The McCain-Palin ticket is hoping to reignite the culture wars—but this time, it might not work, writes Michael Tomasky in the Guardian. While the Republicans once again drag out attacks against secular elitists on the coasts, the small towns whose "values" the GOP extols are suffering from 6.1% unemployment and high gas prices. In that atmosphere, fighting on abortion and religion is not a winning prospect.
The "blue" and "red" cultural divide has endured for decades, admits Tomasky, but "most Americans aren't particularly political." Instead, they make judgments on two bases: what their instincts tell them about the candidates, and how they will affect their immediate socioeconomic condition. And with independents seemingly underwhelmed by Palin, Tomasky concludes, the election remains Obama's to lose.