"My Tea Party cup runneth over," we twittered Mark Tapscott this morning in appreciation of his bracing filibuster post "Is Rand Paul America's William Wallace or Robert the Bruce?" wherein the DC Examiner columnist compares the generational struggle between Young Turk Rand Paul and Old Bull John McCain to the conflict between Robert the Bruce and his don't-rock-the-boat father in the film "Braveheart."
"He has definitely energized the base in a way that it hasn't been energized in a long time," enthused Tea Party Express Chair Amy Kremer following Paul Rand's filibuster heard 'round the world (Wednesday night the hashtag #standwithrand was number one trending topic worldwide on Twitter). The DC Examiner's Susan Ferrechio explains:
Until Paul's appearance, the Tea Party's popularity appeared to be waning. Republican leaders pushed Tea Party lawmakers to the sidelines during budget negotiations with President Obama. After a very successful 2010 election, the Tea Party took a beating in the 2012 [national] contests. And pollsters found that fewer and fewer people were affiliating themselves with the movement.
But Paul's filibuster attracted huge support on social media sites, from conservatives and liberals, and some believe it could mark a comeback for the movement …
By night's end, 40,000 new followers had signed up for Paul's Twitter feed.
We were caught up in the euphoria Wednesday afternoon and into the evening as C-SPAN 2 live broadcast the junior Senator from Kentucky doing it "the old-fashioned way," holding forth on the senate floor— with a little help from his friends, including our own fave, Sen. Ted Cruz! — for just under 13 hours of spirited discourse. We loved Hugh Hewitt's take:
[Rand Paul] engaged the country in a serious discussion of first principles. You may not agree with him, but he did it. The Constitution was actually discussed on the Senate floor for more than a dozen hours. Incredible.
He put the president on the defensive, using the force of argument to penetrate the White House's standard operating procedure of never engaging its critics on a serious level. Eric Holder, the hapless AG, came away scorched.
Paul also took an old, old device and married it to the new communications technology, instantly generating hundreds of thousands of messages about him and his argument which spread across the Twitterverse and associated platforms at an astonishing speed …
Senators Cruz, Lee, and Rubio are the sort of skilled talkers that the other side does not have.
In this metaphorical battle to retake the Shining City, Sir William Wallace's words on the eve of the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 resonate:
We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready for battle, determined to avenge our wrongs and set our country free."Update: Why we love Twitter: