Prior to today’s cloture vote on Senate Bill 1038, which would extend provisions of the Patriot Act, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky offered the following thoughts on the issue:
You should know that the cloture vote passed the Senate by a significant margin, 74-8. The eight Senators who voted no are: Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Jon Tester (D-MT). Will any other Senators vote against the measure once it comes to a full vote on the Senate floor?
But don’t worry! If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear! Right?
Today, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky gave his first speech on the Senate floor. In it, he recalls the actions and attitudes of two Kentuckians, The Great Compromiser Henry Clay, and his less well-known cousin, Cassius Clay. Paul encourages the listener to ponder the following thought; is it better to compromise and achieve greater success or is it better to stand firm to your principles?
Again as this speech highlights, Senator Paul stands for so many important principles like: liberty, fiscal responsibility and Constitutional restraint. As I’ve said multiple times, I believe that in order to achieve any real reform in this nation, we must elect more leaders like Senator Paul and his father. Compromise is sometimes needed, but we must never compromise our cherished ideals for the sake of petty political power and selfishness.
Today is a pivotal day in American politics as voters across Massachusetts head to the polls to elect a new Senator. They will be filling the seat occupied for 46 years by Ted Kennedy. Given the New England commonwealth’s reputation as one of the most liberal states (for example, they were the first to allow same-sex marriage), one would typically expect the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, to coast to an easy victory. After all, a Republican has not held a Senate seat there since 1978. Instead, she is in a statistical tie or even projected to lose. The latest survey from InsiderAdvantage conducted on Sunday shows the Republican, Scott Brown, with a 9-point edge. In addition to the two major party candidates, Joseph Kennedy (who has no relation to the famous Kennedy family) is running as an independent.
This race is important for several reasons. First, like the Virginia and New Jersey Gubernatorial races before it, some people will claim that this election is another referendum on President Obama and the Democratically controlled Congress. Far more critical, however, is the resulting makeup of the United States Senate. With the current temporary Democratic appointee, the Democratic majority presently enjoys a filibuster proof 60-seat majority. Should this seat change hands, Republicans can stall or kill all sorts of legislation including the controversial national health care bill. Therefore, liberals and conservatives are taking special note of this election. Funds and activists across the nation have been pouring into the state as each side scrambles to gain an advantage. Even Barack Obama has made a number of campaign stops across Massachusetts in recent days, urging voters to support Coakley.
With turnout projected to be at least fifty percent, today’s vote should be particularly exciting in the Bay State. All eyes are on Massachusetts as activists of all stripes eagerly await news of this critical special election.