Troubling (?) Webb and Obama Similarity


If you’ve been reading these interwebs at all, you know they are atwitter with talk of Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia becoming Sen. Obama’s VP. There are all sorts of serious concerns with Webb, to which I will add only this superficial one. Here’s a Webb quote from a 2006 Wall Street Journal op-ed:

The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of “God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag” while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet.

Sounds an awful lot like this famous quote:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

The quotes aren’t exactly the same, obviously, but they seem to share a belief that working class conservatives vote the way they do because they’ve been blinded by social issues, instead of being rational actors who choose to prioritize social issues over their economic self-interest. Probably not something the Democrats want to double down on with their presidential ticket.

Hat tip Kos.

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