What struck me about it is the fact that NR has no problem insulting both rural Pennsylvanians and Alabamans by calling Lou Barletta “The Man from Alabama, PA” [National Review, September 18, 2017]
It reminded me of something David Brooks said years ago, when he made a quasi-anthropological study of Red America after the 2000 election.
Franklin County is Red America. It's a rural county, about twenty-five miles west of Gettysburg, and it includes the towns of Waynesboro, Chambersburg, and Mercersburg. It was originally settled by the Scotch-Irish, and has plenty of Brethren and Mennonites along with a fast-growing population of evangelicals. The joke that Pennsylvanians tell about their state is that it has Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle. Franklin County is in the Alabama part. It strikes me as I drive there that even though I am going north across the Mason-Dixon line, I feel as if I were going south. The local culture owes more to Nashville, Houston, and Daytona than to Washington, Philadelphia, or New York.You can see a rebuttal from Missouri farmer Blake Hurst here: The Plains vs. The Atlantic, American Enterprise Online ,March 2002.
One Nation, Slightly Divisible, December 2001
Rural Pennsylvania is not like Alabama for the simple reason that they don't have blacks—in 2000, out of 3.5 million rural Pennsylvanians (as described by the Center For Rural PA) there were "157,200 residents, or 5 percent of the total population, who were non-white and/or Hispanic." That's because Pennsylvania didn't, in the 18th or early 19th century, give in to the temptation of cheap labor.
That being said, why is National Review considering Alabama itself an acceptable target?