Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Those people are not like me."

David Brooks, "Thinning the Herd," on the "office" crowd of voters in the suburban Northeast who may do in the Republican majority this time:
The Republicans used to do well in these areas, but now it’s as if they are purposely trying to antagonize the married moms at the pseudo-New Urbanist outdoor cafes. The deficits alarm them. Tom DeLay was a perfectly designed Northeastern alienation machine. As insular Democrats know little about what life is like in flyover country, so insular Republicans know little about how people think in the suburban Northeast, where blue New York Times delivery bags dot the driveways each morn.

The big issue is Iraq, but the core problem with suburban voters is not the decision to go to war; it’s the White House’s reaction to the mess afterward. As Robert Lang, the superlative suburban specialist at Virginia Tech, notes, when people mess up a project in an office park, there are consequences. But Donald Rumsfeld never gets fired. Jerry Bremer and Tommy Franks get medals.

This is not how engineers and empirically minded managers behave. The people in these offices manage information for a living, and when they see Republicans denying obvious trends, or shutting out relevant data, they say to themselves, “Those people are not like me.”

So there goes your majority. In the years ahead, Republicans can either reintroduce themselves to the blue-state suburbs or they can ask themselves the dittohead question: Tell us, why, again, do we need to be a governing party anyway?
Gotta love that line on Tom DeLay...:)

Don't always agree with Mr. Brooks, but he's making sense lately. Funny how that'll happen when a sea change is afoot.