As I said at the beginning of this latest U.S. government fiasco, I think the behaviour of the handful of Tea Party zealots over the past couple of weeks is a national disgrace.
I get that they want to slash government spending.
I get that they feel strongly about that.
But lots of people in this country — and in this country’s government — feel strongly about lots of things, and they don’t go around shutting down the government and threatening to cause the USA to default because they feel strongly about something.
(Take gun control, for example. Imagine if a handful of Democrats who are sick of seeing innocent Americans get slaughtered had shut down the government and threatened to default unless the U.S. banned assault rifles. Imagine! The country would have marched on Washington, with its assault rifles, despite the fact that many, many Americans feel extremely strongly about this.)
Anyway, the ringleader of these Tea Party Republicans, of course, is Senator Ted Cruz.
I think that what Ted Cruz has done over the past few weeks is a particularly egregious disgrace.
Basically, Ted Cruz hijacked the entire government and, thanks to his willingness to exploit every procedural quirk and dirty trick in the book, amassed almost as much power as the President.
Even today, after the Senate had agreed to a deal and the House finally agreed not to cause us to default, we were all waiting on the edge of our seats to see if… Senator Ted Cruz would try to block the deal.
And now that Senator Ted Cruz has announced that he will not block the deal — while blasting everyone who votes for it — he looks like a heroic patriot.
And that’s the other point I need to make about Ted Cruz.
In addition to being a national disgrace, his behaviour over the past few weeks has been a brilliant career move.
Ted Cruz, after all, is just a freshman Senator.
But now, thanks to his all-night speech, government shutdown, and irrepressible grandstanding, just about everyone in the country knows who he is.
They also know that he’s articulate, smart, charming, principled, and bold, which are all good things.
I can’t imagine that I would ever vote for Ted Cruz: I think he’s probably smart enough to know that Obamacare and our current deficit won’t, in fact, “destroy the country,” and, unlike Ted Cruz, I would actually like to find a way to make healthcare more affordable for millions of Americans.
But I will admit that I sort of like Ted Cruz.
I like all the attributes above, for example, even if I disagree with many of his policies.
I am impressed that anyone could even be standing after an 18 hour speech, let alone still speaking articulately.
And I like the fact that Ted Cruz read Green Eggs And Ham on the Senate floor.
Thanks to Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs And Ham on the Senate floor, I have actually smiled at something our government has done this year.
That’s probably once more than I smiled at something the government did last year.
So, well done, Ted Cruz. I’m appalled by what you did to the country over the past few weeks.
But I know who you are now. And, on a personal level, anyway, I sort of like you!
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