I could have this wrong. I’m exhausted, and I haven’t taken a bathroom break in 12 minutes. But the way I understand it, Ted Cruz spent 21 hours, 19 minutes on the Senate floor speaking against Obamacare, advising his fellow senators to vote not to debate the same bill he had advised the House to pass because, if the Senate voted for debate, the evil Harry Reid would strip the defund-Obamacare part out of the bill through a sneaky Senate rule and all would be lost.
But then, when Cruz was done, just after heading to the cloakroom and just before rushing onto the Rush Limbaugh show, he, himself, voted for cloture and left his pal, Mike Lee, the Tea Party senator from Utah, to explain that Cruz had never actually intended to stop the cloture vote, even though that’s what Cruz had said repeatedly, between reciting verses of Green Eggs and Ham and comparing Obamacare supporters to Nazi appeasers.
Am I confused? The Senate voted 100-0 to pick up the debate. That’s 21 hours, 19 minutes to get exactly no votes. The only time I know the Senate voted anything close to 100-0 was in a private poll asking whether Cruz was, in fact, a grandstanding, attention-seeking, Nazi-invoking, bladder-busting carney barker.
Of course, I’m confused. I haven’t had a bathroom break in 14 minutes now. What was Cruz trying to do if he wasn’t trying to get senators to oppose cloture on a bill he supported?
There are at least three possibilities.
One, he wanted to explain to the American people that Obamacare was bad, because he was surprised they’d never heard Dr. Seuss invoked while doing so.
Two, he wanted to hold things up so that the House would get the government funding bill with only enough time to shut down the government — at which point he would either be the hero or he would be the target of a disgusted American citizenry who could rise up and conceivably cost Republicans the House in 2014.
Three, he just wanted everyone to look at him. For a long time. For a really long time. For a really, really long time. To enhance his presidential hopes. While he did absolutely nothing. And while the Senate did absolutely nothing. And while the House was in recess. And while a do-nothing Congress did even less than usual except to engage some bipartisan complaining about Cruz.
And so it continues, with only one thing for sure: This won’t be the last speech you hear from Ted Cruz.[ Image by Roo Reynolds ]