Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Running Against Geography

I don’t know what this means but I’ve noticed something about the way Republicans campaign of late. They seem to be running against geographic areas. Look at this recent statement from the McCain campaign.
“Barack Obama has brought the sleazy gutter politics of Chicago to our national stage…”
And how many times have we heard “San Francisco” values invoked and derided by the right. Or “East Coast” elitists, or Massachusetts this or that, or Hollywood leftists?

I’m trying to think if there are similar geographic punching bags used by Democrats or the left. I don’t think there are. And that’s fine since I think the practice is silly. It generalizes and, frankly, alienates entire sections of the country. I don’t see that as a particularly effective way to gain control of national office. It may work well regionally, though. I can certainly imagine running against Chicago for some district seat here in Central Illinois might be effective. Nationally though? To coin a phrase, “Why do they hate (parts of) America?”

8 comments:

rickmonday said...

I have heard or read several comments from liberal that make fun or put down the way of live in Alaska; as a desperate attack on Sarah Palin.

Garrison Keillor wrote such a commentary in Sunday's sjr.

Dave said...

Rick,

I think you (again) miss the point entirely. I don’t think attacking Alaska is anything you will hear from the Obama campaign. And there will not be concerted invoking of “Alaska Values” for years to come by Democrats and radio talk show blowhards.

rickmonday said...

Dave,

I disagree with you. Liberals play the culture war just like the conservatives do. How many "moose stew" jokes have you heard over the past few weeks?

Then of course we have Obama reaching out to the middle class while campaigning in PA, but then when he thought the microphone was off makes outrageous claims that he believes that those people cling to their guns and religion during a crisis.

Furthermore, when Hillary was winning Kentucky and other southern states, there were numerous claims of people in those states being "red-neck" racists. It goes both ways.

Dave said...

Rick,
No not really. Another false equivalency there, bud. Non of those things you mentioned will ever be part of the Democrats larger narrative. It just won’t. And that’s my point.

Anonymous said...

Rick,

More than one survey of Kentucky primary voters indicated that 20% of the people sampled stated that race was a deciding factor in their decision, and 90% of that 20% voted for senator Clinton. According to the numbers, Kentucky IS full of redneck racists.

rickmonday said...

Dave,

See. Just look at anonymous' statement. I dont deny that conservatives play that card and I think you are afraid to face the fact that liberals play it too.

Bookworm said...

What about the term "flyover country" in reference to everything between the East and West Coasts?

This is how it's defined in Wikipedia:

"Flyover country or flyover states is a somewhat derogatory Americanism popular among entertainers, businessmen, and others concerned with doing business on the coasts." (The majority of whom, I am guessing, would tend to be politically liberal, though not all.)

"The name comes from the fact that many such individuals shuttle between coastal locations — e.g., Manhattan and Los Angeles — by air. "Flyover country" thus refers to the part of the country that such Americans only view by air....

"The term tends to refer to regions such as the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains which are sparsely populated and not as much of a draw to visitors as the coastal regions. It is a term that became somewhat common during the 2000 U.S. presidential election[1] due to the tendency of such states to lean towards George W. Bush."

Dave said...

Sorry Bookworm, no Democratic politician uses that term. It is also not used condescendingly by the left as far as I know (despite your "guess"). It's certainly not in the same league as the right wing examples I gave. Not even close.

But keep trying guys!