Why? Why? Why?

First an editorial about the "ownership society." This idea appeals to deluded rugged individualist types that don't really know what's coming to them; and maybe don't even care so much either.

And while we're at it, atrios about Dean's pessimism:

"Look for it to be coming out of every Republican's mouth soon, and then it will increasingly creep into 'objective' reporting. The process will go something like this. First, they'll quote Bush campaign sources describing Dean as 'pessimistic.' Next, they'll move onto Democratic campaign sources, often anonymous, describing Dean as 'pessimistic.' Next, they'll stop bothering getting the quote and just write things like, 'Some have criticized Dean for his unappealing pessimism...' And, then, finally, process complete, campaign analysis pieces in print and the 'objective journalists' on the roundtable shows, will just write/say things like 'Dean's pessimistic rhetoric...' By the end no discussion or news story about Dean will see the light of day without the word 'pessimism.'

Now to the point. I had the dubious privilege of talking to a self-proclaimed redneck during Christmas dinner; one of those rugged individualists that Dean wants to bring into the Democratic party; the dixie-flag-on-the-pickup types (he has a pickup, but no dixie flag, this IS Oregon after all). So, I wanted to satisfy my curiosity: how possible is achieving that goal? Can someone who is of that tribe actually see the folly of voting against their own interest in election after election? I'll spare mention of his desires to nuke all Arabs--I can't remember if that was before or after we nuke China--and the racist references to our current Portland mayor, and I'll also leave out some of the technical details about the new 50-caliber.

It all boiled down to this: these guys (who are no dummies when it comes to other things) are so filled with slogans from the conservative right-wing that they have completely given up on thinking when it comes to politics. An excerpt:

--The Republicans will win in a landslide, people all across the country will realize that we need only one party and rise up against the forces that want to keep us down.
--So, how exactly will that help you, specifically?
--Well, the economy.
--What, specifically?
--Uh, it's up to 10,000 again.
--Oh, you mean the Dow. We're probably at some fair valuation right now, or maybe a little overly-optimistic, depends on what the next round of numbers give us. The markets tend to swing a little too much in either direction s.t. 11-something was a little too high too fast, and 7-something was probably a little too low given the circumstances.
--The market isn't cyclical, it's all the Bush tax cuts that made it come back.
--And, the effects of those on local tax increases to pay for general services aren't bad?
--Bush is a liberal.
--Because of the high federal spending? Much of the spending is earmarked for Republican districts: once again, how is this helping you?
--We don't need nothin' from no one.
--hmmh, roads, schools, etc.? Generally, there are donor regions, like LA or NYC and recipient regions like Alabama, Mississippi. It helps even things out, we're all dependent upon one another.
--Why do I need to pay for a school in Alabama?
--You aren't, Oregon was historically about equal in federal tax outlays in federal money coming back [I was somewhat inaccurate there, but the idea is we're not on either extreme]; you still use services,though--like a road--that needs to be paid for.
--I don't care. I use whatever I please. You're want to redistribute wealth. That makes you a socialist. A socialist is only one step away from a communist.
--Well, actually, I consider myself a social democrat. I WANT wealth creation and accumulation. Communists don't allow any sort of personal property.
--Doesn't matter, Democrats are communists.

And so it went. Incumbents: vote them all out every election so that they can't become corrupt. How is getting non-politicians into office going to help make government run smoothly? They'll spend so much time learning the job that they can't ever become corrupt. Schools: take away all funding and get rid of unions that are sapping the taxpayer dry, then, the locals will make schools better, just like what we do in Jewell. Ever heard of anyone moving to Jewell for their school district? Taxes: vote all down regardless. You're shooting yourself in the foot: Multnomah county is the economic driver of the state, for every dollar your rural district puts in you get a buck-thirty back in services. We don't need nothing: we can live off the land, collect rainwater, eat deer or squirrels for food. Portland: it's like the dirt that collects in the shower drain. Hey, without Portland, you'd be nowhere. Refer to previous for response.

All in all, this n = 1 example I think points out what might be impossible for Dean to achieve. They will continue to vote against their best interests, and that's that. Anything else would be communism, and that's not what they fought for in Vietnam, and if you didn't fight in a war, you have no right to say anything.

Maybe, at least for the state of Oregon, we need to just dissociate ourselves from the rural crowd. You want a starved state budget? Go right ahead: for every dollar you cut from Salem, let's raise the metro tax and only spend right here. You don't like environmental protections? Heck, who cares if you degrade your own backyard, as long as you don't come to metro area hospitals and expect someone else to pay for the health consequences.

Too pessimistic?