Monday, January 18

The return of Northeastern Republicans

Douthat ponders whether the endangered species is making a comeback. Money quote:
[T]he “Gingrich-Bush shield” [protected] Democrats all across the northeast for fifteen years, by making a vote for a Republican seem like a vote for the folkways of the American South. [Steve Kornacki's] argument is similar to the one advanced in Chris Caldwell’s late-1990s essay on “The Southern Captivity of the G.O.P.”, which argued that “the southern presence in the Republican Party” was becoming so overwhelming that it threatened to permanently alienate the rest of the country.

Now, of course, both Bush and Gingrich are gone, taking the shield with them, and suddenly northeastern swing voters are willing to consider “voting for a Republican candidate as a way of expressing frustration with the ruling Democrats.” Thus Chris Christie in New Jersey; thus Scott Brown in Massachusetts; thus Pat Toomey’s small lead in the Pennsylvania polls.
Yankee Doodle, folks.

(Image: Nineteenth century painting by A.M. Willard, known as "Yankee Doodle" and "The Spirit of '76". Often imitated or parodied, it is one of the most famous images relating to the American Revolutionary War. The life-sized original hangs in Marblehead, Massachusetts.)

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