It strikes me that one of the key influences contributing to the Republican distress (diminishing though it already is) with the nomination of John McCain is the Media Noise Factor.
What I mean is this: In our society the political extremes get attention disproportionate to their actual power. This is not surprising, nor is it entirely a bad thing. Listening to Rush Limbaugh or reading the Daily Kos is likely to be more entertaining (hence more commercial) than reading another middle-of-the-road David Broder thumb-sucker — no offense meant to Broder here, just an illustration.
Of course, that doesn’t mean all of us listening to Rush or clicking on Kos are agreeing with them. Far from it. We’re in it for the excitement and they’re getting the plays (and the money) in this media world. But the attention paid to their ideas and attitudes is out of proportion to reality.
This is something their supporters are likely to forget (naturally, I think – I would too) when they have to come out of their bunkers and deal with the rest of us. They think we’re RINOs and DINOs, but we’re just Americans doing our normal thing and trying to figure things out. We also happen to be in the majority, so if we’re just RINOs and DINOs, there ain’t many customer left in those big tent political parties of ours. (Look what happened when Goldwater and McGovern got nominated.)
Right now the pain of this collision seems to be on Republican side, but just wait when more of Obama’s ideas come out into the light – as I suspect is about to happen – and some of his party starts to recoil. If it doesn’t happen now, it will during the general election… redounding to the benefit of the Republicans.
If that puts the Repubs back in the White House, McCain’s detractors will get to see if he’s lying or not when he says repeatedly he now wants to build the border fence. Of course, a third possibility may be even more likely. McCain will support it, but Congress will block. That’s the real world.