Newt Gingrich has written an article in NewsMax about what he calls “NOT Obama Democrats”. (I am not sure why the “not” is capitalized.):
The first big signal was the 41 percent of the vote Keith Judd won in the West Virginia Democratic primary. Here was a convicted felon sitting in a Texas federal prison with a 17 1/2-year sentence for extortion. When West Virginia Democrats prefer a convicted felon to the president, they are showing they are “NOT Obama Democrats.”
This week the depth of the NOT Obama Democrats was further revealed when John Wolfe got 41 percent of the vote in the Arkansas primary. Wolfe, an attorney whose platform includes repealing Obamacare, actually won 36 counties against Obama’s 39 counties.
The same day, “uncommitted” got 42 percent in Kentucky and actually carried a majority of the counties (66 counties to 54 Obama counties).
This 42 percent is the same percentage Eugene McCarthy got against President Lyndon Johnson in New Hampshire in 1968, and at that time it was considered an earthquake to have that many Democrats repudiate their own president.
Putting that History degree to use, eh? It might be worth mentioning that McCarthy was an actual guy, and therefore somewhat more capable of sustaining his support than “uncommitted”. Obama presumably intends to continue to argue for himself, and no other Democrat is going to argue for him or her self.
I mock Gingrich, but the truth is he’s on to something here; it is an interesting development. He writes: “If the campaign continues in this direction, we may discover that the NOT Obama Democrats will evolve into Romney Democrats by Election Day.”
Doubtful. Romney is unlikely to appeal to these rural voters much more than Obama does. Yes, yes, I know my fellow Liberals are thinking it’s all motivated by “racism!”, but the fact of the matter is that Romney seems like a rich corporate elitist to these voters.I don’t think they’ll like him any more than they do Obama.
Jennifer Rubin looked at these same facts and concluded: “The reason for this, as you might imagine, is that in burnishing his credentials with the left, Obama has hurt himself in the center, even within the Democratic Party.” Yes, of course, the legendary “center”! How could I forget? She next quotes Josh Kraushaar, who gets it even more wrong:
Moderate Democratic groups and officials, meanwhile, privately fret about the party’s leftward drift and the Obama campaign’s embrace of an aggressively populist message. They’re disappointed that the administration didn’t take the lead advancing the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction proposal, they wish the administration’s focus was on growth over fairness, and they are frustrated with the persistent congressional gridlock. Third Way, the centrist Democratic think tank, has been generating analyses underscoring the need for Democrats to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, to no avail. . . .
Yeah, I’m sure the farmers and rural folks in West Virginia and Arkansas are really torqued off that he didn’t do the Simpson-Bowles plan. Rural people hate populism, isn’t that so?
But, to her credit, Rubin does also make one useful observation in that same post. That is that “Romney is the least conservative candidate the GOP had to choose from.”
Is this true? Well, it’s hard to say, what with the flip-flopping and all. But he is certainly not as bombastic and bellicose as Newt Gingrich. And he was Governor of Massachusetts, a very liberal state, which demonstrates he possesses some ability to compromise; something Gingrich would never do.
Was he more liberal than Ron Paul? Difficult question. Ron Paul is extremely liberal on some issues–drugs, for example–but in step with the most reactionary of conservatives on others. It is almost an “apples to oranges” comparison, but I think on the whole, it is fair to say Romney is at least more “mainstream” and “safer” than Paul, whose supporters are often of a more radical bent, whatever their political leanings.
Romney was more liberal than Bachmann, but more conservative than Huntsman. But Huntsman barely even counts, because everyone, including him, knew he didn’t have a chance. So, that leaves only one other candidate for Romney’s “liberal Republican” credentials to be compared with: Santorum. This should be easy enough to prove. We all know Santorum was the conservative wing’s alternative to Romney. Surely, this fact alone proves Romney to be the most liberal of the possible nominees?
As a Congressman, Santorum, economically speaking, could pass for a caricature Democrat. He was for all sorts of government spending programs. As conservatives and liberals alike will attest, he may have been very conservative socially, but his fiscal behavior was entirely that of a Big-Government man.
I have often thought that Santorum would have been quite happy as a Democrat in the 1930s, ’40s or ’50s. He would have had massive government spending programs going, and social issues being more or less unacknowledged. He is, in other words, a Conservative Democrat from the pre-sexual revolution era.
So, Mitt Romney is more liberal on social issues than Santorum–not a difficult task–but more conservative on economic issues. Romney is far more likely to cut spending than Santorum was. So, which guy is more liberal? Well, that’s hard to say, isn’t it?
And we come round to where we started: what is the deal with all these Democrats not voting for the President from their own party? I suspect a lot of them are like Santorum; they want government spending programs, but don’t like Democratic policies on social issues.