I have no particular qualms about the Howard Dean “I want to be the candidate for the guys with Confederate flags in their pickups” statement. It wasn’t the best way to phrase it, but the meaning was clear. Poor southerners support Republicans when it is wildly against their own interests. I remember hearing a guy in Georgia who makes maybe $25K a year talking about how well he was going to do with the Bush tax cuts. I’m not sure how or why he fell for that, but he fell hard.
Here’s an interesting op-ed piece from the Miami Herald about the Dean remarks. An excerpt:
Poor people of whatever heritage have more in common than in contention. They never seem to see that, largely because race, the great American dividing line, has been used to keep them from seeing it. To keep them separate when by rights they should be shoulder to shoulder. So you wonder: What would happen if poor folk ever came together across racial lines, ever coalesced their votes into a political force and pushed their issues — healthcare, the minimum wage, affordable housing — into the national agenda?