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« Out-pitched and out-managed | Main | Law and Order makes me want to apologize to Sarah Paulson »


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Yowza! How do you really feel?
I don't think I need my afternoon coffee anymore. :)


I've gotta ask....

If Kansas is the "heart" of America, what did we do before Kansas became a state in 1861?

I seem to recall that all thirteen of the Original Colonies were on that there East Coast. Curse those elitest, liberal Founding Fathers! Not a Real Amuricun among 'em!


On a serious note- I just received an email from numerous University of Iowa professors (most in research)who were saying they were voting early (as allowed by law) and voting on paper so there would be a permanant record of their vote. Their main intent is to vote for change and to vote people in who will uphold the Constitution. These people live in Iowa... that sounds like the heartland to me. Maybe Leibovich needs to take a bigger cross-section of the heartland next time.

Ken Rasak

The stagecraft of the Bush Administration is something that people should be reminded of on a regular basis. Their public appearances are like community theater in which the community isn't invited.

Mike Schilling

It's not a puff piece, guys, it's a subtle portrayal of how out-of-touch that crowd was.

As a rule, people still love Mr. Bush in Cheney Country, at least relative to some locales. If you have to qualify it twice, it's damned faint praise.

Mr. Smith says most people he knows feel the same way, “except for a few of those peacemakers.” That travesty of the Beatitudes wouldn't be out of place in The Onion.

a rare smile with both sides of his mouth Yes, he has been dead for the last ten years.

The crowd's love for Cheney is contrasted with all the reasons that he's not even likeable, climaxing with the story of the boyhood friend who hasn't seen him since the 1980s because he can't score the price of a ticket. (I suspect he's not a rich rancher, or they'd be closer.) But still, Leibovich muses, they love and admire him. It takes all kinds, he guesses. Go figure.


I'm from Kansas (fifth-generation, from a small town near Topeka), and it ticks me off when NYT and other national-level writers make this sort of sweeping generalization about Kansans. The sort of true-believer Republican crowd that was handpicked for the Cheney visit can be found anywhere, even in Seattle or San Francisco. It was not nearly representative of the state today or when viewed from a historical perspective. If anything, state politics there are defined by a tradition of populism. The evolution thing was a blip on the radar and was corrected as soon as the election cycle allowed. Arrgh. Go pick on another state.


I just wanted to know if you saw the editorial from a very Republican Kansas newspaper explaining they will be endorsing more Democrats than they ever have:

I still don't think he gets what most Democrats actually support (big government?? weak kneed defense, etc. - C'mon) but I like his list of where the Republican party has gone that he cannot follow - interestingly, he didn't mention Iraq at all.

Exiled in New Jersey

"Dick Cheney is probably the most odious excuse for a human being to hold the office of Vice President" Now this is some competition worthy of American Idol: Spiro Agnew, Dick Nixon and old crocodile smile, going head to head for America's soul while a bunch of nattering nabobs blog.

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The two finalists in the contest for most odious excuse for a human being to hold the office of Vice President are John C. Calhoun and Dick Cheney.


It's not a puff piece, guys, it's a subtle portrayal of how out-of-touch that crowd was

I have to agree, in fact I thought there was a fair amount of snark in that article. Especially when he described how the congressman's wife got glassy-eyed over Lynne Cheney -- the kindest, bravest, most wonderful human being she ever met.

Michael Bains

I don't know from Kiowa or Queens Counties, but there was a time in Lorain County, OH that you'd better not try and enter the barn to feed the horses w/o a 2x4 in hand, lest Arch-Goat Gabby'd ram you and your bucket thru the side of the joint.

Thank goodness for the godfearin' Puertorican church on the south side of town though. That guard-goat got buried with nothin' but BBQ stains on his bones, and all were happier for it. ('ceptin' perhaps said goat himself.)

...they were voting early (as allowed by law) and voting on paper so there would be a permanant record of their vote.

Not such a safe option in the aforementioned Ohio, Jennifer. Not whilst wannabe Gov'nor Blackwell is responsible for our votes - write in or Diebolded - gettin' counted. Paper, though bulkier than electrons, is still fairly easy to lose or get "misplaced".

None of which will stop my castin' my own.

(BTW, does my use of colloquial apostrophetics make me an Ivy League elitist? And, if so, can I be gettin' a raise commensurate with such an artificially appropriated background? {-; )


If this isn't a puff piece I've lost my mind. This is written for two reasons:

1. To avoid the "big time" issue. They want to be liked and are willing to something so sad (and therefore, sinister) as this garbage.

2. They want to be recalled with fondness as 'one of the few Times' reporters that are fair with us'. That kind of thing can pay big.

And that it made it to press is simply lesson #302 why the paper is a shell of what we once talked ourselves into believing it was, as we sat around on a lazy Sun morning reading the thing, thinking to ourselves that man, am I glad I don't live in Kan. The latter part is still true.


I thought the article was going so good and even had a chance of making Leibovich feel a tad sheepish if he were to read it, till I got to the part about "heartlanders" more likely to beleive in aleins and be bigoted and bible thumpers, then you lost me and I think anyone else you may have swayed with your reasoning. You didn't need to go there to make your point.

Flatiron Dante

I can't remember which comedian it was who said "I just got back from a tour of the Midwest. You know why they call it the Heartland? Because the brain isn't there".

[Disclaimer -- there are good people everywhere, including my good liberal family members (and their friends) in the Midwest and the deepest of the Deep South. I just wanted to pass along a relevant joke.]

Kevin Wolf

I hate, hate, hate the entire "heartland" mythology that gets peddled as if it is, was, or has ever been real. Stop it already!

blue girl

I hate, hate, hate the entire "heartland" mythology that gets peddled as if it is, was, or has ever been real. Stop it already!

I hate it too, KW!

And the next time any of you "fly over" where I live, remember to wave!


Awwww...c'mon, Cheney isn't so bad once you spend the day with evil and get to know him better :-)

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