The Real America

Timothy Egan’s post on the NY Times Blog captures some noteworthy facts on Tuesday’s election.  It begins “[g]uess who won Joe the Plumber’s vote.  Not Joe the symbol and unlicensed tax-dodger coming soon to a garage sale near you, but the ral people about $42,000 a year, the median income for plumbers and pipefitters.  Barack Obama carried hard-working Americans of that income stripe by 10 points . . .”  And her carried those who make more than $200,000 a year, and Latinos, and the young, and the suburbs . . .

The election results rejected the recent trend in Rove-inspired Republican electioneering, the character-assassination-by-association that replaced substantive discussion at the highest level of the party.  Enough voters saw through the Republican assertion that Obama is “too radical.”  McCain’s concession speech and Obama’s victory speech revealed the truth of their respective appeal in stark terms.  The audience for McCain’s dour luxury-resort address looked like a Junior League party hosting the members of Augusta National.  The camera’s strained to find even once face of color in the crowd.  Other than the range of ages represented, Obama’s audience reminded me of a photo taken when a friend’s daughter graduated from West Point, a cross section of skin colors, ethnicities, and melting-pot origins that truly is, despite Palin’s sneering assertions, Real America.  Republicans can either broaden their appeal and re-establish relevance or continue their sour, mean-spirited migration to the right.

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