THE BLOG
03/11/2013 06:33 pm ET Updated May 11, 2013

Why Liberals Should Stand With Rand

There was a lot more to Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster than the misguided Hitler and Jane Fonda references (not at the same time), Marco Rubio's obligatory water joke and Ted Cruz's monotone recitation of identical Twitter comments.

In fact, what was most noteworthy was what wasn't said, and who wasn't there.

I have almost never agreed with Paul in the past, particularly with his offensive refusal to embrace the Civil Rights Act, but his criticism of the U.S. drone program abroad, and the unwillingness of Attorney General Holder to rule out possible drone attacks on American citizens on U.S. soil, was right on the mark.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that between 2004 and 2013, CIA drone attacks in Pakistan killed up to 3,461 people -- up to 891 of them civilians. And it said that the vast majority of the strikes were carried out under the Obama administration. And yet those disturbing numbers have apparently not bothered most of the liberals in the Senate and in the media.

Ron Wyden was the only Democratic senator to stand with Rand during the filibuster. Where were the other liberals? Was their absence indicative of their support for execution without due process, and their acceptance of the alarming number of civilian casualties? Or perhaps it was because of the lockstep partisanship that compels most Democrats and Republicans to stay in line. And in that case, would those absent liberal Democrats have supported a filibuster by a Senator from their own party, if there was a Republican administration?

MSNBC barely even discussed the filibuster, and when it was heatedly debated on The Cycle, it was the two more conservative hosts who challenged Toure on his blanket acceptance of the Obama administration drone policy. Only Rachel Maddow devoted a significant amount of time to it, and despite some reservations, praised the significance of Senator Paul's filibuster, and interviewed Senator Wyden.

A fellow liberal pundit who I appeared with on a television news and opinion program admitted that using drones on U.S. citizens and others "doesn't sound right," but that it's the right thing to do. I replied that it doesn't sound right because it isn't right, as well as being immoral and counterproductive, since it fosters hatred of America, and radicalizes others to pursue terrorism.

You would think what I said would be something liberals in Congress and the media would embrace. But with their silence or in some cases, dismissive mockery, liberals missed an opportunity to stand with Rand, by supporting due process and the constitution, and opposing a perpetual war being waged abroad, and soon, here at home.

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