Okay, I started this post after getting no sleep (having been up all night watching the Ted Cruz not-a-filibuster), but I thought I’d pick it up and run with it (the first bit from a comment I left on a Telegraph article by the ever-insightful Nile Gardner), so here goes:
Ted Cruz’s Efforts to Shine Much-Needed Light on ObamaCare
The reason that I haven’t slept is that one senator (two, actually, because Mike King matters hugely in this) stood up in Jimmy Stewart fashion and told the truth. Americans aren’t used to hearing the truth (and haven’t been in decades, so this isn’t a swipe at anyone in particular–yet), so I watched it all (well, I was a bit late getting to the party, but only by about an hour or so). I literally stayed up all night to support Senator Cruz in my own inconsequential way: I thought if he can stand there on the Senate floor in suit and tie to speak for the American people, the very least I can do is to sit in my jammies on the couch for every minute of it (bonus: I got to take “bio” breaks, he didn’t).
Here’s the thing, I listened to all 20+ hours of that not-a-filibuster, and while I cringed a tad at some of the stuff (the Darth Vader impression was . . . weird), I can’t say that anything he said or read of substance was off-key, off-base, or in any other way off.
People forget how the Obamacare monstrosity was forged and then passed, but it really does matter because even the Dems would never have made this thing law if they could help it. What happened was the law was written, passed through committees (with this, that, and the other tacked on . . . because they can), and then . . .
Scott Brown got elected to the Senate. He ran as the 41st vote against ObamaCare, and he won Ted Kennedy’s seat (as we all remember, Teddy was a progressive, single-payer fanatic). That was supposed to send, should have sent, a message to Washington that we, the people, didn’t want ObamaCare. Even uber-regressive Massachusetts was willing to send a (faux) conservative, running primarily on voting against ObamaCare, to the Senate. And not just to the Senate, but in Teddy’s seat.
But it didn’t change a thing: Dems saw it, understood fully that the people rejected ObamaCare, shrugged, and moved on with ramming this national disaster down our throats.
That special election meant that the haphazard, crazy, tacked-on, willy-nilly nature of that bill had to be either: a.) voted on as is (with Reid pulling a fast one and going with a”budget” vote that required only a majority vote), or b.) given the ideological divide, pretty much it being trashed and started over. Reid, as majority leader in the Senate decided to pass a major piece of legislation, one that directly affects every American’s life–mostly for the worse–with an up-down vote on budget rules (it all passes or fails and does so by a majority rule).
Laws in the U. S. are supposed to be passed by a 2/3 majority, a thing Reid didn’t have when Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to the 41st seat. So he fudged it, used a budgetary gimmick, and slammed ObamaCare through with exactly zero input from Republicans and without a single Republican vote.
Americans don’t like, don’t trust, and generally ensure there is no one-party “rule.” No major piece of legislation has ever been passed without votes from the loyal opposition. This was shocking to us all, left and right.
We like our Dem presidents to have Republican houses of Congress and vice versa. Some split is also desirable to we Americans, and generally-speaking, we avoid like the plague any one-party rule–one party’s control of the executive and both legislative branches of government.
Americans were–and, importantly, are–angry. In America, our representatives are supposed to (oh, with the crazy!) represent us, our voice, our wishes to DC. What happened with ObamaCare was that DC decided what was best for us and then tried to represent that to the people.
That’s completely backwards.
America is just not a nation of sovereign rule, Americans are not subjects of some ruler, and we don’t take kindly to being treated like subjects who must bend to the will of some centralized power that is far removed from us. That’s how revolutions–all revolutions–start.
So what Ted Cruz tapped into was almost primal, it’s in an American’s DNA, soul, collective unconscious (whatever you want to deem it) that we are a free people, that liberty comes first, that our government and its elected officials represent us; they do not rule us, they are not our “boss,” and they damned sure aren’t our “masters,” and we are not their “servants.” Indeed, they are “public servants,” and if anyone is “master,” it is we, the people.
And that, ultimately, is what Cruz’s not-a-filibuster was about: America, our republic. What it means to be an American, what it means when your American-ness is stripped away against your will, and that is what the fight for the soul of the republican party is ultimately about: do we continue to support weak-willed, self-serving GOP elites who are big government, big spending pawns of the Washington machine that sees us as servants and ATM machines for their largess, or do we enforce our will, that of the people of these United States, and reject that tried-and-failed socialist-communist-fascist rubric?
My vote is for the latter.