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It’s not race, it’s arugula

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By See-Dubya  •  June 14, 2008 07:50 AM

The Weekly Standard‘s Noemie Emery disputes the media’s facile, predictable racial interpretation of Obama’s poor showing in Appalachia. It’s not because of race, but rather reflects a deep national divide between action-oriented Jacksonians versus clerical, paper-pushing Brahmins:

Let us call this rival approach the Barone Manifesto, after its author, political analyst Michael Barone, who crunched the poll numbers for Obama’s primary battles with Hillary Clinton and discovered that while the former did exceedingly well with white voters in university towns and state capitals, he did poorly almost everywhere else. From this, Barone broke the electorate down into two large divisions–academics and state employees who live in these places, whom he calls Academicians, and Jacksonians, who live elsewhere, especially in the regions close to the Appalachian mountains.

Yep, that’s it. Academicians eat arugula, and worry about its price at Whole Foods. Jacksonians don’t.

There’s nothing wrong with being an academician or eating arugula (hey, I do), you’re just going to have a hard time selling yourself to Jacksonian America as the kind of bold leader they’re looking for. Even if you were the bestest “community activist” in all of Chicago.

Emery’s last paragraph is interesting:

Now let us imagine a different candidate, one who looks like Barack Obama, with the same mixed-race, international background, even the same middle name. But this time, he is Colonel Obama, a veteran of the war in Iraq, a kick-ass Marine with a “take no prisoners” attitude, who vows to follow Osama bin Laden to the outskirts of Hell. He comes from the culture of the military (the most color blind and merit-based in the country), and not the rarefied air of Hyde Park. He goes to a church with a mixed-race congregation and a rational preacher. He has never met Bill Ayers, and if he did he would flatten him. He thinks arugula is a town near Bogota and has Toby Keith on his favorites list. Would he strike no chords at all in Jacksonian country? Does anyone think he would lose 90 to 9 in Buchanan County? Or lose West Virginia by 41 points? For those Jacksonians who would be fine with a black man in the White House (not as tiny a group as Newsweek thinks), Colonel Obama is the one we are waiting for. When we will get him is anyone’s guess.

I don’t know about Colonel Obama, but there’s one politician on the scene this year running for Congress in Florida who completes Emery’s List (heh) pretty nicely: Lt. Col. Allen West. What an amazing biography– and he’s even against amnesty:

In my time spent in Afghanistan I saw first-hand how an unprotected border can destabilize an entire country. All you hear coming out of Washington is foolish rhetoric about writing new laws and creating new government programs that sound good on paper but do nothing to solve the problem. Our border patrol officers put their lives on the line every day protecting our borders and engaging in high-powered gun battles. The duties they perform go beyond those of an immigration official. They are defending our borders and it is time we equip them with the tools they need to secure our border. As your congressman, I will push to move the Border Patrol out of the INS and into the Department of Defense. This is not a social issue; this is a national security issue.

Furthermore, something tells me LTC West isn’t going to be very patient with the Supreme Court’s handwringing on interrogation.

LTC West’s feelings about arugula remain unknown, although I think we would be willing to overlook a few youthful indiscretions of that nature.

UPDATE: via Robert Stacy McCain, here’s a sample of LTC West speaking:

Not too shabby. (I think he’s wrong about American weapons going to bin Laden through our assistance to the mujahideen in the 80′s; OBL was in a separate group funded by the Saudis.) But seriously, good speech.

Note the part where West says his opponent has more money than he does.
Hint, hint.

Come on, what do you want, a video of Allen West chewing out CAIR as unindicted co-conspirators and “an insurgency in our country” and taking up for FISA?

Well, all righty then.

MORE: Back on Jacksonians v. Arugulaticians, here’s Cuffy with a pretty good photoshop.

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{Post by See-Dubya. Cover picture by the talented Tennyson.}

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