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From the GREAT STATE OF OKLAHOMA:

This is a diary written for 50-state strategizers. One of the main reasons that I decided to come back to DKos as droogie the Okie is because I wanted to ask this question of the community.

According to the DKos election map, Oklahoma is the only state in the Union where not a single county went blue. Not a single, solitary one. It wasn't even close in my home county, Tulsa, which is supposed to be the state's cultural capital.

This is a results-oriented diary series I am writing. Oklahoma is, by most measures, the reddest red state. I want to know why, and I want to know how this trend can be reversed. I'm looking for a real diagnosis, and real answers.

What I'm not interested in is sweeping generalities about Oklahomans. If you want to call us all ignorant, misinformed, racist or backward, I suggest you do it an upcoming open thread and not here. As unfathomable as it may seem to us, there is a reason why Oklahomans choose Republicans over Democrats, and I want to know why.

To begin our analysis, here's the awful truth: No other state in the Union gave McCain a wider margin of victory than Oklahoma. Only Idaho, Utah, Alabama and Wyoming came close. Even those states had some blue counties. Oklahoma was solid red.

According to exit poll data from CNN.com, a full one-third of Democrats in Oklahoma voted for John McCain. McCain also won the votes of two-thirds of Oklahoma independents. Only 5 percent of Oklahoma Republicans voted for Obama.

Some demographic categories that Obama performed well with include non-whites, people with no college education, and people with an income between $15,000 and $30,000.

The state also chose by a wide margin to re-elect shiftless backbencher Sen. Jim Inhofe over State Sen. Andrew Rice, a candidate who ran a progressive campaign and never once tried to attempt to hide his liberal Democratic roots. Rice won only four counties southeast of Tulsa County, including Muskogee County -- Muskogee being the hometown of Sen. Tom Coburn.

Rice's campaign on the ground mirrored Sen. Obama's. He was positive and progressive, yet unafraid to point out Inhofe's ultra-conservative stances and his ties to Bush. Inhofe's campaign was even more negative than John McCain's, if you can imagine that. His TV ads places Rice's face next to mugshots of criminals, and at several points even seemed to question Rice's sexuality -- to the point where Rice apparently felt he had to feature his wife and family in a later ad.

Furthermore, Inhofe recently declared his intentions to run for yet another term in 2014 -- he would be 80 years old then.

Coburn, who defeated centrist Democrat (read: Republican) Brad Carson in 2004 is up for re-election in 2010. In this same year, Oklahoma passed a state question banning gay marriage.

Here's the paradox of the whole thing: In just a few years, I've seen two Oklahoma Democrats run for the Senate. One of them played "who's more right wing" than the Republican. The other made no apologies for his liberal views, and waged an aggressive, principled race.

In the end, both races turned out about the same, and both candidates lost by similar margins to their Republican opponents.

As for Oklahoma's House representation, 4 out of 5 representatives are Republican. The lone Democrat is Dan Boren, who in some ways is more conservative than many Republicans. But his recognizable name and status as a political dynasty in the state keeps him firmly in his seat.

On Oklahoma "Democrats"

Another anomaly in Oklahoma is that while Democrats hold an 11 percent registration advantage over Republicans, the state hasn't chosen a Democrat for president since LBJ's landslide in 1964. Clearly, many Oklahoma Democrats do not always vote for Democrats at every level of government.

On the state level, Oklahoma voters are not afraid to elect a Democrat to the state's executive branch. Gov. Brad Henry won a second term in 2006 with two-thirds of the vote, defeating Ernest Istook, a well-known veteran of the US House of Representatives.

Considered a DINO by some, Henry has governed as a moderate Democrat. He believes abortion laws should be left as they are, is pro-gun rights, favors the death penalty, introduced a lottery to the state and has fought to raise teacher pay. Henry also advocated for a ban on cockfighting, which was passed in 2004. Oklahoma was among three states at the time that allowed the "sport."

Henry also endorsed Barack Obama for president during the primaries, even though Hillary Clinton was favored by almost everybody to win the state (and carried it by some of her widest margins in the entire primary).

In other primaries, Oklahomans favored Mike Huckabee among Republicans and Wes Clark and John Edwards among Democrats.

So that's a snapshot of what Oklahoma politics are like. We're a bit of an anomaly. It's hard to plumb the depths of what is on the minds of voters here, so I am open to anyone's interpretations so long as they are fact-based, thoughtful and respectful of the people who live here.

Editor's Note: As an Okie with his boots, as it were, on the ground in this reddest of red states, I have something interesting to report. Although it's painfully clear that very few Okies chose to vote for Obama, like a pack of Elizabeth Hasselbecks they seem to be cautiously optimistic about the prospect of his inauguration and appear, for the moment at least, willing to give him a chance to prove himself. Of course, this goodwill could evaporate in the first week of his presidency, but I thought this observation was worth reporting to you.

Rec List Editor's Note: Here are some conclusions that I agree with...

  1. We need a Brian Schweitzer -- someone homegrown and authentic who can communicate progressive ideas effectively to Oklahomans.
  1. We need to stop the brain drain -- Many sharp, young Oklahomans do not stay here once they receieve their educations. They more to Texas, or Colorado, as my wife and I very nearly did.
  1. We must organize and strengthen state and local parties -- I went to the state Democratic Party site yesterday and it was a mess. Their most recent news item was about John Edwards dropping out of the primary. They spoke of resolving debt, and the mission statement was all about how wonderful centrism is. Weak tea all around.
  1. The influence of conservative churches cannot be overstated -- Something new has to counter-act this effect. The Matthew 25 people and the Red Letter Christians are both organizations that could be instrumental in helping Christians see that they don't necessarily have to vote Republican to keep in line with their faith.

Originally posted to droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:09 AM PST.

Poll

How many election cycles will it take to turn Oklahoma blue?

2%60 votes
5%151 votes
6%190 votes
5%166 votes
6%187 votes
72%2014 votes

| 2768 votes | Vote | Results

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  •  Tips for turning every state blue (413+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, ClaudeB, fladem, Davinci, tmo, Ducktape, northsylvania, m3, Peace JD, deben, sjcyoung, abarefootboy, lrhoke, Mountain Don, BigOkie, surfbird007, rincewind, Sherri in TX, LuvSet, Jay C, Byron from Denver, eeff, azale, Duncan Idaho, freelunch, frisco, Matilda, bumblebums, Caneel, nanoboy, louisville lisa, Heart of the Rockies, sardonyx, unterhausen, Gustogirl, hopeisontheway, concernedamerican, Hose B, sponson, dlcampbe, pondside, Euroliberal, ScantronPresident, Morague, 4thgendem, highacidity, SlowNomad, melthewriter, mkfarkus, buckhorn okie, chimpy, roses, GreenCA, xtcian, subir, juslikagrzly, Miss Blue, ornerydad, ClickerMel, oceanview, nitetalker, TNdem, wader, A Chicagoan in Naples, Moody Loner, Dittoz, oldjohnbrown, Eddie in ME, God loves goats, KevinEarlLynch, JimWilson, churchylafemme, NYFM, Penny Century, ohiolibrarian, Steveningen, mcfly, grrr, Brian82, bwintx, Kitsap River, ScienceMom, Thestral, boran2, Marc in KS, Big Tex, rapala, gammarock, joanneleon, Leslie H, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, radarlady, ZZZzzz, christineNYC, TexasTom, boji, el dorado gal, Elise, blueyedace2, SherwoodB, mjd in florida, nape, potter, sc kitty, PBen, PsychoSavannah, progressive pete, sap, betterdonkeys, Alice Venturi, BCO gal, kefauver, terrypinder, dewtx, ChemBob, kaye, dj angst, bleeding blue, Morrigan, teknofyl, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, jimreyn, ladybug53, Churchill, blue jersey mom, Joy Busey, babatunde, RElland, Tunk, The Raven, dazed in pa, Tex Kosmaniac Dem Lady, dsteffen, Team Slacker, Lindy, Flippant, noweasels, Over the Edge, begone, RJDixon74135, Island, jiordan, TomBayes, Shirl In Idaho, buddabelly, Hirodog, Liberal Protestant, propitious2, BachFan, BalanceSeeker, BobzCat, Debbie in ME, sherlyle, edwardssl, BlueInARedState, darthstar, Texas Blue Dot, goodasgold, AnnCetera, NBBooks, triv33, merrinc, global citizen, twigg, PomperaFirpa, bubbanomics, bleeding heart, ER Doc, feduphoosier, Dinclusin, Something the Dog Said, llbear, Turbonerd, lazybum, Coffee Geek, means are the ends, frankzappatista, ethanthej, Granny Doc, coolsub, Hedwig, slksfca, DBunn, pat of butter in a sea of grits, Thinking Fella, One Pissed Off Liberal, Cali Techie, gardenkitty, Ken in MN, Loudoun County Dem, blue armadillo, Kaity, MikeTheLiberal, suburi, gloriana, ChakraTease, Magster, TtexwiTyler, JeremyA, Duccio, la urracca, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, drchelo, Democrat, newpioneer, dconrad, jayden, jedennis, ever hopeful, cyncynical, spiraltn, bcrenton, jnhobbs, Bridge Master, jhop7, Wreck Smurfy, madgranny, Puffin, i like bbq, Korkenzieher, cacamp, vet, JoCoDem, mathGuyNTulsa, TomP, Empower Ink, gizmo59, trivium, sand805, MKinTN, Blue Boy Red State, JoeW, mconvente, lp3161, AnnieJo, theloniously, Blackacre, middle child, geez53, Youffraita, Ponder Stibbons, fromdabak, Involuntary Exile, New Mexico Dem, Mannabass, wagdog, alasmoses, Greasy Grant, royce, pamelabrown, TH Seed, left my heart, bluesheep, carver, rubine, Serpents Sorrow, leumas, RubyGal, oklib77, nklein, AlBob, Karen Hedwig Backman, allie123, psilocynic, SteamPunkX, dont think, Radical Moderate, cactusflinthead, JCAinCLE, legendmn, Celtic Merlin, wv voice of reason, malibu1964, multilee, artmartin, cybrestrike, soarbird, smellybeast, Texanomaly, LA rupert, litoralis, RNinOR, snackdoodle, not a cent, Discipline28, BoiseBlue, GoogleBonhoeffer, Shhs, banjolele, DemocraticOz, jodygirl, XerTeacher, a girl in MI, history geek, Nailbanger, tr GW, earicicle, mrchumchum, W Lane Startin, Daily Activist, subframe, llamaRCA, BDsTrinity, Texas Revolutionary, Angry Mouse, oxfdblue, ZilV, johngoes, obscuresportsquarterly, degreesofgray, MAORCA, paintitblue, Munchkn, blueocean, XNeeOhCon, mikeplugh, Losty, desnyder, RadioGirl, elropsych, notksanymore, romwriter, serecovery, PoliticalJunkessa, JSC ltd, mcnamarm, winsock, Randtntx, choosinghope, collardgreens, bikebum, chimaeranyc, Colorado Billy, Words In Action, browneyes, DemFromPit, lh114, fraggle1, Lazar, OrangeMike, Sand in Florida, budr, ArtSchmart, Areopagitica, LaughingPlanet, Flagship, Susan from 29, politik, TheWesternSun, stunzeed, El Ochito, on board 47, CcVenussPromise, randomsubu, Crabby Abbey, KentuckyKat, wvmom, Mara Jade, legalchic, crossroads, Eddie L, second alto, Klick2con10ue, ypsiCPA, Druid800, scarlet slipper, peacearena, aggie98, SoonerG, lovelee philly, Luthien Tinuviel, farbuska, dclarke, Ed G, Novem, Floande, science nerd, AMfromATL, Rnedewa, grael, sidious666, Actbriniel, Paert, xeromachine, caypee, Relevant Rhino, surfermom, dagan68, runart, Journalist Julia, I love OCD, Walk The Plank, deerang, Captain Antelope, Montreal Progressive, FreeStateDem, Olon, Amayi, OkieSparky, MemphisProfessor, Freeman Bevan, Gouveia08, badbugbadbug, tresgatos, Civil Writes Activist, boyfromoz, John Rose, blueinmn, greatlyconcerned, Russell Manning, pjtopor

    There are no lost causes in the 50-state strategy.

    "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

    by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:10:25 AM PST

  •  Just so you know (29+ / 0-)

    I'll be tipping and reccing every thing you write from now on.

    Don't ever leave us again.

    I received zero McCain points for this post.

    by stunzeed on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:12:25 AM PST

  •  Racism and religious (25+ / 0-)

    fundamentalism.  Appalachian/Scots-Irish culture that appears to be alienated from modern, multi-cultural America.  

    "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

    by TomP on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:12:36 AM PST

    •  I love ya, Tom (7+ / 0-)

      But these are the kind of generalizations I said up-front that I was not interested in.

      There IS a reason why Oklahomans pick Republicans over Democrats. I'm interested in finding out what that reason is.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:15:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is the reason. (34+ / 0-)

        I have been there a lot.  For 5 years I dated a woman from Oklahoma and we went there often to see her family.

        It's not a stereotype' it's a world view of many Oklahomans.

        It is cultural.  The Protestant religious fundamentalism that is so prevelant places them outside the Democratic Party on multiple issues, such as abortion, equal rights for gays, etc.  It is a racist place.  In addition, the Scots-Irish dominance there plays a role.

        Culturally, the urban, ethnic cities are what they oppose.  It's a rural state, even with Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  

        Economci populism can work there, but often religion and race overcomes class interest.

        "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

        by TomP on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:19:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He does have a point. (14+ / 0-)

          There is large and rather distinct faction of Oklahomans that are not just fundamentalists, they are PROUD to be fundamentalists.

          We can't work against that framework. We'll have to work WITHIN it somehow.

          "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

          by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:25:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is a Christian left message, and (10+ / 0-)

            Andrew Rice tried that.  He lost, just the same.

            Brad Henry won.  Look at what he did.  You may not be able to win the presidency or a senate seat, but a house seat or two are good.

            "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

            by TomP on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:27:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But the fundamentalists have no interest in (17+ / 0-)

              a Christian left message.  It's not the Christian aspect that holds them - it's the fundamentalist aspect.  The only way to get that group to change their loyalty is to show them the neocons really don't give a shit about either abortion or homosexuality.  And how to do that, when they so badly want to believe, I have no idea.

              •  Yes. Fundie and Christian left (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AnnCetera, gustynpip, TomP

                are two very different breeds of cat.

                There really is something deep in the fundamentalist approach to politics (well, to life in general) that just really "likes to believe" what it has already chosen to believe - and even moreso to follow the spokespeople it has already chosen to submit to.  Evidence cannot penetrate because it doesn't come from trusted sources.  It's bizarre.  I face it regularly - and my wife is even reluctant to open some emails from friends / family commenting on the election.

                Still, I've seen a number of them move enough in this very high-profile election season that they would actually consider Obama, and some actually voted for him.

                I'm no longer in OK! but still have some connections there, and I've seen some movement even among truly Okie fundies.

                "We must become the change we want to see." -Gandhi    PublicChristian.com

                by larryrant on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:07:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  comfort (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ChemBob

                  I think the magical appeal of fundamentalism is that it provides a person with a sense of purpose in life, and easy answers to hard questions that plague everyone; Christian fundamentalism is no different in this respect from any form of extremism.

                  When your religion tells you:

                  (1) you are going to heaven because you belong to the special group; everyone else is going to hell

                  (2) someone -- "God" -- loves you no matter what, only because you belong to this special group

                  (3) (by implication) God doesn't love anyone else; therefore outsiders are, regardless of appearances, basically evil and out to hurt you

                  then you feel exquisitely safe inside of a protective bubble of no-thought and doublethink. Alternative viewpoints cannot be contemplated, because if the bubble pops, the dreamy sense of security vanishes.

                  The most outstanding characteristic of the religious right is its inflexibility of thought. This is also, of course, their downfall, as we're seeing: they can't adapt very quickly and are like dinosaurs facing a terrible climate change right now.

                  Virtues are lost in self-interest just as rivers are lost in the sea. -- François de la Rochefoucauld

                  by rilkas on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:42:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I was talking with my friend, who's had (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden, TomP

                experiences with the evangelical community in AZ yesterday about how big a risk Bobby Jindal will be in 2008.  He seemed to think that the evangelical wing of the party would never support a catholic.  That would seem to conflict with your view that the populace is attracted to the fundamentalism, not the religion.  Would you agree?

                •  Catholic is not Evanglical (6+ / 0-)

                  Historically, Oklahoma fundamentalists have driven Catholics out of their communities for being too moderate. They have called them polytheists for "worshipping Mary" and anti-American for "putting the Pope before the President". Etc etc.

                  There's a story about Catholic families getting run out of Oklahoma towns for requesting that the public schools not say Baptist evangelical prayers. Arson and murder of their farm animals ensued. To this day the town still says it was the Catholics' own fault it happened because they didn't keep their mouths shut.

                  "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

                  by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:17:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Tax the churches (5+ / 0-)

                You're absolutely correct about where the fundamentalists draw the lines of their alliances. We cannot reach these people - folks who align themselves politically based on religious affiliation have, by definition, made their decision beyond the influence of pragmatic empiricism.

                The best we can hope for is to see the influence of their religious institutions handicapped (and made less attractive as tax shelters) by treating them like the businesses they are. Claiming religious exemptions for political activism should not be tolerated by the rest of society that must contend with their influence.

                My other car is a pair of boots.

                by FutureNow on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:07:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, I wish there was the slightest hope of that (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FutureNow, TomP

                  tax exempt status going away!  So much of their influence would be ameliorated were  that to happen.  But I simply don't hear any push for that to happen.  I think anyone in a position to have any affect is afraid, because they'd immediately be branded as being anti-religious.

                  •  Oh sure (0+ / 0-)

                    I realize it would be a hugely unpopular move politically (though I don't know if it makes a difference how much more the fundies could hate us), but it would certainly go a long ways toward reducing the political influence of the religious right as well as de-legitimizing the social status of religious institutions in general.

                    Never in a million years would I expect the Obama administration to actually pursue such a proposal, though.

                    My other car is a pair of boots.

                    by FutureNow on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:31:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Then we should do it from the other side. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TomP

                    Why aren't we organizing our political operations and businesses as churches?  It's just as legit.

                    -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                    by neroden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:33:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's a thought that's occurred to me. (0+ / 0-)
                      Join in the abuse and eventually, it would be too much and have to be dealt with.  I just haven't had the organization or determination to figure out what would have to be done to accomplish it.  

                      But since all the fundie and catholic churches are getting by with directing their congregations how to vote, putting out phamplets telling people how to vote, writing slanted articles in their magazines, using their schools to educate their students how to vote, etc. why couldn't a political entity register as a atheist religion, and then use the same formats to get out their positions?  And have it all be tax deductible.  

                      But to do it would require a lot of groundwork and good prep.  I think it could be done, though.  

            •  it may take more than one try (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buckhorn okie, TomP

              to reclaim that ground. I think it would be reasonable to keep trying that strategy.

              Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

              by m3 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:42:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Might have had more luck in a mid-cycle election (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buckhorn okie, TomP

              but then again, he was against Inhofe. Inhofe has a very strong appeal here. A Christian left message isn't going to unseat an established conservative here.  Might need to wait until he retires to make a proper go of our senate seats.

              "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

              by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:43:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

            Oklahomans see themselves as part of the same 'team' and they are fiercely loyal to that team. Dissent is discouraged in daily life as it is seen as somehow anti-religious. Things just are the way they are and you accept it. There is often little progress in the state as a result of this mindset. The fact that Bricktown has flourished, that the capital finally has a dome and that a major league basketball franchise is now in the state are steps in the right direction...but these are literally the first steps in the right direction in the past century. They are the first visible signs of change in as long...other than the 943rd new Sonic.

            I am a fourth generation Oklahoman and I can honestly say that I have never met a less intellectually curious group of people on the whole. They are often extraordinarily funny and extremely kind, but more willfully ignorant and more hesitant to change than any group of people I've even met.

            And that's probably what it comes down to. An election about 'change' will have a harder time piercing the veil that is Oklahoma than just about anywhere in this country.

        •  You are correct... (8+ / 0-)

          ... when you say that Tulsa and OKC are not that different from the rural areas. They tend to vote as though they were farmland.

          Then again, I see cows on my drive to work.

          "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

          by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:28:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I like eastern Oklahoma. (4+ / 0-)

            Down by the lakes near 40 also is real nice.  Eufala?  South of Muskogee.

            McCalister is still Dem, but I understand there is a machine there.

            Tulsa is the most urban and cosmopolitan.  I like it better than OC.  But Tulsa just is moderate Republican, at best.  I think Inhof started there as Mayor.

            Guthrie is cool, also.  

            "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

            by TomP on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:31:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The first time I drove through Oklahoma City (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP

            on my way across the country on I-40, I hit it at rush hour, and I was amazed that there were no traffic jams.  This is not to suggest that Oklahomans vote Republican because they don't struggle with rush-hour traffic, but there is a correlation...

            -5.13,-5.64; EVERYTHING is an approximation! -Hans A. Bethe

            by gizmo59 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:09:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I-40 not a good representation of rush hour (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gizmo59

              OKC is, for the most part a North-South town, so I-35 (and the Broadway extension into Edmond) is a much better representation of rush hour. It is, in no way, Houston or LA, but I have been in many rush hour jams in my days there.

        •  Then it is much like rural Indiana (8+ / 0-)

          And much of rural Indiana still voted republican this year.  We are still stuck with an abysmal republican governor, Mitch Daniels... so many who voted for Obama still voted Republican down ticket.

          I know the religious fundamentalism of which you speak, because I grew up (here in Indiana) surrounded by it.  Sunday radio was a bit frightening; up and down the AM dial there was a continual barrage of hellfire and damnation (and little else.)  We still can't buy liquor on Sundays.

          The difference here was that Obama and the campaign surged into this state and organized thousands of volunteers, even in the rural areas.  The people haven't changed, but they were given the opportunity to hear Obama's message and they liked it.

          Perhaps our large cities and college towns flipped us (although the 'red to blue' map seems to show that the entire state voted more democratic this election - go figure.)  I chalk it up to Obama's willingness to wage a major ground campaign here.

          Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

          by feduphoosier on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:52:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The buckle of the Bible Belt (5+ / 0-)

          I knew a fundamentalist preacher from Oklahoma who called it -- admiringly -- "The buckle of the Bible Belt."  Bible Belters vote very conservative.  How to get them to vote Dem?  I'll ponder this for awhile and get back to you.  Don't hold your breath.

        •  I agree. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dburbach, themis, Leap Year, i like bbq, TomP

          I lived there for a few years as a kid while my mom went through a crazy fundamentalist period (the horror!) at ORU, Rhema, etc. I can't speak for the rest of Oklahoma, but Tulsa will not change for probably another 50 years. Oral Roberts is venerated and religious fundamentalism runs the city. The interesting thing is that lots of blacks flock to Tulsa for religious education and have been successful in the Charismatic movement there, but still have to deal with an underlying racism.

          Also, look at the topography and geography of Oklahoma.  It's landlocked, little water, few physical attractions from what I remember.  Not the most attractive destination.  I am of the opinion that people's personalities often mirror their physical surroundings.  I felt trapped in OK for several reasons, including the landlocked, dry, dusty feel of the place.  There might be a psychological effect on the people, making them more insular, dry, dusty and closeminded.  I'm being serious.

          I have fond memories of many people we met in OK, and I even keep in contact with a few.  However, once we left, I didn't for a second look back.  I commend you for trying to figure this thing out. Maybe you can be instrumental in the OK grassroots :-).

          "Pie. That's what I want." Barack Obama in Philly, 10-11-08

          by PoliticalJunkessa on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:23:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think anyone who doesn't live in OK (12+ / 0-)

        will know the answers to what you are looking for.

        It looks like you're more interested in delving into the minds and souls of your fellow Oklahomans rather than interested purely in their political leanings.

        It's like the Prop 8 fiasco in California.  Why a state that big who gave 61% to Barack Obama voted also to eliminate fundamental rights for a group of its citizens?  When you look down and deep, its not about supporting one policy position or policy cause and effect, it's about personally connecting on a more holistic level about why during their childhood, adolescence, and adulthood they've developed their ideals they way they have.

        "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

        by mconvente on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:38:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My guess (11+ / 0-)

        OK folks harbor a deep mistrust of "big govt" as a concept; I hear this from citizenry at large and from actual OK govt employees.  Govt in general seen as inept, wasteful, antagonistic bureaucracy, and not out to help the average Joe/Jane (or even actively trying to hurt them). Nonwhites see all other minority populations as receiving "special help" and resent it; nonwhites (esp. American Indian) see whites (even ones at same level of socio-economic ladder) as less likely to be hassled or disrespected by state govt agencies. Almost everyone views govt as "broken."  Moral authority seated in churches and/or tribal leadership, not govt.

        For better or worse, neither "side" (R/D) seen as helpful to most people.  Since Rs are in majority, there's something of "the Devil you know" argument going on, and inertia keeps a lot of Rs in power.

        Also - as Barack got much shit for pointing out during the primaries - lacking evidence that either party will help them with the big issues (economy, education, etc.), many will vote based on single-issue stances( usually re: abortion or guns) as instructed by their churches (or friends/family who are church-goers) and that tips things to the R side.

        (I get this impression from experience working with OK state agency personnel and interviewing OK citizens about their interaction with state govt agencies.)

      •  I'm sorry, I understand that region-bashing (8+ / 0-)

        is frustrating and perhaps not very useful in moving forward.  But how ARE we to talk about it, without naming the prime suspects?  It's as if you were asking us to discuss the housing crisis without saying anything bad about recent lending policies.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:43:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the point is to avoid making this (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          larryrant, lgmcp, Prof Dave, dclarke

          simply more of the same "stupid backward fucks" crap that we saw around West Virginia here during the primaries.  

          People vote the way they do for reasons.  And change is possible.  When we attack people as stupid we are not only insulting them, we're throwing in the towel.

          •  But when people (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dburbach, FutureNow, i like bbq, TomP, Bindle

            name instances of Catholics having their houses burned down for asking that baptist prayers not be said in public school (in an above comment) - how to respond?

            Oh, well, yeah, people burn down houses the way they do for reasons. Wouldn't want to insult anyone.

            Maybe part of the problem is that the world IS full of ignorant fucks. We have them everywhere. But when there is a percentage of ignorant fucks who are behaving the exact same way - in terms of their votes - as rational, thoughtful people - how do we talk about that? How to we pretend away the fact that we are pretending away part of the dynamic, while pretending that we are not pretending any such thing?

            You can't use a broad brush to paint everyone on the basis of their vote. Plenty of idiots voted for Obama. Plenty of rational and intelligent people voted for McCain.

            But people are talking about dynamics here that include anti-intellectualism, racism, and religious hate/fanaticism as cultural norms.

            How do we tiptoe around such demographics while respecting everyone's rationale and wisdom? People are anti-intellectual for a reason. They literally embrace stupidity for a reason. But we can't suggest this would make a person stupid - that would be throwing in the towel.

            This is what is wrong with us leftists, me included. Sometimes we can't call it as we see it, we can't bring ourselves to.

            •  Hate the sin, not the sinner? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, westsidegirlygirl

              We've got a greater burden on us than the religious right has.  Built into our value system is a profound respect for human diversity.  

              Does that mean we go easy on the agents and institutions of intolerence and greed?  Hell, no.  But it also means we don't underestimate the ways -- many of which being quite beautiful -- that we're all different.  Every election, Oklahomans send people to Washington who have an effect on our lives.  From a purely selfish perspective, those of us outside need to engage.  What works in my SF Bay Area district (Barbara Lee!) ain't gonna work there.  Let's figure out what is.

      •  I'm with TomP (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP

        I was thinking the same thing. Oklahoma is the tail of the Appalachian migration. Starts in West Virginia and ends there. The Scots/Irish stock is solid red on the maps. It's a cultural thing, quite understandable.

        What Oklahoma needs is gay people. More minorities, more diversity. Theater, public art projects, and stuff like that.

        Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

        by The Raven on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:30:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  maybe not a general as you might think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dburbach, TomP
        droog, I'm as tired of the automatic stereotypes as you are, but I don't think that's where TomP is going.  I think he has just abbreviated a theme that was explained pretty well in a diary yesterday.

        Daily Kos: What Americans Rejected This Week: The President as Warlord

        McCain is a Borderer kind of candidate. According to Fischer, the most esteemed individual in Borderer society was the aged warlord, because in a society accustomed to constant fighting, being an old fighter means that one is a skilled survivor -- strong and shrewd. McCain is not only an old warrior, he comes from a family of old warriors. Like the stereotypical Borderer, McCain is quick-tempered and sensitive to insult, academically undistinguished (near the bottom of his Naval Academy graduating class), and ready and willing to take on all comers. Also stereotypically, he shows exceptional loyalty to his friends -- often valuing loyalty above competence -- and his "maverick" character (I swear to you, this is the last time I'll ever use that word to refer to him!) is reflective of the characteristic Borderer "Nobody tells me what to do" assertion of autonomy and disdain for rank. His "freedom" is the freedom to be left alone.

        I think Geenius pretty well nailed it.  I think both Fischer and Webb's description of the Borderer/Scots-Irish culture and it's effect on that arc from Apppalachia to Oklahoma rings pretty true.  I'm an Okie.  When I read Webb's Born Fighting I kept having deja vu moments.  His personal anecdotes about his family might just as easily have been about mine.  I think the values and attitudes that Fischer and Webb as well as Geenius and TomP refer to are pretty close to the mark, not as stereotypes but as cultural reality.

    •  Oklahoma isn't so different (16+ / 0-)

      I suspect OK isn't so different from similar demographic groups in the belt stretching from there through AR, TN, KY, the northern hill country of the deep south, into WV.

      The white, evangelical, working-class vote in all those areas shifted strongly towards the GOP.  Indeed, whites in OK were much less pro-GOP than whites in Alabama or Miss (90% Republican this time).

      In other states, that shift was moderated by other groups shifting towards the Dems.  In some areas that countervailing shift was higher African-American turnout; OK doesn't have many blacks.  Other places it was cities that have increasingly attracted college-educated professionals and been increasingly tied into the national and global economies (the rise of the banking sector in Charlotte, for example).  That doesn't seem to be happening so much in Tulsa or OK City (or Little Rock or Wichita); why that is goes beyond my regional knoweldge.

      You're right that OK is at the extreme end of this -- despite similar demographics and lack of college professionals, WV wasn't nearly so red.  Two things come to mind.

      WV has a long history of being a Dem state, with strong union presence.  OK has a long history as a Republican state; it went for Bush in 1992, Ford in 1976, and Nixon in 1960.  In that sense it has voted more like the plains states to its north than the southern states to its south/east.  

      OK is also quite oil/gas dependent, and the GOP was running a "drill, baby, drill" candidate vs the Dems being associated with environmental restrictions.

      Mostly though, I think it is that southern-oriented, white, non-college, evangelical demographic.  I have no idea how to change that -- all throughout the region they have been bucking the national trend and becoming ever more REpublican.  Where we won in the region, it was due to them being outvoted by other groups, not because we made any inroads among them.  Wish I could offer more hope.

    •  Even among the well educated & affluent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      I am in Georgia, and the northern Atlanta exurbs still went heavily Republican (by percentage Obama got a few points more, but the turnout increased, so by total absolute votes it delivered heavily to McCain's win in the state) despite a decent Obama campaign presence.

      It is actually not poverty.  It is religion and race.  And even if many of these folks have gone to college and carved out a successful career, a nice house, and even some high culture, they still vote Republican for cultural reasons.  And like you say, TomP, it comes down to religion and race, the twin pillars of remaining backwards.  Incidentally, there are SOME Yankees here who voted Republican for the same reasons they did up North, but they remain a tiny minority of the GOP vote here.  It is mostly due to the Culture.  Oh, and taxes are in the mix:  Forsyth and Cherokee County have lower taxes than Fulton.  They hate Atlanta and Fulton County, complaining about the taxes there which of course is related to race as well.

    •  OK is not even close to Appalachia and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, tovan

      only 13 percent of the people identify as "American."

      OK has lots of Germans (just like the Midwest), Irish, and English just like the rest of the US.

      Not everything boils down the the Scots-Irish "American" theory.

      The fact is the the white vote went for McCain in high numbers but it was just about the same as the rest of the south. The difference is that OK has a lot less black people to balance out the total margin for the state.

      •  "Georgia cracker", a term a local threw at me (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown, i like bbq, TomP

        one time. "We're mostly just GCs who moved west when the land wore and went looking for new land". It does fit right in with the Western movement that we learned in American History.

        And those who followed the Ohio to the Mississippi and headed south, then west.

        "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

        by deMemedeMedia on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:54:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        The Ozark culture is a continuation of the Appalachian one. Many families here, like mine, started out in western Virginia in colonial times and moved west over the past three centuries in a track that led them through the exact area where the Republican vote increased this year. Tulsa is where the Appalachian culture pretty much peters out, as the Plains start about 50 miles west of here. Oklahoma is really two territories that should have been separate states, mashed together because of Republican politics at the turn of the 20th century.

        [-5.50, -5.79] Conviction without experience makes for harshness. -Flannery O'Connor

        by sjcyoung on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 03:46:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I dunno. (25+ / 0-)

    I've lived her for nearly seven years now. I hate it... :(

    In the unlikely story of America there's never been anything false about hope. -Obama

    by Luthien Tinuviel on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:12:43 AM PST

    •  OK, so you're an Okie (7+ / 0-)

      What do you think?

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:17:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oklahoma (18+ / 0-)

        is an extremely conservative state. It's also in the bible belt and full of religious fundamentalists. I mean, hell they keep electing Inhofe despite the fact that he's a douchebag. Poor Andrew Rice got stomped.

        In the unlikely story of America there's never been anything false about hope. -Obama

        by Luthien Tinuviel on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:18:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then that's the answer, isn't it? (10+ / 0-)

          Trying to help the religious fundamentalists understand that faith is not just about tax cuts for the rich or abortion or teh gays.

          And that's not just in Oklahoma, by the way.

          But we need to figure out how to talk to that bloc of voters to help them understand that the Democratic party really does represent the values they are supposed to have: stewards of god's earth, caring for the poor and the sick, do unto others, blah blah blah...

          (I'm Jewish, so I don't know all the Jesus talking points, but it seems that needs to be the next step for our party.  Helping "those people" understand that abortion and gays are red herrings.)

          Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:52:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I think that's hugely important. (3+ / 0-)

            Even to nonreligious people like me, it is infuriating that the right has such a firm grip on the notion of God.  We need progressive christians in this country to stand up and make their cases.

            •  The right offers fundamentally simple ideas (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Luthien Tinuviel

              They offer black and white stances on issues.. that 'feel right' to people who aren't really exposed to reasoned discussion of issues.

              Reasoned democratic discourse requires citizens who are willing to participate in it. Those who think of having a discussion between equals as useless bantering will necessarily gravitate toward the rights 'strong hand from the top' approach.

          •  True, but if they're constantly hearing (0+ / 0-)

            the opposite message through their churches and talk radio, how do we compete with that?  They already believe what they believe and are taught to distrust liberals.  Then anyone smart and logical enough to see through the BS usually moves out of state.  Our nation has been "designed" to efficiently concentrate most of the smart people in the coastal urban centers.

            You're lookin' at a fool for Kos

            by physic on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 03:11:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The answer, as a 95% Oklahoman (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, Coffee Geek, claret63

        I lived there for 35 years, from the beginning of my life.

        My answer is that it is a long-term project to expand the fundamentalist perspective to more than abortion.  In other words, just like the 50-state strategy, a long term project needs to be undertaken to put compassion and tolerance back in the public discourse so that Oklahoma voters don't vote on national issues solely from the abortion version of morality perspective.

        Make public, broad Christian arguments in support of progressive themes, and you will find Oklahoma becoming a competitive state.  I am certainly not the person to do that, but there are folks who can.

        •  what I really want to know is (0+ / 0-)

          are fundamentalists really responsive to Christian teachings?

          The doublethink involved in supporting the Republican regime while mouthing the Sermon on the Mount gives new meaning to "Our God is an Awesome God" -- for He created people who can be so irrational.

          One thing that I've always imagined would help tremendously is to break the isolation. People become more worldly when they see more of the world. Merely exposing people to other points of view can begin the process of change.

          I've been looking at the election results in OK and in north west TX, and all I can think of is, what would happen if 300 high school kids from rural OK got sent off to a "blue" county, like Philadelphia or St. Louis or Baltimore for a year? What kind of people would they be when they came back? (I hesitate to propose the opposite: an African-American kid from West Philly might actually be in danger in some parts of OK, judging from some of the comments people have made here.)

          Virtues are lost in self-interest just as rivers are lost in the sea. -- François de la Rochefoucauld

          by rilkas on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:06:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I heard (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Prof Dave

          That in one survey of young White evangenical Christians that 30% of them listed the issues they cared about as poverty, the environment and Darfur.  If true, that would seem to be a good way for progressives and young evangelicals to connect.
          I am assuming there are a lot of evangelicals in Oklahoma.

    •  What's there economically? (13+ / 0-)

      What's the social structure like?
      Who's in charge on the Republican side, and then the Democratic side?
      What businesses can be brought to Oklahoma to improve the over all economic base of all cultures within the state?
      Who can be accessed corporate wise that would help them push for higher educational facilities? What educational and economic stimulus could be worked with that gives the Democratic party... no the people of Oklahoma a greater chance of pulling into a higher bracket in the United States overall?
      Just a couple of thoughts.

      We win. Now about the change...

      by RElland on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:20:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lol (5+ / 0-)

        I think someone who has lived here longer than I have and who is older than me should answer those questions. All I know is that a bunch of close-minded people are living around me and it makes me sad.

        In the unlikely story of America there's never been anything false about hope. -Obama

        by Luthien Tinuviel on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:21:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Economy (15+ / 0-)

        We are insulated in many ways from the economic troubles of the past few months. Our housing market is still strong, and financing is still available for large purchases.

        Even so, most Oklahoma voters said the economy was their number one issue.

        I think they meant to say "taxes." If you are going to be successful in Oklahoma, you must be a tax-cutter. Of course, we have an incredibly low cost of living here already.

        Also, we have some of the cheapest gas in the nation. The station by my house is lower than $2.

        "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

        by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:25:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So it's a social issue then (6+ / 0-)

          with the threat of economic parity on a federal level added in? (IE: Obama is going to raise your taxes! BEWARE the evil tax lord coming to take your children's SOULS!)

          We win. Now about the change...

          by RElland on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:32:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very much a social issue (7+ / 0-)

            Most of the nasty comments I've heard since Obama's election have been things like "my sister's having twins, but they'll be okay since Obama's going to pay for everything now!!!!"  snicker snicker snicker  "I'm not going to work today so I can get some of that Obama redistribution!!!!" snicker snicker

            Oklahomans seem very anti-government intervention, including taxes, national mandates on social issues, etc. I guess it's just kind of a frontier mentality. Still a lot of undeveloped land out here and rural communities.

            "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

            by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:36:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are absolutely right (6+ / 0-)

              My dumbshit boss has been spouting that "socialism" crap for days now.

              And to think, this state gave Eugene Debs more votes per capita than any other.

              "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

              by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:47:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They're all for socialism when it benefits THEM (9+ / 0-)

                My Republican stockbroker uncle in Dallas is no religious nut, but he votes Repub.  BUT--Social Security helped support his aged mother, and he didn't turn THAT down. When he got out of the army after 20 years, he accepted the G.I. Bill tuition assistance so he could go to college and learn to become a stockbroker. Didn't turn that down, either.

                I have no doubt that he took the mortgage interest deduction on his house(which has a swimming pool).

                He sent his daughter to public schools, not private schools.

                I'm sure if his house caught fire, he'd call the socialistic fire department.

                He probably does not read books, but if he did, he wouldn't hesitate to borrow them from the library. (He's a millionaire, come to think of it, so he might buy his own.)

                Socialism is GOOD if it benefits them, BAD if it benefits the poor.  And these people profess to believe in Jesus, who--if he actually did exist--was reputedly the poorest of the poor.  I often get a huge laugh on Sunday mornings thinking about how Jesus, with his long hair, his beard, his ragged clothes, his dark skin, and his bare, dusty feet would be refused admittance by every Christian church--and, I'm sure, all temples belonging to other religions. He would probably be welcome at a Wiccan ritual since those are usually held out of doors and people barely wear clothes at all, let alone good ones.

                I used to live in Oklahoma.  I left it in 1965 and have never been back.  Never will go back.

                "Most women have no idea how much men hate them."--Germaine Greer

                by Diana in NoVa on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:02:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Love your post. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  i like bbq

                  You can't overlook how Jesus (if he did exist) would have been rejected by most of the Tulsa-type fundamentalists because he wasn't rich enough. After all, Tulsa is where name-and-claim it religion and Oral Roberts' gawd's-gonna-kill-me-if-you-don't-give-me-a-million-dollars screed flourished.

                  The mindset is mind-boggling, and I don't know how you penetrate it.

                  "Pie. That's what I want." Barack Obama in Philly, 10-11-08

                  by PoliticalJunkessa on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:35:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  What neighborhood do you live in? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Luthien Tinuviel

          I'm in White City.

        •  You also have,,,, (8+ / 0-)

          nothing to offer.  Few job opportunities, your roads are crap, and the state as a whole is not pretty.  

          Don't mean to bash you, but that is how I perceive OK.  Lots of open, ugly-looking land, roads in horrible condition, no industry to speak of.  

          To me, it's one step above NM as a place to live.  And that is not saying much.

          Wow.  I'm not going to change my post, but I realize it sounds really, really harsh.  Not my intention at all, but it is my honest perception.

          I have never lived in OK, but I have spent much time there, dealing with customers and driving almost every inch of the state.  My perception is probably very common with tourists or folks just passing through.

          "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4180+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

          by Miss Blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:35:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can't be offended by the truth. (5+ / 0-)

            Our roads suck bad.

            Part of that is the extreme weather wreaking havoc (pothole city), but part of it is a lack of tax revenue going towards that sort of infrastructure project. The only nice roads are the toll ones.

            "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

            by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:38:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  one step ABOVE New Mexico?? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckhorn okie, Miss Blue, Leap Year

            At least they have skiing and pretty houses.

            "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

            by mconvente on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:42:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, I don't see how (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Miss Blue, i like bbq, SoonerG

              there's even a comparison. New Mexico has some breathtakingly beautiful places, interesting history and culture, and great food. Pretty nice people too. You'd never find anything like Taos in Oklahoma.

              My observations on OK voters - I don't live there but have relatives there and visit often.

              1. It's a pretty darn white state, period.
              1. It's a small world there. Men are into Rush Limbaugh and football (OU/oSu, take your pick). This is pretty much all they talk about, with a few FOX news talking points and maybe some racist jokes thrown in. Perhaps fishing and hunting too. Women tend to talk about shopping and their kids, with some FOX news talking points thrown in.
              1. Religion has worked its way into the community and into daily life in ways that just don't happen elsewhere. For example, town papers will coordinate with churches and decide on a "moral of the week", and it will be printed in the paper and posted all over town. I'm sure public schools are filled with prayer and anti-evolution talk, too.
              1. Oklahomans don't get out much. Literally. Few people travel. Few people have friends who travel. Few people from cool, interesting places move to the state. If you move to Oklahoma, chances are you're a lot like Oklahomans (Luthien probably excepted). I see almost no exposure to new people and new ideas among my OK relatives.
              1. Oklahomans are not terribly educated. OU and oSu are not exactly bastions of liberal thinking. People I know there are frighteningly susceptible to misinformation (like Obama email smears) because they have no fact base to assess them against.

              I'm sure some of this sounds more judgmental than I meant it to. Sorry if that's the case.

              •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Leap Year, mconvente

                I badly mis-typed that sentence.  I most definitely prefer NM to OK.  And lived in Sandia Park for quite awhile.

                "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4180+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                by Miss Blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:29:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Um, no. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sidonie, SoonerG

                On point 1, I'm pretty sure the racial diversity mirrors the nation overall.

                1. There are people with substance in Oklahoma. Such as myself.
                1. definitely right here...
                1. What the hell? The closest hub airport is in Dallas, which is only three hours from OKC. We travel as much as we can afford to.
                1. OU and OSU are about as liberal as it gets in Oklahoma. Not the best- but better than what you make it out to be. And we're not uneducated. Plenty of us go on to get PhDs, MDs, JD, or just BAs, or MAs. And having lived out of Oklahoma, I don't think anyone there is any more susceptible to the crap emails being sent around than they are anywhere else.

                This is highly unproductive, and I'm trying not to get too defensive of my homestate.

                •  On racial diversity, (0+ / 0-)

                  Not exactly. Nationwide, the breakdown is roughly 66% White, 14% Hispanic/Latino, 13% Black, and the rest Other. Oklahoma: 78% White, 7% Hispanic/Latino, and 7% Black, the rest Other (Oklahoma does have a pretty sizeable Native American population compared to other states).

                  On the rest, I hope you understand that I am not claiming that EVERYONE in Oklahoma fits this decription. Of course there are people who go to college and get on planes. But there's no possible way to say that Oklahoma is as educated and cosmopolitan as, say, the Bay Area. Example: US Census Data: Oklahoma ranks 43rd among states in percentage of people 25 and over who have completed a college degree.

                  The diarist wonders what makes Oklahoma different. If you had asked people, a few months ago, to predict which state would be the most pro-McCain/anti-Obama in the actual election, I doubt many would have guessed Oklahoma. I certainly wouldn't have. There is something that makes Oklahoma different from Utah or Alabama. I stand by my observations, though they are of course generalizations.

                  •  actually, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Leap Year

                    I'm not sure why anyone would be so surprised at how it turned out. Those of us who are liberal from the state aren't surprised at all, really. That Obama didn't carry any counties- maybe. But being THE most conservative in the country? No surprise.

                    I just chafe at the perjorative nature of these classifications. As much as I disagree with it, it's still my homestate.

          •  I don't know what part of.... (4+ / 0-)

            Oklahoma you have visited, but I totally disagree with your comments. I grew up in Tahlequah one of the most beautiful areas of the United States. Tulsa is regularly rated in the top tier of Americans most beautiful and livable cities.    

            All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Will Rogers

            by Tulsonian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:45:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  All of it. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              themis, i like bbq

              I have been through all of it, every square inch pretty much.

              But realize - the majority of drivers just passing through will never leave the interstate.  And the view of OK from the interstate is awful.

              There has to be a reason for people to move TO a state.  Job opportunity, climate, education - something.  And I don't see OK providing any of those to the extent that you'd have a mass migration of folks wanting to move there.  

              Consequently, any change in voting patterns will have to come from changing the perceptions of native OKs.  Rather than changing the demographics.

              "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4180+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

              by Miss Blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:59:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you- (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              themis, SoonerG

              I've never seen a more beautiful sunset than the ones in OKlahoma, or smelled fresher air after rain. I love the landscape of my homestate. It has nothing to do with the backwards politics.

            •  Thanks for this (0+ / 0-)

              Even those of us who have left the state still think fondly of our landscape and most of the incredibly friendly people there - often in spite of our back-assward politics.

              <sniff> now I'm getting a little homesick...

              "McCain's economic plan - marry a younger, richer country."

              by themis on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:56:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  After 14 years in LA, this Okie misses... (0+ / 0-)

                spring T-storm/tornado season and football season.

                (But NOT dog-days August humidity. Or the off-the-deep-end rightwing fundie atmosphere, worse now than the 60s-70s when I grew up).

          •  gee thank you so much (5+ / 0-)

            at least New Mexico is one step above Oklahoma in your opinion.

            I was raised in the lushness of the green hills and Tidewater of Maryland and Virginia.

            Yet I find a spare and elegant beauty in the plains of Oklahoma and the mesas of New Mexico.

            I can see a redtail soaring on thermals above the fields of Guymon, and it lifts my heart to beauty.

            I've seen the hate unleashed by the fundies cults, and the kindness of strangers to one another when stranded in a blizzard somewhere west of OKC.

            Will Rogers was a Okie. So was Woody Guthrie.

            Please stop with the generalizations, and start a real conversation if you want some respect.

            •  Right. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joe Bob

              And I sure trashed Will in my post, didn't I?

              Or not.

              Look, you want a real conversation, that's as real as I can be.  Your state does not have much to offer someone looking to move to a new area.

              If I'm wrong, then OK needs to start a marketing campaign to show me I"m wrong.  Because I am not alone in my perception.  

              Drive the interstate and tell me what you see.  And someone passing through or looking on the internet for job opportunities does not find the "kindness of strangers" as a category.

              "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4180+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

              by Miss Blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:02:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  my state has (0+ / 0-)

                one of the highest concentrations of Phds in one county in the country. My state has living wages laws in several of its largest cities. My state's population has grown faster than most in the SW in the last decade.

                My state has its problems, but it is filled with beauty, good folks of many races and ethnic groups, and lots of promise for new industries in alternative energy, pure research from the labs that moves out into our local economy, and a democratic party that has been strengthened from top to bottom in the last election. We're sending 5 Democrats to represent us in the Senate and the House. There's not a Republican left in a federal elective office here.

                Yup, sure sucks to be a New Mexican these days.

          •  Lake Texoma is really pretty I think (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            temptxan, SoonerG

            "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

            by Wilberforce on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:13:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ahem... (0+ / 0-)

            harsh indeed.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I suppose, but I have traveled the world and most of the US and I find plenty of beauty here in my home state.  Preconceived prejudice my be clouding your perception or you just don't get off the beaten paths much.  Oklahoma is full of scenic and diverse places of interest to anyone willing to look for them.

            IMO your perception is neither common, necessary nor helpful in this discussion.  My guess is you probably never did well in your business "dealing with customers" here.

            Our roads do need help (that is what happens when the population won't vote for tax increases no matter what) and jobs are hard to come by and keep due to the "right to work" (more like the right to be fired for no just cause) laws here.  Unions don't fare well here at all.

            Just thought you ugly comment deserved an equal response, hope you folks passing through don't mind.

            •  Actually,,,, (0+ / 0-)

              my business did very well in OK.  I loved my OK customers and they seemed to appreciate me.

              I stated up-front that my comment was harsh.  Also, that it was not my intention to insult the state or it's residents.

              I'm going to stop commenting on this, as it's not being accepted in the spirit it's being offered.  And I am truly not trying to hurt the feelings of the OK site members.  Which it appears I am doing.  

              "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4180+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

              by Miss Blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:33:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The only thing I can think of, droogie (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dlcampbe, Leap Year, lams712

          (and I don't mean to sound snarky) is there is nothing in OK. to attract or keep progressive people.

          •  Oklahoma is still a very young state... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            droogie6655321, pamelabrown

            We have a lot of growing and developing to do. It may take some time for us to generate a more cosmopolitan feel to our cities, which will then radiate out towards the suburbs, etc.

            "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

            by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:04:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Has Oklahoma always been a GOP stronghold? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lams712, mconvente, Luthien Tinuviel

          I don't know the history - but TX used to be a srong and proud Democratic state until the Reagan years and the gerrymandering etc. And the rise of talk Hate Radio.

          We are working to get back to having a strong Democratic Party here, but lots of folks down here listen to Rush and the bible thumpers (the politico-religious ones like Hagee) so they troop dutifully to the polls for the GOP candidates.

          Taxes and eeek! socialism and liberalism are scaaaary things to them.

          Is the Democratic Party fairly well demoralized and just not well funded there?  TX Democrats benefitted greatly from the primary down here getting us all excited and organized.  

          Don't know what else to say but that I heard a discussion on NPR in which it was said that voting becomes a habit and voters tend to keep voting the same way just out of comfort unless there is something that really shakes up a given race.  So if OK has been GOP for a long time, that is a population voting by rote, for the comfortable, regular candidates from the party they have always voted for.  Something exciting will have to shake them loose from the usual GOP vote.

          That said, if Obama wasn't exciting enough for them...I don't know what would be.

          With the 50 state strategy seeming to be working, the next tier of red to blue states may get some extra help from the national party.   And if the first Obama term is relatively successful, and people feel a bit more comfortable about their financial futures, maybe that will wean a few more voters into the Democratic column.

          •  No, more like Kansas (3+ / 0-)

            No, like Kansas, OK has mostly voted for Republicans since World War II.

          •  No, used to be more registered Democrats (5+ / 0-)

            but that was when the parties were much different than they are today. Think back to the 1960s and the Democrats ruled here.

            We were targeted during the Republican 'southern strategy' and it's been going that way ever since.

            "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

            by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:46:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No Oklahoma is the home of... (4+ / 0-)

            Woody Guthrie and other progressives.

            All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Will Rogers

            by Tulsonian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:46:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Effects of Dustbowl migration? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            i like bbq, Luthien Tinuviel

            To what extent might this have something to do with depression migration westward? A whole host of Okies moved to California in the 1930's (cf. The Grapes of Wrath), and those who remained behind would have dug in to local social networks for their very survival.

            My parents lived in Okla City in the early 60's (Catholics from Nebraska who moved to Oklahoma for my dad's job) and my father reported that the people at the photo finishing plant that he managed were all part of a very tightly knit Bible thumping, teetotling community. My Dad didn't do so well running that plant b/c the folks there disliked him because 1) he was a Catholic and 2) he drank. Of course in 1960 Oklahoma was still a dry state--my older siblings tell stories of my Dad's bootlegger coming over to the house. But my parents moved to Colorado within 2 years because they never did feel welcomed into the local community.

            To what extent are these kinds of exclusionary social networks still operative in Okla? If they are, the fundamentalist/social reactionary attitudes would be reproduced regularly b/c those networks would be the only way to prosper in the area in the first place.

            Of course, I could be talking out my ass!

          •  I'm in Texas, (5+ / 0-)

            and your comment on hate radio struck a nerve.  I lived in Houston briefly (now in central TX, God's gift to the state), and observed the influence of the haters.

            1. I was standing with the smokers after an AA meeting, in 2002.  Alkies are usually pretty liberal, but that morning I heard, from several people, that {insert right wing radio host name here} was reporting that Iraqi soldiers were massing on the Mexican border in preparation for the invasion of the US.  I started laughing, thinking this was a joke, and got some very hostile reactions.  The money quote: "Those ragheads might take over America, but I've got enough guns to take a lot of them out before they get me."   I never went back to that club.
            1.  Journal writing at Starbucks one morning, a young man I'd chatted with several times sat down at my table and poured out his concern about his girlfriend.  She was reading the "Left Behind" books and was considering suicide because she was no longer a virgin, and was convinced she wouldn't be raptured as a result of that choice.  Both of these kids were in college, both believed that Armageddon was coming within months, and neither wanted to be subjected to the horrors of post-rapture existence.  He felt horribly guilty for being the one who was responsible for her "fall from grace", and was truly afraid that she would kill herself.  I couldn't do or say anything to help.  I was dumbfounded to be having the conversation, to see the level of fear induced by the christo-fascists.
            1.  An acquaintance had to be hospitalized, in a locked psych unit, after the infamous "plastic sheeting and duct tape" meme hit the radio waves.  She flipped out at Home Depot because they didn't have enough heavy-gauge plastic to cover all her windows and doors, and no one could tell her how much duct tape she'd need.

            If I hadn't experienced these things I could not have imagined them.  I believe that super-conservatives are terribly frightened people, and are highly vulnerable to the cynical right-wingers who benefit financially from playing on their fears.  The fear-mongers are free market capitalists exploiting a vulnerable demographic - this isn't about ideology, it's about wealth.  

            My hunch is that what you see in OK is what I saw in red TX - scared people who are being used and abused, and don't really have access to information that might make them question the conventional wisdom.  Think about the 3 legs of this stool:  Fox News, ultra-right churches and preachers, and radical-right talk radio.  All day long they're pounded by demagogues who, wisely, stoke their fears of educated, liberal elitists.

            I think the only hope for change is a gradual shift in the information they receive.  Fox News and hate radio may be marginalized over the next several years, and a lot of fundies are shifting leftward, beginning to realize that social justice and stewardship of the earth are Christian values.  

            I hold a prayer for all of us that the "gentlemen fascisti" are removed from positions of power.    

             

            •  I really agree with you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lefty Coaster, Coffee Geek

              the self reinforcing information sources that many people confine themselves to (RW radio, TV and the pulpits) have been devastating to America overall and have bred the anti-intellectualism that Sarah Palin represented (and gave her a base of excited supporters)

              It reinforced their idea that someone "just like" them could rise to great power (ie it validated their perception of the world that people like them are even worthy of such high office.  She must have been worthy because she was on the ticket, right?  Oh, and God chose her too.)

              But wow - your comment is amazing.  The RW fear machine is really a frighteningly effective force.

              I hope those poor college kids found a way to assuage their guilt. That's really a sad story.

            •  As a 4th generation Texan.... (0+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              Hidden by:
              blue armadillo

              This is the biggest crock of shit I'm seen in a while.  I was in New York last month and drove past a smelly landfill, but I didn't conclude the entire state had an odor problem, dumbass.

              Some points to make:

              1.  The two most rasict idiots I've ever known were born and raised and still reside in Chicago.
              1.  We get every bit of mainstream media indoctrination down here as every other part of the country.  And we don't ride our horses to work.
              1.  Real Texans are a very (very) independent bunch that tend to be suspicious of government because they rarely see the government add any value.
              1.  Real Texans consider the outdoors to be God's country and sometimes the key to their livelihood, but they don't like outsiders trying to dictate what is "good" and "bad" for the environment.  They already know the answer to that.
              1.  Ultra-right churches?  I seriously doubt you even know what that means.
              1.  If you don't like Texas, get the hell out of it.
              1.  "Scared people that are used and abused"?  Fuck off.

              Lay off the crack pipe.

              Where's my tax cut and why are we still in Iraq?

              by tmaker on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 03:14:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blue armadillo

                your brilliant insights into my life and experiences.  I didn't generalize about Texans, but perhaps you didn't read my comment.  I reported 3 experiences I had that had an impact on me.  I have looked extensively into right wing churches, read 2 of the Left Behind books, and have been exposed to the hate mongers on talk radio and Fox television.

                You appear to be one of the scared people I referred to.  Vitriol is one the refuges scared people retreat to.

                I will not fuck off, I will not leave Texas, and I hope you enjoy God's Country enough to keep it clean and beautiful.

              •  What a totally obnoxious comment (0+ / 0-)

                Maybe you are the one that should "lay off the crack pipe"

                And take your vitriol elsewhere.

            •  We need more cultural exchange between (0+ / 0-)

              these people and more open-minded folks.  We get scared by the state of their minds, and they get scared by the state of the world.

              You're lookin' at a fool for Kos

              by physic on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 03:26:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Those dems in Texas and the rest of the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            i like bbq, Luthien Tinuviel

            south were very conservative and a lot of them were segregationist.

        •  Lower than $2? Could you send me some gas? (3+ / 0-)

          It's still over $3 at the station near my house.

          Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:53:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oil..... (10+ / 0-)

        Texas Tea...Black Gold. We have oil wells that keep pumping and pumping. And what are they pumping for? To buy us anything we want. (Sunset Blvd Ha Ha)

        Actually Oklahoma is booming right now. The economy was not an issue with any Republicans I spoke with. The issue I heard over and over was the Democrats are going to raise our taxes and give the money to a bunch of lazy people who will not work.  

        All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Will Rogers

        by Tulsonian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:39:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That resonated with a lot of Texans too (5+ / 0-)

          the "spread the wealth around" bit really got their attention.  They misinterpreted it, of course, but they really don't want anyone taking their money and giving it to lazy (dark) people.  But I know a number of well to do African Americans that feel the same way.  It's a bit of the "I got mine" mentality or a real extreme version of wanting to know one's tax money is well spent.

          But that is a big deal down here.  Taxes are a huge deal.

          Also, if a population is pretty well self contained and does not get out of state much, the voters I think don't really care about the rest of the country...if the OK voters are managing to get by, well, everyone else should be able to manage too.  So at some level, many OK voters may not really understand the problems of big urban areas, or places that are really different (with people that are very different)

          Could it be an ingrown provincialism that keeps them from being very progressive?

          •  Taxes & other issues in Texas . . . (3+ / 0-)

            Seemed to be a huge issue -- people are very mistrustful.  People who no way in hell will ever make anywhere near $250K either couldn't get their mind around the concept or -- mostly I think -- believed Obama was lying and would raise taxes on middle income folks despite what he said.  You would also hear complaints that my property tax and sales tax are way too high already (both are astronomical in Texas as we have no income tax, and of course the federal gov't can't do anything about either) -- maybe it is a protest vote against the concept of taxes, even though it would have no effect on the taxes these people actually owe.  

            Anti-union sentiment is also pretty strong in Texas and presumably Oklahoma.  It just always has been.  Texas economy is stronger than the national economy, and people will cite lack of unions as a reason.

            And religious conservatives are a major force -- I think a lot voted on the abortion issue.  Even though it was not discussed that much by the candidates, we had local Catholic bishops and pastors of mega-churches basically telling their parishioners to vote based on the abortion issue.
            Catholics do not appear to toe the line on this issue so much as evangelicals though.

            Lastly, not sure how the drill baby drill mantra affected things in Okla/TX -- wind power is a big deal in TX right now but maybe not so much in Okla.

        •  Very true (3+ / 0-)

          They all think the rest of the country are a bunch of whiners.  Their economy is doing as well as it has for a while.  They just aren't suffering the way other places are.  They're still all really excited to get more big, new big box stores where they can buy cheap Chinese-made crap to fill up their cheap houses and their lives with little to do outside of watching TV.

  •  Off-topic, but... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwintx, kaye, droogie6655321, Crabby Abbey

    ...glad to see you back, droogie.

    The America I knew and loved is finally dead at the hands of bipartisanship.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:13:10 AM PST

  •  What isn't wrong with Oklahoma (8+ / 0-)

    is probably a better question ;-)

    I'm in SC, so I truly do feel you.....

  •  I think these facts don't help: (28+ / 0-)

    Oklahoma religious makeup:[188][A]

       * Evangelical Protestant – 53%
       * Mainline Protestant – 16%
       * Catholic – 13%
       * Other – 6%[B]
       * Unaffiliated – 12%

    from wikipedia

    And I'm glad you're back too Droogs.  :)

  •  It would really help if the national dems (14+ / 0-)

    ... would float a little cash our way to support their candidates. I know Rice always had a huge funding problem here.

    I've only been in OK four years, enough for a full election cycle, and honestly I've never lived anywhere where "liberal" was a swear word as much as it is in this state.

    "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

    by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:15:48 AM PST

    •  BTW, Rice's ads attacked Inhofe for no on bailout (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, droogie6655321, Crabby Abbey, kyeo

      and that went over like a lead balloon with EVERYONE I talked to. The bailout is WILDLY unpopular here.

      Rice was a lousy candidate with no good message, even the die-hard Democrats I know had trouble voting for him. I'm not a die-hard democrat but he didn't get my vote either.

      "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

      by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:18:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't see that ad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie

        But that would be a lousy idea for an ad. He shouldn't have done that.

        In general, I liked Rice's message. It was clear, and he stuck to it.

        "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

        by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:19:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rice was a good canidate with a good message (3+ / 0-)

        I think if we'd had more resources and more support he would have had a much better showing. As much as the rest of the US loathed Inhofe I was hoping for more support for getting rid of him, but the progressives, understandably, had bigger fish to fry. Perhaps in 2010, more resources can be devoted to Oklahoma.

        And if you think outside money should have no influence. A god chunk of Inhofe's war chest came from outside of Oklahoma.

        "Never have so few taken so much from so many for so long."

        by londubh on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:18:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        droogie6655321

        He ran on almost the same campaign that Obama did.  Obviously that didn't go over too well here but at least he presented himself as a true Democrat.  Something I am afraid Oklahoma Democrats are deathly afraid to do for some inexplicable reason.

    •  How can Democratic candidates combat that? (3+ / 0-)

      Own up to the label? Hide from it?

      The way I see it, both have been tried, and both attempts have failed.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:19:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They've let the Republicans define it for so long (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grrr, sc kitty, droogie6655321, Amayi

        I'm really not sure. They have to take it back somehow. Show that "liberal" is something different that being a baby-killer or a gay-lover.

        "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

        by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:21:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps an Obama administration will (0+ / 0-)

        provide some change there?  The presidency just went to someone who was relentlessly accused of being a socialist and the "most liberal member of the Senate."  What if it turns out to be not so horrible?

      •  Keep hammering away at the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

        Expose their hypocrisy at every turn. This can be done in a way that doesn't force you to present yourself as an evangelical or something you're not. Just keep pointing out how the Republicans are lying, stealing from regular people, and clearly don't care about the morality they claim to espouse. You won't make any friends, but if you say it over and over and over again, eventually the Republicans will prove you right. They're helpful that way.

      •  And specifically, help from national Dems (0+ / 0-)

        backfires.

        You get Kennedy and Hillary Clinton bobblehead ads like the ones run against Carson in 2004.

        And Oklahomans, quite irrationally, hate them.

        The national Dems are toxic to local Dems.  They have to run against the party, or they are meat.  They have to run against the Republicans, or they are also-ran.

        Pretty impossible, unless OK Dems carve out a different morality story than the Republican's one-issue political morality.

  •  Most of their business leaders are wingnuts... (5+ / 0-)

    For example, Mr. Clay Bennett, basketball team stealing friend of David Stern, who with his friends have helped fund a state of intolerance and the idea of slogans as principles that many other states have outgrown in the last 4 years or so.

    •  Don't forget about T-Boone (8+ / 0-)

      He funded the swift boat attacks. Now he is trying to get Ok State U renamed after him.

      All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Will Rogers

      by Tulsonian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:27:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cut T. Boone some slack (0+ / 0-)

        He's one of our biggest allies when it comes to alternative energy.

        Sure, he stands to profit from the wind farms, but there's no greater person to stand up to the oil lobbyists who don't want that development than an oil man.

        And Pickens' investments into Oklahoma State have really turned that university around. Makes it more than just some dumpy former small-state ag school. Actually looks like the kind of place you might want to send your kids now.

        "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

        by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:08:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  uh not really (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          beachmom, neroden, i like bbq, SoonerG

          he's pushing for natural gas as the transition fuel to wind power. And when he gets those powerlines laid he'll be able to put in pipelines to pump that Ogallala Aquifer water to thirsty cities like Dallas and San Antonio.

          "Never have so few taken so much from so many for so long."

          by londubh on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:13:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He looks for profit where he can find it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            londubh, flecktones

            He's not really one of our allies -- but the fact that he thinks profit is going to come from wind power and natural gas, not from oil or coal -- is a very good sign.  When we start getting the self-interested profiteers backing lower-carbon-emissions technology, we are winning.

            -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

            by neroden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:03:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  He is a swiftboater and will NEVER be an ally (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoonerG
        •  He deserves none (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

          what-so-ever.  He is only out for his own benefit and his influence at OSU should be limited not encouraged.  Sure take his money but don't let him dictate how everything from the football team to the board of regents is setup and run.

          His water project stands to take advantage of drought stricken West Texans and possibly Oklahomans as well.  Once again, just like with his oil speculations, he will make millions off the suffering and out of the pockets of countless fellow Americans.  The man is no saint and certainly no saviour.

        •  Shortest Book In The World (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

          "The Altruism of T. Boone Pickens"

          Ugh, even his name raises the hair on the back of my neck

  •  Follow Schweitzer's lead (30+ / 0-)

    In Montana. Out here in the West, you can't run a Democrat the same way you would in New England. The results are all too predictable.

    Schweitzer is successful in Montana because he IS Montana. He understands the culture innately and always keeps it in mind when campaigning. His is an entirely homegrown message and organization. He's the furthest thing you can get from a cookie-cutter Democratic candidate.

    I suspect someone in Oklahoma should do something similar.

    (D-Idaho), BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

    by W Lane Startin on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:16:41 AM PST

  •  I think that Alaska (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, droogie6655321

    is solid "Red" as well.  At least, it was the last time I checked CNN

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:17:04 AM PST

  •  I'll be intersted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321

    to see if there's some exit polling data that's OK-specific or otherwise some post-election polling.

    If forced to guess myself, I'd say it was primarily a factor of McCain's negative memes sticking better in OK than elsewhere.  As to what that happened, I can't say.

    -- Hope is the adrenaline of the mind. --

    by Druid800 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:17:15 AM PST

    •  I provided some in the diary. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Druid800

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:21:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My time in Oklahoma (0+ / 0-)

      I'm one of those who left after college in 91 to get more higher education.  But if the time I spent there was any measure and my in-laws are still there as well as my brother and his family, it's about religion.  It's the buckle in the bible belt.  I'm sure the terrorist memes were effective, but I'll bet Palin was a huge draw.  

      That said, I'm not sure how you go about changing it.  The NY Times How the Map Changed is an interesting look at the blue shift.  The only places it didn't shift blue were along the bible belt.  

      Maybe after 2012 when the world doesn't end, they will be amenable to looking at progressives again.  

      Where is our modern day Will Rogers?

      I'm an American I can handle the truth!

      by stas61690 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:20:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  According to the NYT, I would say that some (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimpy, sc kitty, Crabby Abbey

    counties in OK went a little more dem than in 2004. I think Arkansas was much worse and so you cannot claim for OK the title of the reddest state of all. Sorry, droogie

    •  Well, regardless... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m3, sc kitty, pamelabrown, Fairy Tale

      ... it's a situation that needs improving.

      I said it was the reddest by most measures.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:22:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  However, Fairy Tale, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fairy Tale

      there are at least some enclaves of progressives that can anchor a growth or spread of democratic elected officials.  I'm unaware of a starting point for OK.  

      Droogie, is there any validity in my perception?

    •  Arkansas had Proposed Initiative #1. The worst. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      Which I previously bitwhacked aboutas the most potentially Orwellian ballot proposal in US history.

      No doubt about it--Oklahoma is pretty messed up and couldn't get much worse, but it's been that way for awhile and hasn't gotten much worse in, say, the last 10 years that I can tell.  I'd in fact at least visit there (I've heard a few tales on this thread that talk of places in the state that sound like they'd make interesting photographic odysseys in a Diane Arbus-y way).

      Arkansas OTOH is atrophying into being the a**hole of America.  I'd change travel plans to avoid it (despite the fact that Ft. George I think it's called seemed like a cool place to stop for a beer or catch a band when I went through there 10 years ago or so).  It is becoming worse than Oklahama--something I simply cannot accept as being a part of the same country as mine.

      Sorry, Gov. Huckabee.

  •  You have to remember (8+ / 0-)

    Why so many in OK would vote against Obama is easy to figure out when you remember that in 1907 when OK became a state the first constitution mandated segregated public schools. The first law passed by the first OK Congress mandated the segregation on railroads.

  •  Well, Texas sucks and Kansas blows, so you're (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SlowNomad, Miss Blue, londubh, i like bbq

    caught in the middle. That, and Garth Brooks.

    "Mr. Naylor, the great state of Vermont will not apologize for it's cheese."

    by Relevant Rhino on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:21:25 AM PST

  •  Okalahomans could be hit hard and early by global (7+ / 0-)

    warming, and witness their breadbasket turn into a dustbowl.  Maybe over the next election cycle notorious deniers like Inhofe can be discredited over the issue of climate change.

    Full-scale militarization of our society will have to proceed slowly so as not to disturb your consumer haze... -= Austin Cline

    by suburi on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:21:33 AM PST

  •  I think it lays with the religious right (8+ / 0-)

    http://www.theocracywatch.org/

    This has been a productive morning as I have been reading the blogs of Frederick Clarkson and Troutfish..really..the religious right is not going anywhere and I think their power is just laying low..they did not want McCain..they will get their candidate soon enough and then watch out..

    Inhofe is a member of The Family in Washington, DC which is that wacked out prayer group that has its hands of the levers of power..the other Oklahoman senator, Tom Coburn, is a caution also.

    I know Obama wants to work with everyone, but they are not going to want to work with him.  We will see..it is on the religious level that Oklahoma is at..not necessarily race anything else..it is the religious thing that is scary...we have work to do..

  •  My take on OK (10+ / 0-)

    I've had quite a number of friends from Oklahoma, and even they tended to be far more conservative than me.  These people were much more liberal than their friends and families at home, and I can't imagine how tough it would be to live there with my political leanings.  I've only been there once, and I hate to say it, but it's the worst place I've been to in the US.  I had long hair, and I'm of mixed Mexican/Scandinavian descent.  By the consistent stares I received when I was there, you'd have thought I came from the 3rd moon of Jupiter.  I'm sure that I could find something to like if I spent more time there, but I've never been more relieved to be in Kansas than when I crossed over the border that day.  

  •  You got me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, lams712, londubh, llamaRCA

    I've got the same question about what I'm calling the "Red Horshoe", of which Oklahoma is a part.

    I'm guessing your familiar with Thomas Frank's "Whats the matter with Kansas", based on the title of your diary.

    I would guess they suffer from the same set of ills.

    If Barack can have a few succesful terms, it will go a long way to breaking the thought barriers that inhabit the people in the horshoe and the deep south.

    Something positive, something tangible to improve peoples lives out there is required to allow them to consider a different path.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain...the Great Oz has spoken."

    by jkay on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:22:45 AM PST

  •  You need some ski slopes (3+ / 0-)

    As skiing meccas are about the only "blue" places in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.  Grin.

    •  No can do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, mcfly, LaughingPlanet

      It's a rare winter when it snows.

      However, storm-chaser tourism is taking off. No, really.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:32:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You guys don't get snow, really?? (0+ / 0-)

        I thought it snowed in places like Lubbock and Wichita Falls (in Texas) fairly often in the winter. Certainly it gets cold enough.

        "It's embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the best sellers list."--Abbie Hoffman

        by ekthesy on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:39:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  tornado alley (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        themis

        Funny, if I stop and ask myself the first thing I think about Oklahoma, it's tornadoes.

        I have a cousin who I'm close to, she was raised for the most part in Tulsa, and she or her parents lived there for about 20 years. She moved to Minnesota, where I am, about four years ago. The first summer she was here, she was at my house as the sky was turning a greenish purple color and the tornado sirens went off.

        Having lived here a long time, I know that tornadoes in the city are an extreme rarity so I was prepared to watch the radar on tv and head to the basement only if I really had to. She, on the other hand, was palpably afraid, truly fearful.

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:11:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Happens alot (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joe Bob

          I had just moved to NC from OK (grew up there, where we kept tornadoes as pets), I was sitting outside with some friends and said 'smells like tornado.' Within 10 minutes the sirens went off. I think I freaked them out a little:)

          "McCain's economic plan - marry a younger, richer country."

          by themis on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:15:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I've no credentials, frankly, and the closest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, Texanomaly

    ...I've lived to Oklahoma's constituency was Tennessee (and a pretty reasonable part of that state), but just as a thought out of the blue (as it were), could it be that Dems need to change the public mythos of what we are?

    The rugged cowboy -- the quintessential Amurkan -- persona has looked better on Republicans lately, but there's no reason it shouldn't look good on Democrats.

  •  As an ex-pat Okie, I blame the Gaylords (13+ / 0-)

    for maintaining a medieval information kingdom, more like feudal lords than a modern democracy. The editorial page of the Oklahoman is far worse than many high school rags. My step-mom is a registered Republican who voted for McCain, but said she was going to vote for Andrew Rice. (??) I've always seen us as good folks, not ideologically conservative (like, say, Texans); but more viscerally conservative, cautious. But really, I dunno, man...

  •  Maybe it's the 3.2 beer laws? (7+ / 0-)

    "Mr. Naylor, the great state of Vermont will not apologize for it's cheese."

    by Relevant Rhino on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:24:07 AM PST

  •  How much can be contributed to libertarianism? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, droogie6655321

    In Idaho, it's the libertarianism attitudes and mormonism that keep us red.

  •  As a fellow Tulsa resident, I can find (12+ / 0-)

    little to add to your diary.  My snippets:

    -- the "evangelical" vote is as strong here as I sense the Mormon vote is in Utah.  This is the home of several televangelists, and the home of Oral Roberts University.

    -- Oklahoma has not been "blessed" with the housing bubble, so we have not been hit by the burst.  The labor market has held reasonably steady.  Not great, but no great losses.  Oklahoma has not felt the recent economic downturn like many states.

    You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody. - My Dad.

    by briefer on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:24:10 AM PST

    •  This is true - Oklahoma relatively insulated (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hopeisontheway, neroden, londubh, briefer

      from the economic woes. My house's value has gone UP 10% in the last year, in stark contrast to the rest of the country.

      Our gas prices rose with everyone else, but we were still operating at ~$1 less per gallon than the rest of the country at times.

      Cost of living is cheaper here by leaps and bounds, but I don't find income is much lower than anywhere else in the Southwest.

      Our 401ks are about the only thing that's suffered.

      "I'd rather debate pressing economic issues behind closed doors with my colleagues than on national TV where voters might see me." - Reason Magazine

      by seeking amid on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:30:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  1964 was LBJ's landslide (5+ / 0-)

    But since you are from Oklahoma, maybe you know best what is going on in the minds of your fellow Okies.

    I know in the early 1900's Oklahoma gave the socialist party its largest vote total in one of the pres. elections. There used to be a populist tradition.  

  •  Okies (11+ / 0-)

    I'm not one, but I'm married to one and I spend time talking to others a lot about politics.  There are a surprising number of extremely intelligent, progressive, forward-thinking, amazing Okies who's talents the rest of the country is being starved of because they can't get elected to national office if they run.  However, locally, they do sometimes win.  Brad Henry, David Boren.  They're pretty conservative to a coastal liberal like me, but they are liked by a lot of Okies, including the ones who tend to always vote RED for national office.

    There is a lot of religious fundamentalism in Oklahoma, but not THAT much more than Texas or Kansas really.  There is a poor educational system and plenty of poverty, but not more than Alabama or Mississippi.  So if ignorance and religion can't account for why Oklahoma is so extremely red, what are the other factors?

    Oil, for one.  Self-interest in oil money is big among those I know of.  Joe-the-Plumber syndrome goes over big in OK (people who think that if they vote for trickle-down, they'll get trickled on and end up being at the top.)  But I really think it's something in the Oklahoma personality, too.  My mother-in-law and my husband's siblings are all "Democrats", but they have never voted Democrat for national office.  They don't trust outsiders.  Especially us liberal elitist coastal types.  It's like a state-wide inferiority complex that has to thumb their noses at the rest of us.

    I don't know, Droogie.  This one is hard.  There is SO much that would make one think Oklahoma could be cracked for Democrats, but they're as stubborn and ornery as those damned red wasps they have in that part of the country.  One thing I do think that is hopeful for the future is the arrival in OKC of the Sonics and the attempt that OKC is making to "arrive" as a big city.  If they succeed, change will accelerate like mad in Oklahoma.  It is, essentially, a rural state.  Even the small towns have, to me, a relatively rural feel.

    •  Yeah, there's no easy answers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lams712

      I just wanted to see if I could get a ball rolling.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:36:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave925, Amayi

        the way I see it is the only way to turn Oklahoma blue is to have a major drought for a couple of years then have Obama come in, say, "Let us pray." and have a nice steady downpour as he says it.
        Miracles and timing... otherwise... nope, got nothing.
        Yet.
        I'll put it on my back burner and see what boils up.

        We win. Now about the change...

        by RElland on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:48:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yer Getting Close - Add Origins (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq

      I gfew up across the border in SE Kansas, and spent a year in OK after college making Pizzas in Miami (pronouced Miamuh).

      Oil and farming and guns are big, and money for education and taxes are not. They are also very religious, more so as a group than folks across the border. I mean, MORE SO. Like, Catholics churches were not easy to find, at least in NE OK.

      But the origins of the state are key here too. It entered the union in 1907, much later compared to Kansas, Texas, or Arkansas. Oklahoma was one big land grab by opportunists. Land runs were common, and literally folks (many from the south) did line up and run to stake claims. (Sooners came from that name - those who jumped the gun and got in sooner than the rest). There was a steady erosion of native American land rights there over time, and much of the land went to trains, oil companies, and cattle barons. Sort of an organized smash and grab over time, if you will. It might have been state rivalry, but my Texan/Kansan grandmother said some of the "dregs" in our area (whites) went to Oklahoma and we were better for it.

      Lastly, I do feel racism is still an issue in Oklahoma.  the KKK was far stronger there than in Kansas, and one of the worse race riots in our history took place in Tulsa in 1921.

      Like an earlier poster, I also heard racist jokes told openly, as well as policies of segregation at apartment communities and workplaces.

      So I think the mix of big money powers, conservative religion, low income, intolerance and approved selfish opportunism have all played a part. Not pretty, but I think all the above are valid.

      And yeah, I was happy to leave the state. I bailed (new place, new job, moving all my stuff) literally 96 hours after I found I had a scholarship to a school in Kansas, 2 months before the school year and the scholarship started.

      "When you enter the ocean, you enter the food chain, and not necessarily at the top." - Cousteau

      by Thucydides Junior on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:22:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  suppose you had a dem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ekthesy, Dave925, droogie6655321

    with right wing social views, but progressive economic policies? would such a bird fly in OK?

  •  900 foot jesus is a cruel taskmaster. (15+ / 0-)

    who cares what banks fail in yonkers - as long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:27:37 AM PST

    •  is that a new ride at (0+ / 0-)

      six flags over jesus?

      "Never have so few taken so much from so many for so long."

      by londubh on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:04:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's a ride, but not a new ride. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Over the Edge

        from oral robert's wiki page -

        In 1977 Roberts had a vision from a 900-foot-tall Jesus who told him to build City of Faith Medical and Research Center and the hospital would be a success.

        jesus has a consistent theme in tulsan christianism; "send me your money."

        who cares what banks fail in yonkers - as long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

        by rasbobbo on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:20:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've linked to a diary from a few days ago (5+ / 0-)

    which shows on a county-by-county level where Obama outperformed Kerry compared to where Kerry outperformed Obama.  Obama did better almost everywhere in the U.S. except for the bible belt:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky...  I'll respect Droogie's request in P4 and hold my thoughts.

    You can lead a Republican to the facts, but you can't make him think.

    by Greasy Grant on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:28:40 AM PST

    •  It's overly simplistic (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m3, northsea, Leap Year, dclarke

      To call this swath the "Racist Belt." Racism may indeed be a factor, but if it is I believe it is a small one. There are other variables at play here, and I want to know waht those are.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:38:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It boils down to willful, prideful ignorance... (5+ / 0-)

        ..in the service of hateful, vile fundamentalism.

        I was born and raised in OK, lived there for thirty (!) years and have only recently moved to Buffalo for grad school. I'm an Okie to the core and I get a helluva kick out of describing Red Earth for these yanks, but he fact remains: I can't recommend OK to anyone. I simply couldn't stomach the futile fight, year after year. These "Christians" are some of the most backward people I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with and they LIKE it that way. They are the one simple reason why OK is the way it is. They rose to power on twin pillars of televangelism and moral crusading in the 80s and haven't looked back since.

        I'm honestly not sure if successful econ policies from Obama and the Dems will do it either. Somehow, the Religious Right will find a way to either take credit for it, undermine it, co-opt it, or simply disregard it and their flock will mindlessly follow.

        Andrew rice is the perfect example: White, young, Christian family man with common sense pocketbook issues and a plan for widespread, long-term Okie prosperity. And he lost big (although 43% is nothing to sneeze at for a 1st nat'l run!). Why? Because to understand his approach and his ideas, you have to be INTELLIGENT. You have to be inquisitive and open-minded. You have to value knowledge and learning.

        None of those things applies to the fundies in OK.

        They want to take their kids out of public school because neanderthals didn't ride dinosaurs and the earth is older than 6000 years. They teach their kids to hate gay people, to believe that abortions are more evil than teen motherhood, to think that abstinence helps with that previous point, that Jesus was some sort of superhero who, gosh darn it, just loooved him some white supremacy and Colt .45s. They think anyone who DOESN'T happen to believe the way they do is to be shunned and mocked, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence because they have that magic word that doesn't require pesky facts and science: faith.

        So, the only solution IMHO is time and education. More people being born and going to school. When OKC and Tulsa start building REAL density and diversity, then you'll see a change. As long as outward development trumps upward development, as long as football and NBA teams trump education and learning, as long as the poor are plied with the lies of the right wing, then it won't change. I applaud anyone with the will to stay and battle until that point. It's not for me.  

        Good luck and godspeed, Droogie.

        Hölle ist andere Leute.

        by rottenart on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:19:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Same as it ever was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, Neon Vincent

    Stubborn? My grandfather voted for the GOP. My dad voted for the GOP and I ain't gonna be the one in the family to change that?

    My sympathies.

    Posted from my McCain-invented Blackberry

    by Hedwig on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:29:07 AM PST

  •  Not to pretend that I know a thing about OK (9+ / 0-)
    But I believe that it is partially a perception problem that they think that Liberals and a liberal government represents big city, antigun, antichurch values.

    I don't think we made inroads with them as what our values represent and that we aren't a party interested in destroying their churches, taking their guns and killing their unborn babies.

    •  That's a good point. (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, when you calmly explain the reasons why this is true, with facts and evidence, the fundies stick their fingers in their ears and shout "it's just what I believe!"

      How do you talk to someone who would rather die than listen?

      Hölle ist andere Leute.

      by rottenart on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 01:44:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Droogie - (7+ / 0-)

    I've lived in every region of the country.  This year every state I've ever lived in went for Obama, including North Carolina which was virtually owned by avowed racist/homophobe/redbaiter Jesse Helms back when I lived there.  I don't know what the story is with Oklahoma, but I can tell you that the answer is getting it on the national mental map, in our new 50 state tradition.

    The cultural issues (and by this I don't mean the red-state-bashing ones that you're wisely trying to avoid here) are profound.  And some of that is a result of the strength of your local culture.  People assume they're not going to change minds there.  What we need is something like a Grange movement.  The Democratic coalition, perhaps because of it's large constituency of urban and coastal people, just doesn't seem to be speaking to folks there.  The "elitist" meme: I'd be interested in how well that plays there, because my sense is that it might have more traction in a state so far from the centers of power.

  •  One Word: Gaylord (8+ / 0-)

    If the winners write the histories, the oil money writes the media.

    Decade after decade of relentless, inescapable brainwashing in and out of the pulpit.

    (Native son and escapee.)

  •  Not to be hars, but genetics must play a role (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlcampbe

    Smart people tend to pass on smart genes, dumb people tend to pass on dumb genes, smart people tend to marry other smart people, dummies marry dummies, etc. Obviously, you are a smart Okie with a deep emotional bond and committment to your state and to progressive politics, and you are to be ommended for both. But I am guessing that Oklahoma, and other such reactionary red states, routinely experience a brain drain, as smart people to elsewhere where opportunities lie and where they don't have to be represented by the likes of Inhofe.
    Dumb people are, of course, everywhere, and are not likely to question people like Inhofe.

    Just a hypothesis!

    Stop bitching and start a revolution!

    by Randian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:34:33 AM PST

    •  That's more than a little insulting. (6+ / 0-)

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:40:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How so (0+ / 0-)

        Look, I've complimented you, and I meant what I said. I am not talking about all Oklahomans, just the dumb ones.

        Stop bitching and start a revolution!

        by Randian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:45:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a backhanded compliment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cixelsyd, Cali Techie

          I'm awfully articulate and smart for an Oklahoman.

          "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

          by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:06:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you are going to write a diary such as this (0+ / 0-)

            which invites critical comments, then you you shouldn't be so sensitive. My comments were a generalization, with lots of room for exceptions. Obviously, there are smart, dumb, and average people in all states, but I think that a lot of the things mentioned in the commments, such as the plethora of fundie churches, or the overt bigotry, appeal to dumb more than to smart people.

            My comments were really not about you. I only referred to you as an Okie because you self identifed as such. I thought I was being polite and cordial.

            However, others have mentioned the brain drain, as have I, and some have spoken from direct experience. That was primarily what I was suggesting.

            Stop bitching and start a revolution!

            by Randian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:18:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do you really not understand how saying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq, Areopagitica

          that a group of people is inferior based on their genetics is not only completely ignorant, but incredibly offensive?  

          •  No, it's neither of these. (0+ / 0-)

            Intelligence/cognition/critical thinking skills, or whatever elese you want to call it, is a result of both nature and nurture, or brains and environment.

            Stop bitching and start a revolution!

            by Randian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:23:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What are you basing your claim that Oklahoma... (0+ / 0-)

              is full of "dummies" on?  Do you have any empirical evidence?  Have you ever been there or met anyone from there?  Or is it that you are making sweeping generalizations and in the process making yourself look silly?  

              •  Read carefully (0+ / 0-)

                No. I've never experienced Oklahoma directly. And in my initial posting, I said that I was speculating.

                To suggest, though, that I am saying that Oklahoma is "full of dummies" is to imply that I am saying that the majority there are dummies. But that is certainly not what I am saying.

                Oklahoma's population, according to the Census Bureau, is 3,617,316. It's population of those 25 and older is 2,312,121, or 66% of the population. The total number of votes in the state was 1,461,931 or .63 of the population of 25 and older
                residents (I couldn't easily find the population for 18 to 24 year olds). McCain got 959,645 votes, which was .66 of Oklahoma's votes, but .41 of the 25+ population. While not all of McCain's voters in the state are stupid, I'm guessing that lot's are; it is, after all, a stupid vote, cast out of ignorance, which doesn't help the voter.

                As to my larger point, that intelligence is a matter of both nature and nurture, a number of studies are suggesting that nurture, i.e., the environment, may play a greater role, e.g.,

                "Through the research we have done, it seems that heredity, as well as environment plays an important role in humans’ mentality; but these are not exactly equal in influence. A person’s entire environment seems to be more effectual in determining his mental ability than heredity is. The most fundamental way to explain our opinion is quite comprehensible. It is that heredity determines one’s potential, but environment determines how far one will reach that potential during his lifetime. In other words, every individual has a destined mental potential, but how much of that potential the individual will be able to gain solely depends on the environment that the individual grows in."

                An environment filled with evangelical megachurches and bible colleges might be just such an example.

                But again, I am speculating, having not gone there or studied the state's culture in any detail.

                Stop bitching and start a revolution!

                by Randian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 01:31:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Consider me offended too. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Areopagitica
  •  It's an oil state (0+ / 0-)

    they sent back Idiothofe...

  •   I wish I had some answers for you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CommandoAndy, Over the Edge

    but I'm asking the same questions here in Texas.  This cycle we actually had traditionally Democratic strongholds go Republican.  You may not want to hear that it's racism, but I know of no other reason a largely white blue collar county who regularly votes for the Democrats would turn red in this election. I see no other explanation than they could not (would not) vote for a black man.

  •  44% of voters in OK thought Bush was ok (6+ / 0-)

    Also checked the exit polls and found that a large majority of voters decided whom to vote for before September.  The Dems aren't going to do well in OK for a long time.  We're Pepsi in Atlanta.

  •  Ex-pat Okie here too (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mrcia, stas61690, Jeopardude, lams712

    I grew up in Tulsa, stayed in the state for college and even moved back there for a bit a few years ago. So these are observations based on my experience with the Dems (particularly the liberal ones) through the late 80s and a revisit during the 2004 election cycle. Wish I had solid data to provide, but alas...

    Most of the really progressive Dems I know, including my family, work very very locally. They work on school board elections, they work on city council elections, they work on state rep elections. These are places where you can do more with less $. Will more money help for national elections? You betcha.

    This may also reflect a tendency for us Okies to think of government from the ground up. We (in general) tend to see the results of government more easily locally, not nationally. Consider it a 'bang for the buck' perspective. (Does this make sense?)

    I'm not giving up on my beloved home state - we can turn it blue. It will take infrastructure, support for the progressives who are already there and have been working their butts off, and, of course, financing.

    Thanks for writing this - I've been waiting for it:)

    "McCain's economic plan - marry a younger, richer country."

    by themis on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:37:25 AM PST

  •  How strong is the Dem party in OK? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, stillwaters

    Not registration but in terms of organization, fund raising and enthusiasm? To me no state turns blue without getting the Dems off their asses. Given what you describe it seems like there is very little cohesive leadership in the OK Democratic party (being able to run a candidate to the right and left of the Repugs in two years seems a clear indicator).

    In order to turn that around you have to get a cadre of Dems that will work to build up the party, then think about winning. It sucks in that it takes way more time than anyone wants, but it is about the only way you will be able to make a difference.

    On a side note, welcome back brother, we've missed you around these parts.

    Obama will win 364 EV's to 174 - For Dora, Get The Vote Out!

    by Something the Dog Said on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:38:09 AM PST

  •  Droogie, does it have to do with Oil? Meaning, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    malharden

    how big a role does oil play in Oklahoma's economy?  Republicans tend to be the party of "big energy."

  •  Okie Democrats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stas61690, i like bbq

    It is an old tradition in Oklahoma for Republicans to register as Democrats so they can vote against the strong Dem candidate in the primary.
    Andrew Rice came close to losing against someone nobody had ever heard of, and there were far more Democratic primary votes that Republican.
    All very fishy...

  •  Okies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyeo

    I understand your caution about branding Oklahomans as racists. But even without Obama on a Democratic ticket, the Republican vs Democrat contests are usually fundamentally referendums on "White privilege". Whether to perpetuate it or not. Republicans consistently stand primarily for White privilege, while Democrats often do not, or actively oppose it.

    It seems to me that Oklahomans stand for White privilege. Not that Oklahomans receive White privilege. Perhaps they do; perhaps even among poor Oklahomans (there are many, more than in general proportion across the nation) White ones have more privilege than non-White ones. But White privilege is not just an asset of privileged Whites. It's a dream for many unprivileged people, and indeed many non-Whites. They might not think about getting "White privilege" (nearly nobody thinks in those terms), but they do think about somehow getting unfair privileges, whether through work, family or luck.

    If true, this is good news. Because White privilege has to be taken off the table, it can be, and it is now more likely to be after this week's vote broadly against it. We're not entirely there in consensus yet, as Obama's Ivy League education and cultural demeanor are still identical to anyone else's who's a product of White privilege. But we're a lot closer after this watershed. Oklahomans have very few examples of people succeeding without White privilege endorsing or causing their success. Maybe now the tide will start turning for Oklahomans' worldview, with more counterexamples of both privileged Whites failing, and non-privileged/non-Whites succeeding.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:39:50 AM PST

  •  My sister moved to OK (8+ / 0-)

    A 50-something long time Kennedy-MA dem.  She came back for a visit recently.  She assured me that Obama was a Muslim. Because her new husband had told her that.

    She's not hugely internet savvy.  She's not very curious.  She's very obedient.  She won't rock the boat.  It will not be possible to fix most of those things at this point.  

    She keeps begging me to visit.  I have said stuff like: Oh, sure--we can see some of the historic stuff.  What's there?  silence

    Well, maybe we can go to a natural area. silence

    Well, we'll eat.  What restaurants do you have (that aren't Olive Garden variety).  silence

    My impression was that we would watch cable most of the time.  I have been dodging this trip every since.

    Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

    by mem from somerville on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:40:10 AM PST

    •  lol (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mem from somerville

      "The other folks are voting!" Rep. Chambliss (R-GA)

      by keeplaughing on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:42:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She shoulda dragged him to MA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mem from somerville, i like bbq

      I'm younger than that by a bit, but also a MA-Dem from the beginning.  My Okie husband was pretty Republican when I met him.  But living in Seattle mellowed him and then going back to the area and seeing for the first time how over-the-top and out-there his friends/family were, he's now a Democratic-voting relatively liberal kind of guy.  

      Unfortunately your description of what to do on a visit is pretty darned accurate.  It's good to see other parts of the country and get an understanding of the whys and wherefores, though.  But, yeah, be prepared to be bored to death.

    •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mem from somerville

      I was born and raised there.  Left at 18 to go to college on the East coast.  I would never go back to live there.  I go back once a year to visit family.  There's not much to do, especially if you don't live in OKC, Tulsa, Norman or Stillwater.  As for good places to eat, you're best off looking for steak houses, barbeque joints or Tex-Mex.

      "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now." - Chinese proverb

      by VALuddite on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 01:41:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I could find excellent examples in Oklahoma of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mem from somerville

      natural areas

      restaurants, of all kinds

      and also ballet, opera, and the symphony.

      So you need to visit, and come stay with me. ;)

      Seriously, if your sister hasn't been here long, she may just not know about stuff, especially if she isn't very curious. Or if she lives way out in the boonies.

      [-5.50, -5.79] Conviction without experience makes for harshness. -Flannery O'Connor

      by sjcyoung on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 04:20:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The answer is in the run-up to Iraq (11+ / 0-)

    You ask how not a single county in OK went blue for Obama in these times.

    I ask how not a single radio channel organized a protest against the war in Iraq.

    I ask how did radio convince an entire nation of people to go to war based on a lie?

    I strongly feel this red nightmare is attributable primarly to two factors, both dealing with the dissemination of information in modern America.

    1)Lack of broadband lines for Internet access-Obama stresses the importance of building infrastructure for good reason.  He knows rural voters in the less-developed states don't see or hear the same news as the rest of us and they end up voting against their economic interests 100 times out of 100.

    2)Reliance on cheap, affordable media aka AM/FM radio talk shows.  People can't afford cable and Internet and they like the radio broadcasts they're receiving.  I bet there's no commercials because the total number of listeners is low even as the proportion of population listening remains hight.

    Do a study to determine the rate of cable subscriptions or internet service in the state of OK.  I bet you'll find that this state has the lowest rate of cable subs and internet service combined as well as the highest rate of consumption of AM/FM radio by proportion.

    Fight for a Truth and Accurate News Doctrine.

    by GoogleBonhoeffer on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:42:06 AM PST

  •  Maybe we should ask Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FreeStateDem

    what's wrong with Oklahoma. I believe oklahoma was one of the only two states he never visited during this campaign season. Alaska being the other.

  •  Texas (3+ / 0-)

    is the big prize and I predict it will go blue in 2012.

    Oklahoma is not irrelevant (nobody is) but reallisticaly ROI will be very low.

    Best strategy for Dean and Obama, attack Texas and Arizona and assure Dem majorities till 2024.

    "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

    by Euroliberal on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:42:43 AM PST

    •  Texas go blue in 2012? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ephemera, paintitblue

      From your mouth to God's ears.

    •  I wish (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal, Over the Edge

      you were right. I do think Texas is trending blue and will eventually be gettable. But Obama barely cracked 45% and he will have to do some unpopular things in his first term to start fixing the mess. And I hate to say it but he may not be successful in fixing things significantly within four years, so Texans will just point at the tax increases and increased spending and say, look, tax-and-spend liberal.

      So I just don't see it happening in 2012. I would be thrilled to be wrong though. I love my home state even if they don't love me.

      Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

      by m3 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:02:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  on the bright side (0+ / 0-)

        Obama offered nothing to them this time and still managed to make a 10 pt swing. Texas is moving in the right direction.

        Maybe I'm a bit optimistic with change as fast as 2012 but it is quite possible.

        Attack the State House in 2010, and with the new Census undo the Gerrymandering that gives Republicans an edge for Congress. If Dems can do that, Repubs will be left with the 500 vote-precincts in the North part of the State. Dallas and Houston suburbs are the new frontiers and it's game over.

        "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

        by Euroliberal on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:40:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's a very good point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Euroliberal

          about the redistricting. It will be an uphill climb in the Dallas/Houston suburbs for the national party though. I grew up in Farmers Branch; it's Limbaugh land.

          Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

          by m3 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 02:14:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  TX has some good longterm Democratic prospects (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal

      If Democratic performance can improve in the Dallas and Houston region of the state, when you add in the Latino vote, there might be a shot for victory.

  •  I don't have any answers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, stillwaters

    as to what the hell Oklahomans are thinking when they vote, but I do cover some of the other loses we suffered Tuesday night on my blog. Oklahoma red for shame

    i also would like to repeat (yet again) my open invite to any Okies on DKos to join our growing listserve where this conversation has already been underway for a couple of days.

    We have been talking about how to organize ourselves and our state so that we don't get future repeats of Tuesday night's bloodbath in Oklahoma.

    So if you're here and interested in making change, even in the reddest state, please join us. See my sig for the link to the group.

  •  Sooner born and bred (10+ / 0-)

    I'm now in Kansas ( red, but getting bluer). I don't know why more fellow Okies haven't evolved.
    My dad acquired his racism in Arkansas, carried it into Oklahoma and still has it in Kansas, though it has softened over the years.
    He enjoys the talents of black comedians, actors, athletes, but has made it clear he would disown his children if we dated or married outside of our race.
    Still, there has been progress. His first grandchild (apple of his eye) has introduced her best friend, who is black, into our family and my dad has accepted her to the point of asking about her when she's not around.
    So, there is hope. Grandchildren will have to lead the way. The very young have found a chink in the armor of the Old Guard.
    Love is the answer.

    Obama/Biden: Winging them, one nut at a time

    by forever blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:43:43 AM PST

    •  My sister,,, (5+ / 0-)

      married an Orange Irishman, right off the boat from Belfast.

      We are Catholic.  Imagine, if you will, a wedding reception with one family refusing to speak to the other family, lol.  Horrible.

      My sister's FIL was just the worst.  He was rude, insulting, and openly bigoted at family gatherings.

      And then I had my third child - a red-headed sweetheart of a boy who loved everybody.  Always smiling and cute as a button.

      Max (the FIL) wanted a red-headed grandson more than life itself.  By the time my Patrick got done working his charms for 3 years, Max openly admitted that for Catholics, we weren't so bad, lol.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4180+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

      by Miss Blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:51:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This may seem a bit ridiculous, but could (4+ / 0-)

    have some merit:  having an NBA franchise (OK City) could soften the redness a bit, in that your state is now part of something larger culturally.  Through sports (Sooners are a different animal), Okies will be reading about and following players and teams that represent a culture that has escaped the state to this point.  And I don't mean AA, I mean being part of something that you weren't part of before:  a connectedness to fans nationwide of professional sports.  It will connect you nationally to media markets many typically don't follow, and when people are watching YOU (like in a playoff run), you tend to behave differently and put a better face forward.

    •  It'll work for a while (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middle child

      The Thunder are going to be a really bad team for a while, I'm afraid.  The NBA players aren't pleased that Seattle's team was bargained off to OKC overall, so they're going to have a hard time attracting free agents (as if OKC is ordinarily an attractive relocation option for a 6'10" AA anyways).  The team members tried to be good sports about the relocation, but rare is the expansion team that gets good in the first 5-10 years of their existence, if even then (heloooo, Minnesota Timberwolves).

      To their credit, the OKC fans, long experienced with Sooner football, have been fantastic expansion fans, but history says that has a 2-3 year shelf life unless some modicum of team improvement or motion towards postseason starts happening.  At that point, the team has to hunker down in financially unrewarding obscurity until something happens to make them relevant suddenly as a NBA competitor (ask the Miami Heat about that one).

      It will be long after Kevin Durant has bolted to free agency that the Thunder are a competitive team, and it's entirely possible that OKC won't be able to make them financially viable by that point anyways.

  •  I've learned something while canvassing (5+ / 0-)

    and this quote made me think of it:

    Democrats hold an 11 percent registration advantage over Republicans, the state hasn't chosen a Democrat for president since LBJ's landslide in 1968.

    Depending on the reddness of an area, a large portion of the people register with the party which is in opposition to their actual political views?

    Why?

    To vote for the lesser candidate in the primaries.

    Sick as it sounds, it's true.

    Charlie Brown, an American hero who lives in CA-04. This ain't over!

    by LaughingPlanet on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:46:45 AM PST

  •  OK also has the highest divorce rate in U.S. (14+ / 0-)

    70%. I always find that very interesting.

    I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgeway

    by malibu1964 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:47:11 AM PST

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq, malibu1964, kyeo

      Okie husband: "Yep, this is where I'm from."
      Okie wife: "Yuck. Well, you don't plan for us to stay here, do you? I mean, all our lives?"
      Okie husband: "Why, shore. Was good enough for my paw, and his paw, and his paw..."
      <SLAM!>

      Just joshin' ya, there, droogie.

      [To be fair: In quite a few parts of my native TX, one could easily imagine a similar vignette.]

      Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

      by bwintx on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:51:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're pretty high for teen pregnancy too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq, malibu1964

      10th last I looked. The meth problem is huge here. Etc. Etc.

    •  The is a positive correlation (6+ / 0-)

      between evangelical christians and divorce rates.

      A more ironic socialogical fact does not exist.  

      •  there is also a positive correlation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        malibu1964, VALuddite

        between poverty and divorce rates, and between evangelical beliefs and poverty. I would guess that's where the causation part lies. But I'm just speculating.

        Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

        by m3 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:04:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, evidence points to this causation: (2+ / 0-)

          Evangelicals are more likely to get "married in haste" -- before they've tried living together, for instance -- while others in the same situation wouldn't get married.  (Stats back that up.)  Shotgun weddings are still considered respectable among evangelicals generally (look at Bristol Palin), but not among other groups.

          Obviously, rushed, poorly thought through marriages lead to divorces more often than other marriages.

          Essentially, a bunch of these divorces are couples who would never have gotten married if they hadn't been evangelicals.

          Your hypothesis may account for some of it too, but I think mine is likely to account for a lot of it.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:51:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Young (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      droogie6655321, malibu1964

      I believe they also have one of the youngest age at first marriage, too.  Correlates pretty strongly with high divorce rates.  

      Here's another issue -- out-of-wedlock pregnancies.  Women with lots of kids and no fathers around or abusive step-dads.  There's way more of that in Oklahoma from what I've seen than in other states.  

      •  Young age at first marriage (0+ / 0-)

        correlates pretty strongly with girls who are told their only goal in life is to catch them a mayyunnn and breed 'em some baaybeeez for jeeezusss.

        Out-of-wedlock pregnancies are more fallout from fundie beliefs. Single mothers used to be shamed as willful Jezebels who disobeyed the patriarchy by letting someone other than a lawful owner husband poke them. But once abortion became legal, the xtianists had to choose the "lesser evil" of not shunning single pregnant women, because otherwise they'd just give them more incentive to terminate.

        And religious reichtards use less birth control because they've been brainwashed to believe it doesn't work, and the girls are convinced that to obtain contraception is to "plan to sin." If they don't use any protection, they can lie to themselves that they "just got carried away." And then they can sob to Jeebus that they didn't mean to, honest!

    •  The Bible belt in general has more divorce (5+ / 0-)

      and more teen pregnancies.

      Commie Massachusetts has the  lowest divorce rate I think.

      •  Yes, you are correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq

        The report I saw did have Mass as the lowest rate of divorce. Of course the Christers would say that's because everyone's living in SIN! ;-)

        I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgeway

        by malibu1964 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:48:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oddly enough they have a point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq, malibu1964

          People who live together before getting married are less likely to get divorced than people who get married "blind".  There probably are more couples "testing the waters" in Massachusetts than in the Bible Belt.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:53:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've seen different takes on that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            i like bbq

            but as far as personally, the best thing I ever did was shack up with hubby BEFORE we made it official. Got all that crap out of the way and we knew we could stand to live with each other.

            Living in sin worked great for me, and I recommend it to everyone!

            I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgeway

            by malibu1964 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:15:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The statistics I saw in social work school (0+ / 0-)

            showed that people who live together before they get engaged actually have a higher divorce rate. Apparently living together tended to cement some relationships that should have ended earlier. The decision to marry before cohabiting seemed to be the factor that influenced divorce rates.

            [-5.50, -5.79] Conviction without experience makes for harshness. -Flannery O'Connor

            by sjcyoung on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 04:27:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Oklahoma also a leader in puppy mills (0+ / 0-)

        and only recently was cock fighting banned. Sigh.

        Support Andrew Rice for US Senate: link vs. Jim "global warming is a hoax" Inhofe

        by tsunami on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:50:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think its an issue of portraying Dems as (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyeo, dclarke

    "serious".

    I think the end result of the Rovian strategy was to portray Democrats as foolish, silly and a time waster.

    Its not so much about christian values as it is about "doing things the right way". Obama was very good at putting this over.

    If you want to get a Dem in OK, find a candidate like Jim Webb. His motto in 2006 was "born fighting" and touted his viet-nam experience and reagan credentials.

    I think this could be an effective and difficult to disprove meme, especially given the massive mis-handling of the country for the last 8 years.

  •  As an Okie (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbinflo, droogie6655321, mrchumchum, kyeo

    transplant from Illinois (I've been in OK for 12 years), my guesses would be hard-right evangelism and some racism. Oh, and Oil.

    However, contrary to (perhaps) popular opinion, not all of OK is as remedial as the numbers would have one believe. In my town of 37,000 there seemed to be a pretty fair number of Obama supporters. They outwardly displayed their support with no backlash.

    Political discussions, for the most part, with 'the other side' were cordial, fact-based ones rather than the conventional "terrorist" "muslim" "socialist" bleating from other areas of the country. There were certainly exceptions to this, as with any area of the country, but for the most part, it wasn't hateful.

    It seems to me that because of Haliburton (and the plethora of other oil related businesses), at least in my corner of OK, people feel economically safe enough, so they vote social issues. Since its part of the bible-belt (some say the buckle of the belt) the consensus on social issues lean heavily to the right.

    We blue okies need to dispel the myths surrounding these social issues that, perhaps, cause fear in our counterparts.

    1. Exhale | 2. Get to work!

    by xeromachine on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:48:40 AM PST

    •  I know next to nothing about OK besides (0+ / 0-)

      having a single friend from there (I'm in Chicago).  So I just popped over to wikipedia for a remedial education and I was truly surprised to read that it has "one of the fastest growing economies in the nation".  

      From 2000 to 2006, Oklahoma's gross domestic product grew 50 percent, the fifth-highest rate in the nation. It had the fastest-growing GDP between 2005 and 2006, increasing from $122.5 to $134.6 billion, a jump of 10.8 percent,[8] and its gross domestic product per capita grew 5.9 percent from $36,364 in 2006 to $38,516 in 2007, the third-fastest rate in the nation. Its 2007 per capita GDP ranked 41st among the states.

      Then again, 41st in per capita GDP is not exactly stellar.

      Maybe people feel more like they're going in the right direction than in the rest of the U.S.

  •  grew up in TN, so I know a red state well. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden

    The "stereotype of the liberal" is taken as fact there. For example, this email, that I still receive with some regularity, seems to resonate as "the true evolution" with many otherwise reasonable people.

    Subject: HISTORY LESSON: LIBERALS V. CONSERVATIVES

    Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

    The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

    1. Liberals
    1. Conservatives

    Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

    Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

    Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

    Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as "girlie men".

    Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

    Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals were symbolized by the jackass.

    Modern liberals like light beer (sometimes with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.

    Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury
    attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals also invented the designated hitter rule because it was not fair to make the pitcher also bat.

    Conservatives tend to drink micro brew beer. They also eat red meat and still provide for their women and families.

    Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

    Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more
    enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

    Here ends today's lesson in world history: It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding
    it. A Conservative will simply laugh and forward immediately just for the hell of it.

    (-8.00,-7.85) 'My God! It's full of falme!'

    by bubbanomics on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:48:55 AM PST

  •  Maybe part of... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, stillwaters

    ..the problem with Oklahoma is the 50 State Strategy has not invaded Oklahoma yet.

    Keep in mind liberals always feel red states hate them until the actually go into the red states & make their case.

    Like all the remaining red states, fundamentalist religion (& all the fear & ignorance that entails) has a lock on the state political structure of Oklahoma.

    If progressives go into these red states & explain how wildly insane some of these fundamentalist-driven political stances are, there are usually a significant amount people willing to listen.

  •  Love my homestate but.. (5+ / 0-)

    It's so depressing to look at the political landscape. Loosing the State Senate for the first itme since statehood as Democrats steamrolled the rest of the country really hurt.

    It's difficult for me to understand why a state like Kansas was significantly more Obama-friendly. I think a lot of it has to do with race. Race relations are horrible, especially in my beloved hometown, Tulsa.

    I'd like to hear a political scientist who specializes in Oklahoma analyze why the Muskogee area was the most Democratic-friendly part of the state. I've always lumped that in the same veing as the Little Dixie counties..traditional Democratic bastions that are slowly realligning with the Republican party. Maybe there's hope for those East-Central counties.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" -8.25, -7.54

    by dem4evr on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:50:52 AM PST

  •  I don't think Huckabee and Edwards won the... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcfly, Over the Edge

    Oklahoma Primary. It was McCain and Hillary.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" -8.25, -7.54

    by dem4evr on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:51:56 AM PST

  •  Oklahoma is not exactly rural (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcfly, droogie6655321, kyeo

    60% of OK's population lives in either the OKC or Tulsa metropolitan area. These are places with metro populations of about 1 million each. Not the biggest cities, but far from rural. Calling Oklahoma a rural state is one of those misconceptions that wont help figure out what actually is going on.

    One of the biggest differences that strikes me about OK is how its two big cities do not vote Dem. If Tulsa and Oklahoma counties were blue, the electoral map of Oklahoma would not look much different than for Missouri or Texas....bunch of red in the small counties, a few small patches of blue in urban areas.

    •  Yes, but... (0+ / 0-)

      As of right now, those populous counties vote almost exactly the same way that the rural counties do.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:54:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thats my point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        droogie6655321

        why does that happen?

        just calling it a rural state misses the point

        •  What's the culture like (0+ / 0-)

          in OKC and Tulsa? I'm asking 'cause I don't know.

          Here in the Northeast, and in the one midwestern city I've lived it (St Louis), "urban" meant (amongst other things) "Not everybody is white". And that is one of the reasons urban areas tend to go more Dem. Because the unthinking, traditional, "I grew up that way" type of racism is diminished by living amongst people of another race.

          If Tulsa and OKC are more lily white than the urban areas that tend to go Blue, that might be part of the explanation (and, again, I'm asking, I don't know those demographics at all).

          What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

          by ChurchofBruce on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:55:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I lived in OKC and in a suburb of OKC (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            i like bbq, CcVenussPromise

            until 1991.  They are not typical urban areas by any means.  Part of OKC's  population is measured oddly because they set the boundaries of the city way out.  It's HUGE area wise and there are cattle grazing in some of it.  

            Not that I'm sure of any of this now as my experience is from 17 years ago.  It was pretty much a white middle class existence.  The people of color that I did know were in small pockets in OKC.  The main issue is probably more about Evangelical Christianity.  There are more religious colleges in that one city than you can imagine.  I believe the home of the Assemblies of God churches are also there as well as large Baptist and Christian Church.  They were voting for Sarah Palin in droves, I'd guarantee it.  

            I'm an American I can handle the truth!

            by stas61690 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:34:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Obama deliberately avoided the state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyeo, JGMT

    That's why it went so strong for McCain. Do you think Indiana would have went for Obama if he didn't have 50 campaign offices there and strongly campaign there? In the primaries, Oklahoma was one of only TWO states where Obama NEVER RAN ANY TV ADS, the other state was Illinois (Source: http://www.tnr.com/... ). Obama's campaign clearly decided at the outset that they were not going to make a play for Oklahoma. If they would have put the same ground game, tv ads, campaign staff, offices, etc. into Oklahoma that they did in IN, NC, VA, IA, CO, NM, NV, Oklahoma would not have been so Republican. They probably wouldn't have won the state, but the margin of loss would have been much smaller, maybe as small as 10% or less.

    Don't try to overanalyze this too much. Yes, Oklahoma is a religious, conservative state. Yes, too many people there vote for any Rep without even thinking about it. But the reason why Oklahoma was the most Republican state in this election was because the Obama campaign clearly put the fewest resources into that state and pretty much ignored it.

  •  One state or another has got to be reddest. (0+ / 0-)

    I definitely think, however, as a Southern Democrat, that your state's interests will be neglected in Washington if one party can count on you and the other gives up and writes you off.

    This blows me away that this country is this stupid to put this evil man [Obama] into office. -- From a post at RaptureReady.com

    by Kimball Cross on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:52:49 AM PST

  •  I think some of it, (4+ / 0-)

    and this is based on my very limited time in OK, is that the state is one of the last strongholds of that classical American frontier individualism - the kind attributed to Texas more traditionally, but has since been heavily dumbed down there by an influx of outsiders, and a much heavier minority base.  Fact is, with the exception of Tulsa, my understanding is that every other area of the state is dominated by people who were born in that area. There are fewer and fewer places like that in America. I don’t think it necessarily makes Oklahomans ignorant of the outside world as much as I think it creates an environment for traditionalism, and reluctance to change, which Oklahoma will likely stay like it is for a long time.

    Oklahoma, in my mind, is just what it's always been, and what Texas would be like today, had it changed less than it has.

    Libertarian individualism, I think, and in no pejorative sense, explains a lot of why a person like Obama, or Kerry, or Gore, would have a hard time winning the state. I see such a heavy focus on doing for yourself, that my guess is reluctance to Democratic thinking has more to do with opposition to socialism as it does with the fading culture war. Of course like all things political, this is only a simplistic piece of a much larger reality.

    What I’ll never get is how a state with such a high Native American population doesn’t see the same pocket democratic effects that states like the Dakotas have.

    Either way, I wouldn’t fret over it. I’m more concerned about what’s wrong with Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky. Looking at this map below, these states flew much farther towards the Republican Party this year than did Oklahoma. Hell, OK even had counties that got slightly bluer. That speaks to Obama and Oklahoma I think. Look at Arkansas. I mean hell...

    Questioning another's patriotism is the refuge of the truly unpatriotic.

    by surfbird007 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:53:14 AM PST

  •  Rural Missouri Just as Bad! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, stillwaters

    You take Missouri's two large urban areas out of the vote profile, and it is just as bad as Oklahoma.  I lived in MO my first 19 years of life and I know the place.  I just went back and looked at each county's voting nov 4 -- totally depressing, many of them 30/70 favoring McCain. This is Jurassic Park -- in spades. I do not know what is wrong with those people. It is pathetic. They are not illiterate and many of them are educated, to at least some degree, above high school. Race has got to be a factor; rural people are "tribel" and insular. I hate, loathe and despise them -- I grew up with them and I know them all too well. I have hopes, however, that the US is in for a very long spell of charismatic Democratic leadership, URBAN based -- and I say, so much the better. Meanwhile what to do with the rubes? Well get John McCain to bomb bomb bomb! <grin> No, seriously the only real and fair way to get rid of their influence is to get rid of the Electoral College -- that will finish 'em off for good! Let us live in a true democracy.

    •  Rural MO-bad, but improving (0+ / 0-)

      McCaskill specifically emphasized campaigning in rural areas in SW MO and that is part of how she won in 06.  I think that some rural areas are slowly coming around, it will just take paying some attention to these areas and not only STL and KC.

      •  In the best of all possible worlds.... (0+ / 0-)

        I believe you are right and I am deeply sympathetic
        with the education/conversion of rural populations everywhere to a more enlightened and better informed status - so they may vote more intelligently. BUT - as a matter of practicality, I doubt it can be done,
        or done to an extent it would make a difference.I feel, obviously, that intelligence and information are not always the deciding characteristics in the voter's action. Far too many vote from emotion, or tradition, or tribel laws or customs; I even have one Missouri cousin who says it's "genetic." I have personally long since given up on these people; I have alaways kept in touch, talked, written, sent articles, books and clippings (I am talking about my own relatives in rural central MO counties), and none of this does any good. Water off a duck's back.
          We are not always going to have a charismatic candidate and leader like President Obama -- he's a very rare bird that does not come along very often; so, I am looking ahead to eight years hence - 2016.
        By then we just might maybe get the constiutional amendment that will be needed to abolish or modify the Electoral College provision so that the popular vote is truly reflected in the election outcome. I see no other way, and I admit it will be a very difficult road. Hillary Clinton is committed to it; we'll find out in due course how many other progressives are. If Obama wants it - we'll likely get it. If we do get it, we'll live in a new world, a better one, for a long long time.
           Onward and upward! :)
        JIM/santa fe

  •  OK City Bombing PTSD? (4+ / 0-)

    Judging by Imhofe's behavior during the Abu Graib fiasco ("Outraged by the outrage"), any criticism of the government is considered subversive and potentially deadly.

    (Please nobody humiliate themselves by calling McVeigh a typical wingnut. You all know better.)

    I have always believed that 9/11 turned Chris Shays from Vietnam consciencitious (sp?) objector into bloodthirsty warmonger.  Knowing people who were actually killed by terrorists leaves a permaent mark.  It makes you yearn for leadership, even bad leadership.

    If the Ayers stuff carried any weight I bet it was in OK.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:53:44 AM PST

  •  I grew up in Oklahoma (26+ / 0-)

    I am an early 40s true conservative - finding myself more and more oriented with the Democrats.

    I grew up in Oklahoma - Tulsa - a very very beautiful city for those of you who have never been - and left in my mid-20s - I came back when I was 33 - and then left again when Coburn was elected Senator in 2004.

    Believe it or not - during the FDR New Deal era - Oklahoma was one of the most progressive states there was.  Will Rogers was her favorite son.

    What happened over time was the complete and total surrender of the culture of the state to religious fundamentalism.

    I am afraid what has happened now is that anyone with any cultural or social conscience has fled the state - leaving the Baptists and Pentecostals in enough of a severe majority to do whatever they please.

    I was floored when I realized that 66% of my 1000 member graduating class of 1984 either lived in Dallas or Houston.  

    The brain drain is ENORMOUS.  

    So is the cultural drain - they have so alienated people who are unique and progressive and creative - that they just leave - like I did.  

    To answer your question - I am not sure how to fix it now.  The Baptists are just too entrenched.

    It is a real tragedy too - the landscape there is just beautiful.  Just went over the Talimena trail yesterday - unbelievably amazing.  

    I was confronted with campaign signs in Talihina - ONLY FAGS ARE FOR OBAMA.  Yep - that bad.

    •  welcome true conservative!!! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m3, Timbuk3, i like bbq

      We need your input here as a check, make sure any ideas we come up with are vetted and aren't some silly
      stereotypical hippie idea that flops and embarrasses the party.

    •  Interesting comments (4+ / 0-)

      The diarist gave me crap for saying something comparable, but I was getting at what you are. And my sympathies are with people in the state who are not wingnuts. I've long been perplexed that a place that could produce a Woody Guthrie could also produce an Infofe or a Coburn.

      Stop bitching and start a revolution!

      by Randian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:01:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        themis, i like bbq, dclarke

        it came off wrong because you based it on genetics, which made you sound a little eugenics-y, at least to me. dagan68 appears to be talking about brain drain within a generation, and not (over)extending the explanation to hereditary stupidity.

        Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

        by m3 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:08:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Genetics plays a role, as so does the environment (0+ / 0-)

          Both play a role, but the environment probably plays a bigger role. But both play a role (i.e., with such cognitive traits as intelligence and  memory being considered "genetically multifactorial"). There is much research to back this up. The human genome project, for instance, is teaching us a great deal about ourselves.

          Stop bitching and start a revolution!

          by Randian on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:26:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nicely said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      droogie6655321

      I don't think we can overestimate the brain drain, which has been going on at least since the '80s. (and yes, I'm one of the guilty ones). I also have to wonder whether the more progressive (typically out of state) college students decide to vote in their home state rather than 'tossing their vote away' in OK.

      Looks like you and I are of the same generation and same home town. I also returned for a couple of years during the '04 election cycle and couldn't believe how concentrated the culture has become. Made me a little sad.

      "McCain's economic plan - marry a younger, richer country."

      by themis on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:02:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I grew up in Appalachia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq

      I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few months about the situation in Appalachia (I'm in my early 40s from Eastern Kentucky) and I think the brain drain (ironically enough caused in large part by the successes of Great Society and other Democratic programs) is a very large factor. I think there are many similarities between my Appalachia and places like Oklahoma.

      The issue for me is - how do progressive ideas find their way into a given community?  In my part of Appalachia, Kentucky and West Virginia, progressive ideas were introduced by the UMWA.  I grew up in a strong union family, in a strong union area, where the union and the values it represented were a strong mitigating factor on the natural cultural conservativism of a rural, all-white, Baptist population.  

      But the Appalachia I knew as a child has all but disappeared.  I just read an article today stating that there are no longer ANY union coal miners in all of Eastern Kentucky.  When I was a child, almost every able-bodied male in Eastern Kentucky was not only a coal miner but a union coal miner.  This collapse of the UMWA contributed to both a general economic collapse (population is declining all through Appalachi as people leave to find work elsewhere) as well as an intellectual collapse. The disappearance of the Union as an institution meant that, increasingly, the people of Appalachia had few other insitutional connections other than their churches.  Religion and religious ideology wins by default.

      The other contribuing factor to this decline would be the temporary successes of the unions and various Democratic programs.  During the early 1980s I was part of the first generation of Appalachians to attend college in significant numbers.  My father made enough money as a union miner so that, with the aid of scholarhships and loans and grants, I was able to become the first member of my family to go to college, let alone end up with a college degree.  But while we were away at college, the unions collapsed, the economy tanked, and the religious and political right rose to power up and down the region.  Who can blame so many people of my graduating class for not returning?

      So, through a combination of these social and political elements, those who remained behind in Appalachia (at least my part of it) were those people who were least capable of (academically speaking) and least disposed (tempermentally speaking) to accept and adapt to change.  The people who remained were, almost by nature, more emotionally and intellectually conservative, more cautious, more wary of strangers, more frightened of change, more intellectually disposed to the pull of fundamentalist religion, and so on.

      I left the region for college, became increasingly radical, and never went back.  My brother took a job as a welder for the railroad, and, as a union member, continunes to vote Democratic and talk that good, old fashioned union talk.  My sister married the son of a local preacher, joined church, and found herself unable to vote for Obama because, as she told my father (much to his dismay), she could not as a Christian cast a vote for a Muslim!

      So, in a sense, my family exemplifies a number of possible choices for Appalachians.  The real trick would be finding a way to get us all on the same Democratic side, which is where I think we all naturally belong.

  •  Dems don't need (nor will get) all 50 States (0+ / 0-)

    These people seem to want to insist on being the way they are. This  seems to be the heartland of the evangelical nut jobs. There is no point in trying to "reach out" to them, let them come into reality if they care to. If they never do, I really don't give a damn.

    •  No one can say it's impossible. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      droogie6655321, stillwaters

      It's worth trying, in order to weaken conservatism, and to let OK progressives know that we care about their goals.

      •  We need long term planning, like what the right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        interrobang

        did in the 80's.  We need to support some liberal talk radio programs in red states, so there is a different kind of information coming in. Talk radio is incredibly important.

        We need to have an active Democratic organization in these states, that becomes a presence by working on issues local people care about. Stereotypes of liberals fade when people meet and work with actual liberals.

        Vote John McCain for a Hundred Year War!

        by Fiona West on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 04:05:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Surrounded by Texas, Arkansas, KS and MO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stillwaters

    OK looks like the red heart of the heartland.

  •  Two reasons; Evangelicals and Racists (8+ / 0-)

    My husband and I lived in Tulsa Oklahoma when we were first married. I can't tell you how many arguments I had with the Evangelicals. At the time, I didn't even know what an Evangelical was. But I soon found out. The society was permeated with it.
    And ignorance was plentiful too. And racism was deeper than in Texas, where I am from, which is saying something. I am guessing it hasn't changed much since then. I hope I am wrong.

    •  Agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linnie, i like bbq, stillwaters

      The bible thumpers make OK red. Missouri is the same as I see it. In Missouri, evangelicals are about 36-37 % of voters compared to, from what I've seen, about 26% at a national level. Do you know what the percent is in OK? I bet it is equal or more than MO.

    •  I also agree with this observation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linnie, Coffee Geek, i like bbq

      Religious intolerance

      OK is the state that ran an atheist family out of town and out of state.

      The family's crime? The oldest daughter, as a basketball player, did not care to participate in the prayer-circle that both teams formed before the game. She was ostrasized by the entire school, including the principal. She was then accused of various petty crimes, such as stealing.

      It was way too much for the entire family, and they left OK for more tolerant pastures.

      This just shows how anti-liberal these people can be. And it isn't because of one or two radicals. The entire community took part in this horrible display of hatred and intolerance.

  •  May Family Left OK in 1950 (4+ / 0-)

    for California, having bought property here '43 anticipating a future move. I was the first to be born here but growing up I was steeped in OK family history and I still had lots of older relatives living there when I was a boy.

    My family were all staunch Democrats, real New Dealers and have pretty much stayed that way here in CA.

    I remember an Oklahoma that produced Woody Guthrie and Will Rogers, a dustbowl and an exodus but one thing only my dad and I did not take from OK was a disturbing fundamentalist Christianity- all others in my family are fervent fundies.

    Where the churches once preached economic populism in response to the tragedy of the Depression, by the 1960's the pukes had made huge inroads in these churches because of the fear stirred up by the civil rights movement and later, all those commie DFH's against the Vietnam war.

    It was on my first visit to Oklahoma in 1962 I saw "separate but equal" signage. Whites only. "Negroes" only. I saw the old paint chipped schoolhouse for "Negroes". I saw the ancient water fountains for their use and I knew this wasn't something I quite understood. And I think when all of that started going away under the aegis of the Democratic Party, a backlash was engineered, much as it was throughout the deeper south by the Pukes and it has been perpetuated through the churches these deeply religious people go to.

    These are just some observations from one who knew people form a time when Oklahoma was progressive and one other thing that seems to have changed. They really would have been offended to be called "Okies". ;)

    "Much law, but little justice": Proverb

    by Dave925 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:55:43 AM PST

  •  In 2012, (0+ / 0-)

    We'll make the republicans really worry about Georgia, Texas, and Arizona.

    In 2016, with nominee Amy Klobuchar, we'll make them worry about Oklahoma too!

  •  Okay, I'll give it a shot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, Fiona West

    It is a combination of things.  One is the failure of liberals, or more properly democrats, in the 60's and 70's to fashion a better strategy for helping the long-disenfranchised black population than affirmative action.  Affirmative action left all the trappings of wealth and power intact-if you were in the same social class as a Kennedy or a Bush you still got into the finest schools, got the inheritances, got the legacies, got all the advantages of white privelege and suffered nothing at all from affirmative action.  The "left" politicians patted themselves on the back about helping the black man, but sacrificed absolutely nothing.  They left the sacrifice to the poor, unconnected whites.  This was not popular either in its result or in the chicken-hawk way it was applied.

    Another facet is the notion that because guns are bad in the city, then some guy out in the boondocks should have his taken away.  I've lived an hour from he nearest town and I certainly had a gun.  In the red state I grew up in there are guns everywhere-in fact you should assume that most of the people you see on the street either have a gun on them or in their car.  the notion that because some shithead in NYC is a robber some goodoldboy can't be trusted with a gun also rankles them.

    Then there is the failure of the educational systems to actually teach any kind of real history-its primarily an indoctrination process of the James Webb type of fighting scotsman patriotism.

    Repupblicans have been adroit in exploiting this and their main medium has been to innundate the radio waves with right-wing propoganda, station after station, repeated over and over.

    I won't even go into the evangelical stuff because its been covered upthread.

    Thats what I think it is.

    (-7.0, -6.4) "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

    by NearlyNormal on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:57:53 AM PST

    •  I think you're very on target, especially on the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal

      importance of right wing propaganda via talk radio. Any group will absorb propaganda repeated over years and years and years when there is no effective counter-argument.

      Two other points:
      --I think affirmative action can be justified to many working class/middle class whites in specific situations, but there has been way to little emphasis on race-neutral progams to deal with the same things -- ie poor whites wanting their kids to get into college too, etc.  Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs did often benefit poor whites as well as poor blacks, and that is probably one of the reasons the conservatives were so hysterically bent on killing them, because of the potential for poor blacks and whites seeing the common threads of their situations, not to mention making human connections with each other. I know two white kids who got into college thru Great Sociaty programs in the 60s, one from the Polish slums of Gary, the other from the Hill Country of Texas. Both came out with a strong commitment to racial equality.

      -- THe three great divides in our culture are race, gender -- and class. The saying in Appalachia, "If you're poor and white, get out of sight" is often said with a laugh but it is loaded with bitterness. And why not?  The fact is that middle class white liberals often have at last some commitment to the fact that a black kid's mind is a terrible thing to waste, while considering some white Okie's kid's mind to be pretty much a joke. Unexamined, blind class bigotry among white liberals is definitely a reality; it has rankled me at times even here at DKos. And it has been played on and exploited by the right, with great glee and great effectiveness, for decades.

      White liberals/Democrats need to 1) reach out to alienated white working class groups on the basis that we are the people who want to bring jobs and better education into their communities-- and then live up to that;  2)stop making stupid offensive infuriating sniggering jokes about hillbillies, West Virginia, Oklahoma, etc.; 3)become more aware of the genuine needs of white rural and working class groups without lessening our commitment to people of color.

      ANd like I said above -- find some good liberal talk radio hosts, and raise money to keep them on the air in places like Oklahoma and West Virginia long enough for them to develop local support.

      Vote John McCain for a Hundred Year War!

      by Fiona West on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 04:49:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conservative Image and the Oil Industry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    who dat

    I imagine that the oil industry dominates the region the way that the aeronautics industry used to dominate Puget Sound. Frankly, very few Democrats support the oil industry. In that respect (and I know this sounds cold) what is good for Oklahoma may be bad for the rest of the country (and vice-versa). At least, that will be the case until the state's economy becomes less dependent on the industry.

    Of course, that may be happening already. I really have no idea what life is like in Tulsa or Oklahoma City (other than the fact that one of them has an NBA franchise). You mentioned that Democrats did well with folks who weren't college educated. That implies that they did poorly with those that are. Again, that suggests that the only college graduates that move to Oklahoma are the ones that graduate with Petroleum or Geologic degrees. This may be due to image more than anything. There are pretty and culturally interesting places places in Oklahoma, but folks outside of the area aren't aware of that.

    As you may have guessed, I live in Seattle. I was born here, but of course, most of the people I know moved here. I know of one guy who moved simply because he thought this was an interesting city. I was shocked. It never struck me as being that cool. It has excellent hiking opportunities (perhaps the best city in the U.S.) but I never thought that as a city, it was cool. Maybe the folks in Oklahoma need their own "sound" ("grunge" is taken -- maybe "dusty" will work for you). Another reason people moved here is because of our graduate programs. Oklahoma seems to have very good schools, so maybe it just needs to try and pull in more folks from outside. The biggest reason people move here, of course, is for the jobs. The Puget Sound area has done a good job diversifying (thus attracting software and bio-tech engineers). I think Oklahoma maybe just needs to do a little more of the same thing. Whatever you do, try and preserve the cool, old parts of your cities. Sprawling, western style cities (which Seattle is, to some degree) are simply not attractive to liberal folks. When the liberal folks move in, they have a tendency to spread their ideas around.

  •  Electoral college (0+ / 0-)

    Some states matter more than others due to the electoral college, so certain states get ignored in the presidential election campaigns. Oklahoma is one of those states. Oklahomans don't really know Barack Obama. If memory serves, he spent little time there in the primaries, conceding the state to Hillary, and he never went there during the height of the campaign.

    The electoral college is a crap system. We elect a president for all fifty states, and a presidential candidate should feel obliged to talk to everyone, not just voters in so-called swing states. Maybe President Obama can make friends in Oklahoma during his term, but he ought to have talked face to face to the Okies during the campaign.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:00:40 AM PST

  •  At least we tried... (0+ / 0-)
    The northside is almost dead. :(
  •  I would absolutely HATE to live there (0+ / 0-)
  •  Why Rice Lost/Other thoughts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stillwaters

    You said it right here:

    The state also chose by a wide margin to re-elect shiftless backbencher Sen. Jim Inhofe over State Sen. Andrew Rice, a candidate who ran a progressive campaign and never once tried to attempt to hide his liberal Democratic roots. Rice won only four counties southeast of Tulsa County, including Muskogee County -- Muskogee being the hometown of Sen. Tom Coburn.

    Rice ran as a "liberal Democrat" in a conservative state. I liked him and thought that he would give Inhofe a run for his money, but he didn't. And he ended up falling short by a landslide margin.

    Part of the problem is that I think that Obama never even visited OK once. I don't think that he had much of an organization. Also I think that a lot of the problem is that many voters there probably think that the National Democratic Party looks down them as being "ignorant hillbillies". The other problem is that perhaps the local Democratic Party might be disorganized.

    The other unfortunate part is that Oklahoma is probably in the most conservative part of the country. Northern Texas, western Oklahoma, northeastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, and southwestern Kansas just seem to be extremely conservative. McCain polled in the 80% range in many Texas Panhandle counties. McCain got more than 80% in Oklahoma's Cimmaron County. In places like Midland and Odessa Obama fared probably even worse than John Kerry.

    The bad news is that that region is probably shaping up to be the most conservative in the country. If these electoral results are to believed those counties are probably even more conservative than places like Idaho, Utah, Kansas, the Dakotas, or Wyoming. I'm not sure how to reach those voters.

    Now the good news is that most of these counties are losing population. Much like the Democratic Party in 1968 the few counties where McCain increased the GOP share of the vote were in the small rural counties that are losing population. Those areas may be turning more Republican, but they are steadily losing people. Oklahoma lost a House district in 2000. The only area where Republican support seems to be increasing is in rural precincts where the population is steadily emptying.

    But I also do think that, if we are truly to be a fifty state party with a fifty state strategy, we need to also include these Americans in our plan for the country. I think that we need to convince them that they, too, are part of our vision for America.

    I would ultimately say that we won't ever win these areas beyond maybe an election or two where you have a very tainted Republican, but we should concentrate on improving our performance there. I think that perhaps part of their resistance to the national Democratic Party is that these voters think that they aren't part of their vision. They think that the Democratic Party looks down on them and cares more about voters in the cities and the suburbs.

    •  Obama DID visit.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stillwaters

      In March of 2007.  I was there.

      And I really don't see that Rice ran a "liberal" campaign.  Inhofe DID do his damndest to paint him as a flaming liberal.

      Rice voted for our draconian immigration law, probably because he thought he had to to keep Inhofe from using that.  The bill was going to pass regardless.  But he hardly has been acting the flaming liberal as a state senator.

  •  Black Wall Street (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, droogie6655321

    Don't forget that though Tulsa is something of a cultural oasis in Oklahoma, it's also the site of the worst race riot it American history.

    By 1921, the black community there was progressing quite well.  Their financial success had earned them the nickname of America's Black Wall Street.  It was all destroyed in a matter of days when the white people went on a rampage and burned nearly everything to the ground.

    Black Wall Street

    Note also that Oklahoma is known as the "Sooner State."  When Oklahoma was opened and the land rush began, some people sneaked in early to establish plots--the sooners.  These people who cheated the system are now considered heroes.  When you also make a big deal of your religious and moral convictions, that's a lot of cognitive dissonance to have buzzing around in your head.

    •  Yeah, I know (0+ / 0-)

      I took classes near Greenwood, where those fires burned years ago.

      "Center-right country" my Okie ass.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:11:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh PLEASE! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prof Dave, dclarke

      As a lifelong Oklahoman, born in Tulsa, now in Edmond.....to use the Tulsa Race Riots as an example, something that happened when my father, who has been dead for 10 years, was an INFANT, is PREPOSTEROUS.

      What about other race riots that have happened in other parts of the country, even blue states such as California?

      And don't even get me started on the sooner bullshit. Do you honestly think we sit around and talk about how great the people who cheated were?  When people think "sooner" they are thinking FOOTBALL.

      I am very worried about our state but these two things are RIDICULOUS!

      •  Unfortunately, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lrhoke

        this whole diary needs to be transplanted to someplace that actually wants to help instead of make lists of enemies.

        This very smart exercise on the part of droogie6655321 has broken down into bs.

        Would Obama have discouraged us from attempting to turn OK blue, and how to accomplish it?

        Would they have said these things about Indiana last year?  Or about NC?  Or about CA for passing the anti-gay marriage amendment?

        What a troubling thing this is to me.

  •  It starts with the Churches (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, stillwaters

    It's a highly religious state where divisive Christianity is taught to the masses.  Get rid of the preachers and reform the Institutionalized Hateful Christianity being preached.

    They all call themselves Christians, but they act furthest from the message.  Just look at the electoral map.  It's disgusting.  McCain won the states where Divisive Institutionalized Christianity is taught and also where the Pastors and Politicians are in bed with one another.

    I go over all of that and more on my site if you guys ever want to check it out and have illuminating discussions.  Here

  •  Democrats???? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kayakbiker

    After reading diary I think Oklahoma has Democrats only by registration but not by heart.
    If Democrats are able to vote for John McCain, after 8 disastrous years of current administration which could continue under his presidency, then may be it is time to start building new Democratic Party in Oklahoma with new young and progressive blood. May be the reason is that not many young people are wiling
    to migrate to Oklahoma and change political dynamic there. It is not surprising if you think about tornadoes and destroyed homes every single year.

  •  Living in Idaho (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stillwaters

    and having lived in Oklahoma City, I can sympathize.

    I think the trick is to build effective state organizations that have true support from the national level. I know that Democrats in Idaho can often feel that we're an after thought. By choosing viable, winnable candidates we can slowly bring about change.

    Look at SLC with it's Democratic mayor, or ID-01 that just tossed out Sali. Heck, we elected Cecil Andrus governor for four different terms, so it can be done.

    Once you've got a good ground game I think it's vital that a candidate make a campaign stop in the larger cities. I think a visit from Obama or Biden (or even one of the top-level Dems) in Pocatello would've tipped the balance in Bannock county from Republican to Democratic, same with a stop in Boise.

    Living in a state that's firmly red we can often feel left out of the national politics. Republicans don't campaign here very often (though Mitt Romney did stop in Idaho a couple of times) because they know it's safe territory, and Democrats don't come by because they assume they can't win it.

    •  No doubt (0+ / 0-)

      Recall Obama's visit to Boise in February turned what would have probably been a solid but unspectacular caucus win and turned it into a full-on rout.

      I remember when Tom Harkin came to Boise in '92. He won our caucus that year HANDILY, even though Bill Clinton's nomination was a foregone conclusion by that point.

      A couple visits could have made a difference in the general too. Note Obama only lost Ada County by six points. Compare that to a 23-point blowout win by Bush in Ada only four years ago.

      (D-Idaho), BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

      by W Lane Startin on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 12:01:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ask. General Wesley Clark (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, Coffee Geek

    OKLAHOMA is the only Primary he won in 2004...

    (he grew up in Arkansas)

    wiki entry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

    by ornerydad on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:07:08 AM PST

  •  Grapes of Wrath (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Coffee Geek

    Maybe stop attacking it through the usual venues. Stop the political angel and go to art.

    Get all the libraries and teachers to do one of these "Book of the Month" things--where everyone, state-wide, is expected to read  Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath". (This was done with "To Kill a Mockingbird" across the country not too long ago.) Follow these up with "discussions" and modified teach-ins about class struggle, the current tax structure, and how progressive farmers were in the dust bowl in the 40's in terms of economic understanding.

    Or have a traveling caravan of public readings of the book--maybe some famous Hollywood types would donate their services--around the state. Norman Lear might be a good contact for this roster?

    My thinking on this is disorganized, but the idea struck me just as I was dashing out the door.

    Basically the point is to think outside the box since other approaches are not working.

    Or there might be other books that are more on target.

    Maybe Willy Nelson who does so much for farm aid could do a series of teach-in concerts.I think he's open to this kind of project. Nelson's wife is apparently Randi Rhode's best friend.

    You get what I'm driving at.

  •  My Dad blamed the OKC newspaper (8+ / 0-)

    The Gaylords and other wingnuts were able to turn Oklahoma from a democratic state to a GOP state by buying up the newspapers and using extreme, racist propaganda to make being a "liberal" or a democrat flat unacceptable in polite (white) society. In order to reverse that we need to organize the same Obama coalition that has worked in other states.

    Minorities are growing enough now to be a real force if we can get them to register and vote. I'm a Ponca Indian and I know my people don't vote much, native people are 9% of the population, Afican/Americans are 8% and I think Hispanics are about 4-5%. They could be a deciding swing vote if properly organized. Poor and working class whites are voting on social issues against themselves. They need to be educated and organized to vote their own interests. It'll take time but Oklahoma has a very populist Constitution written back when the "Wobblies" were strong here. Turning Oklahoma will be tough but I believe their is a path to do it.

    •  That is not true.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Downpuppy

      My spouse works for that newspaper.  Yes their editorial page is conservative, but they also endorsed an openly gay democrat for corporation commisioner.

      That stuff may have been true years ago when the elder gaylord was still alive, but much has changed.

      In 2000 Oklahoma had some blue counties that went for Gore.  In the late 1980's and 90's we had very liberal politician such as Mike Synar and David Walters.

      I really feel the influence is Rightwing media, as in Rush and O'Reilly as well as the fundamentalist churches.

      When I encounter people like this, they cite rightwing radio or Faux news, they don't quote the Oklahoman.  My spouse has a co-worker that is a major wingnut and he calls the newspaper a "liberal rag".

      •  gaylords (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dinclusin, i like bbq

        The Gaylords and their sick ilk in Oklahoma fund anti-american, hate issues all over the country. They and others rich asshats like the Coors family want to return to the robber baron/slavery era. The Oklahoman is a sick piece of shit left on doorsteps so people can't avoid stepping in it.

      •  Please allow me to disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq
        Whatever that rag is now, ("Some of our best friends are gay," really?) historically it has been a malign influence for at least the back half of the twentieth century. It channeled Rushbo and Billo The Clown before those idiots were out of diapers. Wherever there was bigotry and ignorance and intolerance to confirm the Okie zeitgeist, there were the Gaylords.

        Of course the "little people" like the reporters weren't in on the gag. And of course the rise of snake-handling Mega-Churche$$$ rolled the ball along.

        But let us not carry revisionism too far. The Diary asked "WTF, OK?" The Gaylord empire and the other media barons of the right were the very effective propagandists of the plutocracy. They have been instrumental in the sowing of the wind.

        •  Well.... (0+ / 0-)

          I am in a better position to know and the gaylord offspring are not their father at all.  Yes, conservative, but not racist.  The paper supports a poor, mostly black, school nearby and the chairman of the company, a Gaylord, personally tutors children at that school.

          I won't deny the influence the Late EL Gaylord had on Oklahoma politics, but he has been dead for several years now and to smear his offspring with the same brush is unfair.  I'm not crazy about their politics, but they are very supportive of public education and can occasionally surprise on the editorial page.  

          I am not revising ANYTHING, I am saying there IS a distinction between now and 15-20 years ago.  And when the late Gaylord wielded his power, WE DID have liberal politicians such as the late Mike Synar, and David Walters.  As recently as 2000 we had several counties vote for Al Gore.  The issue is with the churches and Rush Limbaugh and his ilk.

  •  Zogby just asked... (0+ / 0-)

    about Oklahoma in his post-election survey.  "What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Oklahoma?"

  •  Interesting question (0+ / 0-)

    I grew up in a small isolated town in the mountains of Colorado. I have lived morere than a year in the following locations, Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, and California.

    I have been thinking about your question and I think there are several reasons for it. many contained in previous comments.

    One comment "Is to enlist hundreds of thousands of Californians, liberal midwesterners and Northeasterners to migrate to OK.  That's the most reaonable plan I can think of." I have seen a huge migration of people from both coasts into my native Colorado, not only does this provide a voting block but it breaks the mindset. It forces people to discusss and debate, well if they can do it friendly enough to be listened to.

    Unfortunatly the in your face approach like this comment "fundamentalism.  Appalachian/Scots-Irish culture that appears to be alienated from modern, multi-cultural America." or "What isn't wrong with Oklahoma is probably a better question ;-)
    I'm in SC, so I truly do feel you....."

    I grew up in a backwater town, my highschool classmates have gone on to become doctors lawyers, bums, alcoholics, gay and everything under the sun. my daughter and I were looking at my 1974 highschool year book and I could tell here about everyone one of my 103 classmates, their families, we did care about one another, so when i read a comment like that seemingly dripping with sarcasm, basically saying oklahomans were the guys from the movie deliverance, My point being there would be nothing coming in from outside oklahoma with that rampant attitude I would want to listen to

    and as I am running out of time and have to run this comment "The rugged cowboy -- the quintessential Amurkan -- persona has looked better on Republicans lately, but there's no reason it shouldn't look good on Democrats." and that is going to be a tough sell

    Good luck

  •  Tulsa girl, born and raised here and all I can (3+ / 0-)

    give you is just some anecdotal evidence of what you seem to be dealing with.

    First, that little teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy blue dot you see in Oolagah, Ok is my family - mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law, voting for Obama.  Mom 69, and Dad 71.  But, joining the rest of the red is my beloved eldest son and his wife, voting for McCain...sigh.  Also, part of the red, is a good and lifelong friend who informed me Tuesday night that though he likes Obama he voted for the "retard" (sorry for the politically incorrect, his words not mine), but he saw some dumb program on the history channel and is afraid Obama might be the antiChrist.  I promise, I talked till I was blue in the face, trying to convince him otherwise, and the thing is he really, really thinks Obama is brilliant and likes him, but at the last minute just couldn't overcome his fears.  

    Second, as for my son.  I think those guys he works with have been a terrible influence on him.  Through the last few years, he has sent me email after email touting the problems of illegal immigration.  My son can really dig in when he wants to and to avoid a real fight with him and in the interest of family unity, I just couldn't get into any long term disagreements with him, coward that I am.  Of my two sons, he is the one we are closest to, the father of our grandchildren and the one who always calls home and in everything except our disparate politics, I adore him.  My second son, the proverbial wild-child who has yet to settle down, but is overall a good guy (age 29) is the one that we are less likely to hear from for months at a time and duty bound from babyhood to still give us the occasional headache and heartache did not vote at all, though last time his dad hounded him and hounded him until he voted for Kerry.  He lived in Oklahoma at the time, but now lives in Dallas.  Did I mention that I adore him as well, but Adam being Adam... well parents will understand that sometimes one child is simply a lot tougher on you than another.

    Third, friends of my parents, those senior citizens, McCain voters.  Like it or not Droog, those people are holding fast to some life-long prejudices.  Mom and dad were having dinner a couple of weeks ago with a group and one asked another what they thought of the Colin Powell endorsement and a lady replied "Just one n***er sticking up for another.  Mom said she was absolutely furious with the woman.  She has told me, weeks and weeks ago that she thought that she and dad were the probably going to be the minority in their travel group, voting for Obama, so on this one I was forewarned of what to expect of people my parents age - anecdotally speaking - that being a group of some 25 couples.

    Lastly, Inhofe.  Oklahoma will have to pry his bony taloned grip off their forearms only after rigormortis has set in.

    •  May I ask how your Fury manifested? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      The Overton Window just took a left turn. Push it farther.

      by dj angst on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:16:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree - the "end times" thinking is an issue (9+ / 0-)

      I want everyone to understand - especially those that are away from the middle section of the Great Plains and the South.

      The "end times" "Left Behind" thinking is absolutely overwhelming.  These people, like Sarah Palin, believe fervently they are living in a "spirit world". Everything, I MEAN EVERYTHING, they do, say, or think is filtered through this before it ever happens.

      Much of the country looked at Sarah Palin's speaking and activities as a big laugh.  Being a former Oklahoman - I was all too familiar already with the archetypes and life patterns.

      This will never be able to be changed politically.  This is a spiritual problem and will need to be changed at a grassroots level by the churches.

      By the way - this end times eschatology - has NEVER EVER been part of Christian theology until the last 150-200 years.  And then, for the most part, only in America.  It was always there lurking - poor people thinking they were going to get the opportunity to see the rich sinners get some commeupance - but the Hal Lindsey LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH phenomenon of the 1970s was like a shot of steroids to this thinking.  I saw it change my own church in Oklahoma drastically.

      George W Bush was a firm believer in this.  His world view was shaped by it - and now we can see the consequences.  I sat with amazement for the past 8 years as almost every speech he gave at a serious time was blanketed with "hidden" quotes that would click in millions of hypnotized brains in the Great Plains and the South.  It was no wonder they voted for him - he was one of them.  They understand the President cannot testify from the Oval Office - but the little quotes constantly coming forth from his mouth were enough to let them know he was really on their side.  I truly believe the 28% who are still with him - are basically the Southern Baptists and the Assemblies of God.

      Somehow, someway, the innocent people of Oklahoma have for generations been caught up in this eschatology tsunami.  They are really good people - really - I just do not know how to change what has happened.

  •  I had the same thought (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stas61690

    We were talking about that anomaly at the office yesterday.  I really have no explanation.  If it were jsut the rural areas you could assume that the same issues of insularity - and consequent bigotry -applied there as in the Appalachian and Ozark regions, but even the cities went Republican in Oklahoma.  I truly don't understand.

  •  from Vermont: take heart! (2+ / 0-)

    Not so long ago, VT was the most Republican state in the nation--and the only state never to go for FDR.

    What you need to do, you need to have your traditional agricultural base be weakened, you need to move to a more diversified and boutique rural economy, while meanwhile attracting the equivalent of a lot of New Yorkers and Bostonians who start out as vacationers. While at the same time Pres. Obama spearheads new social programs (health care, anyone?) that eventually win over the skeptical traditional Republicans.

    But it might take a generation or two.

    "I made the wrong mistakes" --Thelonious Monk

    by theloniously on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:16:20 AM PST

  •  No surprise for this former Okie. (6+ / 0-)

    I was born in Lawton while dad was in the Army at Ft. Sill. At the time my parents had to conceal their Roman Catholicism from the neighbors, because of the very real risk they would be victims of arson as "Papists".

    Have a look at that brilliant NY Times map demonstrating which counties turned more Democratic and which turned more Republican this time around. Those pink/red Republican counties trace the course of Scotts/Irish immigrants from Appalachia westward to the Ozarks and into Oklahoma, which is remarkably homogenous demographically.

    It will be a long, slow, difficult slog for Oklahoma to become a bit more informed and progressive.

    •  I looked at that map myself (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sistersilverwolf, i like bbq

      and drew similar conclusions.

      http://silencedmajority.blogs.com/...

      Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

      by Kayakbiker on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:41:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is with the right-wing Xian terrorism? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq

      Oklahoma, home of Timothy McVeigh.  Your parents were afraid of arson.  There seems to be more than the average amount of religious terrorism down there.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:00:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  McVeigh (0+ / 0-)

        Tim McViegh WAS NOT from Oklahoma. He just murdered scores of people in OKC. He was the child of out of a laided off auto worker from Michigan.

      •  Timothy McVeigh (0+ / 0-)

        came to us from the beautiful blue state of (upstate) New York, I am sorry to say. Born into an Irish Catholic family in Lockwood NY.

        This is something that crops up on DKos from time to time and just amazes me; a paranoid wacko comes down from a northern blue state, kills and maims hundreds of us, and somehow it's blamed on us.

        [-5.50, -5.79] Conviction without experience makes for harshness. -Flannery O'Connor

        by sjcyoung on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 04:45:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Scots-Irish had a reputation like the (0+ / 0-)
      rough-hewn Afghan tribes--but based out of the hinterlands of Europe--for many centuries. The Scottish hills contained tribes that were rough, tough, constantly warring, and very difficult to govern. The Brits exported them to
      America for their fighting abilities--to provide a buffer protecting the other English colonists from the Indians. (If I recall correctly, Senator Jim Webb wrote an interesting book on the history of the Scots-Irish in America.)

      Support Andrew Rice for US Senate: link vs. Jim "global warming is a hoax" Inhofe

      by tsunami on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:08:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indians... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Over the Edge, i like bbq
    ...can play a big role. McCain got his lowest margins of victory in Cherokee, Muskogee, and Adair Counties (Heavily Native) and Cherokee, Muskogee, Okmulgee and McIntosh counties (heavily Muskogee and Cherokee populated) went for Rice. Northeastern Oklahoma is fairly moderate (esp. for the South), and the large Indian population has a hand in that.

    My home county, Cherokee, has usually bucked the state trend electorally, going for Clinton twice, Gore in 2K, and for Carter in '76.

    As for Southeastern Oklahoma ("Little Dixie"), there is a ton of racism there to this day, and the cultural vote is still at the forefront. We're a long ways from the 20's when Oklahoma almost went to the Socialist candidate.

    Life isn't fair. You have to make it unfair in your favor.

    by Badgerjohn on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:17:39 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary - surprised it got recced (2+ / 0-)

    I've often wondered just why it is that this is the reddest state in the nation, and yet Dems maintain an overall voter registration advantage over Repugs.  I'm partially answering this question by moving to Oregon next year, but it is an intriguing question for those who plan to remain here.

    Tulsa has a pretty good local Democratic organization - Elaine Dodd, Tulsa Party chair, is a former Deaniac and has been very good at engaging Democratic activists around the city.  The problem is that, for some reason, we just can't break through.  

    I think I have to blame the local media for a lot of it.  The Tulsa World and the Daily Oklahoman, for example, two of the state's major papers, have a clear right wing bias.

    But I think there's also an element of racism that doomed it for Obama in particular this time.  I think a lot of the "Democrats" on the rolls in Oklahoma are actually Dixiecrats who have been voting Republican for decades.  I'd like to look at the county results for 2004 and see if they're similar to 2008.

    Visit Sinister, the home of a left-handed left-wing Okie Jew.

    by ethanthej on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:17:40 AM PST

  •  I have a friend in OKC (0+ / 0-)

    She visited NYC some months ago, and when we were nearing the Times Square Recruiting Station, she said, "You know I'm a republican, right?"  I told her that there were plenty of democrats in the military.

    Here's one of the things she said this week:

    I would have prefered Hillary but she's not interchangable with Obama IMO... McCain isn't my favorite Republican but I love Palin.

    Like we talked about in NYC I'd vote for the best guy even though I'm far right with my views. I am open minded enough to listen.

    One can only hope.