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Morning Jay: Appalachia and the Dems' Identity Crisis

6:00 AM, May 25, 2012 • By JAY COST
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That kind of explanation is literally the inverse of Old Hickory’s view of the country, and it stands in stark contrast to the leadership the Democratic party up through the 1960s. The common folk were privileged over the wealthy and well-connected, and if the Democrats of the 1940s saw their margins collapse within the white working class as has happened to today’s party, I can assure you their leadership class would be asking what’s the matter with the us, not what’s the matter with Kansas!

So, it makes sense to me that Kentucky and Utah would vote for Harry Truman in 1948 but not Barack Obama in 2008. And no, race had little to do with it, in my opinion. It gets down to a simple question: for whom does the Democratic party stand? Ask the average Kentucky voter, or Oklahoma voter, or Utah voter, whose grandparents were proud Truman voters, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: It certainly isn’t the humble members of society.

Jay Cost is a staff writer for THE WEEKLY STANDARD and the author of Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, available now wherever books are sold.

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