Rand Paul Speaks to CPAC, Defends Filibuster, Constitution: "Liberty Needs to be the Backbone of the GOP"


Washington Post from the scene at CPAC with a summation of Rand Paul's talk there today–which I understand from twitter had at least one reference to not arresting non-violent drug users (a wan declaration that evades a whole lot about what's wrong with drug war enforcement):

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hit back at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during his speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, suggesting McCain's GOP is "stale and moss-covered."

Paul didn't actually mention McCain by name, but the reference was clear to everyone in the crowd after McCain last week labeled Paul and other members of the new generation of conservative Republicans "wacko birds."

"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered," Paul said. "I don't think we need to name any names here, do we?"

Paul also offered an extensive defense of his 13-hour filibuster last week….

"To those who would dismiss this debate as frivolous, I say tell that to the heroic young men and women who have sacrificed their limbs and lives," Paul said. "Tell it to Sergeant J.D. Williams … who sacrificed himself to save his fellow soldiers. Tell J.D., who lost both legs and an arm; tell him his sacrifice was great but that we had to suspend the Bill of Rights he fought for.

"Yes, the filibuster was about drones, but also about much more. Do we have a Bill of Rights or not? Do we have a Constitution or not and will we defend it?"…

Paul argued that the Republican Party needs to refocus itself on liberty.

"The Republican Party has to change, by going forward to the classical and timeless ideas enshrined in our Constitution," he said. "When we understand that that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then we will become the dominant national party again."

Twitter also strongly implies that Paul's reception was far heartier and more enthusiastic from the crowd than was Marco Rubio of Florida who spoke before him–a good sign for the Party's future.

I wrote yesterday on the 3 Problems Paul must face moving his political career and cause forward.

UPDATE: According to this on-scene report, much of the crowd stood through the whole talk in filibuster solidarity.

He plays the "resentment of those who hate us" card in attacking foreign aid (on Egypt specifically). Well, however you get people hating foreign aid, I guess.

Talks about the younger generation–"Facebook generation"–as being all for being left alone, individual liberty, and against putting nonviolent drug users in jail; and "hell no!" against crony capitalist bailouts.

And here's the video [Updated for better, more complete version]: