Yesterday, I started out my post by documenting but not really discussing the latest idiocy to come from the mouth of Wayne LaPierre. And, no, I'm not giving him more time today, because that would only encourage him.
However, it occurs to me that he isn't the only fount of drivel to grace the news reports recently. This is certainly so with the overnight non-filibuster from Senator Ted Cruz, who spent something over 20 hours holding - or maybe hogging is a better word - the Senate floor is his continuing effort to defund the Affordable Care Act. I call it a non-filibuster, because there was no way that what he was doing would delay today's planned votes in the Senate. It would more appropriately be called grandstanding, I think, and attention-getting behavior by the senator from Texas. He was doing redneck jokes. He read "Green Eggs and Ham" (supposedly a bedtime story for his kids, but wouldn't that have been better done at home?). He talked about going out and buying new tennis shoes before he began his flood of words. Oh, and he even talked about the Affordable Care Act some, too, but apparently didn't say anything new or useful. Instead it was his same old song and dance about how horrible it would be for people to have access to affordable health coverage or, in the case of people with pre-existing conditions, to have access to any health coverage at all. Of course, he didn't put it that way, because it wouldn't have served his purpose.
The question is, what was his purpose, really? Because, you know, the Senate still isn't going to pass the bill in front of it, which would shut down the government unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded. And even if the Senate did pass it, President Obama still isn't going to sign it. Additionally, Cruz wasn't making any friends outside of his Tea Party base. Some in his own Republican Party, including top party leaders, have been criticizing Cruz's take-no-prisoners, make-no-compromises approach to the issue. This true especially since Cruz said the other day that he is willing to shut down even the military in service to his goals. It has even been said that Cruz, by pulling this stunt, is sabotaging his own political career.
So, why did he do this? Two reasons, I think. The first, and the more minor of the two, is the propaganda motive. He is determined to proselytize against affordable health care coverage for all no matter what the personal cost. But his bigger motivation is to get attention. He is one of those people who believes that the spotlight should be on him at all times. It doesn't seem to matter to him that this quest for attention could hurt the country that he has promised to defend, or that it could even hurt his own career. He just seems to believe that he is somehow special and that he should be revered by all the people, all the time. And, of course, that means paying attention to him all the time.
If you follow along here, you might remember that not too long ago I can to Cruz's defense regarding an effort by Birthers to claim that he isn't eligible to run for president because he was born in Canada and his father was Cuban, even though is mother was a US citizen. It's the same thing the Birthers did, and continue to do, to President Obama. It's a despicable tactic and they need to cut it out. I still believe that.
But, I also said that I wouldn't want to see Cruz ever elected to anything. Besides his particular positions on issues, the sort of self-aggrandizing behavior Cruz exhibited on the floor of the Senate is exactly why. I don't want people in public office who think more of themselves than they do of the people they took an oath to serve. And, at the end of the day, this sort of thing is not about the people. It is all about Ted Cruz and his pathetic attempts to advance his agenda and his career. Which, when you think about it, are pretty much the same thing.
You know, I heard on one of the talking head shows yesterday that when Ted Cruz was at Harvard Law School, he refused to study with anyone who had not attended college at one of the top-tier Ivy League schools. I don't know how true that story is, but it wouldn't surprise me much if it were true, because this is the kind of guy Cruz appears to be. He is a snob.
I think the Tea Party rank and file, those is trying so hard to appeal to, should keep this in mind as they consider who they want to follow. Most of them, I'm fairly sure, are not graduates of the top Ivy League schools, simply because that is a small cohort of people. He doesn't want to have anything to do with them beyond getting their adulation and their votes. As soon as he has those, he's likely to be done with them.