The Democrats’ Blue-Collar Dilemma

Jim Geraghty has tonight’s big win for Hillary Clinton in West Virginia. He makes one valuable point for the Democratic echo chamber:

You’ll see the press, and Obama’s surrogates (perhaps I repeat myself) insist that tonight’s result means nothing, and indeed, in the delegate count, the effect is marginal. But superdelegates ought to be sweating. White working-class voters, and various overlapping demographics – the elderly, Catholics, Jews – just aren’t warming up to Obama, and they’ve been the backbone for the party for generations. Liberal bloggers (and Saturday Night Live, and arguably the Washington Post) are responding by suggesting Hillary’s supporters are racist; these people may not be so eager to vote for Obama in November as the pundits insist. Once you insult a voter by calling them racist, they may not be eager to meekly repent by doing as their moral betters in the pundit class demand.

The shameful way that some in the Democratic Party are treating their own voters is shocking. The same sort of political smears usually reserved for Republicans are being used against their own. What will the Democratic message for West Virginia voters be in the fall? “Vote for us, you racist hick morons”? That’s hardly a compelling message for the Democrats.

The Obama coalition of wealthy white urbanites and black voters is not enough to win. The Democrats cannot win when they abandon the working-class voters that make up a critical portion of their base. Yet those are exactly the groups that Obama can’t seem to win.

Their are, of course, good reasons to want to be rid of Hillary Clinton, but her being unelectable is not one of them—certainly not as she keeps defying all the political odds. The Democrats have a choice, go with their heart or go with their brain. I shall leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine what course the Democrats are taking.