Parliamentary procedure may outline Congressional floor operation, but in politics, there is a difference between following protocol and following code. While some may find fault with Ted Cruz for going on a rogue filibuster to throw a wrench in the works of Obamacare funding, you’ve got to give him credit for masterfully implementing a multi- layered strategy which accomplished more than just bringing widespread attention to the looming financial threats of socialized healthcare. Not only did he reignite and energize the furor of an exhausted grassroots, he managed to expose the heavily cloaked and highly protected code by which elected elites have been bargaining away our freedoms. As he did so, he made prominent the individual actions/votes of individual Republicans, which, up until now, was something the alliance effectively managed to dodge. Brilliant!
There are a couple of fine points, from the fallout of Ted Cruz’s Senate filibuster that missed the focus of the media, and the grassroots. It struck me, as I followed the posturing and positioning of the establishment Republicans, and Democrats, that they seemed quite used to working in unison within their parties and across party lines, and they appeared very uncomfortable having the bright light of transparency shining on them.
On Wednesday of last week, one of the most egregious examples of this framework was uncovered via conservative media. Politico reported on leaked emails between the offices of Harry Reid and John Boehner that revealed how the two conspired to exempt Congress and staffers from Obamacare mandates. There is no honor among thieves, and there seems to be no outrage among them either. The incident received little attention and was seemingly brushed off as a casualty of doing business.
Never let it be said the coalition doesn’t stick together. There are protocols to adhere to, and consequences for the unruly. Like schoolyard bullies, the Senate has been applying pressure to bring the miscreant back into the fold. A closed-door luncheon was the scene of an ambush to press Cruz to fall in line. Instead of uniting together in a show of solidarity against an overwhelmingly unpopular Obama administration policy, the sentiment was a bit more hostile.
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who voted against Cruz’s cloture efforts, unwittingly punctuates the ritual of “what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors” in this radio interview. Eight minutes into the interview, the Senator reiterates the importance for the body to maintain a “secretive tenor”. He states specifically “how important it is that things we say to each other aren’t repeated and aren’t discussed.”
Most reasonable people would acquiesce to suggestions that confidentiality is an important component of building business relationships. However, in the current atmosphere of corruption in Washington, D.C., confidentiality has compromised the foundation of representational government, which been abandoned by a self-serving congress.
As Sen. Cruz referenced the Constitution and read the comments of Americans who live and die by the results of congressional debate and action on Obamacare, he infused a breath of life into the original intent of a transparent, representative government. Not only did he re-energize Tea Party and grassroots activists, he also reminded us of our conservative principles, while calling out Republicans who have abandoned their electorate. Senator Cruz returned focus on the importance of representing The People with sunlight and transparency–and he did it all by following the rules, even if he did break the code.