In reply to: On Drones, It’s Paul vs. the Polls - Commentary Magazine, including the comment of Empress_Trudy.
Rand Paul's spoken point was a little silly; chances are slim any American president is going to order a drone strike on fellow Americans who disagree with his party's positions or US government policy. But I agree that the administration should've more clearly said so. (I suspect that they couldn't believe anyone aside the conspiracy nut fringes would think it possible...)
But I took his filibuster more broadly as a repudiation of the unitary executive theory and as a reassertion of Congress' place in the "checks and balance" between the branches of government. Drones are (or should be) just another tool in the defense arsenal, and I suspect few see them as more evil than other weapons. The problem is the lack of Congressional oversight and explicitly defined rules about their use. No President should be able to make a kill list--of anyone, no matter how objectively evil--and wipe people off the face of the Earth without oversight and input from the other branches of government.
Every President needs to answer to Congress, the judiciary, and the American people. There is no acting on one's own. There need to be clear rules, and oversight to make sure that the President and those who carry out the drone missions are abiding by them, just like with any other military mission (which is why they should be done by the military, rather than the CIA.)
But then, I'm a liberal, so what do I know...
I submitted this comment on Friday, 3/8/13, at about 5:00 PM. It apparently did not make it through moderation (which is a shame, because I think Commentary sometimes makes more sense than other Republican/conservative outlets, and often with less ad hominem attack, besides (even in the comments.) That the comment above was too... well ...anything for them to publish strikes me as awful curious, especially since I said very little that hasn't also been said by either a Commentary author or commenter. (The only thing that no one else has said is "I'm a liberal." It'd be pretty pathetic if that was the reason they didn't post my comment...)
Not the only one thinking this:
More oversight and disclosure on drones - The Washington Post
Obama faces turning point on administration drone policy - The Hill's DEFCON Hill
What Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Exposed About the Drone Strikes
And more, via memeorandum
Everything you need to know about the drone debate, in one FAQ
And finally, someone also brought up the point that Rand Paul and the Republicans and conservatives cheering for him give Obama room to satisfy those further to the left who've had concerns about the drone issue for a long time, without looking like he's catering to them. It's the same principle that says it had to be a Republican meeting and striking deals with China in the early 1970's as Nixon did. A Democrat would never've gotten away with it back here in the US. Something to consider, anyway...
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