As this drags out, many more will fall, perhaps both inside and outside the KMT, before any resolution is achieved.
For many in the public, the veil that once cloaked Ma’s visage is finally being lifted and his true character is being revealed.
Despite whatever nostalgic reasons Ma may have in wanting to unify Taiwan with China, he is neither a Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) nor a Mao Zedong (毛澤東). Even if he were, he lives in different times, in a different place and with different circumstances. He is not in China; he is in Taiwan, a democracy where Maoist tactics will not work and Chiang’s militarism eventually failed.
To make a more contemporary comparison, Wang is not former Chinese Communist Party secretary of Chongqing Bo Xilai (薄熙來) and his guilt, if any, cannot be dispensed of in the same way as was that of Bo.
There will be plenty of metaphors and examples to illustrate Ma’s current position as this plays out and as he contemplates both what chances he has for a reputable legacy and what he can make of a “diminished thing.”
In William Shakespeare’s play Richard III, King Richard, after having dispatched several of his enemies, finds himself on the Bosworth battlefield bereft of allies. He then utters the well-known line: “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.”
For Ma, that line seems not only ironic, but also ludicrous.
Jerome Keating is a writer based in Taipei.