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Hullabaloo


Monday, May 19, 2014

 
Overinterpreting doom to help the 1%

by digby

Politico has the latest shocker: polling shows that Democrats are going to lose seats in 2014, especially in conservative regions.


The poll reveals that voters — even in the more conservative midterm states like Georgia and Arkansas, and tossup House districts in states such as Illinois, West Virginia and California — still lean in a liberal direction on several issues Democrats have championed this year, including immigration reform, pay equity for men and women and background checks for gun purchasers.

But none of those issues comes close to approaching health care as a major concern for midterm voters. Nearly nine in 10 respondents said that the health care law would be important to determining their vote, including 49 percent who said it would be very important.

By comparison, only 28 percent said that immigration reform was “very important” to determining their vote, and 16 percent who said the same of male-female income disparity.

Charles Pearre, a retired civil engineer in Virginia’s Prince William County, said his top priority for the midterms was “getting the government back on track where we have a Congress that can get something done.” But Pearre, a self-identified conservative, said he prefers a divided government and deeply distrusts the president.

“My opinion of the president is he’s not doing a good job at all and he’s not qualified,” said Pearre, who has not decided which party to vote for in the midterms. “The health care law, I think, should be totally revised.”

I wonder if that retired civil engineer has Medicare?

I'm beginning to think the Republicans have backed off on Obamacare because their job demonizing it is done. These people have just been propagandized to such an extent that they'll hate it until they die. Even though they have no experience of it themselves.

As for "not qualified" I wonder who's more qualified than a man who's been president for almost 6 years? The only people alive besides him who have that experience are Bush Sr, Bill Clinton and W. (I also wonder if that fine fellow voted for Sarah Palin in 2008. I'll bet he did.) But then, I think we know what "not qualified" really means don't we?

The poll also shows that the issue has power because a majority of white people and a majority of men are hostile to the reforms. These are also known as Republicans. So the upshot of the article is that Democrats are doomed in 2014. And maybe they are. Midterms are usually unfriendly terrain for the majority party, particularly in year 6 when the show has gone very stale. The real problem is going to be if the press and the Democrats seize upon the loss as an opportunity to "interpret" the results as a mandate to move right. As they usually do.

That's going to be the incentive, unfortunately. No primary challenge for president means there will be little opportunity for pressure from the left. (Not that progressives would necessarily take it --- we tend to want to fight these battles on the basis of personality and identity rather than use our leverage on issues.) But it's a moot point anyway. In addition, all the 2016 candidates for office have a massive incentive to interpret 2014 as a move away from populism --- $$$$$. All the donor meetings and fundraisers will feature that message, I have no doubt.

It will be important to be prepared to push back hard on this if it comes to pass. These midterms were never going to be a big win for the Democrats and they know it. The only real question is how they choose to play the inevitable losses. I wish I trusted them to not use it to benefit the 1% but they're going to be fighting a very expensive fight in 2016 and they're likely to put the needs of the Big Money Boyz first. The system is, unfortunately, self-reinforcing at this point.



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