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Letter: The GOP’s filibuster tactics

Recently Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) garnered lots of publicity because he filibustered. He chose a very narrow section of a subject which merited far more attention than it has received. He wanted to know if the president could target an American within the borders of the U.S. with a drone.

As Paul made his point that Americans sitting in a café had a right to a trial, he mixed in some ridiculous points about Hitler, Jane Fonda as a target for her actions during Vietnam, along with Alice in Wonderland. Other senators gathered in the usually empty chamber. Their additions to the filibuster varied from some juvenile tweets to reading from Shakespeare.

One senator gave material which pertains to the broader aspects of the policy which should be discussed. He quoted Justice Jackson who served as a lead prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials — the trials which attempted to establish the morality and guilt of the actions of the German government and its officials during World War II.

Drone warfare is new to this century and there is no standard for its use. It’s time for a full discussion of the ramifications of their use — and not just in the U.S. We must establish criteria for when drones may be used, what, where and against whom.

In the meantime, Paul got the publicity that he craved since he intends to run for president in 2016. His “talking filibuster” won him the acclaim he desires but no one realizes that the GOP has other filibusters going on that receive no attention because they are not “talking filibusters.” Unfortunately the “gentlemen’s agreement” between majority leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) which would limit the blocking of nominations apparently had only one gentleman!

Barbara M. Edwards