Cruz is the Grinch of Congress

jtarica@thetribunenews.comSeptember 28, 2013 

Joe Tarica

Leave it to the GOP to give us a U.S. senator who can’t even properly interpret Dr. Seuss in attempting to make a political point.

Such was the case last week when Tea Party darling Ted Cruz took over the Senate chambers for his own personal 21-hour gabfest against the Affordable Care Act.

If the renegade from Texas is the best we can expect in the way of Republican offerings for the president next time around, we’ll be in for a doozy of a campaign come 2016.

His effort was the latest in a long line of futile Republican attempts to undo or defund President Barack Obama’s health care reform, which was passed into law, upheld by the Supreme Court and effectively endorsed by an American electorate who returned Obama to office last year.

You’d think that would be a clear enough message for your average legislator in Washington, but no.

Republicans continue to seek out new and sillier ways to try to stymie rollout of the legislation.

Which is where Cruz came in last week when he babbled for nearly an entire day and night.
The highlight of his rambling came when the hour reached bedtime for his kids at home and he chose to lead a reading of “Green Eggs and Ham,” under the presumption they were proudly watch his antics on TV. After making his way through the classic rhymes, Cruz riffed a little Seuss himself in condemning this dastardly specter of greater health care access for all.

“When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham, and they did not like Obamacare either. They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse,” he said.

That’s great, and I’m sure it sounded clever.

Except that Americans haven’t really tried health care reform yet. They’ve mostly been victim to rhetoric and scare tactics intended to poison opinion before a fair assessment can be made.

Only now, finally, after many months of work and far too much talk, are we approaching the true rollout this fall.

Yet we have people like Cruz trying to do anything they can — including blackmailing the president yet again over the debt ceiling and holding the nation’s economic health hostage — to stall and delay this legislation.

This is what is occurring in the U.S. Capitol under the guise of legitimate legislating.

And it’s gotten beyond tiresome.

So to anyone who is condemning this effort to improve health care access for millions of Americans, I would say, how do you know it won’t work until we try?

How do you know you will not like it here or there until you actually see it in operation?
So much energy, time and struggle have taken us to this point. We owe it to that effort to see where we are and what we have.

If the legislation is a colossal failure, believe it, the powers will coalesce to repeal then. If it needs work, tweaks here and there, those changes can be made.

But can’t we give it a chance?

The message of Theodor Geisel’s children’s tale is not one of incessant naysaying.

It’s one of open-mindedness, of a willingness to experience new things and broaden our tastes and thinking, to not judge without fair assessment.

Try it, you might like it.

On the brink of this experiment, it’s the least we can do.

Joe Tarica is the presentation editor for The Tribune. Reach him at jtarica or on Twitter @joetarica.

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