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Blow: Smart Northeasterners not Fooled By "Cheney-Limbaugh Illusionati"

Charles Blow: "In 1984, Ronald Reagan won every Northeastern state. Since then, the leadership of the G.O.P. has systematically shed its idealists in favor of ideologues, reducing itself to the current Cheney-Limbaugh illusionati whose strategy is to exploit faith and ignorance by fanning fear and hatred. But, Northeasterners are not so easily duped. Voters there tend to be wealthier, better educated, less religious and more progressive than those in other regions."

Times Saturday columnist Charles Blow has gotten over last month's fear of an armed revolution by angry Republicans, judging by his willingness to imply those same Republicans are poor, uneducated folks who cling to religion.


In his latest smug liberal column, "The Land That Republicans Forgot," Blow excoriated Dick Cheney and lauded Colin Powell, while accusing the former vice president of killing the GOP in the Northeast, and oh yes, "fanning fear and hatred."


Colin Powell, one of the few Republicans with enough fire in his belly to stand up to his party's extremists,said earlier this week in Boston: "Rush Limbaugh says, 'Get out of the Republican Party.' Dick Cheney says, 'He's already out.' I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there's another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again." Give 'em hell, Powell!


It was apropos that Powell delivered this rebuke in the Northeast since that's where "their version" of the party is facing its most daunting challenges.


In 1984, Ronald Reaganwon every Northeastern state. Since then, the leadership of the G.O.P. has systematically shed its idealists in favor of ideologues, reducing itself to the current Cheney-Limbaugh illusionati whose strategy is to exploit faith and ignorance by fanning fear and hatred.


The Reagan reference is pretty rich- Blow would have no doubt excoriated Reagan in the same terms he is now using to lash out at Cheney and talk show host Rush Limbaugh, and wondering why Reagan wasn't more like those good old conservatives like Gerald Ford.


Then came the regional generalizations, which liberals would have probably considered offensive if directed at any other group save conservatives:


But, Northeasterners are not so easily duped. Voters there tend to bewealthier,better educated,less religiousand moreprogressivethan those in other regions.


According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in most of these states ishigher than the national average. And, a census report released in January revealed that 31.5 percent of Northeasterners had a bachelor's degree or higher, more than in any other region.


The American Religious Identification Survey released in Marchfound that New Englandhad the highest percentage of respondents who said either "none" or "no religion" when asked about faith. Nationwide, the percentage of "nones" nearly doubled from 1990 to 2008. In the Northeast, it more than doubled, and in some cases nearly tripled. "Nones" tend to be liberal and voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in November.