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February 20, 2008

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Another amazing post. You hit the nail right on the head with this one. I'm posting over at The Hillary 1000. And thank you, as always, for the kind words. Listening to other privileged folk voting with their pocketbooks (or paychecks, I should say, given their emphasis on taxes), I always get the message that I'm apparently voting against my own self-interest.

um, but didn't you dismiss John Edwards a year or so ago?

He may not have had the oratory skills of Obama, but he was trying, at least, to address this disparity, one you said fairly recently just didn't speak to people this cycle.

But, he didn't fit with the "see, racism and sexism are over" narrative, so I guess he had to go.

Neither party has represented the working man for decades. Bill Clinton drove the final nail into it for the Democrats when he championed, and then signed into law, NAFTA. I worked with my hands and my back for more than half of my life. The last candidate who even sounded like he ever did a lick of work was Edwards and he couldn't get a word in edgewise.

I've seen it put forward elsewhere that this voting pattern is more down to the "insurgent" nature of Obama's campaign. The establishment candidate is Hillary and she has had the lower income voters locked up initially. The insurgent campaign, i.e. Obama's, make their breakthrough first with the higher income, wonkish, and higher information voters, and then as the campaign progresses he makes inroads into Hillary's base.

Not sure that I fully agree with that, but it makes some sense to me.

The problem with the theory, Joe, is that:

a) It's not happening - although Obama's made some progress in working class voters, it's not very much; and

b) it's never happened in similar, previous candidacies (go to Nick's link at Cogitamus); and

c) if you think about it, it's really rather patronizing... something to the effect of "they don't know what's best for themselves" or "they follow like sheep" or something equally meant to suggest that working class people, and high school grads, are dumb and don't understand what's best for their interests. And what I - and others as well - am saying is, consider the possibility that they do know what they want, and he isn't it; that perhaps the point here is that working class people are actually not attracted to Obama's candidacy or his message; and to the extent that they will, ultimately, wind up voting for him is more because they have nowhere else to go than because they actually like him, or his proposals.

It's just a different way of thinking about this, one that might give working class people more credit for actually knowing their own interests.

Folks should watch the video of the Pres of the Machinists Union introduce Clinton in Youngstown for an illustration of what Weboy is discussing.

As a member of a union family who also has made it to a grad school of equivalent status to the Harvard that Pres. Buffenbarger disparages, I had mixed emotions of pride and displeasure watching this. But the ire is real.

http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/02/20/machinists-union-tells-it-like-it-is/

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