Talk about going at it alone.
When a president nominates someone to head up an office in the government, Congress usually offers swift approval. There aren’t a lot of dissenters, especially if a majority of Congressmen are voting yes.
But Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul hasn’t operated with a ‘Go with the crowd’ mentality since his election in 2010. He routinely votes based on his beliefs – not what his colleagues are doing, not what his opposition is doing, It’s strictly his philosophy that determines his vote.
In the summer of 2013, President Obama nominated James Comey to be the new FBI Director. The Senate voted and approved Comey by a vote of 93-1. That one, single ‘No’ vote? You guess it: Rand Paul, the junior senator with an independent streak.
And as Jim Bovard noted on his website, Paul deserves some recognition.
“The final vote was 93 to 1 – so nobody was crowding Rand on the high ground…Thanks to Rand Paul, we will not have to hear for the next 5 years how Comey was unanimously approved by Senate for FBI chief. This may be another one of those votes which, in hindsight, many Republicans later wish they had joined Paul.”
It’s kind of surprising no other Republicans did join Paul. As the American Civil Liberties Union has said, Comey has made some questionable decisions during his recent political past.
During his time as Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush, Comey approved and even defended torture (including the use of waterboarding and wall slams), warrantless wiretapping, and the indefinite detention of an American citizen arrested on American ground (Jose Padilla, who was accused of being a member of Al Qaida and planning to detonate a bomb in America).
And now he’s your FBI Director, by a vote of 93-1.
Why was Rand Paul the only one to actually vote against Comey’s new job appointment? That’s hard to know for sure. But it’s on the record now. He’s the single Senator who stayed true to his philosophy, and didn’t let someone skate into office untouched just because the president wanted him to.
Again: Talk about going at it alone.
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