In My Opinion

Fabiola Santiago: Ted-I-am might like green eggs and ham

 

fsantiago@MiamiHerald.com

I’m glad Sen. Ted Cruz reads Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters.

He’s probably raising Democrats.

I’m glad the Republican supreme senator from Texas made a fool of himself when he spoke for 21 hours on the Senate floor against Obamacare — reading of the Dr. Seuss’ children’s classic included — in a silly effort to defund what’s already national law.

His clownish behavior didn’t amount to anything more than holding up governance. The Senate voted Friday 54-44 to restore funding to the Affordable Care Act, an attempt to give Americans what most people in developed countries have — access to health care that doesn’t bankrupt them when they’re gravely ill.

To quote from another Dr. Seuss “beginner” jewel, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back:

This was no time for play.

This was no time for fun.

This was no time for games.

There was work to be done.

All Cruz can claim is that he beat Fidel Castro’s record for marathon speeches aimed at bullying people into buying his point of view.

In his sales pitch, Cruz cemented what we already know: He can read words, but he’s lacking in reading comprehension — and he doesn’t do elementary research before he opens his mouth.

Or he would have understood that Green Eggs and Ham is about a fellow, Sam-I-am, who has never tried green eggs and ham, but already knows he doesn’t like them.

Sound familiar?

And he would have learned that Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel, was a progressive liberal whose cartoons in a New York newspaper in the 1940s supported women’s causes and denounced racism, corporate greed and the McCarthy-style hysterics of people like Cruz.

In his willingness to steer the government into a shutdown — and the country into new financial chaos — Cruz showed he has no qualms about unleashing what the wiser Cubans call “ el fidelito,” the little tyrant, we all have inside of us.

He makes Florida’s also ultra-conservative Marco Rubio seem like a moderate babe in the Capital Hill woods.

But, his sensible work on immigration reform notwithstanding, Rubio too has content-comprehension issues. He votes with the most extreme elements of his party, as he did Friday, yet boasts of liberal guilty pleasures.

Remember his bid to appeal to hip and young men when he told Esquire magazine that he likes the music of the late rapper Tupac of Thug 4 Life fame? It was difficult to find a line to quote without an expletive, but I did. Maybe this is what turned on the NRA-loving senator: “ I’m livin’ in LA still clutchin’ on my AK.”

I’m no psychologist, but maybe possessing affections that don’t quite gel with their fanatical political stands is an affliction of the ultra-right (and the ultra-left, since the two ends of the spectrum have a lot in common).

But there’s nothing for which Dr. Seuss doesn’t offer a cure.

In Oh, the Thinks You can Think! he concludes:

Think left and think right and think low and think high.

Oh, the thinks you can think up if you only try!

In Hop on Pop , billed as “the simplest Seuss for youngest use,” Dr. Seuss introduces several mischievous characters: Red, Ned, Ed — and Ted.

They end up in peaceful coexistence in bed.

Keep reading, senator.

Read more Fabiola Santiago stories from the Miami Herald

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