Richard McGregor, DC bureau chief for the respected Financial Times, has a really good, perceptive, detailed piece on “white, blue-collar, and angry” men who are likely to vote against Barack Obama in November.
Note, in particular, the hypocrisy and acknowledged racism of one Terry Minadeo, a medical equipment salesman who owes much of his income to Medicare and Medicaid. Nonetheless, he’s voting Republican:
He says his dislike of Obama is only a “little bit” to do with race, [yeah, right – my comment] although he does his best to make it sound otherwise. He has never liked the president because he thinks he has always been “slanted towards foreigners”. “I think he would like everyone to wear a turban. I will not. I will go and get my gun.”
UAW local president Mike Gammella makes this right-on-the-mark observation:
“I hear people in the plant criticise Barack Obama but the fact is, without him, we would not have a car industry today,” says Gammella. “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.”
As I’ve written several times before, I grew up Republican, practically Teahead. I started my worklife in a factory. I was a loyal union member. I know this situation intimately, and lament that working people, particularly unionized workers, have been drinking the cultural poison served up by the Right since the Civil Rights movement (and Viet Nam, and feminism, and environmentalism) and going to the polls to vote for people who then turn around and vote to destroy their lives, taking aim with particular ferocity at the labor movement.
Still, all may not be lost, as Josh Kraushaar points out in National Journal. NJ’s Ron Brownstein has an analysis of the question of the auto industry bailout that seems to show Obama and Dems have an opening. Brownstein is also the one, recall, who’s description of the shifting demographic sands in America suggests to me that white anger isn’t going to buoy Republicans much longer.
UPDATE – Brownstein has a piece on new polling in NJ with this particular observation:
In the NBC/WSJ survey, Obama held a 50 percent to 43 percent advantage over Romney nationally, up from a 47 percent to 44 percent lead in the average of the news organizations’ polls during the second half of 2011, just before the voting began in the Republican race. What’s especially striking about the new survey is that it shows Obama has made his biggest gains among the group that has consistently resisted him the most: white voters without a college education.
Much thought to go on here.