Do These Guys Read What They Write?

David “Uncle Dave” Brooks in the NYTimes and Ron Brownstein in the National Journal both write this week about the Democrats’ problem with a certain kind of voter in the middle of the United States.

Here’s Uncle Dave referencing his colleague Brownstein: 

As Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal noted, “The stampede toward the GOP among blue collar whites was powerful almost everywhere.” Republicans captured at least 35 seats in the U.S. House in districts where the percentage of whites with college degrees lags behind the national average. The old industry towns in the Midwest were the epicenter of the disaster.

Notice the references to “blue-collar whites” and “where the percentage of whites with college degrees lags behind the national average.” What about blue-collar “other color” people or “other color” people without college degrees? Are the “other color” people in these categories less attuned to their economic and social interests than the middle- and southern-America white people in these categories? Do you have to be white in those regions to understand that Democrats are bad for your civic health and economic well-being? Do these columnists think about what they are writing and what it means? If you are an “other color” working-class person why might you choose to vote for a Democrat?

Maybe there’s something else going on that explains those voting percentages.

Here’s part of Brownstein’s commentary:

The bigger problem is that in many states between the coasts, the Democrats’ coalition isn’t big enough on its own to provide a majority; to win, Democrats must run competitively among the rest of the white electorate, the college-educated white men, and noncollege white men and women. And on Tuesday, too few Democrats could meet that test. According to exit polls, Republican Senate candidates this week won at least 58 percent of noncollege whites in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Republicans won all of those contests.

. . .

So Democrats emerge from this week confronting a huge demographic hole: their meager performance among all white voters except women with college degrees (who tend to be both more socially liberal and more receptive to activist government). And they face a huge geographic hole: a collapse in the interior states, which tend to be whiter and older than the coastal states, with fewer college graduates.

15 Responses to Do These Guys Read What They Write?

  1. kad barma says:

    Could it possibly be that it doesn’t require a college education to be sensitive to massive unemployment and a dearth of economic opportunity?

  2. Righty Bulger says:

    We gonna beat around the bush here, or are we gonna speak openly and honestly?

    If we’re going to be honest, the Democratic party has to address the fact that a growing number of white, middle-class Americans see it as the party of the minorities. You see blacks vote 90% and above for Democrats, hispanics do the same in large numbers (look at Lawrence). Add in benefits for illegal aliens, or “undocumented workers” as the politically correct would like them referred to and you have a major perception/reality problem for Democrats. White, middle class Americans are forced to turn to the Republican party which, while still more of a big business party than a working man party, will at least give the working man a fighting chance to succeed. Rightly or wrongly, these folks view the Democratic party as abondoning them in order to help their tiny special interest groups, forgetting the largest special interest group of them all: middle class America.

  3. Renee Aste says:

    Righty, There would be an argument there, if the GOP actually saw the middle class as an interest group.

  4. joe from Lowell says:

    Looked at any demographic data lately?

    The GOP is increasingly comfortable as the party of old, white people.

    Not a very good long-term strategy.

  5. joe from Lowell says:


    Non-white people are not “the working man?”

    Nice. What are they, then? Don’t be shy.

  6. New England Conservative says:

    Re: minorities not “the working man”.

    I’ll bite.

    If we’re talking about non-Asian minorities then no, they’re not “the working man”. By and large, and in increasing numbers, they live off of government benefits and transfer payments (“spread the wealth around”). Its’ not politically correct but its the truth.

  7. Gordon Pickguard says:

    White middle class Americans are not forced to turn to the Republican party for a chance to succeed. They have been turning to them because the strategy of the RNC has been successful at convincing that segment of the electorate to vote against their own economic interests. Remenber Reagan, what a fraud. Middle class wages have been stagnant for the last thirty years, so I guess Regans “trickle” down policy didn’t work, at least for the people who he said he was trying to help,but he is worshiped like a god by the people that he and his successors have been screwing ever scince. The Republicans have been successful at telling their econmic fairy tale in every election cycle. What’s up is down and down is up. Unfortunatly they’ve dragged the middle class through the economc looking glass.

  8. Righty Bulger says:

    That’s right Anonymous, anyone who votes Republican is voting against their self interest, and therefore dumb, corrrect? Isn’t that what President Obama, Vice President Biden and even Senator Kerry told us? We don’t support the President’s agenda cause they haven’t done a good enough job explaining it or because we’re too dumb to understand it.

    More condescending liberal B.S.

    People know exactly why they vote Republican. They’re not, They’re of all ages, middle class and the vast majority of this country. The heartland of American, not the extremist liberal coasts.

    Keep living in your dream world and keep losing elections. You had a nice two year run nationwide. At least you’ll always have Massachusetts and your one less Congressional seat soon enough because people are leaving here by the droves.

  9. Gordon Pickguard says:

    @ Righty,
    Dumb ? Maybe ignorant and uneducated,like you. I briefly tried to give you some facts. So either you’ve chosen to ignore them because it’s slightly complicated or you’re an idealogue; in which case I give up.

  10. C R Krieger says:

    OK, so I finally got myself a new user ID and password for the NYT and read the David Brooks article.  I have skipped the other one, since Mr Brooks has been called out and that is sufficient to test the argument.

    Since I am down in King of Prussia, working, I went to Borders for lunch (Blueberry Scone) and bought the last copy of the NYT. On page 3 of the “Week in Review” Section is a series of thumbnail charts on who voted and how.  Blacks went 91% for Democrats.  Hispanics 66%, but they were only 8% of the voting public, which seemed low.  The survey had Asians (1% of the voters) at 59% for the Democrats.  Are we not seeing a trend here?

    The demographics are that there are more Caucasians out across the middle of this nation who don’t have a college degree than there are on the two coasts.  There are also a whole bunch of people there without jobs.  One can argue that if they vote for Republicans they are voting against their economic interests, but that flies in the face of the fact that the Democrats have been running Congress for the last four years and that people are no longer reflexively Keynesian.

    And, even if they were Keynesian, they might be put off by folks like NYT columnist Nicholas D Kristof (Page 10) who is confused about what a “jobs program” is.  It is not avoiding laying off teachers.  It is putting back to work people who are part of the private economy and getting them a chance to pay taxes again.  Having teachers and educating people is important, but putting the workers of America back to work is what Keynes would be telling us to do.  Today on Mr Fareed Zakaria’s show on CNN the Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman said:  “Time is not on our side. We don’t have large structural unemployment right now but a couple of more years and we will.”  And that would be spread out from Scranton to Pocatello and down to Guymon.  The last great migrations were from the Deep South to Chicago and Detroit and out to LA.  Where is the next destination?

    So, yes, people who are not Caucasian are voting Democrat even in the middle of the nation, but it is exactly the belief of those people that only Democrats will look out for them that keeps them voting Democrat.  And look again at the percentages for people voting Democrat—Blacks at 91%, Hispanics at 66%, Asians at 59%, Caucasians at 38%.

    Then there is the Joe Bageant thesis, which is that the Democratic Party just doesn’t really care that much about those non-college educated Caucasians.  Joe doesn’t like Republicans, but he saves his wrath for Democrats.  On the other hand, Kad Barma thinks we would be better off if both parties went away and weren’t replaced.  No horse trading.&bsp; No log rolling.

    I think Brooks has it about right.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  11. Righty Bulger says:

    No Gordon, you’re the ignorant one. Or perhaps not intellectually honest enough to admit what should be obvious. Middle America sees the Democratic party as the party of minorities. As was state earlier, we can argue about why this is the case. To pretend it doesn’t exist or it exists because pepole are too ignorant to know better is the reason you consistently get trounced in national elections. Personally, I hope you stay blind. It’ll make 2012 that much easier.

  12. Jack Mitchell says:

    I’ll concede the perception that: “the Democratic party as the party of minorities.” It isn’t true, but the monied intrests of the US have fostered this idea. They have enough money to use media to plant an ugly seed and fertilize generously.

    I’m still mulling this over, but so far I’m thinking:
    The Democratic Party, in tandem with labor unions, lifted a huge chunk of the “working class” into the “upper middle class” up until the turn of the Century.

    Since, the Democratic Party stayed with the concerns of the “working class” or as the angry call them, “their tiny special interest groups.” While the “hooray for me Dems” in the upper middle class, forgot their roots and turned to the GOP to protect their newly acquired capital, our Party stayed focused on the betterment of those with real struggles. (This started to happen under Reagan and continued under Clinton)

    Unfortunately, as the “nuvo riche” of the Democratic Party begin to backslide into the working class, under W. Bush, they are punching down, instead of up.

    Why they “punch down” is the subject of great concern to me. The simple answer is the barrage of propaganda, via FOX News. But Dems have not helped themselves in many regards.

    We are at a disadvantage. I, for one, refuse to blatantly lie to promote my agenda. If I repeat a lie, it is based on my ignorance of the truth. It is never a malicious act, intent on misinforming. I also can’t easily abandon logic.

    Most on the Left are with me on this. The Right? Not so much.

  13. Righty Bulger says:

    This isn’t a recent phenomenon Jack. I konw the left would like to blame even the dinosaur’s demise on George W., but the abandonment of the Democratic party began with the transition from Carter to Reagan. The revolt was complete with the Gingrich Revolution, which predates Fox News and blows those theories out of the water. By blaming the media and “monied” America, you fall into the trap that’s losing you all these elections.

    Middle class America doesn’t love the rich. We want to be them, but we don’t love them. We tolerate them. What we can’t tolerate, especially in extremely difficult times, is this notion of redistributing the wealth. Because invariably, when you try to redistribute it from the upper class, you end up taking it from the middle class. There simply isn’t enough money to be taxed in the upper classes to make up what needs to be spoon fed to the unproductive members of society who are the real drain on our resources. Sorry if that sounds cruel or even elitist, but it’s the way it is.

    To turn the tables on a favorite saying, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. Give him fish every day, and he has no reason to fish.

    America today is full of far too many people who don’t want to fish, and no amount of taxation on the wealthy is going to make their plight any better in the long run. It will only create more poverty.

    BTW, have you made good on our little wager yet?

  14. Jack Mitchell says:

    FOX news is in the tank. There is no doubt about that, Righty.

    As for the freeloaders, that is a concern. However, if you go to Brasil, there is no welfare. But there are gangs of “freeloaders” scavaging to survive. You may want to consider using the money of the elites to pay ours to stay in their state provided shelter. The alternative is much less…pleasant. f you had enough to be living behind a gated wall, you wouldn’t be mixing it up with us dregs here on a blog.

    There is no easy answer to the problem of “freelaoders.” I’m just inclined to fight the class war from my own side. Maybe you would like to serve Dracula, thinking he will eat you last. That is not how I roll.

    On the bet:
    Dammit, I forgot. Thanks for the reminder. :v|

    I think you bet $100, but I could only afford $50? Donated to what? Local charity, I think? I was leaning LTLC if I recall correctly.

    Was the bet based on losing the House or Niki losing the seat?

    Be honest, as I won’t welch. But, I think Dick lost all his archives, so I have to trust you.