November 22, 2010

The power of symbolism...

I recommend—you've probably already seen it—this piece on Governor Christie, Conservatives' Serious—and Sudden—Infatuation With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — New York Magazine.

HOWEVAH, I really must point to this morsel of gratuitous Palin-bashing, as a fascinating example of the mysterious currents running under the surface of political life right now...

...Less than a year into his tenure, Christie is no longer just a popular governor; he has become a national Republican star. His focus on fiscal issues and his reluctance to wade into the culture wars—during his gubernatorial campaign, he declined Palin's offer to stump for him—have endeared him to members of the GOP's sane wing. "The breakthrough he's scoring in New Jersey is hugely promising," says David Frum, a conservative writer who fears that the Republican Party is being swallowed by the tea party. At the same time, Christie's combativeness has made him a popular figure with the tea party in a way that someone like Indiana governor Mitch Daniels—who's fought some of the same fiscal battles in his state but with the mien of an accountant—can only dream of. More than anything, Christie fills the longing, currently felt in all corners of the GOP (and beyond), for a stern taskmaster. "People just want to be treated like adults," Christie says. "They just want to be told the truth. They know we're in tough times, and they're willing to sacrifice. But they want shared sacrifice."...

What boggles my brain is that Governor Palin has never been a "culture warrior." She has never campaigned or governed on culture issues. She is, obviously, very pro-life, but as a mayor and a governor she never did much about it. Nor did her Vice-Presidential campaign have any "social values" angle. She kept trying to talk about "fiscal issues" and energy issues like drilling in ANWR, and all that a certain sort of person could hear was abortionabortionabortion.

Well, that's the power of symbolism. Because she is, of course, symbolically the strongest pro-life voice on earth, after the Holy Father. To campaign for Vice-President of the US with a Downs Syndrome child in her arms is symbolically more powerful than anything she could do in a lifetime of campaigning and talking.

And boy does she make a certain sort of person squirm! Ha ha. Poor David Frum.

And actually the tea parties are not "culture warriors" either. They are all about overweening Federal government, about taxes, spending, etc. Yet again, the Frumblians see the tea parties, and something makes them see... what? I'd say something they've got a guilty conscience about...

Posted by John Weidner at November 22, 2010 7:31 PM
Weblog by John Weidner