Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas, R) has been talking all night. Unlike his home state, the United States Senate allows its members to talk on and on without having to stay on topic so he was able to read his daughters Green Eggs and Ham (the book is rather apt considering the last part of the title, no?) last night during his latest cynical attempt to be the Tea Party's favorite son. Why cynical? Because this grandstanding is lot of things but the one thing is it is not is a filibuster.
According to the United States Senate, a filibuster is an "informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions." While this might seem like a real filibuster, it is not because Cruz is not stopping anything as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev., D) has already scheduled a test vote for this morning, as per CNBC.
Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Paul Rand (Ky., R) did that when he took a stand against drones, whether you agreed with him or not, that was a true filibuster. This? It is grandstanding complete with, as per CNN, statements like "I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand," emphasis added. Never mind that the majority of Americans do not want him or anyone else to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if it means a government shutdown, again per CNBC.
Does Cruz have a point about Obamacare? Perhaps. Certainly there are those who are genuinely concerned about the mandatory enrollment aspect of it, but does comparing people who do not believe in the effectiveness of this effort to Nazi appeasers do anything to further his cause (Yes, he really did that, via The Weekly Standard, because wanting to fund a law that was passed according to United States law is exactly like turning a blind eye to Nazis as they commit genocide. Exactly like that.)? It depends on which cause you mean. It does nothing to defund Obamacare, but it does raise his profile among the Tea Party. This act was self-serving, and anything but heroic no matter what he and his supporters might believe.
Oh, and that the book he chose to read is actually about disliking something without trying it only to realize that, in fact, it is pretty great, something on which Democrats and the president are banking? Reading comprehension is apparently not one of Cruz' talents.
Photo credit: Sen. Ted Cruz Official Facebook page