Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) demonstrated in his filibuster of John Brennan exactly why he is a formidable force and why 2016 contenders and their supporters should be nervous.
Paul, in carrying on a filibuster hour after hour gaining adherents including the minority leader who vowed to oppose cloture, demonstrated remarkable discipline, and I don't just refer to his ability to stay on his feet. At times he ventured into skepticism about the war on terror itself, but he largely kept his remarks on issues (constitutional protection, separation of powers, President Obama's executive imperialism) that will unite all Republicans and a great many libertarians and even independents. He talked conversationally and fluently, even when voicing views with which some hawks disagree (i.e., whether a war can go on without time and geographic limits). He appeared principled but not unhinged, managing to unite Republicans and put the left and the media (I repeat) on defense for not having taken up the drone cause themselves and for failing to demand any level of transparency from an administration that has refused to cough up information on everything from the Osama bin Laden files to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. And Paul used his time wisely, not merely reading from speeches or documents (or the phone book, as in the old-style filibusters), but speaking about the danger of aggregating power in the executive.