— Filibuster or no, Sen. Ted Cruz’ marathon speech on the Senate floor made one point: Obamacare had to go. But when the freshman senator finally stopped talking Wednesday after 21 hours and 19 minutes, he was no closer to killing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
The Senate promptly advanced legislation required to avert a partial government shutdown at midnight Monday, and is expected to strip from that crucial bill the provision to defund Obama’s law.
Weary after a day and night on his feet, Cruz simply sat down at 12 noon EDT on Wednesday, the predetermined time for the Senate to adjourn, as several of his colleagues applauded. Senate Republicans and some House members congratulated the Texas freshman.
Cruz actually joined every other senator in a 100-0 procedural vote to allow the measure to officially go before the Senate.
Cruz’s all-nighter drew mixed reviews from around the nation:
“(Ted) Cruz's speech then is rightly understood as an indictment of his own party, a party unwilling — in the Texas senator’s mind — to stand on principle when the moment requires it. As we wrote Monday, from the moment Cruz started talking Tuesday, it was clear that this speech had lots (and lots) of 2016 overtones — and his focus on how he was the one true standard-bearer for the cause is obviously a (potentially) potent message in a GOP presidential primary.” – Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan, The Fix (link)
“In the first hour of his floor speech, Cruz repeatedly redefined acts of Congress to make them sound like abuses of statist power. For example: If the continuing resolution gets amended by mere majorities of elected senators, it will have happened on “a rigged playing field.” Back in 2009 and 2010, Republicans were quite adept at defining any legislative maneuver to pass the Affordable Care Act as chicanery. All Cruz wanted Republicans to do was update the blame-shifting rhetoric. And the party couldn’t see what a winner this was. In hour two, after he’d compared those who didn’t oppose Obamacare to Tories who wouldn’t fight the British or cowards who appeased Hitler, Cruz warned his viewers that the Republicans who voted for cloture, then against the amendment to fund Obamacare, were secretly aiding the Obamacare enslavement.
“Every Republican will get to tell his or her constituents that they voted no,” he said. “And yet miraculously it will pass.”
Having successfully predicted the future, Cruz kept talking.” – David Weigel, Slate (link)