Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Opinionator

September 19, 2007, 1:11 pm
Partisan Parsing
By Tobin Harshaw
Tags: ,

The Washington Post has taken issue with Fred D. Thompson’s stump speech statement that “you look back over our history, and it doesn’t take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people’s liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.”

In an unbylined article examining the facts behind Thomspson’s, The Post counters: “In World War II alone, the Soviet Union suffered at least 8 million casualties, or more than 10 times the number of U.S. casualties for all wars combined. Soviet forces died for their own country and their own tyrannical government, but they also spilled blood on behalf of their Western allies.”

Terry Trippanny, writing at newsbusters.org, thinks The Post’s fact checkers are off base:

[T]he WaPo article begins by citing U.S. census bureau figures of causalities for all the conflict casualties in U.S. wars, ending with a witty, or so they think, “as of today” stat to emphasize the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They then proceed to follow that by examples of countries that have ’shed more blood for liberty’ by using the Soviet Union’s WWII casualties along with other stats from the conquests of Alexandrian Greeks and Napolean! Seemingly oblivious to the difference between giving a life fighting for other people’s liberty and shedding blood in a conquest to either defend yourself from conquest or seeking to conquer others the WaPo author proceeds to mention case after case that supposedly pins Fred Thompson as a liar.

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September 18, 2007, 8:54 am
Chasing the Elusive Bubba Vote
By Tobin Harshaw
Tags: , ,

Old, white and in the way? “The Democratic obsession with the down-home, blue-collar, white male voter, that heartbreaker who crossed the aisle to the Republicans many decades ago, may finally be coming to a merciful end,” writes Thomas H. Schaller, an associate professor of political science at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County (and, depending on which region you’d place the Old Line State, perhaps a white Southern male himself) with unrestrained glee, at Salon.

“With few if any votes to be gained — and plenty of votes to be lost for being inauthentic — Democrats finally seem to realize that cultural contortionism in the pursuit of Bubba produces little more than smiles on the faces of Republican consultants.”

The idea that Democrats might no longer “pander” to good ol’ boys is music to the ears of Stanley Kurtz at The Corner:

First the Democrats alienated many white men by supporting discriminatory preferential treatment policies. When these men refused to accept this discrimination, many of them left the Democratic Party. This, in turn, enraged many Democrats, who began to think “invidiously” about white men. So it would appear that racial discrimination in law and policy breeds racial discrimination in culture. If the Democrats lose a large chunk of the “NASCAR Dad” vote in the upcoming elections, it might have something to do with the fact that the Dems richly deserve to lose it.

The commenter Aldo at the reader-written Protein Wisdom Pub thinks the problem for Democrats runs deeper: “I think Schaller is whistling past the graveyard. It isn’t just white men who have abandoned the Dems, but the entire South, and the exurbs.”

And a staff-written editorial at The Democratic Strategist seems to take the conservatives’ point: “Schaller doesn’t say anything about what possible effect discontent over the Iraq war, GOP scandals or other issues may have on white male votes in ‘08. And Democratic presidential candidates may be less eager than he to write off one out of four of their voters.”

Eager or not, the candidates all probably agree that there’s one “Bubba” that Schaller might want to bear in mind before he writes off Southern white males off as irrelevant to the party.

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