Thursday, November 06, 2014

Next time, try a little

The most important bit of polling data from the 2014 midterms:
People Think The Economy Is Rigged To Favor The Wealthy
Q: Do you think the U.S. economic system (generally favors the wealthy) or (is fair to most Americans)?

Generally favors the wealthy 71%
Is fair to most Americans 24%

People Think Republicans Will Fix This
Other polls show something ironic: People trust Republicans more than Democrats to fix this and make the economy favor regular people again.

An October 13 Gallup poll: “On the No. 1 issue, the economy, Republicans have more than doubled their April lead over Democrats, to 11 percentage points.”

And sure enough, these numbers were reflected in the results of the actual election. On the same night that voters in multiple states voted to raise their minimum wage they also turned control of the US Senate, as well as a handful of governorships over to a slate of candidates who would allow people to be paid in ebola waste if they could.

So what gives?  
Ultimately, stressing individual issues such as the minimum wage hike and pay equity wasn’t enough to get past that — even if they are quite popular — because these voters want to hear a more comprehensive message about how Democrats would move the economy forward. Pollster Celinda Lake, who polled on multiple races, says the broader failure to articulate this — from the President on down — led these voters to opt instead for vague promises of a change in direction.

“We have a huge problem: People do not think the recovery has affected them, and this is particularly true of blue collar white voters,” Lake said. “What is the Democratic economic platform for guaranteeing a chance at prosperity for everyone? Voters can’t articulate it. In the absence of that, you vote for change.”

“Our number one imperative for 2016,” Lake concluded, “is to articulate a clear economic vision to get this country going again.”
"What is the Democratic platform" with regard to economic inequality?  If you're asking that question at the end of a campaign, then you know the Democrats haven't even shown up for it.

Probably out of frustration, Jared Berstein writes out here a draft of the speech every Democrat should have been giving this year but none of them did. Here is some of that.
Yes, the economy has been growing and unemployment has been falling. No question, GDP is up, and solidly. But it’s hard to see much of that in your paycheck. In fact, most of the folks getting the growth don’t depend on paychecks; they depend on portfolios.

“Why is it that so little GDP growth is reaching average folks? Because there aren’t enough good jobs, because the trade deficit is too large, because finance is booming compared to manufacturing, because there’s too much outsourcing and offshoring and part-timing and subcontracting … and far too little ability to bargain for a fair slice of the growing pie – a pie you’re helping to bake!
That line I have in bold there is particularly powerful.  It's basically straight out of Picketty and it speaks directly to people bearing the insult of an administration cheering some encouraging top line economic numbers even as those numbers mean nothing of value to most people.

It's a shame Democrats didn't push this during the campaign because... wait a minute, I did hear something very similar to that uttered by a candidate this year. Who was..

Oh yeah. It was Bill Fucking Cassidy during the first Louisiana Senate debate.

When asked about inequality, Cassidy's first sentence was, "Under this President income inequality has increased. If you own stock under this President you have made a lot of money."

Cassidy went on to say he would fix this by getting rid of Obamacare which, we know makes zero sense, of course, but that isn't the point.  The Democratic message was so weak and devoid of substance this year that a Republican who opposes minimum wage increases and wants to raise the retirement age can pretend to care about income inequality more effectively than his Democratic opponent and get away with it. 

Look. This isn't happening because voters are stupid.  It's happening because they've been abandoned. The Democratic party is bloated and arrogant and run by corrupt elitists who expect to win simply because they represent the closest thing to an acceptable option and voters would be complete idiots if they didn't just naturally understand that.

And of course today you'll find any number scolding lectures directed at people who weren't motivated to vote for any of these terrible Democratic candidates.  But if you don't make the case that you give a shit about the voters, the voters will not give a shit about you.  If Bill Cassidy's awkward dishonest schtick comes closer to hitting your core message than you do, you're really not even trying. Next time maybe try a little bit.

1 comment:

hopitoulas said...

No one says it better. Therefore, most everybody is likely pissed-off at you for not carrying there toxic water. Keep up the good work.