Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama did well in Birmingham, MI

Stanley Greenberg, long-time Democratic pollster, visited Macomb County, Michigan, home of the "Reagan Democrats," after this election. In 1984, Reagan won the county by 2-to-1, but Obama won it by eight points this time around. That's progress.

But what's more interest to Greenberg, for professional reasons, and to me, for personal reasons, is what happened next door, in Oakland County. That's where my parents have lived for almost 30 years. When I went to high school there, it was solidly Republican (although my teachers were pretty liberal).

Oakland County voted for Obama, 57% to 42%. That's technically a landslide (the technical definition of a landslide in an election is a winning margin of at least 10%). Considering how Republican I always thot Oakland County was, it's a blowout.

Greenberg specifically cites Birmingham and Bloomfield as areas where Obama did well. I'm not surprised. The people in Birmingham are good people. They don't like paying high taxes, but they know lots of gay people, or at least some, they're well-educated, and usually well-traveled. They understand that being a professional requires the ability to think, to listen, to analyze problems, and to be able to admit that you're wrong.

My Dad is the quintessential Oakland County Republican. Fiscally conservative but socially moderate, he doesn't vote for Democrats very often. But he's been impressed with Obama since the primaries. He was appalled at the choice of Sarah Palin for VP. He was part of Obama's 96,000 vote margin of victory in Oakland County. Another famous Michigander, Ted Nugent, has declared war on moderate Republicans. Good luck with that, Mr. Nugent. All of those RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) that he's suddenly so upset about are exercising that freedom that conservatives are so passionate about defending and claiming as their own unique virtue.

One key part of being free, of course, is having the freedom to fail. But with that freedom to fail comes the responsibility to accept responsibility for your failures. Good luck with that one, too, Mr. Nugent. My Dad's a big fan of rock and roll from the 1950's, but I don't think he could recognize a single Ted Nugent song. And he sure isn't going to start listening to him now.

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