At every turn Obama Hopium guzzlers and goons shout “racist!” Any mention of “white”, as in “white working class” is deemed “racist!” The White Working Class itself is deemed “racist!”
In the article we discussed in Mistake In ’08, Part II – The Power of Hillary Clinton Supporters we included the following information about the White vote and Buchanan County in Virginia:
Reviewing the primary fight, Michael Barone noted that Obama got majorities “from whites only in his home state (Illinois), in states where the white Democratic primary electorate is unusually upscale and non-Jewish (Virginia, Vermont), and in mountain states where the cultural divide is not black-white.” This racial divide, Barone explained, was part of a larger, cultural divide between Jacksonians and academics. “In state after state, we have seen Obama do extraordinarily well in academic and state capital enclaves. In state after state, we have seen Clinton do extraordinarily well in enclaves dominated by Jacksonians.”
The Jacksonian Democrats tended to be white and working-class; the academics tended to be highly educated, and often government employees. This divide is often attributed to latent racism in the Jacksonians. But a suspicion of Barack Obama shouldn’t make you a racist. Consider the case of Buchanan County, a Jacksonian stronghold on the Virginia border next to both West Virginia and Kentucky. Obama lost Buchanan County to Hillary Clinton by a margin of 90 to 9. Which might make one view Buchananites with some suspicion—except that in the 1989 gubernatorial race, Douglas Wilder won Buchanan County by 18 points over his (white) Republican rival.
The Obama Hopium guzzlers and goons want to terrify with shouts of “racist!” Hillary supporters and anyone who dares speak to Obama’s lack of qualifications and inexperience. But White Working Class voters in Buchanan County in Virginia voted for white woman Hillary Clinton and black man Douglas Wilder – but not Barack Obama. In the latest elections in Virginia, true blue New Jersey, and blue of the bluest Massachusetts, White Working Class voters turned with fury against White Obama Dimocratic candidates.
John Judis has examined the question of Obama, the White Working Class and the charges of “Racism” and he has an answer as to why the White Working Class snubs Barack Obama. The Judis article is called “He’s a Yuppie. Why Obama can’t connect with the working class”:
Here is a fact: Barack Obama has trouble generating enthusiasm among white working class voters. That’s not because they are white. He would have had trouble winning support among black working class voters if they had been unable to identify with him because he was black. He has trouble with working class voters because he appears to them as coming from a different world, a different realm of experience, a different class, if you like. And that’s because he does.
I have recently read several stories about Obama that treat these difficulties as if they were paradoxical. The latest is from The Washington Post. “Despite his roots,” the article is headlined, “Obama struggles to show he’s connected to middle class.” And the story—which seems to use middle class, working class, and blue collar interchangeably—describes his supposedly non-elitist roots as follows: “He turned down high-paying jobs after graduating from Harvard Law School and became a community organizer, compelled by the experience of growing up with a single mother who sometimes lived on food stamps. He married a woman from a working-class family on the South Side of Chicago, and they rented a walk-up condominium in Hyde Park.”
The first thing to note about this description is that, like many accounts I have read of Obama’s life, it gets its facts wrong. He didn’t become a community organizer after graduating from Harvard Law School, but after graduating from Columbia. He left community organizing to attend Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school, he joined a prestigious Chicago law firm with offices just off Michigan Avenue. In 1991, he began teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He was chair of a Chicago branch of the Annenberg Foundation. Obama’s wife, who admittedly did grow up working-class, nevertheless graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School. And Hyde Park is a pricey upper-middle-class section of Chicago.
Judis is inconsistent and somewhat afraid of the “white” in “white working class”. He should not be afraid. The long term euphemisms “lunch bucket Joe/Jane”, or the “blue collar” terminology all mean “WHITE working class” it is just that cowardice abounds when race is the topic. Judis might be inconsistent, if not cowardly, in his use of “WHITE” but he is commendable in the declaration that the reason why WHITE working class voters do not trust/like Barack Obama has little to do with skin color.
Many African-American voters fooled themselves into feeling “affinity” for Obama because of his skin color. “Affinity” is a politically correct term for voting for someone we feel comfortable with. When a campaign wants to “reach out” to a group the campaign drafts a “surrogate” speaker who has an “affinity” with the group being courted. A union speaker will speak with a group of union members, women speakers to women’s groups, gay speakers to gay groups, etc. Judis appropriately notes that BLACK working class voters gave a “pass” to Obama because of his skin color. White voters appropriately did not provide Obama with the “pass” Black voters gave.
Judis must also be commended for his restrained, Obama biography. Judis, as just about every Big Media personality, accepts Obama’s autobiography as if the facts are true – that is an argument for another day. For the sake of argument let’s accept for now the generally promoted Obama “facts” as if they were true and go with that narrative. We see the “community organizer” picked up his Jeremiah Wright tapes and headed on to Harvard. The “community organizer” Obama, like a thief “casing the joint”, knew who the power players in Chicago were and how to court them, and then he came back ready to cut deals.
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Judis contributes a good working definition of “working class”. Judis expands on Marx’s definition of working class. For Marx the working class “cannot claim to own or control the means of production”. Judis rightly notes that even within that meaning there are “enormous social divisions” that must be considered in modern American society. Writes Judis, “Race and income are important, of course, but so is function, which separates people who perform routine or menial or manual tasks from people who produce ideas and complex services. College professors do not always make more money than electricians; but they live in a different world.” Judis distinguishes the world of “professionals from that of “operatives, laborers, clerical workers, and technicians.”
Obama’s parents were professionals—his mother was an anthropology PhD and his father was a Harvard-trained economist. How much money they made was immaterial. His grandmother, who raised him in Hawaii, was a bank vice-president. He went to a fancy private school and to prestigious colleges (Occidental and Columbia) that turn out professionals and managers. He clearly was not obsessed with making money, but with performing a public service—yet that doesn’t distinguish him from other professionals or other Columbia graduates. It does distinguish him from a working- or middle-class American for whom being a civil rights lawyer or professor or politician is at best a passing fantasy.
[Some words of warning for John Judis: prepare for the "uppity" defense. Any time a class based argument is introduced, or Obama is called "arrogant" or "out of touch" or "fancy", the Hopium guzzlers and goons shout: "this is code language! Obama is being called "an uppity Negro" which proves Obama critics are "racist!!!" Of course, acceptance of such a ridiculous defense means that no black person can ever be "arrogant" or "well-off" financially or socially.]
Judis lampoons an Obama myth with restrained flair:
It is admirable that Obama spent three years after graduating as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, but many graduates of elite colleges spend several years after college doing something unusual, before returning to graduate school or settling into a profession. Some travel around the world; some join the Peace Corps; some try to write novels. In the days of Theodore Roosevelt or George H.W. Bush, some became cowboys or oil wildcatters. It’s a tradition that goes back over a century. It’s called “sowing your wild oats.” Afterwards, they usually return to more sober and sedate occupations appropriate to their social background and education. That’s what Obama did. As I wrote of his community organizing period, he became weary of the life of the community organizer. He doubted he was accomplishing much, and decided to go to law school. He didn’t choose to go to Kent College of Law or John Marshall Law School—schools where he could have retained his ties with working class Chicago—but to Harvard Law School.
Once out of law school, Obama lived and worked over the next decade in a grey area between the very upper reaches of professional America and the country’s managers, owners, and rulers. He didn’t just have access to more money and live differently from ordinary Americans; he possessed power and authority that they didn’t have. He was of a different world, even if as a politician he would occasionally visit theirs.
Judis is subtle in his dissection of Barack Obama. In his previous work Judis noted about Obama that he was “a disillusioned activist who fashioned his political identity not as an extension of community organizing but as a wholesale rejection of it.” Like a Chicagoan on a hooker binge weekend, Obama tired of the play and decided to advance himself. Isn’t that what Howard Dean did too? Dean became a ski bum as his “wild oats” adventure, Obama decided to check out the “peeps” he never knew and was disgusted by.
Judis concludes with the obvious – but it is still an “obvious” that Big Media will not allow the public to read on Big Media outlets:
There is no paradox, therefore, in Obama’s distance from white working class voters. What would be unusual is if he were able to echo their concerns in a deeply moving rather than in a somewhat mechanical way. Yes, there have been some gifted politicians of an upper class or professional background who have been able to do so. Some, like Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, or Ronald Reagan, could draw upon their working class childhoods; others, like Franklin Roosevelt or Edward Kennedy, could evince a kind of upper-class paternalism.
This is not the first time we have quoted John Judis here at Big Pink. Judis had a smart thought about Obama’s “bitter” and “clinging” remarks as well. John Judis at The New Republic had this to say at the time:
These difficulties were clear before Obama spoke in San Francisco, but they’re much more glaring now. In the speech, Obama appeared to say that Pennsylvania voters’ opposition to gun control or abortion or immigration or free trade was pathological–a product of what Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse once called “false consciousness.” On the other hand, he implied that when he voiced opposition to an issue like free trade–Obama has consistently hammered Clinton on her support for the North American Free Trade Agreement–he was simply pandering to these voters’ displaced anxieties. He was saying to these upscale San Francisco Democrats, “I am really one of you, and I am not one of them.”
Was it “code language” that Judis employed when he traced Obama’s remarks in San Francisco to Marxist Marcuse? Certainly, like his “creative class” cheerleader pom-pom Big Blog Boys, Obama has contempt for the White (yes, Black too) Working Class. For those that have forgotten, here is what Obama said in San Francisco, among the wealthy:
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Like liberal John Judis, Patrick Buchanan picked up on the hateful subtext of Barack Obama’s words, which dripped with loathing aimed at the white working class:
It was said behind closed doors to the chablis-and-brie set of San Francisco, in response to a question as to why he was not doing better in that benighted and barbarous land they call Pennsylvania.
Like Dr. Schweitzer, home from Africa to address the Royal Society on the customs of the upper Zambezi, Barack described Pennsylvanians in their native habitats of Atloona, Alquippa, Johnstown and McKeesport. [snip]
This is the pitch-perfect Hollywood-Harvard stereotype of the white working class, the caricature of the urban ethnic — as seen from the San Francisco point of view. [snip]
Though he sees himself as a progressive who has risen above prejudice, Barack was reflecting and pandering to the prejudice of the class to which he himself belongs, and which he was then addressing.
A few months back, Michelle Obama revealed her mindset about America with the remark that, “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” Barack has now revealed how he, too, sees the country. The Great Unifier divides the nation into us and them.
The “us” are the privileged cosmopolitan elite of San Francisco and his Ivy League upbringing. The “them” are the folks in the small towns and rural areas of that other America.
The Obama “us” versus the “them” was eloquently expressed by Donna Brazile and David Axelrod:
Donna Brazile: A new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don’t have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics.
David Axelrod: The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years. This is not new that Democratic candidates don’t rely solely on those votes.
Obama snubbed the White working class and now the white working class returns the favor. [We'll have more on the implications of this in Part IV of this series of articles.]
Hillary Clinton was the change, the big change and could have altered the electoral landscape. According to CBS News:
CBS News’ Election and Survey Unit’s survey analyst extraordinaire Jennifer De Pinto goes inside the exit polls from last week’s election and finds some interesting nuggets about those Hillary Clinton supporters who voted for John McCain:
As voters left the polls on Election Day, many were asked how they would have voted if the election match-up were between Hillary Clinton and John McCain rather than Barack Obama and McCain. 52 percent said they would have backed the former Democratic candidate; 41 percent would have voted for McCain, wider than Obama’s 7-point margin over McCain.
Interestingly, 16 percent of McCain voters said they would have voted for Clinton, the Democrat, if she had been her party’s nominee.
So who were these potential cross-over voters?
# They were older: 61% of them were age 45 and above.
# 53% were women; while 47% were men.
# 43% of these voters who supported McCain but would have backed Clinton if she were in the race described themselves as Independents. 31% were Republicans; while 26% were Democrats.
# 84% of them were white – higher than the electorate at large. 12% were Hispanic, compared to 9% of the total electorate.
# 21% of McCain voters who would have supported Clinton said race was factor in their vote. 19% of McCain voters overall said race was factor in their vote.
# 61% of these McCain voters who would have backed Clinton earned $50K or more annually. 39% earned less. 61% do not have a college degree.
# These voters valued experience over change. 47% said experience was their top candidate quality and 32% said a candidate who shares their values. Just 10% picked change. But like voters overall, the economy was the top issue for these voters.
# 58% of McCain voters who would have supported Clinton if she were a candidate said their candidate’s personal and leadership qualities was more important in their vote; 36% said it was their candidate’s positions on the issues.
# Among McCain backers overall, voters were divided with 48% choosing issues and 49% picking qualities. But among the electorate at large, 58% said their candidate’s position on the issues was more important.
While 85% of Obama voters said they would have voted for Clinton had she been the Democratic candidate, 13% would not have supported her including 6% who said they would have backed McCain and 7% who said they would not have voted.
# 60% of these voters were under age 45.
# They were mostly men. 59% were men; while 41% were women.
# 41% of these voters who supported Obama but would not have backed Clinton if she were in the race described themselves as Democrats. 20% were Republicans; while 38% were Independents.
# While most of these voters were white (74%); 17% were black – higher than the share of the total electorate. 5% were Hispanic.
# 53% of these Obama voters who would not have backed Clinton earned $50K or more annually. 47% earned less. 58% do not have a college degree.
# These voters were clearly looking for change – 57% picked it as their top candidate quality. This was followed by values (20%) and cares (12%). Experience ranked last with 8%.
# 60% of these voters said issue positions were more important; 38% said it was leadership and personal qualities.
With Hillary Clinton we could have had fundamental change AND an experienced leader, not a boob and a stooge. But the Democratic establishment imposed their will and gifted Obama the nomination. This is one of the greatest historical mistakes in American history.
The “Mistake In ’08″ is increasingly recognized but not yet repudiated by the perpetrators. The guilty will be punished with the electoral death penalty.
[Part IV, coming soon.]