The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024

In defense of Cruz

Budget Battle
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, accompanied by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, express their frustration after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government. (Courtesy of AP)

On Friday, The Daily Campus published an op-ed entitled “I’m fed up with Politics” written by W. Tucker Keene. In the article, Keene addressed the 21-hour speech Senator Cruz gave on the Senate floor Tuesday.

He asserted that Cruz was exploiting the ignorance of the American people by pushing for something that was procedurally impossible.

This assertion is false. There is a provision in Congress known as CHiMPS (Changes in Mandatory Programmatic Spending). Through CHiMPS, Congress can enact spending changes through its annual appropriations process.

According to the Heritage Foundation, some mandatory funding has already been stripped from Obamacare. Through appropriation measures, section 1857 of the continuing resolution that Congress passed in April of 2011 cancelled $2.2 billion worth of mandatory funding from the law.

It is clearly technically possible to defund Obamacare so perhaps Keene was implying that doing so is politically impossible. This suggests that Senator Reid and President Obama’s refusal to compromise on their unpopular legislation is a justifiable reason for Cruz to forfeit the very principles he ran on.

Keene’s article also claimed that Cruz spent the majority of his speech referencing pop culture, reading “Green Eggs and Ham” and cracking “Star Wars” jokes.

Wade Miller, who works for Heritage Action, the political action arm of the Heritage Foundation as the Regional Coordinator for Texas wrote a Facebook post regarding those who criticized such aspects of Cruz’s speech.

“Sprinkle in a few comments about boots, football and fast food and the left’s meme turns into Ted Cruz wasted the time of Americans for having a sense of humor and for loving his daughters,” Miller wrote.

The problem is it wasn’t just the left’s meme. It was the “everyone who is anti-
Cruz” meme.

To claim that the entire speech was about Dr. Seuss and “Star Wars” would suggest that Senator Cruz spoke for about 20 minutes when in reality he spoke for more than 20 hours.

Anyone who actually listened to a substantial portion of the speech would know that. It’s simply a narrative that’s easier to push than actually explaining why Obamacare or a vote for cloture is a good idea.

When there is nothing of substance to critique, the strategy of taking one sound bite and focusing on it isn’t a new idea. We saw it with Mitt Romney and Big Bird during a debate this past election season.

However, what is particularly disturbing here is that Republicans are doing it to one of their own. The 95 percent of Cruz’s speech that was on point was boiled down to making fun of a man for reading to his daughters.

As far as Keene’s claim that Senator Rubio, unlike Cruz, made a valiant effort to govern it is important to recognize what he was fighting for. There are many downsides to the “Gang of Eight” bill of which Rubio was a vocal proponent.

It wasn’t Rubio’s desire to lead that earned him a drop in the polls but the fact that the legislation was just bad legislation. The Republican Party is pro-immigration, but not pro-illegal activity.

To suggest with unwavering certainty that Senator Cruz’s actions were motivated by a power-hungry desire for more spotlight attention is a very contentious claim.

The fact of the matter is Senator Cruz ran on the platform that he would do everything in his power to defund Obamacare. That’s why the people of Texas elected him. I’m not sure why his dedication to doing just that should come as a surprise to anyone.

Keene is correct on one count, Senator Cruz is doing things differently. Cruz isn’t paying attention to the expectations of Washington, but rather to the voices of his constituents.

Politics has been a dirty game for a very long time; deception of the American people is not unusual. What is unusual is Cruz’s brand of conservatism that promises transparency, political risks, conviction and the upholding of
campaign promises.

Waring is a sophomore majoring in political science.

More to Discover