Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Silly generalizations: Democrats make them all the time

By David Bloviator
Political Editor

Fans of the BBC classic Yes, Minister may recall an episode in which Sir Humphrey Appleby, senior civil servant, explains why so few women rise to top positions in Government: “They are full of petty prejudices” and “Silly generalizations – women make them all the time.”

We think of Sir Humphrey every time we read another installment in the endless series of thumb-suckers on the topic of Democrats: what's wrong with them?  Usually we hear that they are so elite, so liberal, and so rich that they are unable to appreciate the supposed distress of white reactionaries who trumpet their support for the Tangerine-Faced Groper with T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “Trump that Bitch” or “Hillary for Jail.”

Silly generalizations about white working-class voters: when will Democrats stop making them?

This middle-class voter doesn't seem to have
a problem with Democrats . . .

A fair example of the genre was David Shribman's Boston Globe spectacular Party of the Professional Class.  He notes correctly that West Virginia doesn't vote Democratic anymore, although he seems to have skipped the detail that one reason for the decline of the Democratic vote in that mountainous wasteland is the fact that the head of the ticket was a black man.  Shribman notes that Michael Dukakis carried the state 28 years ago, implying that if a total loser like Mike could carry the state, why can't Hillary Clinton?

His claim, buttressed by the no-doubt unbiased analysis of two Republican hacks, a Republican Senator,  and Nazi-loving Pat Buchanan, is that Democrats are no longer in touch with the “life experiences of middle-class Americans.”


Which middle-class Americans?  Are Democrats out of touch with the concerns of black middle-class Americans?  Clinton is currently carrying the black vote by 85% to 4%.   Sounds like the Democrats are doing fine with black middle- and working-class Americans.  Are Democrats out of touch with the concerns of Hispanic voters?  Clinton is leading Hispanics by 65% to 17%.  Again, the Democrats don't seem to be repelling Hispanic middle and working class voters.  Rather the contrary.

So what's the problem here?  Lunatic ex-Senator Jim Webb tells Shribman: “White working class people outside of unions think the Democratic party doesn't like them.”  It must be the fault of all those elite Chablis-swigging Democrats who push for higher taxes on themselves, guaranteed health care for all, a higher minimum wage, and spending on infrastructure to improve the lives of, and provide good paying jobs to, white working class voters.

The nerve.

It might just be that those focusing their telescope on well-educated Democrats might want to turn it towards the objects whose opinion they seem to value so highly.  It might be that all those white voters who thought that President Obama wasn't born in the United States or was a Muslim weren't motivated by the lack of affection flowing from white Democrats.  It might just be that if you hold those views about our President, you're a racist dick.
... ditto (Photos: Hillary for Florida)

As for those noble ex-Democrats in West Virginia, many of them would like to go back to strip mining coal, which has lost ground in recent years to cheaper cleaner natural gas.  Why is this the Democrats' fault?  In any event, does anyone think that we should give up our efforts to avoid the catastrophe of global warming to make coal miners feel better?  One thing about global warming: there would be a lot of oceanfront property in Butcher Holler.

It's not in Shribman's compendium of tired tropes, but elsewhere the supposed allegiance of democrats to free trade agreements is cited as further evidence that Democrats are fatally out of touch with these ordinary misunderstood folks.  That must be why the free-trade negotiator running for Senate in Ohio (quoted by Shribman as some sort of man of the people) is leading his race among white voters by 61% to 35%.  And speaking of NAFTA, how did Democrats vote on ratification?  In the House they voted against 102 to 156.

We remember that this narrative has been pitched for 40 years by Republicans and slime like George Wallace as a way to smear Democrats: too soft on Negroes and either sexually promiscuous, kinda gay, or not the kind of real men who boast about groping women and spying on naked beauty contest contestants.  No wonder it finds such a warm reception among white male racists.  And Republicans.

So how can those elite out of touch Democrats reach out to voters who think that Barack Obama was born in Kenya?  To ask the question is to answer it.

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