Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Who's to Blame and The Dems' Giant Problem

Here’s an example of what I just can’t seem to understand about the American electorate:

On the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley Monday night, Chuck, an independent North Carolina voter, explained why he was volunteering to help elect Mitt Romney after working for Barack Obama in 2008. He lost his job as a salesman for a plastics company in 2009. He blamed Obama for making unspecified decisions that have left him unemployed since then. He blames Obama for losing his house and for being temporarily homeless. “I don’t feel I would have lost my career and so many others would be struggling if they would have made different decisions and our country was in a better state,” said the 46-year-old. 

He was obviously pained. Byron Pitts, the CBS News correspondent, pointed that out. But was Chuck kidding or just numbed by his experience? The economic stresses that cost him his job and home were deeply in play before Obama took office. Businesses rarely lay off salesmen if there’s a hope of getting fresh business. Yes, more people lost jobs after Obama was sworn in, but over the last 30 months there has been a net gain in jobs every month. 

Are Chuck and like-minded voters happy that even as corporate profits soar, even as they pile up cash, companies are not eager to hire back workers? Are they content to watch the earnings power of the working class and middle class erode as the corporate elite fatten their bank statements? Do they really believe in trickle down economics? Have they forgotten what adherence to that mantra meant during the Bush years? Have they not watched as Republicans in Congress stomped on any jobs initiative proposed by the president? 

Earlier in this campaign season it was explained that many hard-pressed workers don’t vote their wallets but rather vote their religious conscience. If they oppose abortion, they’d rather see a Republican in office because they would rather have the reward of a good hereafter than a good material life. But that doesn’t explain Chuck et al. I just don’t understand ...

Tackled: It is widely reported Democrats have the advantage among women and minorities. Republicans have more loyalty among white working class and middle class male voters. Last week Mitt Romney & Company tried to appeal to women. This week the Democrats hope not only to solidify their appeal to women and minorities but also to change some minds among the GOP-leaning faithful and independents, especially those men. Wednesday night they will feature Elizabeth Warren, candidate for Senate from Massachusetts and the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and former president Bill Clinton. Clinton is sure to wow the audience in Charlotte and for that matter, many who tune in to the convention coverage.

Only problem is, many of those desired white male voters will not be watching. They will be glued to their TV sets taking in the season opener of the new National Football League season pitting the Super Bowl champion New York Giants against their arch-rival, the Dallas Cowboys. The game will be carried on NBC, so forget about seeing Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw provide live convention coverage and analysis. Warren and Clinton will be speaking from 10 to 11 pm, during what probably will be the third quarter of the game. Even a lopsided score at that time won’t drive viewers away from the gridiron. 

Women might seek refuge from the football game to watch the convention speeches. Perhaps Warren and Clinton might swing some more of them into the Democratic column. In a tight race, that could offset the wattage lost by having Democratic star power tackled by a Giants-Cowboys football game.