Left vs. Right

If you've been reading my blog for the last few months, you know about my ongoing interest in what's becoming of the Republican party and how it got there in the first place (previous posts here, here, and here).

In that vein, Paul Waldman has an excellent piece in The Gadflyer that discusses another aspect of today's GOP, namely, it's false dichotomy of the "real" and "fake" America:

Why does Bush get away with this? Because the press corps buys the Republican argument that the areas of the country where there are lots of Republicans are "really" American, and the areas of the country where there are lots of Democrats aren't. So they never asked whether the fact that Bush was a "Texas conservative" would hurt him, while they constantly wonder about how damaging it is that Kerry is a "Massachusetts liberal." Disparage Texas – or Alabama, or Mississippi, or Kansas – and you're in for a heap of trouble. Throw insults at Massachusetts or California or New York, and the press will laugh right along.
Truth is, rural America isn't any more American than urban America. For that matter, neither the Midwest nor the South are more American than the Coasts, East or West. And I don't know about anyone else, but as a member of the left coast, I'm getting pretty good and goddamn tired of being accused of not loving my country as much as the mythical down home folks of middle America. I lived in middle America for the better part of my lifetime and I'll tell you, they're no more patriotic than I am. Some of them less so. To try to paint any region or type or demographic with any kind of broad brush is both absurd and insulting. And it's about time the Republicans started paying the consequences for that divisive little tactic.

Matthew Yglesias has more.

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