All politicians play
the 'outside the beltway' card and talk about getting out and talking to real
Americans. As well they should, since DC is a very weird place
But President Bush is pushing the envelope a bit. It's not just outside the Beltway, but the "heartland." And it's becoming pretty clear that when Bush talks about the "heartland" he means the South and the rural and small-town Midwest, or in other words, the states he won. Here's the President from yesterday in Waco, Texas:
I've told the people of the nation's capital there that I was coming back to the heartland to herald the values of the heartland, the values that make America so different and so unique. And one of those values is neighbors helping neighbors ... I've had the honor of traveling the -- the world for our country -- or went to Europe. And we're different, in a positive way. We're unique in an incredibly positive way. It's important for our nation never to lose sight of that ... We're making great progress in Washington changing the tone of our country. We're making great progress reminding people that the values of the heartland are the values that make America unique and different.
I won't belabor the point that the Bush-defined heartland (especially the South) tops almost every recorded measure of social dysfunction and pathology -- murder
, etc. -- but I mean, what about the deracinated and cosmopolitan coastal strips? Aren't we Americans too?