In the short time since the November 7th elections, it's become increasingly apparent that the right wing has muscled itself out of the American political scene.
Perhaps it's about time.
Certainly, this minor portion of our population has been exercising more than its fair share of clout. And the net result has been far from satisfactory. An erosion of civil rights, a flawed foreign policy, a blurring of the line between religion and government, all of these trends - and more - can arguably be credited, in part, to the pervasive influence of the right wing.
It's the democratic way in our society for all groups and points of view to be represented. In a true democratic sense, however, we might find ourselves doing better, as a nation, as we hand the reins back, once again, to the moderate majority.
Bill Frist, the social conservative out of Tennessee, who left a medical career to be a senator, and then left his senatorial career to prepare for a run for president has, himself, taken a close look at the right wing tea leaves and decided to hang onto his hat.
And poor President Bush. Can't you just see him, drumming his fingers on a table in Jordan and wondering what circumstances had brought him to that empty conference room. There he was, the leader of the free world, supposedly the most powerful person on earth, sitting all by himself.
Despite having invested hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in the welfare of the people of Iraq, and despite having orchestrated a military campaign for the same purpose - that caused nearly 3,000 American deaths - there he was, waiting for the very puppet he had put in charge of the country to reluctantly decide to meet with him.
So, can't you just hear him: "Damn those right wingers."
The jury's still out on whether the president will actually moderate his position with respect to the Middle East. He continues to talk the same talk, but changes are in the wind.
So far, the right wing has also continued to talk the same talk, and it appears that this will only hasten its move, deeper and deeper into isolation. An example occurred last Friday here in Orange County, California.
Conservative white pastor Rick Warren invited Senator Barack Obama to speak at his 20,000 strong evangelical Saddleback church in the community of Lake Forest. Specifically he asked Obama to address a group at the pastor's second international conference on AIDS.
What could be a better fit, right? A man who has devoted much of his life to the cause talking to a group of Christians about this terrible pandemic.
The fact is, however, it didn't quite work out as the pastor had hoped. The angry reaction of the evangelicals was pretty well summed up by Christian radio host, Kevin McCullough, who wrote on his blog: "Why would Warren marry the moral equivalency of his pulpit - a sacred piece of honor in evangelical traditions - to the inhumane, sick and sinister evil that Obama has worked for as a legislator?"
Ouch! By yesterday, Saddleback Church was on the defensive and Pastor Warren was back-peddling in ernest.
Warren's wife, Kay, is perhaps the most disappointed of all. She has been a rare evangelical who has not been afraid to talk about the problems related to AIDS. Her concern for the 12 million children in Africa that have been orphaned by the disease prompted her to visit Mozambique, a trip that, in turn, brought her to the realization that she, her husband and the conservative Orange County community were guilty of indifference, according to an article in the LA Times.
Indifference is one way to describe it. Selfishness is another. But, whatever it's called, the right wing has definitely isolated itself in an extreme corner of our political arena, far removed from the moderate majority that spoke loud and clear on November 7th.
So what do you do for a group in isolation?
Well, the standard treatment is - keep them in the dark, feed them just enough to survive, and then slam the door shut.