Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Easley Democrats

Matt Bai's piece in the Sunday New York Times (registration required) on "Hank Hill Democrats" is getting a lot of play in the blogs this week. It's built around North Carolina governor Mike Easley's practice of imagining he's pitching anything that might be seen as a partisan issue to Hank and imagining his reaction. It seems to have worked better for Easley than actually working within the NC Democratic Party, which he pretty muched shunned during the 2004 election cycle and, uh, won in a landslide while Kerry lost the state and Bowles somehow lost to Richard freakin' Burr.

I'll admit that while I initially really enjoyed the show, I realized after a few episodes that I really don't like ANY of the characters in it. Ok, maybe Boomhauer (who Easley apparently does a great impression of). JennySlash has a much higher tolerance for it than I do so I've seen a good number of the episodes over the years, but I can't stick with a show with no sympathetic characters and I've got to admit that if I moved into that neighborhood, there'd be a new For Sale sign on the lawn pretty damn quick.

That being said, Easley may be onto something as a strategy for states like North Carolina, which I do believe are "red" primarily because choices aren't being presented in a way that resonates with enough people. That's not to say that anyone is smarter or dumber - it's more about what aspect of an issue you focus on. The Republicans are framing issues in ways that probably make the Hanks somewhat uncomfortable, but they're not getting a message coming from the other side that makes any sense to them at all. A lot of what has been written on the left after the 2004 elections has been about "framing the issues" - the guv may have hit on a workable strategy.


At 7:37 AM, Blogger Lex said...

Oh, c'mon -- plenty of wonderful works of art and literature have been created with no sympathetic characters. Pretty much every Marvel Comic ever published, just to name one. Besides, the episode where Bobby was the Dalai Lama might've been the best 30 minutes of network TV in history.

And Boomhauer? Is my hero.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

Sure, Lex, but that doesn't mean that I LIKE them! But I will argue with you about Marvel that in fact EVERY Marvel character is sympathetic in some way - even the supervillains all have something sorta understandable that motivates them. DC traditionally has been very black and white while Marvel superhero comics tend to be quite gray - probably why I prefer them.

And yeah, Boomhauer pretty much rocks.


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