Sparring

Over at Ace Of Spades, the morons have been following the occasional public squabbles between Sarah Palin and Chris Christie with some interest. And I have to confess, I find it interesting, too.

But only slightly.

In some ways, Palin and Christie are very different types of Republicans. But in other ways, they are quite similar. They are both very popular and very polarizing figures. They are both people of exceptionally strong wills. They both don’t shy away from confrontations. And they both have a history of speaking their minds.

I happen to like them both, in different ways. But the fact that they are both very prominent Republicans means that the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will try to engineer some kind of fight between the two, trying to get them and their followers to do the left’s dirty work by tearing each other down. Which is why Christie can pretty much count on being asked about Palin at every opportunity, and Palin — should she open herself to questions about Christie from the typical hostile questioners — could expect the same.

What I see whenever these little dust-ups between Palin and Christie flaring up is two very different people simply asserting their differences — “I’m not her” and “I’m not him” — in relatively benign fashion, with just enough edge to guarantee that the statements will be breathlessly reported. In brief, they are calculated to guarantee coverage from the hostile media.

In Palin and Christie, we have two very prominent, very successful, very charismatic Republicans with very different styles and visions. The nighmare of the left is for these two individuals — and the factions they represent — to find enough common ground to forge an alliance.

Stranger things have happened. Odder couples have formed political marriages, quite successfully. Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush come to mind.

Which is why the left has to do all it can to keep figures like Palin and Christie apart.

One of their favorite tactics of late has been to impose a de facto religious test on public figures. “Oh, you’re a Christian? So, you believe that the Bible is the word of God? Which means you believe in the creation story, and reject evolution and Darwinism?” At that point the God-fearing politician has been exposed as an anti-science, ignorant bigot who wants to resurrect the Scopes trial and put every single biology teacher who dares speak the heresy of Darwinism behind bars. Obviously, that kind of zealot needs to be kept far, far away from any kind of position of power.

Two thoughts immediately come to mind. The first is, I don’t recall the last time “evolution vs. creationism” was a national issue. I’m an avowed agnostic, so obviously I side more with Darwin than Biblical literalism, but I really don’t give a rat’s ass about any public figure’s stance on the issue.

The second thought is that the creation story is from the part of the Bible that is common to all three of the world’s major religions. But, for some reason, it’s only the conservative Christians who get asked about their beliefs — I’d be vaguely interested in hearing, say, Senator Feinstein (Jewish) or Representative Ellison (Muslim) address their opinions of the Genesis story.

But only vaguely. As I said, I simply don’t see it as a public policy issue, and my interest would only be in the novelty of seeing those worthies face such an unexpected question.

But back to Palin and Christie. Yes, there’s a hefty amount of interest from the left in seeing these two take swipes at each other. But, as I see it, they know it — and are playing along just enough to keep the attention, without actually giving the left what they want.

Well played, Governors. Very well played, indeed.

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