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McCain blasts Rand Paul’s filibuster as a ‘political stunt’

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, March 7, 2013 13:29 EDT
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Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tore into Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) “ridiculous” 13-hour filibuster, chastising the junior senator for a speech that was “not helpful” and not in keeping with Republican orthodoxy on the terror war.

McCain specifically objected to Paul saying that a future president as evil as Nazi leader Adolph Hitler could one day come to power and use drones to kill political opponents like actress and peace activist Jane Fonda.

“To allege that the United States of America, our government would drop a drone hellfire missle on Jane Fonda, that, that is… that brings the conversation from a serious discussion about U.S. policy to the realm of the ridiculous,” McCain said.

McCain also quoted from a Wall Street Journal editorial that mocked Paul. “If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in college dorms,” the editorial jibes.

Still, McCain emphasized that “if someone is an enemy combatant, that enemy combatant has nowhere to hide: not in a cafe, not anywhere.”

“We’ve done, I think, a disservice to a lot of Americans by making them believe they’re somehow in danger from their government: they’re not,” he added. “But we are in danger from a dedicated, longstanding, easily replacable leadership enemy that is hell-bent on our destruction, and this leads us to having to do things that perhaps we haven’t had to do in other more conventional wars.”

Paul’s filibuster was joined by Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), but other Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) objected to it, saying the power to use the military in times of emergency or imminent threat is not to be meddled with.

“To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you?” Graham said Thursday. “They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?”

Watch Sens. McCain and Graham’s full remarks critiquing Paul’s speech here.

This excerpt from McCain’s speech is from C-SPAN, aired Thursday, March 7, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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