People do wonder why I am so interested in American politics, while so much of the stuff in Britain leaves me cold. Well, here is an example of what makes it more interesting.
In Britain the Conservative Party is getting all into a tizz over Elizabeth Truss (too many links but Iain Dale, ConHome and Shane Greer have all been writing endlessly about it and ... well, OK, here is one), who had been chosen to be PPC in South West Norfolk. The local association, having never heard of Mr Google or the possibility of finding out certain facts about a candidate on the internet realized belatedly that Ms Truss had an affair with a Conservative MP about four or five years ago. At the time both were married but he, Mark Field, has since divorced because of that or some other reason. He is also no longer the Culture Spokesman, which is probably just as well.
Round and round everybody goes: Do private lives matter more than political achievements? Do affairs long in the past matter? Should he be forced to resign if she is deselected? Should idiots who have never heard of Google be in charge of selecting candidates? Does anybody outside the magic circle care? Well, actually, I know the answer to that last question.
Now compare and contrast this with the saga of Republican nominee in NY 23rd Congressional District, Dede Scozzafava who has just been forced to resign and start supporting her conservative rival by the GOP grassroots, led by the bloggers such as Michelle Malkin. Here is Melissa Clothier analyzing the story in terms of identity versus conviction politics. Here is Rick Moran giving a summary of what happened and there are some interesting comments.
I don't think I need to add anything of my own to the NY-23 story except to point to the main difference between that and the SW Norfolk story: the American one is about politics. What we are seeing is a new movement, that may attach itself to the Republicans or may not, of people who are, roughly speaking, conservative and believe in what one can describe as American virtues (many of which are Anglospheric virtues and even Western virtues so we should all be paying attention). It is important to watch developments. Who really cares about the endless personal tittle-tattle that surrounds people unable to see a political idea in front of their noses?