Purity politics have deep roots in American history, and we ought to look back much further than November to understand the real attractions, and the equally real pitfalls, of purism. It's a tension that dates back to America's founding, and beyond.
Cato didn't have Caesar's military skill, or Cicero's eloquence, or Pompey's boyish good looks. But he had something even more formidable: a determination to hold himself, and those around him, to an insanely high standard.
How did the legend of a Roman who walked the halls of his Senate eighteen hundred years before America was born speak so powerfully through the ages? And why did Washington, in the darkest moment of his career, choose Cato to lift the spirits of his army? Who was Cato?
The most likely outcome of a Koch takeover is that Cato would be eviscerated, the brand would be destroyed and the Kochs would take over an empty shell -- in short, the outcome would be a catastrophe, and even the winners would gain nothing.