Hillary and Farrakhan

I'm amazed that in an attempt to shore up her liberal credentials, she has decided to go to a Farrakhan rally. Just kidding. But the thought experiment is a useful one. Next week, John McCain visits the Republican version of Louis Farrakhan, i.e. Jerry Falwell. That's not just my analogy. It's McCain's. Money quote from the Arizona senator:

Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.

So why the media and political acquiescence to McCain's visit. My own resignation comes from the fact that Falwell and the forces of intolerance he represents control the base of the GOP; and McCain simply has no choice but to kowtow to them. But that in itself is surely an indication of how far right the Republican center has now become. Farrakhan is a religious anti-Semite. Falwell is a religious homophobe. Falwell, however, also blamed Americans for 9/11. He did so while the ashes of many such Americans were still in the air in Manhattan. If he isn't beyond the pale, who is? And if he represents the key to being nominated in the GOP, what has happened to conservatism?