Grover Norquist’s ‘impure thoughts’: Or, how he stopped worrying and became ‘Dr. Strangelove’s’ Jack D. Ripper

In the great Kubrick satire, co-written with Terry Southern to glorious black humor effect, General Jack D. Ripper (a delusional, up-against-the-wall rightwing nutjob) goes on and on about commie “pre-versions” to “sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.” There was not a little of that sexual paranoia and terror in Grover Norquist’s official response to the Republican leaders who publicly broke with Norquist’s No Tax Pledge.

“No pledge taker has voted for a tax increase. You’ve had some people discussing impure thoughts on national television,” said Norquist on CNN.

One almost expected Norquist to launch into Jack D. Ripper’s various paranoid communist conspiracy theories, but not before pouring himself some grain alcohol with pure, unadulterated rainwater, and stating, “I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

Below is the relevant dialogue between General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (played by Peter Sellers). It bears a striking resemblance to Norquist’s “impure thoughts.”

General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: [very nervous] Lord, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper: You know when fluoridation first began?
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: I… no, no. I don’t, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, Jack, Jack, listen… tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first… become… well, develop this theory?
General Jack D. Ripper: [somewhat embarassed] Well, I, uh… I… I… first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue… a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I… I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh… women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh… I do not avoid women, Mandrake.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No.
General Jack D. Ripper: But I… I do deny them my essence.

Impure thoughts. Deny them my essence. Fluoridation. Children’s ice cream. Foreign substance. Precious bodily fluids. Profound sense of fatigue. Impure thoughts. Loss of essence. Precious bodily fluids. Life essence.

Mandrake… the Redcoats are coming!