Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tribal Warfare Revisited

Michael Barone, writing in US News, has come up with an analysis of the Democratic primary that’s very close to my entry, “Tribal Warfare.” Barone writes, “analysts have been seeing the battle for the Democratic nomination as tribal warfare, between blacks and Latinos (and Jews), between young and old, between upscale and downscale.” To that, Barone adds his own, “one that separates voters more profoundly than even race. That's the divide between academics and Jacksonians.” Barone argues,

“Academics and public employees (and of course . . . most academics in the United States are public employees) love the arts of peace and hate the demands of war. Economically, defense spending competes for the public-sector dollars that academics and public employees think are rightfully their own. . .[W]arriors are competitors for the honor that academics and public employees think rightfully belongs to them. Jacksonians, in contrast, place a high value on the virtues of the warrior and little value on the work of academics and public employees.”

Barone is on to something. But while his Jacksonians don’t like government interference, the working class whites supporting Clinton do. The Clinton folks are regular Democrats who loved the New Deal, Old Glory, God, war hero JFK, and Hillary’s doughnut-eating husband. While they don’t reject blacks per se (Colin Powell is o.k.), they don’t like uppity, highfalutin blacks like Obama. The tribal warfare Clinton’s tapped into by going after the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is upscale/elite v. downscale/white.

Anyway, that’s how I see it.

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