21 hours and 19 minutes is a long time to do anything. Having the attention span of a flea like so many members of my generation, I tend to lose interest in anything after about half an hour. In fact, I can’t name one thing in the world I would be able to do for that long without at least a brief breather.
I guess that’s why I’ll never be a congressman.
For those who have somehow managed to avoid TV, radio, the internet, newspapers, magazines, conversations with people, or any other way people tend to get news, recently the government has created something called “The Affordable Care Act.” This act is designed to provide healthcare to more Americans than previously had access to it.
Like anything else that is proposed in the government, this has divided people. One group hates this act and calls it the worst thing that has ever happened to America. The other group says it’s one of the best things to ever happen to America. Both sides have very sound arguments, the opposing saying that this will prevent real healthcare reform with the other side saying it IS healthcare reform.
This is where Ted Cruz comes in.
As the Senate was set to vote on a provision defunding this act, Cruz became concerned that this law made it possible for his mortal enemies, the Democrats, to go ahead and pass the provision without leaving the language in it that took away the funding for the Affordable Care Act. So, to keep this from happening, Cruz did what any rational adult human would do.
He spoke and spoke and spoke and spoke. He spoke for hours. He spoke nonstop for almost 21 and a half hours for the sole purpose of not allowing anyone else to speak.
You might be saying “Hey! Could Cruz really talk about this one very specific government provision for that long? It seems like he would run out of things to say about it!” You would be very correct. Cruz killed time reading “Green Eggs and Ham,” did an impression of Darth Vader, quoted “Duck Dynasty” and that modern-day sage Ashton Kutcher amongst other things. I assume these were all done at separate times, though hearing Cruz do an impression of Ashton Kutcher reading “Green Eggs and Ham” as Darth Vader would have been the best moment C-Span has ever had.
Of course seeing a person talk for that long is bound to bring up some questions. The most pressing question is how did Cruz go that long without going to the bathroom? While at work for 8.5 hours today, I went to the bathroom three times. Cruz must have gone to the bathroom somewhere. Was he wearing a diaper? Did he have an empty Gatorade bottle hidden somewhere that he made use of? Was there an aide that had the unfortunate job of emptying his urine bottle? Cruz could be an alien life form that lacks a traditional bladder, I guess. Maybe he didn’t drink any water, purposefully dehydrating himself for this specific event. Of course, that would leave him with a dry throat, something you definitely don’t want when yammering on for 21 hours.
More importantly, though, could this tactic be employed in everyday life? Let’s say it’s a normal evening at my house.
“Nathan,” my wife would say. “Could you do me a favor?”
Then I would proceed to talk nonstop until she left. I think it would stop a lot of fights. I mean, how could she be mad? I’m just using parliamentary procedures! I’m pretty sure that even when she eventually divorced me, the judge would side with me. If it works for congress, no divorce court could argue with it.
I do think Cruz deserves some commendations for his choice of Green Eggs and Ham. I’m sure that at least one senator left that session thinking “Maybe I should try new foods. Sam-I-Am makes a compelling argument for trying new things, though I would still be very hesitant to eat anything with a mouse.” Still, though, there are other lessons he could have taught them. Maybe he should have read some Aesop’s fables. Those are full of life lessons.
I would bet it’s incredibly difficult to find enough to talk about when filibustering. I mean, you’ve got to be running dry around hour 5. Just to make things a bit easier for the next filibuster, I went ahead and wrote a nice patriotic story to be read:
Nathan, The Boy Who Loved America
There once a boy named Nathan. Nathan grew up in America and thought it sure was a swell place to live.
“I LOVE America!” he would say before quoting the Pledge of Allegiance. When asked what his favorite color was, he would say he had three: red, white, and blue.
As that boy grew older and bigger, though, he began to hear people saying bad things about America.
“Why are they saying all of those things? Don’t we live in the greatest country ever created?” he asked. He was puzzled.
Still he would hear people say things about how ineffective the current government was. They would talk about how fat and lazy the country had become and how children in America were poorly undereducated. “You’re stupid for liking America,” they would say.
Finally, Nathan had enough.
“America isn’t just a country or a government,” said Nathan. “America is apple pie and baseball. America is a can-do attitude. When things are rough, Americans don’t give up. We just roll our sleeves up and get to work. Sure, we may not be perfect, but darn it, we’re trying!”
Then Nathan saw the national debt and learned about party politics. And he cried. A lot.
- Watch: Ted Cruz’ Filibuster Filled With Green Eggs and Ham, Ashton Kutcher (swampland.time.com)
- Here Is Ted Cruz Doing A Darth Vader Impression On The Senate Floor (businessinsider.com)
- McCaskill: Cruz Doesn’t Understand The Moral Of ‘Green Eggs And Ham’ (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Watch Ted Cruz read ‘Green Eggs and Ham,’ plus four more marathon speech highlights (blogs.marketwatch.com)
- Ted Cruz does Darth Vader impersonation from Senate floor (bizpacreview.com)
- Cruz critics call ‘Green Eggs’ reading rotten (nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com)
- McCaskill: The moral of ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ was lost on Ted Cruz (rawstory.com)
- Ted Cruz Should Choose His Bedtime Stories More Carefully (newsy.com)
- Sen. Ted Cruz imitated Darth Vader, read Green Eggs and Ham (voices.suntimes.com)
- All the Pop Culture References Ted Cruz Made in His Faux Filibuster (theatlanticwire.com)