“When we ask the president ‘Can you kill Americans on American soil with drone strikes?’, it should be an easy answer,” Republican Sen. Rand Paul said on the Senate floor today. It was at the beginning of his speech (now more than 2 hours in) filibustering President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to run the CIA.
“If you’re saying crazy things and they happen to be against your government,” Paul asked on the floor, “is that enough for a Hellfire missile to rain down on your house?”
It’s a notable shift in American politics that a Republican is the one to stand up to extrajudicial killings of U.S. citizens, but Paul’s speech has made a good case why his position is the conservative one. It’s about the idea that a government can’t just head-on attack every problem it sees. Government needs to be constrained by rules.