It's a common fallacy that America is divided between the humble, unpretentious residents of small-town America and the elitist poseurs on the coasts. What goes unnoticed is that Middle America has an equally large share of arrogance, rooted in provincialism and sanctimonious religiosity, and stoked by opportunistic Republicans cultivating ressentiment against "coastal elites" in order to conceal the true elitist agenda of the right. From today's Times:
"I left God's country," said Leon Mosley of Waterloo, Iowa, co-chairman of his state party. "They could use a bunch of people from Iowa to come here to show New Yorkers what life is all about, what being patriotic is all about, and what country is all about."
Could there be anything more transparently arrogant? Have you ever in your life heard a New Yorker claim that Iowans aren't real Americans? Jeanne, as usual, has the appropriate reply.