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  • 20 Fabulous Red County Destinations

       January 03, 2005

    In the immortal words of Bono, "nothing changes on New Year's Day". Certainly, 2005 hasn't brought on a new era of good feelings for Republicans to Madison's Capital Times. Not only do they gleefully continue their Bush bashing, but they also continue their annoying habit of removing content from their site within a week or so. (Because of that, you can click on "read more" below to view the Cap Times article referenced in this post.)

    This time, in addition to the usual Bush bashing, author Rob Zaleski promotes a new wave of red state ripping:

    That in order to survive - or, at least, to stave off serious depression - over the next four years, those of us who aren't into NASCAR and don't wear our patriotism or our religion on our sleeves might have to devise some creative strategies.

    Unfortunately, the most appealing strategy of all - seceding from the red states - seems far too complicated. So I believe we should heed the advice of people like J.G. Landsman of Madison, who suggested in a recent letter to The Capital Times that those of us who voted for John Kerry boycott the red states and spend our tourist dollars elsewhere.

    Except I think it would be a lot more fair to boycott only red counties, not entire states - except in the cases of Utah, Nebraska and Oklahoma, which were the only states in which every single county voted for Bush.

    And I don't mean just boycotting red counties in red states. I'm talking about boycotting the pro-Bush counties in blue states as well - including, of course, Wisconsin.

    Fortunately for like-minded liberals, Zaleski doesn't think this should be too hard since "if you look at the election results nationwide, you quickly realize that most of the fun places to visit - the ones that really matter - supported Kerry. Even in red states."

    While it'd be fun to dwell on Zaleski's statement that those who voted for Bush "don't matter" (wait, aren't the Dems the ones always bitching about how "every vote counts"?), I thought I'd provide our readers with a list of fantastic red county destinations. These are fun places to visit, that won't, apparently, be hosting some of our favorite liberals anytime soon.

    1. Hot Springs National Park in, yes, Arkansas (sorry, Bill)

    2. Palm Springs, California. So, Mr. Zaleski, I better not see you when I'm here next month!

    3. San Diego, California. I don't know about you, but I think the perfect weather, beautiful beaches, Coronado, the Zoo and more sounds like fun.

    4. La Jolla, California. Simply one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

    5. Del Mar, California. Where the surf meets the turf.

    6. The OC, bitch! That's right, Orange County, California went for Bush.

    7. While Denver & Boulder may be blue, the purple mountain majesty of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak are Bush country.

    8. Virtually the entire Gulf coast of Florida is "red". That includes places like Fort Myers, Naples & Sanibel.

    9. Disney fans can rest easy, as Orlando's home of Orange County went for Bush.

    10. The "Playground of the Northwest" in spectacular Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

    11. Kentucky's famous horse farms may have blue grass, but they too voted "red".

    12. The Jersey shore in Monmouth & Ocean counties.

    13. Saratoga Springs, New York: the best racing in the world each August, great natural beauty and famous spas and grand old hotels.

    14. Crater Lake in Oregon, not to mention the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which is odd, because I know they have great windsurfing there. ;-)

    15. The entire coast of South Carolina, from Myrtle Beach down to Hilton Head Island.

    16. The Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota.

    17. Tube down the Guadalope River in New Braunfels, Texas.

    18. Have the best fajitas in the world at Lupe Tortilla in Houston. Mmm...Lupe Tortilla...mmm.

    19. Wanna ski on Utah's Olympic-worthy slopes or bike in Moab? Then you're going to Bush country, my friend.

    20. John Kerry called it "Lambert Field", the rest of us know it as Lambeau Field, and when you make a pilgrimage to it, you're venturing into not just green and gold country, but good 'ole Bush red country too. And, head up the pennisula a bit and you can also stay in Wisconsin's famed Door County. Not bad for place that "doesn't matter", huh?

    Unlike some silly folks, I'm certainly not discouraging anyone from visiting so called "blue" counties. America is a amazing country and it's full of fun places to visit and cities and counties that matter a whole lot, no matter who they voted for.

    Rob Zaleski: Look for the blue in red states

    By Rob Zaleski
    January 3, 2005

    Have faith, they told us.

    Give the guy a chance.

    OK, so maybe he was a little cavalier at times, a little too smug. Maybe he acted like he didn't care what anyone on the other side of the political spectrum thought. Maybe he's even a big reason the country's so divided.

    But now that he's been re-elected, just watch how he'll bring us together.

    That pretty much sums up what George W's supporters said in the days immediately after his startling victory on Nov. 2. (Startling in that this undoubtedly was the first time in our history that a president was re-elected without a single significant accomplishment to his credit.)

    Well, it's been two months since that gloomy November day, and it appears that our worst suspicions were true. There apparently will be no reaching out to the other side, no olive branches of any kind. No gestures of the sort that John Kennedy made in 1960, after narrowly defeating Richard Nixon, when he appointed two Republicans - Douglas Dillon, as secretary of the treasury, and Robert McNamara, as secretary of defense - to his Cabinet.

    In fact, this president's behavior suggests he has no intention whatsoever of placating those who dared oppose him.

    So what am I suggesting?

    That in order to survive - or, at least, to stave off serious depression - over the next four years, those of us who aren't into NASCAR and don't wear our patriotism or our religion on our sleeves might have to devise some creative strategies.

    Unfortunately, the most appealing strategy of all - seceding from the red states - seems far too complicated. So I believe we should heed the advice of people like J.G. Landsman of Madison, who suggested in a recent letter to The Capital Times that those of us who voted for John Kerry boycott the red states and spend our tourist dollars elsewhere.

    Except I think it would be a lot more fair to boycott only red counties, not entire states - except in the cases of Utah, Nebraska and Oklahoma, which were the only states in which every single county voted for Bush.

    And I don't mean just boycotting red counties in red states. I'm talking about boycotting the pro-Bush counties in blue states as well - including, of course, Wisconsin.

    Yes, that means avoiding some very nice places, such as Waukesha and Washington counties, both of which, as expected, went heavily for the president.

    But keep in mind there were 26 Wisconsin counties that supported Kerry - contrary to popular belief, it wasn't just Dane and Milwaukee counties - including Bayfield County, the so-called gateway to the Apostle Islands and one of the most scenic spots in the Midwest.

    In fact, if you look at the election results nationwide, you quickly realize that most of the fun places to visit - the ones that really matter - supported Kerry. Even in red states.

    For instance, while much of Florida went for Bush, Miami-Dade and Broward counties - where Miami and Fort Lauderdale are located - went for Kerry. So did Monroe County, which happens to include Jimmy Buffet-land, aka Key West.

    Similarly, Louisiana went for Bush in a big way - that is, the parts of the state known mainly for their swamps, mosquitoes and deep-fried frog legs. Orleans Parish on the other hand - home of New Orleans, one of the great party towns in the universe - went heavily for Kerry.

    Colorado? A key battleground state that opted for Bush. But that doesn't mean we should avoid Denver and Boulder counties, both Kerry strongholds.

    New Mexico? Bush squeaked by here, too. But Santa Fe and Taos counties went for Kerry.

    So did Pima (Tucson) and Coconino (Flagstaff) counties in Arizona. And so did Clark County (Las Vegas) in Nevada.

    Believe it or not, there were even counties in the arch-conservative West that preferred Kerry - such as Missoula County in Montana and Teton County in Wyoming, which, it so happens, is the home of Dick Cheney. (Which is a commentary in itself.)

    So, as I say, upon closer examination, things aren't quite as bleak as they first appeared - especially for those of us who like to travel.

    That's not to say it's going to be easy and that there won't be some pain.

    For example, it's going to hurt a bit knowing that I won't be golfing at my favorite course, Peninsula State Park, any time soon - seeing as how Bush carried Door County by 543 votes.

    On the other hand, I hear there's great wind-surfing off the coast of Bayfield. Heck, I may even have a latte.

    E-mail: rzaleski@madison.com

    Published: 10:15 AM 1/3/05


    Posted by at January 3, 2005 09:08 PM

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    Comments

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Joe R. the Unabrewer at January 3, 2005 10:56 PM

    I used to live a half hour from Hot Springs, and it's only great in early spring during horse racing season.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Jib at January 4, 2005 01:29 AM

    For a group of people that whined incessantly about 'outsourcing' in 2004, it sure doesn't seem that they care about all of the good jobs for Democrat workers their boycott of red counties would endanger.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Dan Cummings at January 4, 2005 09:36 AM

    Kris,

    As a former Badger living in Southern California I can confirm that:

    (1) Orange County is the stronghold of conservatism and Christianity in California. It also boasts the economic and commercial center of Irvine as well as the pristine coastal areas of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. Highly recommended.

    (2) San Diego used to trend strongly Republican, took a left turn for a while in the '90's, but has seemingly found its way back. You can see change as a result of the current mayoral election, the city's poorly handled management of fiscal policy, and the urgent need to correct itself in preparation of some 1M new residents coming in the next 10 years.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Drew at January 4, 2005 09:48 AM

    Just make sure that when you tube down the Guadalupe, you tie your beer down really well. There's nothing worse than hitting that first rapid, seeing your cooler do a 180, and emerge from the water in the midst of all of your beer. Sure, you'll salvage some of it, but that last hour or two is brutal when you have nothing left to drink.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: at January 5, 2005 10:47 PM

    Yeah, the OC is longtime conservative. Most of the tv and media about it is liberal though... rebeling against their parents sorta shit I think... I dont watch the OC though, so it might have changed.

     
     

     

     


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