It does, in turn, caricature the same simple (in the Tolstoyan sense) Christian faith of the tens and hundreds of millions of Americans in the heartland with similar devotion. This comment couldn’t have been more poorly timed, as other Christian conservatives rose to defend Brit Hume’s recent advice to Tiger Woods even on the op-ed pages of The New York Times. But even we Buddhists, Unitarians and “hippies for McCain” up here in the low mountains of New Hampshire can’t ignore the dharma path that appears to have opened up for Palin in the past year and a half.

Schmidt’s Republicans are still stuck in the later 20th century, the age of Hillary and Newt, while they already have in their stall a rising champion who cannot be held back. The situation with the mainstream Republicans and the absurd attempts by the mainstream at “investigative reporting” by the likes of “60 Minutes” (tick tock, tick tock) and Cooper are much like the networks and big record companies trying to fight off Little Richard and Bill Haley back in the 1950s to sustain their own establishment, whose time was quickly passing by, and protect their old-line favorites like Perry Como and Andy Williams.

Back then, the music took to the street and to smaller venues and found tricksters in back channels like Jerry Blavat, the Geater with the Heator (the Boss with the Hot Sauce) and Wolfman Jack to bring it forward. That firestorm could not be held back.

Nor can this one be. We are again in the season of the wolf, and this time the new venues are the new cable news stations like Fox, the wolf men iconoclasts like Glenn Beck — to be joined now regularly by Sarah Palin.

Steve Schmidt wants to be the lace-curtain, mass-market, MSM version of Levi Johnston. I’m sure he will pick up a few votes up here in Vermont and in western Massachusetts and down there across the Hudson, but from a marketing perspective it doesn’t make much sense to cultivate this polite and detached garden of conservative provincials when a hurricane is sweeping the heartland.

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