If the question posed in the headline seems an odd one, recall the scene in "Braveheart" when the young Bruce first excitedly talks to his father about how the rebel William Wallace inspires his countrymen to stand up and fight for their liberty.
Bruce's father patiently listens, then responds condescendingly that while Wallace inspires men to fight and die, the smart thing for his son to do is always think first of defending his lands and titles and leave the fighting and dying to rash and reckless men like Wallace. Perhaps not unlike a conversation we might hear in the present time between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Rand Paul, no?
Paul's filibuster didn't set any new records for longevity, nor did it change the course of President Obama's policies in any obvious manner. But as The Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio reports this morning, the Paul filibuster's ultimate significance is likely to be in its remarkable reinvigoration of the spirit of resistance in the Tea Party ranks of the GOP.
Daniel Horowitz of Red State offers an essential explication this morning of why Rand's 13 hours of defiance must be understood in the context of its impact upon the longstanding struggle between insurgent conservatives in the GOP and the self-satisfied, ineffectual Republican Establishment. This graph from Horowitz focuses the issue:
"Republicans have repeatedly entreated us to the tired bromide that they only control one-third of one-half..... What these banal bulls of Washington dealmaking don't understand is that with complete control of the House and a filibuster strength minority in the Senate there is a lot they can do. With the ubiquitous nature of C-Span and social media, Republicans can use critical leverage points to seize on winning issues and put Obama in the defensive position."
Go here for the rest of the Horowitz post. Insurgents and Establishment types alike would do well to read it closely, then think long and hard about the implications.
Mark Tapscott is executive editor of The Washington Examiner.