Filibustering works wonders. Not only do we get to hear original readings of our favorite Dr. Suess books, but we have the opportunity to listen to our senators “I was bitten by an octopus” stories. Yes, I’m talking about Ted Cruz: the senator who spoke for over 21 hours against ObamaCare, in hopes to defund the program. That takes some dedication to say the least.
Filibustering, if you didn’t catch on already, is the process by which senators take crazy amounts of time to delay the procession of the bill or matter at hand through the senate. While a fairly common practice, the subject/bill of discussion obviously has the biggest impact on social reaction. Cruz, who read Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters, was met with a variety of reactions–while some, who sided with him on the issue, remarked on his tenacity, others backlashed with memes and poked fun at the senator…oh yeah, if I didn’t emphasize, a lot of backlash. As Washington Post opinion writer, Dana Milbank, puts it in his WP piece, “John McCain said more in 10 minutes on the Senate floor than Ted Cruz did in 21 hours.” Not a good day, Ted?
But hey, filibustering doesn’t always turn into a whack job. Wendy Davis’s filibuster in opposition to the pro-life bill took over 11 hours and received commendation from the public. And those pink running shoes she wore didn’t go by unnoticed. The Washington Post points out, why does media focus so much on a woman’s footwear? While some may call that sexism, Davis’s shoes did ironically do the opposite–pink running shoes are the embodiment of feminism. Sally Kohn writes in the Daily Beast, “Wendy Davis is a hero, her shoes are a symbol—a talisman of feminism and political voice and literally standing up for what’s right.” Well, yeah. She is.
So while Cruz’s bedtime stories colored him an absurd congressman, Davis’s sporty-girl look invited thousands of people into her fandom. Filibustering, it seems, is quite unpredictable. But if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that this congressional process brings awareness to happenings in congress. At least we, the public, become more interested in investigating these potential legislations that our congressmen and congresswomen work to support–or in this case, weaken. And if that’s not enough, at least we know filibustering is a good way to get the minority voice heard, however…whacky…it may be.