In the last few weeks, the buzz about the internal battles inside the Republican Party has been growing. The Roveites hate the Libertarians, the Libertarians hate the mainstream Republicans, the mainstream Republicans hate the Tea Partiers and everybody hates President Obama. It feels more like a Tom Lehrer song than the plight of a serious political party facing a serious struggle.
This critique, which could be called the "dirty hippies narrative" is offensive and misleading, but it is also almost quaint, harkening back to a bygone era when it was considered notable if men wore hair past their collars or if women wore dungarees. What is perhaps most interesting about this narrative is that it demonstrates that even though the year is 2011, the Republican Party still seems to think that attacking the other side for how they dress, wear their hair and the like is both a legitimate, and more surprisingly, effective means of building political support.