Last night, watching that massive douchebag Rand Paul be right about something for 13 hours straight, I was struck, not by anything Paul was actually saying but by what other Republicans were doing:
"There was a hell of a lot of team play tonight," a senior GOP leadership aide said Thursday morning, acknowledging that Paul's filibuster had given the GOP a much needed jolt of energy. "Everybody's in a three-point stance, helmets on and ready to fight," the aide said.
"I think it was a great show of unity by the Republicans, and I think that the White House really missed an opportunity to tell the American people on this specific issue what the American people want to hear," said Sen. John Barrasso, who as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, is the fourth ranking member of leadership.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who after an initially strained relationship with Paul has come to embrace him, was effusive in his praise. "I wanted to congratulate him for his tenacity, for his conviction, and for being able to rally the support of a great many people and also people who have come over from the House of Representatives who felt also, I gather, that this is a legitimate question," McConnell said.
As I said on Twitter, imagine this was the Democrats on the Iraq War. Or on Afghanistan, for that matter. Or on FISA, back in Chris Dodd's day or hell, right goddamn now.
Imagine if someone had stood up like that.
Would other Democrats have rushed to the aid of the man or woman speaking?
Would they have gotten out of bed or put their drinks and hookers down, come to the Senate floor, asked question after question, in part after part?
Would they have praised that brave Senator as gushingly as McConnell praised a guy he truly thinks is an assclown, just for the cameras?
Or would they have gone on Fox News and complained that this man or woman was making the whole party look bad, like hippie pussies, when truly the party LOVES war, and please don't think we're a bunch of sissy girls?
Would they have written op-eds decrying the partisanship that leads to such terrible divisions in our country?
Would they have made sure some embarrassing story broke just in time to discredit the speaker, or if one did, would they shake their heads in dismay at finding out that yet another potential hero wasn't perfect and stop returning his calls?
Would they have opined soberly that surely there had to be a better way to make a point, a more polite way, a more gentle and unemotional and civil way?
We are, after all, talking about the party that for the most part ignored anti-war protests in the millions prior to Iraq, and helped make sure the American press ignored them too.
We're talking about the party that couldn't be bothered to stand behind its own presidential candidate after he lost, behind Dodd when he tried to stop FISA, in favor of not fucking the dog in Iraq when a unified party would have saved us from that mess. We're talking about the party that still believes despite the evidence of five decades to the contrary that if we're just nice to Republicans one last time they won't shoot us in the dick with a staple gun.
I used to think it was maybe that they lacked examples of political courage. Even if I agree with him on drones and oversight, I loathe Rand Paul and think this was as much about him as it was about principle (though who the hell knows what's in his head because the canary feathers and glitter are all over everything) but for the rest of the Republican Party? This was about supporting one of their own, and I'm not opposed to us learning from that example.
Imagine, after all, if this had been us when it counted.