As of right this minute, right now, Rand Paul is standing up in the well of the Senate House in Washington D.C. actually filibustering. To those of you who are maybe not that political, this doesn't sound like a big deal, but the filibuster, in the full Mr Smith Goes to Washington understanding of it, is as rare as bipartisan support these days. Granted, Paul is basically doing it to be a dick.
The senate is supposed to vote today on the confirmation of John Brennan, Barack Obama's choice to be the new CIA Director. Paul and his allies were unable to secure the required 41 votes to block a cloture vote, which is the way most filibusters happen now: we give you notice that we intend to filibuster, and you, recognizing that, don't hold the vote. So the Kentucky senator did the next best thing and had an actual filibuster.
Mostly Paul's been pontificating on the White House's policy of using drones to kill terror suspects, but he's also been riffing on a variety of things like the Kent State Massacre and the French Revolution. And though Rand has to keep talking or yield the floor, he has been joined by other Republican senators like Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Jerry Moran (Kansas), who have each weighed in with short comments as allowed by Senate procedure. The filibuster has also generated by-partisan support in the form of Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who despite his intention to vote for Brennan, shares Paul's concern about targeted-killing.
You can watch the filibuster yourself streaming live on C-SPAN. Paul's been going since 11:45 am, so his filibuster's been going on now for about five and a half hours, far short of Strom Thurmond's record of 24 hours and 18 minutes during the debate over the Civil Rights Act of 1957, but who knows where we'll be 20 hours from now.
Still, a very impressive feat of dedication for a modern politician. One that will grant Rand Paul more derision and adulation in equal measure.