18 April 2008

How do you view the parties?

Which Class Does Each Party Favor?
Based on middle class respondents.

In general, do you think the Democratic Party favors the rich, favors the middle or favors the poor?
Middle Class: Democrats Favor

In general, do you think the Republican Party favors the rich, favors the middle class or favors the poor?
Middle Class: Republicans Favor

Notice how Democrats see the parties very differently than everyone else? What if you knew that the self-identified Democrats/Lean Democrat were less than half of the Middle Class survey population?
Middle Class Partisans
Knowing that, would you write:

* Most middle class adults agree with the old saw that the Republican Party favors the rich while the Democratic Party favors the middle class and the poor.

* Nearly six-in-ten (58%) middle class survey respondents say the Republican Party favors the rich, while nearly two-thirds say the Democratic Party favors the middle class (39%) or the poor (26%).

13 April 2008

"... they cling to guns or religion ..."

Cling? CLING!?! WTF!!!

Hmmm, religion and guns are addressed in the first two amendments in the Bill of Rights. They were slightly important to the American people 220 years ago. Why would anyone want to cling to those?

Why would Obama say that to rich San Franciscans at a fundraiser closed to the press? Doesn't he know everything winds up on the 'net? Didn't he know that Pennsylvanians, where Clinton has been consistently ahead of him in polls, would hear what he said about them?

Obama was responding to a question posed in San Francisco about what people campaigning door-to-door for him should expect in Pennsylvania (30 minutes into the audio, "some of us are going to Pennsylvania to campaign for you. What should we be telling the voters we encounter?"). Now, I know a little about the Keystone State, home to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. I grew up in the A-B-E area of Eastern Pennsylvania. I learned the vernacular. I still call Pennsylvania my home.

I would describe Pennsylvania to any out-of-state campaigners going door-to-door for a presidential candidate as politically important. I would agree with Mayhill Fowler that, "These qualities of hospitality, patriotism and endurance are exactly what Californians need to hear about Pennsylvanians." I would describe Pennsylvanians as proud of their religious diversity and avid hunters. I would tell them that the manufacturing sector has been shrinking in Pennsylvania, as it has everywhere else, but other sectors have been growing and according to Governor Rendell's Department of Community & Economic Development:

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a strong economy, superior market access, a first-class transportation system, is securely placed as a technology leader, a highly skilled and motivated work force, provides access to some of the best colleges and universities in the world and a very high quality of life. Considering all these factors, it's no wonder that companies like Gamesa, Westinghouse, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Olympus America and Augusta have decided to locate or expand in Pennsylvania. And why some of the nation’s most unique, smart and bright people choose to live here.
One thing I would not do is describe Pennsylvanians as clinging to anything. PA'ers don't take kindly to that sort of thing.

UPDATE:
12 reasons 'bitter' is bad for Obama
The comments play directly into an already-established narrative about his candidacy. Clinton supporters have been arguing that Obama has limited appeal beyond upscale Democrats — the so-called latte liberals. You can’t win red states if people there don’t like you. "Elites need to understand that middle-class Americans view values and culture as more important than mere trickery," said Paul Begala, a Clinton backer. "Democrats have to respect their values and reflect their values, not condescend to them as if they were children who’ve been bamboozled."
Southern Democrat: Obama's 'got a bunch of explaining to do'
"I’m a southern boy myself," Saunders told CNN by phone. "I don’t have a gun because I’m bitter, it’s because I’ve always had one. I don’t pray to God because I’m bitter. I pray to God because it makes my life better."
...
Saunders said "rural America will be crucial in this election."

"The one thing that I preached during this whole deal is we can’t be stereotyping anybody," he said. "Well, Barack Obama just stereotyped my people out in rural America."

"Here’s a guy who says he shouldn’t be stereotyped, but yet he stereotyped us."
Who’s Bitter Now?
Small-town people of modest means and limited education are not fixated on cultural issues. Rather, it is affluent, college-educated people living in cities and suburbs who are most exercised by guns and religion. In contemporary American politics, social issues are the opiate of the elites.
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Their "fresh, arresting, original, informational reporting and commentary" (if there is any) can be a success solely within the liberal sphere. It can have an impact (a traditional measure of success) on the primaries of both parties with Yearrrrrgh!!! and macaca videos.