There no longer lies any shame in obsession. Monomania reigns supreme in this country. Along with twerking.
Once a month the local news features sports fans who have turned entire houses into shrines to their favorite team. We all know the conspiracy guy with his bootleg DVDs and liquid limber logic. Every neighborhood has at least one cat lady. And if you protest that your neighborhood doesn’t, you may be her.
The U.S. Senate has its own cat lady, and his name is Ted Cruz. For the first nine months of his incumbency in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body, the man graduated from distressed to obsessed to a little shy of possessed. Recently we were held hostage to the focus of his idee fixe: an entire day devoted to his delirious struggle to kill the white whale; that is, repeal Obamacare.
Speaking from the floor of the Senate for 21 hours and 19 minutes, Senator Ahab singlehandedly gave the American people another reason to look forward to a government shutdown. His long and loud faux filibuster seemed mostly a way to raise his profile and money for an inevitable presidential run. Another side effect of Obama lowering the qualification bar.
Inexplicably, in the midst of his impassioned C-SPAN salvo, the junior senator from Texas stopped speaking of “Duck Dynasty,” White Castle, Christmas pig roasts and Ashton Kutcher while regaling Obama as a socialist terrorist and his own party as Nazi appeasers to read a bedtime story directed at his children back home; Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” Following which he made suppositions raising questions as to whether he fully understood the book’s complicated ramifications.
Cruz took pains to differentiate himself from the recalcitrant protagonist of the tome who wouldn’t eat green eggs and ham in a house with a mouse in the dark on a boat with a goat in the rain here and there and everywhere by saying he himself had indeed tried green eggs and ham (read Obamacare) and didn’t like it. And the American people didn’t like it either. The problem is, Obamacare hasn’t really kicked in yet.
Saying you tried it but didn’t like it is real similar to saying you didn’t enjoy Bruno Mars’ halftime show at next year’s Super Bowl. That you think Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman fell far short of the exacting standards previously set by George Clooney. That you found the church basement covered dish spread after funeral service to be underwhelming.
Cruz has managed to prove he’s confused by the space-time continuum. Of course, knowing the Republican Party, Rafael Edward Cruz has a very good chance at securing the nomination, because after all, as Dr. Seuss himself famously said, you can’t teach a Sneetch.
• Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world.