Barone on America, Steyn on Europe

RealClearPolitics has posted Michael Barone’s impressive analysis of the 2002 election: “Life, liberty and property.”
Among the many interesting observations Barone makes is this one: “Party preference was much more closely related to cultural factors — level of education, racial or ethnic identification and, most of all, religion. Strongly religious voters were very likely to vote Republican. Unreligious or not-very-religious voters were very likely to vote Democratic. If the only thing you knew about a person was his or her religious beliefs and from that guessed how he or she would vote, you would have been right a very high percentage of the time. And if you knew that person’s views on abortion rights and gun control, you would have been right almost every time.”
Mark Steyn’s column today outlines the interEuropean “subplot” in the debate over Iraq: “It’s not really about Saddam.”
Steyn takes a few twists and turns along the way to this conclusion: “For…us, what’s at stake since September 11th, since that Durban conference even, is the survival of ‘the West’ — an elastic term that has traditionally stretched from trigger-happy Texas to statist Sweden. If M. Chirac’s vision of Europe prevails, we can pretty much guarantee, from his performance this last month, how the UN, NATO, the ICC, and all the rest will develop. Therefore, it is necessary that he emerge from the ruins of Saddam’s presidential palace as dazed and diminished as possible. That’s not the main reason for going to war, but it’s now an important sub-plot.”

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