Sen. Rand Paul launched an old-fashioned filibuster Wednesday against the confirmation of John Brennan to head the CIA.
The Kentucky Republican began at 11:47 a.m., noting that he did not oppose President Barack Obama's nominee as much as he was angered by the White House's policy on targeted killings of Americans.
- In response to questions from Paul, Attorney General Eric Holder said he would not rule out the use of drones on U.S. soil against an American terror suspect, calling it "entirely hypothetical" and saying he would advise the president on a case-by-case basis.
- In a tweet announcing the filibuster, Paul coined a hashtag that referenced the snowstorm hitting the Washington area:
- The hashtag was also a throwback to the last big talking filibuster by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which was referred to as the #filibernie.
Paul's opening remarks cited Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland."
"‘No, no,’ said the queen. ‘Sentence first; Verdict afterwards.’
- ‘Stuff and nonsense,’ Alice said widely — loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first?’"
Some of Paul's fans were thrilled by the filibuster:
- During the filibuster, Paul provoked some chatter when he made a reference to German dictator Adolf Hitler:
- "The point isn't that anybody in our country is Hitler. I'm not accusing anybody of being that evil. I think it's an overplayed and a misused analogy, but what I am saying is that in a democracy, you could someday elect someone who is very evil."
- He also drew some attention for bringing up actress Jane Fonda, who was criticized for visiting North Vietnam in 1972.
- "No one will ever forget Jane Fonda swiveling around in North Vietnamese armored guns and it was despicable. Now, it's one thing if you want to try her for treason, but are you just going to drop a drone ... a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?"
- Shortly before 3 p.m., Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Marco Rubio of Florida joined in the effort, sharing time with Paul.
- "I would note that your standing here today like a modern Mr. Smith Goes to Washington must surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile," said Cruz. "And my only regret is that there are not 99 of your colleagues here today standing with you."
- Cruz also noted that today is the anniversary of the fight at the Alamo:
- At around four hours, Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, joined the filibuster, officially making it bipartisan.
- Shortly before 5 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to negotiate an end to the filibuster. When Paul turned him down, Reid said the vote on Brennan would be held tomorrow.