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GOP giving away US

Thanks to Barack Obama, conservatives now hate Chicago.

“Today I’m inviting you to the exciting premiere of a new channel. It’s called Obama’s Chicago Network, and is the best place on the web for viewers to learn more about President Obama’s Chicago-style politics,” read a Republican National Committee fundraising e-mail two weeks ago. “On Obama’s Chicago Network, shady backroom deals and strong-arm tactics are the name of the game.”

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Of course, Republicans are in no danger of winning Chicago any time in the near or far future, so they don’t fear alienating that entire region. Problem is, they’ve alienated so many regions, that it gets harder and harder to win anywhere. Remember, Illinois used to be a competitive state at the presidential level. No longer.

Same with California, home of the GOP’s two biggest bogeymen — San Francisco, with its venture capitalists and scary values of tolerance and entrepreneurship, and a Hollywood with values so divorced from America that people spend billions every year watching its movies.

Of course, there’s Massachusetts (or “Taxachusetts”), which was the devil’s lair, at least until Republican Sen. Scott Brown’s unlikely victory in the state’s January special election to fill Teddy Kennedy’s vacant seat. That anomaly shouldn’t be enough to change conservatives’ long-running hatred for the home of Michael Dukakis, Barney Frank and John Kerry.

New York had a brief reprieve from right-wing hate after 9/11. While terrified conservatives in the middle of cornfields wrapped their homes in plastic and duct tape, New Yorkers shrugged off the threat and refused to let terrorists change their way of life. That kind of grit and resilience is alien to Republicans. Commenting on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, National Review’s Ed Wheeler noted that her New York background “nicely captures Elena Kagan’s remoteness from the lives of most Americans.” Nineteen and a half million people in metro New York would beg to differ.

And then there’s Washington, D.C. And no, not the political side of D.C. Everyone hates that. The other Washington, D.C. Throw in Vermont, Cambridge, New Orleans, Detroit and Berkeley, and conservatives have officially hated on about 20-50 million Americans (depending on whether you want to count metro areas) just because of where they live.

I was born in Chicago, went to law school in Boston, and now live in Berkeley. Good thing I’m not up for a Supreme Court vacancy, like Kagan. “This woman Kagan, she supposedly is there to make sure the court deals with the despised and the downtrodden, with the despised and the poor, and so forth,” ranted Rush Limbaugh. “She doesn’t know anything about it. She’s lived at Harvard; she’s lived at Hyde Park in Chicago, inside the Beltway and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As is the case with all liberal elitist theoreticians, they have no clue how real Americans live.” Heavens!

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Throw in gays, brown people (of all races and ethnicities), immigrants, single women, urbanites, Volvo drivers, Birkenstock wearers, tree huggers and latte drinkers, and pretty soon you’ve got very little left. Long term, that’s not how electoral coalitions are built. 


•••

Over the last two years I’ve written this column, I must’ve mentioned Research 2000 polls commissioned by Daily Kos at least a couple of dozen times. It has now come to light that at least some of those polls were not properly conducted, and may in fact have been fabricated. While I can’t currently say which of those polls were accurate and which weren’t, I have zero confidence in any of them. As such, I retract any claim made exclusively on the basis of those polls.

Moulitsas is founder and publisher of Daily Kos (dailykos.com).