Cruz began speaking out against the ACA (Obamacare) at 2.40pm on Tuesday and vowed to keep going until he was "no longer able to stand". Many Republicans did not support the effort by Cruz, feeling his speech was a mere gimmick to slow down the proceedings to a snail's pace, in effect, giving the House less time to review the Senate changes and possibly shutting down government. Some in the party still remember the sting they took from the same approach against President Clinton in 1995 and 1996.
Gimmick or not Cruz, much like Paul, brings the debate directly to the American people. Not only simply the debate of specific bill, but the one of government and its proper role in general. Cruz went far enough to point out why the American people are so dissatisfied with Congress. He spoke of rules, procedures and other gimmicks, if you will, used in the Senate to confuse the electorate on what exactly is being voted on. These two "wacko birds" have delivered one thing for sure in all of this: "We have our finger on the pulse of the people and understand the reasons "we" (politicians) are less than desirable to most Americans." Cruz could actually be shooting for the same success of Paul with a huge swing in the American opinion overnight. When Paul delivered his filibuster of President Obama's FBI Director, American opinion made a swing on drone use overnight. Perhaps he's hoping the same.
Many seemed to quiet down once Cruz was done and were left somewhat confused on why the vote was 100-0, including Cruz, on what he had just spoke so lengthy on. The fact of the matter is Cruz actually addressed it far back in the very beginning: "The central vote the Senate will take on this fight will not occur today and it will not occur tomorrow. The first vote we are going to take on this is a vote on what is called cloture on the motion to proceed. Very few people not on this floor have any idea what that means and even, I suspect, a fair number of people on this floor are not quite sure what that means. That will simply be a vote whether to take up this bill and to begin debating this bill. I expect that vote to pass overwhelmingly, if not unanimously. Everyone agrees we ought to take this up, we ought to start this conversation..... The next vote we take will occur on Friday or Saturday and it will be on what is called cloture on the bill. That is the vote that matters. Cloture on the bill, the vote Friday or Saturday, is the vote that matters."
So, what are we left with? Mainly, the great civics lesson these Senators continue to teach to the general uneducated voting public. Secondly, clearly laying out that our representatives must be resigned to NOT vote to close the debate on Friday or Saturday. And, lastly, quite possibly, a filibuster Friday or Saturday because then, it will be time for a "genuine" filibuster.
As for us.....it's a great day to be a Texan!