From Andrew Sullivan on the all too predictable message arc of the John McCain campaign:
They really played the arugula card? For all McCain’s personal qualities, we’re learning that the machine behind the GOP simply re-makes the campaign in its own Coulterite image. Instead of actually fighting on the core questions—how do we get out of Iraq with the least damage? How do we get past carbon-based energy? How do we tackle al Qaeda’s new base in Pakistan and within the nuclear-armed Pakistani government? How will we reduce the massive debt bequeathed us by the Bush-Rove GOP? How do we restore the Geneva Conventions?—we are debating people’s cultural insecurities and food choices.
The slow collapse of conservatism as a coherent governing philosophy is not unrelated to this. If you never want to fight campaigns on policy, why bother crafting any?
Even conservatives like Sullivan are being to clue into what us liberals have known for a long, long time. When the majority of your policy positions are not favored by more than 60+ percent of the population you do the only thing you can to win, you tear down your opponent.