Bobo makes sense
Thinning the Herd
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: October 22, 2006
“Tell us, why, again, Republicans need 55 senators?” Rush Limbaugh asked not long ago. “Why do we need 55 senators when we have so many malcontents and traitors in the bunch? And they all happen to be from the Northeast, and they all happen to be moderates, they all happen to be liberals.”
In that spirit, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies set out to rid the party of this threat. It set up a “RINO Hunters Club” to “root out and hunt down” the squishy centrists who are Republicans in Name Only. The Club for Growth ran candidates to defeat them. Last week on his radio show, Sean Hannity blasted the RI....................
Why have 55 Republican senators? Why not 25? Why not 15 brave and true? Throw in a few dozen pure-minded Republican House members and you could hold the next Republican convention in a living room.
For the past several years, Republican elites have treated the moderates, upon whom their majority depended, as the deformed cousins of their movement. Congressmen from rock-ribbed Republican districts who’ve never had to confront a dissenting view applaud themselves for their manly courage while scorning the effete wispiness of Northeastern Republicans who go home and battle derision every weekend. The centrists themselves are so beaten down, they learned they can’t even utter the word “moderate” in the halls of Congress. Instead, they unveiled what they called their “Suburban” agenda.
......The central fight in American politics now is over where the line is demarking the two zones, and the central Republican problem is that every time the party mobilizes its exurban base it further alienates the marginal voters in traditional suburbs where Congressional elections are won or lost.
The Republican moderates come from Lands’ End and Eddie Bauer-rich tipping zones. The people in the office parks in these places may not be zillionaires, but they run the meeting planning firms that help HR executives facilitate sales force enrichment retreats.
They are looking for orderly places to raise their children. They are what you might call antiparty empiricists. They distrust partisans and can’t imagine why anyone would be sick enough to base an identity on a political organization. They don’t expect much from government but a few competently delivered services, and they don’t like public officials who unnerve them.
The Republicans used to do well in these areas, but now it’s as if they are purposely trying to antagonize the married moms at the pseudo-New Urbanist outdoor cafes. The deficits alarm them. Tom DeLay was a perfectly designed Northeastern alienation machine. As insular Democrats know little about what life is like in flyover country, so insular Republicans know little about how people think in the suburban Northeast, where blue New York Times delivery bags dot the driveways each morn.
Shorter Bobo: My neighbors are all voting for Democrats
posted by Steve @ 1:16:00 PM