All week, Senator Rand Paul has been trying to take his foot out of his mouth over apparently contradictory remarks he made to Neil Cavuto about the use of drones. On Thursday night Sean Hannity was happy to give the Kentucky Republican and serious 2016 Presidential contender a helping hand, bringing him onto the show to explain that he hadn’t changed his position at all. Which he did, though in a rather confusing manner, adding that the controversy was manufactured by “left-wing blogs”.
Fox sang Paul’s praises endlessly last month for his 13-hour filibuster against the administration’s drone strike policy. But that was before the Boston Marathon. Earlier this week in the Cavuto interview, Paul implied it was OK to use drones to make strikes, just not for surveillance: “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him ... If there is a killer on the loose in a neighborhood, I'm not against drones being used to search them out, heat-seeking devices being used. I'm all for law enforcement. I'm just not for surveillance when there is not probable cause that a crime is being committed.”
Was this a change in position? Hannity asked. Not at all, Paul replied: “In the famous words of George W. Bush, I think I was mis-underestimated.” He went on to say that if Americans were being attacked with deadly force, they had the right to defend themselves with deadly force. “If there is an active gun fight going on and you were shooting at the police and you're robbing a liquor store, the police have the ability and they have the justified obligation to fire back. The type of technology doesn't really matter... A drone is a type of technology. …Do I want drones flying over getting involved in normal crime sequences? No. (Really? Thought you didn’t care how your hypothetical small-time holdup man was killed so long as he was dead.) But I could imagine a time where a policeman is being shot at in his car and they have the ability to push a button in the car and a small robotic weapon is able to elevate and shoot back at a criminal.” He added that he’s against targeted killings, by drone or any other means, and then went on to play the victim card: ”You're talking to the senator who is the most concerned about privacy, the most concerned about your civil liberties, and the most concerned about restricting the use of this kind of technology….That's what I think is a little bit unfair is that you get these left-wing blogs out there trying to promote something and say I changed my position.”
Did you get all that, gentle reader? I’m not sure Hannity did, because he simplified the discussion by steering it down more familiar Hannity channels: “I think the reason that many of us as conservatives are very leery when it comes to government using drones, we don't trust the government. I don't trust the government.” (Really? Does that mean if some other government used drones he’d think it was OK?) From there the conversation turned to Harry Reid, immigration reform, the sequester and how “Republicans want to kill granny, want dirty air and water, and by the way, don't want to help cure diseases.”
Whether that clarification clarified anything or not, I'm sure it warms the cockles of Sen. Paul's heart to know he has a friend in Fox News.
- . . . adding that the controversy was manufactured by “left-wing blogs”.*
Now now, Rand — “left-wing blogs” didn’t make you against the use of drones before you were for them.
The “party of personal responsibility” strikes again!
“I think the reason that many of us as conservatives are very leery when it comes to government using drones, we don’t trust the government. I don’t trust the government.”
Reminiscent of St. Ronnie Raygun’s, “the nine most dangerous words in the English language are, ’I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”
If I hear ONE MORE GOPper that’s actually IN government yapping about how they “don’t trust government”, I’m gonna puke . . .
Really? Because the use of drones started under Bush, and I didn’t hear one word of “What if he abuses it? What if he left it too unrestricted for the next guy?” from conservatives then. I heard “Shut up and support our president!”
Oh, and remember when Obama proposed tightening regulations on drone policy after those Americans were killed in a strike, and the conservatives threw a bitch fit about that?
If McCain or Romney was in the White House, they could be using drones to kill jaywalkers, and Hannity wouldn’t be saying a word, other than that what policy restrictions Obama did get passed despite the far right are getting in the way.