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Frum on "The Vanishing GOP Voter":

David Frum has an interesting op-ed in the NYT on the "vanishing Republican voter." Here's a taste:

Measured by money income, Washington qualifies as one the most unequal cities in the United States. Yet these two very different halves of a single city do share at least one thing. They vote the same way: Democratic. And in this, we are not alone. As a general rule, the more unequal a place is, the more Democratic; the more equal, the more Republican. The gap between rich and poor in Washington is nearly twice as great as in strongly Republican Charlotte, N.C.; and more than twice as great as in Republican-leaning Phoenix, Fort Worth, Indianapolis and Anaheim.

My fellow conservatives and Republicans have tended not to worry very much about the widening of income inequalities. As long as there exists equality of opportunity — as long as everybody's income is rising — who cares if some people get rich faster than others? Societies that try too hard to enforce equality deny important freedoms and inhibit wealth-creating enterprise. Individuals who worry overmuch about inequality can succumb to life-distorting envy and resentment.

All true! But something else is true, too: As America becomes more unequal, it also becomes less Republican. The trends we have dismissed are ending by devouring us.

The piece is filled with interesting observations, many of which should unsettle Frum's ideological compatriots on the Right. He concludes:

Equality in itself never can be or should be a conservative goal. But inequality taken to extremes can overwhelm conservative ideals of self-reliance, limited government and national unity. It can delegitimize commerce and business and invite destructive protectionism and overregulation. Inequality, in short, is a conservative issue too. We must develop a positive agenda that integrates the right kind of egalitarianism with our conservative principles of liberty. If we neglect this task and this opportunity, we won't lose just the northern Virginia suburbs. We will lose America.

taney71:
Not sure how conservatives are to blame for what is happening to DC and the surrounding areas. It has been liberal big government policies that created the mess in DC.

Also, Frum's piece seems to believe that liberals have a great answer to income inequality. I doubt taxing the rich and giving entitlement programs to the poor really is the answer.
9.7.2008 11:04am
Justin (mail):
When Frum isn't stumping or saying things he doesn't believe in to advance a personal cause, he can be awesome.
9.7.2008 11:11am
John (mail):
There is a logical conclusion to this: as greater income differences lead to more Dem. victories, policies will be adopted that reduce those differences, by heavier taxes on the upper end. This will lead to more equality and "therefore" more Repub. victories. Thus will the oscillations continue until some sort of equilibrium is reached--probably like the slow growing European economy. Then we will all be reduced to economic rubble by India and China.
9.7.2008 11:18am
Germanicus:
Taney71

I think you've missed the point of Adler's post, and at least that section of Frum's piece that he's cited here.

Neither of them blamed conservative policies for the current state of DC, nor do either of them claim that liberal policies are better in any way.

The whole point of the article, if I'm not misunderstanding it myself, is that inequality, while not an evil in and of itself, does lead to other things that conservatives don't like, and therefore more attention should be paid to it.
9.7.2008 11:19am
Anderson (mail):
Equality in itself never can be or should be a conservative goal.

Wow. Not "can't be THE goal," but "can't even be A goal"?

We hold these truths to be self-evident -- that all men are created equal ....

I guess the Declaration is a "scrap of paper" to the GOP, to borrow a phrase from one of its ideological soulmates.

Suggestion to GOP: If you don't want to "lose America," don't jettison the principles on which America was founded. Just a hint, folks.
9.7.2008 11:19am
ALOOF1L:

We hold these truths to be self-evident -- that all men are created equal ....

I guess the Declaration is a "scrap of paper" to the GOP, to borrow a phrase from one of its ideological soulmates.

#1 All men are created equal. Equality is inherent, and it is not the government's role to create equality but to recognize it.

#2 Frum is referring to economic equality. If you believe that our country was founded on the principle of economic equality, then you probably believe that the communist manifesto more accurately articulates our principles than the Constitution.
9.7.2008 11:39am
Anony:

"As long as all Americans were becoming better off, few cared that some Americans were becoming better off than others. But since 2000, something has changed. Incomes at the middle have ceased to rise. The mood of the country has soured." (emphasis added).



Later...


"Between 2001 and 2008, the amount that employers paid for labor rose impressively, at least 25 percent. Yet almost all of that money was absorbed by the costs of health insurance, which doubled over the Bush years."



Why, oh why do all definitions of "income" fail to take into account non-cash benefits?
9.7.2008 11:53am
Gary Imhoff (mail) (www):
I don't think that Frum can legitimately use Washington, DC, to advance an argument that income inequality makes voters vote Democratic. The more relevant fact about Washington and its surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia is that they are heavily influenced by the sizable minority of their population who are dependent on government for their income, either as employees or as beneficiaries of government programs. This population naturally wants a bigger government, consuming an ever larger share of the GNP, and it is politically active, casting a disproportionate influence on the electorate as a whole. It is simply voting its interests by voting Democratic.
9.7.2008 11:53am
Bruce:
Is Frum right about his numbers? The last time I looked at a map, I think post-2004 election, Maclean Va. went HEAVILY Republican, esp. compared to surrounding areas. I recall there being some income/voting pattern correlation. I'm a little skeptical that the effect he's basing his article on actually exists.
9.7.2008 11:57am
JB:

"Between 2001 and 2008, the amount that employers paid for labor rose impressively, at least 25 percent. Yet almost all of that money was absorbed by the costs of health insurance, which doubled over the Bush years."


Why, oh why do all definitions of "income" fail to take into account non-cash benefits?


Because they focus entirely on non-cash benefits (that is, they equate "rising income" with "rising standard of living expressed through increased purchasing power"). Rising health insurance costs did not lead to better health care, therefore in this model more money being spent on the person does not lead to increased income.
9.7.2008 12:07pm
taney71:
Germanicus:

Thanks so much. My question then is how to solve the problem? Is inequality purely a problem of discrimination or a mixture of that, other issues, and, perhaps, the unwillingness to improve one's lot in life?
9.7.2008 12:31pm
sbron:
How convenient to not quote the following from Frum's piece.


It is also clear that immigration thickens the ranks of the American poor. The poverty rate for post-1970 immigrants and their native-born children is almost 50 percent higher than for the native born. (In 1970, established immigrants were much less likely to be poor than the native born.) No mystery why this should be so: one-third of adult new immigrants have not finished high school. And there is reason to fear that this poverty will become entrenched: barely half of Latino students complete high school on time; 48 percent of births to Latino women occur outside marriage.


In Southwestern states, it is especially clear that low-skilled, poorly educated immigration from Latin America is the primary driver of poverty and inequality. The McCain/Graham Republicans, and allegedly pro-Labor Democrats both need to reconsider their fanatical support of mass immigration.
9.7.2008 12:47pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
I'm with commenter Gary Imhoff. If this phenomenon is true at all, Washington is an awful example of it. The poor in Washington are the urban poor who we already know vote Democratic (fill in your reason, good or bad). But the rich in Washington are in Washington by choice because they work in government. So we can't say that inequality is causing politics -- rather, politics is causing the liberal "rich" (more or less) to move into a big city where the very poor already live.

But let me speculate a bit. (Note that I haven't read anything but this one blog post.) We know that the big cities already go Democratic. (Recall the pictures after the 2004 election showing "red areas" and "blue areas" by surface area. The (facetious?) point there was that the "red area" looked like America, whereas the "blue area" looked like a bunch of islands. Obviously, this was because the blue areas were mostly the cities, and that's also where a ton of people live!)

Anyway... as I said, we already know that the urban poor go heavily Democratic, for good or bad reasons as you prefer. But the big cities are also where you have major financial services, etc., etc., so that it's not surprising that rich people also want to go live there. But note: Even if (unlike in Washington) those rich people all vote Republican, the mass of the urban poor will still make those cities predominantly Democratic. Again, it's not inequality causing politics, but the existence of the mass of the urban poor that both makes cities more likely to be highly unequal places and makes cities Democratic.

Of course, there might be a causal phenomenon at work: maybe inequality does produce problems of its own that cause Democratic ideas to become more popular. Maybe. But just looking at the cross-sectional correlation doesn't give us that answer.
9.7.2008 12:52pm
pmorem (mail):
There's an implied causation that "inequality" causes "democrat politics". Perhaps the causation is the other way, that "democrat politics" causes "inequality".
9.7.2008 1:02pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
I hate to be mean, but I think Frum is full of shit and he is drawing a parallel between voting patterns and a phenomenon that isn't observable unless you play statistical games with people's tax returns. Employee income has been rising greatly if you count non-salary benefits. It's only been shrinking relative to the extreme upper bounds. Which isn't really a form of shrinking at all.

I spent all summer in NoVA/DC and the difference I noticed immediately is that nearly everyone there is a government employee or a former government employee or a government contractor. They're all suckling at the teat of government! And even private industry around there is focused mostly on providing goods and services to these people. This type of environment isn't conducive to the growth of political parties that favor shrinking the size of government. There is no need to grind away at people's income histories to see why northern virginia is the land of big government when you have an explanation this obvious.

That deals with the "rich." When dealing with the "poor" I don't think that measuring their wealth relative to everyone else is very meaningful at all. I feel a better indicator of what party they will vote for is whether your "poor" happen to be entitlement minded urban blacks or some other group that doesn't go 90 percent for the democrats in every election, like hispanics or whites.

Frum can stuff his socialism where the sun doesn't shine.
9.7.2008 1:06pm
Whitey (mail):
I am a tax preparer in Santa Clara County, California. I offer two facts from my experience: the SF Bay Area is heavily Democratic, so much so that being a Republican is like belonging to an obscure religion, and the disparity of incomes among my clients is about 100X: $2 million to $20,000. I think Frum is on to something.
The system we are moving toward is a variant on the feudal system, in which a relatively small number of rich people generously (or grudgingly) provide out of their wealth for the poorer masses, who are expected to be grateful.
9.7.2008 1:09pm
fullerene:
People have criticized Frum's use of the Washington area. I am not sure this is entirely unfair, but Frum also has a point. The Washington area is just the latest city to see a loss of Republican voters. Fairfax and Loudon Counties used to lean Republican. In fact, they were the most reliably Republican counties in the state. Not anymore. And this has happened quite recently. This is why I think Frum focusses on it.

I think the diagnosis, though interesting, is not wholly correct. When you snidely make fun of everyone who lives in a city (now that Starbucks is one of America's largest retailers can we quit with the elitist latte jokes?), urban dwellers aren't going to much like you. When you pretend that there is some mythical real America where real Americans live, voters who do not live in your vision of real America aren't going to have confidence in you.

The "upper crust" voter who used to reliably vote Republican is largely gone.
9.7.2008 1:10pm
Anony:

JB:

Because they focus entirely on non-cash benefits (that is, they equate "rising income" with "rising standard of living expressed through increased purchasing power"). Rising health insurance costs did not lead to better health care, therefore in this model more money being spent on the person does not lead to increased income.


"Rising health insurance costs" could mean two different things: either the same quality of care is offered for a higher real price, or more/better care is offered, and that causes the real price to increase. If any of the latter occurs (and it's hard to argue that it hasn't), then employees are indeed receiving a higher standard of living.
9.7.2008 1:24pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
So basically as the culture of the big cities expands into the suburbs, republicans attempting to win rural votes at the expense of the big city vote are alienating the suburbs as well now?

I'd like to reiterate that I think it is a huge mistake to find meaning in these statistical comparisons between salaries since most people who don't work in HR have almost no knowledge of how much other people are making. If your living expenses are staying more or less the same, who cares that Bob in Acquisitions &Mergers got a 15 percent raise and a bonus when you only got 5 percent increase? You can buy 5 percent more stuff than before, you just can't buy a new BMW or whatever it is that Bob wastes his money on. In my experience employees are very careful not to compare salaries with one another. Beyond secretaries and HR people, discussing or knowing such things is a huge taboo in the american workplace. I've worked in many places and no one discucsses such things. Not only do you not know that Bob got a bigger raise than you, unless he spends it on something big, you aren't going to notice it in any other way.
9.7.2008 1:29pm
David Warner:
"There's an implied causation that "inequality" causes "democrat politics". Perhaps the causation is the other way, that "democrat politics" causes "inequality"."

It's not called neofeudalism for nothing.
9.7.2008 1:33pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
But the rich in Washington are in Washington by choice because they work in government.

It's hilarious that Sasha thinks that one gets rich in Washington by working in government.
9.7.2008 1:34pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
A lot of the "upper crust" voters who used to reliably vote Republican aren't 'gone' -- they've moved out of cities that have increasingly and systematically violated what they consider to be a remotely good idea.

I know an individual who used to be "upper crust", or at least somewhere reliably in the middle, born and raised in a major city in Ohio. If he stayed there, he'd be paying another 4% of his income to taxes, banned from owning a variety of previously lawful handguns and rifles, dealing with at best hooligans and at worst outright gang crime. Read The Ten Ring, or No Looking Backwards.

I can certainly believe that there are no Republicans left in the major cities -- I presume that at least some sizable portion of the GOP is remotely sane, after all -- but when faced with an increasingly blue cities and dozens of economic incentives to leave them, I think the presumption that the previously Republican voters turned Democrat is not the best one.
9.7.2008 1:37pm
Ben Franklin (mail):
It seems that there may be some confusion as to cause and effect. If you pursue policies of wealth re-distribution then the natural result is a greater disparity between the haves and have nots. This is the natural result of socialism everywhere it has been tried.

This disparity doesn't create more democrats it is the result of more democrats implementing their policies. If analysts didn't live in such a left-wing bubble then this would be readily apparent to them.
9.7.2008 1:53pm
fullerene:


I think the presumption that the previously Republican voters turned Democrat is not the best one.


Turned Democratic? Depends on what you and I mean. No, I don't think that vast numbers of people who once voted Republican have switched sides. What has happened is that as these people have aged, no similar group of younger people has come along to replace them.
9.7.2008 1:54pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
FWIW, my upper-middle-class friends who are reliably Democrats actually tend to be fiscal conservatives, but they see the Republicans as the party of ignorant religious fundamentalists. That may be unfair, but it is interesting that people in places like Silicon Valley and Fairfax County who happily voted for Reagan now feel that a vote for the Republicans is a vote for Dick Armey/James Dobson.
9.7.2008 1:57pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
(And when I say "people" I'm talking demographics, the young engineers, programmers, attorneys, and doctors of today vs. 20 years ago).
9.7.2008 1:58pm
Smiles all around.:
A theory? Most of the rich realize they got where they are thanks in no small part to luck. They realize that most people can't be as successful as they are because there just aren't that many opportunities to be rich. Most of the poor know this too.

A huge segment of the middle class think their position is entirely attributable to their own hard work, disbelieving that people working just as hard as them make much less and much more than themselves. These people, by and large, are your Republicans. They think they make their own luck, ignoring the fact that the source of most of life's opportunities and luck is down to who your parents are, something in which they they had only a passive role.
9.7.2008 2:14pm
Bored Lawyer:
As Frum's piece itself acknowledges, the phenomenum he notes is dependent upon a perception that the Democratic party will employ centrist policies, at least in the economic realm, so the "upper crust" feel that their economic position is safe. (He even says it boils down to two words: Robert Rubin.)

Give it about four years of socialist policy under Barack Obama and his fellow travelers on Capitol Hill, and they'll be singing a different tune.
9.7.2008 2:34pm
Ben P (mail):

Give it about four years of socialist policy under Barack Obama and his fellow travelers on Capitol Hill, and they'll be singing a different tune.



Sure, it's not like Obama's made one of Rubin's proteges his chief economic advisor or anything.
9.7.2008 2:53pm
TCO:
I first started understanding this when I saw liberal friends doing the most outrageous tax schemes and such. Even the ones who think the are sorta progressive, basically want some sort of government intervention model run by Chelsea Clinton types. It becomes a game of Byzantine-ness. You have proles and you have people who pat themselves on the ass for giving money to the DNC and voting for higher taxes, while getting agitated about AMT. It's very far from free-ranging capitalism. And even farther from a yeoman-like frontier society.
9.7.2008 2:56pm
Bored Lawyer:

Sure, it's not like Obama's made one of Rubin's proteges his chief economic advisor or anything.


Time will tell. Let's see how the upper crust will react when Obama imposes a FICA payroll tax on incomes above $250k.
9.7.2008 4:21pm
John Herbison (mail):
There's an implied causation that "inequality" causes "democrat politics". Perhaps the causation is the other way, that "democrat politics" causes "inequality".

I am a litigator, not an economist. However, I have never understood the misuse of the noun, Democrat, as an adjective (other than as tribute to Joe McCarthy), e.g., "Democrat Party". Why does anyone think that the deliberate use of non-standard English is persuasive? (Apart from the use of dialect, a la Finley Peter Dunne's fictional character, Mr. Dooley.)
9.7.2008 4:37pm
superdestroyer (mail):
Two different ways of looking at Frum Thesis. Any county where the public schools are less than 50% white is probably a deep blue county. Fairfax County Public schools are 50% white and thus the County vote Democratic. Montgomery County Marylan schools are about 35% white and the county is 2/3 Democratic. In Chicago, the public schools are 10% white and the Republican Party does not really exist.

Also, any county that does not have blue collar whites is a heavily Democratic county. That is where immigration comes in. As immigrants push out blue collar and middle class whites, the counties stop being Democratic and the ecnonomic inequality increases.
9.7.2008 5:02pm
David Warner:
Justin,

"When Frum isn't stumping or saying things he doesn't believe in to advance a personal cause, he can be awesome."

The same could be said of yourself, but in that case it would be vacuously true.
9.7.2008 5:38pm
David Warner:
"FWIW, my upper-middle-class friends who are reliably Democrats actually tend to be fiscal conservatives, but they see the Republicans as the party of ignorant religious fundamentalists. That may be unfair, but it is interesting that people in places like Silicon Valley and Fairfax County who happily voted for Reagan now feel that a vote for the Republicans is a vote for Dick Armey/James Dobson."

I blame Karl Rove. Seriously.
9.7.2008 6:32pm
TruthInAdvertising:
"As immigrants push out blue collar and middle class whites, the counties stop being Democratic and the ecnonomic inequality increases."

How dare those immigrants force those whites out of their homes! This has to be the funniest description of white flight I've read in a while.
9.7.2008 6:58pm
superdestroyer (mail):
Truthin advertising

Look at cities in Texas that are anywhere near the border with Mexico. the number of whites has been going down for decades. As people become the only white in their neighborhood, as their children become small minorities in the school, as business begin to require employees to speak Spanish, as higher paying jobs leave the area, then yes, it can be seen that immigrants are forcing whites to leave. The alternative is to stay in a city where they are not welcome.
9.7.2008 7:27pm
Yankee Southerner (mail) (www):
I don't think Frum gets it right on the rich voting Democratic. I may not either but in part, I think the rich have too much money to feel like they'll be affected, viz. the yachts off Tahiti as part of the reporting of Obama's remarks in SF. Income taxes are for people who have to work; nobody really associates with that kind of people unless they have to. Also, note who had a temporary loss of business sense in dealing with Senator Biden; a little solidarity with those who control Congress may make you feel more secure in your contracts. Thirdly, rich people and even the not so rich can vote on their view of morality and it can be in protest against the Christian or Republican cultural/moral view if they are threatened by that.
9.7.2008 8:38pm
Cornellian (mail):
It's hilarious that Sasha thinks that one gets rich in Washington by working in government.

You get rich by working in government then leaving to join an organization that lobbies the government agency you just left. The people you left behind are receptive to your lobbying because many of them hope to get jobs like yours one day.
9.7.2008 11:16pm
Kirk:
gattsuru,

Did you mean to write "Illinois" and accidentally substitute "Ohio" instead? Because there isn't anywhere in Ohio like you describe, whereas Illinois has both that abominable FOID and that big city up on the lake that's so peaceful and crime-free that they've banned handguns entirely.

David Bernstein,

Armey as a religious-right boogeyman? Seriously? Surely anyone who even remembers him can correctly position him in the small-government/semi-libertarian wing of the R's, not the religious-right wing.
9.8.2008 2:04am
Jay Myers:
If all the places with the greatest income inequality are predominately Democrat in political orientation, then why haven't the Democrat officeholders of those places been able to decrease that inequality with their wealth redistributing policies?

When Frum answers that question, he'll realize just how stupid this essay was.
9.8.2008 3:02am
Jay Myers:

FWIW, my upper-middle-class friends who are reliably Democrats actually tend to be fiscal conservatives, but they see the Republicans as the party of ignorant religious fundamentalists.

So why do you continue to associate with religous bigots?
9.8.2008 3:11am
David Warner:
Jay Myers,

"So why do you continue to associate with religous bigots?"

Why do you continue to be one?
9.8.2008 3:21am
Stash:
I am one of those fiscally conservative, educated, and I suppose high income people who will be voting Democratic in this election.

One thing Frum doesn't mention, but I know is true in my case, and may be true in others, is that some of the affluent may have benefited from social programs derided as "creeping socialism" to get where they are today.

My father died very young and when I was 6 years old, leaving my mother with 3 young children and no job in the 1960s. In the halcyon days before the New Deal, that would have been the end of it. Social Security literally made life possible. Remember at that time, the word "day-care" hadn't been invented yet. My mother had to work at home with three small children. (The traditional widow-thing to do was take in washing--she took in proof-reading).

In the 1970's, based on one's income, one could literally go to any school and end up paying the same amount in tuition, room and board regardless of where you went. As a result I went to an elite private college, and a "top-five" law school. My sister got her PhD at an equally (so she claims) prestigious school, and my brother got a coveted spot in small program at a good state school. Because the death benefit ran out when I turned 22 (if still in school), I worked hard and skipped a year of college to save tuition, cut the time the family would have struggle and start earning earlier and graduated law school at 23.

Thus, I do not resent a single penny of taxes, payroll or otherwise, that I pay, as I figure I owe it back. I can't say I like it, but I don't resent it. Even adjusting for inflation, I pay more in taxes each year than my family lived on annually before I graduated. I was a government "investment" that paid off. And I don't want to pull the ladder up behind me. With generations now out there who have benefited from the "liberal" social safety net, who knows how many of us are out there being "traitors to our tax-bracket"? Much of the old-time conservative rhetoric not only misses, but insults us.

Yes, I have a big, big problem with the liberal notion that there should be equality of results. I wrote and gave a speech against it in 1974 while still in high school (at a summer forensics institute.) But Frum's blithe assumption (and others posting here) that "equality of opportunity" exists without any effort on the part of the government also falls short. Sure, maybe I would have been successful if I went to a community college and a commuter law school. But if there is so little difference in potential outcomes, why is everybody wasting money going to the elite ones? Economics says this behavior would be utterly irrational if that were true. Certainly I would not have had the opportunities that these schools gave me.

Conservatives are much in favor of "the meritocracy" when opposing affirmative action, but there are income barriers to the meritocracy about which conservatives exhibit absolutely zero concern. Obama (and it may be a ploy) has at least mentioned the idea of replacing race/ethnic based affirmative action with economic affirmative action. Certainly an improvement, and possibly something I would favor if I knew what it would mean in practice.

I have voted for Republicans and Democrats, and Frum is right that one reason I am voting Democratic in this election: "can be reduced to the two words: "Robert Rubin." By returning to the center on economic matters in the 1990s, the Democrats emancipated higher-income and socially moderate voters to vote with their values." Post Clinton, and post an undivided Republican government for six years that spent like a drunken sailor (and this is an insult to drunken sailors) scare tactics about runaway Democratic spending don't cut it any more.

But I am getting off the topic of income inequality. Surely no one would be happy with income gaps on the order of old-time central and south America. Forget about fairness--it is down-right dangerous and destructive and ruptures the social fabric. The only time we had a substantial number of real communists in this country was during and just after the Great Depression. [Here's another hint to conservatives wooing us centrists: calling Democrats marxists is just as effective and accurate as them calling you fascists.]

Conservatives are fond of spying slippery slopes. Why are they missing this one? Snarky comments that Democratic policies caused the income gap are not persuasive either. Uh, where did the Great Depression come from with all those wonderful unregulated markets and absense of social programs? Please. We almost lost capitalism right there. Telling people to suck it up and stop whining is a grave political mistake. I thought Frum's analysis about health care costs eating up any real gains in disposable income does point to an issue that people should be concerned about. And he is right about the conservative mistake as well: plenty of "pooh-poohing" this issue from conservatives here. I am anxious to hear conservative solutions to this problem, but what I am hearing is that "Income inequality is not worth talking about. Gay marriage or Terry Schiavo is the important issue!" Sorry folks, you lost me. Buh-bye.

Frum is, at least from my perspective, 100% right. So long as income trends continue--even if they are caused by the Democrats--a Republican party that exhibits no concern over this issue will continue to shed voters. Only Obama's unique weaknesses as a candidate are making this election even close.
9.8.2008 7:22am
r.friedman (mail):
Typical empty frumination. Republican royalists live across the river in Virginia, away from blacks and cosmopolites. Indianapolis has a Democratic urban core but has engulfed its Republican outskirts. Phoenix also has consumed its Republican suburbs. To think of Anaheim without thinking also of its surrounding urbanizations is to glorify an accident of history. To speak of Ft. Worth without mentioning Dallas with its black urban core and the connecting suburbs is only to exclude unwanted data. I think nobody can deny that newly-built, high-cost subdivisions will be more homogenous and Republican, but what's so enlightening about that?
9.8.2008 10:23am
Michael J.Z. Mannheimer (mail):

[S]o we arrive at a weird situation in which the party that identifies itself with markets, with business and with technology cannot win the votes of those who have prospered most from markets, from business and from technology.


Amen.
9.8.2008 4:35pm
Hoosier:
Republican royalists ?

Is there some "Whig talking-points" website that I've missed?

Indianapolis has a Democratic urban core but has engulfed its Republican outskirts.

Um, what?
9.9.2008 11:39am