The Very Serious People are at it again. In the never ending quest to find some explanation, any explanation, for political action that does not reference the reality of class in America the Very Serious People have a new narrative on why the Obama Administration is attacking seniors, the permanently disabled, and orphans.
Despite the more or less open admission from plutocrats that they are behind this agenda, Ron Brownstein of the National Journal has another explanation. You guessed it, 11th dimensional chess. According to Brownstein President Obama’s budget is not a sell out to rich contributors nor a defeat for the social safety net but rather some strange form of victory for the new political coalition of the Democratic Party.
The keening on the left about President Obama’s budget proposal this week suggests that large portions of the Democratic base still don’t understand the political and economic dynamics of the party’s changing electoral coalition.
Much of this year’s Washington story is about Obama aligning the Democratic agenda with the priorities of the “coalition of the ascendant”—minorities, the millennial generation, and college-educated whites, especially women—that powered his 2008 and 2012 victories.
Nothing wins over minorities, millennials, and women like cutting benefits for widows and orphans. Will.I.Am is writing a song about it right now.
Not surprisingly, Very Serious Person Ezra Klein decided to highlight Brownstein’s tortured theory and add a supporting factoid or two in the Washington Post.
Ron Brownstein sees it differently. Medicare, Social Security and rich people, he notes, also happen to be where Obama’s coalition isn’t. Mitt Romney won 56 percent of voters over age 65 and 54 percent of voters making more than $100,000 a year.
Klein’s logic is flawed given that if Obama was looking at the demographic breakdown and noting, as Klein does, that 54% of voters making more than $100,000 a year voted against him – why not means test the programs? Or better yet, why not remove the income cap? If you are going to play voter demographics politics with the budget, why not play it correctly?
Then Klein seems to drop logic altogether.
Political parties have a funny way of aligning their agendas with their coalitions, even if they don’t quite realize that’s what they’re doing.
Seriously? The Very Serious People are so unwilling to entertain the notion of class politics in Washington that their explanation for a budget that attacks the poor – that is backed and engineered by organizations made up of CEOs and their apparatchiks – is that it is actually some form of semiconscious pandering to a coalition that doesn’t support the policy anyway?