13-hours of just words

Political theater is my favourite kind of theater, it’s an amusing metaphor of the sad state of politics today, never the least it still makes a good laugh.

On March 7 republic senator Rand Paul carried out a 13-hour old-school, speak-until-you-can-speak-no-more Filibuster concerning the use of drones in american soil.

Filibusting is a political tactic whose sole purpose is to delay a parliamentary process. It was famously used by legendary South carolina senate, Strom Thurmond, who now holds the record with a 28-hour filibuster.

Mr Pauls goal was to forced the to delay the CIA nominations, which it did, causing the vote on John Brennan to be postponed.

“What will be the standard for how we kill Americans in America?” Mr. Paul asked at one point. “Could political dissent be part of the standard for drone strikes?”

You may be asking to yourself, what does a person speak about for more than 12 hours non-stop? To get a better idea I created the Word-Cloud below to depict his transcribed speech.

Luckily for the rest of the senators Mr Paul didn´t do something as dull as reading the declaration of independence or some long book like Hamlet to kill time. Instead he kept at all time focussed on the issue and giving way to questions by any of his fellow republicans, how happily asked long-winded questions in order to give Mr Paul a break.

This resulted in what seemed like a filibuster-within-filibuster at times. Senator Ted Cruz cited Shakespeare & Patton for example.

More amusingly however, Senator Marco Rubio quoted rapper Wiz Khalifa and used quotes from “The Godfather” three times.

  1. “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

  2. “Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again.”

  3. “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than 100 men with guns can steal.”

After saying his quotes he openly admitted that he did not exactly know how it was relevant to the topic but it would ” bring it up.”

His republican college, Mr Cruz, at one point informed him of the popularity his move was having on Twitter, describing it as “blowing up” on Twitter.

The idea of going to the bathroom was out of question.

“I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond’s record, but I’ve discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I’m going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here,” said Mr Paul.

I guess this means then that americans will now be looking over their shoulder for drones because of MrPauls weak bladder impeded him of doing another 12 hours of talks.

It was also amusing to see that the only response he got to his 13-hour-long declaration of concerns was a simple … no by the Attorney General, Eric Holder.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 09.26.18


To have a more detailed look at Mr Pauls 13-hour speech go to the Word Tree. In it you enter the any word that interest you from the transcription and it shows you all the different contexts:

drone filibuster

I love politics sometimes.

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