Obama winning is pretty interesting, Huckabee winning doesn’t surprise me at all. (And seeing the amounts of griping over that latter fact at the usual locations — NRO, Hewitt, RedState among others — is less surprising. Entertaining, though. Very entertaining. And I admit I have to wonder what a certain Mr. Limbaugh will say tomorrow…)
No, the one thing is the use of a particular phrase among certain conservative commentators — ‘identity politics’ — as applied to the GOP, negatively. Two samples:
Mark Steyn in NROville: “I’d also disagree with Ramesh’s idea that this was a good night for Christians reaching across the aisle. It would be truer to say that for a proportion of Huck’s followers there is no aisle: he’s their kind of Christian, and all the rest – foreign policy, health care, mass transit, whatever – is details. This is identity politics of a type you don’t often see on the Republican side.”
Bryan at Hot Air: “Depressing thought of the night. There’s little room to argue that Huckabee’s win wasn’t built on identity politics — he won decisively among voters who “share his values,” and Iowa’s GOPers are 60% evangelicals. On the other side, Obama beat Clinton across the board and among women, who ought to be her core. If she gets half the women’s vote, she wins. But she didn’t.
“So identity politics played a decisive role on the GOP side, and much less of a role on the Democrat side. That’s a reversal in the way the two parties tend to think and choose their respective leaders.”
There are other samples.
So why take note of it? Easy — the sheer…blindness at play. Utter, willful blindness, willful ignorance. These are the complaints either of fools or of practitioners of self-denial.
As long as I’ve been aware of the Presidential elections — dimly in 1980, clearly in 1984 and afterwards — ‘identity politics’ associating evangelicals with the GOP has been at work. Down the line. The equation of an activist, right-wing interpretation of American Protestant Christianity with support of the GOP wasn’t something that had evolved over time for me, it was a given. I could see it everywhere I looked, every time elections drew near. I knew who Jerry Falwell was before I was ten years old, and you can believe he wasn’t pulling for the Democrats. I knew who Pat Robertson was when he ran for President and he wasn’t a Democratic Party member. I knew who Karl Rove was targeting for getting out the vote for the current president. This wasn’t unknown or subtle stuff at all.
And now there’s this…this contemptible attempt at shock and surprise from Steyn, Hot Air, others over this result. It is an insult to the collective intelligence of American citizenry for them to pretend otherwise.
This is a bed that was long made. For the moment, at least, they’re lying in it, and they can’t pretend they didn’t notice where they were before this.