Our View: Keep us out of your filibuster, Rand Paul

DKS Editors

Last Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, filibustered President Obama’s nomination for the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, for 13 hours. Paul is the first senator to use an actual filibuster after the Senate reached a deal earlier this year to attempt to limit the filibuster.

Paul had previously said he would filibuster the nomination after receiving a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. that refused to rule out the use of drone strikes within the U.S. in “extraordinary circumstances” like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Paul argued “no American should be killed by a drone without first being charged with a crime.”

At one point in his 13-hour filibuster, Paul referenced Kent State — and not in the best light. In trying to argue the lack of clarity over who could be targeted by drone strikes, Paul mentioned that college students at several campuses in the 1960s could have been considered enemies of the state. Paul questioned members of Congress, “Are you going to just drop a drone hellfire missile on Jane Fonda? Are you going to drop a missile on Kent State?”

More than 40 years after the Ohio National Guard opened fire at Kent State, our university continues to be referenced with violence.

While we won’t weigh in on the president’s nomination or the use of drones in extreme circumstances, we would like to weigh in on the fact that our school’s historic massacre continues to overshadow any and all achievements made by current students, and it’s because of people like Paul that it continues to happen.

We understand that Paul’s reference was made to make a point — that the criteria for drone intervention would be highly ambiguous — but we’re sick of our university constantly being linked to a tragedy that happened decades ago. We are a university full of driven students, and that’s how we’d like to be known.