Ted Cruz

Should Ted Cruz Have Read From Dr. Seuss's Vile Anti-Japanese Work Rather Than Green Eggs & Ham?

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Among the many silly reactions to Sen. Ted Cruz's mega-speech against Obamacare, the silliest one is found at Politico. As you may recall, the Texas Republican at some point read Green Eggs & Ham from the floor of the Senate as a way of saying hello to his young daughters.

Politico sought out some experts who assured Politico that Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Geisel, would have hated Ted Cruz as a matter of principle.

"Not only would he be offended at the misuse of 'Green Eggs and Ham,' but he'd be offended at almost everything that Ted Cruz stands for, which is to remove the safety net from poor people, poor and vulnerable people, he's clearly more power hungry than he is compassionate and he's a bully," said Dr. Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College….

"Ted Cruz is a Dr. Seuss character…he is this kind of cartoon character who sort of parodies his own behavior. You could imagine him as being in a Dr. Seuss book without really changing much about him, he's so outlandish," said Phil Nel, a Seuss scholar and professor of children's literature at Kansas State University.

"Seuss was a liberal Democrat and he would not have much patience for people like Mr. Cruz," Nel said.

So experts agree that Dr. Seuss would have thought Ted Cruz was a d-bag, that Seuss was "a liberal Democrat" and that, in truth, GE&H is all about trying something before rejecting it.

All true, all true. But as long as we're using the good doctor as a character witness, let's not forget Seuss's particularly nasty contributions to the war effort during World War II. As a good "liberal Democrat" and FDR fanboy, Seuss was particularly big on interning citizens of Japanese-American descent. And that he liked to draw them with buckteeth and round glasses—just like Tojo had!—even as he drew cartoons against other forms of racial prejudice (read Dr. Seuss Goes to War for more on the topic).

To his credit, Seuss apologized after the war for engaging in racist hysteria. Horton Hears a Who is widely read as an apology for his role in stoking anti-Japanese sentiments and his story about "the Sneetches" is taught in the Southern Poverty Law Center's "teaching tolerance" curriculum.

But about the only thing sillier than Ted Cruz reading to his kids during a nearly day-long political speech is Politico's invocation of "experts" to slag Cruz for same.