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