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  • Zero-sum politics

    Zero-sum politics
    Voters think both parties are telling the truth about how awful the other lot are



    “GOODBYE.” Just hearing Barack Obama say the word has the power to startle, almost three years before his term in office ends. It slipped out during a speech to Wisconsin factory workers on January 30th, during a four-state tour intended to show off a president still fizzing with ideas for fixing the economy.

    During that tour Mr Obama stressed his eagerness to work with Congress on an ambitious goal: a wholesale effort to restore the promise that, in America, responsible folk who work hard have a fair shot at a middle-class life.

    If members of Congress would not help, he would press on without them, Mr Obama added bullishly. Yet he could not conceal a wistful note as he contemplated how much remains undone. Restoring economic opportunity is the defining project of this generation, he said in Wisconsin, flanked by gleaming, flag-bedecked hunks of machinery. That task has driven his presidency, he pledged, and “will drive me until I wave goodbye.” Once uttered, the image of his departure seemed to hang in the air.

    None of this means that Mr Obama is already a lame duck. Three years is a political eternity. Mr Obama has hefty executive powers, both formal and exhortatory (“I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone,” as he likes to say). And though the president’s job-approval ratings are grim, other indicators are more promising.

    For one thing, the economy is at last picking up. For another, most Americans still think the president cares about people like them: a measure that may sound woolly, but which has proved powerful in the past among swing voters. The president has not lost his touch with a crowd, Lexington can report after watching him in Wisconsin. It was a tough gig, involving lots of middle-aged men in overalls, brawny arms folded sceptically as they listened. Waukesha is a conservative corner of a swing state: so much so that the plant is home to specimens of a rare breed, sternly Republican union members. Several shared their dislike for Mr Obama beforehand. Even his willingness to use executive orders divided the crowd into partisan camps. Democrats cheered: “His hands are tied by Congress,” said Tom Jenkins, a maintenance manager. Chuck Griffith, a machinist, growled disagreement: a president who flouts Congress is “a dictator”.

    After Mr Obama’s speech, several expressed happy surprise. The crowd roared approval when he urged parents to let children learn skilled trades (it pays better than an art history degree, Mr Obama noted, to jeers). Several said how much they liked a passage in which Mr Obama hailed the “blue-collar” values of his parents-in-law. Michelle Obama’s parents never envied success or worried about the Ferrari-driving, fur-wearing rich, he said. They cared about a simpler, all-American principle: that people who worked hard should be able to support a family.
    Colonel Vogel : What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?

    Professor Henry Jones : It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try *reading* books instead of *burning* them!

  • #2
    Talk is cheap
    If it pays, it stays

    Comment


    • #3
      I suppose from a strategic point of view, a dialogue in which negative messages predominate would tend to favor the party whose core view of government is negative.
      Enjoy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
        I suppose from a strategic point of view, a dialogue in which negative messages predominate would tend to favor the party whose core view of government is negative.
        The founding fathers?
        Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
        and lost …
        But the Republicans are racist.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Norm dePlume View Post
          I suppose from a strategic point of view, a dialogue in which negative messages predominate would tend to favor the party whose core view of government is negative.
          Anti-war Kerry voters?
          "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
          -John Locke

          "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."
          -Newman

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          • #6
            I think regular working people feel pretty distrustful of both parties. Neither the poor using subsidies of various of kinds nor the affluent who can buy their way out of ordinary problems have any reason to criticize the status quo. Joe and Jane Average, on the other hand, have problems.

            Liberal policies are foundering. You can't actually let everybody in the world take low skill jobs from low skill Americans in their own country and expect those Americans to pump a service economy. You can't down-value college and still promote college as the key to economic success. You can't regulate small businesses out of business and create "good" jobs.

            Republican efforts are laughable. You can't constantly game the system in terms of subsidies and tax magic without eventually getting a bill. You can't constantly promote unprincipled political contenders. You can't be the party that wants exactly what the Democrats want only like 5 years later.

            Neither party cares about working people, married families, or law-abiding citizens. People are beginning to notice that.
            "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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