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February 26, 2009

Joe the Plumber and the Self-Marginalization of the GOP

Patrick Ruffini takes a look at the state of the movement.

I'm not sure I agree with his use of Joe the Plumber per se as a symbol of the party's troubles. I do think, however, there is something wrong with the party, and I'm not looking to dismiss any critiques out of hand. Looking at our over-reliance on identity politics -- not an identity politics of race or gender or sexuality, but a softer one of "one of us" -- might be a good place to start.

It's that bugaboo, I think, that caused Jindal to deliver his rebuttal in such a false way. He was trying to channel his inner Bubba rather than just being himself.

Oh: The identity-politics thing is pretty widespread among the elites of the party (both actual and self-anointed), obviously.

I point that out because I can imagine David Frum shouting with joy as he considers how the one-of-us factor aided Sarah Palin. Well, yes. And the not-one-of-us factor sure the hell seems to have been a big factor among the Frum sorts.

Mitt? I think this whole thing works triply against Romney: He's a Mormon, he's a Northeastern elitist, and then on top of it he's not good at faking the common touch so he comes off as inauthentic when he attempts to show he's "one of us." Which he really shouldn't have to do all that much in the first place.


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posted by Ace at 10:15 AM

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