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Josh Barro: Erick Erickson Shows The Worst in GOP

Josh Barro: Erick Erickson Shows The Worst in GOP:

Conservative pundit Erick Erickson doesn’t like me. This morning he wrote 900 words about why.

But the main thing his post reveals is what’s wrong with Erickson – and with a Republican party that is built to appeal to people like Erickson.

He starts by noting that I am “a late twenty-something gay male.” I’m not sure why my sexual orientation is mentioned right at the top of his hit piece on me, following only my age. (Just kidding; I know exactly why Erickson mentioned this so early.) But at least this statement, unlike some that follow it, has the virtue of being correct….

Erickson says I support “the tax hikes that come with Obamacare.” That’s not true; I wrote last July that Obamacare “should have been financed with efficient, broad-based taxes instead of singling out the wealthiest Americans.” He goes on to complain that I have “worked no campaigns.” That is not only false but contradicted by the same Atlantic profile that prompted Erickson to whine…. He even almost got my name wrong….

Some of what Erickson says about me is true. I have never “answered to a constituency” as he did during his partial term as a member of the Macon City Council, which he resigned after missing 13 of 27 council meetings and 16 of 19 council work sessions…. Like most Real Americans, Erickson had a poor attendance record because of his busy schedule of media appearances.

But the bulk of the piece is… about Erickson’s resentment of New York- and Washington-based “elites”… as though New York and Washington were not real places populated by real people…. For two decades, the Republican party’s strategy to overcome its disadvantage on economic issues has been a cultural appeal to people like Erickson: non-urban whites who feel threatened by social change… people who think it’s an alarming trend that women are financially independent, or who think the most salient fact about a writer they dislike might be his sexual orientation. This is a strategic problem… the party’s reliance on a resentment-based appeal has caused its policy apparatus to atrophy… [and] people like Erickson are a declining share of the electorate. Basically, Erickson is derpy…. But the country is getting less derpy, and in time the Republican party will have to get less derpy, too. That’s my project, and I don’t expect Erickson to like it.