonda’s name does evoke certain memories with me, and I must say she is not my favorite American, but I also believe that as odious as it was, Ms. Fonda acted within her constitutional rights. And to somehow say that someone who disagrees with American policy and even may demonstrate against it, is somehow a member of an organization which makes that member an enemy combatant is simply false. It’s simply false.”
Later McCain said, “But to somehow allege or infer that the President of the United States is going to kill somebody like Jane Fonda, or someone who disagrees with policies is stretch of imagination which is frankly ridiculous, ridiculous. So, I don’t disagree that we need more debate, more discussion, and frankly more legislation to make sure that America does protect the rights of all of our citizens. To make sure at the same time that if someone is an enemy combatant, that enemy combatant has nowhere to hide, not in a cafe, not anywhere. But to say that we would hit them in a cafe with a Hellfire missile. First of all, there are no drones with Hellfire missiles anywhere near. They’re over in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, and other places in the world. So, we’ve done a, I think, disservice to a lot of Americans by making them think they’re in danger from their government. They’re not.”
The reaction to McCain’s comments has been all hell breaking loose on the right.
Rush Limbaugh said, “Senator McCain just went to the floor of the Senate and blasted Senator Paul saying the filibuster was not helpful. Senator McCain, and I tell you, this illustrates the contrast between the new stars of the Republican Party and yesterday’s mashed potatoes. McCain said that Paul’s filibuster (imitating McCain), “Let me tell you what’s wrong with it, Limbaugh. It’s gonna give ammo to those who think the rules of the Senate have been abused.” Senator McCain, there’s not a person in the world who cares about the rules of the Senate right now. And if the rules of the Senate were abused last night for the American people to hear the truth, then so be it.”
Fox News has taken Rand Paul’s side. Drudge is appearing to play it down the middle, but look at how their headlines were structured:
(There are literally thousands of comments from rank and file Republicans criticizing McCain, but the vast majority of them can’t be reprinted here.)
Since the right wing media isn’t concerned with little things like facts, truth, or reality, they are happy to take Rand Paul’s side on this, but there is something bigger in play here.
The impulse that led the right to rah-rah behind Rand is the same one that is causing them to lose elections. Facts may not matter inside the Republican bubble, but to the rest of the country they certainly do.
The same right wing that lost winnable Senate elections in 2010 and 2012 is at it again. They are angry at the dozen Senate Republicans who had dinner with Obama. They are blaming people like McCain for the party’s worsening performance in presidential elections, but what they don’t understand is that standing at the fringes with the Rand Pauls of the world only makes them less electable.
Rand Paul’s filibuster was verbal drone attack on reality, and the Republican Party is worse off today because of it.
Republicans continue to self destruct, and we all have a front row seat as conservative movement devolves into chaos.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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