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Shock-horror in the Soprano state

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  • Shock-horror in the Soprano state

    SO SURE of a Kerry victory was New Jersey's Democratic Party that it packed its communications director off to Oregon to do combat there. Millions in donations from the party faithful were sent off to battleground states. The Bush campaign didn't even bother to put anyone on the payroll in New Jersey. They were certain their man would lose.

    But suddenly New Jersey may be up for grabs. John Kerry led by 20 points after the Democratic convention, but three recent polls point to a tightening race. A September 21st poll by Quinnipiac University even placed George Bush and Mr Kerry in a dead heat, with 48% support each among likely voters. Ralph Nader had 2%.

    If New Jersey swings Republican in November, this would be strange indeed. Al Gore carried it by 16 points in 2000. The governor and both senators are Democrats, and Democrats hold seven of the 13 congressional seats. Moreover, the state's Republicans are a moderate bunch. A new law recognising same-sex domestic partnerships and plans for a huge stem-cell-research centre produced barely a grumble from them. The most recent Republican governor, Christine Todd Whitman, was both pro-choice and an environmentalist.

    In some ways, New Jersey is a mere reflection of the national race, where terrorism has trumped the economy as the most important issue. (The state's economy, in any case, is doing well.) The terrorism threat may be more keenly felt here than in any other state (except New York), and this may explain a moderate electorate's sudden craving for Mr Bush.

    New Jersey lost nearly 700 citizens in the September 11th terror attacks. The gaping hole along the New York skyline is a constant reminder of the threat. The state attorney-general has just announced a help-line for those still suffering psychologically from the attacks.

    The problem for Mr Kerry is that more than half of New Jersey's voters say Mr Bush would do a better job fighting terrorism. The Republican convention in New York, covered in New Jersey as local news, did much to drive home this perception. Mr Bush's Texas swagger and conservative views are anathema to the Wall Street types of North Jersey's leafy suburbs. But their resolve to defeat him withers when they feel their lives—or their livelihoods—may be at stake. In early August, Mr Kerry was ahead by 26 points in North Jersey; that lead has eroded to six points, according to a September 9th Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers poll. Mr Kerry's advantage among voters in the up-and-coming exurbs of central Jersey has also shrunk. The rural, gun-toting communities of north-eastern New Jersey and the blue-collar, socially-conservative counties in the south were safe Bush territory anyway.

    The other factor peculiar to New Jersey's race is Governor Jim McGreevey's shocking resignation and disclosure of a gay affair last month. Political scandal, not sex, undid him: he had made his lover the state's head of homeland security. Also, two of the governor's top fundraisers have just pleaded guilty to corruption charges. The upheaval in state politics may be drowning out Mr Kerry's message.

    In the end, the Democrats have a good chance of prevailing on election day: it is hard to see dyed-in-the-wool Democrats opting for Mr Bush once alone in the voting booth. The state's strong unions are good at getting out the vote. Shoring up the defences, John Edwards visited New Jersey this week with a local 9/11 widow at his side. But he also touted a plan to import prescription drugs from Canada. This is not quite the drum to beat in the heart of the nation's pharmaceutical industry.

    http://economist.com/World/na/displa...ory_id=3247240

  • #2
    That would be great. Heck, if that happened it may be the end of the Democratic party.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

    Comment


    • #3
      [/quote]That would be great. Heck, if that happened it may be the end of the Democratic party.[/quote]


      Indeed, we would then be living in a one-party state. Those seem to work pretty well....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Prodigal Son
        Indeed, we would then be living in a one-party state. Those seem to work pretty well....
        You don't actually think all the liberals would just start voting Republican do you? I would actually figure it would bring about a change in the current party system.
        No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
        I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
        even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
        He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

        Comment


        • #5
          You don't actually think all the liberals would just start voting Republican do you? I would actually figure it would bring about a change in the current party system.
          CHANGE in the current party system? Very funny. :-) No, really, very funny. The two party system in the US is a direct artifact of our electoral laws. Unless we change the electoral laws and how we allocate seats in the legislature we will always have a two-party system. The democrats will never die -- they'll just keep on ticking like some half-alive 50's movie monster. They may change...but the pary itself will never die.

          IF that happens then you'll get GOP domination. GOP is currently controlled by southerners -- that is where the base of the party is now. If you like southern-fried conservatism a la Tom Delay....crony capitaism with an extra helping of legislated morality then pray for the destruction of the democrats.

          Anyway...what do you mean by liberal? Dean was called a liberal and he balanced the budget in Vermont.

          Comment


          • #6
            You sound like you read the Economist article on Texas. :P

            Comment


            • #7
              The Economist is hands down the best news weekly in the world. It has no competitors.

              But, beyond that, the political-economy of the south is very similar to what you'll find in Latin America...which is why I think their description of Bush's brand of conservative politics is so right on. In both, large rentier classes (mineral extraction, farming, inherited wealth) use the outcomes of imperfect markets to solidify their hold over society. If you look at voting patterns in the South, areas that depend on producing knowledge-intensive goods and services rather than raw materials tend to vote Democrat.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, not totally. Atlanta is a business powerhouse in my opinion, its got a load of services firms. And Austin is apprently the fastest growing tech cluster in the nation. But yeah for the most part, the south depends on extraction industries and govt hand outs for survival.

                Question: What do you make of Orange County, California? Its economy is services based, knowlage based, etc but it still backs the GOP. Its far from a rural area. Heck, its got 3 million people. Its per capita income is quite high. And compared to Los Angeles County where the coast is especially liberal, the right still wins on the OC coast.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, not totally. Atlanta is a business powerhouse in my opinion, its got a load of services firms. And Austin is apprently the fastest growing tech cluster in the nation. But yeah for the most part, the south depends on extraction industries and govt hand outs for survival.
                  But the trend generally holds in those high-tech clusters too. The folks in those areas, usually metropolitan, are what David Brook's calls "Bobo's" -- essentially free-market hippies. Their cultural political-economy is vastly different than the rentier wealth of the old South. Indeed, these areas tend to vote Dem or moderate Republican -- they are islands of blue and pink in a sea of Red if you will.

                  Question: What do you make of Orange County, California? Its economy is services based, knowlage based, etc but it still backs the GOP. Its far from a rural area. Heck, its got 3 million people. Its per capita income is quite high. And compared to Los Angeles County where the coast is especially liberal, the right still wins on the OC coast.
                  Easy, they vote for the GOP for the same reason Wall Street generally does -- because they gain so much from GOP economic policy that it more than compensates them for any losses the adoption of a conservative social policy would entail. When goods and services are deemed immoral and banned, they don't disappear but are shifted onto the black market. This means the rich don't do without, they simply go underground and pay the additional costs associated with consuming black-market goods and services. OC is just as immoral as any other part of the country -- they can just afford to pay more to hide it and gain so much from GOP economic policy that those costs are relatively trivial.

                  Abortion is a good example of this. The "rich" (a loaded term of course) didn't allow their daughters to go to back-alley abortionists. They simply paid trusted physicians large amounts of money to quietly "take care of" problem pregnancies. If abortion was made illegal again the same would happen. Similarly, keeping drugs illegal is a non-issue for them. Folks like the Bushs (or the Kennedys) can afford to pay for secure coke, can afford lawyers to help them get out of jail, and, more to the point, are so entrenched in the politcal and economic system that they can call in a large number of favors to help them get out of trouble. They can simply use their wealth and connections to avoid the penalties you or I would face when engaging in the same activities.

                  Anyway, this deal with the social right is a great one to make for the economic right. The social right's agenda is impossible to put through, largely because of the courts. This means the ecnomic right will never have to pay the bill it owes the social right. Likewise, centrist dems will never have to pay what it owes the far, far left because what they are asking for is equally impossible. These two parts of the two parties are like ill-kept, mangy barking dogs. Whichever party feeds them the least while allowing them to think the next bone given to them will be better after the next election generally wins.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Pfft !. Government hand-outs ...... Bobos.... I resent those remarks. if you want to know about the South and Politics, I suggest you read this site because you people obviously haven't a clue. http://www.georgiapolitics.com

                    And if you get lost in the site, for some unknown reason, be sure to read this link: http://www.georgiapolitics.com/sprawlhistory.html Also, while in the site, be sure to click on the Articles link. Now, there, you will find the true opinions of Southerners.

                    Oh, by the way, I'm from deep South Georgia.
                    Last edited by Julie; 04 Oct 04,, 20:33.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well no offense to the south on a personal level from my part, but they recieve a huge transfer amount of money from the costal states in the way of subsidies for oil and timber industries as well as military bases.
                      Check out:
                      http://www.retrovsmetro.org/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Confed999
                        That would be great. Heck, if that happened it may be the end of the Democratic party.
                        Please letit happen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Okay Gio, I read your "Retro vs. Metro" so let's recap it:

                          "Metro America, with 34 percent of the land mass, has 65 percent of the population, with a density of 151 persons per square mile. Metro America produces the majority of the nation’s tax revenue, but some $200 billion a year of Metro taxes flow to Retro states and support the economic life of its small cities, towns, and rural areas."

                          Okay, let's see where that $200 billion goes, shall we:


                          "The current Retro America is geographically defined as an alliance of contiguous regions—the South, its anchor, Retro America is large in geographic expanse but relatively small in population. Its 25 states encompass 66 percent of the land mass and 35 percent of the population, with a population density of 42 persons per square mile. Politically, Retro America, with 35 percent of the population, has 50 U.S. senators—half of the Senate. Retro representatives support subsidies to oil, mining and agriculture."

                          Okay, from what I gather, the Metro produces more income because the population is tremendously larger. The Retro area is geographically alot larger than populated. Therefore, it seems the subsidies are to aid the Retro in agriculture to help feed the Metro.

                          Also, "The Republicans have carved out Retro America as their base and are using the dangers of terrorism and permanent war to try to create a new national unity and a new national party."

                          It seems that subsidies are used for military bases, since Retro are “God, Family, and Flag” folks." In other words, the Southern population are used for fighting and defending America.

                          In summary, the Metro monies subsidize Retro so Retro can obviously feed and defend (in war) Metro, the basic elements of survival.

                          Subsidies are not a "hand-out" to the South. It's more like I scratch your back, I scratch yours type of thing.....a new national unity....and/or "you got the money, we got the land and backbone."

                          Southerners are very hard-working people, and hand-outs just aren't in our vocabulary. If anything is given to us, it is called being "neighborly."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Prodigal Son
                            The two party system in the US is a direct artifact of our electoral laws.
                            No, the 2 party system is there because most people don't know there are more than 2 parties. All that is truly required for a change, is for people to start voting for the other parties. Check out http://www.militaryaffairsboard.com/...ead.php?t=1604 for a "quiz", it's kinda fun if you're into that stuff, and links to other party websites.
                            No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
                            I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
                            even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
                            He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Okay, from what I gather, the Metro produces more income because the population is tremendously larger. The Retro area is geographically alot larger than populated. Therefore, it seems the subsidies are to aid the Retro in agriculture to help feed the Metro.
                              Its transfer payments, i frankly see it as us paying to stay in the union and dictate social policy. Not totally accurate, the state with the largest farm industry is none other then California. Seems to me subsidies to the south are useless as they don't produce much economic growth and could be used to revitialize urban areas, IE: Tax breaks for technology start-ups.

                              It seems that subsidies are used for military bases, since Retro are “God, Family, and Flag” folks." In other words, the Southern population are used for fighting and defending America.
                              Not totally, a huge chunk of the military is made up of inner-city kids trying to escape the ghetto via the provisions still left over from the GI bill.

                              Subsidies are not a "hand-out" to the South. It's more like I scratch your back, I scratch yours type of thing.....a new national unity....and/or "you got the money, we got the land and backbone."
                              Except you arn't scarching our backs much by having your legislators deny funds to our communities.

                              Not that i'm the largest advocate of the welfare state, but if its going to be i want my community to get its fair share.

                              Comment

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