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Was Rand Paul's Filibuster a Turning Point for the Libertarian Movement?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., listens during a state legislative committee hearing on the legalization of growing hemp before he testified at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, Ky., Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Credit: AP

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster Wednesday on CIA Director nominee John Brennan and President Barack Obama's drone and assassination policy revealed to much of the general public what has been known to political observers for some time: there is a growing fissure in the Republican Party between libertarians like the Pauls and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, and old guard foreign policy hawks like Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Could this revelation be a turning point for the GOP?

Noah Rothman of Mediaite writes that Paul's filibuster shattered the monopoly Democrats have had on "romance" and young voters.

Paul’s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to rein in the president spoke directly to the forgotten millions of Americans wary of the ever-expanding scope of the unconstrained global war on terror. Paul offered himself up as something of a martyr. His voice, once lonely, grew in stature as his Republican colleagues – one after the next – shared his demand for redress from the White House, though all knew that would not be forthcoming. It was poetic. It was romantic. What may be most important, it reframed Congressional Republicans. All of the sudden, they were fighting for a cause with self-evident nobility that requires no public education campaign: life, liberty, and due process. In filibustering, Paul chipped away at the monopoly on romance that the left has enjoyed for more than a century.

Paul’s filibuster was immediately and forcefully criticized by Sen. John McCain, who said "If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids.

"I don't think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people."

On "Real News" Friday the panel discussed Paul's filibuster and negative and positive reactions to it, as well as the growing voice of libertarians in the GOP moving forward?

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