Well, who else can the Obama White House and Congressional Democrats alienate? The NYT is today reporting that union members are the latest to be officially recognized as just not feeling the love for supporting Democratic candidates in the fall.
Patricia Elizondo, president of the 2,000-member Milwaukee local of the International Association of Machinists:
“People are disappointed,” she said. “People have been unemployed for two years, and they’re unhappy that the healthcare bill was not as good as they expected. Two years ago, I had many members going door-to-door to campaign. Now they’re saying, ‘Why should I? We supported that candidate, but he didn’t follow through.’ ”
Disgust with Democratic polices regarding unions goes back at least to the Clinton era, when NAFTA and Most Favored Nation status was waltzed through Congress. Now Democrats have ushered in a new sense of betrayal by not backing the EFCA (Card Check,) allowing the outsourcing of American jobs, permitting the gutting of GM worker pensions while leaving the Wall Streeter’s pensions intact, the erosion of union health care benefits and lack of support for the union shop.
All this has left rank- and- file union members with a profound sense of "Who Cares?"
Says Charlie Cook, a non-partisan political handicapper:
The question is, how effective can labor be when so many of their people are unemployed or underemployed and just not happy campers?” he said. “How effective will they be in getting people to do the hard work — to do the phone banks, the get-out-the-vote, all the heavy lifting?”
My answer: Not Very.
And it ain’t just unions. There are few groups who were more instrumental in vaulting Barack Obama into the presidency than college students. In a related Times article reporting student ennui with the midterm elections Kristin Johnson, a communications major lamented:
“It’s like picking a team when you really don’t want to root for either team,” said Ms. Johnson, a communication studies major, who said she was undecided about parties and politics going into the general election campaign.
As usual the Dems failed to distinguish themselves from the GOP and failed to give key constituent groups (other than wall Street and health Insurers) anything to get fired up about.)
Well done Dems. You took power with the passion and enthusiasm of 2 key groups getting your back. An old school Democratic constituency, unions, and an entirely new generation of fired up activists – students, ready and committed to change. You gave them both worse than nothing. You gave them more of the same.
So let’s see. Who’s left of the usual Democratic voting base? Hispanics perhaps but they still don’t vote much and not necessarily as a block. African-Americans are probably supportive of Obama but I don’t expect them to stampede the polls in a mid-term election. The Professional Left? Sorry, we’re not that "retarded." (With apologies to Rahm.)
In conclusion, there appears to be only one thing the Democrats have in their favor this election cycle: The continued success of the Tea Party and its ability to serve up unelectable (we hope) crazies and to split the Republicans. What a country.