I had to take a minute or two and comment on the column today by J.D. Mullane of the Bucks County Courier Times on Barack Obama’s recent loss in the PA primary.
Now I should point out that, for a little while now, Mullane has written about subjects pertaining more to Bucks County and kept his rancid political opinions to himself, choosing to vent on his blog instead (a sensible move, though Mullane’s blog is something I don’t wish to discuss on a full stomach).
However, he has provided his “expertise” on the election and, like every other pundit in this country with a pulse, he chimed in on the Obama San Francisco speech, saying that Obama called white voters clinging to guns or whatever “racist,” which is typically stupid.
I’ll just make one final statement on that fiasco, and it is this; Obama’s sentiments have been uttered by many other people, but he is an African American who was speaking correctly about a segment of white voters, and that is why people went nuts (Markos Moulitsas at The Daily Kos has said that economic class is the true “third rail” of American politics in the video below, and I think he’s right).
But for today, J.D. tells us the following concerning Obama's loss (I’ll tackle his three arguments in reverse order)…
1) The “regular guy” factor, meaning that Obama doesn’t do well with “Reagan Democrats,” came into play (re., bowling, ordering orange juice without coffee, flag lapel pins, in addition to all the quote nonsense – “a working person does not read policy papers, analyze Web sites, or monitor several cable news networks to decide who they like, and who they don't,” etc.).This Daily Kos post tells you about the gains Obama made among voters 60 and older, white men and women voters, those earning less than $50K, and Protestants between Ohio and PA (repeating myself a bit from yesterday, I know).
Also, some of the more ridiculous Clinton spin out there is that Obama can’t win the so-called “battleground” states. Well, based on this, what do you call Colorado,
Note: Including Oregon there may be incorrect; I'll double check (update: Oregon's primary is May 20th).
And once more, here is Jeremy Scahill’s report on PA that ran on “Real Time” last week; sounds to me like Obama reached these working class white voters.
Finally on this, here’s another Kos post where he provides the main reasons why Clinton won and Obama lost (and again, Clinton once had a 20-point polling lead in this state but only ended up beating Obama by about 9-10 points).
2) “Operation Chaos,” which is Flush Limbore’s effort to get Repugs to change their registration to Democratic so they can vote for Hillary in the primary, then switch back to Repug for the general election so they can vote for John W. McBush.Mullane tells us…
At Republican headquarters Tuesday night, I asked GOP Chairman Harry Fawkes if he thought the defections were part of “Operation Chaos.” He chuckled and said, “A lot of people registered on the other side so they could vote for either Clinton or Obama. But trust me. We'll get most of those people back.”Oh yeah, that’s funny, Harry. Lucky for you this isn’t Ohio, because Limbore’s stunt constitutes a fifth-degree felony in that state (don’t worry; no one will be prosecuted – law enforcement there has more important stuff to do).
I think Flush’s impact here has been typically overrated, but this column does tell you that Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia, to her great credit, has called him on it…
“Besides being unethical, Limbaugh's tactics only point out what a hypocrite he is,” said Marseglia. “We had to pay overtime for people to handle the extra registrations, which is fair and proper. But if one voter re-registered on Limbaugh's agenda-driven behalf, then he caused undo taxpayer cost.”You go, Diane!
How well he has accomplished what he wanted so far is debatable, but while Limbaugh's political drag show drags on, people like Marseglia seem satisfied with just being themselves.
“I'll leave pretend politics to Rush,” says Marseglia. “He seems much more comfortable with being a fraud.”
3) RaceOf the reasons listed here by Mullane, this is the one that actually concerns me. However, David Sirota provides a theory here on what’s going on in this election that thus far is proving to be accurate; namely, that states with fewer than 7 percent and greater than 17 percent of an African American vote are trending for Obama, but states in that 7-17 percent range (such as Pennsylvania) have been tougher for Obama (I’m not going to try and paraphrase Sirota here; I would only suggest that you read his interesting post).
Mullane’s wankery here is typical of the provincialism I expect to see while Hillary’s does her happy dance over the delay of her eventual exit (though it is true that Obama got creamed in Bucks, sadly). And when she goes, we won’t be treated to any more nonsense from her surrogates, such as this courtesy of Terry McAuliffe (h/t The Daily Kos).
As I watched this, it occurred to me that she could end up back in this election after all when Obama finishes her off, and that would be as St. McCain’s VP nominee.
Update 4/25/08: Oh, and here's more about Obama supposedly not reaching the "regular guy."