The longer the government shutdown continues, the more Dr. Seuss we’re going to need.
It was Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas who initiated this Seuss-off when he recited “Green Eggs and Ham” as part of his 21-hour performance-art piece against Obamacare.
This prompted a Democratic response, which was made by U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, who held up a copy of “Fox in Socks” on the floor of the House as she quoted from it while addressing House Speaker John Boehner:
“They call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle,” she said. “Mr. Speaker, it’s time to work together to stop these beetles. I mean, stop the battle.”
The tongue-twister didn’t work, so a few days later Frankel made a second stab at decrying political gamesmanship by reading a passage from another Dr. Seuss book, “Oh! The Places You’ll Go.”
“I’m afraid that sometimes, you’ll play lonely games too,” she read. “Games you can’t win, cause you’ll play against you.”
Clearly, Frankel’s looking to incite a congressional Seussnami.
Step up, Tom Rooney. There’s plenty of Dr. Seuss rebuttal material to choose from.
If I were Rooney, I’d probably opt for the imperial Obama tack by adapting some lines from “Yertle the Turtle.”
In the story, Yertle sits high on a stack of other turtles, until he is brought down to earth by a “lowly turtle named Mack” who questions Yertle’s authority.
“And that plain little lad got a bit mad. And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing,” Rooney could read. “He burped! And his burp shook the throne of the king!”
To score more points with his colleagues, Rooney might want to change the word “burped” to “tried to visit the World War II memorial.”
This inflammatory use of Dr. Seuss would invite U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy to hit the children’s section of the library for a suitable defense of Obamacare.
He won’t go wrong with “Horton Hears a Who,” a story about a sensitive elephant who can hear the voices of the tiny Who people.
“Then he heard it again, just a very faint yelp,” Murphy could read. “As if some tiny person were calling for help.”
Oh, if only there were elephants in the Republican Party that could hear the tiny voices of the little people calling for help in getting access to affordable health care, Murphy would add.
All this would be too irresistible for Sen. Marco Rubio, who could take to the floor with a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.” It’s a story about Bartholomew, a page for the delusional King Derwin. The king is so tired of rain, snow, sunshine and fog, that he commands his magicians to invent a new form of precipitation.
Bartholomew doesn’t think this is a good idea. But the king presses ahead with his plan.
The green gluey droplets invented are called “oobleck.”
“Oh, that beautiful oobleck. And it’s mine, all mine!” Rubio could read, reciting the words of the king.
When the oobleck rains from the sky, it has the unintended consequence of making everything it falls on being stuck in its place. And the only way for it to disappear is for the king to apologize.
“You’re right! It is all my fault! And I am sorry! Oh, Bartholomew, I’m awfully, awfully sorry!” Rubio would read, reciting the king’s words again.
The oobleck as the metaphor for Obamacare would probably command a news cycle.
But by then Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke will need to step in and implore Congress to fund the government again and raise the debt ceiling before it puts America in default on its loans.
And to impress Congress about the consequences of that default, Bernanke could read from “The Cat in the Hat.”
“And this mess is so big. And so deep and so tall,” he would read. “We cannot pick it up. There is no way at all!”
Frank Cerabino writes for The Palm Beach Post.