As Congress scrambled to renew parts of the Patriot Act, freshman Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took an unyielding stand to force a vote on three provisions of the Act he found particularly objectionable. Paul filibustered for three days. In the process, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid berated Paul and, in an outrageous display, even accused Paul of wanting to arm terrorists.
"He is fighting for an amendment to protect the right — not of average citizens, but of terrorists — to cover up their gun purchases," Reid said.
That is a scurrilous statement for which Senator Reid should be ashamed. The Republican Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, was only slightly kinder to his fellow Republican, but Senator Paul did not back down. In the end, Paul forced votes on his amendments and they all failed.