In northern New York State, they are staging a 21st century version of an American classic, old-time hardball without the Iowa corn.
“People will come,” said the prophetic Voice in the 1989 movie. “They’ll turn up not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive as innocent as children, longing for the past. They’ll pass over their money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.”
In a trance of hope, they are handing over more than $3 million and cheering in the bleachers–new true believers like Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Glenn Beck, along with ghosts of old-timey all-stars like Dick Armey, Fred Thompson, Steve Forbes and Rick Santorum, wearing retro uniforms and waving rhetorical pompoms.
A fist fight breaks out, and Newt Gingrich dons his umpire’s uniform to be shouted down by Michelle Malkin and a chorus from the cheap seats.
Of course, cynics are baffled. They see all this as only a contest for a GOP House seat vacated by the President’s appointee as Secretary of the Army.
“The battle for upstate New York,” Frank Rich observes, “confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama.”
But Rich and his ilk fail to see the deeper meaning…