Ted Cruz and the great bladderbuster of 2013

Ted Cruz recently popped onto the political radar as a Tea Party presidential hopeful. He seems to know just the right words to get conservatives behind him because he has absorbed all of the media focus. His recent 21-hour speech to block Obamacare certainly didn’t hurt his odds either.

Admittedly, I hadn’t heard the name until I heard that this GOP hopeful’s presidential eligibility was in question-due to the fact he was born in Canada. I became very interested in the matter because I thought we’d see the same people who demanded Obama’s birth certificate start to fall behind someone who is undoubtedly ineligible to run.

Ted Cruz holding a Dr. Seuss book. Image from Daily Kos.
Ted Cruz holding a Dr. Seuss book. Image from Daily Kos.

My excitement was quickly extinguished when I checked on my own and saw that the Constitution requires candidates to be either a natural-born citizen or the child of parents who were both US citizens at the time of birth. Needless to say, Cruz is eligible and I dropped my vehement opposition. If only the Obama birthers could make it that simple. After that, I was actually okay with Ted Cruz because I felt he represented a step forward for people of Hispanic heritage.

Then he just had to go and make his opposition to Obamacare his fundamental platform. It’s a smart political move–but as someone who desperately needs the law to succeed, it’s personal for me.

He went up to Congress and did a faux-filibuster for 21 hours in an attempt to persuade them to kill the Affordable Care Act for the forty-second time. It can’t be classified as a real filibuster because it didn’t block Congressmen from voting on the bill. The vote was going to happen on the scheduled time, regardless of how long he spoke. For this reason, the good people of Twitter have affectionately named this the “bladderbuster”. All the while, Fox News pundits championed their new golden boy as the hero America needs and deserves.

Maybe we need to rethink the definition of a hero. What kind of hero gets up and speaks against giving affordable healthcare to millions of Americans who couldn’t otherwise afford it? What kind of hero uses up our taxpayer dollars on 42 separate occasions to strike down a bill because it would hurt the taxpayers? Let’s not forget that the Joker also made a stand against vigilantism by scaring the people of Gotham into getting rid of Batman. There’s nothing heroic about what Cruz is doing. If this is the best the Tea Party can come up with, they might want to roll the dice again.

I want to take a moment to reflect on the irony that Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham during his bladderbuster. It’s a classic Dr. Seuss book and its central theme is that you’ll never know whether or not you’ll like something unless you try it. It’s textbook comedic irony if I’ve ever seen it.

I want to see a Hispanic presidential candidate in the near future, but it can wait if this is all we have to work with. We need a hero who fights for all of the people, and not just the people at the top. Cruz’s publicity stunt was great for his political career, but couldn’t be worse for millions of Americans who desperately need healthcare.