Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Green Eggs and Ham

Let's not quibble about whether Senator Cruz's taking to the floor for hours to protest Obamacare is a "real" filibuster or not. It seems more real than all the demands for cloture votes and such that we've grown accustomed to nowadays. And just because it is futile doesn't take away from its realness. Wendy Davis's heroic running out the clock on a Texas legislative session was also futile. So was Strom Thurmond's legendary filibuster of the Civil Rights Act. I would argue that whenever one person takes on the whole system and tries whether in vain or not to slow down the wheels of legislation, that constitutes a filibuster. And if we applaud when Bernie Sanders does it, we should applaud just as much when Rand Paul or Ted Cruz does it. Good for you, Ted! You drew attention to your cause. You stood up for your beliefs. And you exposed your position for everyone to judge. That's what a filibuster is supposed to do.

I didn't listen to much of Ted Cruz's speech, but I loved his recitation of "Green Eggs and Ham," supposedly as a bedtime story for his daughter. People are saying Cruz does not understand the point of this simple story, but I say Ted Cruz is not that stupid. He understands it perfectly well. In fact, the story of "Green Eggs and Ham" is a great metaphor for Obamacare. On one side you have unreasoning prejudice. On the other you have the desire for empirical proof. And once unreasoning prejudice gives in to the demand for empirical proof, lo and behold we find out that people like green eggs and ham after all. And what else would explain the absolute desperation of people like Ted Cruz to do everything possible to keep Obamacare from taking effect other than their fear that once people try it, they might actually like it?


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