A Note From the Non-Reality-Based Community

You think [Dubya is] an idiot, don’t you … all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered two to one by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!

— Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, quoted in Ron Suskind’s Times magazine article yesteday.

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5 Responses to A Note From the Non-Reality-Based Community

  1. shunn says:

    They don’t like us, and if it was up to them the fearsome giant in the sky would squish us all and burn our ectoplasm in the incinerator without end.

    When my mother used to get mad at me, she used to tell me I didn’t live in the real world. Hah.

  2. Oh I hate that kind of us-against-them crap. Midwesterners and conservatives are not a different species from “us”. We’re all people. We’re ALL “busy working people” trying to live a decent life and most of us don’t hate anyone. Maybe they have kids and go to church, and I don’t; and maybe I read things that they don’t. It doesn’t make me hate people I’ve never met and I don’t like being instigated into doing so.

    • ken says:

      Well, I think you’re right, on the one hand. Certainly Dubya is trying to use that division to cover up how much ground he’s losing among evangelicals and other traditional Republican bastions (even Pat Robertson has evidently fled the fold).

      On the other hand, there is a lot of loathing for New York and for intellectuals in general out in the so-called heartland. (And a fair amount of unfair stereotyping of the heartland by urban folks.) The divide is real, though not as drastic as some would have us believe.

      • I do wonder how much of the belief in that divide is based on nothing but hunches and anecdotal evidence.

      • In fact I was just reading a piece in NY Review of Books called “The View from the Heartland.” I’d provide a cute little link to it, but I read this thing on paper. It is by Joseph Lelyveld who writes, “I’ve landed here [Eau Claire, Wisconsin], a week before the first presidential debate… I want to listen, one by one, to a cross-section of Wisconsin voters, hoping to discover what I can…” OK, then for three pages he gives you that cross-section of Wisconsin voters. Nobody says a word about hating people who read the NY Times. There is no anti-intellectual feeling. No one says he likes the way Bush walks or points. It’s not mind-strangling stuff, but then again, there are plenty of non-intellectuals in New York too.

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