September 20, 2013
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Rosa Parks riding on the Montgomery Area Transit System bus.

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) certainly has a high opinion of himself. His quote in a New York Times story about how he and fellow conservatives are giving Speaker Boehner the blues because of their willingness to shut down the government rather than fully fund Obamacare was simply priceless.

“It only takes one with passion — look at Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Martin Luther King,” Yoho told the Times. “People with passion that speak up, they’ll have people follow them because they believe the same way, and smart leadership listens to that.” Seriously?

By not giving up her bus seat to a white person, Parks forced the nation to start grappling with state-sanctioned inequality that ran counter to the stirring words of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.”

By leading a shipyard strike in 1980 that openly defied communist rule in Poland by demanding rights for workers, Walesa gave birth to a national movement. Despite arrest, internment and surveillance, Walesa worked diligently to ensure workers’ rights. He would go on to serve as Poland’s president from 1990 to 1995.

By persistently pushing the federal government to do right by its African American citizens, King employed an inside-outside game that led to the end of segregation.

By insisting on defunding Obamacare, Yoho is trying to take access to affordable health care away from millions of Americans. By calling on President Obama to acquiesce to their demands, Yoho is undertaking a fool’s errand that requires the president to jettison his signature policy achievement that was even upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. And by forcing the House leadership to pursue this doomed path, Yoho is part of a minority mob of the House Republican majority that is holding hostage the full faith and credit of the United States.

Yoho is not in the same league as Parks, Walesa and King. Not even close. To insist otherwise, even alluding to it, adds “delusional” to the lunacy already on display.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.