Politics Magazine

Filibuster Or Political Theater ?

Posted on the 26 September 2013 by Jobsanger

Filibuster Or Political Theater ? (The caricature on the left of Ted Cruz is by DonkeyHotey.)
The 21 hour "filibuster" against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and a few of his fellow Senate teabaggers (like Utah Republican Mike Lee), is over now. And right-wing pundits across the nation are proclaiming him some kind of hero -- a brave right-wing warrior fighting against Obamacare.
But that is not quite the case. First, this was not a real filibuster at all. Cruz knew before he started it that Majority Leader Reid had the votes to cut it off and allow the Senate to debate the continuing resolution to fund the government. And in fact, Cruz was not really against the bill he was "filibustering".
That was shown on Wednesday, when Cruz (and his fellow Senate teabaggers) all voted with other senators to invoke cloture and allow that bill to reach the Senate floor for debate and a vote. The vote was 100 to 0.
So, if Cruz knew he would not prevent consideration of the bill, and actually did not want to prevent it, why was he holding the fake filibuster. The answer is that it was nothing but political theater. Cruz has a megalomaniacal desire to be president, and he has started to believe teabaggers across the country who believe he could be the next GOP nominee for that office. His speech was just an unofficial advertisement for his 2016 run for the presidency. It was just intended to convince the teabaggers controlling the GOP in many states that he is one of them, and judging by the response from right-wing circles, it was successful.
Personally, I hope it was successful, and will propel him to the forefront of GOP candidates for the 2016 nomination. I (and I suspect many of my fellow progressives) would love to see the extremist Ted Cruz be the Republican nominee to take on Hillary Clinton. It would make past lop-sided presidential victories look like close elections, and could well devastate Republicans in down-ballot races. It would be the best present Republicans could give to Democrats and progressives.

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