Friday, February 01, 2008

"There's Somethin' Happenin' Here..." (Part II)

Almost every evening, ABC's "Nightline" covers the presidential race.

Journalists love the presidential primaries, because they are real news that most everybody but the deepest cynics (and they're watching, too) are interested in.

An easy sell.

The President of the United States plays are a large role in all our lives and during the quadrennial sweepstakes we think of ourselves as a united country when, let's face it, the rest of the time we're just in the way of each other's ambition.

True, the contests are disparate, held in distinct states. This week Iowa, next week New Hampshire, and after that South Carolina...places that don't generate headlines on most days, but where they are read perpetually.

Somehow out from all of this arises a national consensus and, in recent cycles, a strong counter-consensus that sets the tone for who we are and the battles that will occupy what has been two Americas for quite some time.

Sometimes the result is false representation, a burp at the end of a big meal. Remember the hoopla over the Christian, "values" voters...the big trend for the future?

Off the radar.

That's what today's piece is about. John McCain, a marginalized Rush Limbaugh and a diminished conservative movement.

Sure, highwayscribery's stock in trade is parsing Democratic sentiments and prospects, but McCain's odd surfacing as frontrunner of the GOP is somehow a part of the same thing.

Remember Huckabee? He has the evangelical vote in his pocket and that might be a ticket to the vice presidency...and little else.

highwayscribery has always likened McCain's career to that of the oldest profession, selling his influence to the interest that best advances his interest, passing it off as bipartisanship, and the country be damned.

But conservatives are apoplectic. Ann Coulter said on Fox News she'd vote for Hillary Clinton before the Vietnam vet.

What's going on here?

Simple. The country has turned left.

The bad news, of course, is that's because everyone's scared to death and know full well we've got a class of rich folks deep in number and pockets, and the contrast grates. Foreclosure as a daily story is, well, a bad story. Gas is up and whatever goods it takes gas to transport has gone in the same direction.

Which is to say, everything.

And if you've been purchasing all that pap about Iraq being replaced by the economy as the top concern of voters, think about how this much money, spent in Iraq might effect your economy.

All of this has rendered the fabled conservative forces of these past 20 years as relevant to the mainstream as Jesse Jackson circa 1984; just powerful enough to pull his party apart.

And a party in parts is a party apart.

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