Mike Huckabee News
Mar 16 2013
Sen. Rand Paul is getting accolades from across the political spectrum for his filibuster last week that forced the White House finally to admit that it’s not constitutional to kill US citizens on US soil without an imminent threat. Only one group seems to have a problem with Paul’s actions, and that’s some of the senior leaders of his own party. John McCain was particularly vocal in his criticism, even referring to Paul and other younger conservatives who believe in the Constitutional restraints on government with the colorful term, “wacko birds.”
Friday, Sen. Paul was a guest on my radio show, and his response to McCain’s attack made headlines. He told me that he treats Sen. McCain with respect, although he doesn’t think he always gets the same in return. But he said that in this case, he believes McCain is on the wrong side of history. He said he’d had a similar exchange with McCain last year, when he challenged his belief that we could send someone to Guantanamo without a trial if they’re dangerous. Paul said to him, that goes against everything that America stands for. Who gets to decide whether you’re dangerous, if not a jury of your peers?
I have the greatest respect for Sen. McCain’s statesmanship, his war record, and his lifetime of public service. But in this case, I think he’s more upset about protecting the clubby atmosphere of the Senate as an institution. And no institution is as important as the Constitution. The government can't simply arrive at a conclusion and mete out punishment without going through due process. Sure, the process is sometimes messy, and it often seems as if the accused has more rights than the victims. But it's what elevates our country's culture above those of nations that can imprison or even execute people for saying things the government doesn't like or even for simply believing in something the government finds annoying. As a governor, I knew the frustration of watching cases wind slowly through the system. But we are a nation of laws, not of feelings, passions or thoughts. Even when we know of the actions of people like the Fort Hood shooter, our passions and feelings don't let us just leave them in a field and fly a drone overhead and kill them. A government that can kill a citizen for what he or she might do is a government that one day will kill a citizen for what he or she is, or believes. That’s why I think all of America should say, "Thank you, Rand Paul."