September 25, 2013 11:37 pm -

In other words, bloviating Ted Cruz knew all along that what he was doing was a theatrical piece, had no legislative meaning, and was a total waste of time.

Mr. Cruz’s marathon speech — which began Tuesday afternoon and went on until noon on Wednesday — and ended with the unanimous vote to cut off debate and proceed to consideration of a bill passed by the House that would keep the government open past Monday.

Mr. Cruz’s “yes” vote angered fellow Senate Republicans, baffled Democrats and confused conservative activists who had mobilized to stand with him against any procedural step forward.

On Sunday he made clear that he opposed cutting off debate — called cloture — unless the majority leader, Harry Reid, agreed that 60 votes be required to strip the bill of language that would gut the health care law. On “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Cruz, a freshman from Texas, declared his opposition to “any vote for cloture, any vote to allow Harry Reid to add funding for Obamacare with just a 51-vote threshold.”

“A vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare,” Mr. Cruz said.

Yet after the vote on Wednesday, Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, said Mr. Cruz had never intended to oppose the motion to take up the bill, an assertion contradicted by Mr. Cruz’s words and procedural motions for days before the tally.Aides to senior Republican senators fumed that they had been deluged by conservative activists pressing for a “no” vote.