Last week, the eyes of the nation were firmly fixed on Senator Rand Paul as he spent more than twelve hours on the Senate Floor filibustering the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan. Sen. Paul made his stand in order to call attention to the claim by Attorney General Eric Holder that the President of the United States could, under the right circumstances, order a U.S. citizen assassinated on American soil without a trial. The filibuster prompted Holder to change his tune on the extent of the President’s powers, and Sen. Paul ended his filibuster shortly thereafter. And as important as the issues of rights, Presidential power, and drones on American soil are to the American people, Glenn focused his show Monday on something else he saw happening during Sen. Paul’s filibuster: the death of the GOP.
Last week, Glenn saw a turning point for the country. For the first time in decades, conservatives are on the brink of a solution to the cancer known as progressivism that has infected the GOP since Theodore Roosevelt. Through his actions on the Senate floor, Rand Paul stood up for the values and principles of freedom and united others who hold those values sacred. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, are just a few of the Senators, many of them elected to office through the efforts of the Tea Party, who stood with Sen. Paul for those twelve hours.
Perhaps more importantly, establishment GOP Senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain spoke more in their absence than in anything else they could have done. While Sen. Paul was championing the Constitution until he could no longer speak, they dined with the President. And in the days that have followed, they have criticized Rand Paul, ridiculed his efforts, and mocked him at almost every opportunity.
The lines between the conservatives who stand for freedom and the progressives in the GOP has never been clearer.
Glenn compared it to the famous “Crime against Kansas” speech, a fiery condemnation of slavery, when anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner was beaten on the floor of Congress. Sen. Sumner made the mistake of insulting another member of Congress, Sen. Butler, whose nephew proceeded to beat Sumner until his cane broke.
But despite predictions he would die, Sen. Sumner ended up returning to finish his anti-slavery speech three years later. That speech would help form the platform of the new Republican party.
While Glenn said that not everyone agreed with him that Sen. Graham’s and Sen. McCain’s insults were similar to the beating Sen. Sumner took for his speech, Glenn believed there were parallels.
Glenn explained that the new Republican party that emerged after Sumner’s speech not only helped end slavery, but within six years they controlled the branches of government. Sen. Sumner’s speech helped change the course of history.
Glenn said that America now has a unique opportunity to have a third party rise to prominence for the first time since the Republicans gained power so many years ago. But it must come from the bottom up, as individuals must continue to stand for their principles and values rooted in the Constitution and continue to support the candidates that share those values.
Senator Rand Paul’s speech could be the moment that changes history once again.