Here is what Markos says:
"Simplistic Red/Blue analyses need to die
Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 11:24:21 AM PST
Children living in Red states have poorer health than those in Blue states. Or at least says this new book.
But how does that account for the fact that some "Blue" states have Republicans in charge, and some "Red" states are very Democratic at the local level? The bottom 10 states -- Wyoming, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Now check it the partisan breakdowns of a few of those states in 2004:
Governor: Republican State Senate: 25D 10R State House: 63D 42R
Governor: Republican State Senate: 27D 8R State House: 72D 28R
Governor: Republican State Senate: 28D 24R State House: 75D 47R
Governor: Democrat State Senate: 26D 22R State House: 57D 44R
Governor: Democrat State Senate: 24D 18R State House: 42D 28R
Governor: Democrat State Senate: 24D 15R State House: 67D 37R
Other than it's not a good sign for Richardson that New Mexico is on this list (much depends on how much children's health has improved during his term), fact is that many of these states had either a Democratic trifecta, or significant influence at the state level.
What about the top 10?
According to his findings, nine of the 10 top states with the best outcomes for children today were blue states. The top 10 states, in order, were Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa (the sole red state in the group) and New Hampshire.
Nebraska is "Blue"? Who knew? But again, the analysis breaks down. Massachusetts and Connecticut have had long-running Republican dynasties in the governor's mansion. New Hampshire had been a solid Republican trifecta until current Democratic Gov. Lynch won in 2004 (and the rest of the state went Democratic in 2006) [Update: I forgot about Dem Gov. Jean Shaheen in the late 90s]. At the state level, Wisconsin had been pretty solidly Republican -- Recent Democratic governor after a string of Republicans, Senate 19R 14D, House 60R 39D in 2004. (Wisconsin Dems made significant gains in 2006, even taking over the state Senate).
And I haven't even gotten into how these states voted in their House and Senate races.
So trying to find correlation between child health care and whether people vote "Democratic" or "Republican" is a lot more complicated than simply looking at the 2004 presidential results."
I listened to NPR today and heard Donna Brazille, Gore's campaign manager, and David Gillespie formerly of the RNC, speaking of partisanship. I feel that both of these people are the problem.
I could not have disagreed with Gillespie more and I thought that Brazille was an inside the beltway idiot. Gillespie felt that his party's ideas were right and by default any other party's ideas were wrong. I disagree with him on his premise that there is a right idea and everything else is a wrong idea. Ideas are just ideas. Only time will tell if ideas end up being effective or not.
Why can't we disagree with people on policy and yet not always call them wrong. Why can't we argue for the effectiveness of our ideas and the validity of our goals, rather than the wrongness of this idea or that "bad" strategy? No one has the monopoly on ideas that work.
I am reminded of the staffer that ran down the hall in congress, after the 1994 election, and said something to this effect: "OK, we are in charge now, all Democrats get out of our building" We must all remember that congress represents American People. Ideas are just ideas. Let's find ones that work and retool the ones that don't. Is an idea working? Do we have enough information? If we don't then we need to get some and analyze the policy for effectiveness. Then we can change course. We can save the judgement of who ends up being right or wrong to the historians.