West Virginia: Our Most Important State

|


West Virginia (7:30 p.m.) Barack Obama is lucky, damn lucky, that he convinced the punditocracy of his inevitability last week. If he had lost Indiana by a landslide and North Carolina by a little, West Virginia's primary would be getting more attention than it is. And even the little attention it's getting is focusing on Obama's crippling weakness with a certain segment of white voters. The Politico's roundup of the primary includes this wonderfully depressing facts for Obama:

– He's trailing by 49 points in Morgan County, the state's reliable swing county.
– His positive-negative numbers are 44-41, compared to Clinton's 70-21.
– One pollster, reading this, says "Obama may have to write off West Virginia come November."

The good news for Obama? The states he's losing aren't worth as much as the states he's winning. I discussed this with Eric Dondero on BlogTalkRadio last night. Dondero was crowing that the Democrats were losing Southern whites forever with their foolhardy Obama nomination, and I argued that they could afford to, because the electoral power of those voters is vanishing. West Virginia's a good example. From 1913 to 1963, the state had six congressmen and eight electoral votes. Now it has three congressman and five electoral votes. It's the 10th slowest-growing state: A political party would get far more out of locking down Hispanic votes in Nevada (5 electoral votes, set to become 6 electoral votes in 2012) than locking down poor whites in West Virginia or even Kentucky. Congressional re-districting is going to pulverize these states.

Look at it this way. Say the Democrats win the White House with the states Al Gore won in 2000 plus West Virginia. In 2000, they would have been worth 271 votes. In 2008, they will be worth 269 votes—enough to toss the election into the House of representatives. In 2012, they will be worth only 259 votes, as the rust belt and mid-Atlantic states lose clout to the West and sun belt. The smart thing for either party, then, is to win those latter states. The GOP would gladly give up its West Virginia surge if it could stop bleeding support in Colorado and (to a much lesser but more worrying extent) Texas.

So, having argued that West Virginia doesn't matter much… Clinton will beat Obama like a country drunk who's walked in on his wife and the milkman. It will be called within one tenth of one nanosecond of the polls closing. Obama could well lose all 55 counties: The only places I'd give him a chance are Cabell (home of Marshall University) and Monongalia (home of Morgantown and WVU). There's a little mystery about how many votes the still-on-the-ballot John Edwards will get, but not much mystery. I'd predict Clinton 67 percent, Obama 30 percent, with Clinton netting 8 delegates.

Mississippi-01 (8 p.m.)
—The Democrats have a good chance at winning this open U.S. House seat tonight, vacated by Rep. Roger Wicker (R) when he replaced Trent Lott in the Senate. They came within 400 votes of doing that in the first round of the primary, but Democrat Travis Childers fell below the 50 percent mark, and Republican Greg Davis rallied his troops for this runoff. It's gained national attention for two reasons. First, if the GOP loses, it would be its third straight special election loss after blowing Dennis Hastert's Illinois seat and the Baton Rouge-area seat of Richard Baker. Second, if the GOP wins, it will be the first time a candidate rode to victory by linking a Democrat to Barack Obama. A series of TV ads accused Childers of being endorsed by Obama (not technically true). The Democrats have outspent the GOP, their local machine is pretty good, and Childers only needs about 27 percent of the white vote to win, but I feel like Davis will hold on.

Inspired by the comments, one more video…

UPDATE 7:50: Clinton wins by 2 to 1, at the higher end of expectations. A week of "check out this rube who hates black people!" stories comes mercifully to an end.

Could Obama have kept it closer? He's losing groups he's won before, like under-30s (by 16 points), college graduates (by 11 points) and people making more than $100,000 (by 6 points). Mystifyingly, he does better with white Catholics than Protestants. But the numbers of people who think he ran a dirty campaign and isn't trustworthy blows away anything we've ever seen before. It's incredible that his campaign once hoped for a 12-point loss.

The number of whites who said race mattered in their vote was almost as high as the number in Mississippi. It's a bit too much for Obama to write off. So, here's a question: What would have happened had the DNC juggled the states and made West Virginia, not Iowa, the first contest? Would Barack Obama have managed to recreate his appeal in that state? Would he have hit a wall and come in third to Edwards and Clinton, maybe in that order? With black voters convinced that they had no shot at electing a black president, would they have stuck with Clinton and helped her beat Edwards? That's how I see it playing out.

One possible preview of the fall: John Kerry lost this state handily to George W. Bush. Yes, 50 percent of those voters were Democrats… but Bush won one in three Democrats. Compare that to Pennsylvania, where only 15 percent of Democrats voted for Bush. This is one state where those voters promising to drop out and vote McCain in November are going to stick to that.

UPDATE 8:15: No numbers from Mississippi, but apparently DeSoto County—Davis's strongest county—had to request extra ballots.

UPDATE 8:28: Wow. I expect these numbers to shift through the night, but the protest vote in WV is enormous. With barely anything in, 7 percent of the vote is going to neither Clinton nor Obama. In the GOP race, 11 percent is going to neither McCain, Huckabee or Paul. This won't matter delegate-wise for either party, though. The Democrats re-weight their votes, discounting anyone who doesn't hit the 15 percent threshhold.

UPDATE 8:43: Are the days of Obama underperforming exit polls over? CNN has gently massaged its poll, and now shows Clinton getting closer to 64 percent of the combined vote… down from about 67 percent earlier. I'd be shocked if an electorate so anecdotally Obamaphobic lied to pollsters about this.

UPDATE 8:48: I think the GOP will hold MS-01. Childers is underperforming, and he only won by 49-46 last time.

UPDATE 9:10: Every time the Clinton camp breathes heavily about "no Democrat winning the White House without West Virginia," keep in mind that Dukakis, Carter (in 1980), Humphrey and Stevenson all won the state and lost the presidency.

UPDATE 9:13: Maybe I was wrong about MS-01. About 1/3 of Davis's base county, DeSoto, is in. He won it by 65 points last time, and is winning it by 45 now. If that margin holds (admittedly a dubious proposition) it's 1000 votes or so in Childers' pocket. Also, those DeSoto turnout predictions seem fishy… so far it's casting about as many votes as last time.

UPDATE 9:17: Good news for Childers. Last time, Yalobusha County cast 1,161 votes and broke 48-46 for Davis. This time, it cast 2,239 votes and broke 59-41 for Childers.

If the Democrats pull this off, expect to see Paul Begala mocked for this quote:

[What Howard Dean] has spent [the DNC's money] on apparently, is just hiring a bunch of staff people to wander around Utah and Mississippi and pick their nose. That's not how you build a party. You win elections. That's how you build a party.

If the GOP loses, not so much.

UPDATE 11:34: Childers won by 8 points, after winning the first round of the election by only 3. To recap, here was one of Davis's ads against him.

Mixed message for superdelegates tonight. On the one hand, Obama's still hopeless in Appalachia. On the other, Republicans tied a Democratic candidate to him and failed… in Mississippi.

Advertisement

NEXT: The Old, Weird Niagara

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’ve been reading a few news sites on this subject. It’s amusing to watch the pundits list the reasons obama won’t win in WV. None of them will just come out and say racism. “He doesn’t do well with blue collar southern whites”. Why not just say racist hicks?

  2. So, having argued that West Virginia doesn’t matter much… Clinton will beat Obama like a country drunk who’s walked in on his wife and the milkman

    is the new

    If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.

    Why? Because classism is the new racism.

  3. There is a city in WV named Monongalia?

    This is DEFINITELY not the latte liberal homestand…….

    On to Oregon!

  4. I discussed this with Eric Dondero on BlogTalkRadio last night.

    Wow. Next, will you have Edward and Neil on reason.tv? 🙂

  5. The thing I don’t get about Hillary’s whole “gimme the nomination because folks won’t vote for a darky” shtick is, the people who would never consider voting for a black man are generally the same ones who would never consider voting for a woman either.

  6. Lulz, Eric Dondero is still making predictions. Did he say whether or not the super collider is going to kill us all tomorrow? Will Romney be able to stop it in time?

  7. Obama just can’t win those Reagan Democrats.

  8. My Projection:

    Hillary: 75

    The Pope of Hope: 23

    Edwards: 2

  9. If he had lost Indiana by a landslide and North Carolina by a little then there would be dynamics shaping the race that go well beyond those two states, and the Democratic nomination really would be up for grabs.

    I think you’re too optimistic, Mr. Wiegel. Clinton 70 Obama 28.

  10. Why not just say racist hicks?

    Obviously, poor white people have every right to vote against Barack Obama. It is damn disturbing that so many of them think he’s both a Muslim and brainwashed by his pastor (53 percent say he agrees with Wright, according to WV exits).

    The upside for Obama is that only Appalachian whites really, really hate him. He’s killing Hillary with Midwestern and Western whites… he’ll probably even win whites east of the Cascades in Oregon next week.

  11. Texas may be less worrisome for the Republicans in the short term, but it’s a bigger problem for them in the long term. Some time next decade, Texas is going to become a majority-minority state, which means it is one anti-immigrant Republican presidential nominee from turning at bluish shade of purple at best.

    It’s also a lot bigger than Colorado.

  12. Joe IIRC Hispanics in Texas are not Hispanics in California. Texas Hispanics are much more Republican/Indendent. Somewhere between Florida and California Hispanics.

  13. Dondero was crowing that the Democrats were losing Southern whites forever with their foolhardy Obama nomination…

    I think we all know now who wrote those newsletters!

  14. Wow, Neil, we both got 2% for Edwards.

  15. Its probably the only thing we will ever agree on again Joe.

  16. Neil,

    Texas Hispanics are much more Republican/Indendent Right, which is why I wrote the bit about “one anti-immigrant Republican presidential nominee.”

    Bush/Rove did a very good courting them in the 90s, and McCain is the one Republican who stands a chance of keeping them on board. But the rest of the party is not helping things.

  17. DONDEROOOOOOOOOOO

    Does he come across as being just as breathlessly nutty in real life?

  18. ” “He doesn’t do well with blue collar southern whites”. Why not just say racist hicks?”

    Because everyone knows that anyone who does not vote for Obama is by definition a racist. The only form of bigotry that is not taboo anymore is bigotry against Appalachians or people who are culturally Southeastern – and I almost forgot – the rich, that bigotry isn’t taboo either.

  19. “The upside for Obama is that only Appalachian whites really, really hate him. ”

    All of the Bill and Hillary sycophants are Appalachian? I had no idea.

    -jcr

  20. (53 percent say he agrees with Wright, according to WV exits)

    And who knows? They may be correct. After all, we certainly can’t just take Obama at his word at this point, can we?

  21. Joe I don’t tink we will have a problem keeping in hispanics as long as we check the Tancredo crowd.

    On the contrary, they are quite observantly Catholic (or increasingly evangelical), socially conservative people. Ted Kennedy’s master plan to create a one party state through massive demographic change will backfire. Hispanics are increasingly identifying more with whites than with blacks (who they have many problems with).

    Trying to stoke an immigration backlash is a loser. Theres a reason the top two Republican cnadidates were also not from the Tancredo wing.

  22. I’m going to go in the other direction. Clinton 62, Obama 38. A bit of a bounce after last Tuesday.

  23. McCain is the one Republican who stands a chance of keeping them on board. But the rest of the party is not helping things.

    I’d be very cool on their chances if McCain loses this and the next standard-bearer is someone like Romney. The immigration battle has done wonders for Hispanic registration, and the big city burbs are getting less conservative. Rove cracked the state wide open by adding East Texas Democrats and a sizable amount of Hispanics to the Bush coalition. If Democrats gain back Hispanics and win the burbs, it’ll stop being a 60/40 GOP state and start being 55/45 or worse.

  24. Neil, your party IS the Tancredo crowd – well, maybe that’s a bit strong, but only a bit. It was only their bigotry towards the Mormon – definitely an immigrant-basher, at least in this incarnation – that kept them from nominating him.

    Republicans picked John McCain through process of elimination. He was the least unacceptable to them, even as his immigration politics – which he has had to back away from during this campaign, saying he would not vote for his own immigration bill – were wildly unpopular.

  25. DW, the next standard bearer is either Huckabee (“no one is illegal in America”) or Jindal, who is the son of third world immigrants himself.

  26. Ah, but Dave, who knows what Romney will be saying in eight years?

    If Democrats gain back Hispanics and win the burbs, it’ll stop being a 60/40 GOP state and start being 55/45 or worse.

    And that’s assuming static demographics.

  27. Joe thats true among the older (and non-border state) crowd in the GOP who are convinced hispanics are far-left Chavez loving loons.

    The younger and border state contingent realizes that once hispanics get a taste of the pro-abortion/femminist/anti-religion wing of the Democrat Party they won’t like what they see and will want a new home.

  28. If it weren’t for war and the Constitution (two big ones) I would vote for McCain to support gridlock.

    He went off on the anti-environment types today…. it was great! Limbaugh lost his tiny erection for a while while he lambasted McCain.

    (I caught the highlights on MSNBC a moment ago)

    This election will see-saw over and over again…

  29. That’s assuming static demographics.

    That and greater Democratic hustling. Texas reminds me of Virginia 10 years ago: the Dixiecrats have been replaced by Republicans, and the Democrats are clawing back by targeting bourbon Republican areas that have gotten more socially liberal and focused on quality of life.

  30. Ah, but Neil, you forget: the Democrats are the Big Tent Party now.

    The Hispanic voters you’re talking about don’t need to sit next to Barbara Boxer. They’ll be right at home with Ted Strickland, Tim Kaine, and, oh yeah, Bill Richardson.

  31. ” Texas is going to become a majority-minority state,”

    It already is. non-Hispanic whites are a plurality in Texas but not a majority.

  32. So was Hannibal Lecter right about West Virginians? Or is this racist?

    “You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you’ve tried so desparately to shed? Pure West Virginia.”

  33. PIRS,

    You sure about that? I could be remembering wrong, but I think there is still a bare majority of non-Hispanic whites, and the flip isn’t expected for a decade yet.

  34. So the big question is:

    WV has two D Senators. A Democrat Governor, and a Democrat Legislature. Demcrat registration outnumbers Republican registration 2-1. Even Dukakis carried WV. But Obama can’t in the fall?

    Isn’t that a little pathetic?

  35. More pathetic is your confusion about nouns and adjectives.

  36. Did I hit a sore spot there?

  37. As a West Virginian, I can tell you it’s blue-collar Bill Clinton nostalgia that’s getting Hillary the vote, she knows who to pander to.

    As for Obama, WV is short on blacks and left-wing yuppies, his chief pander targets.

  38. When, what is it, something like 30% of the voting population thinks Obama is Muslim, I’d write the state off too. You can’t buy ignorance that strong…..

  39. Joe, I remember a news report to that effect less than a year ago. It was linked to Drudge and it was a reputable news outfit. I will see if I can find it.

  40. You’re right, PIRS.

    Census2000: Non-Hispanic Whites 48.3%.

  41. The Roe v. Wade effect seems to be kicking in for reapportionment — the more liberal states are losing a bunch of seats to the more conservative states for the next reapportionment, I’d say at least in part due to a higher rate of abortions among liberals.

    This, of course, is being counteracted by the brain-dead policies of the GOP since 2000.

    It looks like it will be very hard for Democrats to win any presidential elections after the next reapportionment, unless Texas flips, in which case the GOP is doomed.

  42. As a West Virginian, I can tell you it’s blue-collar Bill Clinton nostalgia that’s getting Hillary the vote, she knows who to pander to.

    Good point. All of the discussion about the Democratic race is Obama-centric. Hillary’s vote is always discussed as the anti-Obama vote, instead of the pro-Clinton vote.

    A lot of people like HIllary Clinton. She wasn’t leading with 80% of the vote six months ago for nothing.

  43. Abortion rates, like divorce rates, are higher in the red states, prolefeed.

    And you’re making the classic “the fastest growing counties are the most Republican!” mistake.

    As those places grow, they become more Democratic.

  44. If we lose Texas, we’re fucked.

    I don’t think that will happen though.

  45. Sorry for the cross post joe

  46. The Roe v. Wade effect seems to be kicking in for reapportionment.

    One of the most bullshit social science theories of all time. Rhode Island and West Virginia aren’t losing clout because so many people are getting abortions: They’re losing it because people are fleeing to nicer places with lower costs of living and more jobs. The Southwestern population surge isn’t handing more electoral votes to Republicans as much as it’s making the states more competitive.

  47. My last comment got eaten, and I forgot what I said. Regardless, this made me laugh:

    “I’m going to vote for the colored guy,” said Henry Ford — “no, not that Henry Ford,” the 87-year old retired carpenter in the Napa Auto Parts hat pointed out. “I don’t dislike her, but I don’t think a woman can be president of the United States. I don’t think she can handle the job.”

    Is it really so wrong to make fun of WV?

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/05/concerned_white.html

  48. Weigel,

    Since when did W VA get an influx of Southern Whites?

    West Virginia is not “the South”.
    Not geographically, historically or culturally.

  49. Since when did W VA get an influx of Southern Whites?

    Fair point, and I should have stuck to calling them “Appalachian” or “mountain” whites.

  50. Excepting Louisiana, are there any Southern States losing population?

  51. SIV no states lost population in the last census except for (lo and behold) West Virginia.

  52. Excepting Louisiana, are there any Southern States losing population?

    No, although Mississippi is pretty static.

    The other Southern state that’s both booming and locked-in for Republicans is Georgia. Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia are all growing in ways that make them more competitive.

  53. DW don’t you think the military vote in Virginia makes it a lock for McCain?

  54. They’re losing it because people are fleeing to nicer places with lower costs of living and more jobs.

    Nitpick. It’s *just* the jobs. There are very few places in the first world where you can live cheaper than West Virginia.

    I agree that taranto’s (among others) ‘Roe effect’ theory is B.S.,

  55. One important thing to remember about Virginia is that much of northern Virginia is a giant bedroom community for government workers in D.C. Many of these people have an incentive to vote for people they think will ensure they still have cushy jobs through the next election cycle.

  56. Neil,

    LA lost population after Katrina and Rita.
    I would expect oil and gas booms and Jindal’s reforms to reverse that, and with a more solidly Republican trend.

  57. Al Gore won states in 2010? Which alternate universe are we living in?

  58. Kolohe is partially right. WV is cheap, and for the most part clean with the exception ofareas around some chemical plants. It’s not crowded, so traffic isn’t a big deal. Crime is relatively low.

    A potential disadvantage is the lack of a big city; don’t plan on seeing too many independent films here.

    The main thing is the economy. Between taxes and unions it’s not attractive to businesses, and 25% of personal income is some type of public assistance.

  59. John-David: Al Gore was ahead of his time.

  60. “The main thing is the economy. Between taxes and unions it’s not attractive to businesses,”

    What about personal income taxes? Suppose I decided to move there and work as a contract worker? Or work in southern Ohio?

  61. ce-
    ‘partially right’? I think we completely agree; it’s no good enough to have a low cost of living if there are no jobs (due to the factors you mention) – so people leave to go where the jobs are.
    Or was it my assertion that WV is ‘first world’?:)

  62. I’m not sure I understand your question. Are you just asking how high the personal income tax is? It’s a little above average, but the burden is mainly on businesses.

  63. As a ex-pat West Virginian, I can tell you that the population loss has far more to do with educated young people seeking greener pastures than with any other demographic trend.

    Gore lost this state for the Democrats on a national political level when he failed to dismiss the notion that the national party wants to stop all coal mining and sneak in the middle of the night to steal all the guns. Becoming the first Democrat Presidential contender to lose in the state to a non-incumbent Republican since Al Smith is a major feat. FDR, Kennedy and Byrd had the citizens of the state well and truely bought.

    And when did WV become “southern” and why didn’t Maryland join them?

  64. An Honest Question – cross-post, the last comment was directed at you.

    Kolohe – I’m not saying we disagree, but I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who work at shitty jobs in other states and moved there for cultural/lifestyle reasons: clubs (not a great place to be gay), theater, art scene, concerts, that kind of thing, so it’s not solely jobs.

  65. Clinton: 79
    Mr. Audacity of Socialism who wears really cool clothes and loves hanging in Adams Morgan, so most Reason, libertarian lite types love him: 21

  66. Thanks CE, that was my question. The burden is mostly on biz.

  67. And when did WV become “southern” and why didn’t Maryland join them?

    The “knowledge centers” tend to move Blue – see Boston, NYC, Chicago, LA and SF…. and DC, of course.

    The “Faith” areas tend to remain ignorant.

    Hey – been that way since Galileo….

  68. And when did WV become “southern” and why didn’t Maryland join them?

    Well, to be a pedant, most of WV is south of where Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon drew their line. (And then they decided to put themselves North)

    ‘why didn’t maryland join them’
    Because the majority of maryland is tied to ‘New Rome’ even more than Virginia is.

  69. ce-
    I also agree with your 7:17.

  70. DC?..a “knowledge center”….ooookkkkkk

    ignorant of what?…smaller gov’t than the “knowledge centers” produce???

  71. DW, the next standard bearer is either Huckabee (“no one is illegal in America”) or Jindal, who is the son of third world immigrants himself.

    I wonder how the evangelicals will react to the knowledge of Jindal’s college exorcism experience.

  72. DC?..a “knowledge center”….ooookkkkkk

    Higher education is an urban (in this case -DC, experience).

    Sorry, it might be politically incorrect, but it is true.

    The Bush rednecks are left in the swamp….

  73. Mr. Audacity of Socialism who wears really cool clothes and loves hanging in Adams Morgan, so most Reason, libertarian lite types love him

    Not sure how many times it needs to be said, but much of the reason staff lives outside of DC.

    Apparently, living a city-yuppie lifestyle is another thing against which it is acceptable to be prejudiced.

  74. D.C. is full of career buerocrats sucking off the government tit.

  75. He went off on the anti-environment types today…. it was great! Limbaugh lost his tiny erection for a while while he lambasted McCain.

    Ahh, yes, if you don’t believe that global warming is big enough of a problem for massive state intervention, you must be “anti-environemt”…kinda like being opposed to affirmative action is “racist”.

    And it’s transparent you don’t actually listen to Limbaugh, who can’t stand McCain (and has made that clear from the beginning). If anything, Limbaugh’s just convinced that Big Health Care and Nanny Government is coming our way with Sen. Empty Suit (and he’s not entirely wrong about that, is he now?)

  76. I wonder how many will really care if he represents the path to Repub electoral success.

  77. Ahhh, what the fuck do you know? – ‘Ayn Randian’ (snickers) – you are a churlish bitch with no backbone.

    Grab your fucking ass and suck off your fascist friend – Tall Davy.

  78. “I’m going to vote for the colored guy,” said Henry Ford — “no, not that Henry Ford,” the 87-year old retired carpenter in the Napa Auto Parts hat pointed out. “I don’t dislike her, but I don’t think a woman can be president of the United States. I don’t think she can handle the job.”

    Ordinarily this would offend me, but reading it only a couple days after Hillary insisted that hard-working, white Americans won’t vote for Obama, I just find it very, very funny.

    And I really, really want to travel to a parallel universe to see what AlternaHillary said in response to AlternaObama’s remark that he should get the nomination because “hard-working Americans — male Americans — won’t vote for a woman.”

  79. You mealy-mouthed cocksucker—‘Ayn Randian’….

    I know a lot more about “liberty” than you can scrape off the hide of your jackbooted GOP heros.

    Fuck you and your sorry dreams of Ayn Rand.

    You don’t deserve her token for carrying her bags.

  80. I predict that Republicans will retain the Mississippi House district, shattering Dem hopes.

  81. Clinton winning 2-1.

    The far-left liberals in the O-cult can’t be happy with those numbers.

  82. Ahh, yes, if you don’t believe that global warming is big enough of a problem for massive state intervention,

    I never said anything about “massive state intervention”!

    I DID say that I supported GE, American Electric Power, and many other it terms of FREE MARKET solutions to GW…

    I will kick your sorry ass around every time you lie about my position1

    Oh ANd Limbaugh is a scumbag – no question there.

  83. Remember when we used to have classy trolls like Dan T around here?
    Well there is always joe!

  84. SIV since you seem to be southern who will win the Mississippi House race?

  85. Children, children can you please stop fighting in the playground?

  86. “Remember when we used to have classy trolls like Dan T around here?
    Well there is always joe!”

    SIV, I’ve always kind of thought of you as the troll (lovable troll, but troll nonetheless)! A troll is first and foremost, pretending. And you’re clearly pretending to have libertarian tendencies to promote the GOP.

  87. the link claiming that reapportionment will “pulverize” these states shows the 2010 projection is that west virginia and kentucky will stay at 5 and 8 votes, respectively. where is the pulverizing?

  88. “One important thing to remember about Virginia is that much of northern Virginia is a giant bedroom community for government workers in D.C. Many of these people have an incentive to vote for people they think will ensure they still have cushy jobs through the next election cycle.”

    I think a better explanation is this: much of Northern Va (NOVA) have graduate degrees. As the GOP takes more and more of an anti-intellectual turn, it becomes harder and harder for people who are educated to vote for these creationist-embracing embryo-loving prayer-turning-around-hurricanes-believing nuts.

  89. I do think Obama’s poor showing, shit, crazy-bad showing in WV, is not a good sign for Dems in 2008. Dukakis times 2, anyone?

  90. Even Dukakis won WV, MNG.

    Pathetic.

  91. Neil,
    I’ll agree with you.

    He’s a terrible candidate. Terrible. Who the F*ck would pick this one term senator from Illinois?

    Did I mention the guy is half-black and has a crazy sounding name? Not exactly proven qualities of presidential winners…

    On the other hand, the GOP chose the candidate most likely to impress Dem voters (I like the guy).

    I want the Dems to win, but this is a crazy, crazy, arrogant choice.

  92. Stop, MNG, or you will make Joe cry in his wine.

    If this were Mike Easley as their nominee, or Phil Breseden, the race would be over and even I would admit we have no chance.

    But Obama? LOL landslide.

  93. “I think a better explanation is this: much of Northern Va (NOVA) have graduate degrees. As the GOP takes more and more of an anti-intellectual turn, it becomes harder and harder for people who are educated to vote for these creationist-embracing embryo-loving prayer-turning-around-hurricanes-believing nuts.”

    There is some truth to the point that the GOP’s embrace of Salafi Christians has alienated educated people in recent years (this is one reason I deregistered as Republican and registered as LP) but this does not explain the brand of pork-loving Democrat that exists in Northern Virginia.

  94. Ordinarily this would offend me, but…

    Ah, c’mon. Maybe your just missing a clever joke. As a West Virginian, I choose to believe that the old man was probably just making one of those folksy, satirical witticisms for which we Mountaineers are so well-known and admired.

    /lying through my tooth

  95. An educated person, a sophisticated person, like joe would not hold it against a candidate that he had a foriegn born father, and a crazy Muslim name, and was half-black. But most of America is not much educated or sophisticated.

    And THEN there is the fact that this guy is a ONE TERM SENATOR. He makes Edwards look accomplished and vetted. Even the educated, sophisticated folks should see that this is very poor qualifications for POTUS. Jesus. The Dems have gone apeshit nuts…

  96. People like him up in Mass, Vermont, and San Fran just dont get the rest of the country, and Republicans profit off of that every four years.

  97. Look, I defended McCain. But in so doing I stomped on a pet project of the ‘GW denier cult’.

    All in the defense of free enterprise!

    You gotta love it.

    There Will Be Blood!

    I don’t back down from anyone. You have to hit the Sean Hannity douchebags in their fucking mouth.

  98. Wait a minute, the guy is 87 years old. I could see my 85-year-old grandmother saying the exact same thing (and yes, even down to the use of “colored”…if you think about it, that was the progressive word during her time).

    Grab your fucking ass and suck off your fascist friend – Tall Davy.

    Awwwwww…the widdle guy is angry. Look at his tiny fists of rage.

    I never defended Limbaugh by the way; I just took exception to your implication that he has a “tiny erection” for him.

    shrike, coming from a adultolescent, you need to grow the fuck up and learn how to read.

  99. I never thought I would say this, but I am strangely in agreement with both Neil and MNG: Obama really is a terrible candidate. 18 months in the Senate? That alone is a serious blow.

    No major state wins? Come on, folks. 2008 should have been a Democrat cakewalk…I cannot believe they’re going to fucking blow this one.

  100. “(and yes, even down to the use of “colored”…if you think about it, that was the progressive word during her time).”

    I have to agree with Ayn_Randian on this point. Ever hear of an organization called the NAACP? DO you know what that is an acronym for?

  101. Ayn Randian blowing national elections is one of three things they do well.

    The other two being inciting class envy and raising taxes.

  102. You do understand this is a primary, not a general election?

  103. PIRS-Logically the NOVA folks would vote the way they do because of their paymaster. But folks are not logical. I know some of these folks (my parents live in VA and I travel there a bit) and they think of their paychecks as a “given.” But they DO think of themselves as “educated” and they really are spooked by the GOP with their anti-intellectual campaign. When I was a kid, Oliver North had his campaign ads showing him wearing plaid shirts and saying “golly” while Chuck Robb had him in his law office wearing a suit and saying words like “ideological.” The differences were rather stark.

    This btw was why a GOPer like John Warner, who never hid his “sophisticated” nature, won every time easily…The state leans right, but not towards hillbillys…

  104. MNG George Allen won VA, and he didn’t do it by being some inside-the-beltway intellectual elite.

  105. I never defended Limbaugh by the way; I just took exception to your implication that he has a “tiny erection” for him.

    shrike, coming from a adultolescent, you need to grow the fuck up and learn how to read.

    Look, AR, I will make a deal with you.

    I will “grow up” in exchange that you never question my Libertarian credentials again – in particular – the “massive government intervention” LIE you told in order to disparage me.

    So, no lie like that, no adolescent retort on my part…

    Deal?

  106. MNG-

    Bush won because he got the religious right to really turn out, was accepted by the other members of the nominal right wing, and convinced enough of the center to vote for him over the other guy.

    Obama can win by the same strategy: get the Democratic base to really turn out, be accepted by the other members of the nominal left wing, and convince enough of the center to vote for him over the other guy.

    It’s going to be close, and it’s risky (re-run the last two elections in a monte carlo sim, and I bet Bush comes out the loser more times than not, esp 2000), but emmenently achievable with the way the political winds are blowing.

  107. Ayn-Randian
    I lean Democratic, as you know, and when I started to hear this “buzz” about Obama based on “the speech” (the one he gave at the 2004 convention) I thought: WTF? Who IS this guy? So he gave a good speech. Shit, most politicians worth a damn do. Who has he beat? Has he beat them in a contested state? Isn’t his name really funny? Is Chicago like America?

    Shit no. The Democratic Party went mad when we needed them the most, and tried to fill their worst affirmative action dreams in this election, because they thought it was a “gimmee”. “If my country could elect a black guy then that proves it is not as bad as I thought” is the mentality. Jesus christ there are some real issues at stake here, I can’t beleive they fucked around with this stuff.

    Hail to President McCain! At least it’s not President Romney…

  108. “MNG George Allen won VA”

    Urr, not recently (Thank God)

  109. “This btw was why a GOPer like John Warner, who never hid his “sophisticated” nature, won every time easily…The state leans right, but not towards hillbillys…”

    Bush 43 won Virginia for both terms – just not in Northern Virginia. This despite speaking in a Texan drawl and being labeled (wrongly IMHO {no, I am not a Bush 43 fan but know he is more intelligent than he is given credit for}) as unintelligent. While it is true that Bush 43 grew the federal government enormously most voters still perceive Republicans as “slashing government”. How did Bush 43 manage to pull this off?

  110. You do understand this is a primary, not a general election?

    Yeah, man, I got it. The point is popularity, in raw terms and in large states, is not on Obama’s side. Furthermore, polls taken in big swing states (like Ohio…not that I have a bias or anything) show a preference for McCain v. Obama but not McCain v. Hillary.

    I know a lot of people like to think this can be attributed to yokelist anti-elitism, but, shit man, 18 months in the Senate? What the hell makes him qualified to lead the Executive Branch. I doubt he’s even interacted with it that much.

  111. MNG That was the worst thing to happen in 2006.

    Allen would be in McCain’s spot right now if it wasn’t for the liberal media.

  112. When I was a kid, Oliver North had his campaign ads showing him wearing plaid shirts and saying “golly” while Chuck Robb had him in his law office wearing a suit and saying words like “ideological.” The differences were rather stark.

    This was around the 1st election I voted in. Any other candidate, Robb would have lost, esp w/ the republican reallignment that year. But memories of Iran-Contra were still fresh, and to the ‘insiders’ as many of the virginia electorate were and still are, he was and is considered a liar and a crook.

  113. Sorry, got to nitpick: Obama entered the Senate in January 2005. He’s been there 40 months.

  114. “How did Bush 43 manage to pull this off?” VA is still a “default” GOP state. You have to be a near total dumbass with little to offer to lose this state as a GOPer, and the Dems have to run a really smart, strong candidate.
    Luckily for a Dem leaning person like me, in VA they usually do this (Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Jim Webb, all come across as very professional compared to their opponents, compared to Gilmore, Kilgore or Allen, ask any Virginian).

    “Allen would be in McCain’s spot right now if it wasn’t for the liberal media.”

    I wish Neil. Allen was a spoiled arrogant dumbass, while McCain has integrity and intelligence. I wish because Allen would be easy prey on the national scene, and we would get two more SCOTUS choices than we are going to get under McCain….

  115. Deal?

    Look man, I didn’t mischaracterize your position: you did. McCain’s speech called for increasing CAFE standards to 35-miles a gallon, which is more than most fucking cars get. He called for cap-and-trade. He pretty much called for massive government investment in “alternative fuels”

    And you called it “him taking it to the anti-environment” people.

    My point was that McCain wasn’t calling AGW deniers on the carpet. He indicated he’s prepared to destroy the economy over this nebulous issue. And you called it “taking it to the anti-environment” folks.

  116. OK. You are mad at McCain then?

    I just professed admiration for his renewed “maverick” status.

    Yes, I defended him – ADMITTEDLY b/c he pissed off the wingnut set.

  117. MNG @ 8:48 – for reals. “Mega-dittos” 😀

    Honestly, Hillary really can “out-policy” Obama any day of the week, and saying ignorant shit like ‘It’s OK to raise the capital gains tax even if we’re on the wrong side of the Laffer curve, in the interest of fairness’ wins this dude no points with me.

    Anywho, I’d rather have McCain and the war rather than Obama and the war, anyway…’cause I’m not convinced he was going to end it anyway.

  118. Shrike and Ayn_Randian. Please, get a room. We don’t need to see your S&M lovemaking in here.

  119. When the Republicans win in Mississippi tonight combined with Obama’s loss in WV, this will be the beginning of the Great Republican Comeback of 2008.

    You can take that one to the bank, folks.

  120. Yes, I defended him – ADMITTEDLY b/c he pissed off the wingnut set.

    Dude, he fucking pissed me off, and (even though I could be counted in the ‘wingnut set’) he infuriated a lot of free-marketer, K street conservatives and this libertarian.

    35 MPG is un-fucking-acceptable. That’s Nanny Statism of the highest order…especially galling is that it’s over AGW. AGW, where nobody has quantified what the extent of the damage is, what the effects are, who exactly is responsible, why exactly it’s happening, etc!

    I consider myself pretty “in the know” and even I have no clue the short- and long-term effects of AGW. And neither does anyone else. Yet McCain wants to mobilize the State to “do Something about it!”

  121. “Sorry, got to nitpick: Obama entered the Senate in January 2005. He’s been there 40 months.”

    Who was the most unqualified POTUS in history? Was it Ford?

  122. Shrike and Ayn_Randian. Please, get a room. We don’t need to see your S&M lovemaking in here.

    YES YOU DO! It’s my right as a kinky cosmotarian to make love wherever I damn well please.

  123. Ayn-Randian
    I do think Obama or HRC would move to “end the war” (I put this in quotes because they would probably just move the troops to nearby bases and Ok a deployment). In grad school we read many a paper that said that candidates do, for the most part, keep their very public promises. When a candidate talks about x over and over, they are a bit beholden to do x. So I really do think, if elected, Obama would be way, way better on Iraq.

    I just think he has a small chance of being elected.

  124. btw – the Laffer Curve becomes impotent the lower it ranges…..

    Granted, Gilder taught Reagan its importance at the 70% marginal rate.

    In the single digits it becomes much less effective.

  125. “When the Republicans win in Mississippi tonight combined with Obama’s loss in WV, this will be the beginning of the Great Republican Comeback of 2008.”

    Mississippi is like some foriegn territory we own, so it’s stupid to think trends there mean anything for the U.S.

  126. But MNG I had liberals like Joe and the Kos kids blabbing all week about how this election would start a Democrat landslide.

    Isnt gonna happen.

  127. YES YOU DO! It’s my right as a kinky cosmotarian to make love wherever I damn well please

  128. “YES YOU DO! It’s my right as a kinky cosmotarian to make love wherever I damn well please.”

    I have never called you or anyone a “cosmotarian”. I think these artificial divisions are destructive to the overall libertarian movement. I don’t care if you live in Auburn, DC or London. What I care about is whether or not you are a consistent supporter of liberty.

  129. Ayn-Randian, are you a cosmotarian? I’ve always thought that meant “educated and well read libertarian?”

    Or, in opposition to SIV or Guy Montag, it means “willing to think differentially from my parents or surroundings”.

    Interesting how some of the brightest and most principled folks here, Ayn-Randian and fluffy, have Randian tendencies…The dimmest? GOP tendencies…Have to re-read We the living…

  130. I think these artificial divisions are destructive to the overall libertarian movement. I don’t care if you live in Auburn, DC or London. What I care about is whether or not you are a consistent supporter of liberty.

    Of course, the strategy portion of making “liberty” happen means not looking kooky or racist. Hence the divide.

  131. Who was the most unqualified POTUS in history? Was it Ford?

    That would be Lincoln or JFK.

    Perhaps Washington as well, but as first POTUS he gains respect that no predecessor could have.

  132. Ayn-Randian, are you a cosmotarian? I’ve always thought that meant “educated and well read libertarian?”

    Yes, I am a cosmotarian, but no, that’s not what it means. It’s more of a “city mouse, country mouse” thing. Cosmotarians saw the pandering to racists as stupid and evil, the yokeltarians said “Hey wait, blacks are pretty fast…”

    That’s a quick and dirty summary. Cosmos are usually more globalistic, yokeltarians are provincial.

  133. “Ayn-Randian, are you a cosmotarian? I’ve always thought that meant “educated and well read libertarian?””

    Mr. Nice Guy, some background. There are some “divisions” in the libertarian movement over essentially minor issues. There major centers of these divisions are in Auburn (Ludvig Von Mises Institute) and Washington (Reason and CATO). Part of the split came due to the Ron Paul movement. But there are other minor issues as well. Education in this case has nothing to do with it. Auburn, if you do not know, is a college that has a close but unofficial relationship with the LVMI. You can say many things about LVMI scholars but two things they cannot be accused of being is uneducated or unintelligent. Try this test if you do not believe me: Take an average person off the street and ask them to read a copy of Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises.

  134. “Of course, the strategy portion of making “liberty” happen means not looking kooky or racist. Hence the divide.”

    Just in case you are unaware, not all LVMI supporters are Paulites, Lew Rockwell does but not all Auburn libertarians agree with him on that.

  135. “That’s a quick and dirty summary. Cosmos are usually more globalistic, yokeltarians are provincial.”

    No, that is a quick and dirty set of lies.

  136. PIRS, I agree that LvMI libertarians are smart people, and that the divisions can be considered petty. Part of the problem is that Lew is the prominent face of “that branch” (fair or unfair, it’s true), and most people look askance at anyone who wants to harangue you about “The War of Northern Aggression”.

  137. No, that is a quick and dirty set of lies.

    Riiight…I’m sure that the paleo opposition to immigration liberalization is all principle, even though it’s been explained to them over and over how it is not.

    Also, I’d say that playing to the irrational fears of White Texan Christians is the height of “provincialism”…I mean, Bohemian Grove? Homosexual AIDS cover-up? Seriously?

  138. Most unqualified would probably be Woodrow Wilson. 2 years as NJ governor with no federal experience.

  139. ” . . and most people look askance at anyone who wants to harangue you about “The War of Northern Aggression”.”

    Auburn University is in Alabama, the heart of The Deep South. If you went to a history class in London, England you would get a VERY different perspective on “The Rebellion of The American Colonies.”

  140. PIRS, here’s a question to chew on: if you consider the “paleo/cosmo divide” to be artificial, how is that you can say this?:

    No, that is a quick and dirty set of lies.

    How can I be lying about what you have characterized as a fiction? If the divide is truly non-existent, then you shouldn’t even be able to call any description of it “Truth” or “Lies” because it’s all made up.

  141. The showing by Obama is downright pathetic.

    Not good for him in the fall. He can’t even win the eggheads anymore here LOL.

    Hello, McCain landslide.

    300+EV for sure for the Senator from Arizona.

  142. “Riiight…I’m sure that the paleo opposition to immigration liberalization is all principle, even though it’s been explained to them over and over how it is not. ”

    Paleoconservatives are not libertarians. Ron Paul was endorsed by Lew Rockwell but this does not make him part of the same movement.

  143. “PIRS, here’s a question to chew on: if you consider the “paleo/cosmo divide” to be artificial, how is that you can say this?:”

    Paleoconservatives are not libertarians.

  144. I was born in Virginia, and I like Lew Rockwell. But the paleos seem to have a connection to traditional religion which makes me think: provincial.

  145. “How can I be lying about what you have characterized as a fiction? If the divide is truly non-existent, then you shouldn’t even be able to call any description of it “Truth” or “Lies” because it’s all made up”

    Y’All wanna rephrase that pardner?
    (My best Yokel accent – )

  146. I have personally found Auburn to be an socio-cultural anomaly on the belt that runs from Macon to Montgomery to Jackson.

    (Much like Blacksburg, VA is the same anomaly for appalachia)

  147. PIRS – you said that my classification of paleos was “a quick and dirty pack of lies”. If, as you said, the divide between libertarians is artificial, how could I be lying about one side of it?

  148. “PIRS – you said that my classification of paleos was “a quick and dirty pack of lies”.”

    I didn’t see you make any classification about paleos at all? I DID see you make a classification of LvMI libertarians. And yes, it is a pack of lies. What is your point?

  149. “Cosmotarian” was coined in response to Virgina Postrel’s inane definition of libertarianism. She accused Ron Paul of not being a “tolerant cosmopolitan”. That definition is orthogonal to libertarianism. Obama is a tolerant cosmopolitan. Hillary is a tolerant cosmopolitan. Neither are of them are libertarian.

    Paleos are also tolerant. However, they don’t confuse their legal/political philosophy with their moral philosophy. Just because they argue that all non-violent behaviors should be legal does not mean they consider all non-violent behaviors to be morally good. Heck, they even assert that it’s possible to be a libertarian Christian, an idea that profoundly heretical to most cosmos. This is the big dividing point between the paleos and cosmos. The urban/provincial split is trivial in comparison.

  150. “If, as you said, the divide between libertarians is artificial, how could I be lying about one side of it?”

    This is YOU an iddividual. You are not a group. Someone who names himself (or herself – I do not know your plumbing) after Ayn Rand should know that better than most.

  151. “Heck, they even assert that it’s possible to be a libertarian Christian, an idea that profoundly heretical to most cosmos.”

    I have seen Reason /CATO types be accepting of Christians. Some even site Leo Tolstoy as an example.

  152. “knowledge” and “higher education” are by no means the same thing….its cute that you are still so influenced by your college experience

  153. I have seen Reason /CATO types be accepting of Christians. Some even site Leo Tolstoy as an example.

    Religion is a sorry kind of Authority for sure but you bring up Tolstoy – as anti-liberty as one can be he can still be a genuis…

    Think Bach – as another example.

    Religion is a slow unwinding trap. It must be shucked like a snakeskin to find true freedom.

  154. Shrike, in his later years he became what we would today call an anarchocapitalist – though his focus was not on economics. Check out this work as a good example:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/8tkhw10.txt

    By the way, I am an atheist. The famous LvMI scholar Murray Rothbard was agnostic.

  155. “anarchocapitalist?”

    I love that term!

    (never heard that mash-up though).

    And I ….. barely,,,,,,,just heard…….. perhaps scotch-addled at this point….. that ….a ,,,, Democrat ……..won ,,,, a House seat in …(get this) MISSISSIPPI!

    The world is GWINE’ CRAZEE!

  156. I discussed this with Eric Dondero on BlogTalkRadio last night. Dondero was crowing that the Democrats were losing Southern whites forever with their foolhardy Obama nomination, and I argued that they could afford to, because the electoral power of those voters is vanishing.

    Dave Wigel, I am seriously worried about you after this and that last time.

  157. I know, it usually has a hyphen.

    I like portmanteus

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmanteau

  158. Another House seat flips to the Dems:

    http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=8319840

    I’m thinking the NRSC, the RCCC, and the RNC are going to be ordering a shit load of liquor over the next few months.

  159. Just wait until November. He won’t be able to hold onto that seat with Hussein at the top of the ticket.

  160. “Another House seat flips to the Dems:”

    Fiscal conservatives have little or no reason to trust most congressional Republicans. Not that they have any reason to trust the Dems either but they have no good reason to show up at the polls for a run-off election between most Republicans and most Democrats.

  161. Three out of four Mississippi Congressmen are now Democrats.

  162. Three out of four Mississippi Congressmen are now Democrats DINOs.

    Fixed.

  163. Neil, in what way are these people not “real Democrats”?

  164. I wouldn’t call someone who is pro-gun, pro-life, pro-balanced budget amendment, pro-strict cnstructionist judges, and evangelical to be “Democrats”.

    Its like calling Jim Jeffords a Republican.

  165. Neil | May 13, 2008, 9:03pm | #

    When the Republicans win in Mississippi tonight combined with Obama’s loss in WV, this will be the beginning of the Great Republican Comeback of 2008.

    You can take that one to the bank, folks.

    Neil | May 13, 2008, 9:09pm | #

    But MNG I had liberals like Joe and the Kos kids blabbing all week about how this election would start a Democrat landslide.

    Isnt gonna happen.

    Neil | May 13, 2008, 10:48pm | #

    Just wait until November. He won’t be able to hold onto that seat with Hussein at the top of the ticket.

    Aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Reverend Wrong rides again.

    Ooh, one more:

    Hello, McCain landslide.

    300+EV for sure for the Senator from Arizona.

    Good night, Neil!

  166. Them West Virginians speak with a weird accent. I can’t even understand what she’s singing. They also look like Japanese for some reason.

  167. “Fiscal conservatives have little or no reason to trust most congressional Republicans.”

    The same with the libertarian wing, the old Right anti-war/interventionist wing, and the conservative pro-civil liberties wing (the Freedom Agenda folks, for example). They’ve also alienated the moderates as well. At the rate people are streaming out of the GOPs big tent, the only people left will be some guy rambling about “Islamofascists” and another guy wanting to give copies of the Watchtower to the first guy.

  168. Jim Jeffords and his family were Republicans a lot longer than the neocon pussies who call him a “RINO.”

  169. Most average Southern white guys who would have a real problem if their daughter brought home a black boyfriend would actually vote for a black president IF that black man shared their same basic values.

    IF he were reasonably conservative, very patriotic, had a record to prove these things, was pro-life, and his wife wasn’t acting as if she had a starring role on “Good Times.”

  170. Colin:

    You would call Jeffords a conservative? Such a definition requires a very odd and singular dictionary to which most rational people do not have – or want – access to.

  171. Most average Southern white guys who would have a real problem if their daughter brought home a black boyfriend would actually vote for a black president IF that black man shared their same basic values.

    IF he were reasonably conservative, very patriotic, had a record to prove these things, was pro-life, and his wife wasn’t acting as if she had a starring role on “Good Times.”

    Well, that sounds convincing.

  172. To say that the Democrats are going to lose Southern whites forever is an idiotic statement that fundamentally misapprehends the South. The democrats may lose a lot of racists – for an election. But the notion that all whites would be lost is based solely on the premise that all whites are unrepentant racists. Southern whites have lived for four decades with the guilt of Jim Crow. That guilt makes some resentful (most of those folks were lost in the days of Nixon, and Obama has nothing to do with it), but it makes a lot of others more committed to making it right. As time has gone on, the number of people working to make it, at the least, better in the south has grown and grown, and people who insist that all white folks in the south are somehow prone to an unusual brand of racism are simply relying on an overworn cliche (and it makes those people reying on such a cliche look lazy and stupid for not being critical enough to move beyond outdated conventional wisdom). For all the talk of southern whites, it is the racism that permeates the northeast that will hurt Obama more than anything that happens in the South (in fact, I think he has the chance to challenge McCain in the south more than people think). The people in the northeast haven’t had their racism laid bare before the nation and haven’t been punished by popular culture for it the way the South has for 40 years, and unfortunately it looks like when the subject of racism gets raised in this election, lazy pundits and people in the media will simply take the easy route and talk of “southern whites” when being Southern has nothing to do with it.

  173. I just want to thank Mr Weigel for the (well-chosen) clip at the top. Ghibli references in a Democrat Presidential politics column – who’d’ve ever thought that in the “back when?” Indicates pretty well the influence of WV culture, even on an international stage, too.

  174. “A week of “check out this rube who hates black people!” stories comes mercifully to an end.”

    Why would we want these to end? Dumb people should be ridiculed constantly.

  175. ce | May 13, 2008, 7:02pm | #

    Kolohe is partially right. WV is cheap, and for the most part clean with the exception ofareas around some chemical plants. It’s not crowded, so traffic isn’t a big deal. Crime is relatively low.

    A potential disadvantage is the lack of a big city; don’t plan on seeing too many independent films here.

    The main thing is the economy. Between taxes and unions it’s not attractive to businesses, and 25% of personal income is some type of public assistance.

    I’m surprised more conservationists don’t settle in West Virginia. It sounds like their ideal. I considered moving there myself, but I get frost bite way too easily.

  176. Correction:

    ce | May 13, 2008, 7:02pm | #

    Kolohe is partially right. WV is cheap, and for the most part clean with the exception ofareas around some chemical plants. It’s not crowded, so traffic isn’t a big deal. Crime is relatively low.

    A potential disadvantage is the lack of a big city; don’t plan on seeing too many independent films here.

    The main thing is the economy. Between taxes and unions it’s not attractive to businesses, and 25% of personal income is some type of public assistance.

    I’m surprised more conservationists don’t settle in West Virginia. It sounds like their ideal. I considered moving there myself, but I get frost bite way too easily.

  177. …but I get frost bite way too easily.

    Frostbite? It’s WV, not the Yukon. January and February can be bitter cold, but that’s no different than most of the rest of the country. Most of the year, it’s pretty moderate. Even the mountains are pretty moderate. Compared to the Rocky Mountains they’re more like big hills.

  178. David, you misspelled Eric’s name, it’s:

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  179. Uh, yeah, taxes and unions. That’s West Virginia’s problem. Absent the taxes and unions, Google would have moved its headquarters to Wheeling.

  180. If the Republicans can’t even win an election by running against Reverend Wright in Mississippi, how can they expect that tactic to deliver them the presidency?

  181. And THEN there is the fact that this guy is a ONE TERM SENATOR

    So what? Seriously. I’ve never understood this argument. No one can even really explain what that means – “qualified to be President.” It’s particularly ridiculous on a libertarian site – the shorter track record the better. I always thought the closest thing to a real libertarian candidate would be someone like Eisenhower – real accomplishment outside politics, encouraged to run against his better judgement, and didn’t try to do much once he got in office. But really, do people think Ted Kennedy is better qualified to be POTUS? George H.W. Bush was clearly far better qualified than Reagan by these ridiculous standards. So was Bob Dole. Of all the anti-Obama arguments the “lack of experience” one is the least compelling. There simply is no job like being President, and if you look at the historical record sterling resumes are no guarantee of future success. Who had a better resume than Hoover? No one. Ulysses S. Grant – proven leader of men, battle tested, awful President. If you want to attack Obama go after the liberal policies outlined in great detail on his website, go after his ties to figures like Wright, go after his wife. That’s all fair game. Lack of experience is just silly Clintonista talk, and for most US voters it’s what they like about Obama – he’s new and different. You’re probably doing Obama a favor by harping on that theme.

  182. You want experience, write in Rumsfeld.

  183. I wouldn’t call someone who is pro-gun, pro-life, pro-balanced budget amendment, pro-strict cnstructionist judges, and evangelical to be “Democrats”.

    There’s no such thing as a strict constructionist judge. They’re like unicorns and manticores. If Scalia or Thomas were strict constuctionists, Raich would’ve flipped. They’re biased in their own way and see different penumbras.

    Also, once Republicans took over Congress, the Dems favored the balanced budget amendment and the Reps opposed it. People are in favor of tightening the other guy’s purse strings. Oh and Harry Reid, the leader of Senate Dems, is pro-life.

    I’m with vanya on the experience thing. Unless someone has prior experience running another country with a large, diverse economy, no one has prior experience. Basically, that leaves you with the governors of CA, NY and FL (I exclude Texas because it has a really weak executive). Even those examples don’t really work well because the way they work is completely different than the way the federal government works and there’s no dealing with foreign leaders.

    I’d like to know what John McCain or Hillary accomplished in their extra years that is relevant to the presidency that Obama lacks and can’t make up with advisers.

    BTW, The “most qualified” guy knows nothing about economics and said so himself.

  184. Had to skim the comments, lack of time, but what I confirmed my suspicion.

    As a long time resident of WV, I find some of the comments here and around the MSM not very surprising, totally predictable and mostly prejudiced and stupid. Yeah, we’re all white, working-class hicks with the brains to match. That’s why so many of the DC and NoVa “elites” move out here, driving the prices out of sight. I guess we’re all like: “Yeah, weel Goober, Ah ain’t gonna vote fore none o’ them Chicagoans!”
    If we don’t vote for Obama and then are honest enough to admit that race was a factor in our decision, we are summarily branded as racists. Where it’s more likely a well-warranted suspicion of Messrs. Wright, Jackson, Sharpton et al. gearing up to get a hold on some post of power and influence from one “of their own”. Paid for with our copious funds, of course.
    Funny how the very same scribblers that denounce West Virginia voters as being prejudiced, are openly prejudiced against us, albeit in the Politically Correct way, so it doesn’t count, naturally.
    The coming months will be interesting indeed and probably pretty ugly too.

  185. And to follow up on martin’s point, it’s not a trailer; it’s a mobile home.

  186. Joe, Texas is already a majority-minority state.

  187. Where it’s more likely a well-warranted suspicion of Messrs. Wright, Jackson, Sharpton et al. gearing up to get a hold on some post of power and influence from one “of their own”. Paid for with our copious funds, of course.

    Because all black people know one another, of course. I find your racial paranoia touching and informative.

  188. “Paid for with our copious funds, of course.”

    Who is “our”. Oh, I get it: those non-hardworking black folks don’t pay taxes.

  189. Boy, ever since his prediction of

    When the Republicans win in Mississippi tonight combined with Obama’s loss in WV, this will be the beginning of the Great Republican Comeback of 2008.

    You can take that one to the bank, folks.

    there’s been nothing but crickets from Neil’s side of the fence.

    Brilliant, Neil, by the way.

  190. Mo, Clarence Thomas was already on the right side on Gonzales v. Raich. Scalia is overrated to a great degree, but Thomas, on the two big poorly decided cases recently (Gonzales v. Raich and Kelo v. New London) has been on the losing more Libertarian side along with O’Connor and, surprisingly, Rehnquist.

  191. “If the Republicans can’t even win an election by running against Reverend Wright in Mississippi, how can they expect that tactic to deliver them the presidency?”

    They don’t. At least McCain does not. What 527’s do is another matter.

  192. “Uh, yeah, taxes and unions. That’s West Virginia’s problem. Absent the taxes and unions, Google would have moved its headquarters to Wheeling.”

    If you are referring to education ask yourself why educated people move out of West Virginia. Aesthetically West Virginia is beautiful and should by all rights attract wealthy and educated people the way Pre-Gray Davis California once did. It does not. Ask yourself why.

  193. I can’t believe this thread is still going!

    Martin, I’m actually surprised at the low number of “those dumb hicks” remarks.

    “Where it’s more likely a well-warranted suspicion of Messrs. Wright, Jackson, Sharpton et al. gearing up to get a hold on some post of power and influence from one ‘of their own’. Paid for with our copious funds, of course.”

    Exactly. Plus I hate socialism.

  194. Where it’s more likely a well-warranted suspicion of Messrs. Wright, Jackson, Sharpton et al. gearing up to get a hold on some post of power and influence from one ‘of their own’. Paid for with our copious funds, of course

    Even assuming there is any validity to your prediction, “and then what?”

  195. Oh, my bad. I guess Obama first installs an all-black cabinet and then begins seizing the land of white people.

  196. PIRS,

    What 527’s do is another matter.

    You mean like Freedom’s Watch dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of ads into thie district?

    Ask yourself why. Because educated people like jobs. Which tells us nothing about why West Virginia has so few jobs.

  197. He can install as many black people as he wants, but do you really want whackos like Sharpton and Jackson to be part of a president’s administration?

  198. He can install as many black people as he wants, but do you really want whackos like Sharpton and Jackson to be part of a president’s administration?

    I am well aware, but I find little reason to believe that these guys would be part of Obama’s cabinet. They’re clearly all worn out. If there’s some information that leads you to believe Obama would be excited about having these guys around him, please share.
    As for Obama being a socialist, I have no rebuttal, but I remain unconvinced that he has some radical Racial Agenda.

  199. FYI, I don’t care for Sharpton or Jackson, or either of their agendas. I am not as liberal as, say Aaron MacGruder, but I respect him a lot more than either of these two.
    I tend to believe Cosby and Poussaint when they say that poor African-Americans (and whites) have blamed others for problems that they themselves have not done enough to remedy. To me, Sharpton and Jackson make their bread-and-butter playing “blame whitey or the bad old Republicans” too much.
    The thing is, there are a lot of blacks with more libertarian and conservative views, and I’m not convinced that Obama would completely ignore the Larry Elders and Bill Cosbys of the world (et al.). Oprah, for instance, isn’t part of the “blame whitey” crowd.

  200. TheDumbFish | May 14, 2008, 8:57am | #

    …but I get frost bite way too easily.

    Frostbite? It’s WV, not the Yukon. January and February can be bitter cold, but that’s no different than most of the rest of the country. Most of the year, it’s pretty moderate. Even the mountains are pretty moderate. Compared to the Rocky Mountains they’re more like big hills.

    To clarify, I get frost bite way too easily. Even WV is too cold for me. Given how great the views are, I’m baffled as to why more people don’t move there.

  201. Because blowing the top off of mountains and dumping the slag into streams doesn’t create the kind of places people want to be?

  202. I probably misspoke my opinion – I don’t think he would appoint them to cabinet positions, maybe not even anything official, but I can see them having an influence.

    Obama has done a good job passing himself off as this new kind of politician, ignore his charisma and look at his record – he’s pretty far left. And whatever he says, his ties with Wright lead me to think he’d be susceptible to Jackson/Sharpton-like influences, even if he’s not that radical himself.

  203. but I can see them having an influence.

    I can certainly understand why this would bother people. But whether the person is Billy Graham or Al Sharpton, I tend to minimize their influence on a president. I may be naive, but I still think a lot of people are overly paranoid about the nature of Obama’s influences.
    I agree with you that Obama is far left when it comes to his record. But to me the concerns about Obama’s associations are a mixture of A) awareness of the very real level of general wackness of much of the liberal black leadership since the deaths of Rev. King, et al. (this has been discussed to death by Elder and even MacGruder, et al. combined with B) yes, actual racial paranoia.
    Among both blacks and whites, most racism these days seems to involve some sort of entitlement mentality combined with paranoia (IMSIO).

  204. Also, apparently W. Virginians for the most part seem to believe Hillary Clinton’s values are closer to their own than Obama’s. Although I see why some refer to Obama as an empty suit, for my part I have had a hard time ascertaining Hillary Clinton’s actual values (I know she values the Oval Office).

  205. I can see what you’re saying. It would be easier to believe he would be free of those influences if he was more to the center, which most of the public seems to think he is.

  206. To me, Sharpton and Jackson are more like rabble-rousers than people with actual solutions to social ills. I might be naive, but I like to believe that Obama would be more predisposed to listen to people with actual ideas, or at least Oprah-like money. I could just be projecting my values onto Obama (like some W. Virginians seem to be projecting their values on Clinton (I’m just saying)).

  207. I’ve never been much of a fan of far-left academic types (for the most part), but a lot of libertarian and moderate African-American thinkers i.e. William Raspberry are heartening to me.
    There seems to be a tension in African-American culture (music, literature) between the retarded (i.e. Soulja Boy and Hurricane Chris) and the more intellectual (Lupe Fiasco, The Roots); and the old radicals (Jackson and Sharpton) and the moderates and libertarians. I THINK I know what type of music Obama would prefer, I’m intrigued about some of the particulars of his politics.
    Because whatever your ethnic background, to create a new (and hopefully improved paradigm) you have to be somewhat of an “outsider”. There’s a better way of saying it than outsider, but perhaps you see what I’m trying to say.

  208. “Ask yourself why. Because educated people like jobs. Which tells us nothing about why West Virginia has so few jobs.”

    Many wealthy and educated people are entrepreneurs who would be more than willing to CREATE jobs in a beautiful state if it had a business friendly climate.

  209. Furthermore, I find the problem of collectivism troubling. It’s impossible to say this without sounding condescending; here it goes: yinzers, ghetto-dwellers and hill-jacks might be slightly more ignorant than the national average. And yet there are plenty of intelligent, sophisticated people within those stereotypical groups. Yet, I grudgingly accept that there’s a reason these stereotypes exist.

    I’m struggling for a coherent thought…I almost admire Hillary Clinton for her transparent pandering (‘hardworking whites’?). If politics is theater did she break the fourth wall, or is it inapt to say that?

  210. Breaking kayfabe, perhaps?

    Forgive my A.D.D., I’m sure there’s a thesis somewhere in my last several comments.

  211. Your “business-friendly climate,” combined with low educational and income levels, gets you Mississippie, PIRS. How’s their economy coming? Those anti-union, low-tax, anti-regulatory policies are going to start paying off any minute now. Yep, any minute now.

    Nice story in the Boston Globe last week, about how Massachusetts economy is strongly outperforming the nation as a whole.

  212. I bet the Mass economy is good thanks to Mitt Romney.

    What about Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia Joe? All good economies with low regulation, low taxes, and no unions.

    Compare it to Michigan and Ohio.

  213. strongly outperforming the nation as a whole.

    Heh heh, I hope so for their sake. I might actually have to read it. I’m busy/lazy though.

  214. While I’m flying off the handle I pose two questions: 1) What do you think would happen if Oprah suddenly started endorsing libertarianism?
    2)If the economy in Ohio didn’t suck so bad, would I be in the military right now?

  215. I bet the Mass economy is good thanks to Mitt Romney.

    You mean the guy who couldn’t get his tax cuts through?

    Policy in Massachusetts is set by the legislature. The governor is a speed bump.

    What about Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia Joe? All have significant public investment in their efforts to re-create the innovation economy that characterizes the blue states. And, by coincidence, they are all becoming less conservative politically.

    Is it the educated, liberal people who help the economy? Or does the stronger economy attraced educated, liberal people? You could get a thesis out of that.

  216. Can I buy libertarianism at Oprah’s website? Is it safe for my children? Does it have a lot of calories in it?

  217. ce, I cant deny that intellectual laziness and an unfortunate dependence on convenience seems overly pervasive in our culture. I was just intrigued by the unrealistic idea that Oprah would be the spokesperson for a non-mainstream political doctrine like Levar Burton was for books. I wish I had my own book club; alas, I’ve probably only read about 60-70 books in my life (from front to back).
    After all Scientology is pretty wack, but there seems to be as many celebrity scientologists as celebrity libertarians (Penn Gilette is pretty cool, of course).

  218. I was just intrigued by the juxtaposition of Oprah & her masses with libertarianism.

    Can you imagine what it would be like for the Scientologists to get her?

  219. That’s nice, PIRS.

    It also tells us nothing relevant, since we’re COMPARING different states. That Mississippi has SOME regulations and taxes tells us absolutely nothing about how it matches up to places with paved roads.

  220. “It also tells us nothing relevant, since we’re COMPARING different states. That Mississippi has SOME regulations and taxes tells us absolutely nothing about how it matches up to places with paved roads.”

    Then why did you make the statement that Missisippi has a “business friendly” environment? I also find it interesting that one of the few forms of bigotry that is not taboo in this day and age is bigotry against Southeasterners. Have you ever been to Mississippi?

  221. Can you imagine what it would be like for the Scientologists to get her?

    Ugh. I think I can.
    On a different thought: I don’t want to feel like an elitist, and I suppose I am politically unsophisticated, but considering how politically uncurious the majority of peole SEEM to be, some wariness about the motivations of many supporters of McCain, Hillary or Obama is warranted.
    How not to condescend when talking about dumb Republicans or dumb Democrats? When you’re talking about tens of millions of any sort of people there obviously have to be a lot of dumb ones.
    It’s almost like a problem for statistics. Any single person can be clever and inventive in a certain way and a dullard in another. A person could be a brilliant engineer but a political dunce, or politically informed but otherwise completely useless to society. It reminds me of something I’ve read about how the laws of thermodynamics are pretty much infallible when they concern large systems, but a sufficiently small group of particles could be statistically unpredictable, if that’s the right word.
    In a way, a random W. Virginian probably shouldn’t care what I think about politics, as I’m not in his shoes, and vice versa. But obviously some W. Virginians would be like, “right on, bruh.” Or is our multilogue to constricted by the MSM? Or are W. Virginians actually more provincial on average when it comes to their interactions with the noosphere? Are pragmatism and idealism two flawed sides of the same coin? Can somebody suggest something to read to help me resolve this dialectic, or is this dialectic the very essence of some essential conundrum, the resolution of which will define my very political conscience? Or is the lack of resolution the only reasonable response given my circumstance?

  222. too constricted**

    PIRS, I have been to Huntsville. Awesome city (so is ATL). I have to say, the urban South and much of the rural South are as sophisticated, comfortable and intellectually stimulated as anywhere in the country. And parts of the Midwest and NE…let’s just say regionalism is overrated, and the SE does get a bad rap.
    Wherever you go in the country, there are places you just don’t want to be (obviousl both urban and rural).

  223. “…let’s just say regionalism is overrated, and the SE does get a bad rap.”

    Well said. I live in Florida, a state that is geographically Southeastern but many would argue that Florida is not culturally Southeastern. This is only partly true. Florida is simply a mixture of many different U.S. (and Caribbean) cultures. Where I live Georgians, New Yorkers, Alabamans, Ohioans, Cubans and native Floridians live side by side. I see strengths and weaknesses in all of these people.

  224. PIRS Northern Florida is most definietely Southern in geography as well as culture.

    South Florida is a combination of Cuba pre-Castro and New Jersey.

  225. Neil, I live an hour’s drive south of Tampa.

  226. Most people do not think about Amish living in Florida but there are Amish where I live as well.

  227. “South Florida is a combination of Cuba pre-Castro and New Jersey.”

    South Florida is a combination of Cuba pre- Fidel Castro, Cuba Fidel Castro, Cuba post fidel Castro, New Jersey, New York, Mass., Puerto Rico, Canada and British people who have never heard of South Carolina.

  228. David, thanks for being on the show. You may be right about West Virginia losing influence, but that doesn’t hold for the rest of the “blue collar south.”

    Look at my own home state of Texas: full of blue collar voters. TX is growing by leaps and bounds. Same for Georgia, Florida, ect…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.