Attorney General Eric Holder said that drones could be used against American citizens on American soil. So libertarian Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) staged a 13-hour filibuster–a real one, in which the Senator actually occupies for the floor rather than just threatening to–in protest. Eventually, Holder said that drones would not be used against unarmed Americans, just terrorists in an emergency.
Some Republicans were annoyed with Paul’s “stunt,” as Sen. John McCain called it, and defend an aggressive use of drones. Some of them were lunching with President Obama when Paul was filibustering, sparking some observers to see a changing of the Republican guard (to borrow an Iranian phrase), with a new generation of Republicans challenging the traditional GOP practice of giving a blank check to anything military and championing instead civil liberties.
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