Rand Paul is filibustering, but is anyone listening?

Originally published March 6, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been babbling since midday, filibustering the nomination of John Brennan to be the new director of the CIA with a little help from his Senate colleagues.

Beginning with a promise to “speak until I no longer can,” Paul says that he will not “sit quietly and let President Obama shred the Constitution” with drones. So far, Paul has gone through an entire binder of notes. He just got some support from Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, who are joining the effort by asking a series of long-winded questions.

This is the first talking filibuster in the Senate since 2010, when Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke out against extending the Bush-era tax cuts by talking for 8.5 hours.

Let’s be honest, no one is listening. In an era of attention spans the length of a tweet, you can be sure that an endless speech is being ignored, even though the senators are talking about important topics, such as drone strikes, gun violence and obscure private property debate references.

On the Senate floor this afternoon, Paul was standing with at least four empty seats around him. So much for a present, dedicated group of elected officials.

Congress’ approval rating is abysmal — at best. The American people don’t have any faith in their representatives’ ability to pass legislation to improve, sustain and protect our country. And why should we?

Filibustering is a tactic used to waste time in order to block anything from being done. The American people already know you’re not doing much, but blocking the appointment of the new director of the CIA is putting another nail in the coffin.

Twitter’s trending hashtag #filiblizzard and #standwithrand are showing some support for Paul, but even more for being pithier than #snowquester. Makes you wonder how many of us pay attention just to come up with the catchiest hashtag.

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