I don't care if it's "political theater." Rand Paul is doing the right thing, standing up for the right thing, and bringing it to the public's attention. People should be talking about this. The majority of the public has no concept of how their rights are being eroded, how the Bill of Rights that made this nation such an amazing place to live is slowly being shredded.
What's more, partisan politics are BS at this point - Obama, as much as Bush is monumentally increasing executive power at the expense of checks and balances, the very concepts that made our government safe - that assured we couldn't have a Hitler, Stalin, or Mao seize power and endanger the safety and liberty of our own people. It's the checks and balances that are the big thing. The president should not be able to simply circumvent congress through executive orders. Also, military and police action should have clear distinctions, as outlined in the Posse Comitatus Act. Military action should only be made against foreign threats to our nation. Police have the business of serving and protecting the public safety at home - complete with due process.
And you can't just say "terrorist, it's no longer the business of the police." Domestic terrorism is a crime. There are already laws against it. And when lethal government force is an option, definitions matter. What is "terrorism?" Governments generally only expand on power once taken, not hand it off. Timothy McVeigh - was that mass murder, or terrorism? It's already pretty illegal if it's mass murder. We don't need soldiers treating innocent civilians like enemy combatants in an area when it already falls under the duty of police to investigate and bring the murderer to justice. Admittedly, that is a fuzzy line in his case - but as government follows the natural course and expands its power, what then becomes "terrorism?" Drug crimes? Those people could be funding foreign militants in Mexico. They've taken the role of enemy combatants, and next thing you know, screw habeus corpus, we can just detain them forever, until we can trace the line right up to the top of some cartel - never mind that we might be talking about some kid who doesn't deserve to have his entire future taken away for tossing a friend a dime bag. Oh, and think SWAT is dubiously overly militarized? Wait until the real military steps in and gets the wrong house. It won't be just the dogs killed, and since it's a part of the war on terrorism, the little child burned to death by an incendiary grenade or whatever act of brutality happens won't see their killers held responsible - it will just be more collateral damage you never hear about, like the more than 100,000 civilians dead in Iraq since Bush invaded.
That is why this issue is so important. The government is not going to easily hand off authority it has attained, constitutionally or not. And whether you trust the current president with these powers or not - do you trust the next? Are any politicians actually honest about their intentions?