Above the Fray

McCain wants the election to be about real issues. That's a gift to the Democrats — and the country

Mary Altaffer / AP

Republican presidential candidate John McCain

In the days after Barack Obama's remarks about the bitter religion clingers of Middle America were made known, a near mob of conservative intellectuals sought to place his "élitism" in proper historical context. George Will located Obama securely in Adlai Stevenson's wine cellar, representing the effete strand of liberalism that corrupted F.D.R.'s party of the working people. William Kristol went straight for the main chance, positing Obama as a direct descendant of — yes — Karl Marx, who famously proclaimed religion to be the "opiate" of the masses. As the Marx meme fluttered across Fox News, you could almost...

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