Words fail

Up until a few minutes ago, I had never heard of Michael Barone. (I feel a little sheepish admitting that, since apparently he's been rather a must-read for political junkies for years. Whoopsie.) However, I've been directed to one of his more recent blog posts by a couple of different sources, and I appear to have caught him on a downslope.

Republicans Are Normal, Democrats Are Not


This is similar but not identical to a point I've often made: that the Republican Party is the party of people who are considered, by themselves and by others, as normal Americans—Northern white Protestants in the 19th century, married white Christians more recently—while the Democratic Party is the party of the out groups who are in some sense seen, by themselves and by others, as not normal—white Southerners and Catholic immigrants in the 19th century, blacks and white seculars more recently.
It's probably a bad idea of write while in the grip of seething rage, so I'm going to type this very slowly. (A certain Cheney-esque imperative keeps springing to mind, but I am refraining from actually typing out the words.) It must be disorienting for conservatives to see how resoundingly they were defeated in the past election, and thus I can understand the desire to cling to whatever comforting narrative will make it all seem better. But this man, published under the banner of US News & World Report, has just said that blacks, immigrants, Southerners and secular white folk are not normal. (Now that Southerners are voting Republican, perhaps they've turned normal. Barone doesn't say.)

How Barone wraps his head around the fact that the "normal" people in this country are now in the minority I don't know. I'm still dumbstruck by the unmitigated gall required to say that people like you are normal, and that people who aren't are not. And then passing that off as political thought.


  1. Sort of reminds me of Falwell's Moral Majority. As my cousin Dan said when we were kids, "It's the same, only different."


  2. I don't see that conservatives are 'disoriented' (more than they already were) as a result of the election results. If anything, the electoral defeat is producing a much needed examination of conservative beliefs, which is a good thing.

    Also, I didn't read Mr. Barone as saying "blacks, immigrants, Southerners, and secular white folks" were defective in any way. Substitute 'epitome' or 'typical' for 'normal' and you'll come closer to what I understand Mr. Barone saying. FWIW, I'm putting his words through my filter of being a Southerner who has experienced the sense of 'otherness' while living in Philadelphia a decade ago.