“Libertarian Kids” Succeeding with Rep. Party Insurgency – Sen. Paul at Forefront

By on March 8, 2013

by Ezra Van Auken

It would be naive to say that what Senator Rand Paul did four twelve hours, fifty-two minutes and eleven seconds from Wednesday into the first hour of Thursday morning did nothing to resonate with leftist groups and once mainstream Republicans. From the time Sen. Paul took the floor until the time he finished his statements and yielded his time, old-school Republicans were itching to fire back.

One major feature to Sen. Paul’s filibuster delivery was the drive by social media, which turned the Kentucky Senator into a household name for nearly forty-eight hours. The Twitter trends echoed “#StandWithRand” and “#Filibuster” for over a day, bringing in thousands of discouraged Americans, those who believe the direction of this country is in need of a U-turn. Sen. Paul’s actions also prompted those disengaged with the Republican Party to rekindle new hopes.

Rand’s father, Ron Paul, was obviously at the forefront in 2008 and 2012 pushing for a more limited government vision of a Republican Party. The 77-year-old from Texas advocated the restoration of individual rights, which were taken away by the Patriot Act, National Defense Authorization Act, and various pieces of legislation. In an epic move by his son, Rand took those various civil liberty principles and addressed them for twelve hours on the Senate floor.

The response was incredible. Last Thursday, a day after the filibuster, Twitter reported that over a million tweets were tweeted during Rand’s stand on the Senate floor. Twitter’s uproar with pro-Paul content put him on the same level as President Obama’s State of the Union address with 1.36 million tweets.

Paul said in his first warnings to Washington, “I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by court.” Those who played witness to the “filiblizzard” saw anyone from the left such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Code Pink to far-right pundits from Fox News congratulating the Kentucky Senator.

Raining on the parade, so to speak, were the Republicans who apparently didn’t receive a memo that the Republican Party is changing. In fact, the memo came out in January of 2012 when once-Congressman Paul stood up to indefinite detention and other civil liberties threats, changing the Republican conversation. Although Sen. Paul took a stand against the killing of Americans without trial, much is the same when it comes to imprisoning an individual without trial; both take the rights from someone.

During the Republican debate, Paul explained, “I think we’re going in the wrong direction for the protection of our liberties here at home, the Patriot Act has eliminated the fourth amendment.” Paul went on to say regarding the NDAA, “This is major, this says that the military can arrest an American citizen for under the suspicion, and he can be held indefinitely without habeas corpus and denied a lawyer, indefinitely.

Many are noticing a transition from an alarmist, domestic war-mode Republican Party that discarded individual rights into now a party pulling a U-turn on civil liberties. The power hungry Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham however, are not ready to engage in personal freedom. Hours after Sen. Paul left the floor from his 12-hour filibuster, McCain and Graham responded. Sen. McCain told the floor that Paul was only working to “fire up impressionable libertarian kids,” shrugging the filibuster off as a stunt.

Senator Graham on the flip side used a chart that illustrated how 2,958 Americans have died on U.S. soil because of al-Qaeda and 0 Americans have died because of U.S. drones.

Stretching out the filibuster conversation, civil liberties advocates who had jumped on the “Randwagon” started blasting Sen. Graham for dismissing the right to a fair trial in justification for allowing the U.S. to become a battlefield. By mid-day on Thursday, newly revived Republicans and many ‘Ron Paul Republicans’ were already starting the “#PrimaryLindsey” trend. This was even picked up by Laura Ingraham, guest host for “The O’Reilly Factor”. She tweeted, “Maybe Gov. Sanford, warts & all, shd forget running for House seat. some solid conserv. shd challenge Graham in ’14.

Funny enough, there is a challenger in 2014 for Sen. Graham’s seat – a Libertarian leaning Republican by the name of Lee Bright. As TheHill.com reported in early February, “South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R) is “leaning towards” mounting a primary challenge against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), he told The Hill Monday afternoon.” State Sen. Bright said he had a good group of possible backers that could be the deciding factor.

Another response from Jeff Frazee, executive director of Young Americans for Liberty, wrote, “These ‘libertarian kids’ are the future. It’s just a matter of whether or not the GOP will stand with Rand and remain relevant; or turn their backs on the next generation and die with McCain,” putting McCain on blast for shunning the protest by Sen. Paul against an out-of-control government.

From the time former Congressman Ron Paul took to the debate scene in January of 2012 until March of 2013 when his son Rand took to the Senate floor, there has been a clear shift inside the Republican Party.

One Republican Senate aide summarized to Business Insider referring to McCain and Graham’s attempt at trampling on Paul’s message, “It definitely looked like two guys whose time has passed. They are behind history, and they are the only people in the room who don’t know it yet.”

Image Reference

Jim Young / Reuters

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One Comment

  1. GoodBusiness

    March 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Help us make this project go VIRAL and it will kick the OLD BULLS out of the Senate and take all the money and Lobbyist out of DC = no power – no money no IRS, EPA Courts back under the limits of the original Constitution Restoring Liberty and Freedoms promised . .please repost and email to all your friends . . Let us take back our government.


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