Hilarious whenever left eats its own. If I had a penny for the number of times Obama claimed to be doing something to help the middle class, I’d have a heck of a bunch of money.
Via Mother Jones:
Sean McElwee urges Democrats to find a new way to appeal to the working class:
For decades, thinkers on the left have wondered why the working class regularly votes against its own interests….Thomas Frank argued that social issues obscure economic motives, and indeed the most salient non-economic one has always been race, at least in this country….Nixon’s “law and order campaign” played on racial fears, as did Reagan’s denunciation of “welfare queens.” Republicans played at race to win solid majorities for decades while actively working against the interests of the majority of Americans. The left has much to learn about this strategy. It needs to fundamentally re-align Americans around an issue with a deep and latent importance: the environment.
I don’t really want to pick on McElwee here, but I guess I’m feeling a little peevish this morning. Why is it that the working class often votes against its own economic interests? Well, let’s compare the sales pitches of the Republican and Democratic parties when it comes to pocketbook issues:
Republicans: We will lower your taxes.
Democrats: We, um, support policies that encourage a fairer distribution of growth and….and….working man….party of FDR….um….
There are two problems with the Democratic approach. First, it’s too abstract to appeal to anyone. Second, it’s not true anyway. Democrats simply don’t consistently support concrete policies that help the broad working and middle classes. Half of them voted for the bankruptcy bill of 2005. They’ve done virtually nothing to stem the growth of monopolies and next to nothing to improve consumer protection in visible ways. They don’t do anything for labor. They’re soft on protecting Social Security. They bailed out the banks but refused to bail out underwater homeowners. Hell, they can’t even agree to kill the carried interest loophole, a populist favorite if ever there was one.