Monday, November 09, 2009


Unsurprisingly, the House health reform bill did poorly in old rural white Pennsyltucky.

The New York Times voting map shows Schuylkill County Dem Tim Holden's big no.

Holden's constituents are mostly old and white, a large portion of the population on Medicare. And they're the demographic most likely to be connected to Fox News every evening. So Holden is a Dem in name only. Always has been, always will be.

Schuylkill citizens are most probably afraid the government will allow the 'welfare class' to cut into their pie, to believe comparisons of national healthcare reform to a Nazi extermination camp.

The uninsured constitute ten percent in Schuylkill, the same as Northampton to the east, but lower than Lehigh -- even further east but with a larger non-white population more likely to lack coverage, at 14 percent.

One can only marvel at the lack of charity in Schuylkill County and others (but not all) in the Pennsy interior like it. They are represented as if they oppose anyone who threatens to get something they already have. That a significant portion of their neighbors have no health coverage is of no consequence.

Insurance statistics, by county, are here.

And they show that if your representative voted against healthcare reform, he was voting against raising the common good for all. And that's just crazy.

The above snap, from the Harrisburg Patriot-News, sums up. Bad, but not quite as bad as others. And surprisingly blue in some of the white codger areas of the state, places where you'd expect the opposite. Common sense and basic human decency crept in.

Coincidentally, the blue tip to the far left on the above map is Dauphin County, the area most heavily served by the newspaper. And one with a substantial minority population, as well as an upper middle class progressive base.

In southern California, the politics played out in similar ways.

In densely populated Los Angeles County, healthcare reform passed. In the inland empire, home to extreme GOP politicians -- David Drier, Jerry Lewis and Mary Bono -- it went down.

California is almost essentially two distinct places: densely populated urban and really high end beach property, and the interior. The latter, along with San Diego --let's just say its GOP politicians would be at home in the deep south.

"The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter," writes Krugman. "Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America."

Sez the country is transforming into California. DD begs to differ a little. We're all getting to the same place at the same time. Just drive to Schuylkill County from Princeton. Then stop, for an afternoon, in Hershey.


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