Even in the best of causes, the Senate filibuster is a water torture of words, an effort to irritate or bore opponents into submission. With the help of fellow parliamentary Luddites, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has taken his exercise in futility to new heights of silliness.
His cause is not the best. It is cruel — the act of a well-off elected official with publicly subsidized health insurance who seeks to deny millions of not-affluent Americans the same chance by defunding Obamacare. Nor was his stand technically a filibuster; it was just a page out of the same playbook.
Mr. Cruz and other Tea Party disciples may not want to shut the government, but they are happy to do so. They care only about getting their own way; never mind the judgment of the Americans who voted to return President Obama to office in the election last year in which his health-care plan was a major issue.
To know that the senator’s long-winded rant was sound and fury signifying nothing, listen to his words. “Everyone in America knows Obamacare is destroying the economy,” he said as he embarked on his 21-hour marathon.
Really? The law hasn’t even been fully implemented. The health insurance markets under the act do not open until next Tuesday, the same day the government will shut down if Mr. Cruz gets his way.
Mr. Cruz had the gall to compare his efforts to leaders who stood against the Nazis, ended the Cold War, or started the American Revolution. Nazis fought for universal health care? Who knew?
No wonder GOP leaders who don’t like Obamacare but still have common sense shuddered every hour Mr. Cruz spoke.