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Say! I like green eggs and ham
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
-Theodor Seuss Geisel - AKA: Doctor Seuss

ted cruz filibuster

“Do we want the IRS determining whether our mother lives or dies?” -Ted Cruz

Them Death Panels is gonna git'cha, Granny!

Ted Cruz's "filibuster" this week wasn't a filibuster in the technical sense of the word, but that's the term we'll use to suit our purposes here. For 21 solid hours this bloviating twit talked and talked about everything from Nazi Germany to White Castle hamburgers. But the icing on the cake came when he trotted out a copy of the classic children's book by Doctor Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham. That was where I was able to discover that Ted and I have some common ground. On the floor of the senate he said that he loves to read his daughters the timeless words of Dr. Seuss. Although I never had children of my own, there's not a lot that has given me more joy over the years than the opportunity to read any of these books to my nieces and nephews or the children of my friends.

And I still, to this day, read Dr. Seuss' books to them - even though most of these kids are now in their twenties. It's always a bit awkward but they're good sports about it. They like to humor me.

But of all of the books by the good doctor that Ted Cruz could have read in the senate chambers on Tuesday evening, the irony of using Green Eggs and Ham must have gone right over the senator's head. I'm not the first one to point this out either.

As you may remember, the gentle plot of Green Eggs and Ham revolved around a guy named "Sam-I-Am" who is trying to get his narrow-minded and uptight friend to try something new:

Do you like them in a house?
Do you like them with a mouse?

I do not like them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am!

Finally, by the book's end, this knucklehead (out of nothing more than sheer exasperation) relents and takes a bite out of the dish of green eggs and ham that Sam-I-Am has been imploring him to try - and he loves it! Replace the words "green eggs and ham" with "Obamacare":

Hi, Ted! My name's Barry Fair!
Would you like Obamacare?

I would not like Obamacare
I would not like it, Barry-Fair

Would you like it in a jar?
Would you like it in a car?

I would not like it in a jar
I would not like it in a car
I would not like Obamacare
I would not like it, Barry-Fair

Would you like it cut in two?
Would you like it painted blue?

Not cut in two
Not painted blue
Not in a jar
Not in a car
I would not like Obamacare
I would not like it, Barry-Fair!

Would you like it in a song?
Would you like it in a bong?

I would not like it in a song
I would not like it in a bong
Not cut in two
Not painted blue
Not in a jar
Not in a car
I would not like Obamacare
I would not like it, Barry-Fair!

Would you like it on the grass?
Would you like it up your....

Okay, I got a little carried away there - but you get the idea. It's a pretty safe bet that once the American people get a good taste of the Affordable Care Act, a lot of the doubters will be having a change of heart.

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I do so like Obamacare!
Oh, thank you, THANK YOU, Barry-Fair!

The funniest thing about Ted Cruz's nearly day-long tirade was the fact that when his time was up, he proceeded to vote for funding the very thing he had been wailing against all through the day and all through the night. Credit must be given where credit is due; he's at least smart enough to know that if the government shuts down, he'll be able to say to his half-witted constituency that he's blameless and - of course - most of them will believe him. What is it about Texas?

The House Republicans ought to be really careful what they wish for. If they're successful in shutting down the government in the next week (and there are a lot of people who say that it's going to happen) it will merely be yet another nail in their own coffin. I've been saying that the GOP is a party that will disappear within ten years. Let me revise that: If the government ceases to operate on October the first, they'll be gone in less than five. One of their talking points this week is this:


Please. They're not fooling anybody - or at least they're not fooling those of us with an IQ over room temperature. That would be most of think.

It would seem that Ted Cruz wants to be the modern-day incarnation of Joe McCarthy. It's certainly fair to say that on one has made more of a spectacle of himself in Washington than Teddy Boy since Tail Gunner Joe passed from the scene on May 2, 1957. He has so many McCarthy-like mannerisms that it's a bit eerie to behold. Take for example the confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel a few months ago. Do you remember that instant when Teddy accused Chuckie of somehow being in cahoots with the North Koreans? That was pure Joe McCarthy - with every "i" dotted and every "t" crossed! Making mindless and unsubstantiated accusations against one's political enemies is something that old Joe specialized in. Although he had been mercifully dead for almost fourteen years by the time Ted Cruz was born in December of 1970, it is more-than-obvious that the Texas senator has learned from the master.

In the nearly 57 years since McCarthy's death there have been scores of Joe wannabes polluting the halls of congress. No one has come closer to hitting the mark than Senator Cruz. Somewhere old Joe must be smiling.

Ted Cruz's performance on Tuesday and Wednesday was nothing more than a pathetic attempt to impress the Tea Party base. As you're probably aware, he has every intention of making a run for that big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue in 2016. Although he has no chance of winning (in fact I predict that there will never again be a Republican elected to the presidency) his presence on the national campaign trail ought to be enough to keep us all rolling in the aisles for a better part of a year. Do you remember what an absolute scream the 2012 GOP primaries were? This next one is going to be beautiful.


We really are blessed to be living in such interesting times, aren't we? Somebody pinch me!

Tom Degan
The Rant

Sunday, 29 September 2013