These last two weeks have found Georgia Republicans taking fire from all sides, from enemies as well as friends. As Icarus notes, tomorrow is going to be the beginning of the end in the latest chapter in this saga of leadership and what happens over the next fortnight will have ramifications for many years to come.
Many names have been thrown into the hat for consideration for leadership. Some deserve praise. Some deserve scorn. But what is happening now is neither a populist revolt or the French Revolution, Gold Dome style. It is thirst for simplicity in a complex world and for leadership that does not waver in the pursuit of freedom and liberty for both the individual and the economy, representatives who do not saddle up to the lobbyist feeding trough, elected officials who honor their vows and commitments to their spouse as well as to the oaths they take upon entering office.
So, why the picture of astronaut Gus Grissom?
Because he gives a perfect case-in-point of how to make a complex situation simple. Take, for example, this passage from Tom Wolfe’s book, The Right Stuff, during the early stages of the Mercury Program:
Asking Gus [Grissom] to “just say a few words” was like handing him a knife and asking him to open a main vein. But hundreds of workers are gathered in the main auditorium of the Convair plant to see Gus and the other six, and they’re beaming at them, and the Convair brass say a few words and then the astronauts are supposed to say a few words, and all at once Gus realizes it’s his turn to say something, and he is petrified. He opens his mouth and out come the words: “Well… do good work!” It’s an ironic remark, implying “… because it’s my ass that’ll be sitting on your freaking rocket.” But the workers start cheering like mad. They started cheering as if they had just heard the most moving and inspiring message of their lives: Do good work! After all, it’s little Gus’s ass on top of our rocket! They stood there for an eternity and cheered their brains out while Gus gazed blankly on them from the Pope’s balcony. Not only that, the workers—the workers, not the management but the workers!—had a flag company make up a huge banner, and they strung it up high in the main work bay, and it said: DO GOOD WORK.
That is all we seek. Those simple words, if done, can apply a cooling salve to the many problems that face Georgia.
But has there been any benefit from these last few weeks? Of course. Maybe elected officials will take pause and consider if a meeting at work can achieve any goals more effectively than drinks and dinner at a Lake Lanier lodge or any variety of other goodies. Maybe some will remember their wedding vows and this important lesson. Some that have sat quiet for years and years will now actually start to fight for the kind of limited government we seek.
We do not seek complex answers nor agree that the nuanced solution is the best. This is a serious time and the clarion call has gone out for responsible leadership. I submit that the majority caucus is in more danger than it realizes and it is now the juncture for those meeting tomorrow to decide if the status quo is sufficient or if a real leadership team is necessary to fill the breach.