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The argument for a populist Democratic Party: Not the Obama Coalition

Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton
Neither of these women hinder or help the Emerging Democratic Majority.

Egberto Willes in arguing that the "Obama Coalition" is not truly a Democratic coalition, wrote:

President Obama won the presidency twice. Each time he won he did so by substantial margins. His 2008 winning percentages were 43, 95, 67, 62, and 66 for the white, black, Latino, Asian, and other groups respectively. His 2012 winning percentages were 39, 93, 71, 73, and 58 for the white, black, Latino, Asian, and other groups respectively. . . . The above numbers are electorally balanced given today’s realities. It should put a fear in every Democratic presidential candidate’s psyche. Just like Karl Rove was wrong about a permanent Republican majority in 2001, those who claim some sort of Obama coalition that guarantees a 2016 Democratic president are wrong. The "Bush coalition" of 2004 actually looks much more balanced and sustainable than the mythical Obama coalition. . . .

All Republicans need to do to replicate the 2004 Bush coalition is to simply not act crazy. A few months back I wrote the piece “Don’t laugh but Rand Paul could be our next president” that had many calling me naive. This even as we are a country that elected an articulate actor (Reagan) and a less than intellectually competent "Yale" graduate (George W. Bush).

What is Egberto arguing for? I'll get to that in a second, but his notion that 2004 is the "true" breakdown is unsupported. On top of that, it only leads to a squeaker win for the GOP. Frankly, a better candidate would have beaten Bush in my opinion.

But is there really an "Obama Coalition?" Certainly Obama maximized African-American turnout and, in 2008, maximized the youth vote. That can't be replicated by any Democrat right now. But the basic contours of the "Obama Coalition" have existed for quite some time. I'll just give you one data point to prove my point: Michael Dukakis in 1988 collected votes in the demographics as follows: 40 percent of whites, 89 percent of African Americans, 70 percent of Latinos. In essence, he won the "Obama Coalition." Of course, he lost to Bush 41 by eight points. What happened in the following 20 years was the emerging Democratic majority. One data point—in 1988, whites were 85 percent of the electorate. In 2012, they were 72 percent.

Egberto's title tells his thesis "Democrats cannot rely on a mythical nontransferable 'Obama Coalition." This is incorrect on a number of levels. First, as I think I demonstrated above, it's not an "Obama Coalition," it's a Democratic Coalition. If Mike Dukakis can achieve it, you simply can't attribute it to Obama.

Second, Democrats can rely upon the basic makeup of the vote of those demographics. Even in Egberto's representative "true" year, 2004, Bush 43's principal gains were amongst Latino voters and even then Kerry took 56 percent of the Latino vote. And that was the GOP highwater mark, and an anomaly. This is especially clear when you consider that Bush and Rove were assiduously courting Latino votes with initiatives like, yep, immigration reform. That thrust has been utterly repudiated by the GOP. In short, 2004 was sui generis.

Okay, so what's the argument for abandoning this formula if it is (1) a Democratic coalition, not an Obama coalition; (2) not a myth, and in fact resilient? The argument is simple, winning elections is necessary, but not a complete condition to governing progressively.

In short, absent a transformation of the dynamic of Democratic governing and the elimination of the legislative filibuster, progressivism can only gain in increments absent a large electoral win. Thus while the emerging democratic majority can win the presidency in most cases, it can't win a governing majority.

What's needed for that? Winning more white voters. How to do that? Well the DLC/Third Way types will argue for "moderation" as the path. And perhaps they are right. But "moderation" does not win for progressivism. It may win for Democrats, but not for the ideas of progressives.

Egberto argues:

The Democratic nominee better take on issues directly that solidifies the Democratic base. Prosperity likely will not have trickled down by November 2016 even with a seemingly good economy. The Democratic nominee will have to be unabashedly populist and anti Wall Street, the arbiters of capital extraction.They must be the embodiment of our just lost liberal orator Mario Cuomo. The nominee must bring back to life the essence of Cuomo's 1984 keynote speech and FDR's 2nd Bill of Rights.

As elitist Democrats continue the coronation of some with the expectation that the Obama Coalition is static for their taking, a big surprise might just be in the making. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. One hopes the lesson will be learned in due time.

I'm for Egberto's remedies, but not for the reasons Egberto is arguing for them. First, a Democrat, let's say, Hillary Clinton, can certainly win in 2016 without doing these things. But can she govern in a progressive way? (Of course many doubt that is how she wants to govern.) The answer is pretty clearly no.

Winning elections is one thing, winning a governing coalition for progressive policies is something else altogether. To gain that in the short term, Democrats need more white votes. And populism as described by Egberto could be the way to do that.

The Warren Wing of the Democratic Party does not have a particular appeal to the existing emerging Democratic majority (nor is it a drawback). But perhaps its appeal can draw in more white working-class votes. And of course it speaks to very important progressive policy preferences regarding the economy.

In making the argument for this approach, I think we need to stay true to the political facts: (1) a Hillary Clinton does not threaten the emerging Democratic majority, but it also does not expand it. (2) The Warren Wing does not insure the emerging Democratic majority nor does it lessen it. (3) We need electoral expansion for progressive policies. And there may be fertile ground among working-class white voters. That type of expansion requires Democratic populism.

As to what Hillary Clinton wants, I'm more cynical than most. She wants to win but also won't stand in the way of progressivism.

In the short term, I'm arguing for progressives influencing presidents. What comes after that, who is to say?

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  • Display: Sort:
    This (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 03:45:50 PM EST
    All Republicans need to do to replicate the 2004 Bush coalition is to simply not act crazy

    Sounds so simple.  

    Yes (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 04:56:12 PM EST
    I think not crazy is beyond their reach at this point. So far the crazy has been cranking up pretty good and it's not even the official primary season yet.

    Parent
    Egberto Willes (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 03:54:42 PM EST
    does not make a persuasive differentiation between an historic Democratic base and Obama coalition.  It is a difference without a distinction when the dynamics of an electoral coalition is considered across time and among candidates.  The twin goals are to solidify the base and to get out the vote.  The need to get out the vote is constant, the base to be solidified changes in character with the times and demographics.

    Perhaps, by the Obama coalition it is meant a solidified base with a high black voter turnout. The base, in composite, is progressive. Populist policies serve both goals.   Mrs. Clinton, the presumptive nominee, needs to take into account that which is enduring and that which in flux in the Democratic base.  It seems to me that she can manage, overall, not only to capture the base of 2012, but also, expand upon it.  

    The notion that Rand Paul will erode the black turnout seems fanciful--there is so much for Rand to overcome, starting with his shallow and different understanding of civil rights, just as his non-interventionist foreign policy loses it gloss with further inspection.

    A moot point, probably. A Rand Paul Republican candidacy seems unlikely. Perhaps, as a running mate to Bush, the more likely Republican presidential candidate. Although, given Bush family selections for veep (Quayle, Cheney)  Rand may be too normal.  I would go with Joni Ernst--less normal and a woman.  

    While it is said that vice presidential running mates do not make a difference, it may be that the getting out the base to vote part will be important in 2016.  Mrs. Clinton will surely be looking at a Spanish/speaking running mate--an important part of the Democratic coalition and  a politically savvy move if faced with the Spanish speaking Jeb.

    Julian Castro is Barack Obama, 2016 (none / 0) (#13)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 11:29:34 PM EST
    What I mean is that Castro has many of the traits Obama projected and that made it easier for Whites to vote for a minority.

    I may be smitten, but you can't watch Castro give a speech, or sit for an interview, and not be impressed.

    Parent

    VP (none / 0) (#14)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 12:34:40 AM EST
    Governance and pathways (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by christinep on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 05:50:19 PM EST
    Going beyond the Presidential contest--with the increasingly helpful demographic disposition--if your commentary is to caution about not losing sight of a broader, longer-lasting strategy, I must agree that we focus further than the WH.

     We may be moving toward a structural advantage in the electoral college; but, almost simultaneously, we have lost a bit of broader ground in recent statehouse races by failure to vote in what may seem more boring races.  Repubs have gained numerous seats in Statehouses, and the depth & bench that goes with it in coming years.  Think: Local issues define the eventual field of play--Right or Left leaning--and require attention to detail...particularly, attention to all the practical consequences of controlling/being in charge of periodic Reapportionment.

    I have made (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 02:58:27 PM EST
    the point about Obama winning with just the Dukakis coalition and people simply just don't believe it.

    Willes sounds kind of pouty here to me. He should be following your advice and pressure whoever to answer questions and propose solutions.

    Wrong (none / 0) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 09:56:01 PM EST
    link

    "Millions of Americans, white and black, went to bed on Tuesday night saying, "I never thought I'd live to see the day." We have lived to see the day.
    The most remarkable result in the networks' state-by-state exit polls was something that did not show up: heightened racial division. Forty-three percent of white voters nationwide voted for Barack Obama. His white support was as high as, or slightly higher than, that of previous Democratic presidential candidates. John Kerry took 41 percent of the white vote; Al Gore took 42 percent; Bill Clinton, 39 percent (in 1992); Michael Dukakis, 40 percent; Walter Mondale, 35 percent; and Jimmy Carter, 35 percent (in 1980). Obama was tied with Clinton, who got 43 percent of the white vote in 1996, and slightly behind Carter's 47 percent in 1976. It was as if race didn't matter.

    Only Southern whites seemed resistant to Obama's appeal, voting 68 percent to 32 percent for McCain. Even so, Obama managed to peel off the fastest-growing states in the South outside of Texas."

    The subsequent loss of BHO's support among a section of the white electorate during his presidency was caused primarily because he pursued a progressive goal-passage of the ACA. Many whites just saw it as a sop to minorities. He paid a personal price in popularity to make the country better.

    Parent

    Dkakis drew mre white votes than (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 10:10:18 PM EST
    Obama 2012.

    And was beat by 8.

    I don;t think you are understanding the math.

    Parent

    I think CDS is interfering (3.00 / 2) (#11)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 10:38:32 PM EST
    with their math . . . .  :)

    Parent
    Dukakis (none / 0) (#12)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 10:55:08 PM EST
    link

    "Altogether last November, Obama won a larger percentage of the total vote than Dukakis in 31 states (plus D.C.), including 13 states where Obama outpaced Dukakis by at least 10 percentage points. The latter included an eclectic group of vote-rich states -- New Jersey and New York in the Northeast, Florida and Virginia in the South, and California on the Pacific coast.

    But there were 19 states where Dukakis drew a higher percentage of the vote than Obama did in 2012. With the exception of Texas, they were basically more rural states in the South, the agricultural Midwest and the Mountain West. Yet the largest falloff in the Democratic vote from 1988 to 2012 came in West Virginia, a state that Dukakis won with 52% of the vote but where Obama struggled last fall to reach 35%. It was the only state that Dukakis carried but Obama did not in either of his presidential runs.

    The 19 states that Dukakis in 1988 did better than Obama in 2012 are West Virginia, Wyoming, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Kentucky, Arkansas, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Louisiana, Missouri, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Minnesota and Nebraska.

    The number of white votes that Dukakis got is meaningless from both winning and progressive policy point of views (if you leave Iowa and Minnesota out) if you just look at where the white votes came from.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 07:45:10 AM EST
    Your point being what exactly?

    Parent
    Of course its not menaingless (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 07:47:00 AM EST
    Its like you didn't read my piece.

    The difference between winning and governing.

    Try again please.

    Parent

    No (none / 0) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:26:10 AM EST
    I read your piece and came to the conclusion that it was half baked. You are not going to be able to govern as a progressive by trying to appeal to white voters in states that Dukakis did better than BHO. You cannot govern as an environmental progressive if you are looking for votes of the white electorate in Appalachia, you cannot govern as a progressive on issues relating to race, sex, immigration, religion, etc if you are trying to appeal to rural whites in the South.

    Parent
    That's a DIFFERENT point (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:40:24 AM EST
    and I half agree with you.

    I'm not at all confident that "populism" is going to work to increase white Dem voters.

    But I can;t think of another short term approach that has a chance.

    You really don't understand my piece.

    Parent

    The problem (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:56:13 AM EST
    is that too many people like Politkix think that just mouthing populism is going to bring in more voters. On that account you're probably on the right track in your thinking. What needs to be done is propose some populist solutions and then EXPLAIN to the voters how it is going to help them. You have to be able to EXPLAIN these policies to change the minds of people.

    Parent
    I think you're (none / 0) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:44:13 AM EST
    missing a big piece of the puzzle. A lot of Obama's problems with these voters is his style much like Kerry had the same problem. Obama would not even go and talk to these voters so how do you know? If he had tried then maybe it would be different but he more or less didn't venture out of his comfort zone.

    Parent
    Oh I see now (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:02:00 AM EST
    Your claiming tht all the gains from Dukakis to Obama are attributable to Obama.

    Now that is ridiculous.

    Consider just one data point to see if you might understand.

    In 1988, George H. W Bush won California over Dukakis. 51-47

    in 1992, Clinton won California by 47-32 (Perot took 21 oercent.) Here was the exit poll breakdown

    ELECTION 98 MAIN    |   

    |    REMOTE NAVIGATOR

             1992 CALIFORNIA EXIT POLL RESULTS

                         PRESIDENT

    TOTAL CLINTON   BUSH    PEROT

     --     47       32       21

    VOTE BY SEX                  

      ALL MEN       47     43       34       23

      ALL WOMEN     53     51       31       18

    VOTE BY SEX - WHITES ONLY                    

      WHITE MEN    48     39       37       24

      WHITE WOMEN  52     46       34       20

    RACE                    

      WHITE        79     42       35       23

      AFRI-AMER   6     83        9        8

      HISPANIC    8     65       23       12

      ASIAN      4     39       39       23

      OTHER     2                  

    If you pretend there were NO elections between 1988 and 2012, you might think you have a point.

    But there were elections every 4 years and we can see  that the outliers for Dems in the period is actually the white vote acied by Bill clinton.

    There is a reason only Clinton and Obama have won.

    Clinton because he won a bigger share of the white vote.

    Obama because of demographic AND his outstanding ability to maximize the vote in key constituencies.

    That said, there is no doub that if Bill Clinton did s well as he did in 1996 in 2012 he would have won by 15 points.

    Parent

    You brought up Dukakis (none / 0) (#32)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:53:20 AM EST
    first. I did not. I replied to your post.
    Neither did I say that there was no election between 1988 and 2012.

    OTOH, you are steadfastly refusing to acknowledge that some of the white vote that Clinton won came with a price as far as progressive policies are concerned (Crime Bill, Welfare Reform, Sister Souljah, Ricky Ray Rector, etc) because of the way he campaigned to win.

    I do not want to go back to the ways Democrats like President Clinton campaigned in the 1990s to win non-progressive white votes because they came with a price. I am happy that Southern States do not matter anymore for Democrats to win at the Presidential level. That is all I am saying.

    Parent

    As opposed to the way Obama ... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Yman on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 11:34:06 AM EST
    OTOH, you are steadfastly refusing to acknowledge that some of the white vote that Clinton won came with a price as far as progressive policies are concerned (Crime Bill, Welfare Reform, Sister Souljah, Ricky Ray Rector, etc) because of the way he campaigned to win.

    I do not want to go back to the ways Democrats like President Clinton campaigned in the 1990s to win non-progressive white votes because they came with a price. I am happy that Southern States do not matter anymore for Democrats to win at the Presidential level. That is all I am saying.

    ... paid the price by appealing to conservatives/independents in 2008 - criticizing the Kennedy v. Louisiana decision and in favor of expanding the death penalty for child rape, praising the landmark DC v. Heller anti gun control decision, flip-flopping after the primary on NAFTA/trade agreements, ditto for a public healthcare option, his newfound support of AIPAC/tough protection of Israel, FISA, choosing Rick Warren to lead his inauguration prayer (let's not even mention homophobic Rev. Donnie McClurkin) etc., etc., etc.

    Obama is shifting to the center


    Rewarding good behavior

    Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul

    Yeah - wouldn't want to go back to the way that Democrats like Obama campaigned in 2008.

    Heh.

    Parent

    I acknowledge it (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 09:02:17 AM EST
    Clinton absolutely did some awful things to appeal to more white voters.

    Ricky Ray Rector.

    Sistah Souljah,

    Etc.

    OTOH he also did some good things when in office.

    This is the Dem conundrum, given the ingrained contempt for the "Other" among some whit voters, can you reach them without demonizing, both in political and policy terms, non whites?

    In this sense, both parties are faced with a Gordian knot - GOP must hang on to this white resentment to maintain their current political fortunes.

    Dems have the advantage at the Presidential level, GOP at all other levels.

    In the long run, there just won't be enough white voters to save the GOP on any level imo. That is California is the future.

    But that's 20 years from now

    What do we do until then?

    BTW, THIS is the conversation we should all be having.

    This is not an Obama issue It's a Dem issue.

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#35)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 09:12:01 AM EST
    for one thing we should talk about the mistakes that Obama has made and learn not to repeat them. First of all don't campaign as a post partisan unity pony. It does nothing but give the GOP something to throw back in your face. Secondly make it about issues and not personality. Talk and be able to explain the policies and HOW they are going to help the middle class. And then completely destruct the GOP policies and talk about how they aren't good for the average American.

    Parent
    I don't think making this discussion (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 09:13:51 AM EST
    Obama centric helps.

    People get their dander up, on both ides of that.

    Im actually aiming to get people to see its not an Obama issue, but a Dem issue.

    Parent

    Thanks, BTD (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 09:18:26 AM EST
    for trying to keep the bigger picture in focus. This is a Democratic issue.

    Parent
    Largely (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 09:36:21 AM EST
    yes but it doesn't mean we can't learn from the mistakes of the past.

    Parent
    Also too (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 10:12:32 PM EST
    Clinton won in 3 person races, including 92 when PErot drew 19% of the vote.

    Parent
    The issue was not (none / 0) (#10)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 10:19:17 PM EST
    "white voters" but "Southern white voters" as the article mentioned.

    Parent
    Yes that's a DEM issue (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:03:15 AM EST
    not an Obama issue

    That's my point.

    Parent

    You spent a lot (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 07:29:48 AM EST
    of time researching and doing the math but some people still refuse to accept the numbers.

    Parent
    Dream on (none / 0) (#15)
    by CMike on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 12:42:06 AM EST
    Obama's problem in 2012 with white voters wasn't that that election came after the Affordable Care Act debates, it was that the president was running in an election that didn't come in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis, which was an anchor for Republican party prospects, at least until Obama, once elected, had a chance to tell everybody it was time to let bygones be bygones.

    Sad that in a thread of a post recommending Democrats should turn to populism an Obama coalition member celebrate that the Heritage designed, Romney implemented at the state level, private medical insurance rescuing PPACA as a progressive goal.

    For free, here's a clue. Is there a 99% that is easier for their very own 1% to hoodwink than the progressive 99%?

     

    Parent

    Get a clue! (none / 0) (#24)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 07:55:05 AM EST
    Tell that to poor whites in urban areas and Hispanics and African-Americans who are now receiving medical care through the ACA but did not have health insurance before passage of the ACA and had to depend on emergency rooms.

    The issue is not "white voters". The issue that BHO had to live with in politics is the divide between Southern white voters and white voters in other parts of the country and the divide between rural and urban white voters.

    Many white voters that were Independents and some that were Republicans voted for BHO in 2008. Many Independents had also voted for BHO in the primaries in 2008. A large part of that vote was lost after passage of the ACA.

    The assertion of "Obama's problem in 2012 with white voters" is silly because white voters in different parts of the country are not a monolithic vote block but motivated by different concerns. As an example just look at the state of Vermont. If you compare election results from 1988 and 2012 (which BTD did), you will find that there was a shift of 19% in favor of BHO in Vermont over Dukakis. It was not because Vermont gained large numbers of African Americans or Hispanics in 2012 but because of shifts in white vote percentage in favor of BHO. Dukakis won 52% of the vote in West Virginia and BHO could barely win 35%. The massive erosion of votes in rural Appalachia was not caused because white voters in that state are against corporations or the 1% (just look at the Governors, Senators and politicians they elect at the local level) but because they support non-progressive environmental policies like coal mining.

    I have always said that the Democratic Party nominee in 2016 should campaign on economic populism. Supporting an economic populist message in 2016 and celebrating passage of the ACA are not contradictory goals as you seem to think.

    Parent

    You missed my point entrely (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:05:16 AM EST
    It's not an OBAMA problem with white voters.

    It a DEM problem.

    It's not an OBAMA coalition.

    It's a DEM coalition.

    IT's like you didn;t read my piece.

    Parent

    Dukakis (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 08:17:18 AM EST
    had the exact same problem Obama had. You're not understanding that the demographics of the country have changed therefore if the same demographics that exist now existed in 1988 Dukakis would have won the election.

    Parent
    Dream a little dream (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by CMike on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 12:05:21 PM EST
    The PPACA, after the Supreme Court got done with it, is nearly the exact same act that the country would have gotten from a McCain/Palin administration and on the same schedule. The only difference is that had McCain been elected in '08, instead of hearing about how un-American the mandate was, conservatives would have been cheering it on and progressives would have been in high dudgeon over the lack of some sort of public option as a give away to insurance companies, something as outrageous as, say, having death panels.

    The PPACA was the private insurance industry's dream bill and exactly what the neo-liberals were hoping for at that point in time. That's why when Justice Kennedy lined up against it Chief Justice Roberts had to break ranks with the Republican position and switch his vote over to enable the PPACA to survive the legal challenge it faced. How often do you think Roberts switches out his opinion at the last minute to side with the Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan?

    Parent

    Right (none / 0) (#19)
    by Yman on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 07:07:28 AM EST
    Race and the 2012 Election

    When Obama didn't have the advantage of running with a hudely unpopular Republican POTUS, the hopey/changey thing wasn't working.

    In 2008, Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, due in large part to overwhelming support and turnout from non-whites. We were told his election was the dawn of a post-racial America, but many believe race relations have gotten worse, and exit polls reveal the 2012 presidential election as the most racially polarized in American history...

    At the polls, 59 percent of whites supported Mr. Romney, a rate no presidential candidate has matched since 1988. In fact, Mr. Romney is the first presidential candidate in US history to receive so high a share of the white vote and still lose the election...

    From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Obama's share of the white vote dropped from 43 percent to 39 percent, resulting in a 20-point gap between him and Mr. Romney. The decrease was especially sharp among white men, 41 percent of whom supported Mr. Obama in 2008, but just 35 percent in 2012--a drop of 6 percent. Mr. Obama's vote share among white women dropped less, from 46 percent to 42 percent.



    Parent
    Wonkette's Warren for Progress (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 06:16:12 PM EST
    Campaign Poster (tee shirt or coffee cup)

    Populist economics (none / 0) (#16)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 12:43:34 AM EST
    is generally popular among working class whites....Any state-wide initiative to raise the minimum wage, for example, will typically win even in red states.

    Once the social conservatives realize that the move toward marriage equality is irreversible, they will over time abandon politics as an organized political force....

    The Republicans will adopt economic libertarianism and have a strong hold on the same portion of the voting public as the Republicans of the 1960s....At that point, Democrats will be in a good position to pick up many working class whites.   The culture wars will be over and the Democrats will have won.

    It's not (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 07:33:59 AM EST
    just marriage equality with the social conservatives. It's the whole culture war with abortion and a whole host of other things. So once they realize the culture war is lost perhaps they will go back into their communities and leave politics.

    Parent
    I'm not looking for a political messiah. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 01:04:17 AM EST
    If we should've learned one thing from 2008, it's there are no white knights in shining armor in politics.

    The people who swooned over Barack Obama that year, were then many of the same ones who were so bitterly disappointed by 2010 that they stayed home, handing the U.S. House of Representatives to the GOP along with numerous state legislatures. That's the politics of the vicarious, the mercurial and the dilettante.

    We need to realize that if we truly want progressive change, then we must become that progressive change ourselves. And that takes work. It takes sustained personal commitment on our part to not just the support of good presidential candidates, but also the advocacy for sound policy development, particularly in our own communities.

    And that means further sustained personal commitment on our part to electing good progressive candidates down-ticket as well, all the way down to our state legislatures, city councils, and local school and village boards -- and then working like hell to ensure that such people remain in office.

    We're never going to change things by merely seeking out others to first embody that change for us, and then leaving them to do all the heavy lifting while we recede back into our own respective little worlds until four years hence. No, we need to work for it and then keep working for it until we get it, and then work some more to keep it.

    I've seen and heard plenty of people who talk a good game. They're a dime a dozen. Now, I want to see people who actually bring it, rather than offer yet another round of lame excuses why they can't or won't get involved. When we seek out and demand perfection, more often than not we do so at the ultimate expense of good.

    It's our country, too. Either we make the effort to ensure that things happen for us, or others will make sure that things happen to us. The choice is entirely ours, and ours alone.

    Aloha.

    "white" knights? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peter G on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 11:30:13 AM EST
    heh

    Parent
    Who, one might ask, is Egberto Willies? (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 02:49:01 AM EST
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    Better bet than populism (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 10:10:11 AM EST
    The creation new and imaginative terms, new language to address the evolution of the skepticism/cynicism of the electorate, while appealing to the most obvious metaphor they can see in their daily lives (and perhaps it's just using new terms for old stuff):

    Use the rigged board game analogy, dollars are just game pieces.

    Or the sports metaphor -- would you play the Super Bowl without referees or rules? Then why do we allow the most powerful players in our economy to play this way?

    I'm sorry, but because we insist on maintaining, like children who want to maintain a belief in Santa Claus, powerfully false notions about the type of currency we use and the ultimate implications of that currency's type (i.e., it is not factually possible, as it is not factually possible for the world to be flat, for the federal government to ever go financially bankrupt, nations sovereign in their own currencies never can), it seems to me that we are going to spend a lot of time divided, pissing into the wind, and then saying, "Gosh, why are my eyes burning so much?"

    Simplify, amplify, demystify.

    Sorry, I just think the entire political "reality" in this nation exists in bizarre state of denial where we as progressives seem to just accept, ho hum -- like we accept, ho hum, right wing economic paradigms as the de-facto starting point of economic "debate"-- that our obvious imaginative and creative strength over conservatives, so obvious and profound I think it scares us to use, means nothing. So we allow, limit ourselves merely to attempting to be better at someone else's game.

    The left, or what passes for the left, the Dems, whomever, IMO, start all economic discussions from a position that, if we were using the same "logic" with global warming, would find us much more in line with climate change deniers.

    Which is very, very odd to me.

    And really sad, just sad. Because what it means is that we accept the notion that money matters more than people, that it is more real, more deserving of respect and care. Which is why we will fire people, throw them out of their homes, cut their "entitlements," make people suffer in any number of other ways, all in the name of saving money. We never make money suffer to save people. Ever. You know why? Because we can't. It's not a real thing. But we sure do treat it like it bleeds.

    Sigh.