Rand Paul’s 12-hour filibuster is unlikely to go down as much more than a footnote in the sordid history of the decline-and-fall years of our busted democracy, but it reveals quite a lot about the false promise of The Republic as a bulwark against an empire. There is but one position on which all sides (read: both sides) agree: that the opposition shalt not interfere with the warmaking powers of their side when it’s in power. All the gaudy Democratic moralizing of the Bush years evaporates like a Helmand wedding party under Obama’s wrathful eye. A rough survey of twitter, the blogs, and the mainstream press found most American liberals hurling vengeful non sequiturs at the filibuster or else making fun of Paul for the hilarious fact that he had to hold his bladder for hours in order to make the point that the President has now arrogated to himself not only the right to kill anyone else in the world with no process or trial, but also to kill his own citizens. In purely moral terms that may be a meaningless procedural distinction, but we live in a world of nations, and in that sense it really does represent a leap even further beyond the pale.

Jacob Bacharach. Read the whole thing.