Thursday, August 28, 2008

On Columns and Other Reflections

On the Greek Temple thing, Ben Smith helpfully reminds us that the Bush '04 set also had columns. I admit my premature freakout.

Awhile back, I posted THIS George Packer essay on what he hoped was the fall of modern American Conservatism. These lines struck me:



Yet the polarization of America, which we now call the “culture wars,” has been dissipating for a long time. Because we can’t anticipate what ideas and language will dominate the next cycle of American politics, the previous era’s key words—“√©lite,” “mainstream,” “real,” “values,” “patriotic,” “snob,” “liberal”—seem as potent as ever. Indeed, they have shown up in the current campaign: North Carolina and Mississippi Republicans have produced ads linking local Democrats to Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor. The right-wing group Citizens United has said that it will run ads portraying Obama as yet another “limousine liberal.” But these are the spasms of nerve endings in an organism that’s brain-dead.
But are ALL the nerve endings dead? John McCain has been determined to prove Packer wrong.


To be fair, his ad tonight IS all class:


That said, he's run a post-Nixon conservative campaign: define your opponent as someone you cannot trust and who's "not like you and me." To an extent, it's worked.

All of which makes me ponder if this is another case of pundits declaring the "end of an era" prematurely. They no doubt declared Goldwater conservatism stillborn in '64. We now know it wasn't. Let's just wait folks.

Finally, Day 3 in Denver was MUCH better. Sen. Obama speaks in 2 hrs.

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