Rand Paul Filibuster Seemed to Have Killed 24 Percentage Points of Support for Drone Attacks on Americans Abroad

Slate's Dave Weigel notices an interesting shift in public opinion on drone attacks--one that it's hard to think of any explanation for other than Rand Paul's drone-filibuster and its resultant publicity:

A year ago, as the presidential race was taking shape, The Washington Post's pollster asked voters whether they favored the use of drones to kill terrorists or terror suspects if they were "American citizens living in other countries." The net rating at the time was positive: 65 percent for, 26 percent against.

Today, after a month of Rand Paul-driven discussion of drone warfare, Gallup asksbasically the same question: Should the U.S. "use drones to launch airstrikes in other countries against U.S. citizens living abroad who are suspected terrorists?" The new numbers: 41 percent for, 52 percent against.

I told the Sunday New York Times reader a month before the filibuster that Rand Paul was one to watch for the future of the Republican Party.

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  • Virginian||

    Only 24 percent?

  • ||

    Not everybody watched the filibuster.

  • Counterfly||

    I won't be happy until it is 47%.

    Even then I won't be happy.

  • Virginian||

    After an hours long speech that was national news for a couple days, a bare majority of Americans now agree that the President is not allowed to murder American citizens just because he feels like it.

    We are so fucked.

  • Counterfly||

    You mean their president. I have a sneaking suspicion that 99.5% of those polled (that answered yes or no) would switch sides if an R was in there.

  • Virginian||

    But the same number of Bluetards would swap over to their principled civil liberties stance.

  • Counterfly||

    Yeah, that's what I'm saying. The percentages would remain, the idiots behind them would switch.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, I can find more common ground with hardcore left anarchists or even outright commies then with the more "reasonable" people of either right or left.

  • Brett L||

    hardcore left anarchists

    Are you talking about the guys who dress up in black and break other peoples' shit at WTO conferences? Because they are no more anarchists than I am the second coming of Jesus.

  • Virginian||

    No, just people who really hate Republicans and think the Democrats are a tool of the corporations. Kind of how we see both parties as two sides of the same coin.

  • wareagle||

    I have a sneaking suspicion that 99.5% of those polled (that answered yes or no) would switch sides if an R was in there.

    I don't know...lots of Team Red, neocon, conservative venom directed at Rand. And lots of Red heavy hitters who think the drone policy is a great idea. The Reds are as frightened by losing power as the Blues.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There was a good deal of hostility toward its message by people who didn't watch it but were told by others it was wasteful obstructionism.

  • Sevo||

    "There was a good deal of hostility..."
    Yep. Various comments in the local rag ran along the lines of 'obstructive rethuglicans keeping the anointed one from god's work...'
    And I guess smiting the infidels from the air might well qualify..

  • Doctor Whom||

    Among my liberal Facebook friends, it was "Even when Rand Paul has a point, he actually doesn't, since he is a Randroid teathuglican, so I am duty-bound to disagree with everything he says."

  • sarcasmic||

    Ideas are to be judged not by their own merit, but by who argues them.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Principals, not principles define the religion of TEAM.

  • Randian||

    That was pretty much what the lefty media types were doing on Twitter. See, check out Adam Serwer, for example:

    Banning Domestic Drone Use is Pointless

  • mr simple||

    Because sniper rifles exist, we shouldn't worry about banning drones. That's some solid reasoning right there.

  • Brett L||

    Again, the armed drones fly at 18000 feet. That would be at the outside of a Barrett's effective range. Plus the fun of having .50 ammo and/or drone pieces land on a playground.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Could be some people who know what side their drones are buttered on. Those frackin' toasters.

  • ||

    And 2% who were undecided.

  • some guy||

    "Undecided." In other words, "I'm willing to admit that I haven't thought about it due to either ignorance or sloth."

  • SumpTump||

    Drone pilots are the biggest cowards of them all!

    www.TotalAnon.da.bz

  • woodsy||

    I wonder if the results would be different had the wording of the question been "use drones to launch airstrikes in other countries against AMERICANS living abroad who are suspected terrorists."

    "U.S. citizens" is sometimes a code-word for non-white Americans.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Huh? I'm a U.S. citizen and not "non-white."

  • mr simple||

    Are you sure? We'll send a drone to double check for you.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    A now, a sampler of Slate's slavering simpletons:

    a_king
    There are legitimate areas for discussion around the efficacy of the drone program. Whether or not the president is breaking the law is not one of them.

    Continued focus on this angle, or even worse, the completely histrionic questioning by Paul of whether the US government would use drones on US soil against citizens not involved in terrorist activity, does absolutely nothing to advance the conversation.

    It comes from the same place the questions over Obama's birth certificate or whether he was going to use "death panels" to kill your grandparents came from.

    Opposing drone strikes makes you a filthy Birfer, death paneller, and probably a half-racist.

    T. Cardella
    Whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, if you are plotting terrorist strikes against America, you are a traitor and don't have any such built-in protection.

    Traditionally, we have trials to determine whether or not someone is a traitor, not judgment by disposition matrix.

  • Spartacus||

    I was going to compare this to the Court of Star Chamber, but in the Star Chamber suspects were at least summoned and given a chance to respond to the charges.

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    Why do you hate the future of the determination of guilt? It would be much simpler and faster to use a dispostion matrix to determine guilt.

    /sarcasm

  • ||

    Oh my Christ, Doherty, it seems to have killed 24 percentage points' worth of support, or 36.9% of support.

  • Brett L||

    I know they can't pay you enough, but you should really take pity on reason and just be their online editor.

  • ||

    Was that apostrophe really appropriate?

  • ||

    It was. And Brett, I couldn't agree more, on both counts.

  • ||

    Oh and YAY! Thanks for fixing.

  • ||

    Alright Nicole, now see about getting us an edit feature, or at least get preview fixed!

  • Spartacus||

    It's really not basically the same question, when you consider that most people only pay attention to the first half of anything. The order of presentation makes a big difference.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Could you repeat that? I trailed off at the end.

  • ||

    Why should he repeat it?

  • Spartacus||

    How about if I reverse the order and say it again?

  • Loki||

    I told the Sunday New York Times reader a month before the filibuster that Rand Paul was one to watch for the future of the Republican Party.

    Rand Paul??? You mean that racist SOB who thinks private businesses should be allowed to be as racist in their hiring practices as they want to be, CRA be damned??? That Rand Paul??? The racist racist who also hates wymenz??? /typical proggie asshat

  • ||

    That's the talking point they always raise, because that is the only issue that media ever talked about with him before this inconvenient filibuster.

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