Type the word "redistribute" into Google news, and you get a virtual Republican onslaught of attacks on Democrat Barack Obama for his supposed socialist tendencies.
Obama, screams the McCain campaign to America, wants to redistribute the wealth! My friends, Obama and his yes-men in Congress will institute higher tax rates on big business and the wealthy! To which America replies: where do we sign up?
The death of supply side conservatism has been disguised in some of the cultural noise around Sarah Palin, by the promise of expurgating America's original sin of racism in electing Barack Obama, and by the silly (and lame) "terrorist" attacks from a right-wing smear machine that has skidded wildly out of kilter, like a demented set of Tinker Toys in Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium.
The latest obscenity is the claim by that fanatical pipefitter Joe the Plumber that Senator Obama's election would mean "death to Israel," a bizarre bit of backwash promptly endorsed by McCain himself.
Sure it's ugly, but all that blather covers up the real story like a ten-dollar Obama mask on a Klansman from the local Racists for Obama chapter going door to door for votes on Halloween. And that story is the destruction of the conservative majority that came to power under Ronald Reagan.
The signs of civil war on the right are everywhere: the McCain-Palin feud for one. And stories like this in today's LA Times for another:
The social conservatives and moderates who together boosted the Republican Party to dominance have begun a tense battle over the future of the GOP, with social conservatives already moving to seize control of the party's machinery and some vowing to limit John McCain's influence, even if he wins the presidency.
In skirmishes around the country in recent months, evangelicals and others who believe Republicans have been too timid in fighting abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration have won election to the party's national committee, in preparation for a fight over the direction and leadership of the party.
As Al Giordano told a seminar on whether (and how) the Obama movement would continue post-election among the grassroots: "You know what's going to happen to them? What happened to us - when Reagan got elected."
Some of that will clearly manifest itself in howling at the moon in sheer demented anger. Such a Were-Columnist is Melanie Phillips of the Spectator, author of Londinistan, and the leader of one corner of Conservatistan that sees everything through the lens of TGWOT*. You can almost feel her fingers shaking with brittle anger as she typed the lead to her most recent column, subtly headlined "Is American Really going to do This?":
The impact of the financial crisis on the American presidential election has somewhat obscured the most important reason why the prospect of an Obama presidency is giving so many people nightmares. This is the fear that, if he wins, US defences will be emasculated at a time of unprecedented international peril and the enemies of America and the free world will seize their opportunity to destroy the west.
Get that? Not just the destruction of Israel, but "the west." There was some of this, of course, when Bill Clinton got elected - but the circumstances were hardly as dire for the right in those days. Now after eight years of Bush, an entire movement lies nearly in ruins.
And Republicans face the redistribution they really fear the most: the cracking of their old hegemony into tiny fractured factions dominated by anger and bathed in the disrepute of the worst administration in U.S. history.
* The Global War on Terror