I'd really like to hear what it is about Christine O'Donnell, or Sharron Angle, or any of these other candidates that sets them apart from decades of radical right-wing elected officials who came before them?
Now you can argue that this kind of extremism was always part of the picture, but the Rove method was to use these convictions, not actually share them. Bush increased spending radically, added a huge unpaid entitlement to the next generation, pandered to Hispanics, favored immigration reform, did nothing to prevent legal abortion, felt awkward demonizing gays, pretended he wasn't torturing prisoners, did not kill enough Iraqis, and made a major point about not having a fight with Islam as such. The base wants to get rid of any of these nuances and get the real thing.
It isn't class snobbery. It's the difference between those who use far right convictions and those who actually hold them. That's why Palin's chief campaign tool was a Down Syndrome child. It proved that she was serious about banning all abortion because, unlike Rove, she really believes it's murder. It's authenticity. And once unleashed, it's very hard to stop.
(Photo: O'Donnell supporters exulting on primary night. By Mark Wilson/Getty.)