If anyone doubted just how twisted Sen. Ted Cruz (R – Pit of Hell) really is, his antics on the Senate floor this week are all the evidence we need. You see, Cruz is engaged in a talk-a-thon pseudo-filibuster to block a vote on a bill he actually approves of. If that sounds a bit whacky to you, then you’re paying attention.
A bit of background: Worst Speaker in History John Boehner recently caved to the tea-soaked fringe of his party and helped pass a budget bill that would avoid a shutdown of the government (for three whole months). The price? It removes all funding for the Affordable Care Act. That’s right, the House passed its 42nd effort to eliminate a law that would improve the lives of millions of Americans.
Sen. Cruz favors this bill. All his blather is aimed at one thing: running out the budget clock. If there isn’t a budget bill in place by Tuesday, the Federal government shuts down. (That worked really well for Newt Gingrich in the 90s…) So what it comes down to is this: Cruz, clearly grandstanding as he sets up a 2016 presidential campaign, is willing to risk a stoppage of most Federal services and cut off pay and benefits for millions unless the Senate passes the nasty House bill and blocks improved access to health care for another set of millions of Americans. In my best Dolly Parton voice from 9 to 5, “I never thought I would have to say this about another human being, but you are evil, that’s right you are evil Mr. Cruz.”
Talking much and saying nothing isn’t new for Senate Republicans, but Cruz is part of a new wave intent on putting their selfish hypocrisy on display. Remember when Rand Paul (R – Myopia) filibustered an Obama nominee to protest the administration’s stand on the use of armed drones? (And then reversed himself just days later after no-one was paying attention…) Cruz is engaged in just such grandstanding. In fact, Sen. Paul stepped up to lend a hand. So did Mike Lee (R – Who?), the worst Senator you’ve never heard of.
It’s all pointless, of course. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will call for a vote today and even the Republicans won’t muster enough votes to block it. The Senate will never defund the Affordable Care Act and the President would never sign such a bill. Cruz, Paul, and Lee (The Three Stooges) just want to make it as hard as possible to work out a compromise. So, he babbles on about anything, giving television reviews and reading from Atlas Shrugged and Green Eggs and Ham. (That’s a literary analysis that can’t help Ayn Rand’s legacy any…)
Never mind that the majority of Americans (including a plurality of Republicans) oppose a shutdown. Even larger numbers oppose using health care to hold funding hostage. Even people who dislike (or more likely misunderstand) the health bill believe that it should be implemented and improved, not used for games. Sen. Cruz and Paul don’t care. His health care is secure; so is his salary. The rest of America can suffer. A very odd approach to civil service.