The Paul Coda: The Libertarian Hijacking
Steve Vlaceck has a useful coda to the Paul filibuster over at Lawfare, where he basically reaches the conclusion I pointed out a week ago:
It seems to me that both of these episodes represent examples of what might be called “libertarian hijacking”–wherein libertarians form a short-term coalition with progressive Democrats on national security issues, only to pack up and basically go home once they have extracted concessions that don’t actually resolve the real issues. Even worse, in both cases, such efforts appeared to consume most (if not all) of the available oxygen and political capital, obfuscating, if not downright suppressing, the far more problematic elements of the relevant national security policy.
Ultimately, there are difficult and important conversations to have about current and future U.S. policy when it comes to, inter alia, targeted killings and detention. But if last week’s filibuster and accompanying public relations storm are any indication, the most visible libertarians in Congress don’t appear to be interested in having them. That’s certainly their prerogative. But in that case, we might all be better off if they let these conversations take place, rather than hijacking them and turning them into debates in which there is virtually no one on the other side–not because there’s nothing to their points, but because there’s so much more in what’s not being said.
Read the whole thing, I think it’s a useful corrective to the notion that Paul did anything useful.