In the week of Lincoln’s birthday and valentines, the minority party frontrunners are puckering up to the wrong electoral backside.
Like generals fighting the last war, they don’t realize that George Bush and Karl Rove may have worn out, at least for now, the politics of hatred and division. By any measure, in 2006 Democrats closed “the God Gap” among evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics while widening their lead elsewhere.
Still, here are Giuliani and McCain lurching rightward on the flat-earth theory that The Base is vital to winning, if not the 2008 election, at least the nomination.
Unless they believe that Sam Brownback, Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee can revitalize the disheartened Bush-Rove constituency, their contortions on social issues could be damaging them more with traditional Republicans and Independents than winning over right-wing diehards.
After eight years of poisonous polarization, it’s more than the war, it’s the ultra-partisan stupidity that started it and won’t let it stop. America is ready for something else, maybe not sweetness and light, but a little sense and civility could go a long way.