Rand Paul's Pathetic Filibuster
Credit: Gage Skidmore
October 29, 2015

Rand Paul was so angry over the bipartisan budget deal that passed the House Wednesday. SO angry. Just furious. He vowed to filibuster with the "good, old-fashioned" type of filibuster, which to me means standing on the floor of the Senate and just going, and going, and going. Right? Because it's just that bad.

Well, turns out Rand was a little wimpy. Maybe he had an appointment with Charles Koch or something.

In fact, the Washington Post reported, “Rand Paul says he hates the budget deal and is promising to arrive back in Washington on Thursday to register his protest with a good, old fashioned filibuster.”

That sounds exciting! How’d it work out?

“I rise in opposition to raising the debt ceiling, in particular to raising the debt ceiling without getting any type of spending reform or budgetary reform,” the Kentucky Republican … said from the Senate floor. “We will be raising the debt ceiling in an unlimited fashion. We will be giving President Obama a free pass.”

Paul’s office noted that he would be speaking “at length”; Paul spoke from the floor for approximately 20 minutes [emphasis added].

A reliable source confirmed that Rand Paul, who finds it difficult “not to use profanity” when talking about the budget agreement, wrapped up his “filibuster” after 18 minutes and 40 seconds.

Substantively, listening to Paul complain about Congress paying its debts for the things lawmakers have already bought was annoying, but even putting this aside, today’s stunt was clearly the Worst. Filibuster. Ever.

Now, I realize that this was never going to be an actual filibuster. The Republican senator was really just planning to take up time that needs to elapse anyway before the chamber votes on the package. Even by congressional standards, this was grandstanding for the sake of grandstanding – Paul’s plan to speak “at length” would serve no practical or procedural purpose.

But if the senator is going to make such a fuss about how much he hates the budget deal, and his office is going to tell everyone about his audacious “filibuster” plans, maybe he can stand his ground and make his case for more than 20 minutes?

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