A couple of hours before Sen. Ted Cruz launched his doomed filibuster, his Republican colleagues staged an intervention.
They called him to the Strom Thurmond Room off the Senate floor, named after the late lawmaker who was famous for his filibusters against civil rights. They pleaded with their junior colleague to reconsider his plan to block a vote on legislation that would keep the government open. The filibuster, ostensibly in opposition to Obamacare, would do nothing to halt the hated health-care reforms, they said. It would make Republicans look foolish. It would leave House Republicans with too little time to avoid a shutdown. And it could cause Republicans to be blamed for that shutdown.
Cruz heard them out and then told them to take a hike. “I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand,” he announced as he launched his marathon filibuster.
His action hurt his fellow Republicans without doing anything to abolish Obamacare. But the filibuster did achieve something: It gave Cruz more TV exposure and further endeared him to the tea party. And for the ambitious senator from Texas, the most important thing has always been Ted Cruz.
The reality of this situation is that the GOP senators who were desperately afraid of moving forward are the small, egocentric and self-serving people, not Ted Cruz. Their only thought is maintaining the status quo and their easy jobs in the United States Senate, a profession second only to “Trust Fund Baby” in least amount of hours worked. Regular American Republicans pay attention to Ted Cruz and he genuinely feels an obligation to them. The John McCains of the world only care about job security and getting a nice blurb bone thrown at them from the MSM every now and then.
Which is why an upheaval in the upper ranks of the GOP is needed.
The MSM’s tactic to make Cruz appear “fringe” is pathetically transparent. He embodies everything that terrifies them: a political movement (Tea Party) that they have spent three and a half years attempting to marginalize and destroy but stays strong because of the involvement of normal, non-Beltway Americans. The Political Class and its professional propagandists in the press would prefer that you simply shut up and let them tell you what is good for you.
And Ted Cruz makes you louder.