The Republican Caucus Is Full of Captain Ahabs

The New York Times' Charles M. Blow equates the Republican Party's efforts to stall President Obama's economic progress to Herman Melville's iconic revenge-seeking Captain Ahab, who engaged in a failed pursuit to slay Moby Dick.

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GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Oh.) is questioned by the media on Saturday on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In the New York Times, Charles M. Blow equates the Republican Party's efforts to stall President Obama's economic progress to Herman Melville's iconic revenge-seeking Captain Ahab, who engaged in a failed pursuit to slay Moby Dick, a great white whale. "America's national interests are subordinate to their selfish ones," he writes.

The House Republican caucus is full of Captain Ahabs, and Obama is their Moby Dick.

The president has already said he will not "negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America." 

While Speaker John Boehner, having proved unable to lead the extreme elements of his caucus, has vowed to "continue to do everything we can to repeal the president's failed health care law."

Set aside the fact that the law cannot yet be deemed a failure because its provisions are still being phased in and those that have gone into effect seem to be working.

Focus instead on the fundamental disagreement here: The president is saying that he won't negotiate over a stunt that would destroy our economy and the world's, while Republicans are saying they are willing to risk it all in order to derail him.

This is not responsible. This is not principled. This is not high-minded. This is personal and dangerous. This is an abuse of instruments of power in pursuit of reprisal.

Read Charles M. Blow's entire piece in the New York Times.

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