One of the most enduring mythologies of post World War One Germany was the legend of the 'stab in the back'-that is, the idea that defeat in the war and the troubles that followed could be directly attributed to a conspiracy of commies, jews, war profiteers, homos, middle of the roaders, politicians, and various and sundry defeatist elements.
Generals Erich Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg appeared before a select committee of the Reichstag in 1919 investigating whether peace could have been achieved before the Armistice, and Ludendorff said there and then that the Wehrmacht, never having been defeated in battle, was secretly and methodically sabotaged by subversives.
Thus, it is said, that the Generals lent all the gravitas of their positions and honors to perpetuating a myth that Germany had not gotten an old fashioned, knock 'em down and drag 'em out ass whuppin' with all the trimmings.
It may be so in 2008 as well. There are signs of a split in the McCain campaign as Palin starts thinking of her own political future, and how she's going to stuff up the cracks in her own leaky rowboat.
It seems also that some in right wing circles and on the talk radio circuit these days are busy constructing their very own 'stab in the back' legend in anticipation of next Tuesday's election-getting a jump on things like.
Although it's not official, there are signs these days, as the once bright flame of the Reagan Revolution gutters and flickers, having nearly exhausted the supply of swamp gas that fueled it, that the myth is busily being constructed in an effort to explain to the Guns, God and Guts crowd how they lost to a Democrat and a black man at that.
Herr Limbaugh himself must be wondering what he's going to talk about next Wednesday morning. It may make for some interesting listening for once.
My guess is that the myth he constructs for the downfall of his party will consist of a recital that his party did not deserve to win, having deserted the Gingrich wing of the party to cozy up with moderate succubi such as Colin Powell and William Weld, who will, of course be branded as heretics and apostates to be expunged with extreme prejudice.
It's interesting to note that I had a very interesting conversation with a former senator here who explained why she, as a Republican, could not hire me as an aide. She said candidly that she was afraid of her party. That's how deep this split runs and how much the Streichers of talk radio and Gingrich have done to drive moderates out of the GOP.
As Edwin Armstrong once pointedly observed, "It's not what people know that's dangerous. It's what they know that ain't so."