Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Plain as the nose on a man’s face

President Bush is in North Carolina. According to this New York Times story he was asked a question about Edwards. Here is the crux of the matter: "When a questioner in Raleigh noted that Mr. Edwards had been described as charming and a ’nimble campaigner’ and asked Mr. Bush to compare the one-term senator to Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Bush snapped back: ’Dick Cheney can be president. Next?’" (Thanks to John J. Miller at NRO)

Discussions - 12 Comments

I heard the same press conference on the radio today. When Bush was asked why he thought Southern voters would be more inclined to vote Bush/Cheney than Kerry/Edwards, his response was something akin to this:

Um... (LONG PAUSE)... Uh... (LONGER PAUSE)... Because I share their values.

I nearly had to pull the car over, I was laughing so hard.

i must have missed the joke, President Bush and Cheney share the values of most Americans.

’Bucky, I’m not sure that you live in the South, but apparently not. President Bush’s strong national security stance and tax-cutting record will be a lot more popular in the South than Kerry’s program, not to mention several other issues like abortion and religion. Kerry, will, of course, be
popular in New York, Boston, LA, San Francisco, and other liberal parts of the country, as with the 2000 election, which in my opinion, really showed the differences in this country especially related to the culture wars on the map. It might be a close one, and Kerry may even win, who knows? But, to think that Bush will not do well in the South and to laugh at the shared values he expressed, now THAT’S FUNNY!

You two obviously miss the point. I’m not surprised. Let me spell it out for you. Aside from the fact that it took Bush about 20 seconds to summon the thought, it is beyond naive for ANYONE to think that they are going to win the South for the sole reason that they "share their values."

Bush did win all of the South in 2004, so I think his assessment is probably on target. It is similar to a liberal winning in San Francisco or Seattle.

Starbuck, believe me we got your point. I just thought it beyond naive to think of the president as a bumbling idiot. But, of course, that’s what all Republicans and conservatives are, right? At least, that’s what the media tells us. But, I don’t believe everything I hear.

pchuck and Tony --- My sarcastic response to Tony’s comment aside, I do not think that it is fair to say that Bush won the South in 2000 (or will do so again in 2004) for the sole reason that he shares their value system. That was the point of my post.

Well, it’s nice to see a conciliatory, moderate Starbuck! You been reading Lincoln lately? Actually, I think you missed my point. I would say, in regards to the issues I listed above, that George Bush won the South EXACTLY because he DID share their values. Now, I will leave it to the political scientists to provide all the empirical data. But, I think he does share the value of Southerners, transplants and locals, to a large degree; whether those values are right or wrong is another discussion (though we all know they are indeed right:).

Tony Williams: before we call in "the political scientists to provide all the empirical data," it would be a good idea to first define the problem. I’m sure an aspiring scholar such as yourself can see that. So just what are these values Bush shares with the South? And what do you mean by the "South?" Finally, how do those values differ from other parts of the country?

I do not think we are using the term "values" synonymously, Tony. I’m using the term "values" in this context: "beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment." I think Bush was using the term in the same way. I get the sense that what you refer to in your above post is more along the lines of "policy."

If this is, in fact, the case, then we probably agree. The election will be based much more on "policy" than "values." Bush/Cheney will no more win/lose the South based on values than the Kerry/Edwards team will win/lose based on their hair.

Starbuck, I still don’t see how Bush does not share the cultural, religious, and social values of the South regarding their support for the military, Christianity and its morality, traditional families and marriages, low taxes and prosperity. Those certainly can be made into policy positions, but they are also the values of the people in the South.

As to Mr. Gordon’s questions - by the way, don’t worry about me being an "aspiring scholar" as I already know where I stand thank you - the South, I would generally consider the Sunbelt, but as you probably know, states like Florida have a heavy influx of transient elderly people who are going to support the Democratic give-aways and punish severely through AARP anyone who doesn’t give them what they want. So, states like Florida and Arizona are qualitatively different as are certain counties in California. I would thus include the upper and lower South in my definition of the "South" when discussing Southern values. I don’t feel like getting my atlas out and listing every state for you if you can’t figure that out.

As far as the values of the South, I’ve now listed them twice, so you can read the above. How do they differ from the rest of the country? Well, probably not all that much from much of the mid-West, as anyone who has looked at a map of the 2000 election, or lived there for that matter, can tell. As for the more Democratic, liberal parts of the country, such as New York, Mass, or San Franscisco, simply think about how welfare, affirmative action, gay marriage, tax increases, government programs, environmental regulations, abortion, opposition to religion in civic life, families (they would put quotes around that one), etc., would be supported much more than in the South - though obviously some of these more than others. Now, if you don’t think that’s true, then there ain’t nothin’ I can tell you to make you realize that very simple truth.

Thanks Tony for your detailed clarification(brought a smile to my face). Now I’d suggest you study up on some of those conservative give-aways. You wouldn’t have a double standard, now would you?

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