Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Jerry Moran filibuster on March 6, 2013.
Earlier today, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) launched a filibuster of John Brennan's nomination as CIA director, but Paul's filibuster wasn't the normal, silent filibuster that has debilitated the Senate since President Obama was elected. Instead, Paul began a talking filibuster aimed at challenging the Obama administration's policy on drone usage. Paul's filibuster has gotten him attention from the media and his colleagues, and as of now, four other senators—Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Ron Wyden (D-OR)—have joined him.

Now, I don't want to get carried away and romanticize Rand Paul. If there's one guy in America that I don't trust to protect American freedom, Paul (or any of his Republican fillibuddies, for that matter) could easily be the guy I'd pick—unless by American Freedom you mean the freedom to be a man with the power to tell everyone else in his community how to live.

That being said, this is what filibusters should be like: Annoying, but not debilitating and an effort to make a point over a matter of substance, not just a tactic to score partisan political points. This is a move made in the open, with full accountability—nothing secret, nothing hidden. If we're going to have filibusters, this is how they all should be.

Unfortunately, only one of Paul's co-filibusterers agrees with that. And yes, that would be the Democrat, Ron Wyden. Despite showing us how well a talking filibuster can work, the Republicans on the floor today all think they should have the right to silently obstruct the work of the senate, with no accountability whatsoever. That's a shame—and it's a shame that a handful of Democrats agreed with them when Democrats had the chance to reform the filibuster in January.

The good news is that the window for reform can be reopened. Please sign our petition urging Harry Reid to re-open the process of filibuster reform in the Senate.


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