Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Mrs. Scholar: anti-war, voting for Bush 

I received this morning a link to Rich Lowry's column yesterday on NRO.  No surprise there, except for the sender:  my wife.  She never sends these things, and dislikes arguing with me.  She is in many ways the old isolationist Republican: She voted Bush in 2000 because in part she abhorred the foreign excursions of the Clinton/Gore administration, just as she had for Bush 41 in the Gulf.  Her support for our war in Afghanistan was at best tepid.  And she has argued consistently with me that invading Iraq was a mistake (though not often, as she doesn't think arguing politics makes for better marital relations.)

However, over the weekend I took the day off from NARN and instead went to a nice party with three friends with whom I always discuss politics.  Two are staunch Democrats, one is a Rush Limbaugh frequent listener (I've got him turned onto Hewitt now), and me.  Talk turned to politics, and to my surprise my wife argues vociferously against Kerry and Edwards.  Particularly Edwards, as her family has had bad experiences with personal injury lawyers.  "But you oppose Iraq still, right?  Are you voting for Nader?" I ask.  "No.  I'll still vote for Bush, even though I think the war was a bad strategy.  I'm certainly not voting for that Edwards."  She then roared with laughter when the Rush listener referred to the Democratic tickets as "the ambulance chaser and the gigolo."  I don't believe I'm allowed to use the word "gigolo" in my house.

Reflecting on this, I am wondering how unusual she is.  (Well she is unusual, as she is a positive outlier to Beckhap's Law.)  We assume, I think too readily, that anyone who opposes the invasion of Iraq will automatically not vote for Bush.  How true can that really be?  Are preferences really that lexicographic, that there are issues over which one cannot trade off?  At least in the case of Mrs. Scholar, the answer is no.