— -- It seems Sen. Ted Cruz has graduated from Dr. Seuss’ "Green Eggs and Ham" to the towering words of Cicero.
The Texas Republican took to the Senate floor Thursday to criticize President Obama’s expected executive action on immigration, set to be announced at 8 p.m. tonight. But instead of using his own words, he adapted Cicero’s speech against Catiline to make his point.
“The words of Cicero, powerfully relevant 2077 years later," Cruz said.
"When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience?" he said, substituting "President Obama" for "O Catiline" in the speech's opening. "How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours swaggering about as it does now?”
Cruz continued, appropriating features of Cicero's address to fit the specifics of the immigration debate.
"Do not the nightly guards placed on the border, do not the watches posted throughout the city, does not the alarm of the people and the union of all good men and women, does not the precaution taken of assembling the Senate in this most defensible place, do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present have any effect upon you?" Cruz asked. "Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge that everyone here possesses of it?"
The speech by Cicero, delivered in 63 B.C., was meant to further humiliate Catiline, apparently attempting to seize and overthrow the Roman Republic while Cicero was a consul.
Cruz's Cicero references were a giant leap from when he read Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" during a marathon filibuster in 2013. The reading was supposedly intended to entertain his kids, who were at home watching Cruz on the Senate floor.
The late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, was also known to use Cicero quotations to enhance his arguments on the Senate floor.