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Truce? I’ll Pass

John on February 13, 2008 at 11:02 am

Truce is the new buzzword over at NRO where the editors have called the pro-McCain and anti-McCain forces to settle down and get serious:

Conservatives and McCain should neither pretend that we have no differences nor obsess about those differences. We should instead work on the common task of building a center-right majority in this election year and future ones, each appreciating that the other will play a different role in that task. So we ask the senator, and his conservative supporters and critics: Any takers?

Sorry, but I’ll pass. I can’t see that it would matter anyway.

Obama has been called a messiah by many of his critics, but it’s actually worse than that. A messiah, after all, comes from a specific tradition and fulfills some specific prophecies. In short, he has expectations to meet and standards to uphold. Obama is too fuzzy to be a messaih. In reality, he is an archetype, a symbol, an image being propelled by a collective unconscious fantasy about “change.”

If you think about it, it’s very convenient that Obama barely has a message of his own. It would only be overwhelmed by the fevered hopes and dreams of his supporters anyway. He is a symbol. A place to project one’s own best hopes. You can discredit a messiah, but you can’t stop a symbol. It’s like wrestling imaginary jello.

As for McCain, his failings are a bit more down to earth. He triumphed in the states Democrats own in the general election. The fact that he has support in New York and California counts for zero in the real world. More significantly, he has no support in the South which is critical for Republicans to win elections.

The irony is this. All the folks who talked about Huckabee’s Christian identity politics (or Obama’s black identity politics for that matter) don’t realize where we are. We have an older, secular, moderate nominee favored primarily by older, secular, moderate members of the Republican party (George Will call your office). Identity politics triumphed!

And having finally purged the party of religious influence, the moderates retire to their winter villas (or wherever) and celebrate with a glass of chardonnay. Meanwhile, the real election has just begun and there’s nothing like a hanging to focus the mind. It’s just now dawning on them that McCain’s triumph in the primaries may be a Pyhrric victory.

So apologies to John McCain who really is a national hero and a good man, but as always the triumph of the moderates precedes the failure of the party. Moderate Republican identity politics are no match for archetypal change and VP Huckabee isn’t going to make a difference in that equation.

Here’s my advice to the moderates who are suddenly looking to cozy up to evangelicals in an effort to cover their electoral backsides: Save the rest of that bottle for November, fellahs. You’re going to need it.

Addendum: For a really worrisome take on what to expect from the coming Obama win, check this article:

Asteroids and nuclear bombs—that’s what this nation can expect from an Obama White House.

[HT: Hot Air]

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Category: Politics |

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