Friday, July 27, 2018
Captain Ahab Aims Harpoons at Trump’s Tweets
The New York Times reports that special counsel Robert Mueller “is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former FBI director James B. Comey.” The Old Gray Lady did not divulge whether the special counsel also seeks the names of books checked out on the president’s library card. As far as fishing expeditions go, this one evokes one such adventure told 167 years ago — and still checked out of libraries today.
“But shall this crazed old man be tamely suffered to drag a whole ship’s company down to doom with him?” No Starbuck sails on the Badship Bob Mueller. Ahab fixates on the whale and loses sight of the mandate of his mission, the collateral damage that his monomania unleashes, and, ultimately, reality itself. The 140-characters-or-less presidential prose strikes as somewhat less esoteric and metaphorical than Moby-Dick. Do literary offenses amount to legal ones? They do when zealous prosecutors cannot find real crimes. The New York Times notes in its report, “Prosecutors who lack one slam-dunk piece of evidence in obstruction cases often search for a larger pattern of behavior, legal experts said.”
To produce a mighty book, Herman Melville explains, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it. Robert Mueller, who couldn’t convict Hells Angels and tried to frame Steven Hatfill as a domestic terrorist, now tries to write a mighty book with Donald Trump as his Moby Dick. This one figures to end for Ahab the same way the first one did.
Beware of fishing expeditions. You might catch something; monomania more likely than Moby Dick. They tend to hook the fisherman more often than the fish. But the man attached to one end of the line never sees it that way. - READ MORE