Tuesday, September 17, 2002

More, from the NYT magazine, about the rural Democrats' pitch for pro-gun southern votes. The NYTM's angle, unsurprisingly, is whether this strategy is good for the Democratic Party. I remain interested in the puzzle of whether voting for such candidates is a good strategy from the voters' perspective. As a personal reaction, as distinct from an intellectual one, I'll admit to some sympathy for Tapped's complaint that "in this rural-urban dialectic, it's always assumed that the urban folks are supposed to pay homage to the rural folks." I care more about encouraging pro-trade, pro-market suburban Democrats and pro-choice, pro-gay Republicans-- both suburban species, not rural ones-- than about encouraging pro-gun Democrats; and I share the suspicion that parties pandering to the prairies and the Old Confederacy will be wrong more often than they are right. The occasional Zell Miller seems to me more than outbalanced by the Daschles, Hollingses, Harkinses, and Dorgans (disclaimer: I once worked in Byron Dorgan's office, when he was in the House rather than the Senate), the occasional Gramm or Goldwater by the Helmses and Thurmonds. (I know, I know-- if the sticks are so bad, where are the impressive Senators from big urban states, now that Moynihan is gone? But the House looks somewhat different. The suburbs don't yet dominate any big state, but they own lots of House seats.)

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