The Wednesday sun rose and found Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) still holding his talking filibuster from Tuesday night, with assistance from other Republican senators, such as Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida. You can tell it’s a powerful performance because Big Media papers across the country fought valiantly to avoid mentioning it on their front pages. The same people who thought a filibuster in Texas from abortion extremist Wendy Davis, who had about 30 percent public support for her position, was huge national news are predictably uninterested in a Republican senator who puts himself through the wringer to stand up for the 70 to 80 percent of Americans who cry out for relief from ObamaCare.
ObamaCare is one of those liberal disasters that endures because the Left and their media allies strive to convince opponents that they stand alone, their cause is futile, the pages of history have turned, and America will never again be what it once was. Cruz and his allies stand counter to that false narrative of inevitable ruin. Disaster for Democrats comes if a critical mass of Americans believes it can escape from ObamaCare – the same way Congress and well-connected unions are escaping – by voting Republican in 2014 and 2016.
Ted Cruz and his defunding drive give people that kind of hope and faith, in a way that establishment Republican desk jockeys muttering about their long-term plans to do something or other – maybe during the next budget showdown, or perhaps the one after that, or maybe when the national debt hits $20 trillion – can never accomplish. There is a difference between managing a party, leading a movement, and leading a nation. One must graduate to stage two of that process before stage three is within reach.
There is a crucial body of American voters who are truly persuadable. They respond to demonstrations of conviction and principle. I often think Republicans underestimate how much it hurts them with these persuadable voters when Democrats manipulate them into appearing defensive and defeatist about their own policies. The persuadable voter isn’t going to sign up for a political crusade when the people leading it are tooting on kazoos, singing war songs about how they’ll probably lose, and using a white flag as their battle standard. Messianic zeal can be taken to extremes, of course… but isn’t there compelling evidence that people respond to that, too?
The one thing they don’t respond to is weary resignation. Republicans should have realized they can’t dish out rhetoric about how ObamaCare is the worst thing since eco-sensitive low-flush toilets, then pass up an opportunity to defund it, even if the parliamentary prospects of the defunding push look dim. They cannot claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility, while quietly signing off on a trillion-dollar boondoggle. They have to be willing to put their money where their mouths are, because Democrats are all too willing to put our money where their mouths are.
The Establishment line against Cruz’s effort is baffling. No opportunities are being lost or sacrificed here. The American public will not think worse of Republicans for standing up and being counted. There’s a reason politicians are constantly talking about “fighting” for this or that. The public respects fighters. Why is it necessary to explain that to anyone in Washington?
Cruz has done a lot more than talk about ObamaCare during his filibuster. He’s tied opposition to the Affordable Care Act into a broader critique about the failures of Big Government and Washington deal-making. He’s criticized the little tricks Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is using against the defunding effort. That’s exactly what Republicans need to do. Throw a spotlight on these sleazy procedural maneuvers. Understand how thoroughly the media has obscured the role of Senate Democrats in that “gridlock” they keep talking about. Make the Democrats pay a real political price for everything they do, including the back-alley murder of the ObamaCare defunding resolution. Stop giving them freebies, Republicans. They don’t give you any. Ever.
Cruz also had some fun overnight, reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to his kids, chatting about “Duck Dynasty,” and playing trivia with Senator Mike Lee. Do any of the board-stiff Establishment guys curling their upper lips at Cruz understand the value of appearing likable and relatable to the electorate? Pro tip, fellas: the media is never going to do that for you, the way they’ll help Democrats build personal mythologies and absurdly claim to be “men of the people,” even when their wives are pulling $350k at make-work no-show “diversity coordinator” jobs handed out as political payoffs.
Here’s Cruz kicking off his filibuster with a declaration that he will speak against ObamaCare “until I am no longer able to stand.”
Here he calls out his detractors, noting their fondness for stabbing him in the back with poisoned quotes from anonymous staffers, and notes its is the defenders of ObamaCare who seem bent on making this into a bitter partisan issue:
Cruz reads some Twitter messages from the #MakeDCListen hashtag:
And, because HUMAN EVENTS is a family-friendly website, here is the Senator’s inspiring rendition of “Green Eggs and Ham.”
Well done, Senator Cruz.