NOW Conservatives Have a Problem With Rovian Campaign Tactics?
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So the wingnuts are turning on the rats who are deserting the sinking ship. And the rats don't like it. And it's all Sarah W. Palin and John McCain's fault. Here's Peggy Noonan:
In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. Itâ€™s no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.
Noonan has been fluttering about rudeness for some time now. You'll recall that she famously blamed liberals for all this because they booed Trent Lott at a memorial rally for Paul Wellstone. Who could forget her having the unadulterated cojones to pretend to speak for the great liberal in heaven as he lectured Democrats on their vulgar behavior:
You hurt a lot of people. You didn't mean to, you meant to be Happy Warriors. But you offended and hurt and antagonized more than half the country. And you have to think about why.
Here, I think, is the reason: a dulling of the senses, a kind of despair that has led you to let politics completely take over your lives. That's the reason you treated a reflective and loving occasion as . . . well, as a big vulgar whomp-'em-stomp-'em rally with jeers and cheers and my casket as the stump from which you lambasted the foe.
This is what I feel you have to think about. You can make your life sick and small, you can fill it with poison, when you turn everything into politics. And what makes me sad is not that you used my death to get out the vote. It's not that you were cold. It's that the only way you could show any warmth was through politics.
That memorial was the triumph of politics at the expense of the personal. At the expense of what makes you human.
See, liberals were inhuman for booing Trent Lott, even as he laughed it off and carried on without even blinking. This behavior was, at the time, sold as the most despicable, disgusting form of indecent public behavior since the drawing and quartering of William Wallace.
And it was, you'll also recall, in the final weeks of a hard fought mid-term election where the Republicans were comparing war heroes to Saddam Hussein and the majority leader to Osama bin laden. No matter --- the liberals were vulgar and wanted to win too much for booing Trent Lott.