Is the handwriting on the wall for the tea party movement in Michigan?
The saying “the handwriting is on the wall” has as its source an incident in 539 BC, recorded for posterity in Daniel 5, in which King Belshazzar of Babylon is plainly told that he has been weighed in the divine balance and found wanting, that the days of both his kingdom and his life have been numbered and brought to an end, and that his empire will be divided between the Medes and Persians then advancing on the city. The concept survives in modern English idiomology to imply that circumstances are such for a person or organization that it is now clear that their ultimate failure is to be expected, or at best will be effectively impossible to avert.
Given the thorough pasting that the constitutionalist insurgency endured in Michigan last month, as a statewide aggregate, it wasn’t exactly a leap for reporters and pundits (likely working from a coordinated set of talking points courtesy of the Michigan Republican Party old guard) to insert dramatic prophecies of impending doom for the tea party movement into their headlines and opinion pieces. David’s missive and Jason’s observation notwithstanding, I don’t think it unreasonable to ask the question: Given the significant events of last August, let alone the past 5-1/2 years, is the tea party movement on the verge of becoming just another footnote in Michigan political history?
March 15th, 2016 appears to be the likely date of the Michigan Republican presidential primary in the next election. The Michigan Republican Party’s Policy Committee approved the date, which is the earliest a primary can be held without losing delegates to the Republican National Convention.
If a candidate wins over 50-percent of the statewide vote, he or she will be awarded all of Michigan’s delegates. If the winner has less than that threshold, the delegates will be split up based on the vote.
Which, initially, left me a bit at a loss for words. Apparently, someone was praying that this wasn’t going to get noticed. Of course, that raised the question of “why” . . . and a cursory review of the details provides us with a quite predictable answer.
When it comes to campaign finance, the tea party movement just doesn’t get it
“You can’t save the world if you can’t pay the rent.” – Morton Blackwell
It’s always an interesting academic exercise to attempt to calculate what Judas Iscariot’s 30 pieces of silver would have been worth in contemporary American currency. Depending upon whose calculations you use (and what assumptions they started with), estimates have varied from a few “benjamins” to a quarter-million “eisenhowers.” Almost all of the speculation, however, misses the point. And if you’re wondering how Judas’ epic infamy is connected to Mr. Blackwell’s wisdom, well, we’ll discuss that after the break.
Why would a pro-life party embrace a culture of death?
The normal course of action for a pandemic is to mobilize medical resources in order to learn, as quickly as possible, as much as can be learned about the disease, specifically including source of infection and method of transmission. Until this information is learned, the victims are sometimes isolated from the rest of society as a reliable way to contain the outbreak, until either a cure or vaccine is developed. Even if a cure or vaccine isn’t yet available, the knowledge regarding infection source and transmission is made public as soon as it’s known, and widely circulated, so that others who aren’t infected can take appropriate precautions.
But what happens when both the principal source of infection and the principal method of transmission for a global pandemic are known to be directly linked to a lifestyle choice that is a political hot-button issue? Does elected leadership still speak the truth, so that those at risk can know the facts and adjust their lifestyle accordingly, or do they put reelection concerns above all else, bury their heads in the sand, and publicly chastise any of their own who dare speak the truth in public on the record?
My pastor, when he’s discussing contemporary culture from either the sanctuary pulpit or the classroom lectern, likes to refer to what he calls, “itching ear disorder.” The primary Scripture reference is 2 Timothy 4:3-4, referring to a time when people will have no further interest in the truth, and won’t tolerate listening to anything that contradicts their philosophical predispositions. As a student of Scripture, I can say with some certainty that the prophets and apostles were well acquainted with this disorder. Hosea even wrote about a time when hostility against the truth would become so great that those who insist on speaking it would be considered fools and maniacs. According to a disputed George Orwell quote (“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”), “itching ear disorder” isn’t exactly an unusual condition in the human experience.
And this brings us to the current philosophical skirmish involving Michigan’s Republican National Committeeman, which involves the latest escalation by some unsavory elements within the Michigan Republican Party, who seem to be in a desperate quest to reclaim lost relevance.