In 1996, in the midst of a strong economy, the U.S. re-elected a president who’s personal character had been a topic of conversation (not always polite) since he first appeared on the national radar. The media and cultural mantra then could be summarized as “I don’t care if he’s a good person as long as he does a good job.” The economy was doing well and those who took issue with the president’s behavior were lectured by the elites that Americans were more concerned about their self-interest than in being self-righteous.
Eight years later a president with marginal approval ratings, who was managing both an underperforming economy and what was frequently portrayed as an unpopular war, and who was as venomously despised by the left as his predecessor had been by the right, was reelected with majorities of both the popular and electoral vote. Some explanations for this unlikely scenario focused on the significant number of voters who said “moral values” or just plain “values” were what motivated their voting.
Not surprisingly, some of those out of power have been trying to repackage their memes in “value” oriented terms, confident (or at least hopeful) that their recent failures were merely a matter of poor communication and not a faulty philosophy. Others on that side, however, shout “Theocracy, booga booga!” as if this were a nation of vampires horrified at the sight of a crucifix. Yet their own One True Faith compels them to react to judicial nominees in the same way the Taliban greeted reliefs of Buddha.
Or perhaps these are the vampires, fleeing the dawn and being cornered in a crypt – be it the Senate Cloak Room or the faculty lounge at a University. Hissing at the rabble that have pursued them, they draw themselves up in as fierce a manner as can be mustered to demand imperiously that no one touch that window shade.
They know the day must have its turn, but if they can hold out long enough then night, too, will again have its way.