Yesterday we were privileged to bear witness to an iconic case study in the American experience. And somewhere, the Founding Fathers smiled.
As a libertarian conservative, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is most definitely pro states’ rights. But yesterday he demonstrated a complete disregard for his prostate’s rights. (As a 50-year-old exocrine gland, it has earned the right to swell up, choke off his urethra and force him to get up five times each night to take a leak if it so chooses.) In the process, he stood in one place and talked for nearly 13 hours in the 9th longest filibuster in United States Senate history.
There was a time when the politics of all this would have fascinated me. Today, it’s the mechanics. For one thing, as an introvert, I can’t even imagine talking for 13 hours. Obviously it’s possible and I know people who could do it, but I’m not one of them. I would be a terrible filibusterer. More concerning though are the biological mechanics of the whole thing.
Point: If you’re going to talk for 13 hours, your mouth’s going to get dry. Marco Rubio, anyone?
Point: If your mouth gets dry, you’ve got to drink something. I suppose you could just rinse and spit, but isn’t there something in the Constitution banning spitting in the senate chambers?
Point: If you drink something, you’re going to have to get rid of something sooner or later.
Point: Rand Paul made it a seriously long time talking to the Senate without ever having to excuse himself to go talk to a guy about a horse.
And all of this only serves to increase my wonder at the Senate record: 24 hours and 18 minutes by Senator Strom Thurmond in a misguided attempt to derail the Voting Rights Act of 1957. Think about that. Over 24 hours. And this was 1957 Strom, not 1997 Strom (whom I would assume would have already had a catheter inserted). How the hell did he do that? Did he have some kind of hidden trucker’s buddy thing under his pants? Did he just stash the old empty Gatorade bottle behind the podium?
So Rand Paul? I salute you. And I salute your entire urinary tract as well. And I encourage you all to observe a moment of silent reflection in memory of Strom Thurmond’s cast iron innards. This is the sort of intestinal fortitude on which our nation was built.
God bless these United States.