I was watching "This Week" this morning when guest Andrew Sullivan happened to update one of the more unremarkable theses circulated among political historians: "If Virginia and Florida go back to the Republicans, it’s the Confederacy.... It’s the Southernization of the Republican Party. [Virginia and Florida] were the only two states in 2008 that violated the Confederacy rule." There was of course North Carolina, too, but that's a minor issue, given that NC is also likely to swing back to the right, along with Fla. and Virg.
Anyway, at this thoroughly commonplace observation George Will, as Mediaite puts it, "rolled his eyes" before inflicting more of his oh-so sophisticated pomposity on us: Either a "lot of white people who voted for Obama in 2008 watched him govern for four years and said, 'Not so good. Let’s try someone else,' " or "the 'Confederacy' hypothesis is that those people somehow, for some reason in the last four years became racist."
Will just can't resist a good straw man when his chips are down. And in this case, Sullivan was the one who depleted them.
The geopolitics of the GOP's Southernization cannot have entirely escaped Will' notice, so in defensive desperation he lurched to two extremes. Why would immensely greater numbers of whites in the South and so disproportionately in just the South have concluded, after four years, "Not so good"? And why is the following notion so foreign to Will? ... That after Obama saved their ungrateful asses from the ravages of Bush's pseudoconservative rule, many Southern whites feel "liberated" to regress to their old racist ways.
What Sullivan referenced was scarcely controversial. Indeed, it's a standard interpretation of contemporary American politics. And Will? What he referenced was merely his specialty. Pettiness.