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Ted Cruz reads Dr. Seuss and Ayn Rand to stall Senate

September 25, 2013|By Emily Keeler
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), speaks on the Senate floor.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), speaks on the Senate floor. (Senate TV / Associated Press )

What does "Green Eggs and Ham" have in common with Obamacare? Ask Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

A sneakered Cruz took to the Senate floor on Tuesday at 2:40 p.m. Though he appeared to be engaged in an epic filibuster to keep the Senate from making a decision on Obamacare, according to Senate rules Cruz must clear the floor by noon EDT Wednesday, when a decision will be made regardless of his remarks.

It would appear that Cruz's marathon speech on the Senate floor is ultimately just for kicks. Which explains, perhaps, why the senator decided at 8:04 p.m., just over five hours into what we're calling his talk-a-thon, to read from the Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham.” The story now appears on the official Senate record.

Cruz broke with Dr. Seuss' classic rhyming couplet structure in order to modify the text: "When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either," Cruz read. "They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse. It is not working."

“Green Eggs and Ham” was not the only children's literature Cruz referenced in his bid to stand in one place with cameras on him for a long time. Within the first half hour, Cruz invoked the classic tale of perseverance, “The Little Engine that Could.”

Still talking Wednesday morning, shortly before 9 EDT, Cruz referenced the work of novelist and Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand. He chose to read from her longest novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” which, like “The Little Engine that Could,” also heavily features the theme of perseverance, and of course trains. “Green Eggs and Ham,” on the other hand, only mentions a train once, and has a moral of the value of reserving one's impulse judgements and being open to trying new things.

Cruz has yet to address how the frequently challenged children's book, “Captain Underpants,” relates to the healthcare bill under discussion.


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