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Mr. Paul Goes to Washington

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(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

When was the last time you heard of a sitting U.S. Senator trend on social media more than any of the Kardashians or any of the Real Wives from anywhere? Well, it may be an unlikely story, but Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky singlehandedly got more people to stop and notice what’s going on in Washington than any other elected leader has been able to do in a long time.

Sen. Paul is making an impact felt across the nation and in very surprising places.

I was in a bar on Wednesday night, and I swear I am telling the truth, some of the patrons asked if two of the TV’s could be switched to CSPAN. When the bartender complied, I saw many watching and actively talking about what was going on.

If you have not heard about what went on in D.C. on Wednesday, let me clue you in. Sen. Rand Paul began filibustering on before noon on Wednesday in order to block the nomination process of President Obama’s nominee for the next CIA Director, John Brennan. He continued until just before midnight EST. He was filibustering in order to bring awareness of the President’s use of drones on Americans overseas.

To me, the most important part about this filibuster is that it could have just as likely occurred in protest of a Republican president’s use of drones.

He is standing up for something not based in a particular party platform and he was not simply being obstinate to a member of the opposite party. He stood up for what he believes is a critical issue for the liberty of Americans.

While his filibuster will not likely stop the confirmation of John Brennan as the next CIA Director, it did bring to light what should be a very controversial issue for Americans.

The use of drones to combat terrorism may sound fine when we think about bombing militants in a cave somewhere on the other side of the world.

However, when the case is made to use that same drone technology on American citizens and furthermore, when the U.S. Attorney General comments that there is nothing that is explicitly illegal about using the same technology on U.S. soil, the implications are many.

These are the issues that Paul was hoping to bring to light with his filibuster. These are issues that should trouble Americans regardless of the party affiliation of who is in the White House.

This moment has the potential, albeit slim, to make a real difference in the toxic political environment that is Washington D.C.

What if voters asked their elected leaders to stand up for they believe in and not simply stick to a party’s marching orders? Could our leaders actually be held accountable for standing up for values like liberty and freedom? Again, the potential is there, but it’ll need more than one filibuster to keep it going.

Will another leader and stand up against the odds for what he or she believes in?

That is certainly a trend that we can all hope starts trending on Twitter soon.

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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