en. Ted Cruz's big day has finally come.
The Tea Party Republican from Texas took to the Senate floor Tuesday in an ostensible attempt to block a vote that would allow Democrats to strip an ObamaCare-defunding provision from a bill to fund the government. He declared he would talk "until I am no longer able to stand."
Unfortunately for Cruz, he's technically not staging a filibuster. Unlike Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — who staged a 13-hour filibuster to temporarily block Obama's pick to head the CIA, John O. Brennan — Cruz cannot stop a vote because one has already been scheduled.
Still, Cruz used his considerable time on the floor to discuss all sorts of subjects tangentially relevant to the health-care debate, such as children's books, Nazis, and pro wrestling.
Here, some highlights:
"Accept the Nazis."
"If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany. Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, 'Accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe, but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them.'"
"I suspect those same pundits who say it can't be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. Then they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on TV and they would have been saying, 'You cannot defeat the Germans.'"
"That little engine can't."
"If you listen to a lot of members of this body, the message would be simple: That little engine can't. What they'd say to that train when it started at the bottom of the hill is, 'No you can't.' 'I think I can, I think I can —' 'No you can't. No you can't. We can't win, we can't stop ObamaCare.'"
"The moon might be as intimidating as ObamaCare."
"By any measure, ObamaCare is a far less intimidating foe than those that I have discussed, with the possible exception of the moon. The moon might be as intimidating as ObamaCare."
"They know who's going to win."
"It's a little bit like the World Wrestling Federation." [sic] "The outcome is pre-rigged, the outcome is predetermined. They know who's going to win and it's all for show".
"We don't work for the intelligentsia."
"Mr. President, it is apparently very, very important to be invited to all the right cocktail parties in town. At the end of the day we don't work for those holding cocktail parties in Washington, D.C. We don't work for the intelligentsia who live in cities and write editorials for big newspapers. We work for the American people."
"I confess I don't go to a lot of cocktail parties in town."
"Almost all of us are in cheap suits."
"Most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?"
For more, go to C-SPAN to watch a live stream of Cruz's faux filibuster.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Can Rand Paul avoid the Neville Chamberlain trap?
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- To build the Death Star, we'll need this space elevator
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
Subscribe to the Week