The GOP vote

The Register has been running some tongue-in-cheek articles recently (here and here) with regards the recent election results in the USA. Outline plans for Southern “Jesusland” secessation being firmly on the agenda. On a slightly more serious note, James Webb, a distinguished Vietnam war marine has recently had a piece published in the Wall Street Journal with regards the GOP Scots-Irish vote. Mr Webb has also featured in a recent edition of the Newsletter. It is interesting to note the North / South divide. The Bush / Paisley comparisons seem quite apt to a certain degree.

  • Davros

    Nice to see you again Aughavey.

    This is a slightly different look at the election results.

    The Scots-Irish are derived from a mass migration from Northern Ireland in the 1700s, when the Calvinist “Ulster Scots” decided they’d had enough of fighting Anglican England’s battles against Irish Catholics.

    It needs be pointed out that one of the reasons they fled was because of a famine, that was relatively just as severe as an gorta mor, that has been airbrushed out of history.

  • James

    “Why are the 30 million Scots-Irish, who may well be America’s strongest cultural force”

    and are the principal inhabitants of Appalachia where a virgin is defined as any gal who can outrun her uncles. Why oh why oh why are we so caught up in this master race thing? We talked the Anglos into letting us pass for white and why can’t we just leave it at that?

    That party never stops.

    Speaking of things that never stop …….

    I have lived through several Republican incumbent Presidents who survived a Democratic challenge. Each and EVERY time without fail the pundits wail the demise of the Democrats. Oh, those poor lost souls who blew their entire political capital on the bitch goddess of Liberalism and Godless Secularism will never survive until they see the light. They must jettison that divisive black/homosexual/Hispanic/woman’s rights nonsense, kiss up to the National Rifle Association and lay down with Jesus.

    Bullpuckey, Sluggiepoos.

    Say a prayer to the great God Gates, open up your Excel spreadsheets, and enter the following data: 1972 23.3%; 1984 18.3% and 2004 3.0%. Now I’ll let the least math-phobic of you plot that. What you are looking at are the percentage margins of last three Republican incumbent wins: Nixon, Reagan and Bush. The plot is nosing into the ground. Essentially, the nation is growing into the 20th century, slow learners that we are.

    Now, dear readers, wait to see what happens when the Born Agains find out that they are going to see Jesus before they see their first Social Security retirement check.

    “they fled was because of a famine,”

    Yeah. Six years of drought, sheep rot in 1716, smallpox in 1718 and rackrenting if you survived.
    Are we having fun yet?

  • Alan2

    Hmm. You might find alot of the Presbyterians left long before the famine due to the persecution they received under the English Anglicans who feared the Presbyterian / Scottish anti-authoritarianism more so than Catholicism as it posed more of a threat to the monarchist and feudal system. For a time the anglican and Presbyterians had cohabited together with Presbyterian ministers ministering in the Established Anglican (Church Of Ireland) churches however under the test act Presbyterian Ministers who refused to be governed by the Anglican way were banned from conducting marriage ceremonies and from preaching and as such many returned to Scotland or sailed for the New World.

  • Davros

    “they fled was because of a famine,”

    James : Yeah. Six years of drought, sheep rot in 1716, smallpox in 1718 and rackrenting if you survived.

    do a google on ” bliadhain an áir “.

  • Davros

    Alan 2 – that’s why I wrote that one of the reasons they fled….
    Famines were not uncommon. They are still a regular occurrence where there is subsistance farming.

  • Alan2

    “1972 23.3%; 1984 18.3% and 2004 3.0%”
    Pray tell what the same trend is for the Democrats?

  • Alan2

    Figures can be made to say an ything you like
    The democrats margins when winning are:-
    2000 9%

    1996 9%
    1992 5.5%
    1980 2%
    1976 2%
    1964 23

  • Moderate Unionist

    The fundamental difference between the DUP and Scot Irish tradition that James Webb talks about is that the DUP is essentially a top down organisation in contrast to the bottom up approach that defines Scot Irish for Webb.

    The DUP is of course staunchly religous, but to my mind the UUP is closer to the Scot Irish model outlined.

  • Alan2

    I would disagree with that a little. The DUP has very strong grass roots support. It may not be quite so democratic as the UUP but I certainly wouldnt call it “top heavy” or “top down”.

  • fair_deal


    The stereotyping you engage in exactly why the Dems got hammered. Dems have appealed to them before their politics has opportunities for the Democrats as their politics is a mixture of liberalism and conservatism. It is working class political traditionalism (and the Dems certainly wont appeal to working classes when all their campaign only talk about is the middles classes).

  • James

    God save us from the math phobic.


    “The democrats margins when winning are:-“

    Get with the program, please.

    The comparison was on GOP INCUMBENT reelections that seceded during the past 20 years. It shows that the power of the GOP to paint an opponent as a “Liberal” in the manner of the Nixon and Reagan campaigns and then win a significant majority under the most favorable of circumstances has vanished and that the dire predictions of the Death of the Democrats has grown more absurd with the passage of time. Yet these morons are still feeding us the same old garbage as if it were 1972 all over again.

    My own interpretation is that the rest of the country is following the California trend as it has since the 1950’s.


    Please, please, PULEEZE take a look at your stuff before you post it. It careens toward the incoherent.

    Firstly you accuse me of stereotyping. Hell yes. I use the Appalachia stereotype as a comic device to attack Webb’s cloying, self-serving stereotype. Get used to it. I’ve got more bad news for you: We are not going to save Civilization either no matter what Cahill writes and, worse yet, we are just as groady as everyone else (even worse if you wish to consider specific or isolated instances). Get used to that, too.

    Next, using the Kremlinology expertise I picked up battling Godless Communism during the cold war, I interpret your last few lines as saying that the Democrats don’t appeal to the working class and have focused their campaign on the middle class. Here your answer is NO on the former and DUH!! on the latter.

    The CNN exit poll shows that roughly 60% of those who are union members voted for the Democrats. It also shows that roughly 60% of those who had a union member in the household voted for the Democrats. The working man is still for the Democrats so you cannot chat up a Hard Hat phenomenon in this election.

    As for the DUH!!, are you really serious? Only 14% of those who voted were union members. OF COURSE the Democrats concentrated the campaign on the middle class because that is where the votes are!!! Neither the working stiff nor the black voters viewed this as abandonment because they know that their interests dovetail with the Democrats and, accordingly, voted for Kerry.

  • fair_deal


    Apologies for grammatical and other mistakes in previous post.

    Union membership does not equate to working class. As I am sure you are well aware the history of the Labour movement in America and the problems it has had with becoming established and spreading means the union vote cannot be seen to be an exact representation of the working class especially in the flyover states. Furthermore, 60% among union households i.e. a core constituency does not grab me as astounding.

    West Virginia, one of the poorest places in America, voted Republican for pity’s sake and you don’t think the Democrats have a problem with the working class?

    The republicans vote among Hispanics grew and you dont think you have a problem with the working class vote? (And yes I know Hispanics are moving up the social chain quickly but they are still mostly a working class vote)

    Also Democrat turnout was down from 39% to 37%? Is this possible evidence that some section of the Democratic base wasn’t feeling motivated?

    The middle class are where all the votes are? Well concentrating on them certainly worked didn’t it. Meanwhile the Republicans worked their base and won.

    Salazar won in Colorado by appealing to the type people you seem to despise and he didnt do it by buying into all the positions you caricature.

    Howard Dean had worked out during the primaries that the Democrats had to appeal to these people to win and he was vilified for daring to suggest it.

    The Democrats were out-thought, out-campaigned and then out-voted.

    May I ask what do you think the Democrats did wrong during the election?

  • George

    Grass roots are very important, especially when the famine is at its most severe. Ask any Irish family that survived an Gorta Mor.

    Also, someone tell Mr. Webb that Northern Ireland didn’t exist in the 1700s. Revisionism gone mad. Oh sorry, revision is invariably mad.

  • Davros

    Ask any Irish family that survived an Gorta Mor.

    How ? Ouija board ?

  • James


    Great to catch you at a lucid moment. Keep it up

    “The Democrats were out-thought, out-campaigned and then out-voted.”

    That is the only thing we agree on.

    You choose to deny my case on union membership as a litmus for working class support and base this upon voodoo statistics. You are welcome to this opinion, it is rubbish just the same. BTW, the malarkey about the Democrats dropping from 39% to 37% in this election is pure bollocks: The Democrats haven’t had numbers above 38% since Dubya’s daddy ran.. Moreover Harris’s numbers show the Democrat voter identification UP from 2003 if the CNN poll is to be believed. Work on the accuracy thing.

    Your inference using the inroads the Republicans made into the Hispanic vote is just as specious: It is wisely written, Grasshopper, that an inroad does not a mandate make. Black Americans are just as indicative as the Hispanic vote for working class support and Black people voted 90% for Kerry. There wasn’t a Hard Hat vote here. Get used to it.

    Even more absurd, you assert that the Democrats lost by concentrating on the middle class while the Republicans, concentrating on their base, won. They were BOTH contending for the middle class. That is how you win here. The Republicans just got more of them.

    I am also bemused that you fail to be impressed with a 60% majority. Well, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, fella.

    Please don’t run a campaign in the US unless it’s for Schwarzenegger.

    “May I ask what do you think the Democrats did wrong during the election?”


    Kerry’s campaign allowed Karl Rove to do to him what Karl Rove did to Bush in 1978. That is why Bush hired Rove.

    The essence of this, without getting into the guts of it, is that the Kerry campaign allowed Rove to define Kerry in the same manner that Rove painted Bush as “All hat and no cows” in 1978.

    Don’t get me wrong, Rove is no unique Evil Genius. Gray Davis did exactly the same thing to Dan Lungren in 1998 with exactly the same result if you discount Davis’s 19.5% edge. (Well if you weren’t impressed with 60% you won’t be impressed by that either, I suppose.) My regret is that we lack a popular recall mechanism at the national level to kick in when all of the other shoes start hitting the floor.

    (1) I have admired Kerry ever since the 70’s. (2) I think that his leadership in the White House is essential for America to prosper. (3) I have always regarded John Kerry to have a first-rate mind. (I operate on the premise that first-rate people hire first-rate people and that second-rate people hire third-rate people, thus the current rule by F Troop.)

    (4) I have never thought him to be a candidate with national appeal. That’s how you win three debates but lose the election.

  • James

    “Black people voted 90%”

    Well, 88% if ya want to get technical about it.

  • Alan2

    I would query your “working class” theory. I realise unions are significant but they are certainly not what they once were and “hill billy bud drinking” ordinary working man, or religious person is not what I get from looking at the Democrats. The democrats come across like Labour. “For the workingman” whilst sipping champagne in an expensive restaurant. That`s not to say that the Republicans are for the workingman as I would say they are for big business but also lower taxes, at least they put the message over straight in my opinion.

  • James

    I’d also query why it is relevant since the deciding votes do not lie within that demographic.

    The fair_deal guy brought up that “working class political traditionalism” bollocks as if it has some sort of mystic moral cachet. No true American would talk about a working class. We’re all lower class, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class, third tier upper middle class, upper upper middle class ……. It’s fun to Fisk him to death, though.

    Not that you have much of a handle on it from a far either. You see I AM a longneck swillin’, shotgun totin’, hillbilly desert rat. (However I am an Independent since I think the Democrats are a bunch of pussys.)

    Yee Haaw

  • D’Oracle

    This Mr Webb seems to be a decidedly dodgy chap.

    All of his claims for the Scots Irish -that they are taller, smarter, meaner, the worlds beszt soldiers etc etc appear to be identical to those were made by Adolf whatshisname for the master race in the nineteen thirties.

    Wasnt belief in the profundity of Adolfs insight -including, of course, his unforgettable determination of the existence of whole races of untermenchen not the basis for the subsequent unpleasantness and facsism business.

    Adolf proved to be wrong and so too will James. The most likely reality is that local peculiarities apart , they are probably no different to other people elsewhere.

    Banal perhaps perhaps but less likely to get fellow bloggers excited !?

  • davidbrew

    terrible thing jealousy, D’oracle

  • davidbrew

    terrible thing jealousy, D’oracle. and george. Still hanging out with Zippy and Bungle I see.At least I presume that’s where your historical undertsanding comes from