Thanks to Jonathan Tilove, who writes the hell out of First Reading every day for the Statesman, for quoting my tweet about Ted Cruz’s self-indulgent filibuster:
Some seven hours later, Cruz was back on the floor to reinforce Paul – who could not “surrender or retreat” from his post, or even sit down for a single minute – with his own bravura rhetorical performance. In seamless succession, Cruz read from supportive “Stand by Rand” tweets, delivered the St. Crispin’s Day Speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V ; recited George C. Scott’s opening monologue from Patton which, he recalled, was delivered in front of an American flag “the size of North Dakota” and which he said he used to watch in advance of important arguments in court; read passages from Ronald Reagan’s 1964 speech, A Time for Choosing , in which the lifelong Democrat announced he was voting for Barry Goldwater for president, and recounted his successful legal battle as solicitor general of the state of Texas to keep the administration of former President George W. Bush from imposing the will of the World Court upon the Lone Star State in the Medellin case.
Both Paul and Cruz, the most Tea Party of senators, were deploying this oratorical barrage on behalf of an unstinting civil libertarianism that, in another time and place, one might have expected from the likes of Ted Kennedy, Paul Wellstone, Bernie Sanders or, as Paul noted, Barack Obama during his brief Senate career, but on which, in this time and place, Democrats were almost entirely silent.
Cruz, reviled by Democrats and many in the media in recent weeks as a new Joe McCarthy, suddenly sounded a lot more like Gene McCarthy.
“If I didn’t have C-Span I’d think everyone on my Twitter feed was playing an elaborate prank involving Ted Cruz,” tweeted Jason Stanford , the Democratic political pugilist from Austin, amid the unfolding drama.
Been called worse.