The Senate Begins

It’s 12:30 ET and my fare for the day is the U.S. Senate as it begins deliberations on the CR passed over from the House. Well almost…

I’m not as familiar with the Senate rules since I’ve spent so much time watching the wrangling House. But it does have a formal air with structured rules, what Sen. Ted Cruz called “utterly comprehensible,” last night during his extended speech.

Rather than incomprehensible, it sounds like a polite, parliamentarian format, less energetic and spontaneous than what goes on over at the House of Commons in Britain but nonetheless, totally sensible.

At any rate, I say “almost” because the Senate leaders are taking their few minutes to either slap Sen. Ted Cruz on the back or up against the face for his lengthy speech (21 hours) that came to an end just a few minutes ago.

Sen. John McCain, the Republican contender for the presidency several years back, is on the floor making his remarks, and taking umbrage at the junior senator for comparing the Senate process to Hitler, the Holocaust and Nazis.

I missed this portion of Cruz’s speech. I did listen to him for many hours, betwixt grading my course, talking with students, prepping for a new unit, feeding the bunny and the bird, cleaning house, eating lunch, snacks and dinner, tweeting cute Dr. Seuss-style poems, packaging items for shipment, balancing my bank account, reading selected poems of Wallace Stevens, heading out for errands, and working on my eBay store.

Very early this morning, I caught an exchange between Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, that impressed me for its genuine passion. Regardless of my uniformly negative views of both these senators, I felt the sincerity in their voices, and it reminded me of the fervor, the ambition, the motivation, the dedication and the superlative progress of the New Americans I worked with a few years back at a state college in Florida.

Why, I wondered, can’t Cruz and Rubio speak with this level of sincerity about their political views? Well because despite their core identities as New Americans, as second generation immigrants, they have each learned the implicit rules of forward progress in this country. They know the rules and practice those rules, and so, unfortunately, their eloquent and heartfelt love for the promise of America is dashed against the sharp blade of politicking and bullshit.

The Senate is now voting. I see it moves with a much quicker pace than its counterpart.

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