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Old 07-16-2015, 05:10 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,220 posts, read 17,957,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I'm not a Pennsylvania native, but I was born and raised in a state that shares some key characteristics with it, namely, Missouri, and I've lived here nearly 35 years.

One thing you need to ask before evaluating any of the three states being discussed here save Massachusetts is: Do you want to live in an urban area, or is small-town or rural life more your preference?

A lot of the talk about cultural conservatism in Pennsylvania, and to a lesser extent New York State, hinges on this distinction.

As in Missouri, Pennsylvania's two biggest cities - one on either end of the state - are liberal bastions. Their liberalism is offset by the (political but not social) conservatism of their suburbs (this has diminshed significantly in suburban Philadelphia) and that of the more rural interior of the state. (There you will run across some of the cultural conservatism that has led detractors to refer to the state's interior as "Pennsyltucky" and James Carville to issue that infamous quip: his original wording was, "From Paoli to Squirrel Hill it's all Alabama in between." Paoli is the historic last stop for commuter trains on the Main Line out of Philadelphia; Squirrel Hill is an upscale district on Pittsburgh's eastern edge.)

The smaller cities in both Missouri and Pennsylvania range across the political spectrum. In Missouri, Springfield, the buckle of the Bible Belt, leans right, while St. Joseph and Columbia hew more to the center; in Pennsylvania, State College is a liberal island in a largely conservative sea, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lean Democratic, but not consistently so, and Lancaster City's Democrats often get canceled out by Lancaster County's Republicans.

The result is that Pennsylvania as a whole is purplish. Neither rabid cultural conservatives nor Bernie Sanders-style liberalism gain much traction here, and even when one party or the other has a lock on the State House, the minority party has enough influence to blunt their worst excesses.

BTW, "Democrats rule" is an inaccurate statement and has been for years. The current Governor, Tom Wolf, broke a longstanding state tradition dating to 1966 when he defeated incumbent Tom Corbett last year. From the time Pennsylvania governors were allowed to succeed themselves in 1966 up until then, the incumbent governor had never lost a re-election bid, and at the end of that governor's second term, the governorship changed parties. The current Republican margins in both houses of the General Assembly are not that much larger than the ones the Democrats enjoyed under Ed Rendell (who had a split legislature for his second term).

I generally consider all this a point in Pennsylvania's favor.

And as big cities go, Philadelphia is just about the most affordable in the Northeast.
You're pretty much on the mark, though I've gone into great detail in this topic explaining the myriad ways in which James Carville's comment is utterly false. Quite frankly, the only reason his comment still has any legs whatsoever are three groups of equally clueless people:


1. Snotty New Yorkers and New Englanders who enjoy insulting and ridiculing everybody who's even slightly less neoliberal than they are.

2. Overcompensating "New Southerners" who try to prove how forward-thinking their states are by airing the dirty laundry of a Northern state.

3. Self-loathing Pennsylvanians who pretend that everybody else around them is the problem.


All three groups of people can rightly get bent.

Truth is, Pennsylvania has more political diversity than anywhere in New England or the South, except maybe Florida. Unfortunately, because of this, Pennsylvania gets treated like the ugly duckling of the Northeast, and Southern alpha males thus perceive it as an easy target in their zeal to cut the North down and beat their chests about how far they've come in the last 50 years. Pennsylvania is a moderate state, and whatever cultural conservatism there may be in places is overstated, especially since it's mostly limited to the rural western (outside of Pittsburgh and Erie) portions of the state, which are declining in population anyway. It's no coincidence that Pennsylvania hasn't gone to the Republicans in a presidential election since 1988, because social conservatives took over the Republican Party in the 1990s, alienating many moderate Republicans in Pennsylvania.

Now people are gonna ask, "BUTT WHAT ABOTU RICK SANTORUM LOL???" He got his ass kicked in 2006 after he started focusing on social issues in his second Senate term; that's what. He largely avoided social issues during his first term and was reelected in 2000. Funny how that works. After 2000, he started opining on social issues and people began to realize how bat**** crazy he really was. He ended up with the lowest approval rating of any Senator in 2006, and he got his ass kicked so hard in that election that he landed back in his front yard in Leesburg, VA. When you lose by 18% to a cardboard cut-out like Bob Casey Jr., that means you ****ed up and you need to go away. Plain and simple, Rick Santorum was an aberration who was jettisoned the moment he revealed his true colors.

Meanwhile, people completely (and conveniently?) ignore all the prominent Republicans from Pennsylvania who were moderates, such as Hugh Scott, Raymond P. Shafer, Dick Thornburgh, John Heinz, Tom Ridge and Arlen Specter. In fact, Pennsylvania was a noted bastion of "Rockefeller Republicans." More recently, after "Tea Party" Republicans shut down the federal government in 2013, there were five moderate Republican Congressmen from Pennsylvania who wanted to pass a resolution to reopen it: Lou Barletta, Charlie Dent, Mike Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach and Pat Meehan. Just last year, an Iowa-based, Koch Brothers-backed political organization called America's Future Fund decided to mind Pennsylvania's business by targeting moderate Republicans in the state legislature. The president of the organization even described Pennsylvania as "a target-rich environment." Even Pat Toomey, despite his conservative reputation, has become more moderate since being elected to the Senate.

Somehow I doubt that Alabama has such an extensive moderate Republican legacy.
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
3,719 posts, read 3,573,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
I drove through PA along I-80 the other day, as I was coming back from my interviews I had in Columbus, OH, and I saw a Ben Carson bumper sticker. Yup.
North central PA is one of the most rural and remote areas of the Eastern US, of course it's going to be a little backwards. It does not represent Philadelphia or Pittsburgh at all (where 70% of the state's population lives).
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:21 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,220 posts, read 17,957,502 times
Reputation: 14655
Quote:
Originally Posted by speagles84 View Post
North central PA is one of the most rural and remote areas of the Eastern US, of course it's going to be a little backwards. It does not represent Philadelphia or Pittsburgh at all (where 70% of the state's population lives).
He has a very delicate psyche. I don't know if he actually moved to Columbus or not, but I hope he did just so we can see his reaction when he finds out that he just moved to the hometown of Rascal Flatts.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:28 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 974,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Pennsylvania is beautiful but backwards. Most of the state is pretty darn conservative. Contrast that to New England which has zero conservative metro areas.
To me, you're backwards. PA is by far the best northeastern state to live followed by NH. It's really not even close.

NY is a horrible state to live in compared to PA. Mass sucks almost as much.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:53 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,220 posts, read 17,957,502 times
Reputation: 14655
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyg2014 View Post
To me, you're backwards. PA is by far the best northeastern state to live followed by NH. It's really not even close.

NY is a horrible state to live in compared to PA. Mass sucks almost as much.
You just went and committed the same sin that he did. There's no need to cut down other states. You're correct that his opinion is wrong, especially in light of all the facts I've outlined in this topic, but two wrongs don't make a right.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:14 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 974,605 times
Reputation: 929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craziaskowboi View Post
You just went and committed the same sin that he did. There's no need to cut down other states. You're correct that his opinion is wrong, especially in light of all the facts I've outlined in this topic, but two wrongs don't make a right.
It's ok. I'm a native NYer. I can say it sucks. It's a shame that such a beautiful state is controlled by the enormous amount of parasites and losers NYC breeds.
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