Prediction: How Walsh will try to beat Dan Maffei
Why would anyone who is a member of the middle or lower class vote Republican, rather then for a Democrat? For clues, try Thomas Frank's book "Whats the Matter With Kansas" and this online article.
In a nutshell, his theory is that Republicans strategically identify and play on the "common man's" resentment of a mythical "liberal snobery". The Republican majority is a combination of that resentment (sometimes called "60s backlash", although it predates the 1960s,) with money from the wealthy.
Franks points out that in reality, the Republican policies benefit only the rich, not the common man. And other then benefiting the rich and maintaining power, their entire porfolio may be classified as "wedge issues." Those include abortion, flag burning, gays in the military/marraige, gun control, and Terri Shivo. All such issues are merely excuses to drum up votes from gulible common (non-wealthy) citizens.
As Franks puts it: "For its corporate backers, the GOP delivers the goods; for its rank-and-file "values" voters it chooses a sturdy wall against which they are invited to bang their heads. "
Lets assume for the moment Franks is right, and see how it affects our district.
How would Jim Walsh stoke the flames of a typical CNY voter into anger and resentment? How can Jim Walsh turn Dan Maffei into a wimpy, elitist, European, Ivy League snob?
What "wall" can Walsh give CNY voters to bang their head against?
Walsh is at a disadvantage , in that the right wing playbook that works elsewhere wont work in Syracuse. The population and history of CNY is not like the South or West. Gun control, immigration, affirmative action, abortion, and gay bashing, and taxes dont work nearly as well here as they do elsewhere.
But while the TACTICS difer in Syracuse, the STRATEGY is the same.
And so without further ado, here are my predictions of Jim Walsh's "wedge issues":
Dan Maffei is an outsider, an elitist. A carpetbagger. A liberal snob from the Ivy League. A mean and unfair political operative from Washington. Someone who doesn't give a hoot about Syracuse, he just wants to put something on his resume. Dan Maffei is not a native Syracusian, he is a fast-talking New York City / Boston / Washington DC jerk. He is taking advantage of us. He is mean, unfair, greedy and indecent.
Dan Maffei is not one of us.
The above sentence summarizes everything. It may be all you need to know. Now, I am sure there are those of you out there who have met bookish Dan Maffei in person or know him, and the suggestion that he is an arrogant elitist is absurd.
Well, to those people, I say, do not let mere facts blind you..
Remember: To Republican strategists, facts do not matter. Emotions do.