Palin: Helen Of Culture Wars?

Remember when Idaho Senator Larry Craig got caught cruising in an airport bathroom? Of course you do!

That seemed to be a turning point for the States’ social political landscape. We even predicted that Craig’s arrest would help bring the long-raging Culture Wars to a close.

John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, however, may prove us wrong.

A staunch conservative with strident right-wing politics, Palin’s nomination has reopened the festering wounds:

The selection of Palin – a new heroine of social conservatives – has helped reignite not only abortion but also other flash-point issues in a way few of McCain’s other vice presidential options would have done.

Conservatives see her as a kindred spirit who lives her anti-abortion words in the most profound way: by giving birth to a child she knew would be born with Down syndrome. Gun owners see her as authentically one of them: a hunter with a passion for the outdoors and gun freedom.

The choice of Palin is going to bring some of these issues, like abortion, same sex issues, the teaching of evolution in public schools, the whole role of what religion plays in public life, back to the campaign,” said Rob Boston, a senior analyst for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “Culture war issues reflect a real divide that is evident in society today.”

The surprise emergence of Palin on the national stage has given a human face on [social] debates and has guaranteed that they would dominate the conversation here at the Republican convention and in the news media.

This election once hinged on the idea of change. It seems now that the past’s not quite through with our political present. Ain’t that a shame?