Patterico's Pontifications


Obama to abandon white working class?

Filed under: 2012 Election,General — Karl @ 12:37 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Not quite.  Slate’s resident JournoLister, Dave Weigel, apparently thinks it’s raaaacist of FoxNation to highlight the most provocative part of an NYT post by Thomas Edsall making the claim.  Weigel is particularly taken by a photo of “Obama gritting his teeth and waving ‘see ya,’ while flanked by his wife and an unidentified black guy.  Others might figure the photo was selected for the first part, not the second, but others don’t have a history of secretly trying to shape media coverage of Obamacare while pretending to be covering the right from the inside.  At least Weigel is imputing bad motive openly now.

The sad part is that Weigel kinda gets the real story right.  Here’s Edsall’s hot-button lede:

For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.

The blogosphere is mostly focused on the second sentence.  Before casually flinging the race card, Weigel correctly emphasizes the first: “The funny thing here is that ‘abandoning’ the white working class means ‘continuing to lose voters who have been voting Republican since 1966.’ ”  It’s not clear whether Weigel is implicitly flinging the race card again by selecting 1966 as his benchmark, but between 1960 and 2004, Democrats lost 12 percent of the non-Southern white men and 17 percent of white men in the South.

Nevertheless, it is fair to note the drop was particularly acute (.pdf) among the white working class during the period colloquially known as the Sixties — 55% of whites without a four year college degree voted for Dems in 1960-64, dropping to 35% in 1968-72.  Some of this was racial, but arguably had more to do with the ascendancy of the New Left within the party, at the expense of organized labor.  The hippie/Yippie-ization of the Democrats, which allowed the GOP to characterize the 1972 platform as “amnesty, abortion and acid” had as much to do with the migration of whites to the GOP as Selma or Watts.

Edsall’s column doesn’t really support his claim that Team Obama is “explicitly” abandoning that demographic now.  Edsall is correct that the Obama campaign seems to be favoring:

a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.

Edsall then accurately traces the history of the “Emerging Democratic Majority” theory, and even gets this much right:

While demographic trends suggest the continued growth of pro-Democratic constituencies and the continued decline of core Republican voters, particularly married white Christians, there is no guarantee that demography is destiny.

Edsall just cannot bring himself to explain why, beyond a vague reference to GOP efforts to fracture the Democrat coalition.  The reason is the slow death of the progressive blue model under the weight of our expanding national debt.  That’s why the first part of the coalition Edsall describes identifies with the Occupy mob.  Tax reform that will likely be adopted to stave off the debt bomb will also hit the upper-middle class in Blue states harder than most.  The collapse of big government (and public sector pensions) will hit middle-class minorities hard as well.

In short, the white working class has been abandoning the Democrats long before Obama came on the scene.  They are just among the first off the sinking ship of progressivism.  Obama could end up above water in 2012, but the longer-term trend remains bleak, as progressivism ends up with less and less to offer the remains of its coalition.


47 Responses to “Obama to abandon white working class?”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (9423c8)

  2. The cries of racism are so pathetic, and predictable.

    JD (3d0bb5)

  3. Tough days ahead when you can’t pay off the Cops, the Bloods, the Crips and the Teachers.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  4. The article title asked:

    Obama to abandon white working class?

    For President Obama to abandon the white working class, he would have had to have supported them at some point. Being as we’re all bitter clingers, hanging on to God and guns, he never got to that point.

    The nitpicking Dana (3e4784)

  5. Iran seems to be having infrastructure issues, two weeks back a missle launch site, today a nuclear plant, and on-going oil exploration equipment misfortunes.

    Bashir may not get as much support as he counted on.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  6. … professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists …

    iow, stimulus check recipients.

    papertiger (e55ba0)

  7. No wonder the Dems are so aghast at folks like Cain and Justice Thomas. Just like Cadillac was doomed when well-off blacks started buying BMWs.

    Kevin M (4eb9c8)

  8. Comment by The nitpicking Dana — 11/28/2011 @ 1:00 pm

    You’re absolutely right that he never supported the white working class (particularly men); but now, he’s just putting into practical practice what has been trending for much longer than he’s been on the scene.
    No use fishing in a stream that has no fish; and, as we well know, the one endangered species that is ignored by the EPA/Enviros is the working-class, White, Christian, Male.

    AD-RtR/OS! (08f9d5)

  9. I am not surprised my guns keep going up in price.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  10. How about this read on Obama, it’s as blinkered as anything from wiegel;

    narciso (ef1619)

  11. It isn’t just Obama who’s turning his back on working class whites, it’s the Democrat Party. The headline doesn’t match the facts.

    ropelight (8ffa63)

  12. rope, didn’t you get the memo?
    Obowman IS the Democrat Party!

    AD-RtR/OS! (08f9d5)

  13. The prez doesn’t like working whites?
    Well of course, ’cause try as he might
    We won’t relax
    When he talks tax
    So our money doesn’t take a long flight!

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  14. At first we had a romance
    We sent him to the big dance
    But then Teh Won
    Was found out a bum
    Sorry, but he had his one chance!

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  15. Delusional.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  16. a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment combined with a serious lack of critical thinking skills — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic who are also loaded down with a serious lack of critical thinking skills

    Made a small adjustment to the above (in bold) to improve its accuracy.

    Glad I could help.

    Smock Puppet, Sailor on the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla and Charybdis (2fb1c2)

  17. In unrelated News:

    Pete Best to “Abandon” the Beatles.

    AfterSeven (e11a6f)

  18. barry 0bama
    can’t lose what he never had
    “post-racial” my ass

    ColonelHaiku (89a861)

  19. let he who has not
    walked mile in his Huaraches
    cast the second vote

    ColonelHaiku (89a861)

  20. “The Hope poster is kind of faded and a little dog-eared.”

    – President Barack Hussein Obama

    No sh*t, Sherlock.

    ColonelHaiku (89a861)

  21. that’s because race is all that matters to thi jackass: “While demographic trends suggest the continued growth of pro-Democratic constituencies and the continued decline of core Republican voters, particularly married white Christians, there is no guarantee that demography is destiny.”

    I doubt he knows what an indentured servant is, or a serf. People come to this country for FREEDOM. That knows no color.

    john b (f83512)

  22. O! don’t leave me this way

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  23. _________________________________________________

    there is no guarantee that demography is destiny.

    Better hope so. Otherwise, the US is facing a future as a northern, larger version of Mexico (ie, crime, corruption, poverty, low academic standing and liberal politics galore), a western version of Greece (lazy leftism galore), a variation of Venezuela (crime, corruption and poverty intertwined with ultra-liberalism), an off-shoot of Argentina (a nation predominantly of European descent but with the loony leftism of urban/inner-city America), or a Yankee-ized version of France (effete, decadent liberalism in spades). IOW, mediocrity, anomie and dysfunction on a never-ending basis.

    Mark (411533)

  24. A lot of the white working class are turned off by the radical social agenda promoted by the Democratic party leadership since the early 1970’s. They see the Dems as an anti-God, anti-America party, the opposite of what the party was during the New Deal era.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  25. Dustin back off, ’cause he’s my guy,
    And I can assure you that he isn’t bi!
    That don’t be thinkin’
    Just keep on drinkin’
    And don’t even give it a try.

    The Limerick Anita (f68855)

  26. These people accuse the right of being establishment?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  27. Democrats Core constituency becomes Republican once it is here a generation or two. So not a big deal IMHO.

    ODB (0f13a8)

  28. abandons the white working class
    cuz they give him just a bunch of sass
    just a dimestore redistributionist
    who demands that his ass be kissed
    now looks for a soft flopping place
    productive people can’t stand his face
    stuffs the pockets of all his cronies
    and worshiped by the hollywood phonies
    arrogant strut, but he bows to kings
    truth be told, he is many things
    hates the Right, not the least of which
    goddam, but Leslie Marshall’s a butt-fugly b*tch

    Corporal Punishment (89a861)

  29. Look communists can industrialize and the Obot EPA will say nothing as their fellow enviromentalists are strung up.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  30. Hey Cainhaters Gingrich is defending Cain.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  31. the enthusiastically adulterous Gingrich is defending Mr. Herman for reals? That is to scale new heights of self-unawareness as yet unscaled in these latter days of America.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  32. oops. I meaned *un-self-awareness* of course

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  33. What is he going to do, pikachu, condemn him, he’ll come off like Joe Isuzu

    narciso (ef1619)

  34. Come on, in your heart you know that Pat Paulsen would have been a better President than Barack Obama (and Pat Paulsen has been dead for 14 years).

    #OccupyAnthonyWeinersShorts (d1c681)

  35. I think Mr. Newt should keep talking about the tantalizing prospect of a series of debates between himself and our hapless white house time-server. He needs to stay far far away from this matter of Mr. Cain and his chippie.

    There’s simply no gain for Mr. Newt to be found in being any part of that conversation.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  36. Speaking of very silly notions, Kevin Drum, well you fill in the rest;

    narciso (ef1619)

  37. The whole point of the left these days seems to be we all have to get what’s coming to us and we better like it, so shut up.

    What happened to peace, love and understanding?

    I mean they hate the government when it uses pepper spray, but they seem to like government that says everyone has to do what they say.

    Who the hell do they think is going to enforce their utopia? Zucotti Park drummers?

    Ag80 (ec45d6)

  38. the occupuppets aren’t the organic left … they’re by and large a contrivance of monied obamawhores

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  39. If Gingrich condemns him than that is pot kettle kinda thing.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  40. Maybe Mr. Clinton will want to weigh chime in.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  41. I’m sure it’s the joooooooooos fault.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  42. No offense to all those wimmin H8ers like pikachu that find Newtie and Herm so putrid ’cause of Darwin and their genes, but you gonna have to make do without Slick and spurged interns on they knees.

    We gots a month to put Newt back in his coffin and it ain’t happenin. After FL it’s over.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  43. OT, is blackmail responsible for his continuance;,0,507980.column

    narciso (ef1619)

  44. Obama is not abandoning the “white working class” what this says is he not politically targeting them – specifically he will not try to get a majority of white voters without college degrees.

    The article says that white voters will be about 2% less of the electorate than in 2008, and minority voters correspondingly higher. Not sure if this is right. There was very high turnout among blacks and younger voters (where the more minority increase comes from)

    More important the big change is in Electoral Votes. And states he carried lost Electoral votes
    (including Indiana which he my lose) and states he didn’t gained. I think this costs him about 8 electoral votes. For the demographic to matter it would have to be easier to carry at least one state because of that. There should be one more sate he would have carried in 2008 if the demographics in 2008 had been like they will be in 2012. What state? Missouri?

    What happened too the plan of the Pennsylvania Republicans to split the states’s Electoral votes?

    Pennsylvania is a state that the Republican carries only when he is otherwise winning so this would have given about 10 Electoral votes to the Republicans in a close race.

    Pennsylvania’s Electoral Vote Scheme Stalls Out

    By David Weigel

    Posted Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, at 9:53 AM ET

    I hadn’t been hearing many groans from Pennsylvania Democrats about this, and now I see why.

    Gov. [Tom] Corbett, a key supporter of the idea, suggested Monday that it was going nowhere for the time being.

    “I see no movement on it. I’m not going to push for movement, but I still support it,” Corbett, a Republican, told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon.

    After an October hearing, where this plan and the popular vote plan (to opt out of the electoral college if a majority of states did) got chewed over by political scientists, there’s been no movement on the bill. A clone plan in Wisconsin hasn’t gone anywhere, either. In two states where Democrats can’t really lose without losing the entire general election, the electoral votes are staying en bloc.

    Sammy Finkelman (77f270)

  45. The funny thing is that many blacks and Hispanics are quite conservative in their social views. It’s one of the reasons the Dimocraps go bat shit crazy whenever a conservative black or Hispanic appears on the national scene. They know this, and realize that if those conservative blacks and Hispanics ever realize they are members of a group and not just individuals, it may spell the doom of the Dims.

    Mike Giles (55c70e)

  46. There goes Joe the Plumber’s invitation for a beer summit!

    Icy (1c8316)

  47. Electoral College calculator:

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

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