The Rise of the Ideopolis
September 30, 2002 7:13 PM   Subscribe

The Rise of the Ideopolis "Democrats have been gaining strength in areas where the production of ideas and services has either redefined or replaced an economy dependent on manufacturing, agriculture, and resource extraction. Many of these areas are in the North and West, but they are also in states like Florida and Virginia. Republicans are strongest in areas where the transition to postindustrial society has lagged. Many of these are in the Deep South and Prairie States. As Democratic politics has evolved over the last decade, it has increasingly reflected the socially liberal, fiscally moderate priorities of these new areas -- what we call a politics of progressive centrism. Republicans have continued to espouse an anti-government credo closely identified with business and the religious right -- a politics that plays well in parts of the Deep South but not in a new postindustrial America." (Check out what's going on in Illinois). If that doesn't work, there's always the NASCAR Democrats.
posted by owillis (15 comments total)
The question is, are the Democrats ready for different kinds of Democrats? My thinking is, no.

It sure doesn't show here.
posted by dhartung at 7:20 PM on September 30, 2002

Anyway, regarding Illinois, it's little surprise that voters are having trouble distinguishing "George Ryan, scandal-plagued governor" from "Jim Ryan, cancer-surviving attorney general". The latter was so desperate, he issued a press release begging newspapers to remind readers that they aren't the same person. But in polls, even when voters were reminded, his numbers only clicked up a notch against Blagojevich, who has managed to run a high-minded if somewhat vague campaign so far, nimbly side-stepping association with his father-in-law's Chicago ward heelers. Ryan (J.) is dogged to some extent by his involvement in a badly-bungled prosecution of an innocent man (he was returned to trial three times, despite state supreme court rulings that evidence was misused each time; and they have a confession by another prisoner, who has never been prosecuted), but I'm not sure that case really registers outside the Chicago area. Daley the Younger has really done a smashing job as Mayor here, and other factors seem to be weakening the GOP even as their prized middle-class suburban demo is growing. The key indicator that Dems are doing well here is that lightweight Lisa Madigan (daughter of the state majority leader) is cleaning up for Attorney General. I expected her opponent (an associate of the aforementioned Ryan, J.) to wipe the floor with her. I really wish he would, actually, because if she wins, she may have to prosecute Daddy -- and won't that be a show. Licenses-for-bribes will be a distant memory by the time that's over.

Oh, the best part of the campaign so far? Ryan accuses Blagojevich's wife of driving a foreign-built car. Blagojevich's staff replied within hours that her car was leased after Volvo became part of Ford.

That's Bluh GOY a vitch. You'll be hearing more of it.
posted by dhartung at 7:36 PM on September 30, 2002

When did Metafilter become a mouth piece for the Democratic Leadership Council??

I wonder how much flack I would get for a FPP on an article off the Republican National Committee's web site?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:41 PM on September 30, 2002

The DLC is a (in some Dem. quarters controversial or disliked) faction within the Democratic Party, and not the equivalent of the Republican National Committee.
posted by raysmj at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2002

Shut up.
posted by crasspastor at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2002

Oh excuse me, a more appropriate example would be an article from John McCain's Straight Talk America web site (in some GOP quarters controversial or disliked) talking about Republican voter growth....

crasspastor: Nice
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:57 PM on September 30, 2002

Steve: how about we discuss the link? Man, you love to derail. You can go ahead and post something from the RNC site or related thinktank if you feel it's discussion worthy. Nobody's stopping you.

Not even the Metafilter Liberal CabalTM

dhartung: I tend to worry about some of the more left members of the Democratic party (aka many folks here on Big Blue) looking at Gore's "loss" and thinking a more-left, Ted Kennedy style message will work. Perhaps it will take that candidate going down in flames for the message to get through (paging Dukakis).
posted by owillis at 8:01 PM on September 30, 2002

The same publication contains an article by the Weekly Standard's David Brooks, hardly a liberal Democrat. Brooks is closely associated punditry-wise (and probably otherwise, as in personally and politically - I'm not up on the whole story) with one John McCain.
posted by raysmj at 8:02 PM on September 30, 2002

When did Metafilter become a mouth piece for the Democratic Leadership Council??

Shut the fuck up, Donny, you're out of your element. You're like a child who wanders in in the middle of a movie.
posted by RylandDotNet at 8:09 PM on September 30, 2002

Brooks is closely associated punditry-wise with one John McCain.
... who is 4 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.</ot>
posted by owillis at 8:24 PM on September 30, 2002

I'd hardly consider Gore's wild swing to the left in the last election an example of "progressive centrism" Instead, I would wager that most Ideopolians' support of the Dems is simply a lesser of two evils approach taken by those with a political perspective that isn't adequately addressed by either party. (probably closer to libertarian centrist than anything else) Heck, I'd say part of it's even aesthetic, Democrats are just less distasteful than Republicans to many people ...I'd point you to Rob Dreher's article on Granola Conservatives from the National Review Online.

"Soon, Kreeft and his radical friend found out that despite the gulf that separated them on politics, they shared a number of areas of agreement (suburbs bad; nature good; big business and big government bad; small business and small government good). Kreeft determined from this that "beneath the current political left-right alignments there are fault lines embedded in the crust of human nature that will inevitably open up some day and produce earthquakes that will change the current map of the political landscape."

You mentioned Brooks, ramsmj, someone who provides another fairly good perspective this shift in ""Bobos in Paradise"
posted by leotrotsky at 8:29 PM on September 30, 2002

Brooks is closely associated punditry-wise with one John McCain.
... who is 4 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

I don't know why I found that so humorous, but it gave me my best laugh so far tonight! ha!
posted by Plunge at 8:31 PM on September 30, 2002

Virginia's premier postindustrial area, the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., where AOL and many of the nation's telecommunications firms are headquartered, has also been moving Democratic. ... Certainly, Democratic Gov. Mark Warner's recent victory suggests this is a very real possibility.

Actually, Warner's victory wasn't due to the growth of a postindustrial economy, but two other factors -

- Northern Virginia has had considerable population growth, especially in proportion to the two other large population centers - Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Va Beach) and the Richmond Area.
- Northern Virginia is part of the second worst traffic congestion in the country. The previous Republican governor, Jim Gilmore, got into office on the promise of removing the property tax on automobiles. In order to balance the budget, Gilmore cut back on new road construction, especially in Northern Virginia. While the rest of Virginia was driving around in their tax-free automobiles, Northern Virginians of all walks of life were trapped on crowded roads and congested freeways.
posted by borkus at 7:41 AM on October 1, 2002

I'll make the point I made the last time this came up ... all of these "coming Democratic majority" predictions are premised upon the slavish falling-into-line of the left constituencies of the Democratic party with candidates who reject essentially all of left's core values, while catering to the "ideopolis" yuppies and soccer moms and office-park dads.

I just do not believe that the NAACP crowd, the "Seattle movement" crowd, the pacifist and Saddam-and-Arafat lovers, the ACLU crowd, and the AFL-CIO crowd, will indefinitely support candidates who spit in their eyes at every opportunity.
posted by MattD at 8:06 AM on October 1, 2002

I really really hope Blagojevitch does not win the governor's office. He has been my congressman for awhile now, and his father-in-law is my Alderman. A very unhappy situation for me, not being a fan of the Democratic machine. I am going to vote for the Libertarian candidate, so I will not be much help to Ryan, but from my standpoint Ryan is the lesser of two evils. What makes me double unhappy is that Rahm Emanuelle is most likely going to take the Congress seat Rod is vacating, leaving me with that joker. The woman who ran against him would have been infinately preferable, but that is the way it goes I guess. I still have a hard time believeing the people downstate are going to let a guy so associated with Chicago politics run the state, and I expect increased animosity between Chicago and everywhere else in Illinois after the election if that comes to pass If Rod prevails.

And then the Madigans. This city breaks my heart. There is not enough rope to hang all the "public servants".
posted by thirteen at 11:47 AM on October 1, 2002

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