Topics: Obamacare

Wendy Davis was a media hero and Ted Cruz is a 'grandstander'

By |
Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Obamacare,Senate,Texas,Health Care,Ted Cruz,Filibuster,Wendy Davis

It's sort of hard to believe, but the Washington media is filled with people who maintain that the major mainstream news media in the U.S. does not have a liberal bias. I don't spend too much time on the broader "media bias" case, because it's too hard to litigate. Point out disparate treatment, and a bias-denier can just say "the cases are equivalent."

But Ted Cruz is giving us a very good point of comparison.

Ted Cruz's marathon speech in the Senate last night and today is not going to repeal Obamacare or defund it. He can't run out the clock, because a vote will happen today in any event. His very long speech mostly serves to raise his profile, with the ancillary benefits, including fundraising and maybe a boost as he seeks higher office.

The typical mainstream spin on this: It's grandstanding! He's just raising money! Fauxlibuster!

Flashback to the summer: Texas state senator Wendy Davis, with the help of a screaming mob, runs out the clock on a legislative session, thus delaying the passage of a bill to ban abortions of most babies in the sixth month of pregnancy and later. But at the time, it was clear Gov. Rick Perry would simply call another session, and that the late-term abortion ban would eventually pass.

So, Davis was delaying the inevitable (which is more than Cruz, for sure, who is not even delaying it), but rallying supporters of legal late-term abortion. Also, it helped her raise tons of money and it jumpstarted a gubernatorial campaign.

The media spin was different: Hero! Giving a voice to women! Glowing interviews on every TV station.

Davis's filibuster was no more likely than Cruz's to change the law. Davis's filibuster was just as self-promotional as Cruz's, and just as directed at a bid for higher office. And Davis's filibuster was in defense of something most people dislike: aborting viable and nearly-viable babies; while Cruz's filibuster was in opposition to a law most people dislike: Obamacare.

The difference? I assume it's this: The media generally supports legalized abortion while the media generally like Obamacare. Another difference: Ted Cruz rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

View article comments Leave a comment