Senator Quotes Rappers in Filibuster Against Flying Killer Robots
Good morning: You are now living in the future, where U.S. senators quote rappers while seriously discussiong whether robots should be allowed to kill us.
No, really. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio quoted rappers Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa during Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster protesting potential drone attacks on U.S. citizens. Rubio also quoted "The Godfather."
Political and history fanatics watched intently Wednesday night as Paul -- with help from fellow Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden -- spoke for nearly 13 hours. The purpose of the filibuster was to hold up the the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director, because Paul wants assurances that drone strikes won't be used on Americans.
Democratic critics say the other purpose was for Paul to raise his political profile and to block President Obama at every turn.
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Either way, Wednesday's filibuster was a departure from the musty filibusters of old. Strom Thurmond read the Declaration of Independence, state voting laws, and other documents as he set the record for the longest filibuster -- more than 24 hours -- while protesting the Civil Rights Act of 1957. But that was before we had rappers and flying robots.
Those who watched Wednesday didn't get to see Thurmond's record broken. But they did get to see lots of other notable moments, including Rubio's series of pop-culture references.
Rubio, the likely 2016 presidential candidate who got lots of attention recently for an awkward sip of water, began his remarks by referencing Wiz Khalifa's "Work Hard, Play Hard." He also called Khalifa a "modern day" poet. (Are are the people who put "Work Hard, Play Hard" on their Match.com profiles also poets? Hm.)
Moments later, Rubio referenced "The Godfather" (the book, not the movie), and Jay-Z's "A Week Ago."
Rubio's hometown alt-weekly, the Miami New Times, noted Rubio's embrace of hip-hop could be "some focus-group tested ploy to bring a new demographic into the Republican fold."
But it's hard to imagine what Rubio has to gain from quoting two rappers who support Obama. Rubio has previously listed Tupac among his favorite rappers.
He also made a point made by many other Republicans: Democrats would never stand for allowing George W. Bush to carry out domestic drone strikes.
Rubio isn't alone in his love of hip-hop. President Obama has previously said his favorite song is the Fugees "Ready or Not."
Which, come to think of it, could be a theme song for drone attacks.