The EFM Feature

Will there be an opening 2012 for the right Republican to regain ground some lost ground with the legions of urban professionals who have flocked to the Dems? I’ve long thought their professed hatred for Republicans was more cultural than anything else. If you ask even some of the more well-informed urban yuppies about Bush, they’ll tick off a list of complaints that often bear little resemblance to reality and are frequently completely wrong (my favorite: “Bush cut social services to pay for his wars” — when he actually paid for war and grew domestic spending faster than Clinton). Basically, they just don’t like the guy. Or Newt. Or Sarah Palin. They feel revulsion where many heartland Republicans feel connection.
But what’s this? The American Medical Association is daring to challenge The One? We should never, ever assume that trends are permanent and that real-world events can’t change the facts on the ground. In 2001, real world events pushed millions of Americans (including Nancy Pelosi) into George Bush’s camp when it came to the conduct of the war. It is only when the smoke cleared, the economy roared back, and the messy wars were fought mostly by people they didn’t know (and never would meet) that the cultural divisions reasserted themselves with a vengeance.
But what if instead of military necessity, economic necessity causes urban professionals to re-order their political priorities? After all, there is a Republican leader who — while conservative — is certainly culturally conversant with the economic and professional elite. And he knows more than a little about health care as well.
The real world is a stern teacher, and is certainly more responsible for Ronald Reagan’s rise than even Reagan’s considerable political gifts. Stagflation and foreign shame does a lot to make a nation think about different approaches. Will massive government intervention in health care (not to mention car manufacturing) and ballooning deficits do the same a few years hence?


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