Ok everyone, lets get on our secret Republican Purity rings
The Defenders of Mitch Daniels and every terrible Republican Canidate ever are at it again. The latest example comes from the Daily Worst
He explained more of his thinking on the nation’s priorities in a recent interview with talk radio’s Laura Ingraham: “I would like to think that fixing it [exploding deficits and debt] and saving our kids’ future could be a unifying moment for our country and we wouldn’t stop our disagreements or our passionate belief in these other questions, we just sort of mute them for a little while, while we try to come together on the thing that menaces us all.”
And he reiterated the call for party inclusiveness in his stark economic address this month at CPAC: “Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers…Winston Churchill set aside his lifetime loathing of communism in order to fight World War II…We are at such a moment…We must be the vanguard of recovery, but we cannot do it alone…big change requires big majorities.”
Michael Gerson explained the paradox Daniels presents: “He is a uniter with an apocalyptic message, a genial Jeremiah.”
We have a lot of Mythology going on here. So lets start first with the most compelling argument made by Mitch Daniels. He evokes the vision of the “Politics ends at the shore’s edge” as a call to arms on how we should approach the fiscal problems that face our country. He calls it our own communism. However in a little less then a Generation from the start of the cold war we had left wing politicians calling for a truce with the communists and we had Richard Nixon negotiating a deal with the North Vietnamese to help him win an election. And the process went down hill from there. With the threat of global nuclear war we were not able to be of one country and one mind. And while the fiscal problems our country faces are grave threats it is -not- that grave a threat. So if we could not stay united in the face of communism, a unity that came without a “truce” on any issues, how would Mitch Daniels truce possibly work?
He evokes the Prophet Jeremiah who exposed the sins of the Kingdom of Judah. The Kingdom that made reforms from the sins of a prior king but was still lost. Within the framework of political austerity I am not sure this Mythology means what Michael Gerson thinks it means.
But the biggest Mythology of this tale “Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers…Winston Churchill set aside his lifetime loathing of communism in order to fight World War II…We are at such a moment…We must be the vanguard of recovery, but we cannot do it alone…big change requires big majorities.”
Lets talk for a moment about the Mythology of Purity using the movie the Golden Child.
In the movie the Golden Child our Hero was Eddie Murphy the street wise PI with a heart of gold. He in his heroic journey went to the land of Tibet (a land of Mystery) and was tested to see if he could be given the sacred weapon and its sacred knowledge. The Sacred Weapon had the power to murder the savior of the world or kill the destroyer. Throughout the physical challenges he faced he carried a glass of water. When he found the Dagger he found that it had flames about it. He had to drink the water to stop the flames. “This isn’t very pure” he said. “Neither are you” the Lamma replied.
The flames and the physical journey were to test to see if Eddie Murphy would use the power of the sacred weapon for ill or cowardly give it away. The Purity of the water was immaterial to his willingness to drink it to quench the flame. In this regard we see the conflict over political purity explained.
Let me evoke some one better then Eddie Murphy for a moment about fire.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
The fire has the power to burn us and injure but just mastering the fire isn’t enough to put us on the path to political and government safety. The purity of the water allows us to pass the danger of the fire. And it allows us to tame our own nature so we can use the dagger safely.
The water doesn’t have to be perfectly pure, but the purity of purpose is not symbolically in the water. It is in the Journey.
And Mitch Daniels while quite good on an ideological litmus test he does not show that water (spirit) that shows he can tame the fires and wield the scepter of state for the good. He still has some time but I don’t think its going to happen.
I don’t think he is running but if he does he may become the Prophet Jerimiah who picks up America after it becomes a fallen and broken land. I sure hope not though