The Filibuster, The Dinner, and The Brennan Vote

Three of the public intellectuals I admire most, my friend, the gifted prosecutor (Andrew McCarthy), my colleague, the comedic genius (Mark Steyn), and my dear friend, the brilliant writer, and wonderful host (Diana West), have opined thoughtfully on the Rand Paul filibuster. Please read and digest what McCarthy, Steyn, and West have written.

I am duly impressed by, and deferential to McCarthy's legal understanding, although uncomfortable with the practical effects of his conclusions. In my mind, the counter arguments proffered by both Steyn and West are more compelling. This is because my worldview as a physician, and clinical investigator, is data, and outcome driven.

Acknowledging the constraints on what one can (or should) extrapolate from any single dataset, I found these clear trends from the confirmation vote on John Brennan quite relevant to the ongoing debate about the Rand Paul filibuster. Deliberately limiting my assessment to only the Republican Senators, I compared the yes/no votes to confirm Brennan's nomination as CIA Director to both active support for Rand Paul's filibuster, and attendance at President Obama's "dinner with Republicans," shortly before the final vote.

The full table is provided below, but here are the summary findings:

• 12/31 "No voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 39%, supported the Paul filibuster
• 2/12 "Yes voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 17%, supported the Paul filibuster
• 6/31 "No voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 19%, attended the Obama dinner
• 5/12 "Yes voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 42%, attended the Obama dinner

Conclusions:

1) Supporters of Rand Paul's filibuster were twice as likely to reject Brennan's nomination

2) Those who voted to confirm Brennan were twice as likely to have attended the Obama dinner

 

R-Senator

Confirmed

Brennan

Supported Filibuster

Attended Dinner with Obama

Ayotte (R-NH)

No

 

Yes

Barrasso (R-WY)

No

Yes

 

Blunt (R-MO)

No

 

 

Boozman (R-AR)

No

 

 

Chambliss (R-GA)

No

Yes

Yes

Cochran (R-MS)

No

 

 

Cornyn (R-TX)

No

Yes

 

Crapo (R-ID)

No

 

 

Cruz (R-TX)

No

Yes

 

Enzi (R-WY)

No

 

 

Fischer (R-NE)

No

 

 

Grassley (R-IA)

No

 

 

Heller (R-NV)

No

 

 

Hoeven (R-ND)

No

 

Yes

Inhofe (R-OK)

No

 

 

Isakson (R-GA)

No

 

 

Johanns (R-NE)

No

 

Yes

Johnson (R-WI)

No

Yes

Yes

Lee (R-UT)

No

Yes

 

McConnell (R-KY)

No

Yes

 

Moran (R-KS)

No

Yes

 

Paul (R-KY)

No

Yes*

 

Portman (R-OH)

No

 

 

Three of the public intellectuals I admire most, my friend, the gifted prosecutor (Andrew McCarthy), my colleague, the comedic genius (Mark Steyn), and my dear friend, the brilliant writer, and wonderful host (Diana West), have opined thoughtfully on the Rand Paul filibuster. Please read and digest what McCarthy, Steyn, and West have written.

I am duly impressed by, and deferential to McCarthy's legal understanding, although uncomfortable with the practical effects of his conclusions. In my mind, the counter arguments proffered by both Steyn and West are more compelling. This is because my worldview as a physician, and clinical investigator, is data, and outcome driven.

Acknowledging the constraints on what one can (or should) extrapolate from any single dataset, I found these clear trends from the confirmation vote on John Brennan quite relevant to the ongoing debate about the Rand Paul filibuster. Deliberately limiting my assessment to only the Republican Senators, I compared the yes/no votes to confirm Brennan's nomination as CIA Director to both active support for Rand Paul's filibuster, and attendance at President Obama's "dinner with Republicans," shortly before the final vote.

The full table is provided below, but here are the summary findings:

• 12/31 "No voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 39%, supported the Paul filibuster
• 2/12 "Yes voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 17%, supported the Paul filibuster
• 6/31 "No voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 19%, attended the Obama dinner
• 5/12 "Yes voters" on Brennan's confirmation = 42%, attended the Obama dinner

Conclusions:

1) Supporters of Rand Paul's filibuster were twice as likely to reject Brennan's nomination

2) Those who voted to confirm Brennan were twice as likely to have attended the Obama dinner

 

R-Senator

Confirmed

Brennan

Supported Filibuster

Attended Dinner with Obama

Ayotte (R-NH)

No

 

Yes

Barrasso (R-WY)

No

Yes

 

Blunt (R-MO)

No

 

 

Boozman (R-AR)

No

 

 

Chambliss (R-GA)

No

Yes

Yes

Cochran (R-MS)

No

 

 

Cornyn (R-TX)

No

Yes

 

Crapo (R-ID)

No

 

 

Cruz (R-TX)

No

Yes

 

Enzi (R-WY)

No

 

 

Fischer (R-NE)

No

 

 

Grassley (R-IA)

No

 

 

Heller (R-NV)

No

 

 

Hoeven (R-ND)

No

 

Yes

Inhofe (R-OK)

No

 

 

Isakson (R-GA)

No

 

 

Johanns (R-NE)

No

 

Yes

Johnson (R-WI)

No

Yes

Yes

Lee (R-UT)

No

Yes

 

McConnell (R-KY)

No

Yes

 

Moran (R-KS)

No

Yes

 

Paul (R-KY)

No

Yes*

 

Portman (R-OH)

No

 

 

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