Spilt Milk

Well, I avoided political content on this blog for 3 years and just let myself go in the past two weeks, but since I’m actually getting polite discourse, what the heck:

“Libertarian“ asks: …. The people have spoken. The majority of voting Americans sent a message: how out of touch the democratic party (the “liberal elite” mostly) in this country are. If not, how else do you explain the numbers? ….

If I were interested in being an apologist for the Democrats, I’d point out that 58M to 55M is hardly a landslide, it’s not a mandate from the American people that, say, Reagan 84 or Nixon 72 was. The Republicans will pretend otherwise, but if you’re going to be honest, you should acknowledge that Kerry won more votes than any previous candidate in American history,  including more votes than Ronald Reagan won in 84.

So I think it’s pretty clear that both parties are out of touch with half the country (plus or minus a few percent). And the thing that really struck me Tuesday night was how “coastal versus interior” doesn’t explain it nearly as well as “urban versus rural.” They showed county maps of PA and OH and it didn’t seem to reflect a “closeness“ at all — it was blue dots and then vast ranges of red, just like the national map. I think it was just that those states happened to have a demographic balance, not that they were regions that somehow embodied an ambivalence towards the two parties.

How are the liberals out of touch with America? I don’t know. For the past 15 years I lived in the most liberal county in the country! Believe me, you don’t get a lot of insight into Bush support by living in Marin! My take on it is that (a) you’ve got a lot of people who aren’t going to look further than abortion and gay rights to know they won’t vote Democrat, (b) the Democrats don’t have good mouthpieces, and (c) the Democrats don’t get that Americans don’t consider the Government a benevolent source of services (I think Cheney’s line in the 2000 debate about how he grew rich at Halliburton and the “government had absolutely nothing to do with it” perfectly exemplifies how a lot of Americans have a blind spot to the benefits they get from the Government).

But you tell me — how do you explain how the Democrats have fallen out of touch?