Liberalism, the White Working Class, and Hillary Clinton

Eric Alterman, whose blog I have read for years, has a new book Why We're Liberals. I have not yet had a chance to read the book, but I have read with interest the TPM Cafe discussion, which has been conducted between a number of people I know and like from the leftosphere.

mcjoan takes issue with the following quote from Alterman's book:
liberals made a series of fundamental mistakes beginning in the mid-sixties. They were arrogant. They were "elitist." They did treat white working-people--their primary political constituency--with disdain. They were insufficiently sensitive to the cultural concerns of everyday American, particularly with regard to issues relating to religion, and even more particularly with regard to abortion. And they became wrapped up in the divisive politics of identity that made it impossible to communicate with much of the country or cooperate with one another.

 There was a time not so long ago--say, before February--when I would have disagreed with this characterization of the path of American liberalism and instead agreed with mcjoan's dissent, which Alterman characterizes this way:
liberals were and are right about everything they believe and any attempt to determine we have, in recent decades, been so unsuccessful at winning elections or otherwise implementing their ideals is, ipso facto, to "accept the definitions" offered by "conservatives and traditional media."

But between January and now a new factor has emerged: what Big Tent Democrat described on a Clinton blogger call as "the Hillary Clinton wing" of the Democratic party. I agree with him that there now is one, and a large part of it appears to be composed of working class whites, especially those alienated by the problems enumerated by Alterman. But Hillary Clinton appeals to these people not because she has capitulated on core values (though she has occasionally pandered in silly ways, as with her gas tax holiday proposal), but because she has found a way to speak to their core anxieties without demagoging gays, minorities, immigrants, abortion, etc.

Hillary has proved that we can win those voters again, and we must try. Going around proclaiming that we have always been right, as seems to be the preferred method of many loudmouthed Obama supporters, just isn't going to work. Engagement, as in so many other areas of life, seems the right strategy. Hillary has tapped into something that can be good for America and the Democratic party, if we can save ourselves from ourselves.  

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    I take issue with that particular (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by waldenpond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 03:32:16 PM EST
    piece also, not for the perception issue but for the policy issues.   They were insufficiently sensitive to the cultural concerns of everyday American, particularly with regard to issues relating to religion, and even more particularly with regard to abortion.

    I do not like the elitism, it turns people off. I have thought the Democratic Pary elitist for a long time (all of govt is IMO).   I do have problem with the fact that I keep reading Dems are in the wrong with regards to issues and need to shift, in this case separation of church and state and with reducing abortion rights.    Why should I support a party unwilling to uphold these values?

    We'll have to wait and see if elitism kills off the Dems this time around.  The cycle usually kicks the party in power out.  I wait to see how many party loyalists figure out the party is weakening.

    It doesn't require reducing abortion rights (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by esmense on Thu May 22, 2008 at 09:48:12 AM EST
    But it does require making abortion take a back seat to liberal support for those issues and policies that make family formation easier; increased economic opportunity, higher working class wages, child care, family leave, health care, access to affordable, quality education, access to affordable public transportation, etc.  

    Attitudes about abortion aren't most determined by religion or political ideology -- they are most determined by economic standing. The more affluent you are, the more likely you are to support abortion rights. The less affluent, the less likely. The reasons for this should be clear, but affluent liberals most often don't "get it." They fail to understand that abortion is only a "choice" if you have the economic means to make it so (that is, if you have the means to "choose" to have your child.) And further, they fail to understand that arguing for the acceptance of abortion as a social good -- rather than as a tragic choice that should be discouraged in all but the most desperate circumstances -- especially when coupled with the elitist belief that people shouldn't have children they "can't afford" -- is, for the less affluent, an argument against both their right to have children and their right to expect their society and communities to provide resources for their children. (In fact, I have often heard elites argue against social services for "other people's children," including public education, based on the fact that having children is a "personal choice.")

    If you are not affluent, elite liberal attitudes can make abortion seem more like an obligation (forced on you by others) than a choice.


    I'm thoroughly pro-choice (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by stillife on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:22:10 PM EST
    but I take issue with the elite liberal attitude as well.  Specifically, I disagree with those (often male) "progressives" who lament that poor people just have too many kids.  Education levels go up, birth rates go down.  It's that simple.  

    Excellent diary, Andgarden.  I always enjoy your posts.


    Need To Shift Attitudes Not Positions IMO (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:08:47 PM EST
    Look at Feingold in WI. He sticks firm to his beliefs and many of his constituents are more conservative than he is. Every year he does a listening tour around the state. He respectfully listens to their opinions and their concerns. His constituents may disagree with him on some issues but they know he respects them and values their opinions even if they differ from his own.

    Bernie Sanders in VT (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:21:07 PM EST
    has done the same thing for years.  VT these days votes mostly pretty liberal, but it wasn't always so, and Bernie is an outright unabashed socialist.  But he listens, and being a genuine lefty, never, ever condescends or panders.  His strongest support is in the rural areas because he listens and he works his butt off for folks.

    Somehow It Works Better If You Ask People (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:26:07 PM EST
    what is important to them instead of telling them what should be important to them. BTW Sanders is a jewel.

    He is a jewel indeed (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:53:46 PM EST
    And a crabby, impatient one at that.  And in 40 or whatever years of being a Vermonter, he's never lost that strong Brooklyn accent.

    A Mitt Romney type ran against him for senator and was doing OK on the issues until he started running negative ads and saying nasty things about Bernie, and that was beyond the pale for Vermonters and he sank in the polls.  That and the fact that the guy had garishly ugly yard signs, which folks here took as a gross insult to their landscape.  Funny place.

    I'm a recent transplant from Mass., and just blown away by the nature of Vermonters and the way they look at politics.  They were perfectly willing to listen to the Republican's ideas and consider them, but when he started trashing their long-time congressman, that they wouldn't countenance.  These folks not only say they hate negative campaigning, they actually mean it.  The fact that the Republican was a life-long Vermonter only made it worse because he had no excuse for not understanding the rules here.

    I actually forgive my adopted home state for voting for Obama, even.  The stars in the eyes of the farmers in my town when they talk about electing a black man as president are profoundly honorable and utterly admirable.  (Though I bet the farm women voted more for Hillary...)


    Walden (if I may use your first name...) (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:22:41 PM EST
    I haven't read the book, but I've read Alterman's blog for years and I'm sure that's not what he's saying.  He's talking about the way those issues are presented and argued for, not the core issues themselves.

    Impact for the GE (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by waldenpond on Wed May 21, 2008 at 03:37:41 PM EST
    I wonder what that demographic is going to think if Clinton is not put on the ticket?  If I already voted for her, I would certainly get the impression I didn't matter and that my issues didn't matter.  If I was watching it as an independent?   Only Fox news seems to consider putting Clinton on the ticket.... it gives them something to attack Obama and the DNC for (the elites picked Obama)

    Great diary, andgarden, and good comments (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by BGP on Thu May 22, 2008 at 11:11:38 AM EST
    I'll have to say that this primary has caused me to re-examine my liberal assumptions and also my working-class roots. This may be a good thing if it helps me find actual compassion/empathy as opposed to a condescending pity.

    The proof is in the pudding... (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by lilburro on Thu May 22, 2008 at 12:01:50 PM EST
    Something must've gone wrong since the mid-sixties since we've had Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush to show for it.

    In terms of the working-class vote, I'm curious as to how turnout in that socioeconomic sector compares to previous years' primaries.  Is Clinton getting out that vote?  Or are they voting in usual numbers?

    The fact that Clinton does well in rural areas interests me too.  My feeling is that Republicans have done very well at separating the rural from the urban (often based on values); the Dem party in rural areas has traditionally been weak.  Rural Dem turnout is a great thing.  I say this as someone who lived most of their life 40 minutes outside Paoli; there are actually people in Pennsyltucky.

    Clinton emphasizes the economy.  I think Dems should emphasize the economy, regulation; lead in toys.  These are the Repubs' fault.

    I'm glad you are diarying here, andgarden.

    Oh good grief (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:35:18 PM EST
    you had to ask.  Now I am going to have to go look at 04 exit polls and see if they had detailed data so I can see if the working class turnout is reflected.  

    OK that was painful.  No CNN exit results for PN, OH, MI for 04.  Looked up NY, VA and FL... then compared to '08.  VA college n/y 46/54 in 04.  VA college n/y 43/57 for '08.  FL?  I was unable to come to any conclusion when comparing the income and college status of 04 to whether the Kennedy endorsement affected the vote in 08.  Some of the '08 exit polls asked the least relevant questions... was Clinton meaner or was Obama?

    I'll probably start looking for other 04 stats now.  sigh.


    Dems Have Emphasized Economy Related Issues (4.66 / 3) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:57:06 PM EST
    in the past and lost. First and foremost IMO, you have to treat the working class, small town and rural folks with respect. You have to value them for who and what they are. They are not going to listen to what you have to say if they think that you are talking down to them. Too often the Dem approach is that people will suddenly GET It and realize what is good for them. They talk about economical issues from on high.

    It is not the voters that need to GET IT. It is the Democratic Party that needs to GET It. Unfortunately, the candidate that will probably be the nominee and his supporters do not GET It. Their approach is to blame the voters instead of trying to identify and fix their approach. They will adapt more right wing talking points all the while lecturing the masses on what is good for them. They really don't need to adopt non Democratic party platforms because that will not fix the Democratic Party problem. The problem is in the approach and not in abandoning what the party stands for. There is more than enough to appeal to these voters if you don't turn them off first.


    andgarden, I just saw a reference to your (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Teresa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:15:35 PM EST
    diary in a comment on BTD's post. I agree with what you said and I'm glad you decided to do this. I wish I'd seen it early enough to rec it.

    p/s Did you have your graduation?

    Thanks, (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by andgarden on Fri May 23, 2008 at 09:43:47 PM EST
    diaries are a bit hard to find over here. But I don't really have another outlet, since I don't bother with Orange anymore. I wonder how they'd react to this?!

    And yes, I'm a genuine college graduate now! :D


    Hope You Do More Diaries (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:01:07 PM EST
    It would be nice to have a few more diaries here on various topics.

    Good for you! Enjoy your summer (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Teresa on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:16:15 PM EST
    before you start law school. My brother (who died very young) was a lawyer. It's all he ever wanted to do and he loved it.

    I will try to remember to glance down the diary list more often. It's too far down the page to be noticeable!


    Andgarden (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:34:47 PM EST
    are you that young, or have you gone back to college at a more mature (ahem!) age?

    23 in June (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:16:55 AM EST
    How do I say this (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:32:35 PM EST
    without sounding condescending?  Well, I'll just say it and trust you understand my good will.  I'll be 60 in a few months, so maybe I can get away with it... You appear to be wise and thoughtful way beyond your years.  I'm impressed.  I was nowhere near as sophisticated in my thinking at 23.  Far from it!  Kudos to you.

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:36:36 PM EST
    But you should see me try to do long division. . .

    Congratulations! (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by echinopsia on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:51:55 PM EST
    I got my own BA degree just three years ago (at 54). It only took 32 years of a class here and a class there as I could afford the time and the money. But what an achievement! Good for you! (good for me)

    OTOH, my years working as an non-degreed person (and my roots) will always place me among the "uneducated" working class. I will always understand and sympathize with them.

    We/they are not stupid. I was a National Merit Scholar (like Hillary) but I could not take full advantage of my full-ride scholarship at 18 due to family issues.


    Huzzah! Congratulations! (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by themomcat on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:39:34 AM EST
    Blessed be. From your posts and you diaries ( I followed your writings at the orange bubble, too) you should do very well in law school. Congratulations!

    If I had know about this diary (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Radiowalla on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:07:39 PM EST
    I would have rushed over to check it out and recommend it.
    I haven't been here very long and I just now learned that there are diaries....  duh.

    However, I quite agree with your points about Hillary's appeal.  
    I've also been a big fan of Eric Alterman.  Along with Bob Somerby, he's one of my favorite voices on the left.

    Great (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Lil on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:49:43 PM EST
    I always look for your comments as I think you try to be factual and unbiased and knowledgable, as does BTD. I enjoy the emotive pep talks of a lot of folks, but really appreciate your level headed thoughts, when I'm looking for truth.

    I am old enough to remember and McJoan is not (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by debcoop on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:20:44 PM EST
    They were arrogant. They were "elitist." They did treat white working-people--their primary political constituency--with disdain

    Eric Alterman is right about this part...and remember Hillary is prochoice and she's not alienating those voters.

    But back then just as now the salient issue was the war...the Vietnam war and unlike now the lefties and the traditonal working class and its representatives..the unions were at loogerheads over the war.  Union leaders supported the Vietnam war and lefties didn't.  The contempt sprang from that...As young people growing up in a era of affluence...jobs and working and unions didn't seem so important or necessary, many did understand how much good they had done.  What was in the news and the culture was Jimmy Hoffa and union corruption....we all thought the longshoreman were just like Rod Steiger in On the Waterfront...corrupt whereas the ILA was a very leftwing, progressive union.

    And the other reason also sprang from the left's analysis of the war and AmeriKan colonialism.....Living in Amerika was the heart of the beast.....working class people felt that was unpatriotic....and maybe they were right about....I certainly learned from my work in South America that one could be a leftist and proud of one's country nevertheless.

    McJoan is too young to remember....

    mcjoan is still someone I like (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:48:07 AM EST
    and respect. I just have a different perspective.

    Last year at this time (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by lisadawn82 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 12:26:01 AM EST
    I wouldn't have characterized people in the Democratic Party as elitists. Up until now I've always felt part of the party and I don't believe that I'm elitist so then how can the party be?

    Boy, how things have changed.  I feel so betrayed by the party officials and really naive.  Have they always been like this and have I been too dazzled by the rhetoric that I didn't see what they were really doing?

    I really do feel that the "Creative Class" is more concerned about status and influence and really don't give a d*mn about people like my family.  They've got either the education or money and feel like they are above us.  

    What's really amusing is they characterize the working white class, the Reagan Democrats, as social Republicans when, in my view, by defining themselves as a better class of people they are more like Republicans then we are.  But that is just my view.

    I am a long time democrat (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jjc2008 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:41:46 PM EST
    who came of age in the 60s.  Even back then I felt a bit out of place.  I grew up in a Steel Town where unions mattered.  But the textile workers, women, mostly immigrants like my mother, worked without unions and were paid and treated poorly.
    While I agreed with the activists and was against the war, for civil rights, I never felt the movement cared much for people like my mother. I LOVED the movie NORMA RAE and was sad it did not wake the left up when it came to working people.
    All my life I have worked for democrats to get elected, went to caucuses and worked alongside union people. I supported my own teachers' union always and was an activist.  But MOSTLY the only people working to get democrats elected in my area were women (older, and union men, and teachers).
    Suddenly for the first time my caucus this year was filled. People who never did anything, never donated time, and came to rallies or knocked on doors were there...for Obama.  The voices of the rest of us, mostly older men and women, were drowned out.  And, I hate to say this..I felt I was being talked down to.  
    There we were, after years of no one wanting to do anything, filled with people (mostly white, mostly male, many college professors and students) who treated us like the outsiders.
    Hillary is my choice because I do believe she connects to working people, to women like myself who have been worker drones for the party.

    Back in the 60s, I felt drowned out by the men.  They made the decisions, the strategies, the decisions on what issues mattered.  In 2008, it seems the same to me.

    I don't recognize the party. Democrats used to stand for workers, for unions, for the disenfranchised....now the liberal elite look their noses down at us.  It is the Oprah crowd...it's cool now to be "in" with the new progressives.

    I will vote for Obama because I would never vote for a republican and I cannot "not" vote in good conscience.  But I honestly feel that I do not matter to the "new" democratic party.  I don't like the feeling but it is not going away and so far those in charge don't seem interested in making an effort for people like me.


    Nice post (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by ineedalife on Sat May 24, 2008 at 07:57:09 AM EST
    I agree with most of it but the now standard throw-away line of "silly gas tax holiday". Hillary may have saved the "tax-and-spend" democrats by neutralizing John McCain on that issue. I think the impact of this "silly" pander is far greater than you think.

    Here in New York where we routinely have successful sales-tax holidays Obama may have saved the Republican party from extinction with the gas tax issue. The Republicans passed a holiday in the State Senate and the Obamacrats blocked it in the Assembly. That will come back and bite the Democrats in the fall.

    Eek, formatting here is HARD (4.90 / 11) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed May 21, 2008 at 02:01:28 PM EST
    Thought I'd try a diary for a change.

    You did great (none / 0) (#23)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:32:25 PM EST
    And formatting is trivial anyway.  Your thoughts are important.

    Looks Good to Me :) (none / 0) (#49)
    by flashman on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:53:48 PM EST
    Great diary, andgarden (4.75 / 4) (#43)
    by stxabuela on Sat May 24, 2008 at 11:50:53 AM EST
    I'm 54 and have been actively involved with the local Democratic Party since I moved to S TX in 1980.  Although I was a little too young to be politically involved in the 60s, I did follow the issues.

    Based on my very limited experiences, I agree with Alterman.  I've worked in politics for almost 30 years, the last 4 in a full-time volunteer position at my local Democratic Party.  Our local "old hippies" are predominantly white, college educated, middle- to upper-middle class professionals.  Back in 2004, I encouraged them to get involved in the local party.

    Unfortunately, almost all of them have no clue how to relate to the lower income, heavily Latino Dems.  Worse yet, they don't want to learn.  They formed a progressive group and raised money to buy an old house in which to throw vegan potluck dinners, watch movies, and organize sign-holding protests against WalMart.  They'll spend 8 hours at a week-end symposium on the atrocities of war, but they won't spend a second of time knocking on doors to get out the vote.  They have almost zero contact with the very groups they want to attract to the party.  

    As long as the Dems keep nominating presidential candidates who show no interest in understanding the "Clinton wing" of the party, they will continue to lose in the GE.  This time around, they've managed to lose me:  I've resigned from my position at the local party.  Moreover, I talked to an 81-yo Democrat who's been active in the party since the 50s, and she said she has never felt so disconnected from the Dem leadership.  Now THAT is sad assessment.        

    Great diary. (4.66 / 3) (#18)
    by masslib on Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:59:09 PM EST
    She respects the voters.  I think that's the key.

    There (4.50 / 2) (#37)
    by sas on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:04:18 AM EST
    is no doubt that Clinton is the stronger candidate and the one who is better overall for the party in that she appeals to what has tradionally been considered as the core Democratic base.

    If Obama is nominated I have fears that the white working class and a fair amount of women will leave the party, or become so disillusioned, thinking that there is no one who really cares about them.

    I think the Latinos will move toward John McCain, and portions of the groups in the last paragraph will do the same.

    This could affect the party for a long, long time.

    Yes, she respects the voters (3.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Edgar08 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:55:41 PM EST
    But this nice piece here still does not get down to what I think is the real issue at play here.

    And I finally figured out how to talk about it without rehashing a long dissertation on the topic.

    A question, rhetorical or otherwise:  Why is there no such thing, why was there never such a thing as the Carter wing of the party?

    You see because the narrative, the whole entire discussion here is limitted, and in so far as it exists, Carter was also someone who was able to speak to certain groups of people without demagoging certain wedge issues.  He knew exactly how to talk about abortion.  If it was as big of an issue back then I believe he would have known exactly how to talk about gay marriage.

    As far as this discussion is concerned there's no reason at all why Carter shouldn't have been a more successful Democrat.

    There is more going on here.

    More than ever gets talked about on blogs.

    hopefully, bloggers will start talking about it soon.

    Class warfare. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oldpro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:24:02 AM EST
    What else?

    Write a diary...


    I don't think it's class warfare (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edgar08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:28:19 AM EST

    And the last thing I want is priveledges to write a big long well thought out researched diary on TL.

    Not when my reputation as one lining malcontent is at stake.


    The oldest of Boogiemen- (3.00 / 2) (#36)
    by magisterludi on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:18:04 AM EST
    The undercurrent is always evil socialism as Enemy No.1 to Our Beloved American Way of Life-capitalism.

    To me, I see something far bigger at work- I have a hard time getting into the current minutia and daily outrage- and it's been going on for decades. Eisenhower gave a glimpse of it when he left office- beware the military-industrial institutions and beware the Texas oilmen (who he referred to as "stupid" and "many"). Reagan cemented the road we are on now. He stifled the airwaves and relieved us of the burden of the "Fairness Doctrine" allowing us to forget who REALLY own the air waves, he killed government investment in alternative energies, he went after the unions, gave us "deficits don't matter, period", and accused anyone who complained about lop-sided benefits in our society of playing class warfare (and it has been a GOP mantra ever since) etc.

    Obama is too much like Reagan to me. The nexus that makes me wary is the Chicago School. Neo-liberalism is just the same Reagan crap (with peaceniks, pot smokers, pro-choice advocates and gay marriage). The economics are strikingly similar- which is all that really matters to the "Powers That Be".


    Well there ya go... (none / 0) (#34)
    by oldpro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:36:36 AM EST
    I say it's class warfare and I say tohellwitcha.

    I suspect... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Alec82 on Tue May 27, 2008 at 10:06:38 PM EST
    ...that Carter was something of a fluke.  While I agree that he could talk about some issues (is it any surprise? He met with gay activists during his own presidency) it is the nation that must change.  Not the party.  

     What is going on? America is not what it imagines itself to be.  It is not the most progressive country on Earth.  It is not as tolerant as its cousins.  But it yearns to be perceived as such.  

     I will not indulge the bigotry of "white" working class voters.  Those same voters, along with black and Hispanic voters, passed horrible anti-gay amendments.  

     Are they bitter? I don't care.  They're on the wrong side of history, and they appear to know it.  The real question is: are they stubborn? They have given me every indication to believe they are.


    Just curious (none / 0) (#52)
    by laurie on Sun Jun 08, 2008 at 01:26:34 PM EST
    You are an Obama supporter-aren't you?
    You were at TL just B4?

    Nice diary (none / 0) (#28)
    by Step Beyond on Sat May 24, 2008 at 12:14:37 AM EST
    Perhaps this election will be more beneficial to the Dem party in the long run than it would have been if the nominee was decided on Super Tuesday.

    I would sometimes post on dKos in diaries about stupid southerners (always popular after a lost election), bemoaning this same attitude of condescension. I think it was difficult for many to even see much less acknowledge. But with more people being slapped with ugly labels and with more people seeing that Dems need to spend less time asking why they aren't getting votes instead of assuming some nefarious reason (racism, stupidity, etc) there is more hope for the party in the future imho.

    Another way to put it (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edgar08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:07:18 AM EST
    It all depends on how you define a Reagan democrat.

    Is it a Democrat who looked at the platform of the Democratic Party and thought it was too liberal, elitist, and borderline amoral?

    Or is it a Democrat who looked at the Carter administration and decided Democrats can't be trusted with executive office.  Great legislators.  Bad executive office holders.

    More data points.  Republican governors in Dem strongholds like CA and MA.

    Why do social liberals like Giuliani and Bloomberg feel compelled to run as republicans in a blue state?

    Divided government (none / 0) (#33)
    by oldpro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:34:01 AM EST
    It's often true of red states, too...local, state officials are often Ds...their governors, legislatures...but not their US Senators or their votes for President.

    People more often than you think vote for the person and not the party!  Yes.  They do!  And especially in local and statewide races, they'll split their votes by design or default...cross over easily if they 'feel they know somebody' which is why doorbelling works almost every time.


    Everyone (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:43:09 AM EST
    Felt they knew Carter in 1980.

    Who wouldn't have wanted to live next door to him?


    I wouldn't.... (none / 0) (#42)
    by oldpro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 09:55:31 AM EST
    There's be no g. d. rest on Sunday mornin's.

    If he wasn't trying to drag you off to Sunday School he'd probably be handing you a hammer at the nearest Habitat site (of course I'm already there, anyhow...might as well hammer).


    That's the case in Mass. (none / 0) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:38:03 PM EST
    The state leg. is so overwhelmingly Democrat and so disliked by the voters (even though they love their own Dem. reps) that they very often vote Republican for governor as a balance.  And after this little fling with Deval Patrick, they're likely to go right back to doing it for the next 10 or 15 years.

    whats your Deval beef,? (none / 0) (#54)
    by ps911fan on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 08:39:25 AM EST
    Please elaborate. Share your all knowing reasons why Deval is a problem in MA?

    Looks like a re-elect here (none / 0) (#55)
    by ps911fan on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 08:45:53 AM EST
    Looking at his current approval rating


    70% Dems and 44% independents => re-election if he maintained similiar numbers. Are you telling me that you would rather support a republican?

    Lets hear it...


    I agree (none / 0) (#47)
    by Exeter on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:44:00 PM EST
    Plus, I hate this whole notion that Americans and their ten second attention span somehow are able to have movements that evolve over decades. I heard something on NPR the other day about how Obama may be to McGovern what Reagan was to Goldwater. And, just as I don't believe that Reagan was any evolution from Goldwater, if Obama wins, it won't be any evolution of seeds planted by McGovern.

    So (none / 0) (#48)
    by lilburro on Sun May 25, 2008 at 07:54:11 PM EST
    after Montana and South Dakota, the white working class issue will be pushed under the rug.  I'm thinking that's a bad thing.