The big theme of this election is identity politics. Whether the voters is a woman, African-American, or Evangelical, it is automatically assumed that the voter will vote for the candidate that matches their minority profile. (we've mentioned it here and here)
But only some of these assumptions are somewhat true. As with any generalization, these broad brush strokes miss many of the other factors that play into a voters decision for whom to vote.
African-American voters in this election will tend to vote for Barack Hussein Obama to a greater degree than women will for Hillary Rodham Clinton or Evangelicals will for Mike Huckabee. MSM focuses many of their articles on the supposed breakup of the conservative coaltion less because it is an actual reality than because it is what they see in their own party of choice. If there is this much discontent and dissension in the Democratic party, then there must be the same thing going on with the Republicans. And even if it's not, they will play up any little bit of drama they can because, well, they can't afford to lose another Presidential election.
This is the same reason they play up an overblown division between the Republican presidential candidates. It is no secret that Mitt Romney is not John McCain's favorite person. Supposedly Mitt forgot to call McCain after his win in New Hampshire, or something. You'd think this was the party of teenage girls. It's also worth noticing that supposedly the "ill will" was precipitated by Mitt's money. This is taking populist class warfare to a whole new level. Now, not only do we have John Edwards "two America's," but we also have the New York Time's "two Republican parties." Right.
With the Democratic parties propaganda machine, er, the New York Times, even if there is no smoke, there's still a fire. And if they can report that money or religion or whatever is splitting Republicans, they will.
What they forget (and this is where we get back to indentity politics) is that most Republicans are not just social conservatives or fiscal conservatives or foreign policy hawks. Many, if not most, fit more than one of these categories. We, for example, fit all three. That said, when it comes time to vote, people will naturally gravitate to the party that answers the call of their highest order political priorities.
Peggy Noonan may be right; George W. Bush may have frayed the Reagan coalition. At the very least, they were disillusioned during the 2006 Congressional elections. But this does not mean that those principles ceased being important or that they wont turn out when they find a conservative candidate strong fiscally, socially and on social policy.
John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney are all capable of rallying these three groups. On one or more issues, they may have less appeal than another of the candidates or conservative pundits would like, but by and large they will be able to do what is necessary to appeal to those voters--especially when matched up against Hillary or Barack.
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