But we don’t know what Cruz has asked for, because he hasn’t done it yet. He needs to. He needs to craft legislation, shepherd it through the Senate, and fight off the amendments that would add to its price tag. He needs to convince other skeptical conservative senators who are not from Texas—Rand Paul, for instance—why they should vote for it. (As Paul Abrams points out, hearing a Tea Party hardliner explain the circumstances under which government spending is appropriate would do us all a lot of good.)

Cruz then needs to answer to conservative publications who view any government appropriation as socialism, and to his Tea Party base who view anybody taking government money as moochers. He needs to deal, as the rest of us have, with the darker corners of the internet who like to link FEMA to concentration camps and the like. He needs to know what goes into not just passing a law, but implementing it when a segment of the population finds any coordinated government effort to be the gathering clouds of tyranny.

In short, Ted Cruz needs to show that he can do more than vote nay; he needs to demonstrate that he can craft legislation he himself would vote for. Cruz may not like the federal government, but even someone as conservative as him must think it can do more than pass anti-UN resolutions while towns in Texas burn.