Friday, June 01, 2007


This just in: Republicans & Democrats have different priorities

E. J. Dionne recently learned, with some help from his friends at Pew, that there is a big difference between Republicans and Democrats. And I'm guessing that he, as a bona fide liberal, doesn't think this is the kind of diversity we should be celebrating:

“The parties do have some things in common -- Iraq and the economy are concerns for both. But beyond these two issues, what matters most to Republican voters is hugely different from what matters most to Democrats. The polarization between the parties extends to the very definition of our country, its problems and the stakes in the next elections.” E.J. Dionne Jr. - Debating In Parallel Universes -

He discovers that apparently Democrats are more tuned into domestic issues while Republicans concentrate on national security matters. While I don’t think this divide is a new phenomenon and I will not speculate as to the Democratic/liberal mindset in this but speaking from my side of the aisle: the domestic issues are indeed important but that doesn’t make them FEDERAL issues. Instead, from my vantage point, most of these matters are best left to state and local governments or, better yet, minimal government involvement of any kind.

But National Security is the one arena that most of us self-described conservatives consider Job One of our Federal government. Not surprisingly then, on immigration, the so-called Republican leadership is discovering that treating people who come into our country illegally – for whatever reason – as a domestic issue vice a matter of national security doesn’t play well with Republicans.

Mr. Dionne is as reflexive a liberal as you can find and one who presumably wants what is “good for us”. So when he concludes:

“…the Democrats who debate on Sunday and the Republicans who debate on Tuesday will offer a portrait of an election in which our parties are speaking different languages to two very different Americas. This can't be good for us, and it surely won't help whoever is lucky or unlucky enough to be our next president.”

…you kind of know which side he thinks should start taking language classes. As for me: Vive le difference, n'est-ce pas?

Side Note: Mr. Dionne throws in that “two very different Americas” line towards the end. Can echoing John Edwards ever make you sound like an intellectual?

I would say that Dionne is misunderstood, but he is such a ninny that I have to admit he basically misunderstands... everything.
...but next to Harold Meyerson & Eugene Robinson, he is a relative sage for the liberal voice in the WaPo
You're reversing cause and effect. There aren't a lot of hardcore conservatives, who really think health care isn't a national issue, or hardcore liberals, who think foreign policy is a distraction from domestic issues. Most people choose priorities first, most likely. People who care the most about health care are likely to support the Democrats, while people who care the most about terrorism are likely to support the Republicans.

Immigration and abortion are both aberrations. Immigration can be viewed from a lot of different angles. On abortion, the status quo is very pro-choice, so pro-lifers obviously care about it more than pro-choicers. If Roe gets overturned, the numbers on abortion will reverse themselves.
E.J. Dionne has responded to this blog post at his online discussion group, E.J.'s Precinct. Please join the discussion--we'd love to open up a dialogue.
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