Cafferty: Palin is “Pathetic”

I think you can look at Jack Cafferty’s evident disdain for Sarah Palin as emblematic of the cyclical decline of the conservative coalition over the past couple of decades. I first got to virtually know Cafferty when he was a long-time local news reporter and anchor on WPIX-11 in New York City. There, and after his shift over to CNN, his persona is very much that of a working class outer boroughs type. The kind of guy who voted for Rudy Giuliani and, crucially, for Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s. Which is to say that when Reagan divided the country between decent, white, normal Americans on the one hand and a rag-tag bunch of racial minorities and effeminate elites on the other, the Jack Cafferties of the world were supposed to be (and largely were) on the “real Americans” side of the line. The modern conservative coalition still draws the same lines, but draws the “real America” circle more narrowly — defines it as a kind of self-conscious hickdom that construes Cafferty as a citified elite.

Or, to put it another way, Archie Bunker didn’t get around on a snowmobile cruising from moose hunt to moose hunt.