Friday, October 14, 2011

A Test of Class War

Republicans rail at Democratic "class war" rhetoric.  That makes sense because the Republican Party is a resolutely middle-class party.  Republicans, who are mostly neither rich nor poor, think that class-war politics is likely to damage the prosperity of the corporations they work for or the small businesses they own.

But maybe President Obama is on to something.  Maybe he can pump up the rage of the unemployed and win the election with it.

The problem is, of course, that the experts all say that you can't win an election merely turning out your base.  You have to win the moderates, the independents.

Here's Jay Cost writing that President Obama can't win without the independents, and right now he has 35 percent support from independents.  Jay Cost proposes a thought experiment.
[L]et’s conduct a little thought experiment. Suppose that the same percentage of Republicans, Democrats, and independents turn out in every state in 2012 as happened in 2008. Let’s also suppose that Obama does as well with Republicans and Democrats, but with independents he suffers a 17 percentage point decline in every state (which is in keeping with his dropping from 52 percent support among independents on Election Day 2008 to 35 percent today). What would that election look like?
It would look like 2004, and the Republican would win with 50.5% of the vote.  But that scenario is really too generous to the Democrats, he reckons.  More likely, Republican "soft partisan" vote will swell and the Democratic "soft partisan" vote will shrink in 2012 when compared to 2008.  On that scenario the Republicans win in a blowout with a 10-point lead in the popular vote.

Then there are the Catholics.  Colleen Campbell details how in numerous instances the Obama appointees have pressed Catholics on sensitive issues, from abortion to adoption to traditional marriage.
A candidate who won their support by pledging to respect the religiously grounded views of those with whom he disagrees has morphed into a president whose administration relentlessly attacks religious liberty.
The fact is that President Obama and the Reid-Pelosi Congress has done nothing for independents.  Stimulus, ObamaCare, and cap and trade were all about throwing money at the Democratic base.  Yet now the president is running for reelection by ginning up the Democratic base.

Does he really think he can raise enthusiasm on his side without waking the sleeping bear on the other side?

The problem with big government is that it amounts to a kind of secular religious state.  In every big program it is pushing secular religious morality and repressing traditional religious morality.  Liberals absolutely hate the right "legislating morality."  But they seem to be clueless about their own agenda. And that boils down to "legislating liberal morality."

Everyone except liberals hates it when liberals legislate morality.  So that's why I wonder about Obama and his class-warfare campaign for reelection.

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