I’ve been watching Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for four hours now. My hotel doesn’t get CSPAN2, so I’m streaming it and it’s gripping. Exactly one Donkey has challenged Cruz thus far – it was Dick Durbin (D-IL) and I applaud him for at least showing up. As many Donkeys in the Senate probably already understood, one risks embarrassment going toe-to-toe with Cruz, who not only turned Durbin’s argument and anecdotal evidence on his head, he then proceeded to take Durbin’s argument and beat him over the head with it – and yes, he allowed Durbin multiple follow-ups. From Andy McCarthy at NRO, a place that’s become curiously hostile to Cruz:
A vote for cloture is not a merely procedural formality. In essence, a vote for cloture is a vote to fund Obamacare.
And here’s the kicker: Republicans who vote for cloture get a double dip. First, they will say (as Senator McConnell did today) that they are voting to end debate because they are anxious to vote in support of the House measure that defunded Obamacare – even though they well know their cloture vote will inexorably lead to Reid’s amendment to undo the House defunding measure. Second, when Reid proposes his certain-to-pass amendment to restore Obamacare funding, they will vote against it, a nay vote they will wear on their sleeves to show the folks back home that they opposed defunding – even though they well know their collusion with Democrats on cloture is what allowed Reid to restore Obamacare funding.
That may be someone’s idea of honorable. It is not mine.
A lot of people I respect think Cruz’s quest to defund Obamacare futile, politically stupid, grandstanding, etc. Here’s how I see it, and I’m already a Cruz fan: what he’s doing is smoking out Republicans who say one thing in the home state but vote, maneuver and politic much differently in the Senate.
Want to know how threatening Cruz and the small, new wave of Conservatives in the Senate are? Mike Enzi (R-WY) is being challenged from the right by Liz Cheney, and there he was on the floor, aiding Cruz in his cause. This is why we need challenges from the right, this is why we need to rhetorically assault the seemingly unassaultable from the right, and this is why we need people like Ted Cruz.
Jeff Session (R-AL) had some interesting words tonight, as did Jim Inhofe (R-OK). I didn’t get off work in time to see Rand Paul (R-KY) or Marco Rubio (R-FL) speak, but I’m heartened by the fact that Cruz has, instead of making this R v. D, is repeatedly pointing out the blowback he’s gotten from his own party, and the forceful resistance to Obamacare that has come from America’s private sector labor unions (appeals to the private sector unions has been a mainstay of Sarah Palin’s Conservative message for several years now, fwiw).
It’s compelling. Cruz is taking segments of his time to read Tweets from people across the country via #makedclisten and #standwithcruz and, hysterically #greeneggsandham.
I’m heartened by Cruz and I like Paul – I’ll take either of them in a heartbeat to speak for Conservatives and lead us into the future. The GOP can lead, follow or GTFO.