Sprawl isn't just ugly. It's dumb - economically. Michael Klare explains how all that commuting increases U.S. oil dependence which worsens the balance of payments which makes the dollar drop which drives up US prices which makes people broke, which stops them from buying which tanks the economy.
See! Economics is easy. It's people that are hard to understand.
For a compelling alien-abduction theory of inexplicable Republicanism, see Jeff Cohen's funny and yet obviously true Stepford Husbands theory of right-wing voting.
And see Naomi Klein's interesting link between the home-ownership society and the growing number of Americans (now almost half) who think they live in a society divided by class (haves vs. have-nots).