It's a cliche of punditry that Republicans are the Daddy Party and the Democrats are the Mommy Party. The metaphors are out of date. We must look at the Republicans as the Adult Party and the Democrats as naughty children sent to sup at the children's table.
Republicans lead, Democrats rebel. George W. nominates serious judges and the Democrats throw tantrums. Conservatives, dominant in the Adult Party, who try to conserve traditional ideals are, ironically, in the vanguard. Conservatives have come to the majority by expressing new ideas with passion and the liberals at the children's table throw tantrums: "Look at me, look at me." The betting here is that the new liberal radio and television talk shows and celebrity blogs won't catch Rush Limbaugh, Fox News or Matt Drudge any time soon.
Matt Drudge, who celebrates ten years of blogging, is about to be challenged by Arianna Huffington, who was a liberal who became a conservative who lately has been a liberal, was last seen in public knocking over the microphones in her panic to get a little attention at Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement for governor. She's gathered a coterie of celebrities for her blog, mostly cut from Hollywood and Manhattan, the likes of Norman Mailer, Warren Beatty and Walter Cronkite.
"In the Fox era," Nora Ephron, the novelist and screenwriter, told the New York Times, "everything we can do on our side to even things out, now that the media is either controlled by Rupert Murdoch or is so afraid of Rupert Murdoch that they behave as if they were controlled by him, is great. But sometimes, I may merely have a cake recipe." (She's unlikely to give Drudge heartburn.)
Nothing reflects the adult-children's table phenomenon like the campus. Liberal students, egged on by aging counterculture professors, throw pies in the faces of Pat Buchanan, Bill Kristol and David Horowitz to stop any talk about tolerance and academic freedom. Pies in the face suggest the throwers have nothing to say. Nora Ephron might blog one of her pie recipes.
Conservatives were in the embattled minority for a long time; it was only yesterday that National Review was the only conservative magazine on the racks, and anyone looking for a conservative radio or television commentator would have to drive deep into the boonies to find one on a lonely 250-watt station. Conservatives are still a small minority in the faculty lounges of the universities, and as lonely as this was for conservatives, the experience taught them to sharpen their arguments. Defending themselves was a full-time job, and on many campuses it still is.