I play it, and we talk about how Obama could use that: Try it, try it, try Obamacare and you may see. You may like it. And then when we try it — if we're like the character in the Dr. Seuss book — when we finally try it, we actually do like it. Ah, but in the book, it's not saying try green eggs and ham and once you do, the only thing that you'll ever be able to eat is green eggs and ham from here on in and whether you like it or not.
No, no, that's not the proper comparison. Yes, Obamacare will go into effect, but it can be changed. It can be tweaked. We can drizzle some food dye over the eggs or take away the eggs altogether and just have ham. The ham's not green. Or is it? The text is ambiguous: green eggs and ham.
Let's see those illustrations again. Cruz did not hold up the book and let us see the pictures. No, no, you can't see whether the ham is green until you've tried it and it becomes the only thing on the menu from here on in. We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it. You have to eat the eggs and ham to find out if they're any good, and yes, you know that the eggs are green, but is the ham green too?
I hope you understand that paragraph. That's me, riffing, after a good night's sleep. I activate the live feed and there's Cruz, fully chipper, structured, and lucid, after more than 17 hours. He's not logy and ranting like Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," which — hello? — was a movie, so the struggle of the filibustering Senator needed to feel expansively dramatic. The actor had to demonstrate his range, show his chops, have an opportunity to go big and even — if he's good enough, and Stewart was — give us a taste of the ham. But the acting required of Cruz is to act like he's exactly the same as he was at the point when he started. There's no narrative arc. This is real life. This is not fiction. This is the truth.
And Cruz is talking about truth, I hear, as I activate the live feed on my iPhone (and I'm still in bed, having slept more than 8 hours). Cruz is talking about Ayn Rand, I figure out after a few lazy moments of assuming his references to "Rand" were about Rand Paul.
Cruz is reading and doing commentary on passages from "Atlas Shrugged." One is this:
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromise is the transmitting rubber tube.It's nearly 8 o'clock, and I need to get going. I resist the rejection of moderation. I myself am a moderate. A moderate with a good night's sleep. I'm aroused by Ayn Rand's condemnation of "the man in the middle." I need to do some blogging. That's my part, and I've been doing it, in an unbroken string of days for nearly 10 years — unbroken in the sense of each and every day, but I haven't been typing nonstop as Ted Cruz has been talking nonstop. "Man in the middle" is a phrase that feels like a call to action, because it's a phrase Meade and I have used when we talk about a man we saw as a hero for sitting down in the middle of the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda, in a crowd of sign-carrying, noisy partisan protesters, inviting them to speak, one-on-one, with someone who was not in agreement with the crowd. It looked like this:
At the time — it was March 2011 — I said:
I started to imagine Wisconsinites coming back to the building every day, talking about everything, on and on, indefinitely into the future. That man who decided to hold dialogues in the center of the rotunda is a courageous man. But it isn't that hard to be as courageous as he was. In the long run, it's easier to do that than to spend your life intimidated and repressed. That man was showing us how to be free. He was there today, but you — and you and you! — could be there tomorrow, standing your ground, inviting people to talk to you, listening and going back and forth, for the sheer demonstration of the power of human dialogue and the preservation of freedom.Talking, indefinitely into the future... in the middle of a government building. That's what Ted Cruz is doing, but not in the moderate, surely-we-all-can-get-along mode. He's on one side, and he's reviling anyone in the middle. He's reading from Ayn Rand, saying that the moderate is evil, because the moderate is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist.
In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. Oh? But would you like it it in a box? Would you like it with a fox? Would you like it in a house? Would you like it with a mouse?