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A Word About Drone Strikes

televisionIf the way you approach news is, you let your television barf into your brain and then you run around rebarfing whatever collection of sounds you heard out into the ears or onto the screens of anyone within your actual or digital reach, then you’ve probably been doing a lot of hand-wringing and lamenting about how Obama thinks he can drone strike you while you play cornhole.

Or perhaps you think that background checks would be a violation of your Second Amendment rights. (No, and I dare you to make me explain that to you).

Both of these things are clearly, demonstrably false. If you’re still saying them, then you’re wrong (best case), not very bright (sorry) or lying (Why?).

Most of the people I know fall under the first category – you’re simply uninformed. But you know, in the Internet Age, you shouldn’t be staying uninformed very long. Your convictions are pretty meaningless if you aren’t checking into them to verify their validity, or if you simply stick your fingers into your ears when someone calmly and efficiently explains to you that you’re wrong. That’s how convictions turn into lies and delusions.

Here’s an article on Forbes entitled Rand Paul Shockingly Now Supports The Use Of Drones On US Soil To Kill Americans-So What Was That Filibuster Thing All About? I’m not crazy about the unreasonably long title, but there, we get some quotes from Rand Paul, who famously filibustered old-school about Eric Holder’s announcement that sure, it was POSSIBLE Obama could order a drone strike on US citizens on US soil.

PresidentOf course, if you continue Holder’s paragraph, you’ll find that he was talking about extraordinary circumstances in which there’s not only a clear and present danger to national security, but also one in which all levels of local, state and federal law enforcement have somehow failed or are unable to address the threat, leaving the President in the weird, barely-precedented position of having to command the US military to enforce the laws. Holder specifically held up 9/11 and Pearl Harbor as instances of extraordinary circumstances.

So Rand Paul filibustered – not the normal Republican way, where they hold up a Filibuster Card and then nobody filibusters, we all just agree they extra super duper would have – but actually by talking. Admirable, except a great thing to talk about would have been the end of Eric Holder’s pargraph, which addresses every single problem Rand Paul has with drone strikes on US citizens.

In fact the article lays out clarifying statements by Paul to Fox News (surprise) in which he says, well, I never said drones were bad, I would love to see a drone shoot a liquor store robbery suspect just as much as I’d love to see a cop shoot one. Cause he’s all for the Second Amendment, not so much for the Fourth. The Bill of Rights is like a salad bar, yes?

And then later he clarifies his situation by explaining:

““My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed, Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.”

Which. Is. What. Holder. Said. In. The. First Place.

Rand Paul was the one talking about drones-n-liquor store robberies.

Nonetheless, millions of Americans are still carping about how Obama wants to drone strike them. And it’s in on this leg of our journey that one moves from “mistaken” or “uninformed” to “not very bright” or “lying.”

You know what’s funny is, I am all for drone strikes in the outrageous scenario Holder was talking about. We know the President can order nuclear strikes for instance, missile strikes. He can send a team of Navy SEALs to put a bullet in your head.

Ah, but not US Citizens – not on US soil, right?

Well, why not? I mean, certainly not under normal circumstances, but Holder and Paul both agree, in extraordinary circumstances like 9/11, where there is an imminent threat, things change. What if terrorists hijacked another airplane full of civilians and they were headed for downtown New York again. We had six minutes to shoot it down before it got over the city.

Don’t you think the President can have that plane shot down? Don’t you think he should? Or do you figure – post 9/11 – that the terrorists are bluffing?

Suppose the Boston bombers were holed up somewhere, still lighting off bombs like Dr. Claw. They’re US citizens on US soil – can we drone strike them, or do we have to lose a few SWAT guys getting in the door? Why would Obama be ordering such a strike – well, Holder explained that he wouldn’t be, unless somehow every other branch of law enforcement failed.

A zombie apocalypse erupts in Hawaii, and there’s no way to contain it – isn’t it time for a nuclear strike on civilians on US soil? I mean, zombies are technically possible, they’re just very, very, very unlikely.

Holder’s problem was he answered the question too accurately – Sure, it’s technically POSSIBLE in the right set of crazy ass circumstances – when he should have realized he was talking to a vast army of flipper-whacking seal people and simply said “No! Never forget 9/11! Go Bucks!”

Mission AccomplishedLike when Bush told us the terrorists “hated freedom” and that’s why they attacked us. Yes, talk to us like we’re toddlers, we love that.

Now suddenly Paul’s saying drones are cool for shooting robbery suspects, then clarifying that he was not, then agreeing with Eric Holder. In his filibuster, he was bullshitting us, plain and simple, and millions of people slurped it up like pigs at a trough.

I hate to be blunt, and I hate to call so many people morons, but the information is right in front of you, and you’re choosing to bark out the lies. You’re choosing to, so that’s on you.

I’m not even going to argue about it. Go on over and yell at the Forbes article – I just think it’s funny. The last election showed very clearly what happens if conservatives keep running the same play. Even with a struggling economy and billions upon billions of dollars against him, Obama handed Romney his ass in the most humiliating and hilarious way.

What we have here in Rand Paul is a nice new Tea Party Ralph Nader, eager to hamstring the right-wing and hand over the House to the liberals in 2014. Is that really what you guys want? Or do you think maybe you ought to start giving your fellow citizens a little more credit, and dialing down the jackassery a little bit? If Romney couldn’t win, there’s no way this guy will – ah, but he’ll drag the rest of you down, even the ones who are smart.

Well go right ahead, that’s my thinking – I’m certainly not going to stop him.

 

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