Liberal Republican Suburbs Voting Democratic

Regardless of how the Democrats do next week if the Democrats are to build a majority coalition they are going to need to attract more votes from the suburbs. As long as Democrats remains susceptible to Republican claims that they are “tax and spend” liberals, or they represent only the poor against the interests of the middle class and business, the Democrats will remain a minority party. Fortunately the Republican hold on suburbia is breaking due to their far right social policies. The New York Times provides an example of a socially liberal Republican suburb which is going Democratic:

The M.B.A.’s have had it. The engineers are fuming.

For as long as anyone here can remember, Bellevue has been a stronghold of socially liberal Republicanism. First, it was a prosperous Seattle bedroom community, then a technological boomtown, where employees of Microsoft and Internet start-ups consistently voted for fiscal restraint and hands-off government.

But now, voters here are accusing the party in power of overspending and overreaching — and when they do, they sound like people who write manifestos, not software code.

“I’m a mild-mannered guy,” Michael Mattison, a partner in a software venture development firm, said as he stabbed a piece of halibut in the sunlit dining room of a local bistro. “But we can no longer be subdued.”

Bellevue has been growing more Democratic for several years, thanks to an influx of liberal voters and a professional class that is changing teams. This year, Bellevue may send its first Democrat to Congress. Darcy Burner, who even supporters admit is inexperienced, may unseat Representative Dave Reichert, a well-liked, longtime public servant, simply because constituents want Democratic control of the House of Representatives.

“I am a Republican and have traditionally voted that way,” Tony Schuler, an operations services manager at Microsoft with a Harvard M.B.A., said as he sat with his wife, Deanna, in their home above Lake Sammamish. But Mr. Schuler abhors what he sees as a new Republican habit of meddling in private affairs.

“The Schiavo case. Tapping people without a warrant. Whether or not people are gay,” he said. “Let people be free! It’s not government’s job to interfere with those things.”

While there are many things making them angry, Republican opposition to embryonic stem cell research is the most objectionable:

It is a matter of concern across the country, even across parties. But for many engineers and their ilk, restriction of stem cell research is what gay marriage is to conservative Christians, a phenomenon so counter to their basic values that they cannot vote for any candidate who supports it. After all, for Bellevue’s professionals, science is not only a means of creating wealth but also an idealistic pursuit, the most promising way they know of improving the human condition.

“For hundreds of years, science has had its own jurisprudence over the truth. It’s called peer review, and it works pretty well,” said Mr. Mattison, whose father had Alzheimer’s and his uncle Parkinson’s disease. “I’m outraged that a mere politician would interpret science for me.”

Kerry Defends Democrat From Attacks on Military Service

John Kerry may or may not ultimately decide to run for President in 2008, but if he does he is showing how he would do things differently next time. The Boston Globe contrasts Kerry’s response to the Swift Boat Liars (perhaps downplaying the responses which Kerry did make in 2004) with his response to Democrats currently being Swift Boated:

The military record of a Democratic House candidate was under attack. So, Senator John F. Kerry ventured to the Philadelphia suburbs last week to defend Patrick Murphy — and deliver the kind of speech the senator never quite gave when his own wartime service was called into question in 2004.

“Attacking Patrick Murphy for his service is a little bit like Jessica Simpson attacking Albert Einstein’s IQ,” the Massachusetts Democrat proclaimed Thursday at a chilly outdoor rally at Bucks County Community College.

“A lot of these people in the GOP, the Republican Party — they think somehow that they served because they played with GI dolls when they were little,” Kerry said. “The guys who really served understand what it means, and we’ve had enough of these lies.”

Many Democrats remain angry with Kerry over his failure to more aggressively combat Republican smears in 2004. Efforts to tar Kerry generated a new term for political hatchet-jobs — “swift-boating” — and Kerry’s slow response to the attacks ranks alongside his muddled position on the war in Iraq on Democrats’ list of complaints about the campaign.

Now, Kerry is making it a personal mission to defend veterans running as Democrats in this year’s congressional elections from Republican attacks. Should he run for president again in 2008, his efforts on behalf of veterans could leave him with a corps of fiercely loyal supporters in Congress, and could help erase memories of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” attacks that he acknowledges he let stand for too long.

Kerry has done an excellent job of demonstrating that he has learned from the 2004 campaign and would make an excellent candidate in 2008.

Studio 60 Reportedly To Be Cancelled

Fox News is reporting that Studio 60 is to be cancelled. I’m awaiting confirmation from a more credible source but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is true. I’m sure the conservative media will claim that this is a rejection of a show with a liberal bias which has mocked the religious right. The truth is that this is another example of how difficult it is for well written, quality shows to survive on network television.

Update: It’s old news by now, but this post keeps getting search engine hits from people asking about the cancellation of Studio 60. Since this original post, NBC did order a full season of the show. More on Studio 60.

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