Friday, November 03, 2006

Living like a Republican

Vote Democratic, live Republican. That's a line credited to Joseph Alioto, the late mayor of San Francisco who lived very well indeed. (Of course, he said that back in the days when the Republican image did not include chewing tobacco.) Nowadays, a lot of us who vote Democratic live Republican. Let us count the ways.

Some of us play golf, the game having undergone a certain democratization in recent years. Still, if you want to join a country club, remove the "Impeach Bush" sticker from your car. The ratio of Dems on the greens is approximately one in every two foursomes. (The number of Greens on the greens is approximately zero.) Count me out because of the very Republican clothing.

Many of us drive ritzy cars, usually foreign, though. Remember the days when Republicans drove Caddies and Dems drove Chevys? Now Republican get-out-the-vote campaigns target owners of Chevys because they're 99 percent Republicans. Cadillac owners can be counted on the get to the polls themselves, generally to vote Republican, if they don't crash into a farmer's market on the way. By the way, always innovative Toyota took the lead from Volvo in Republican-free cars by producing the Prius.

Democrats mostly eat better than Republicans, and often expensively. Republicans are still eating steak, but in the closest thing they have to an election strategy, Democrats are letting them take the lead in artery cloggage. The last red-meat-eating red-stater should be dead when about the time the Dems have a viable candidate for president. The latest survey shows that 78 percent of Republicans think "extra virgin" has something to do with abstinence education.

Now here's the rub. Unlike our New Deal-era forebears, most of us Democrats are invested in the stock market, even if it's only through our generally inadequate 401(k) plans. That means we have an interest, however small the interest, in Republican tax cuts. Most of the tax cuts have benefitted the very wealthy, but down here below the median income family, a few of us are living in the classic Republican manner. We're coupon clippers, in the old sense of living off investments. And also clipping coupons for specials at Walgreen's.

I ought to love Bush and his Republican henchmen. Most of my income comes from investments, and although small, it either is tax-free or taxed at only 15 percent. I'm a Democrat who is a Bush profiteer. But I'm voting Democratic anyway. Even if it means higher taxes, it also means the other inevitable will be less of a worry for American troops in Iraq. I'm tired of all of us being trickled down upon.

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