Skip to comments.Obama Pursues Rich and Poor, Not White Working Class
Posted on 12/09/2011 5:01:38 AM PST by IbJensen
Has Barack Obama's Democratic Party given up on winning the votes of the white working class? Thomas Edsall, the longtime Washington Post reporter now with The Huffington Post, thinks so.
Surveying the plans of Democratic strategists, Edsall wrote in The New York Times on Nov. 28 that "all pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned."
Of course, an Obama campaign spokesman issued a prompt denial. No campaign wants any groups of voters to know that it has written them off.
But Edsall is plainly on to something. Obama campaign strategists have made it known that they are concentrating on states like Colorado and Virginia -- states with high percentages of college educated voters, young voters and minorities.
Obama carried both these states in 2008, even though Republican presidential candidates had carried Virginia in every election and Colorado in all but one election between 1964 and 2004.
Not all Democrats accept the Colorado/Virginia strategy. William Galston, a top domestic aide in the Clinton White House, has argued that the Obama campaign should concentrate on states like Ohio, with an older and more blue-collar population.
Only one Democrat in the last century has won the presidency without carrying Ohio, Galston points out. If John Kerry had run just 2 points stronger there in 2004, he would have been elected president.
And Ohio's demographics look a lot like those in Pennsylvania, which Obama carried by 10 points in 2004 but where he is now running behind in the polls.
But Galston's advice has been spurned, and perhaps that just reflects an acceptance of a longstanding reality.
For the Democratic Party has not been the party of the white working class for a very long time. Democrats lost the support of white non-college voters starting in the late 1960s, as rioters burned city ghettoes and college campuses were beset by student rebellions.
Democratic politicians responded by seeking to assuage what they considered to be righteous grievances.
For 50 years, from 1917 to 1968, the Democrats were the more hawkish of the two major parties, more likely than Republicans to support military intervention. Since 1968, they have been the more dovish party.
For 30 years, from 1933 to 1964, the Democrats pushed programs designed to help the working class: Social Security and Medicare, FHA home mortgage loans, support for labor unions. But since the middle 1960s, when antipoverty programs took center stage, Democrats in Washington and big cities have pushed welfare programs for the poor and lenient measures against crime.
The Democrats' shift produced vote gains in some segments of the electorate. Blacks, who voted 62 percent for John Kennedy, have voted about 90 percent Democratic starting in 1964.
Democrats' dovishness and liberal stands on cultural issues won them support from the growing percentage of college-educated voters. But those same stands cost them support among those who came to be called "Reagan Democrats."
Talented Democratic strategists like pollster Stanley Greenberg and elections analyst Ruy Teixeira struggled for decades to come up with strategies to bring the white working class back to what they considered their natural political home. But even Bill Clinton was unable to get them back.
You can see the results in the 2008 exit poll. Barack Obama got a higher percentage of the total vote than any other Democratic nominee in history except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
But he did it without capturing the vast middle of the electorate. He won with a top-and-bottom coalition, carrying voters with incomes over $200,000 and under $50,000, and losing those in between. He carried voters with graduate-school degrees and those with no high school diplomas, and ran only even with the others.
Obama lost among noncollege whites by a 58 percent to 40 percent margin. And in the 2010 House elections, non-college whites went Republican by 63 percent to 33 percent.
So maybe it makes sense for Obama to write off the white working class. Yet he is doing it in an odd way, by enacting New Deal-like programs and expending great energy on raising taxes on high earners.
Historically, that was the way to win working class votes. But it plainly isn't doing so now, and it seems poorly calculated to enthuse the top half of the top-and-bottom coalition. Class warfare is a dubious strategy when you've written off the working class.
And a four percent decline in national wealth - personal and corporate - in the last quarter according to today's Wall Street Journal. I belive that may work out to a 16% decline annually.
He's wrecking America, just as he promised.
And he asks for another term "to finish the job". Good God!
It is amazing to me he talks about the “middle class” disappearing. Socialism makes the middle class disappear. In the end you have the subjects (masses) and the leaders. There is no middle class. So he’s worried about the middle class? Why isn’t he called on this? By saying capitalism has NEVER worked, he’s confirming he is a Marxist and Marxism eradicates the middle class. So simple to see.
Anyone who listens to anything that mac daddy says is wasting their time as it is nothing but one lie after another.
The “middle class” is the enemy of communism.
The “middle class” are the “bourgeoisie” - those who believe that effort and work should be compensated, and the harder you work, the more you should be compensated.
Such beliefs are a “cancer” to communism.
Hmmm....Marx thought the middle class in America would rise up and throw throw off it’s capitalist masters because it controllled the labor to create the socialist state he dreamed of. Again, it just proves Øbama donesn’t know what the hell he is doing.
Well certainly what we have always known as the middle class. As with all things perspective changes. Like in Europe -- we'd never consider what they consider to be middle class, middle class.
Who aspires to be middle class anyway?
What is the benefit of sending kids to college if they prove their ignorance by voting for Obama?
“Obama lost among noncollege whites by a 58 percent to 40 percent margin. And in the 2010 House elections, non-college whites went Republican by 63 percent to 33 percent”
That says to me that college is ruining America.
Brain-washing our kids with Socialist crap.
Obama revealed exactly what he thinks of the middle class when he demeaned those who “cling to their guns and their religion”.
In other words, those who rely on themselves and God are enemies of Obama’s regime.
Right now the winners of collectivism are the poor and the rich.