The Weekly Standard's
Noemie Emery argues persuasively that Obama should be compared to Dukakis, not Carter, concluding:
"The first America tends to make the finer sounding speeches, and the second America often strikes cruder, more xenophobic notes," says the New York Times's Ross Douthat. This is a nice point, and leads one to further comparisons: The first America is full of itself and the second one isn't; the first America is filled with Ambinder's "modernists, seculars, [and] suburban couples who believe in the virtues of tolerance," while the second is filled with "f-ing NASCAR retards" (as Eric Alterman of the Nation puts it).
The first thinks Newsweek helps keep the culture from darkness and the second knows why it had to be sold for one dollar; the first thinks imams need their sensibilities coddled and those of Catholics, Jews, veterans, and evangelicals can be trashed with impunity; while the second believes this is mad. The second America thinks assault, rape, and murder are serious crimes that merit harsh punishment; the first America thinks these things disturb white Americans only if and when the assailants in question are black.
The second America was ready in the summer of 1988 to elect Michael Dukakis (Greek name, Jewish wife, and the rest of it), and backed off when it came to know more about him. It did, however, elect Barack Obama (middle name of "Hussein" and the rest of it), and is right now repenting as it wakes up to reality: He is not FDR, JFK, or the liberal Reagan, but Michael Dukakis. Which is not what was wanted at all.