December 7, 2010

Proxy war...

Assuming you are not sick of the whole subject of Sarah Palin, I recommend this piece by Timothy Dalrymple, Palin Enragement Syndrome.

...And this is enough to illustrate the point: much of the opposition to Palin is not political. It is deeply and thoroughly cultural. Sarah Palin is Miss Jesusland, the living emblem and foremost representative of an America that progressive elites had hoped had been swept into the dustbin of history. One definition of culture is "the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group." Palin represents the values, tastes, and institutions, the attitudes and behaviors, that are shared by one American sub-culture and despised by another. Hugh Hewitt had it right over a year ago, when he said that Palin is "the opposite of every choice that lefty elites have ever made . . . the antithesis of everything that liberal urban elites are."...

We hear a lot about how Sarah can't win in 2012 because she is "too polarizing" and doesn't appeal to independents and moderates. There's a lot of truth in that, and if this were 1996 and the Dem was a Bill Clinton, I'd tend to agree. But people seem to forget that the Republican in 2012 is going to be running against an equally polarizing figure. Obama faked being moderate in 2008, but that won't work twice.

Obama already stands revealed as very much a man of the Left. And Sarah won't be pulling her punches like McCain did. She's a fighter. She would force reluctant Americans to face the implications of Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.

The choices below will be stark on both sides, if Palin runs. You could substitute "Barak Obama" for Palin in this paragraph and it would be just as accurate....

...In a very peculiar sort of way, then, Sarah Palin herself has become the latest contested territory in America's ongoing culture war. The fight over Sarah Palin is a proxy battle over cultural issues and over the meaning of America: not only Democrats and Republicans but low culture versus high culture, conservative Christianity versus progressive religion, pro-life versus pro-choice, traditional family versus modern family, rural versus urban, the wisdom and goodness of the people versus the technocracy of the elite. It's a proxy battle over which culture -- which set of values, attitudes, and behaviors -- ought to pervade and guide our nation and its government...

So, if it's a matter of clear choices between the above possibilities, well, who's got the numbers? Who wins?

* Update: Of course the above is probably a good argument for a non-threatening moderate Republican candidate. At least in purely horse-race terms. But it would be a mistake. From the moment she walked onstage in 2008, that race was really between Palin and Obama. But there was no way they could come to grips with each other during the campaign.

The shootout at the OK Corral has got to happen. In 2012. Anything else would be like reading a thriller, and finding that the last chapter has been ripped out, and we will never know how the story ends.

Posted by John Weidner at December 7, 2010 7:14 AM
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