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When Fiction Becomes Reality

The Affordable Care Act, which the Tea Party Republicans named ObamaCare, is law, is so popular that at its opening last week it overwhelmed the system with some 8 million people looking for coverage. It had some glitches but is up and running. The glitches are fewer. The program is doing well. More and more are signing up and the people signing up seem pleased.

Meanwhile, the Republican Tea Party, led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, remains puzzled and disoriented and delirious and berserk and weird and infantile and enraged because the frame-up is not working, the blackmail has fallen apart, and the swaggering bullying is no longer a scare tactic the Democrats pay any attention to.

This brings to mind Captain Ahab’s dictum in “Moby Dick”—“I don’t give reasons. I give orders!” The perfect cry of the Tea Party Republican leaders.

Mr. Cruz, why do you keep fighting ObamaCare? “I don’t give reasons. I give orders!”

Mr. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, why won’t you get your Republican caucus to end this shutdown that is hurting so many Americans and pass a continuing resolution without any demands? “I don’t give reasons. I give orders!”

Mr. Minority Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, why don’t you get your fellow Republicans in the Senate and the House who keep endlessly trying to shame and defeat President Obama with these irresponsible tactics, why don’t you get them to act more reasonable and intelligent and statesmanlike and cooperate? “I don’t give reasons. I give orders!”

And so it goes. Captain Ahab, a maniacal man obsessed with revenge, channels these Republican leaders as they keep trying to bring down Moby ObamaCare Dick with their ineffective harpoons and their little boat of miscreant House and Senate followers.

They have tied themselves to the thing with such ferocious anger that it is now in danger of taking them under with their knotted ropes and broken spears and flailing sailors flapping in the wind.

It is an old story of stubborn ego and brute retaliation unwilling to listen to reason as it lashes about hurting everyone around it.

Captain Ahab, with all of his bluster and anger, did not end well, while Moby Dick sailed off to live another day.

True story. Well, true enough, to be a good warning.

© 2013 Timothy Moody

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