Week 39: Prat – Ted Cruz

by George_East on September 29, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week is the junior Republican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz

Prat_cowboyThe half crazed spectacle in the last week of the right in this country as it foams at the mouth about communism and a return to the 1970s in the light of Ed Miliband’s welcome but relatively modest proposals to impose temporary price freezes on energy companies and to introduce an extension to compulsory purchase laws to prevent developers land banking, was more than matched by events on the other side of the Atlantic.

President Obama’s health care reforms, an equally modest set of proposals, have caused a meltdown in the US right of truly spectacular proportions.   Given the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare, with arch-conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining with the more liberal justices, and then with Barack Obama being re-elected President comfortably in November with  the healthcare reforms playing a central role in the campaign, one would have thought that the issue was settled.    It is now law – the legal and political challenges have failed.    Things move on.

However, this is not how the American right sees it.   The ever more right wing Republican Party in Congress has its eyes on another way of destroying health care reform.   They have made passing this year’s budget conditional on the President de-funding his own centerpiece policy.  Nothing has ever been seen like this before and it comes close to a new radical interpretation of the constitution – as it effectively permits a party with control of one of the houses of Congress to veto legislation after it has been passed and without repealing it, by refusing to permit it to be funded.   It risks rendering elections irrelevant.

The Republicans have a majority in the House of Representatives and it the lower house that has been the central battlefield for this war on all things Obama.    They have passed a version of the budget which defunds Obamacare.  Congress has to pass a budget before 1 October 2013 otherwise the government will shut down.  Things do not look particularly optimistic at the moment.

In the Senate, of course, the Democrats have a majority.  The Tea Party crazy and potential 2016 Presidential nominee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz decided on Monday and Tuesday to filibuster the budget bill in the Senate.

During his 21 hr 19 minute speech he compared his actions with those who resisted the Nazis (I fuck you not) and appropriated the legacy of the founding fathers.  The most moronic part of all was the reading of the entirety of Dr Seuss Green Ham and Eggs.   As a number of observers have pointed out, this is actually a liberal text, involving as it does its lead character claiming throughout the book that he does not like green ham and eggs, even though he has never actually tasted it.  At the end of the book he tastes it and finds he likes it.    The message is don’t fear change you might find you get something from it.

But what makes this especially prattish is that his filibuster could not actually prevent a vote taking place.  Senate procedural rules always meant that he would have to yield the floor.  All he achieved by his filibuster is underline the (accurate) perception that the Republican Party has been taken over by the loons, reduce the amount of time available to find a politically smart solution (such as funding of Obamacare for a year and then using the 2014 mid-terms as a further electoral referendum on the policy), and to divide his own party.

Oh and for that very reason make him more likely to be the Presidential candidate in 2016 (maybe not so prattish after all).

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