…or maybe they just know a village idiot when they see one.
(From)Ryan Lizza: These rural voters, referred to as “Country Folk,” represent 21 percent of the electorate. In 2000, 63 percent of Country Folk backed Bush. Yet today, only 58 percent support him and only 51 percent want to continue in Bush’s direction; 47 percent want to go in a “significantly different direction.”
An overall drop of 5 points in the Republican presidential vote among these voters may not seem like a major shift, but in a country at parity it could provide the margin of victory. This impact is amplified by where the Country Folk live: they are concentrated in the battleground states, like Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, New Hampshire and Minnesota.
But why are these Bush-base voters defecting? Bruce Bartlett has some plausible theories. My own hunch is that these voters do not like a massive increase in government spending, a huge jump in public debt, and a post-war policy in Iraq that seemed blindsided by reality. But here’s my other belief, and it’s about Abu Ghraib.The images from that prison shamed America in deep and inchoate ways. Traditional conservative patriots in particular were appalled. The awful truth is that this president presided over one of the most damaging blows to American prestige and self-understanding in recent history. He may not have been directly responsible; but it was on his watch. And he ensured that no one high up in his administration took the fall for the horror. I think traditional patriots were saddened, shocked and horrified by the abuse and, to a lesser extent, the Bush administration’s self-protective response to it. For me, at least, even though I am fully committed to the war, the images from Abu Ghraib are indelibly part of my memories of the Bush administration. I can move on in my head; but my conscience will be forever troubled.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Andy will be able to move on with a troubled conscience since he will more than likely endorse a man who thinks that people like Andrew Sullivan are second class citizens. That’s the virtue of being consistently inconsistent.
And why do rural voters always get to be the “traditional patriots”? I would guess for every Ma & Pa Kettle out there, there’s probably an equal amount of Snopes families. And it’s not like all of us “city folk” are urbane and witty. Just some of us….