It’s the Deplorables, stupid

Debated my old county board colleague Brett Hulsey Friday on Mitch Henck’s show. He’s actually a pretty good guy. But he fell back on the usual explanation of the Democrats’ electoral distress — that it was all economics. That’s about what one would expect from the neo-Marxist party, for whom everything is economics. (The podcast here.)

I made the point that 2016 was as much cultural as economic. JFK put a man on the moon, Barack Obama put a man in the ladies’ room. Hillary’s “basket of Deplorables.” Sneering those who cling to their guns and religion. Drum circles in the State Capitol. Cop-hating, speech stifling window-smashers. Hollywood elite … flyover country — underscored by Hillary’s spurning of Wisconsin and her overweening concern for the environment at the expense of jobs.

Lo (and behold), a new analysis of post-election survey data conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic confirms your Squire’s insight:

Evidence suggests financially troubled voters in the white working class were more likely to prefer Clinton over Trump. Besides partisan affiliation, it was cultural anxiety — feeling like a stranger in America, supporting the deportation of immigrants, and hesitating about educational investment — that best predicted support for Trump … [that was] — especially powerful in the Midwest. — as reported in The Atlantic.

At the end of the broadcast, Mitch asked if Trump would finish out his term. Good question. If anyone can revive the spirits of Democrats, it is Donald Trump. It certainly isn’t Martha Laning. Who? Exactly!

Will wonders never cease?

One would not expect the New York Times to review with favor a book from rightwing  flame-thrower Patrick Buchanan. But Joe Klein, no stranger to realpolitik, does just that in Sunday’s book review.

At Nixon’s side, Pat Buchanan took on the elite news media nearly 50 years before Donald Trump. Reviewer Klein writes:

It is easy to be horrified by Buchanan’s gleeful excesses, but that is the reaction he’s hoping to elicit. Humorless upper-crust liberalism is the fattest of targets. Beneath the vitriol, though, Buchanan has spent his career raising important questions that our society has never seemed willing to discuss forthrightly. What should be the limits of identity politics? In a democracy, should courts or legislatures decide basic policies like abortion, busing and campaign finance? Should we trade the higher prices that will come from protectionism for the increased stability that might come from keeping more blue-collar jobs at home? These are the issues that Buchanan has been thumping for the past 50 years, and that Donald Trump exploited in 2016. They cannot be dismissed. We are, for the moment, living in Pat Buchanan’s world.

The final wonderment. The Wisconsin State Journal has found some courage. It actually endorsed a key provision of Scott Walker’s Act 10. “More schools should move to merit pay.” Over 40% of school systems in Wisconsin use this tool of excellence. A university study confirms its benefits. Merit pay remains anathema in the Madison public school system, which, increasingly, is retrograde.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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7 Responses to It’s the Deplorables, stupid

  1. old baldy says:

    Speaking of fat targets, once again the Factually Challenged Squire has struck yet another blow for historical ineptitude with the following, “JFK put a man on the moon”. Certainly JFK was integral in the space race and the program to put the US on the moon first (albeit many of the science deniers on the right deny that man ever walked on the moon), LBJ and RMN had major roles in the quest for the moon, and re-authorized spending to accomplish that feat. I recall where I was that July night in 1969; listening to it live on the AM radio in my ’59 Pontiac. And Nixon was President.

    I’m sure you’ll spin this another way to suit your own needs, but denying history won’t serve you well.


    • Patricko says:

      Actually, I’m sure he’ll give your comment all the attention it deserves.


    • David Blaska says:

      “We choose to go to the moon” speech, was delivered by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in front of a large crowd gathered at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas on September 12, 1962. It was one of Kennedy’s earlier speeches meant to persuade the American people to support the national effort to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth. — Wikipedia. Yes, it occurred during Richard Nixon’s presidency and he should get some credit. But JFK set the challenge and the timeline, which was met. Never under-estimate Old Baldy’s ability to obfuscate and prevaricate where JFK enlightened.


      • David Blaska says:

        Baldy responded with a patronizing name. That comment has been deleted. He has been warned about this.


      • old baldy says:

        Patronizing (your word, not mine) is wrong, but fawning adoration for your assaults to the intelligence of your readers is OK. Least we all forget, free speech is a one way street near the stately manor.

        Baldy: we print your comments when you do not indulge in petty name-calling; insulting your host is not the password. As for assaulting intelligence, denying that JFK launched the man on the moon, bring him back safely, and do so within the decade is a prime example. “… on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave a historic speech before a joint session of Congress that set the United States on a course to the moon.” — THE MANAGEMENT


  2. Jeff Simpson says:

    Dave , can you tell me EXACTLY how we rate teachers on their performance please?


  3. David Blaska says:

    I thought Jeff Simpson served on the Monona Grove school board but maybe he was late for class. MG is one of 25 Wisconsin school districts studied by the UW-Madison School of Education that employed merit pay (aka “Pay for Performance”) in the 2015-16 school year. Along with districts like Beloit, DeForest, Middleton-Cross Plains, Neenah, Northland Pines, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Sun Prairie, and Verona.


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