In the Senate, a Reverse Mr. Smith

I’m now watching hour eight of Rand Paul’s filibuster. Several minutes ago, Senator Ted Cruz asked Paul to yield for a question. Paul did, and Cruz asked if he was aware of the overwhelming support he is receiving on Twitter. Cruz then read several complimentary, sometimes moving, comments from people who had hashtagged “#StandWithRand” in their tweets. 

Cruz’s maneuver was eerily similar to a moment from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (which you can view at the 7:00 mark of this video). One of the corrupt senators asks Mr. Smith if he would like to learn what his constituents have to say. Smith says “yes,” and the corrupt senator brings in baskets full of telegrams, all of them critical of Smith. The telegrams had been manufactured by the leader of the political machine that controlled the corrupt senator. Smith reads them and faints from exhaustion.

In contrast, the modern-day telegrams, the tweets read by Cruz, are honest. And they were overwhelmingly supportive of Paul. Paul thanked Cruz and said that he was inspired by them. As I watch, Paul seems to show no signs of exhaustion.

On this history-making day, I hope folks will remember Cruz’s kind and noble gesture.