The whores admit they’re infected with “the pox”. The last of the Obama hold-outs from 2008 capitulate to our argument. It’s over. Our analysis about 2008 prevails. Their analysis about 2008 has fallen. It’s all over. Hillary Clinton 2016 take note.
John B. Judis, one of the loons who sold the Democratic Party of FDR a turd covered in gold flakes, admits he was wrong:
The Emerging Republican Advantage
The idea of an enduring Democratic majority was a mirage. How the GOP gained an edge in American politics—and why it’s likely to last. [snip]
American parties routinely go through periods of ascendancy, decline, and deadlock. From 1896 to 1930, the Republican Party reigned supreme; from 1932 to 1968, the New Deal Democrats dominated; following a period of deadlock, the Reagan Republicans held sway during the 1980s. After the parties exchanged the White House, Democrats appeared to take command of American politics in 2008. In that election, Obama and the Democrats won not only the White House but also large majorities in the Senate and House, plus a decided edge in governor’s mansions and state legislatures.
At the time, some commentators, including me, hailed the onset of an enduring Democratic majority. And the arguments in defense of this view did seem to be backed by persuasive evidence. Obama and the Democrats appeared to have captured the youngest generation of voters, whereas Republicans were relying disproportionately on an aging coalition. The electorate’s growing ethnic diversity also seemed likely to help the Democrats going forward.
These advantages remain partially in place for Democrats today, but they are being severely undermined by two trends that have emerged in the past few elections—one surprising, the other less so.
Judis is excuse making when he writes that the “trends” he now sees “have emerged in the past few elections”. No. The trends were clear in 2007 in polls and in 2008 in exit polls as well. We saw what Judis refused to see and we wrote about it repeatedly:
For years we explained (see, “Mistake In ’08” Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII, and the “Barack Obama Situation Comedy” Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV) that to build and grow a political party you first gather a core constituency then slowly grow the party by the addition of like-minded individuals and groups which share those interests of the core constituency.
The modern Democratic Party built by Franklin Delano Roosevelt had as a core constituency the white working class. This working class provided the party of FDR with guideposts on policy and guided the party in everything it did. The working class core of the party was white because it reflected the same characteristics as the general population.
Over the years groups were added to the FDR coalition. Senior citizens joined in on the coalition attracted by promises such as “Social Security”. In the 1960s John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a Boston Brahmin added black Americans into the Democratic Party fold with some deft politicking (and his father’s vast wealth) which smudged away the racist past of the party. JFK grew the Democratic Party by addition not subtraction.
In 2008, Barack Obama and assorted kooks decided to purposefully destroy the Democratic Party of FDR. Barack Obama and these kooks willfully embraced the idea of the new “coalition of the ascendant”. This “coalition of the ascendant” and their interests – which conflicted with the interests of the FDR coalition – made it necessary to kick out core Democratic Party constituencies such as senior citizens and the white working class.
The Barack Obama coalition slogan was a variation of the race riot 1960s slogan “burn, baby, burn”.
If Hillary Clinton 2016 comes into existence this July or later, the campaign strategy better consider our arguments and the ones that John Judis concedes he did not foresee. What happened in 2008 is not a question of historical interpretation. The “mistake in ’08” is the defining question for 2016.
In our last “Mistake in ’08” article we noted how Ruy Teixiera raised the white flag of surrender as he tried to rewrite his history and pretended he always understood the importance of the white working class vote. Now it is John Judis who pretends that he kinda sorta always believed in the importance of the white working class vote:
The less surprising trend is that Democrats have continued to hemorrhage support among white working-class voters—a group that generally works in blue-collar and lower-income service jobs and that is roughly identifiable in exit polls as those whites who have not graduated from a four-year college. These voters, and particularly those well above the poverty line, began to shift toward the GOP decades ago, but in recent years that shift has become progressively more pronounced. [snip]
To win elections, Democrats have still needed between 36 and 40 percent nationally of the white working-class vote—which, in practice, meant totals in the twenties or even the teens in the South, and near-majorities in many Northern and Western states. At one time, unions had provided a link between many of these voters and the Democratic Party.
Judis and others have finally caught on that yeah, the white working class vote matters:
Southern Democrats Should Just Forget About 2016
In Arkansas and West Virginia, Dems don’t see a comeback without at least an extra two years of distance from Obama. [snip]
Think President Obama hurt Democrats in 2014? It’s not over yet.
While many of the party’s strategists are banking on 2016 as a comeback year, in the South, the party’s congressional contenders can’t envision a rebound before at least 2018.
In fact, Democratic strategists think an extra two years of distance will be the minimum needed to separate their candidates from Obama’s record. That’s especially true in West Virginia and Arkansas, states where the local Democratic brand had stubbornly endured until last year’s Republican sweep.
“The farther he gets off the stage, the better,” said Arkansas Democratic strategist Robert McLarty. [snip]
“Republicans will beat up any Democrat that runs by saying they’re a continuation of Obama’s anti-jobs, anti-coal policy,” said one West Virginia Democratic operative who has worked on multiple congressional races in the state. “In 2018, we’d be able to put it back into the D category, but next year will be another tough election.”
The party’s mood is similarly bleak in Arkansas.
“You don’t go from a complete shellacking one cycle to thinking you could take back congressional seats the next,” conceded Michael Cook, an Arkansas Democratic strategist.
This is likely the case even with Hillary Clinton sitting atop the ticket. While many Democrats argue that the former secretary of State and senator from New York could draw back to the party some of the Southern and blue-collar white voters who supported her husband’s presidential run, strategists on both sides acknowledge that the politics of the South have since changed.
“That’s the last hope Democrats in the state are clinging to,” said Conrad Lucas, chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party. “But the West Virginia of 2016 is not the West Virginia of 1992.”
And in Arkansas, more USA Today/Suffolk University poll respondents had negative views about Clinton than positive ones, and others are pessimistic that Clinton could compete in her onetime home state, much less win it.
“The landscape for Democrats in Arkansas does not look promising,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service and a veteran of Arkansas politics. “Barring any major developments, it’s going to be a very steep climb.”
It is going to be an impossible climb if Hillary Clinton 2016 is seen in any way as tied to Obama or Obama policies. Half-assed arguments of “stay the course’ but with “changes” will be too cute and will throttle Hillary Clinton 2016. And it gets worse, as John Judis just jived:
The more surprising trend is that Republicans are gaining dramatically among a group that had tilted toward Democrats in 2006 and 2008: Call them middle-class Americans. These are voters who generally work in what economist Stephen Rose has called “the office economy.” In exit polling, they can roughly be identified as those who have college—but not postgraduate—degrees and those whose household incomes are between $50,000 and $100,000. (Obviously, the overlap here is imperfect, but there is a broad congruence between these polling categories.)
The defection of these voters—who, unlike the white working class, are a growing part of the electorate—is genuinely bad news for Democrats, and very good news indeed for Republicans. The question, of course, is whether it is going to continue. It’s tough to say for sure, but I think there is a case to be made that it will.
Yeah, the middle class. So Obama has finished off any chance of a white working class return to the party of FDR and now Obama will make sure that with his plans to target the middle class it will be “good-bye middle class” in 2016. Wanna get tied to this loser in 2016??? Obama started his overtures to the middle class this year with a call for new taxes on college education plans which were so mocked that Obama had to immediately withdraw the tax. What a way to charm the middle class!
Remember all the promises Teixiera and Judis along with other Obama supporters made in 2008 about “demographic destiny” and Obama as the new Messiah that would bestride the political world like a colossus for decades? Uh, that “future” faded fast:
From the 2008 to the 2012 presidential elections, Democrats maintained their core coalition—the Hispanic vote for Obama even went up 4 percentage points in 2012—but their support among both white working-class and middle-class voters began to shrink. After getting 40 percent of the white working-class vote in 2008, Obama got only 36 percent in 2012. And after winning college-but-not-postgrad voters and middle-income voters in 2008, he lost both groups to Mitt Romney, by 51 percent to 47 percent and 52 percent to 46 percent, respectively.
The drop in midterm House races was even more precipitous. Democrats slid from 44 percent of the white working-class vote nationally in 2006 to only 34 percent in 2014, and from a 49-percent-49-percent split among college-educated voters in 2006 to a 54-percent-44-percent loss among these voters in 2014. They also dropped from a 50-percent-48-percent advantage among middle-income voters in 2006 to a 54-percent-44-percent deficit in 2014. [snip]
Overall, Democrats have continued to get a lower percentage of the vote among white working-class voters than among middle-class voters. But during the Obama years, middle-class voters have moved away from the Democrats at a comparable—and, in a few instances, such as the Senate race in Colorado, a higher—rate than white working-class voters.
Obama, as his own henchmen boast is not really a party building type:
But Team Obama has long believed that the president’s support is built upon the bedrock of his personal qualities rather than mere party identification. [snip]
But a senior Democratic strategist familiar with the Obama operation noted that, among the millions of names and emails on the famous lists, there were many people whose primary loyalty was to Barack Obama rather than to the Democratic Party.
We always said it was a cult. The cult of not very well informed young people voted in 2008 and 2012 for Obama in the same way that blacks voted for skin color not character. Obama received meaningless victories personally but the party he headed withered. The party Obama heads will continue to wither. Any fruit on the Obama vine will wither and die. And that is what is happening now and will continue to happen in 2016 for anyone who is seen as in any way an Obama ally or tied to Obama policies:
And while the white working-class vote has steadily shrunk as a percentage of the electorate, middle-class voters—as defined by education and income—have grown. In the 1980 presidential election, the white working class made up about 65 percent of the electorate; by 1988, it was 54 percent; by the 2008 election, it was just 39 percent. Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin estimate that by 2020, it’ll be 30 percent of the electorate. On the other hand, voters with college degrees but not postgraduate degrees went from 26 percent of the electorate in 2004, to 29 percent in 2012, to 31 percent in the last election. And according to census estimates, turnout among middle-class voters is 10 percentage points or more higher than among working-class voters. So middle-class voters are a force to be reckoned with.
The core swing voters within the middle class are whites, who make up 70 to 75 percent of this group; but the voting patterns of minorities in this income bracket don’t necessarily mirror the overall minority vote.
That’s a too cute way of saying that the middle class votes and is growing in votes and that minorities in the middle class vote like whites in the middle class. Judis also notes that young millennial voters will not “mitigate any losses” and save the party of Obama because they too now resemble the “electorate at large—pessimistic, untrusting, lacking confidence in government.”
The middle class writes Judis, is returning to its roots:
TO MAKE AN educated guess about whether these trends will continue, it helps to look at how the white working class and middle class have behaved historically. [snip]
For their part, middle-class voters have long been mistrustful of government. [snip]
Before the Great Depression, middle-class voters had been a stalwart Republican constituency, and they moved back toward the Republican fold after World War II. They supported Reagan in 1980 in the wake of Carter-era stagflation and the tax revolt that began in California in 1978. Reacting to the 1991 recession, a plurality narrowly favored Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, but they began drifting to the Republicans in 2000 and favored Bush by 58 percent to 42 percent in 2004. In 2008, in the wake of the Iraq War and the Great Recession, they supported Obama; but in 2010—angry about Obama’s stimulus program and believing that the Affordable Care Act had cost too much without truly benefiting them—they once again began returning to the Republican camp.
Middle-class voters tend, on average, to be more socially liberal than white working-class voters, and they have punished Republicans for taking harshly conservative stands on social issues. [snip]
Yet while middle-class voters are generally socially liberal, they oppose candidates on this basis only when those candidates take extreme positions. And so, when Republican politicians have soft-pedaled their views on abortion or guns or immigration, middle-class voters have largely ignored these issues in deciding whom to back—reverting to their natural tendency to focus on topics like taxes, spending, and the size of government. [snip]
Middle-class voters also tend to be less populist than white working-class voters when it comes to blaming Wall Street and the wealthy for the economy’s ills. [snip]
Many of them work for businesses where their own success is bound up with the company’s bottom line. That makes them less susceptible than white working-class voters or professionals to Democratic taunts about the “1 percent.” [snip]
On the whole, the white working class and the middle class—animated by their distrust of government spending and taxes—have moved toward the Republicans in recent years, in the absence of some other issue (such as war or economic catastrophe or social extremism) temporarily taking precedence. And the two groups have done so largely in tandem.
These are chilling numbers for anyone who runs in 2016 perceived in any way to support Obama or Obama policies. Citing his wife and a fellow writer Judis provides anecdotal evidence of why the middle class is aghast at Obama and Obama policies “it appears that the election hinged on taxes and the size of government—the questions to which middle-class voters so often seem to return.”
Um, it gets worse. Judis interviews voters who voted for Obama but who recently voted for um, Republicans, in Maryland:
They are not driven by any racial animus. They are socially liberal, and would probably not vote for a Republican who was openly allied with the Religious Right, but they were willing to support an antiabortion Republican who didn’t make a fuss about the issue. They are not unbendingly opposed to government, like some libertarians or tea-party activists; but they are worried about overspending and taxes.
In a speech after the election, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York advised Democrats to “embrace government” to “get the middle class going again.” But if Democrats take this advice, which has some appeal within policy circles, they could continue to drive middle-class voters like Jerry, Connie, and James away.
Read that Hillary Clinton 2016. Crackpot DailyKook propaganda of “demographic destiny” and generations of Republican losses have been crushed. As labor unions weaken, and the middle class drifts away along with the white working class, Hillary Clinton 2016 has lessons to learn:
The White House understands that Democrats have a problem with white working-class and middle-class voters and is now calling for a “middle-class tax cut” aimed squarely at them. Yet the Democratic nominee in 2016 will still have to shoulder the size-of-government and who-benefits-from-tax-dollars grievances created by Obama’s initial spending programs and by the Affordable Care Act. [snip]
After the 2008 election, I thought Obama could create an enduring Democratic majority by responding aggressively to the Great Recession in the same way that Franklin Roosevelt had responded in 1933 to the Great Depression. Obama, I believed, would finally bury the Reagan Republican majority of 1980 and inaugurate a new period of Democratic domination.
In retrospect, that analogy was clearly flawed.
Our take on Obama and FDR was not flawed. We were correct in our reading. We were correct in our prescriptions. Hillary Clinton 2016 take note of the Mistake in ’08 and don’t repeat them or get tied to them in 2016.