AHAB IRONS is seated in his new job as chairman of the National Reprisal Party full of charm and vigor. He is the party's first high-ranking Reprisal minority leader since the days of Sen. Ed Brooke. He is rightfully alarmed that the NRP was decisively beaten in the past presidential election and vows he will be in the vanguard of leading lamentable Reprisers out of the wilderness with a firm commitment to returning it to the inalieanable truths from which the party has strayed.
Overjoyed with his command post, Irons promises he will work to expand the party's base, lower taxes on such items as tea imports from China and, most of all, establish a safety net for falling moral values that have been sinfully neglected by the successful opposition party. Can he accomplish this tall order? "Yes, I can," he boasts with a cue from his opponents.
He is invited to speak to the National Conference of Continental Conservatives - the fractional sector of the national electorate. But he is virtually ignored by the national media as well as his own audience despite his avowed dedication to party ideals, ideas and incidental initiatives. He is further embarrassed by the convention's rousing welcome to its keynote speaker, Rash Rouserbomb, the NRP's Great White Whale who is more familiarly known back on the plantation precincts as "Big Moby D".
Rouserbomb ambles to a shaky podium and tidally lashes his inundated victims with a stunning oration orchestrated with much bobbing and weaving on a custom-made titanium pogo stick that could support the launching of a battleship. He flaps his arms fin-like in a way that energizes everyone in the hall with his unique profile as the party's powerful Great White Whale even though he has recycled his words thousands of times in various venues. Throughout the hall, delirious disciples cry out, "Moby D.! Moby D!!!" as he contains a satisfied smile. He has made great waves for a party at sea.
Ahab returns to his office in a foul mood. Facing a TV camera, he insists it is he, and not Rouserbomb, who is the party's chairman. This whale, he asserts acidly, is nothing more than a big fish in a small aquarium. When the word gets to the Great White Whale he spouts as he never has before, demanding immediate satisfaction from Ahab. Apologize, or else! Realizing the massive political error of his ways, Ahab has no choice but to kneel abjectly before Moby D now that he has been reduced to party chairman emeritus.
Exploiting his unprecedented promotion as chairman without portfolio, his ego as high as his spout, the Great White Whale decides to strike quickly with the most arrogent request in political history: He challenges a U.S. president to a one-on-one debate, a brash move that even Putin wouldn't dare suggest. Other members of the NRP take a more discretionary course and blame the chairmanship controversy on the Democrats, who have been keeping the popcorn industry in business as spectators to the show. Some in Ahab Irons' party take the spectacle a step further and warn Ahab to control his tongue or he will be out of work pronto. As one party official said: "Ahab Irons has been taught an important lesson. If he wants to remain in the NRP, he'll never again be so uppity."