Nancy Pelosi’s “requirement” of numerous police and security personnel on a recent visit of Palm Beach is something that I found curious. But it also got me thinking about the strange–surreal, in many ways–state of our political process.
Palm Beach shouldn’t be a threatening kind of place for Nancy Pelosi. It’s in a house district that’s currently represented by a Democrat and is secured all of the time by a large (and recently unionised) police force. So where does the threat come from? Does she really think that Rush Limbaugh is going to send someone from his southern compound to do her harm? Or Ann Coulter, who is also a resident of the island? It’s true that someone from across the lake could try, but it would take a fairly sophisticated (well-funded too) effort.
The security, however, does make me think about the strange state of the rich relative to current American politics.
On the one hand, the upper reaches of our society are, on the whole, antipathetic to the social conservatism that has fuelled much the American right since the days of wine and Jerry Falwell. That’s been true since Prohibition. That’s one reason why so many well-heeled people supported Barack Obama in 2008.
On the other hand, except for a few who are positioned to buy the system, many find the creeping socialism and capital controls we have these days highly disturbing and potentially ruinous. So what’s a moneyed snob to do?
To some extent, that’s the dilemma on the other side of the debate, as one knowledgeable individual in the conservative media mentioned to me recently. Getting the social conservatives–who are still in shell shock over 2008–and the fiscal conservatives really working together, as we did in the Reagan years, is one of the key problems in moving the conservative agenda in general and the Republican Party in particular forward.
While all of this division is going on, the statists on the other side march on, success only impeded by national bankruptcy and foreign intervention of one kind or another.
Lord have mercy…