All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.It seems to be that there are three things that don't compute with this over-under strategy.
- There aren't enough "professors, artists... social workers, teachers, therapists" to make up for the departed white working class. Let's think a little more broadly about the "socially liberal, economically conservatives" that voted Democrat during the Bush years. I'd say it was easier to get those educated suburbanites to vote for Democrats during the Bush years than it will in 2012. Today they are not worrying about whether Pat Robertson is going to be invading their bedrooms. They are worrying about their children's careers. Sure, the educated class that works for government will vote Democratic. But that just means that they will be voting their pocket books. The rest of the educated class needs a growing economy to fatten their pocket books.
- Don't count on the Hispanic vote. Bush got the Hispanic vote up to 40 percent GOP. Obama took it back to 30 percent. Democrats shouldn't count on keeping that 30 percent.
- Don't count on turning out the black vote. Obama was elected on a huge enthusiasm in the African American community. Word is that blacks are deeply disappointed with Obama. They won't be voting Republican, of course, but many won't be voting at all.
But if you think of it, the Obamis are leaving the center wide open for the Republican nominee. Instead of class warfare, the Republican can invoke all the hoary all-American themes, of hope, hard work, freedom, opportunity, and making America better for our children.
And getting government off our backs.