If you live in a blue-state stronghold, a coastal city where you can go 24 hours without meeting any Republicans, it's consoling to think of the red staters as an alien bunch of strait-laced Bible thumpers.
Otherwise, how do you explain why they're Republican? Or answer the question Democrats asked in astonishment when they saw Mr. Bush's vote totals: Who are these people?
The favorite Democratic explanation is that the red staters are hicks who have been blinded by righteousness, as Thomas Frank argues in "What's the Matter With Kansas?" He laments that middle-class Kansans are so bamboozled by moral issues like abortion and school prayer that they vote for Republicans even though the Republican tax-cutting policies are against their self-interest.
Meanwhile, on "The Daily Show," Steve Colbert played a recording of Laura Bush repeating the milking-a-male-horse joke later on, with much more detail. I'm not seeing a clip at the show's site, and I'm not going to quote it here. Suffice it to say many words were bleeped out, and it was quite hilarious.