In two New York Times columns in a row, George W. Bush-era White House reporter Frank Bruni has giddily borrowed Sen. John McCain's description of conservatives like the drone-filibustering Sen. Rand Paul as "wacko birds" ("Rand Paul’s Loopy Ascent").
When you’ve got loons the likes of Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin fluttering about, I suppose it’s easy not to seem like such a wacko bird yourself.
Is that why Rand Paul is flying high right now? Or is it because he followed his 13-hour filibuster -- that knee-defeating, bladder-defying moment in the Senate sun -- by showing a few of his less florid feathers? Either way, he has managed, with remarkable speed, to migrate to the foreground of Republican politics. You could almost lose sight of what an albatross he really is.
Today he’s singing the moderate song of immigration reform, and that dirge about drones, which had a valid bass note despite its alarmist melody, struck chords across the political spectrum.
But Paul’s greatest hits include a denunciation of Medicare as socialism, a recommendation of stopping foreign aid to a few key allies, and the insistent introduction of Patriot Act amendments so loopy that one of them netted all of 10 votes from the 95 senators present while another garnered a whopping total of 4.