Last week's filibuster by Rand Paul, the #standwithrand twitter tag, and controversy of whether or not progressives or liberals (take your pick, IMO they are pretty interchangable but I know that not everyone feels that way) should indeed "stand" with Rand got me to thinking about when and if it is every OK to stand with someone who is against everything that you stand for simply because you happen to agree with one thing they are currently doing.
I saw a series of tweets on Friday night by Nicole Belle that I found very interesting, especially the ones that said that Rand Paul knew the answer to his question before he started the filibuster, which means it was just one big publicity stunt, he was grandstanding.
@thedailypetunia Then you didn't understand what was going on. Paul already had his answer. That was grandstanding to launch his campaign.— Nicole Belle (@NicoleBelle) March 8, 2013
She also pushed back at those liberals that thought that by not standing with Paul, you somehow did not care about government transparency or civil liberties.
But liberals pulling the bullshit "More-liberal-than-thou" to other libs for refusing to #standwithPaul is the height of stupidity.— Nicole Belle (@NicoleBelle) March 7, 2013
This is not the first time that someone completely opposed to everything progressives stand for got the support of some progressives for being a broken clock.
So was Rand Paul just trying to promote himself and his agenda, and even if so should it matter? I think yes, and yes.
This piece by journalist David Corn at Mother Jones, Rand Paul Exploits Drones Grandstanding With False Fundraising Letter should put to rest any question that Rand Paul did not do this out of concern. After pointing out that there are real concerns with our drone policy, White House communication about this policy, and how, when, and why drones are used in other countries, Corn concludes that
But decrying the administration for possible drone assaults against noncombatant American citizens within the United States is a phony issue, a modern-day equivalent of black-helicopter-phobia. In an unsurprising, it's-really-about-politics move, Paul distracted from the real concerns, and the quickly written email pushing his Stand With Rand money bomb shows this senator as a crass operator untethered from the truth who's eager to exploit his own grandstanding.You still say, so what? BFD, he still was standing for what I think is right, even if he was not authentic, he brought attention to the subject! He asked what no one else was willing to ask! Who cares what else he stands for.
Who cares? Who cares that his views on civil rights are nothing like ours? He is still trying to explain his family's opposition to civil rights, and told CNN last week,
It’s not all about race relations, it’s about controlling property, ultimately.Like the Religious right, he wants small government, but big church, who needs the constitution when you have biblical law?
Is mountaintop removal a bad thing? Nah, just needs some rebranding.
What else was Paul doing last Wednesday? NOT voting for VAWA. What a champ.
I could go on, but I think we all know that he is fighting against everything we fight for. I am a Democrat because I believe in what Democrats stand for. When they do something frustrating, like the administration is doing with the drone policy, it is up to us to raise the question and insist that the people we elected to congress do the same.
One inauthentic act that we happen to agree with does not inspire me to stand with someone so vile. Having someone like that do our bidding is not the answer. Call your congress peeps, insist that they do it, and cheer them on when they do.
Cross posted in Purple.
Please check out So You're Offended by the Government's Ability To Execute Americans Without Due Process?, another diary inspired by Rand's filibuster.
(h/t jlms qkw)