Bob Franken

Antagonism Realism

March 28, 2008
Antagonism Realism (Bob Franken)
@ 9:05 am

Have you noticed that Mitt Romney is John McCain’s new best buddy? That might overstate things just a tiny bit, but there they are, campaigning together — or at least fundraising together.

It seemed it was just yesterday that the two made no secret of the fact they considered each other pond scum. As we know, McCain won that dissing match, but now he needs money. Romney has friends with money, particularly in the Mormon West. Mitt? He seems to have decided that “Vice President Romney” has a nice ring to it. New shared goals overcome old animosities every time.

Republicans though they may be, McCain and Romney are actually saying a lot about the Democratic Party.

There is much hand-wringing by Democrats these days over how the intense Clinton-Obama battle might cause such hard feelings that the party might be torn asunder, or something like that. There are dire warnings it might be unable to get its act together in the general election if they continue their nasty fight in the primaries.

Really — isn’t that a bit melodramatic?

Like John McCain, surely the Democratic winner, even after a bloody battle for the nomination, has every reason to expect that the entire party will rally around its common purpose, which is to drive the Republicans out of Washington. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Or whatever.

Any Democrat who is so bent out of shape that he or she threatens not to back the party’s standard-bearer is simply being petulant. They’re acting like Ann Coulter or the other conservatives who say they’re going to bail on McCain.

They’re also just as full of it. This election is more about being against someone than about being for anyone. Democrats and Republicans alike are horrified by the thought the other side would win. That’s the kind of fear that can motivate all the true disbelievers to rally around a candidate, combine resources and set the old grievances aside for another day. Grudges can always be settled for later, once the common enemy is defeated.

Nothing covers up bruised feelings like expedience. Is that heavy or what? Actually, it’s just politics.

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