Someone Please Explain Rand Paul's Job To Rand Paul
Yr Wonkette has never spent any time in the state of Kentucky, or even known anyone from the state of Kentucky, so we are forced to conclude that the vast majority of Republican voters there are drooling, shuffling imbeciles who spend their free time boring holes in their skulls with dull instruments, for funsies. How else to explain the presence of Rand Paul anywhere outside of that asylum from “American Horror Story?”
We all know how much Rand loves privacy, unless you are a woman concerned with making your own decisions about your own body, which is why Senator Hairpiece has been all over the revelations that the NSA knows about every time you send a late-night booty call text to whatever lunkhead you’ve been nailing whenever your boyfriend is out of town (WE WISH WE HAD WORKED FOR THE NSA WHEN YOU WERE STILL HERE, HELEN!!!!) Last Friday he introduced a bill called the “Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013,” which states
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution shall not be construed to allow any agency of the United States Government to search the phone records of Americans without a warrant based on probable cause.
Actually the NSA can only collect phone numbers without a warrant. To actually look at the numbers in the giant database it has built up, the agency must get a warrant from the FISA court. Now, the FISA court seems to be basically a rubber stamp and we have no faith at all that it has performed a genuine oversight role here, and maybe some of the lawyers embedded in the peanut gallery can set us straight, but it sure sounds as if this bill is redundant. Its power lies in its buzzwords: Fourth Amendment! Probable cause! The collection of a citizen’s phone records violates his or her natural rights! Someone in the Hairpiece’s office must have had a Word macro all ready to go before the news even broke.
We're pretty sure there are some other Fourth Amendment rights that have been run through a tree shredder over the last three or four decades that we would probably like back, but why confuse the Hairpiece? He is playing to the cheap seats on the right, and even a few on the left, and we all remember how well that went the last time he did so in such public fashion. This is what happens when a senator picks up all his knowledge of the Constitution off the back of a placemat in a Shoney’s outside Leitchfield.
Ol’ Aqua Buddha wasn’t done dazzling us with the awesome breadth of his knowledge and legal strategery. Sunday he went on Fox to tell Chris Wallace he wants to file a class-action lawsuit against the government, one he hopes to take to the Supreme Court to compel the NSA to stop collecting our booty texts. A class-action lawsuit! Sure, and in ten years everyone in America will get a little postcard telling them they are eligible for a government settlement of $1.37 apiece if they enter their address and phone number on some website somewhere by a certain date. Which, pardon us, isn’t that kind of willy-nilly spreading of our data part of what we’re all worried about in the first place?
If only Rand Paul were a member of some sort of institution that had the power to write new laws -- a lawmaking body, if you will -- that would overturn the old laws under which the NSA believes it has the legal authority to collect this data and the FISA court the authority to “oversee” it and the government the legal authority to keep all the details secret. Laws like the Patriot Act or the AUMF. Maybe the world’s greatest ophthalmologist/freedom fighter would like to do something about those before he kicks off his 2016 presidential campaign? (He may also want to have a word with that aide of his who's calling on Christians to martyr themselves in a holy war...)
In case anyone thinks we’re being too harsh on Rand Paul, he also told CBS yesterday that he is “reserving judgment” on Edward Snowden’s actions. Perhaps it would be cynical of us to point out that this could be because so many members of his own party, and the opposition party as well, are calling for Snowden’s head to be put on a pike and paraded into the House chamber as all our lawmakers rend their garments and, snarling, blood dripping from their fangs, hop around the floor and howl and have wild animal sex on the desks. But if you think what the NSA is doing is so horrible, if you think that it is not hyperbole to say that Big Brother is watching, then what exactly are you reserving judgment about? That’s no way to stand up for your fellow freedom lover!