It caught me by surprise.
Oh, sure, I was aware of the faux-filibuster that Senator Ted Cruz was conducting on C-SPAN. I even held my nose, gritted my teeth, and listened to some of it, the substance of which was either inexcusable ignorance or reprehensible lies, you pick. I don’t really care either way because the exercise has no real relevance to whether the government will be shutdown or continue on its merry way.
But when I saw, later Tuesday evening, that Cruz was reading from Green Eggs and Ham, I thought: What good is a Princeton-Harvard education, what good is the arrogance that such an education tends to spawn, if you can’t understand Dr. Seuss?
Dr. Seuss, of course, was the pen-name of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote Green Eggs and Ham in 1960, a book that became one of the most popular children’s books in the history of publishing, one which most of us have either read, or have had others read to us.
The gist of the book is this: Sam-I-Am is ardently trying to get the anonymous narrator of the book to sample green eggs and ham, with the narrator, after offering much resistance (“I do not like green eggs and ham!”), finally succumbing and finally liking the strange dish (“I do so like green eggs and ham!).
How strange it was that a strange senator from Texas, using otherwise valuable C-SPAN air-time, read from a book that actually contradicts the reason he is using that valuable C-SPAN time and the reason he is conducting the phony filibuster: to please equally strange Tea Party conservatives.
In a stunningly wonderful book, Dr. Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!, Randall E. Auxier wrote about Green Eggs and Ham:
We all know that there is something cool about this book. Even among the many works of genius created by Dr. Seuss, this one stands out. But the book is just silly, isn’t it? It was written on a bet, that Seuss couldn’t write a whole book using only fifty different words. And it has such a simple message, “You don’t know whether you like something until you try it.” Or maybe it’s “don’t be a contrarian.”
Now, how ironic is it that a man who claims that Americans shouldn’t try the green eggs and ham of ObamaCare, who claims that the green eggs and ham of ObamaCare will make us all sick, read to the nation from a book—written by a liberal Democrat, for God’s sake—that has as its simple message, “You don’t know whether you like something until you try it”?
Maybe there is a God, one with a penchant for embarrassing the most zealous of his alleged followers.