George Will is a Republican from a pre-Palin era. He doesn’t look anything like the YouTube Republicans who showed up to McCain-Palin rallies in 2008 and who show up at tea party rallies now. He is a writer not a blogger. He wears a bow tie. He attended Oxford and took degrees at Trinity and Princeton. And he is glowing in a column today about U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck, who Will feels manages somehow to be supported by the tea party but mercifully not of the tea party.
“Put away the pitchfork metaphors that are prevalent in this season of populist ferment: Colorado’s Senate contest is a duel of distinguished diplomas,” Will writes in his Washington Post column. He caps the paragraph with what reads like a sigh of relief: “Buck is a Princetonian.”
Will wants high-end conservatives, who have watched in dismay the goings on of their party– the Joe Wilson shouting, the Glenn Beck crying, the Palin winking, etc– he wants them, his readers, to share in his good news from Colorado and his good feelings about Buck.
One campaign stumble may actually have helped [Buck]. It occurred after an event where someone questioned whether Obama is an American citizen. Speaking within range of a tape recorder belonging to a Democratic worker who was following Buck around, Buck laughingly said to someone, “Will you tell those dumb asses at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I’m on the camera?”
Buck says his language was inappropriate, but many people disagree. Tea Party leaders — that is not quite an oxymoron — know that Obama’s performance, not his provenance, is the point.
By “many people” Will is of course talking about himself. Who says the GOP isn’t a big-tent party?