Saturday, March 03, 2012

Blame Someone and Vote!


The cliché lives! Angry old white guys populate more than Simpsons episodes.

The FT sent Richard McGregor to chat 'em up. He traces back to Richard Nixon to analyze why so many blue-collar men turned from Democrat to Republican, at least for the top of the ticket. (This link requires free registration or subscription.)

Even strong union supporters and adherents to the bulk of the Democratic Party platform voted Republican for POTUS last time and may again. They buy into a tax-and-spend slur, ignoring the GOP's borrow-and-spend history.

Among the sources, sure, there's gun talk (Obama wants 'em and the old white guys keep theirs handy just in case). Some eagerly take Social Security, Medicare and other federal benefits, but want to restrict others' access. And the President's mixed race does play...a bit by their comments...into the equation. After all, it's now a white-minority nation, getting more so. These folk are happy to admit listening to Limbaugh and Beck.

The big point is that from Nixon on, Republicans have been successful in wagging the dog from its small tail. As Mike Gammella, head of an UAW local put it, "I hear people in the plant criticise Barack Obama but the fact is, without him, we would not have a car industry today...But the Republicans are very good at isolating one or two issues that play on people. There’s a lot of anger out there and not only among the people who were laid off. They tend to vote angry and when they vote angry, they get it wrong."

The right is not helping itself in this season of crazed  POTUS candidates though. From the VA gov and legislature on women's health to the more identifiable to this group of older male voters issue of union rights, the GOP far, far overreached this time. Laws and bills in the Midwest to crush unions and destroy collective bargaining may take away those pivotal issues as decision points.

They would like to blame Dems and particularly Obama for everything wrong with their income, jobs, town, state and anything else. With GOP candidates throwing money to the wealthiest people and companies, and callously saying the auto industry shouldn't have gotten survival loans, even those desperate for such simple fantasies are outrun by reality.

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