Newspaper writers continue to want to over-simplify politics by pretending that one group they have written about determines the next election. We’ve had soccer moms, security moms, NASCAR dads, and other such groups. Now we have Starbucks Republicans:
This year, it’s “Starbucks Republicans” — mostly young suburbanites who are fiscally conservative and socially moderate and won’t hesitate to pay $4 for a triple grande iced caramel macchiato. And, with a midterm election looming that could change the balance of power in Congress, polls show they have become increasingly disenchanted with President Bush and Republicans.
I’ve written here many times that social issues (along with foreign policy) have replaced economics as the more significant division between the two parties. Democrats have dropped old leftist economic ideas for pragmatism, while Republicans have become the party of big government, deficit spending, and redistribution of wealth (except that their redistribution of wealth is from the middle class to the wealthy).
Those who desire a socially moderate and fiscally conservative course may be incorrectly named “Starbucks Republicans.” As one Democratic candidate puts it, “They call themselves Demo-crats now.”
Whether Democrats will benefit from the dissatisfaction with Republicans will depend upon how well they get out their message this fall. One Democrat pollster warns, “They may be disappointed in Republicans, but they are not convinced yet that Democrats will do better. They view what is happening in Washington, D.C., as a childish food fight.”