The best example of most people's political biases just ended. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was in the process of filibustering on the Senate floor in order to argue for de-funding the administration's health care plan. He just ended his talk at just over 21 hours.
The most popular filibuster comes from Jimmy Stewart, whose character collapsed at the end of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Since then, filibustering is seen through two lenses: the ability to hold the barbarians at the gate of obviously horrible legislation, or political grandstanding and a nothing more than a nuisance. The problem is people are never objective about it.
Facebook posts from the right side of the aisle have praised Cruz for standing up against the scourge that is Obamacare. Other posts have ridiculed him as a show off, wasting the time of our representatives and our taxpayers. But a few months ago, Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis filibustered to attempt to stop legislation on abortion limits in the state. She was praised by her side, laughed at by the other. There was even a local state senator who called her a "demon."
Let's not be naive. Cruz is jockeying for a 2016 presidential run. Despite his belief system, he definitely looks like he is more interested in keeping his name in the headlines. And following Davis' hours-long speech, she was featured in Vogue magazine and called on to run for governor of Texas. They may be passionate people, but they are just as vain as pretty much every other politician.
So which is it? Is filibustering noble? Is it pointless? Shouldn't we be able to judge the action based on the actual action instead of what they are actually filibustering for?
For once, we should be able to take off our red or blue-colored glasses and either appreciate or despise the political process in action. But sometimes that's too hard for true believers. It's much easier to keep the shoe on the other foot.