Friday, November 21, 2003

Here's one of the dumbest things Michael Kinsley, who's gone through a Krugman-like decline in quality since Bush's election, has written lately. Seems Mike is accusing the Republicans of "attack geography" because some people have questioned Howard Dean's credibility as a presidential candidate due to his governancy of such a small, insignificant place as Vermont. Mike is trying to float a trial balloon accusing Reps of trashing Dems for where said Dems come from.

Now, Vermont has about 400,000 people, no urban areas, no crime, and a very high average income. Nobody is dissing Vermont as a place, though for some of us Bennington is just a little bit hippy-dippy. What people are saying is that Dean's job as governor of Vermont was simply not that big a deal, not incredibly difficult to do, certainly not requiring genius, and not nearly as hard as that of being the mayor, police chief, fire chief, or school superintendent in Kansas City, population 500,000, lots of urban problems like crime and bad schools, and with an area probably half that of Vermont. Nobody using this argument is saying Vermont is a bad place, just that 11 years' experience governing it is not proof that a candidate has the necessary experience in government to be President.

Here's the money quote:

When they were going after Clinton, they portrayed Arkansas as the last place you would want your president from. Why? Well, it's in the South—out of the American mainstream. It's full of poor people. Everyone's married to his cousin. They eat horrible, fatty lower-class foods. My dear, it's Hicksville, plain and simple.

Mike, you dipshit, that's what people who vote Democrat in New York and LA and college towns across America say, not what Republicans say. Republicans are actually from places like Arkansas. This sort of denigrating the common people is much more common among people of Michael Kinsley's political ideas than among people of, say, George Bush's.

Also, let me point out that in 1992, a Republican Texan ran against a Democrat Arkansan. In 1996 a Republican Kansan ran against a Democrat Arkansan. In 2000 a Republican Texan ran against a Democrat Tennesseean. Exactly how do you figure that folks from Texas and Kansas look down on folks from Arkansas and Tennessee? It's people like Michael Kinsley who look down on folks from all four states.

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