The Lessons of West Virginia

I suppose it is fitting that the news media and the super delegates are ignoring the significance of a thrashing of monumental proportions.  After all, this campaign is being brought by to us by a media that gives new life to a traditional proverb satirist Jonathan Swift's once cited that there are none so blind as those who will not see.  Swift may have been a product of the Enlightenment, but he anticipated the relationship that much of the modern media political narrative has to the concepts of reason and truth.

What I saw Tuesday that caused my eyes to go wide was Fox flashing exit polling results showing that while 63% of West Virginia Democrat primary voters found Hillary Clinton honest and trustworthy, less than half said the same of Barak Obama.  While I find it mind boggling for any politician named Clinton to poll so well on the issue of honesty, it was equally startling how far voter perception may have shifted on Obama.  In the hard fought campaigns in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania in which Hillary ultimately won, Obama's supporters were quick to note that their man had prevailed in the character question in the exit polls, sometimes by an impressive margin. This, they said, certainly made him the best choice for the general election.  Now that their man gets walloped by a Clinton on the question of who is the more honest and trustworthy their tune has changed. Now perceptions of honesty don't matter at all to voters.    

At NRO, Jim Geraghty noted that Obama supporters are now insisting that there's an antipathy to Obama unique to white, working class voters across Appalachia that just isn't shared by their counterparts in the rest of the nation.  Thus those West Virginia, western Virginia, East Tennessee, Southern Pennsylvania, Western North Carolina and (presumably) Eastern Kentucky voters who voted against Obama can all be safely ignored even though recent results have totally eviscerated the initial narrative that Obama's campaign transcends race, class and culture.  So what if the facts show the only thing this race is about right now is identity politics based on race, class and culture? It's best for everyone that those facts get ignored.  Clinton was expected to win West Virginia. She won so it means nothing to the narrative. Move on.      

What an amazing way to run a campaign! Those who continue to consider Obama a great political candidate are not unaware that his voting record has moved further to the left each year that he has been in the U.S. Senate until he now stands to the left of all 99 of his colleagues. They just dismiss it as irrelevant.  As the number of voting blocs finding serious flaws in the vision of Obama as a unifier continues to expand, it is amusing to hear the Obama media claque bleat even louder about his unique political skills on the one hand, as they dismiss voters who say they're  just not comfortable with Obama's philosophy and his experience with the other. No appeal to working class whites in Appalachia? Big Deal. They're too stupid and racist to matter. Weak appeal to observant Catholics? Nobody cares about sexually uptight anti abortion zealots anyway. Jews voters are uneasy? They're Jews. Who cares to begin with? We don't need any of them.

So much for the big tent concept in this crowd. Should Puerto Rico go for Clinton, the political tent under construction by this claque is at risk of looking so small it might find itself marketed by Mattel as part of the Barbie Goes Camping ensemble. Their attitude is rapidly approaching that of why even count the votes anyway? America has been offered a compelling narrative supported by the people who really matter: Us few.  We the smug. We the Obama-maniacs.  And if you're not one of us, it must mean you are a racist. 

What a recruiting slogan!  

As I observe much of the media coverage of this election I sometimes have to make sure I have not picked up a copy of Gulliver's Travels by mistake and am inside at the School for Political Projectors at the Academy at Lagado in Balnibarbi That's because much of the recent primary analysis in the media is laden with extravagant and irrational nonsense that our self-described political philosophers maintain as truth.  Principal among such irrationality is the idea that a 40 point loss by the purported Democrat frontrunner in a state that was solidly Democrat until 2000 is irrelevant. 

White working class voters in Appalachia are unimportant? To whom?  They certainly were important to Al Gore.  For the last eight years the Obama-maniacs have been blaming imaginary Republican dirty tricks in Florida for his defeat. In reality it came at the hands of voters in West Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, states that Gore was an early favorite to win. The second part of the proverb Swift cited in his Polite Conversation applies here.   

The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know. 
I suppose it is fitting that the news media and the super delegates are ignoring the significance of a thrashing of monumental proportions.  After all, this campaign is being brought by to us by a media that gives new life to a traditional proverb satirist Jonathan Swift's once cited that there are none so blind as those who will not see.  Swift may have been a product of the Enlightenment, but he anticipated the relationship that much of the modern media political narrative has to the concepts of reason and truth.

What I saw Tuesday that caused my eyes to go wide was Fox flashing exit polling results showing that while 63% of West Virginia Democrat primary voters found Hillary Clinton honest and trustworthy, less than half said the same of Barak Obama.  While I find it mind boggling for any politician named Clinton to poll so well on the issue of honesty, it was equally startling how far voter perception may have shifted on Obama.  In the hard fought campaigns in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania in which Hillary ultimately won, Obama's supporters were quick to note that their man had prevailed in the character question in the exit polls, sometimes by an impressive margin. This, they said, certainly made him the best choice for the general election.  Now that their man gets walloped by a Clinton on the question of who is the more honest and trustworthy their tune has changed. Now perceptions of honesty don't matter at all to voters.    

At NRO, Jim Geraghty noted that Obama supporters are now insisting that there's an antipathy to Obama unique to white, working class voters across Appalachia that just isn't shared by their counterparts in the rest of the nation.  Thus those West Virginia, western Virginia, East Tennessee, Southern Pennsylvania, Western North Carolina and (presumably) Eastern Kentucky voters who voted against Obama can all be safely ignored even though recent results have totally eviscerated the initial narrative that Obama's campaign transcends race, class and culture.  So what if the facts show the only thing this race is about right now is identity politics based on race, class and culture? It's best for everyone that those facts get ignored.  Clinton was expected to win West Virginia. She won so it means nothing to the narrative. Move on.      

What an amazing way to run a campaign! Those who continue to consider Obama a great political candidate are not unaware that his voting record has moved further to the left each year that he has been in the U.S. Senate until he now stands to the left of all 99 of his colleagues. They just dismiss it as irrelevant.  As the number of voting blocs finding serious flaws in the vision of Obama as a unifier continues to expand, it is amusing to hear the Obama media claque bleat even louder about his unique political skills on the one hand, as they dismiss voters who say they're  just not comfortable with Obama's philosophy and his experience with the other. No appeal to working class whites in Appalachia? Big Deal. They're too stupid and racist to matter. Weak appeal to observant Catholics? Nobody cares about sexually uptight anti abortion zealots anyway. Jews voters are uneasy? They're Jews. Who cares to begin with? We don't need any of them.

So much for the big tent concept in this crowd. Should Puerto Rico go for Clinton, the political tent under construction by this claque is at risk of looking so small it might find itself marketed by Mattel as part of the Barbie Goes Camping ensemble. Their attitude is rapidly approaching that of why even count the votes anyway? America has been offered a compelling narrative supported by the people who really matter: Us few.  We the smug. We the Obama-maniacs.  And if you're not one of us, it must mean you are a racist. 

What a recruiting slogan!  

As I observe much of the media coverage of this election I sometimes have to make sure I have not picked up a copy of Gulliver's Travels by mistake and am inside at the School for Political Projectors at the Academy at Lagado in Balnibarbi That's because much of the recent primary analysis in the media is laden with extravagant and irrational nonsense that our self-described political philosophers maintain as truth.  Principal among such irrationality is the idea that a 40 point loss by the purported Democrat frontrunner in a state that was solidly Democrat until 2000 is irrelevant. 

White working class voters in Appalachia are unimportant? To whom?  They certainly were important to Al Gore.  For the last eight years the Obama-maniacs have been blaming imaginary Republican dirty tricks in Florida for his defeat. In reality it came at the hands of voters in West Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, states that Gore was an early favorite to win. The second part of the proverb Swift cited in his Polite Conversation applies here.   

The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.