Homeless Children: “It’s Only Life”

Via Dave Weigel, 60 Minutes points out that almost one in four American children are now living below the (inadequate) official poverty line…

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Programming note for those who can’t watch the video: A complete ethnic spectrum of homeless, near-homeless, and just-barely-ex-homeless children and their families are interviewed. Desperation knows no color line in Gov. Rick “Drug Tests for Welfare Applicants” Scott’s state.
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But as a partisan Democrat, I have to wince at the timing of Thomas B. Edsall’s NYTimes report today on “the future of the Obama coalition“:

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.
__
All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing 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.
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It is instructive to trace the evolution of a political strategy based on securing this coalition in the writings and comments, over time, of such Democratic analysts as Stanley Greenberg and Ruy Teixeira. Both men were initially determined to win back the white working-class majority, but both currently advocate a revised Democratic alliance in which whites without college degrees are effectively replaced by well-educated socially liberal whites in alliance with the growing ranks of less affluent minority voters, especially Hispanics…

I appreciate the ‘hard-eyed realist’ argument — Nixon started peeling Archie Bunker and his fellows away from the Democratic Party in the 1960s, the Republic ratfvckers have made a cottage industry of branding Dem voters as “eggheads and welfare recipients” ever since, and getting those votes back might just be impossible for America’s first Black President. But I really hoped that #OWS and its offshoots would give us a chance to start talking about class warfare again… not just another reiteration of the Republican divide-and-conquer “any small advance that guy over there makes, must come at your expense” talking points. Releasing the Teixeira/Halpin report just feels like an unforced error on our part.

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154 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    All the kids in that piece will break your heart.

  2. 2
    Davis X. Machina says:

    …the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.

    But not the first time the white working class will have explicitly abandoned the party.

  3. 3
    Linnaeus says:

    I was wondering if someone here at Balloon Juice was going to comment on that Edsall piece. I found it rather troubling, and I’m hoping that the so-called “abandonment” is exaggerated.

  4. 4
    kindness says:

    The writer of that piece is full of shit.

    I’m not a fan of the Obama Administration’s haggling technique but to suggest Obama is going AWOL on the working class is unsupported by the acts of this Administration.

    MSM assholism perhaps or just plain ole digging for Drudge links? I’m not sure.

  5. 5
    Tomjones says:

    Also from the article:

    But Cliff Zukin, a professor of political science at Rutgers, puts the situation plainly. “My sense is that if the Democrats stopped fishing there, it is because there are no fish.”

    I think that nails it.

  6. 6
    TooManyJens says:

    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.

    [citation fucking needed]

  7. 7
    Citizen Alan says:

    How exactly are we defining “white working class”? The polling I’ve seen indicates that we still win overwhelmingly among whites who make less than $50,000 a year. Seems like our problem is with the white upper middle class, the same selfish pricks who have always been afraid of getting overtaken by their “lessers” since time immemorial.

  8. 8
    hrprogressive says:

    The Obama team really ought to be attempting to wake up the White Working Class as to why voting Republican is 100% against their interests.

    I’m not gonna sit here and claim that voting Democrat is 100% in their interest, cause you can make a good argument that it probably isn’t.

    But if one party basically comes right out and says they’re only interested in you as a voter, not a constituent and/or they will actively do things to make your life harder, then the idea that anyone would vote for that party, willingly, is baffling to me.

    Besides, doesn’t Obama more or less have a winning majority of non-whites and elites anyway?

  9. 9
    boss bitch says:

    @ThePlumLineGS
    Greg Sargent
    Obama campaign flatly denies that it’s written off white working class voters in quest for a new coalition: wapo.st/w1Giqi

    Read Greg Sargent’s take here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

  10. 10
    Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill says:

    Yeah, because the Black guy who tried to put Georgia and Nebraska in play — and did put Virgina and North Carolina in his column — is going to start a campaign by saying “see ya later, poor white peoples!”

    When are we going to learn about poorly sourced articles, kids?

  11. 11
    gene108 says:

    But I really hoped that #OWS and its offshoots would give us a chance to start talking about class warfare again

    It might.

    But then again, there’s a strong contingent of formerly Democratic white folks, who are middle-class and poorer that have wholly digested right-wing talking points and want to stick it to the 47% of people, who did not pay Federal income tax, via a flat tax.

    I don’t think there’s a way to reconnect with some voters on economic issues any more.

    There’s been a lot of conflation between social and economic issues, so people – even people, who hate the nameless, soulless corporation they work for – have come to believe that you have to be for tax cuts, as part of your commitment to your other social mores.

    I think the era of reaching beyond cultural issues and getting to certain voters on economic issues has gone.

    As long as ‘you’ don’t publicly denounce DFH, associate with people, who aren’t like a certain demographic – maybe they have the wrong accent or their hair’s too long/short/styled differently – you aren’t getting that vote.

  12. 12
    BGinCHI says:

    The problematic word is “explicitly.”

    No way they are going to admit to any such change, even if there is one.

    I would have preferred it if the reporter had said “Fox News viewers” instead of white working class. At least that would have been factually accurate and specific. As well as pointing towards a cause.

  13. 13
    Tuffy says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I love that link, you are the best commenter on any website on the Internet. I wish to subscribe to your product or service. Do you have your own blog?

  14. 14
    West of the Cascades says:

    @boss bitch: This. The Edsall piece is so full of shit it’s hard to read twice to check that THERE IS NO FUCKING CITATION OF ANYONE IN THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN. Just various “Democratic operatives” shilling their own opinions, from which Edsall jumps to the unwarranted conclusion in his second paragraph.

    When is the NY Times going to go bankrupt, and can it happen soon enough?

  15. 15
    Napoleon says:

    But I really hoped that #OWS and its offshoots would give us a chance to start talking about class warfare again

    Of course there is nothing in that piece that says that they will not, and in fact that the piece says:

    substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic

    which tells you that is what they intend to do (and quite frankly most:

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

    are in the 99%).

    This, like nearly all articles of this type, are overblown. As yourself for a minute, do you really think that Karl Rove thought that Bush was going to pick up more then, say, 40% of the hispanic or black vote ever? I doubt so, but they still made a play for both because a vote is a vote, and if you get 2 people who would have not voted for for you to not vote at all that is as good as flipping a vote.

    All the article says is they have given up on winning a MAJORITY of that group. That doesn’t mean they will not try to get their votes; it doesn’t mean they abandoned them.

  16. 16
    kay says:

    @TooManyJens:

    [citation fucking needed]

    I agree. I don’t think James Carville is an Obama strategist.

    This is going to be used against him. “Abandon” is a loaded word.

    I imagine it’s only the first of the “white working class and Obama!” chatter we heard so much last time. It makes me tired just thinking about it :)

  17. 17
    askew says:

    Sigh. Leave it to the PUMA to figure out some way to use the painful reality of homeless children to attack Obama.

  18. 18
    Dr. Squid says:

    @kindness: Now it’s HuffPo links. Here comes the next series of The Sky Is Falling Because Someone Told Me So shriekings.

  19. 19
    William Hurley says:

    It is the case that Obama has “placed his bets” on strategy that is what “compassionate conservatism” would be were conservatives even remotely interested in or capable of compassion that’s not coin-operated.

    The problem for Obama – and his Svengalis Plouffe & Axelrod – is that his dependence on “Wall St” (meant in the broadest manner as a description of super-wealthy individuals, families and corporations) is an explicit declaration that he has determined that he cannot put his fate and the fate of his reelection in the hands of the less-than-super-wealthy individuals, families and communities.

    Compare, if you will, the growth in income of the Obama campaign’s most bountiful donors with that of everyone else.

    Vital Signs: GDI, the Darker Side of GDP

    Gross domestic income, an alternative gauge of economic output to gross domestic product, shows the U.S. near a standstill. GDI — income received by U.S. households and businesses — rose 0.4% in the third quarter. GDI should, in theory, be equal to GDP, which rose 2%. The discrepancy raised fears that third-quarter growth was much slower than GDP figures suggest.

    Source and charts for the above.

    These are more data points weighing in on the side of Obama’s defeat in Nov – if he’s allowed by Democrats to capture the nomination without challenge.

  20. 20
    Gex says:

    I just want to chime in and say that we shouldn’t let this cloud our judgment at all. There is still greater moral hazard in making banks prove they have a claim to a house they are foreclosing on than there is to kicking people out of their homes, right EDK?

  21. 21
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    This like nearly all articles of this type are overblown.

    Right. But you know how this goes. The absolute favorite subject of white male pundits that make much, much more than 50k a year is “white working class male voters”.

    They can talk about this for weeks. I’ve been hearing variations of it my entire adult life. It’s lunch-bucket time again! 2012 must be in full swing.

  22. 22
    Donut says:

    http://www.americanprogress.or.....to_270.pdf

    If you read the whole study by Greenberg and Teixeira, it’s definitely cautionary, but not as dire as you might think.

    The takeaway is basically that President Obama and Democrats this year are going to have to thread the needle between demographic reality (which favors our side, quite strongly) and bad economic reality (which does not favor incumbency, duh).

    Greenberg and Teixeira and not totally pessimistic about Obama’s chances – and it’s not just “rah rah Democrats, you can do it!” – they are pretty stark in saying Democrats have our work cut out for us this coming year – but they do see a path to victory, and it’s largely because the GOP has nothing but negativity to offer anyone who does not explicitly identify with the Tea Party and the older, ultra-religious (basically) all-white make up of the GOP electorate.

    In other words, it’s gonna be all about turn out in states like CO, NV, NM, VA, NC and FL, and overwhelming the enthusiastic nuts on the GOP side.

    Seriously, do read the pdf. It is worth your time.

  23. 23
    West of the Cascades says:

    @kay: And just WAIT until Naomi Wolf writes her article about this …

  24. 24
    gene108 says:

    @hrprogressive:

    The Obama team really ought to be attempting to wake up the White Working Class as to why voting Republican is 100% against their interests.

    The only group Democrats don’t win consistently is white men. White women vote for Democrats more than Republicans.

    Where it gets really bad for Democrats, demographically, are in some Southern and Western states – South Carolina, Nebraska, Utah, etc. – but I don’t know how much of that is a function of the failure of those state’s Democratic Parties keeping their stuff together, versus outright voter hostility towards Democrats.

    North Carolina and Virginia, though almost always have gone for Republicans for President, until 2008, still have strong statewide Democratic Parties, as evidenced by Democratic governors and senators getting elected on a regular basis.

    I think the bigger, just as big an issue, that no one asks is why Republicans have basically abandoned the West Coast and Northeast/Northern Mid-Atlantic states.

    States like New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, California, and Oregon, because other than very fortunate conditions occurring, like those that got Christie elected as governor in NJ (bad economy, unpopular incumbent), Republicans rarely do well in statewide elections.

  25. 25
    kay says:

    @William Hurley:

    These are more data points weighing in on the side of Obama’s defeat in Nov – if he’s allowed by Democrats to capture the nomination without challenge.

    Well, you better get cracking, then. Put up your primary challenger. Time’s a wasting.

  26. 26
    Linnaeus says:

    The more I think about this, the more I’m skeptical of the “abandonment” Edsall’s writing about.

  27. 27
    Loneoak says:

    @kindness:

    I felt the same about that article. The most conspicuous piece of bullshit was this:

    In the United States, Teixeira noted, “the Republican Party has become the party of the white working class,” while in Europe, many working-class voters who had been the core of Social Democratic parties have moved over to far right parties, especially those with anti-immigration platforms.

    Note the attempt to set up a contrast between the categories “Republican Party” and “far right parties with anti-immigration platforms.”

  28. 28
    Dr. Squid says:

    @West of the Cascades: Geez, why didn’t they just ask Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen what to do? I hear Mark Penn and Al From are available too.

  29. 29
    kay says:

    @gene108:

    I think the bigger, just as big an issue, that no one asks is why Republicans have basically abandoned the West Coast and Northeast/Northern Mid-Atlantic states

    No one will ever ask that. No one will ever ask why Republicans “abandoned” all voters who are not white, either, because those voters are somehow inherently less desirable and sought after.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kay: I gather Bill Schneider is no longer on CNN (?), but I remember his staple in the ‘nineties was how Democrats were hurting because all their support came from women and minorities. “Real Americans”, white men, white men from ‘the Heartland’, those votes were somehow more legitimate.

  31. 31
    Shannon says:

    OWS has become more about the protesters and cops and the dhs than the original message. Shame

  32. 32
    Linnaeus says:

    @Donut:

    Just read it, and it’s definitely more nuanced than Edsall suggests.

    Even in the more “difficult” states, the study’s authors don’t say that Obama’s got no chance. Just that it will be a little harder for him.

  33. 33
    Donut says:

    @William Hurley:

    Concern troll is concerned!

    Read the Greenberg and Teixeira piece I pasted the link to above.

  34. 34
    boss bitch says:

    So we have a handful of so-called black leaders saying Obama doesn’t care about black people and now we have this where Obama is abandoning white people.

  35. 35
    Redshift says:

    Fascinating contrast in these two sentences:

    the party will explicitly abandon the white working class

    All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned

    Anyone here believe that “trying to win a majority of the white working class” has been a winning strategy for Democrats? Yay, blue dogs?

    The first sentence is thoroughly disgusting, however, since Fox has already turned it into “Barack Obama doesn’t care about white people.

  36. 36
    boss bitch says:

    In case you haven’t had enough black walnut ice cream:

    Herman Cain: I’m Being Betrayed By A Friend
    Herman Cain told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he is being “betrayed” by a friend who he tried to help. Cain said his wife doesn’t know the woman claiming she had a 13 year affair with the GOP presidential candidate, and further decried the accusation as “baseless charges.”

  37. 37
    Citizen_X says:

    @Loneoak:

    Note the attempt to set up a contrast between the categories “Republican Party” and “far right parties with anti-immigration platforms.”

    Some contrast. If the latter were a category on Jeopardy, the former is bound to be one of the answers.

  38. 38
    Redshift says:

    @kay:

    No one will ever ask that. No one will ever ask why Republicans “abandoned” all voters who are not white, either, because those voters are somehow inherently less desirable and sought after.

    It’ll be fascinating (in a sick sort of way) to watch the contortions necessary to maintain the “if it wasn’t for black/women’s/whatever votes, Democrats would never win elections” narrative once we move into the era where whites are no longer a majority.

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Democrats were hurting because all their support came from women and minorities. “Real Americans”, white men, white men from ‘the Heartland’, those votes were somehow more legitimate.

    Right. I was always a little offended, once I finally figured it out. Not being a man and all.

    A vote is a vote, though, so screw them, and if one puts the right amount of votes together in the right states, they win.

    We have MATH, Jim. We have ADDITION. They can’t take that from us:)

  40. 40
    geg6 says:

    @Napoleon:

    This. Mother fucking this. People, you must read the actual words and digest them in a way so that you don’t read them to mean what you think they mean, but actually so that they mean what they really mean.

    I think. ;-)

    Anyway, I ditto your comment.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    “White working class” = Reagan Democrats. And since, as others have pointed out, those voters have been Republicans since at least 1980, why exactly are Democrats supposed to go all-out to win them over when their demographic is shrinking and all of the others are growing?

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    @William Hurley:

    I know I always take my hot tips from self-proclaimed progressives who cite a Murdoch rag and use it to make some convoluted arguments about how it’s an awesome idea to primary a sitting president with whom over 3/4 of my party agree and support.

  43. 43
    Zifnab says:

    But I really hoped that #OWS and its offshoots would give us a chance to start talking about class warfare again… not just another reiteration of the Republican divide-and-conquer “any small advance that guy over there makes, must come at your expense” talking points. Releasing the Teixeira/Halpin report just feels like an unforced error on our part.

    I don’t see it that way at all. Republicans have been turning every political debate into a rhetorical mine-field, creating a list of all the things you can’t say because they’ll piss of white people. But the demographics have shifted and race is now a huge wedge issue for Republicans. Do they run from their xenophobic Tea Party base, or do they abandon any hope of cultivating a Latino constituency?

    That Obama’s team is willing to drop the hammer and plunge into the mine field indicates a certain degree of daring I would not have expected, but that I really appreciate. I think there’s definitely time for the class warfare debate, but that doesn’t mean we have to continue playing by the GOP rulebook of white man’s political correctness. Get Obama out there pitching his message in Spanish. Talk about modern day ghettos and financial segregation. Discuss real immigration reform, rather than pandering to the namby-pamby “They tooker jobs!” crowd.

    This is a fight Democrats won with African Americans (see: Still getting 90% of the vote) and one they can win again with Hispanics in all those bright red states where Republicans think they’ve got majorities. The GOP is red hot with immigration hate and White Man’s Jesus crazy. Now’s the time to hammer them.

  44. 44
    Kane says:

    Obama/Bide­n won in 2008 by an approximat­e margin of 10 million popular votes over McCain/Pal­in, with a commanding electoral vote of 365-173. And that was with only 43 percent of the white vote!

    In many states the key question for 2012 may be whether Republicans can increase their advantage among whites enough to overcome what’s likely to be a growing share of the overall vote cast by minorities, who still break preponderantly for Democrats. In Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Virginia, and other key states that have experienced substantial minority growth, a National Journal analysis shows that Obama can win next year with a stunningly small percentage of the white vote—if Democrats can translate the minority-population growth into commensurate increases in the electorate…Republicans may need to win an implausibly high percentage of whites to prevail, unless they can also reduce Obama’s advantage among minorities.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com.....d-20110331

    Considering the rhetoric coming from the GOP debates, it appears that republicans have given up the idea of appealing to the minority voter, instead doubling down entirely on the white voter. Good luck with that.

  45. 45
    RareSanity says:

    I have a genuine question, that I have been wondering about for awhile, maybe someone can help. I’m reminded of it because Anne used the term in her post.

    Is there a functional difference, between someone identifying themselves as a Democrat or Republican, and someone identifying themselves as a “partisan” Democrat or Republican?

  46. 46
    khead says:

    @Redshift:

    Well, that first sentence from Fox may be disgusting…..

    The first sentence is thoroughly disgusting, however, since Fox has already turned it into “Barack Obama doesn’t care about white people.

    But the action(s) by Fox only serves to reinforce your first statement:

    Anyone here believe that “trying to win a majority of the white working class” has been a winning strategy for Democrats? Yay, blue dogs?

    Courting middle-income, low-info white male voters is a waste of time and money. Just like the (crappily sourced?, OMG!) article suggests. Dumbass white folks will eat that “Obama hates white people!” shit from Fox up.

    It’s funny as hell watching all y’all trip over each other to disown or critique the article when you should be embracing it.

    Also,

    “White working class” = Reagan Democrats. And since, as others have pointed out, those voters have been Republicans since at least 1980, why exactly are Democrats supposed to go all-out to win them over when their demographic is shrinking and all of the others are growing?

    This. Missed this post while typing.

  47. 47
    BGinCHI says:

    @Kane: It’s as though the GOP thinks it can appeal to only rich people and white men and still run the country with a minority of voters if they can get the media to buy their message of fear and hopelessness.

  48. 48
    Soonergrunt says:

    @kay: Which is fucking hilarious to this white working class male voter.
    I wouldn’t vote for a republican if somebody put a gun to my head.

  49. 49
    some guy says:

    the Cap study is actually pretty positive, especially when outlining what the baseline of electoral votes are for both teams, and where the 3 regional battlegrounds (Rustbelt, Southwest, New South) stand right now. They do a state by state by state breakdown of each contested region, and from my reading things look pretty fucking rosy for Team Obama, given 9% unemployment and a recession that has lasted since he took office.

    the key takeaway for me is that Obama has to get roughly the same turnout from all groups he won in 2008, and keep his share of losses in the white male demographic in those contested states to roughly the 15% loss range (like in PA).

    Texeira and Halpin seems cautiously optimistic about PA, Minnesota, and Wisconsin but cautiously pessimistic about Ohio, and Michigan (where white working class voters went for Obama 52-46) and Iowa.

    anyway, definitely read the CAP report, Path to 270: http://www.americanprogress.or.....to_270.pdf

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Okay, if you buy that, but smart Democrats wouldn’t announce they’re “abandoning” and Jettisoning” whole categories of voters because that’s just not a good idea. The general idea is to ask people to vote for you, even knowing they probably won’t.

    Would you ever see a something like this come from Republicans? No. You would not. Because they wouldn’t announce they consider some voters unpersuadable, because that’s just dumb. People like to be asked.

    No one is going to parse it for nuance, especially with that crazy language in there. “Abandon”? Good Lord.

    How many people were paid big bucks for creating and releasing this brilliant “study” or ‘theory” or whatever it is, and can Democrats get their money back?

  51. 51
    Linnaeus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “White working class” = Reagan Democrats. And since, as others have pointed out, those voters have been Republicans since at least 1980, why exactly are Democrats supposed to go all-out to win them over when their demographic is shrinking and all of the others are growing?

    Not always, though. Let’s not overlook organized labor, a key Democratic constituency and one that brings a lot of votes and provides a lot of political work.

  52. 52
    Donut says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Yeah, exactly. Everyone likes to point out, “no incumbent president in the last _X_ years has won reelection when unemployment is above 9%!”

    Ok, so we have that problem. Fine.

    But let’s look at which losing incumbent presidents we’re talking about, in the 20th century.

    Carter.

    Bush the Elder.

    Hoover.

    Taft.

    Am I missing any? As an aside, I think if it were not for dirty tricks, Bush II likely actually lost Ohio in 2004, and therefore lost the election, but that’s neither here nor there now.

    The point is, arguably, Obama has out-performed the other recent losing incumbents by most relevant measures. He has a very very good track record on a number of issues, so this is not the same kind of scenario as other losing incumbents faced. I am still optimistic that the Obama re-elect team will get a good message and theme established, and when he wants to, Obama is among the best campaigners, ever, and he keeps a cool head and plays long, and they have been laying the ground work for a better message since this summer, when they finally (thankfully) gave up on painting the President as Deficit-Reducer-In-Chief and started focusing on stuff that people actually give a shit about – meaning jobs.

    We’ll see, but I think the guys here in Chicago are paying attention and will probably get it right in the end.

  53. 53
    Davis X. Machina says:

    “White working class” is often now broken out by education, not by income…. not sure which definition’s being used here.

  54. 54
    BGinCHI says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I wouldn’t vote for a republican if somebody put a gun to my head.

    It’s still early. Rove hasn’t even bought the guns yet.

  55. 55
    Dork says:

    God damn that’s a heartbreaking expose. Damn near brought me to tears.

  56. 56
    Napoleon says:

    @kay:

    How many people were paid big bucks for creating and releasing this brilliant “study” or ‘theory” or whatever it is, and can Democrats get their money back?

    Why do you think it is in any way associated with the Dem party? Ruy T. for years has studied and released pieces on the demographic make-up of the Democratic coalition. In fact I think this is just an extension of his and John Judis’ book from the early 00’s called “The Emerging Democratic Majority”.

  57. 57
    Tom Q says:

    A few things:

    Tom Edsall has been in Chris Matthews territory for many years in terms of “my bigoted old uncle is the swing vote”. Edsall has written a number of books explaining how the GOP was endlessly ascendant because the Dems lost older white guys around 1966. It’s hardly odd he would view this development this way.

    As others have said, the honest headline for this story would be “Obama crowd recognizes reality”. Dems have been trying to convince the white woking class for decades their economic interest doesn’t lie with the GOP…and every time a Willie Horton ad comes along and undoes every word. It’s not that Obama wouldn’t welcome these votes; it’s that he’s not going to bang his head against the wall trying to get them when there are far easier routes to electoral success.

    Re: Greenberg/Teixeira (guys I like a lot): they’re good analysts of current polling data, but not especially good at seeing the future. All their analysis is based on the economic and (corollarily) Obama approvals staying static. But all the recent economic data has been pointing upward — not as sharply as ’84 did for Reagan, but at least as much as ’04 did for Bush. If that stays on course for the next eight months, the whole “squeaking by electorally” will seem hopelessly quaint, as Obama will cruise to victory.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    Except that, as others have said, everyone who’s quoted is in that weird twilight of Democratic “consultants” who seem to work against the actual Democrats at every turn. At this point, if James Carville told me the sky was blue, I would demand a chronometer reading just to be sure, so I don’t really trust his interpretation of what the study actually says. Much less his recommendations about what to do.

    My question is, what is up with these fucking “Democrats” who insist on undermining elected Democrats at every turn? Mark Penn, Pat Caddell, James Carville — there’s a whole cadre of them, and they insist on cutting every initiative by the Democrats off at the knees.

  59. 59
    Kane says:

    When one starts breaking down the electoral map state by state, it becomes quite obvious why those considered the more viable Republican candidates decided to sit this one out and wait for 2016. The writing is on the wall, and Republicans know it. For Romney, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and Newt it’s now or never for them. None will stand a chance to be the nominee in 2016.

  60. 60
    kay says:

    I guess I just don’t see the point of creating and publishing studies on how Democrats are really just looking to hold down margins among a certain demographic, because that’s not real appealing to voters. I’m not clear on why we’re studying/announcing.

    How does that possibly benefit anyone? What about House members in white working class areas? Governors? State legislatures? Judges? They’re Democrats. They have to carry the same “brand”, and it’s “Democrat”.

    I have no idea why our high-priced strategists are working overtime to loudly proclaim they have “given up” on certain voters. It doesn’t even make sense from a House district, state or local level, because it doesn’t hold true in those races.

    Republicans now hold more statehouses than they have at any time since 1928. I guess our objective is to help them keep them.

  61. 61
    Citizen_X says:

    @kay: I agree it’s awful word choice, but did it come from Democratic operatives, or is it Edsall and the Times using the loaded language? “Explicitly abandon the white working class?” Good lord, that’s not even political. Sounds like Obama is leaving them to die! “All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class?” Pretense?

    And how come our media overlords, who are so careful to break out the white working-class voters, never just lump all working-class voters together regardless of race? Would the voting pattern be too obvious then?

  62. 62
    cinesimon says:

    And all the republicans can do is argue over what the term ‘poverty’ ought to mean.
    Oh – and take away the poor people’s voting rights, attack women’s healthcare, and engage in various religious and cultural warfare fronts across the nation.
    Poor people, it seems, is nothing but an annoying fly to be swatted away, in the eyes of all republicans, and some Democrats.

  63. 63
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie @ Top:

    I have to wince at the timing of Thomas B. Edsall’s NYTimes report today …

    Edsall is a jackass. The Democrats aren’t going anywhere without the white, blue collar, union vote. Most Democrats know that, and have no intention of abandoning them no matter what Edsall wants to believe with respect to convenient scapegoating narratives that just happen to fit GOP framing.

    .

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kay:

    No one is going to parse it for nuance, especially with that crazy language in there. “Abandon”? Good Lord.

    The only person using the word “abandon” is Edsall. We’re getting played again. Next thing you know, DHS will be coordinating the abandonment.

  65. 65
    Linnaeus says:

    @Tom Q:

    Tom Edsall has been in Chris Matthews territory for many years in terms of “my bigoted old uncle is the swing vote”. Edsall has written a number of books explaining how the GOP was endlessly ascendant because the Dems lost older white guys around 1966. It’s hardly odd he would view this development this way.

    I’m glad someone pointed this out. This is the gist of his book from 1992, Chain Reaction, and it’s been his message ever since.

  66. 66
    Yutsano says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Which is fucking hilarious to this white working class male voter

    Liar. You and I both know you are ebil gubmint worker sponge sucking the life off the gubmint teat like the parasites we are. :)

  67. 67
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My question is, what is up with these fucking “Democrats” who insist on undermining elected Democrats at every turn?

    Obama will be okay (although they’ll use it against him) but from a state and local perspective it’s just goddamned dumb to say “we don’t want those voters”, and that is the ONLY way it is going to be heard.

    Are we trying to harm state and local Democrats? It’s crazy-making.

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kay:

    I guess I just don’t see the point of creating and publishing studies on how Democrats are really just looking to hold down margins among a certain demographic, because that’s not real appealing to voters. I’m not clear on why we’re studying/announcing.

    That’s Ruy Teixeira’s bit. It’s his Thing. Demographic trends will make Democrats unstoppable, just a few elections from now. He’s been doing it for close to 20 years.

  69. 69
    cinesimon says:

    Though I – and we here – cannot help but see this in political terms, after watching this I also have to say, that these people are true American heroes. The kids, the parents, those doing their best to help them out of the situation.
    The kids make me cry, but they and the adults also fill me with hope – these are the people the right wing and the Tea Party say are lazy drug addicts who simply need to get off their ass and make an effort.
    From what I see, these people work harder than any of those lazy, complacent dicks in the republican party and the right wing-oriented ‘churches’.
    These people make me want to pack up and go help deal with this issue for the rest of my life – but I know the best I can do, is keep working hard, and donate to the organisations dedicated to helping the people, and of course, donating to those who understand how to make America around – that is, unfortunately, the Democratic Party.

  70. 70
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, I know, but no one is going to read it anywhere else other than from Edsall.

    Could Democratic strategists perhaps every once in a while hold an unexpressed thought? Is there some rule that says they have to broadcast/publish each and every half-assed theory that flits through their head?

  71. 71
    jefft252 says:

    you can be for “the working class”
    or
    you can be for “the white working class”

    you can not be both

    solidarity forever

  72. 72
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Right, but it’s a big country and not every race is a presidential race. For House and state and local races, national demographics may not be valid, or helpful, or apply.

    If this strategic brilliance continues, we’re going to have Democratic Presidents, periodically, but Republicans will hold every other office.

  73. 73
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The through-the-looking-glass quality of our whole political debate makes me figuratively bang my head against the wall– that the guy who’s trying to expand access to health care insurance (does anyone not know at least one person who has made a major lifestyle decision based on insurance? Many of the people I know who did so are in fact white) and create construction/police/firefighter jobs is ‘abandoning’ the white working class.

  74. 74
    D. Mason says:

    @gene108:

    I think the bigger, just as big an issue, that no one asks is why Republicans have basically abandoned the West Coast and Northeast/Northern Mid-Atlantic states.

    No one asks this question for a reason. The answer is obvious. People who have a diverse set of acquaintances are much more difficult to corral based on wedge issues designed to pit us all against “others”(not a lost reference). When you live in the homogeneous heartland you don’t have positive experiences with “others” to draw upon. Republicans thrive on these kinds of politics. And before anyone says it, yes Dems do it too but they don’t thrive on it and that’s the difference I see.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kay: Ruy Teixeira is going to put out memos on the creative class/minority axis that clinches every election for the Democrats as long as he breathes. That’s Brand Teixeira.

    Honestly, ISTM that Edsall went looking for a demoralizing way to frame longstanding electioneering advice. And the whole end of the piece looks like he’s going out of his way to fry a very old fish, to wit, Teixeira’s demographic arguments. And he doesn’t establish that Obama is listening to Teixeira except, Glenn Greenwald style, to treat it as self-evident in order to decry how it has already happened.

  76. 76
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Tom Q: If the Republican Party was the Rockefeller Republican Party, Obama might struggle to pull out a victory next year. It’s because it isn’t that Obama will consolidate those gains he made in 2008. All of the Republicans are talking about taking away things in an environment where people are already struggling, or focusing on culture war issues that the rest of the country have long ago moved past. Obama is the only one talking about jobs right now. Everybody else is freaking out over abortion, gays, and repealing a health care law that is already helping people. The Party has become Rush Limbaugh’s id, and there’s not enough adult left to make people confident in their governance.

    It’s as if the Republicans have decided that punishing America for voting for Obama is a winning strategy, and they are counting on a masochistic electorate to stay home depressed next year.

    But Americans don’t do masochism very well.

  77. 77
    Rekster says:

    Anne, thanks so much for posting the 60 Minutes piece. I was going to change channels last night when I saw this piece coming up but am so glad that I sat and watched this through tears running down my cheeks.

    I am a “middle aged” white male who served in the US Navy for twenty years including a year in combat in Viet Nam as a Corpsman in the First Marine Division. It is abhorrent to me that in the 21st Century in this nation that we have families living in cars because they can’t find a job. Those lunatics on the right would have us believe that they are all just lazy, drug addicts, or neer do wells and they should just “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”.

    It is interesting that the majority of the comments are regarding the Edsall article. I hope the Balloon Juice readers will watch the clip you posted. That clip should be replayed on all the “news” networks. It is enlightening to see what is really happening in this country to the “99”%.

  78. 78
    Napoleon says:

    Tom @ 57 Said: “they’re good analysts of current polling data, but not especially good at seeing the future.”

    I would strongly disagree with this at least as to Ruy T. The Emerging Democratic Majority did a very good job at predicting what was going to happen over the years between then and now.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Most of the actual advice quoted in the piece is actually saying entirely the reverse — not to “abandon” anyone but rather to shore up other demographic segments, growing ones, in order to protect against the “white working class” “abandoning” Democrats (which happened in 2010, according to the pollsters quoted in the article). The whole thing is bullshit.

  80. 80
    Napoleon says:

    JGabriel @63 said: “The Democrats aren’t going anywhere without the white, blue collar, union vote.”

    Maybe, but that is not what the study says. It talks about the white working class, which the Dems have lost since I was in grade school in the 70s. When you add the word union, that changes things, but then again union membership is under 20%.

  81. 81
    William Hurley says:

    @kay:

    Sorry to see that you haven’t been keeping up. I do find it interesting that I’m often challenged by one of two of this con-joined twin of an “argument”. Your’s declares I haven’t provided enough data/evidence/material/…, while its twin declares that I’m overdoing it/layering on/stuck in one track/….

    Here’s some hard econ data regarding the loss of wealth homeowners (one grand undifferentiated bucket) have experienced since 2007.

    However, all of this changed in 2008 when the bursting of the housing price bubble and the catastrophic implosion of the sub-prime mortgage market triggered a widespread financial crisis that destroyed large portions of household wealth. The FoFs report a $13 trillion (15 percent) loss of household wealth between the peak of mid-2007 and March 2009; and, as shown in Figure 1, the wealth-income ratio has basically fallen back to the levels of the early 1990s.

    The quote is taken from a Brookings study (37ppg PDF) on “The Wealth of Older Americans and the Subprime Debacle“.

    Even though the study’s focus is older Americans, the facts pertaining to the loss of wealth due to house-price collapse applies equally to all home-owners who purchased before 2007. As such, the fact that massive sums of wealth simply evaporated during Obama’s watch does not bode well for him even though no one suggest that the President caused the housing market collapse. However, many observers be they economists, analysts, politicians or simply home-owners have seethed and shouted as Obama, Geithner and Bernanke (Bush appointee, re-appointed by Barry) have worked against home-owners interests legislatively and in the courts. They have also been witness to the “dignity-trap” that is HAMP and HARP – Obama’s “signature” home-owner relief programs.

    All the while, home prices have continued to fall – and with it the wealth holdings of tens of millions of Americans – some retired or soon to do so but so too many more who are still in the prime of their working life. So, considering that house prices have continued to fall since the Brookings’ report’s data was initially published, allow me to provide an up-to-date estimate of aggregate value of the losses. Estimates now suggest that nearly $16 trillion in house-based wealth is gone. Poof!

    The question such facts and outcomes begs is this: how many investigations into fraudulent housing market behaviors – assessments, lending, refi, loan “product” selling and others – have been conducted by the DoJ? The answer is 0 (zero). The DoJ is the principle actor pushing (the remaining) states’ AGs to avoid investigations and litigation with major housing financiers though the mortgage settlement negotiations. Fortunately, many states’ AGs have walked away from the process the DoJ and White House have been pushing. The AGs that have “left” the “negotiations” report that the “pending deal” includes many odious features among which blanket, terminal immunity for the financial community is just one “concession”. The AGs also report that each, individually, had been subjected to significant direct and in-direct pressure from the White House and Holder’s office to stay the course and settle for their respective states. Many found the political pressure as offensive as the terms they refused to agree to.

    Lastly, as absolutely screwed-up as HAMP/HARP has been, the Obama Administration has used less than half of the monies allocated to the programs in service of aiding home-owners avoid foreclosure and permanent injury to their credit reports and all that comes with that in modern America.

  82. 82
    Emma says:

    Excuse me, but the campaign is denying the whole thing. They never used the word “abandon.” It’s not their strategy. They, however, have no control over what the arseholes like Edsall say.

    Can we please, please, please, stop doing this knee jerk panic dance every time someone says “boo”? Haven’t we learned anything from the upteenth other times of “OHSHITOBAMAGONNASELLUSOUTSOMEBODYORANOTHERSAIDSO!”?

  83. 83
    pluege says:

    its very tough talking to people who are too damn stupid to even know their own interests; that can’t tell when they’re being screwed royally; that are so effing stupid that they are easily manipulated with racist, bigoted, and religious claptrap, lies, dissembling, and victimization.

    What would obama’s team even do to attract the unimaginable slugs that is the white vote?

    For too long democrats have tried to assuage a group of people too damn stupid to even tie their own shoes. Jettisoning that failed policy of trying to appease them is the right move. Going hard left to make an unmistakeable distinction from the crap right has long been the right strategy. Being clear that the left is for the average people, and not the miniscule group of plutocrats may even sink in if they press it hard enough.

    In a 2 party system, people have to choose one or the other. Dems have nothing to lose going left and everything to lose continuing to move right.

  84. 84
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Hurley, as if “Foreclose Faster” and “Bain Capital” Romney is going to do anything for distressed homeowners. As far as prosecuting the people who got us into this mess, most of what they did was perfectly legal, if perfectly unethical. As for the rest? It takes a long time slogging through mountains of records to make a case and a lot of luck. Needless to say, we might not know if anyone will be prosecuted on the big time level until after Obama has retired to his home in Maui.
    Those expensive corporate lawyers are paid that much to cover their bosses’s asses in every way possible. So even if there is some actionable wrongdoing, there may not be enough evidence to make it stick in a court of law in many cases. Or the blame will be put on more expendable underlings if they don’t in turn turn state’s’ evidence.

    Which is why Obama and company are focusing on things that can offer the homeowner some relief instead of prosecutions.

  85. 85
    William Hurley says:

    @Donut:

    Actually, in the modern era, the incumbent dooming unemployment figure is 7.2%.

    As it stands today, the headline unemployment rate is 9.0%

    A measure of employment, under-employment and discouraged working age Americans (the “U6” category) stands at 16.1%.

    In raw numbers, the former means that over 14 million Americans are out of work. The latter means that ~26 million Americans are un- or under-employed.

    By election day, the former raw number will be ~17 million and the latter over 30 million.

    No matter how you slice it, the data weighs immovably against the President.

    You and others may hope Obama can overcome such harsh realities, but when put into context with other information – not solely economic – the electability of this incumbent is revealed to be little more than projections of hope amid a mirage of change.

  86. 86
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    In a normal economy, sure. But with one party threatening to take away even the hope of relief, and governed by crazy, this may be a different world altogether. Add the fact that this party is showing a great deal of hatred and contempt towards these growing segments of society as well, and there may be a new normal.

    If the economy was the controlling factor, why are the Republicans focusing on voter suppression? Shouldn’t they be trying to win over these new segments who are hurting with the economy?

    Also, why aren’t seemingly more creditable Republicans not running? I know why. In all 4 examples of an incumbent President being defeated for re-election, all of the winners were charismatic, optimistic men who made people feel there was a better world coming. The Republican party has nothing to offer this time but more misery and an even more exclusive world view.

  87. 87
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Emma:

    Excuse me, but the campaign is denying the whole thing. They never used the word “abandon.” It’s not their strategy. They, however, have no control over what the arseholes like Edsall say

    .

    sure, I think most people get this is a media story more than an Obama story

  88. 88
    harlana says:

    i don’t know what you do with people, my bf almost got his ass beat by this drunk guy, who is supposed to be his friend, twice his size for admitting he voted for Obama, (I won’t give you all the tasteful details of what he said) everybody around here hates Obama with some kind of irrational passion, it’s ridiculous, it’s insane, you cannot talk to these people, you cannot begin to approach reason with these people – all walks of life, i’m saying, dirt poor rednecks and well-educated people, damn near all of ’em

  89. 89
    William Hurley says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    First, let me address your last comment.

    Which is why Obama and company are focusing on things that can offer the homeowner some relief instead of prosecutions.

    What, pray tell, are you referring to?

    Instead of guessing, I’m interested to see what it is you’re referring to.

    Regarding the general election, the focus of the campaigns and the press and the citizenry will be the economy – period. Obama, Plouffe, Axelrod and the rest are already trying to establish a campaign narrative that – they hope – will get voters to look away from the economy toward Congress and character flaws of the GOPs nominee. The fact is that anybody who hasn’t learned the lessons of Bill Clinton’s primary victories then win in the generals – as it appears Obama and company have not – are choosing to lose in a losing situation.

    Furthermore, those who have money and influence and also want to replace Obama will “leak” all manner of real and semi-real information regarding the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to hold “Wall St” accountable for any of its crimes – large or small.

    Consider the “leak” reported by Bloomberg news (and others) today. Documents have been released that show both Bush and Obama played fast and loose with the truth about the banking system. The materials also show that Obama was – at best – a passive Presidential observer to the gifting of trillions of dollars to US and non-US banks with nary a word to the electorate/tax-payers. The information in this report corroborates information on such matters gathered by Sen Bernie Sanders via the CRS.

    The effect of this type of information becoming public is to A) firmly cement the economy and economic policy at the center of the campaign scrum and B) to put the President on the defensive with – frankly – the 99% and C) to force OFA and Obama defenders to adopt increasingly tone-deaf rationalizations for behaviors that are inexcusable.

    Expect more such “revelations” over the next 11 months – few if any of them coming from the GOP’s front-runner or nominee (thx CU! /sarcasm)

  90. 90
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @kay: Iowa’s a month away, isn’t this cutting it a bit close for a primary challenge? And why hasn’t your dream candidate at least announced? I mean, it takes money to even put up a symbolic campaign, and that doesn’t come overnight. Or are you hoping for a convention coup?

  91. 91
    Donut says:

    Fine, Hurley. No one has said Obama doesn’t have a long row to hoe.

    I guess you can just hope (!) that people vote stupidly without actually comparing the eventual GOP nominee to Obama. If it’s Romney, Gingrich, or for that matter any of the other clowns running on that side, the un- and under-employment percentages you cite will fade slightly in importance. They won’t be non-factors, everyone agrees on that, but demography, actual candidates compared side by side, GOTV – it is all relevant. You just keep on fukkin that chicken, though.

  92. 92
    harlana says:

    i and my family know a lot of people who are living comfortably or much better than us who still believe all this crazy shit they have been brainwashed to believe about Democrats, so it’s not just poor or middle class uneducated whites we’re talking here – it’s the south – and that brainwashing has extended into Obama birth and religion myths, to delegitimize him, they lap that Fox News stuff up like its nectar of the gods, because it’s what they want to believe, that’s why facts don’t matter, these myths are like a religion, actually – they want so much to believe, facts are irrelevant, religion vs. science, the only cult that doesn’t live in its own enclave, but is scattered across the country

  93. 93
    smintheus says:

    @Tom Q:

    All their analysis is based on the economic and (corollarily) Obama approvals staying static. But all the recent economic data has been pointing upward—not as sharply as ‘84 did for Reagan, but at least as much as ‘04 did for Bush. If that stays on course for the next eight months, the whole “squeaking by electorally” will seem hopelessly quaint, as Obama will cruise to victory.

    You think the unfolding disaster in Europe will not touch the US economy (which is barely on the rise, even as things stand now)? I don’t like Obama’s chances much…he’ll need a huge assist from a clownish Republican opponent if he’s going to escape the vortex of this economy.

  94. 94
    William Hurley says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    I can’t, at the moment, address 2 of your questions, but there’s one I can address.

    Voter suppression – racially motivated in almost all cases – is an “old-school” conservative thing.

    To point, former SCOTUS Chief Justice Rehnquist made his “bones” as a young, conservative lawyer seeking a life within the GOP as a “poll watcher” in his home state of Arizona. The future Chief Justice “sat” on watch at polling location in one of the only districts around Phoenix that was a majority “black and hispanic” district” where he was part of an “team effort” that turned away dozens of voter. For his selfless diligence, Billy was brought into the Nixon Justice Dpt, promoted then nominated to the SCOTUS as an associate in 1972. That’s an abbreviated tale of evil, though Rehnquists evil was itself hardly abbreviated.

  95. 95
    harlana says:

    to deny Obama’s citizenship or the fact that he is a Christian is to completely delegitimize him and his presidency, in their eyes, to make him null and void, because there is a group of people who just cannot abide that there is a black man in the WH, he must not just be destroyed, he must be blotted out from history

  96. 96
    William Hurley says:

    @smintheus:

    Excellent point, in question form.

    You think the unfolding disaster in Europe will not touch the US economy?

    The econ-blogosphere is abuzz (atwitter?) (both?) with guesstimates of US banks’ exposure to the Euro situation. Despite the variety of totals proposed, everyone knows that “huge” is the low water exposure mark.

    And that’s just banks! (Too constrained by toothless D/F to fail my ass!). The Euro-zone is itself a huge trading partner. I woulda’ thought that someone playing the political version of “11th dimensional chess” might have a “rainy day” fund – other than telling Geithner to start the presses.

  97. 97
    Hal says:

    Do Dem Presidents regularly win the “majority” of the white working class votes?

  98. 98
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    There’s no rainy day fund because the sheer, massive need due to the Great Recession has eaten into it.

    @Hurley: But it’s telling that the real strategy of the Republican Party is not to expand the electorate but to try to discourage the growing segments of it from voting. It’s a sign that the Republicans have at least subconsciously given up on making a compelling argument that things will be better if they are put in charge. How else to explain the clown car that’s the Party candidates this year?

  99. 99
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @harlana: Well, sure, because all they hear is that Obama’s undermining American values by giving away goodies to ungrateful freeloaders. “If he wasn’t doing that, why would there be such a huge deficit? And it’s not like anyone like _us_ is getting a free ride, I mean, look around.” It’s a fairly cohesive, self-reaffirming theory of Why Stuff Sucks. It’s totally false, but it feels close enough to ring true.

  100. 100
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    It’s a sign that the Republicans have at least subconsciously given up on making a compelling argument that things will be better if they are put in charge.

    I think their case is not that they will make things better but that they will stop the gravy train for people for whom things are already unfairly good. “I will cut off those lazy bastards. You’re suffering, which isn’t fair, so they should too.”

  101. 101
    kay says:

    William, that isn’t what I asked.

    I asked you give me a name to primary Obama.

    I hate sweeping national punditry.

    Just give me the name you’re thinking of.

  102. 102
    William Hurley says:

    @Donut:

    It seems t me that you’ve not witnessed a Presidential race that took place when economic circumstances were dire.

    There are elementary facts that pertain to the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans that cannot be wished, hoped or cheered away. The paradox of these facts is that to put forth an argument that he’s the one to make you well, Obama will have to own up to the facts of the facts and, thereby, give them that special attention only a President can awaken. These facts, some of which I’ve written about here, are coming to the forefront of the electorates awareness, but not as a result of anything Obama’s done (nor the GOP either).

    The “Occupy” movement has, as an effect of its radical openness, brought to light the motivations of individuals – then the “demographics” of the groups those individuals represent – through the process of the press and general public trying to figure out who is marching and why.

    It’s not that hard data and compelling analyses on such crucial problems as wealth disparities, income inequality, working conditions, education costs, health care and other subjects weren’t “out there”, its that in the aggregate OWS serves as one vehicle to lift those stories, the evidence and the dire concerns of regular people to enjoy equal standing with Villagers’ navel-gazing – the latter having enjoyed primacy for years if not decades.

    There’s also the fact that back in 2009, Obama touted the ARRA as a grand achievement that would, unretouched, deliver economic growth that would be realized in 2.5%+ GDP growth and a decline in unemployment by – you guessed it – 2011 to ~8.0%. Those declarations are on tape. You will see them again – and again, and again, …..

    Yet, I’ll put all of that aside to make this point in response to your “head-to-head” scenario.

    Consider 2004. The Democratic Party’s nominee was John Kerry. He faced the incumbent, “W”. Kerry’s own success in capturing the nomination was due, in large part, to his record as a decorated war hero. The thinking was that, head-to-head, a real-live war hero and “sober, serious” person of Kerry’s stature could overcome the idolatrous worship of a faux soldier in the draft-dodging Bush.

    How’d that work out?

  103. 103
    William Hurley says:

    @kay:

    There are several people I’d consider. Howard Dean would be one. Jean Sheheen, maybe calling Joe Kennedy out of (political) retirement.

    There are many potential candidates of interest.

    The point of a primary is to invite in a diversity of options, not only those I’d like, to compete for the nomination.

    To my mind, competition is not a bad thing. Conversely, in matters such as these, cheerleading against competition reeks of an assumed weakness of the one being protected from competition.

    My point is that Obama cannot win, therefore instead of put forth a losing candidate (and wasting more than $1 billion propping his/his campaign up) let’s make the hard choice and run a candidate who’s not doomed.

    And yes, without the virtue of an actual primary, it’s hard to “guess” with any accuracy who will be the next long-shot turned winning candidate a la Clinton and Obama and, on the GOP side, Reagan in 1980.

  104. 104
    Donut says:

    @William Hurley:

    I stopped reading your post after the first sentence. No point.

    I am 40 years old. My first presidential vote was for Bill Clinton in 1992. The economy was not exactly roaring that year.

    I was graduated from a fairly high quality University with Distinction in US History.

    I’m not bragging when I say I’ve studied with some of the best academics ever to work on presidential history and political history.

    Just STFU about what I know and don’t know.

    What I do know is that the two presidents who beat incumbents during post-WWII economic downturns offered upbeat, positive platforms that gave people hope that better days were ahead for America. Whether one liked Reagan or not, he offered a deal that was perceived as a positive change from the status quo. So did Clinton.

    Romney, Gingrich, Perry, any of the clowns in the GOP, they cannot offer this. All they have is negativity.

    Therefore Obama has a shot where Carter and Bush I did not. Obama has the positive message next year. The GOP does not. All they have is negativity. This is quite different from what Carter and Bush I faced. That is all I’m saying. I’m done with your blather.

  105. 105
    kay says:

    William I simply asked you who you were thinking of.
    I don’t need a lecture on why we have primaries or how ‘competition is a good thing’.
    You’re wasting my time with all this transparently manipulative bullshit.
    But thanks for the names :)
    I like lists.

  106. 106
    William Hurley says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    As I’ve said, the GOP as been in the anti-voter business for decades, centuries even.

    Another example from recent history is the scandal that disappeared – one which a newly elected President and his new AG could have investigated (hint! hint!) – during the waning months of the Bush II regime. That was the firing of US Attorneys by Karl Rove, with “W’s” consent, for failing to surrender their independence and non-partisan standing when instructed to pursue (or invent) cases of vote fraud in their respective jurisdictions.

    In all, 6 USAs were summarily (and very likely illegally) dismissed – and in the process of being fired were lied to by former Bush White House and DoJ officials.

    What is happening now with regard to voter registration/voting rights curtailment is a horrifying and infuriating enhancement of past practices. The GOP has cultivated a squad of anti-voting rights attorneys with the eager assistance of the Federalist Society, AFP, AEI and other right-wing interest groups. They’ve also, as is now abundantly clear, were training and educating up-and-coming GOP pols who would be ideologically hostile to voting rights and primed – if not with a “ready action kit” then in spirit and with awareness of law – to act to curtail access to the voting booth.

    Having said that, and I said this here before, where is the Obama DOJ or even the President himself on this one? Holder’s been making noise, but only recently.

    Had Holder been tasked with investigating and “clearing” the USA’s firing matter, potentially bringing accountability to bear on the parties who ordered and orchestrated Bush era voting rights’ attacks, we might have won a battle for voting rights by demonstrating to the GOP’s cardres that bad acts would bring recrimination in the body of the Department of Justice and criminal prosecution.

    But, as with many things, Obama’s not an “accountability” guy. He’s all about the future. The trouble with that is that unless you’re talking to Daffy Duck, no one’s confused when yesterday’s tomorrow becomes today and things haven’t transformed as promised.

  107. 107
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    And let’s see…none of the names have shown even a smidgen of interest whatsoever. And none of them have Obama’s experience, star power, fundraising capacity. And with a month out, by the time anyone even gets started, Obama will have the delegates he needs to win on the first ballot.

  108. 108
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @William Hurley: Are you just playing Fantasy Politics, or do you actually want/expect the things you talk about to happen? Because this primary challenge stuff is about as useful as imagining how well the Eagles would be doing with a healthy Michael Vick. In the abstract, should Things Be Better? Of course. How do you make them better? Whenever it gets to that point, you go shooting off into further cycles of how there are _also_ OTHER Things that could _also_ Be Better. No shit. How do you make them happen?

  109. 109
    William Hurley says:

    @kay:

    Pardon me for preemptively foreclosing on the rhetorical ground where a shrill, “I don’t see that person winning” dismissive reply could have been placed.

    I’m also concerned that sans primary process, the opportunity to message test in more substantive ways is lost. The value lost is in the resonance of messages in different districts where the national/local messaging formula is is expensive to craft and crucial in a race where your own President is running against you and the institution you represent – that being Congress.

  110. 110
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @William Hurley: Fine. That opportunity, such as it is, is already lost, has already been lost, and will always have been lost. Now what? Obama COULD preemptively confiscate all bank-held wealth and make Bradley Manning Expropriation Czar. That would be way cool, man! Of course it isn’t happening, so, you know, what else ya got?

  111. 111
    YellowJournalism says:

    I think what bothers me most about that 60 Minutes piece is that there are many Republicans and their followers who are more worried that the people living in their cars are not paying their “fair” share of taxes rather than the fact that those people are living in their cars.

  112. 112
    William Hurley says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    AS I wrote on another thread herein just recently, the time, it seems, for a viable, contested primary process is past.

    There is the opportunity to achieve the same result by pushing for a brokered convention. The unfolding of the competitive landscape for the Presidential contenders will happen slowly. I suspect that the GOP will continue to struggle with its own special schizophrenia right up to – even into – its convention.

    During the months ahead, the state of the economy will cause open and closeted discontent to increase across the Democratic Party. Some of the institution’s more influential figures will lament the missed opportunity to put forth a more viable candidate – not necessarily one who would be more “liberal” (though that would be a welcomed change IMHO). Furthermore, the challenges that will buffet the economy will have real, unavoidable political consequences during the “campaign” cycle. For one, there’s the still undone Federal budget. There’s also the strong possibility that slow GDP growth will result in below forecast revenue collections and – voila! – another debt ceiling fight. These are but 2 examples of the rocky road ahead – on major year-in/year-out matters.

    You may think there’s opportunity to be had in working through those issues. I’d agree, but the cost/benefit analysis, IMO, does not favor incumbents – Obama or anyone else.

  113. 113
    William Hurley says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’d take a few minutes to correct your retort, but I don’t have sufficient postage to ensure my reply would make it across to your universe.

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @William Hurley: There are no subjects to any of your sentences. “There is an opportunity to,” “The state of the economy will,” “The challenges that will,” etc. Some actual people will have to do actual things at some point. Instead of talking about how an opportunity will arise for pushing to have been done, explain who’s going to push. What resources they have. What’s in it for them. Look, I think you’re a well-intentioned guy, but way too much of what you’re talking about boils down to how forces will make action happen, and forces don’t do anything in politics without the involvement of people. If OWSers are going to do these things, great. But you have to talk about “praxis,” putting actual people together to undertake actual actions, or else it’s going to remain altogether too abstract every time.

  115. 115
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @William Hurley: You’re right, you’re in a parallel universe. In mine politics involves actions that people can undertake. In yours developments develop themselves into being.

    ETA: IMHO you’re getting preoccupied with sentiments that, at heart, are “Wouldn’t it be great if…?” Yes, it would. But there are tangible realities and political rules of the (rigged) game that make great things _not_ come to pass. And you can’t just ignore those.

  116. 116
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Brokered Convention? Fissures in the Democratic Party? William, I say to you stop it. NOW. There is not going to be one. Nobody has Obama’s stature, and nobody is going to primary the first AA President and watch Romney eviscerate the safety net for all their troubles.

    BTW, there’s a matter of timing, both legal and financial. Several filing dates have already passed, so the challenger wouldn’t be on too many ballots. No votes, no delegates. No delegates, no brokered convention. Even a massive write-in effort needs to start…now. Where’s the money for even a token race? Shouldn’t the person(s) be asking for money now in order to get the message out that there is an alternative to Obama?

    Nobody has Obama’s money, either. Nobody is even remotely geared up for a run. And nobody is as loved as Obama in the party either.

  117. 117
    William Hurley says:

    @Donut:

    Being a student of history, what was Clinton’s message and how did he comport his campaign at the point when the convention was still 9 months out and even before the first primary had been held?

    Here’s a tip – Clinton was a nobody until Iowa and wasn’t “real” until New Hampshire.

    May I suggest that comparing a general election to primary election styles is – at best – foolish.

    As for comparing the prospects of an optimistic versus critical campaign, its important to be clear that context is king. As such, Obama was the optimist in 2008. Conversely, John Edwards was less so – as the common wisdom determined. However, the reality of the situation was that Obama was unrealistically optimistic and overly hopeful. Had he had some of Edwards’ analytical sense regarding the “2 Americans” critique, Obama may have been less sanguine about the tax-cut heavy stimulus he proposed or more aggressive in enforcing accountability on the banks and housing market institutions that crashed the economy – taking with it tens of millions of Americans retirement nest-eggs.

    But, here we are. There is no way around the fact that Obama will be forced to defend the state of the economy and his policies – whether he’s pressed by the GOP’s nominee, right-wing attacks (and in a post-CU world, there will be tons) or the Village stenographers to do so. Obama may try to turn the narrative toward Congress, but it is – at best – highly unlikely that the GOP’s nominee will be someone who is presently serving in the Congress he’s already bashing.

    And that leads me to my last point. Obama’s already gone negative. Aside from his new ad attacking Romney, he’s been bad mouthing Congress for months. I don’t know about your Congress-critter, but the House &* Senate members here are more than a little annoyed at his choice of rhetorical target and undifferentiated attacks on their branch of government.

  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @William Hurley:

    I don’t know about your Congress-critter, but the House &* Senate members here are more than a little annoyed at his choice of rhetorical target and undifferentiated attacks on their branch of government.

    It’s called being a co-equal branch of government. Maybe they should stop focusing on their delicate little fee-fees and figure out why toilet turds are more popular than they are.

  119. 119
    kay says:

    I hate the word ‘messaging’, William, and I hate splitting people into ‘markets’.

    There are so many paid hacks that speak like this.
    Do we have to speak like this too?

    Anyway, I’m starving so I’m going.

  120. 120
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CarolDuhart2: That’s why I think William’s points qualify as “Wouldn’t it be great if?” Wouldn’t it be great if Obama had a progressive primary challenger who was competitive and appealing and could raise awareness of issues of economic justice and civil liberties? Yes, it would! Trouble is, there’s no such person, and the only conceivable vehicle for producing a conversation about those issues without a candidate, Occupy, is kind of dealing with some serious shit right now.

    It gets to be like that joke about the economist on the desert island: Assume a can opener.

  121. 121
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @William Hurley:

    Being a student of history, what was Clinton’s message and how did he comport his campaign at the point when the convention was still 9 months out and even before the first primary had been held?

    Of course, Clinton was running against an open field, not an incumbent from his own party.

    Pat Buchanan did that.

    It didn’t make anyone in that party very happy.

  122. 122
    Tom Q says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Respectfully, I think you’re wasting your breath. William sees himself as visionary and doesn’t have a clue what practical politics entail. Prime example: he tells us that “in the modern era”, no incumbent has been re-elected with worse than 7.2% unemployment (conveniently eliminating 1936 from the conversation, when the rate was way higher, and FDR carried 46 of 48 states). Yet he touts an intra-party challenge, and either doesn’t know (or is indifferent to the fact) that since the foundation of the modern two-party system in 1860, no such challenge has led to anything but defeat (often gruesome defeat) for the party holding the White House.

    I don’t know this for exact fact, but my take on several days of seeing Mr. Hurley’s posts is that he’s a pure firebagger — gleeful at the idea of Obama being defeated, because that will prove he and his ilk were (hat tip to Judith Miller) PROVED FUCKING RIGHT!, that Obama should have nationalized the banks and stuck it to the man on Inauguration Day. These people root for economic debacle
    every bit as much as Mitch McConnell.

    Sticking to my prediction: the economy improves somewhat over the next eight months; the unemployment rate eases just enough the direction of things is clearly positive; and Obama whoops ass in November.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    I don’t know this for exact fact, but my take on several days of seeing Mr. Hurley’s posts is that he’s a pure firebagger copulator of rodentia

    Fixed that fer ya.

  124. 124
    William Hurley says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Allow me to suggest that this:

    Nobody has Obama’s stature

    is a problem all unto itself.

    Even if you think Obama can win next year. Who’s “on the bump”, as they say, to step-forward as a potential post-Obama Democratic President?

    Might not a primary seed the political soil and, at the same time, give pols some experience on the “big stage”. As we see with the GOP, one of that party’s problems is that “Presidenting” is essentially an OJT experiment.

    As for money, in a post-CU world almost anything is possible.

    For example, a real hypothetical, were the economy to slip back into a 2008/2009/2010 state and the GOP was preparing to nominate one of the loons that’s not Romney, and the Euro-zone is struggling with the economics and politics of unwinding (en masse or through tactical secessions) and, as a result of the overall global economic malaise, China’s much anticipated housing and building based economic crash escapes that government’s efforts to contain it – then it’s easy to see that an unelectable Obama might need to be replaced ASAP. As such, wealthy interests from Wall St and around the globe could be “enticed” to make an Obama replacement financially viable.

    Again, the above is a hypothetical conjured on short-notice. Still, the key “events” I enumerated are each actual problems that political leaders the world over are struggling to contain.

  125. 125
    Tom Q says:

    @Yutsano: Mine was the more benign take, but I’m open to your view.

  126. 126
    William Hurley says:

    @Tom Q:

    You do seem to enjoy putting words in the mouths of people you don’t know. You can chose to comport yourself that way, but it telegraphs insecurity and ill-ease with the facts of a matter.

    First of all, when discussing the Presidency or American politics on the national level generally, the phrase “modern era” pertains to the post-WWII period. FDR was, inarguably, a pre-“modern-era” President.

    As for my positions, those you attribute to me, I could and am willing to make those I actually do hold plain. There’s no need to guess, just ask – unless you are uninterested in the answers.

    Lastly, I’m curious and would like to better understand the details of your analysis leading you to expect a rosier economic state-of-affairs in the immediate future. Care to share?

  127. 127
    William Hurley says:

    @Yutsano:

    I do enjoy watching very small and prejudiced minds laboring to form thought.

    Good luck “Y”. You’ll get there some day. In the meantime, you make an excellent drone.

  128. 128
    William Hurley says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    As I wrote, watching you try to form thought brings much needed humor to any discussion.

    1992 was not a “wide open” field.

    Sorry to have to again take away your rattle and feed you your peas.

  129. 129
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @William Hurley: Bill Clinton wasn’t the victor in a wide-open Democratic race? Are you for real? Or is this another one of your dispatches from the alternate universe?

    ETA: Your point was that Bill Clinton’s campaign came together later than we are now, making it plausible for a primary challenger to Obama to succeed. No? Because the parallel case would be the primary challenge that really did happen to the incumbent: Buchanan, taking on Bush I. It did not bode well for him. Ergo, primary challenges to incumbents do not have the salutary effect you seem to be claiming, or wishing.

  130. 130
    Tom Q says:

    But using “modern era” renders your sample size rather small, and thus less likely to be definitive. I had no such issues — I took you back to the foundation of the American two-party system, and pointed out that the scenario you’re proposing, an intra-party or convention challenge, has led to electoral defeat 100% of the time. Yet you want to rush headlong into it.

    My take on the economy is, for all the gnashing of teeth, the unemployment rate was falling decently, from a high of over 10%, until three things happened almost simultaneously: oil prices shot up by extravagant percentages; the Japanese nuclear disaster crushed manufacturing for an extended period; and the GOP took control in many statehouses, slashing state employment rolls (without which the UE rate would already look better than it does). Those three things have all receded now, and every recent number (manufacturing, first time claims, retails sales, etc.) indicates some upswing. I’ll also confide that someone I know connected to a major American corporation — who has no vested interest in spinning anything, only in directing his company’s future courses of action — says he’s in complete agreement with my take.

    You do know, by the way, that Reagan had 9% unemployment as late as August/Sept. of ’83, and somehow managed to win 59% of the vote a year later?

  131. 131
    William Hurley says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Interesting “critique” coming from one who is wedded, maybe even welded, to Obama the candidate who ran on Hope and Change and “[insert new age-y buzz word here]“.

    People are doing things, as am I. “Occupy” is demonstrating that all is not rosy at the o-bot factory. The cornucopia that is “Occupy” belies efforts to apply simplistic marketese to the participants. Among the “Occupy” throngs are a large number of former Obama supporters, volunteers, precinct or district captains and others. They have arrived at their own conclusion that, as you say, that “did” and “did” and “did” some more to get Obama over the hump past Hillary and then McCain only to be left behind – or “not done for” – by the candidate to whom they gave much.

    You and other o-bots and those representing the President in an official capacity make your candidate’s situation all the more dire by snarking “OWS”. They were you. Now they aren’t. The more you and your ilk shit on them, the less likely it is they’ll “come home”.

    I would not consider myself in that category as my volunteer work for candidate Obama was performed deep into the generals – seeing that my state’s late primary was held after Obama had crossed the delegate count threshold.

  132. 132
    OzoneR says:

    How can the Obama campaign abandon a demographic they didn’t even win, nor has voted Democratic since like 1964.

  133. 133
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @William Hurley:

    You and other o-bots and those representing the President in an official capacity make your candidate’s situation all the more dire by snarking “OWS”. They were you. Now they aren’t. The more you and your ilk shit on them, the less likely it is they’ll “come home”.

    You clown, I’ve never said one unkind word about OWS. Stop being so simultaneously smug and twee and pay a moment’s fucking attention. And then turn 14, and then rejoin the conversation.

  134. 134
    OzoneR says:

    @William Hurley:

    You and other o-bots and those representing the President in an official capacity make your candidate’s situation all the more dire by snarking “OWS”. They were you. Now they aren’t. The more you and your ilk shit on them, the less likely it is they’ll “come home”.

    I’m sorry, when did OWS make you their official spokesperson?

  135. 135
    OzoneR says:

    @William Hurley:

    Jean Sheheen,

    you can’t even spell her name right, and you want her to run for President?

  136. 136
    clayton says:

    @askew: Seconded.

    And why is this via Weigle? It was broadcast on national television.

    There is no connection between the two things.

  137. 137
    William Hurley says:

    @Tom Q:

    In inverse order. Reagan’s circumstances are interesting and in some ways instructive but are, generally speaking, quite different than those the current incumbent faces. A couple of points from the Reagan situation will help distinguish it from Obama’s. Given the MSM’s current fetish of bandying the names of Obama and Reagan about in the same sentences, severing the rhetorical bonds seems worthwhile.

    First of all, the 3 economic factors that the electorate was suffering from at the outset of Reagan’s first term were 1) slow GDP growth, 2) high unemployment and 3) high inflation. As the 1984 campaign season began to take shape, Reagan benefited from his super-Keynesian tax cut package that was hit with the voters, Fed Chair Volcker’s (a Carter appointee) taming of inflation from highs of 17%, an economy that was growing at over 7%/quarter. Unemployment was indeed high, but was slowly falling. It’s important to remember that employment is always a “lagging” indicator, trailing GDP and wage growth. Still, Reagan did win, kicking the snot out of Mondale even with a 7.2% unemployment rate.

    Your assessment of the US and, I’m assuming, global economy is curious. Are the factors you enumerate causing corporate profits to remain at historic highs? Or to persistent cash holdings by the major publics of nearly $2 trillion? Or driving real wage growth for 85% of workers to remain flat? Or pushing home prices down even further? Or to shake the jobs market so violently that there’s an average of 1 opening for every 17 unemployed American?

    The fact is that there is and has been a dearth of demand from across the 99% class of the economy. Lost wealth, lost jobs and income/wages that, corrected for inflation, are at 20 year lows are the actual roots to the current crisis. As you note, state and local governments are being crushed between legal requirements to balance budgets and legal restrictions against tax increases – the latter being somewhat moot given that property values have dropped so far in many places that to open that policy avenue might risk loosing more revenue due to assessment adjustments.

    The problem all states, except maybe Iowa, is struggling with were long in the making. Serial capitulation to right-wing nonsense allowed and even encouraged the wide-spread implementation of laws and restrictions on local/state governments that are now little more than policy nooses around their necks. Were it not for Federal assistance, many more communities would be suffering and those suffering would be disasters. In this arena, Obama has done OK. He could do more, and when he enjoyed a pure majority in the Senate, he could have done it without evil GOPers mucking up the works. Unfortunately, Obama put Hope and the Future ahead of the immediate and thereby miss assessed the state of the nation.

    Regarding conventions and the “size” of the sample set, as I said, the phrase “modern era” is term that’s well understood within the arena of political science and political history. I’ll not be as needlessly nasty in correcting you as you were in your misinformed effort to correct my correct usage.

    Your assertion regarding the history of conventions is extraordinarily curious given the oft changed rules and procedures governing a party’s nominating process. It was, prior to the “modern era” but more so before WWI, the normal mode of conducting nominations that the convention itself was a raucous, multi-ballot affair. Given the actual history of nominating conventions. Please do clarify your meaning regarding a contemporary challenge and how exactly it is that history – as you present it or how it actually unfolded – illuminates your point.

  138. 138
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Tom Q: I agree with you, Tom. Firebaggers have never liked Obama ever since he decided not to spend his political capital beating up on the Bush administration. The fact that the economy was cratering and that we were losing 700k jobs per month so Obama had other needed priorities made them lose their shit. Then came Obama’s inability to get Congress to agree with him on Gitmo, he believed that pursuing remorseless terrorists by drone without some of the niceties was more important, or Bradley Manning was actually not a martyr, has made them lose their shit totally. To them he’s no better than Bush, and those of us who still support him deserve to have Romney foisted on us for our support of Obama. (I’ve never typed shit before, so it feels strange)
    has made them howl betrayal. It’s also led them to a delusional point where they believe that millions of Democrats are upset at what they are.

    The fact is that most Democrats support Obama wholeheartedly despite the crappy economy, could give a rat’s posterior about Bradley Manning, and believe Al-Alawaki should have been eradicated sooner by any reasonable method is a shock to their delicate sensibilities. It’s another shock to realize they aren’t the Democratic Party. For all of the blather, no one has even flirted with a primary challenge. Think about it: nobody has even toyed with their affections and suggested that with enough support they might actually consider a primary race. No one. Everybody asked has firmly said no without even a flirt with the firebaggers.

    Why is that? One reason is that African-Americans are 15% or better of the primary vote. There isn’t a prayer of even getting close when you’ve lost that much of the vote in advance. Secondly, nobody likes running a race you are certain to lose, especially badly, alienating so many Democrats that it kills a political career. No primary challenger has ever succeeded in unseating an incumbent President who wants the nomination. Not even Ronald Reagan in 1976 was able to unseat Ford, and the comparative qualities of the two favored Reagan. Lastly, there’s 2016 to shoot for if you are ambitious. It’s going to be an open race even with a 74 year old Biden (although most think he might not run). So why commit political suicide? The firebaggers have proven they aren’t the real base of the party by their inability to get things done, or get votes.

  139. 139
    William Hurley says:

    @OzoneR:

    Pardon my spelling error. Haste makes waste.

    As for the point you try to hide behind grammar snarkiness, I was merely suggesting that there are in fact other politicians who might be worth considering if a primary were to be held. It is not singularly “all about Barry”.

    My views on Shaheen, the former NH Gov now Senator, are favorable. Were she to “put her hat into the ring”, I’d be interested to hear her policy objectives and governing theme. That is all.

  140. 140
    William Hurley says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Wow! Talk about a fact-free apologia! When was Obama beatified?

    Might I remind you that the Department of Justice is separate and distinct from the Department of the Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The DoJ, like AGs ad prosecutors in a multitude of non-Federal jurisdictions, can and could have been investigating a variety of matters within the realm of politics pertaining to the Bush Administration or with regard to finance which may or may not have overlapped with the Bush Administration.

    Either way, it’s doubtful that absolute disasters such as this one detailed in the NY times today. The fact that Obama let this one get away from him is telling. How is it that in the midst of the most substantial economic crisis in 7 decades the Constitutional Law scholar President let’s an agency fuck-over a negotiation with felonious financiers that a Federal judge rips-up the “agreement” and orders – from the bench – a trial?

    As I wrote above, Obama’s refusal to enforce the law, or at a minimum give the appearances that he’s doing so through DoJ investigations in service of fairness and accountability, is having and will continue to have a profound negative impact on him, his Presidency and his campaign. Obama’s rejection of the importance of accountability is a principal cause fueling the distrust he’s garnered from the left to the center-left.

    Excusing inaction breeds deeper distrust.

    If you don’t believe me, ask former Master of the MOTUs now pedestrian Alan Greenspan.

  141. 141
    rikyrah says:

    1. they didn’t vote for Barack Obama in the first place.

    2. these are folks that have spent GENERATIONS in the LUXURY OF DELUSION of being White. they have been fed, and continue to cling to ‘all you gotta be is White.’, voting against THEIR OWN ECONOMIC SELF-INTEREST ALL THE TIME.

    3. fuck them. tired of folks trying to coddle these mofos.

  142. 142
    William Hurley says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Do you bother to read what you write? Maybe time to give it a little more thought before committing?

    Secondly, nobody likes running a race you are certain to lose, especially badly, alienating so many Democrats that it kills a political career. No primary challenger has ever succeeded in unseating an incumbent President who wants the nomination. Not even Ronald Reagan in 1976 was able to unseat Ford, and the comparative qualities of the two favored Reagan.

    If, as you say, inter-party challenges to the incumbent President “kills a politician’s career”, then how is it that Ford challenger Reagan not only survived his career “killing” maneuver but went on to become the “greatest” Republican President that Republicans tell themselves that they had ever elected?

    Since I’m on the subject, how would you assess Obama’s ability to work with Congress – in the 3 iterations that have been seated during this first term?

    To frame your response, consider how well he’d do and how much he might “achieve” if both the House & Senate are held by the opposition.

  143. 143
    Tom Q says:

    @William Hurley: I wrote an involved response, then my frickin’ computer shut down before I could post; and I’m far too tired to reproduce the whole thing. But, in brief:

    I wasn’t correcting your use of “modern era”; I merely noted that using it to set parameters conveniently excluded an election that ran contrary to your contention that it was impossible for an incumbent to win with unemployment this high.

    There are as many theories about which economic metric matters most to voters as there are economists or political scientists. I say it’s GDP/direction of unemployment in the election year, and I think (as I said way above) those are going to be not-fabulous (a la Reagan ’84), but respectable (as in Bush ’04), and, given Obama’s other advantages (a united party, charisma, foreign policy successes, domestic accomplishments), it will be enough to carry him comfortably over the finish line. You think your metrics will carry more weight. We’ll see who’s right a year hence.

    There’s a difference between how the out-party chooses its candidate and how the incumbent party does. The out-party can be as fractious as it wants (as it was last year, or, memorably, in 1932). But the history since the Civil war is that when the incumbent party has such a disorganized melee (as in ’12, ’52, ’68, ’76, ’80), it’s fatal for the party’s hopes of holding onto the White House. I don’t have the full history to hand, but Allan Lichtman documents the results election by election in his book Keys to the Presidency — it’s listed under the Contest Key. He marks it as one of the two Keys (recession during the campaign period the other) that have been invariably fatal to presidential re-election.

  144. 144
    Xenos says:

    I don’t see it as abandoning the working class white voter, but as a matter of abandoning the working class white consultants and pundits. The Mooses, the Mudsharks, the Penns, the Shroom, that bald guy married to the Cheneyite harpie, all those seven-figure bullshit artists who have cursed the DNC and the DLC with their uselessness and incompetence – GONE. Please let it be so.

  145. 145
    Mnemosyne says:

    Never mind. Not worth it.

  146. 146
    mclaren says:

    @TooManyJens:

    [citation fucking needed]

    Citation 1: The path to 270, report by the Center For American progress, containing passages cited in the article.

    Citation 2: “Seizing the New Progressive Common Ground,” a memoradum by Greenberg cited in the article.

    Citation 3: The 1995 report “Who deserted the Democrats in 1994?” (conveniently for you I’ve run out of the last of my three allowed links. You’ll have to google

    clinton greenberg prospect org who-deserted-democrats-1994

    to find it.)

    Citation 4: New York Times 2011 article “Obama Charts a New Route to Re-election.” Once again I’ve conveniently run out of links, so you’ll have to google

    Obama Charts a New Route to Re-election new York Times 2011

    to find it.

    What we have discovered about “poorly sourced articles” is that your reading comprehension is on the same level as a planaria worm’s.

    Before you make a fool of yourself by spewing this kind of mindless twaddle, you really ought to read the fucking article first.

  147. 147
    mclaren says:

    @William Hurley:

    Wow! Talk about a fact-free apologia! When was Obama beatified?

    When he became the first black man to occupy the Oval Office.

    For all too many liberals, this single fact seems to immunize Barack Obama against any and all criticism. Worse: anyone who dares point out that Obama has betrayed virtually all of his campaign promises gets slammed as a racist, a closet klansman, a cross-burning redneck Aryan Brotherhood-wannabe with lightning bolt tattoos on his neck and the letters KILL tatooed on his left knuckles and NIGRS tattooed on his right knuckles.

    Look, I’m damn proud of having voted for a black guy for president. And I’m really proud that America as a country had the guts to elect a black guy, even though the only other choice was a batshit-insane white fringe lunatic and his airhead cheerleader running mate.

    But the fact that I’m proud of having voting for a black guy for president does not make me proud of the misguided and in many cases foolish and counterproductive policies that black guy implemented. And I’m not saying this because Obama is black. I’m saying it because Obama espoused sane sensible positions during the 2008 presidential campaign (such as vehement opposition to kangaroo court military commission trials, to the Iraq war, to the Bush presidency’s ferocious dismantling of the rule of law, to torture, to tax cuts for billionaires, to efforts to force an individual mandate on Americans as the alleged solution to our health care crisis as opposed to controlling the underlying costs)…

    …And then once in office, Obama walked back on every single one of these sane sensible policy positions and wound up either acceding to or spearheading insane self-destructive counterproductive doomed and hopelessly foolish policies — like extending the tax cuts for billionaires, like signing off on a non-reform HCR bill that force ordinary people to pay health insurance premiums guaranteed to increase limitlessly forever, with no cost control; and ordering the murder of U.S. citizens without trial and without even charging them with a crime.

    Countdown to the first of the vast mob of kooks and cranks and crackpots infesting the Balloon Juice commentariat who will scream that I’m a closet klansman because I dared to criticize Barack Obama in…3…2…1…

  148. 148
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I saw the 60 Minutes piece, and I thought that its conclusion was a complete fucking cop-out, heading down the overworn path of “the American Dream is still alive with these kids”, “they still have hope and Jesus”, etc. Yeah yeah yeah, the viewer can draw his or her own conclusions, but bullshit to that.

    A decent news media would have put politicians on camera — ideally, including Florida’s crook of a governor — and asked them what the fuck they were going to do about it. But you’re not allowed to do that, apparently, on a US network.

  149. 149
    mclaren says:

    @William Hurley:

    The fact that Obama let this one get away from him is telling. How is it that in the midst of the most substantial economic crisis in 7 decades the Constitutional Law scholar President let’s an agency fuck-over a negotiation with felonious financiers that a Federal judge rips-up the “agreement” and orders – from the bench – a trial?

    As I wrote above, Obama’s refusal to enforce the law, or at a minimum give the appearances that he’s doing so through DoJ investigations in service of fairness and accountability, is having and will continue to have a profound negative impact on him, his Presidency and his campaign. Obama’s rejection of the importance of accountability is a principal cause fueling the distrust he’s garnered from the left to the center-left.

    Your naivete is showing, friend.

    Barack Obama is first and foremost a politician. He’s a politician before he’s black. He’s a politician before he’s a Democrat. He’s a pol from a Chicago machine politics background, and that means Barack Obama knows where the big money that would fuel his 2012 presidential bid will come from.

    Barack Obama didn’t “let that one get away from him,” kiddo. Obama undoubtedly personally signed off on letting the financial criminals get away essentially scot-free, as the price of gaining financial and other support for his 2012 re-election bid.

    Obama hasn’t made “mistakes” here. He’s a smart guy. He knew what he was doing. He just made the wrong choices.

    Time and time again, given the choice between espousing the sane and sensible policy that will fix America’s broken institutions and wrecked economy, and getting the cash and support necessary to fuel his re-election bid, Obama chose re-election over doing the right thing.

    Probably Obama has rationalized this process of gradual corruption by telling himself in a constant mantra “I can’t fix America’s broken institutions unless I’m in power” but that’s a cheap excuse. Some crimes are too heinous to be excused. Some depredations are so savage that a refusal to punish ’em makes the entire population lose confidence in the whole system.

    At this point, anyone who is sane recognizes that Obama has been co-opted by a profoundly corrupt system. Obama is now no longer the solution — when he cracks down on whistleblowers who are putting the spotlight on American military contractor corruption and thievery, Obama is now part of the problem. When Obama signs off on more tax cuts for billionaires, he is now part of the problem. When Obama orders American citizens murdered without a trial or even charing them with a crime, he is now part of the problem.

    I voted for Obama in 2008. I’m not voting for him in 2012. I’ll write in Elizabeth Warren or Russ Feingold, but I will not vote for Barack Obama again.

  150. 150
    mclaren says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    A decent news media would have put politicians on camera—ideally, including Florida’s crook of a governor—and asked them what the fuck they were going to do about it. But you’re not allowed to do that, apparently, on a US network.

    Duh!

    CBS is in the business of getting ratings. How big will their ratings be if they start showing their viewers how totally fucked they are?

    If CBS didn’t do a grotesque cop-out and end their homeless-kids piece with a cheery santized airbrushed “you’ll get cookies and candies by and by, when you die graudate college,” CBS would be as vehemently and as relentlessly despised and excoriated and showered with envenomed verbal abuse as I have been as a commenter on this forum — and for the same reason.

    Check out this graph of declining wages for recent college graduates for a look at the real future of those homeless kids when they graduate college with $100,000 in debts and a minimum wage fucking part-time job in a goddamn xerox shop or as a barista at Starbucks.

    Telling truths no one wants to hear is the Express Lane to a lynch mob in the United Snakes of Amnesia.

  151. 151
    Bago says:

    Given my proclivity at being a target demographic (30 ish, 100k) the marketing situation becomes interesting. Having been burned by investment banks, I will never let any of my dollars escape a credit union. I don’t think that the executives of these institutions realize how badly their brand has been poisoned.

    Seriously, commercial banks are offering Darth Vader style deals. “I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further”.

    Fuck that shit.

  152. 152
    Death Panel Truck says:

    I voted for Obama in 2008. I’m not voting for him in 2012. I’ll write in Elizabeth Warren or Russ Feingold, but I will not vote for Barack Obama again.

    Well then, prepare to welcome your new Republican overlords. Gotta love you firebaggers who vote your “conscience.” You’ll sit back in smug self-satisfaction on election day, patting yourself on the back for not having compromised your precious principles. Me, I’d rather not let anyone of the occupants of the GOP Crazy Clown Car take the oath of office on January 20, 2013. I’ll take a flawed Dem over a deranged Gooper any day of the week. Stop jacking off. Obama never promised to be your liberal savior. He’s a centrist, two steps to the left of Dwight Eisenhower, and never pretended to be otherwise. You should have paid attention in 2008.

  153. 153
    OzoneR says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    I saw the 60 Minutes piece, and I thought that its conclusion was a complete fucking cop-out, heading down the overworn path of “the American Dream is still alive with these kids”, “they still have hope and Jesus”, etc. Yeah yeah yeah, the viewer can draw his or her own conclusions, but bullshit to that.

    That’s the reaction I get from a lot of people when talking about the poor/homeless.

    “Good old fashioned hard work and dedication will pull them out of it, you don’t need to give them a handout. Teach a man to fish and all that”

  154. 154
    El Cid says:

    @mclaren: I think one of the biggest problems with this ‘piece’ is that major news articles on the increasing rate of child homelessness are rare.

    This should just be 60 Minutes’ particular spin or approach on child homelessness, among all the others we see on a regular basis.

    But it isn’t.

    As such, one freaking news video piece is tasked with embodying the whole range of subjects and contexts needed — including the point of view of the actual struggling children and families and communities and activists, including their active and positive resistance and survival.

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