Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Why do Democrats do so poorly with white voters?

Asked by ETpro (34217 points ) November 12th, 2012

As this chart shows, Barack Obama won reelection with just 39% of the white vote. Note that Bill Clinton did no better in 1992. More telling; white guys Walter Mondale in ‘84, Jimmy Carter in ‘80 and George McGovern in ‘72 all did more poorly than Obama. It’s also important to note that the white vote as a total percentage of the US electorate has declined significantly from 1972 to 2012, and this decline is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.

Why do Democrats perform poorly with the white vote? What could they do to build support in my demographic? And given that they can win handily without white majorities, should they even try to woo whites? Would it require policy changes that might alienate the winning coalition they currently have?

For the background on this issue, see Chris Cillizza and Jon Cohen’s blog entry in the Washington Post.

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131 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

They’re competing against a party that evokes a system in which white America had something of an edge. I’m not willing to attribute this entirely to racism (which exists among members of both parties). The conservative vision of America doesn’t overtly favor whites over minorities, but it does favor those who already have some measure of success, and those are largely white. The effect of conservative policies is discriminatory, even though the language may not be. This allows white Americans to vote in a way that sustains their advantage while not actively advocating discrimination.

bolwerk's avatar

There is probably something wrong with a lot of white people – many white males, precisely. For whatever reasons, other demographics are evolving. White males don’t seem to be changing, or accepting that they need to change. And it can’t be attributed just to other demographics being more “liberal” either. The Democratic coalition always included blacks, quite possibly the most conservative demographic in the country. Latinos are largely Catholics and probably gnerally traditionally-minded.

O’Reilly’s “traditional white” comment was kind of telling, though why probably flew over O’Reilly’s peabrain receptacle. Many older whites still live in a bubble. Other people’s view of the world is mediated through multimedia sources and interactions with people around them. O’Reilly’s “traditional whites” (mainly male, but female too) are likely to still have their view of the world mediated by decidedly right-wing television/radio, and if they do veer onto the Internet they probably go to Drudge or whatever mouthbreathing right-wing blogs they can find.

Judi's avatar

There is a deep rooted fear that is probably even unconscious of being over run. I don’t think it’s rasisim, at least not intentionally, I think it comes from the same place that resists any kind of change. Change causes fear and anxiety in a lot of people. I think about seminars I took for business about overcoming resistance to change.
You hear people scream, “I want my country back,” and think health care is socialism. All this is really rooted in fear of change in the status quo. If life is ok, and you are in power you are afraid that your life will be hurt.
If you have always been powerless, you might be more willing to risk change. (I hope this makes sense. I feel like I was processing this thought here.)

BhacSsylan's avatar

@bolwerk “White males don’t seem to be changing, or accepting that they need to change.”

I don’t think that’s entirely true. Partially true, maybe, but not entirely. As a white male, I can say I myself am rather fiercely liberal, and have many other white male friends who are as well. So it’s not just that we can’t change.

I think it has more to do with, as @Judi said, “All this is really rooted in fear of change in the status quo. If life is ok, and you are in power you are afraid that your life will be hurt.” White males have historically been in power, and so we are resistant to change. But it doesn’t mean we aren’t changing, just slower then we should be, as a group. Obama handily won the youth vote, after all, by a whopping 24 points among those aged 18 to 29.

As for the racism, I think it’s half and half. I think part of the reason Obama only won by as much as he did (~3 million votes isn’t small, but smaller then he beat McCain by, who was a far better statesman then Romney) was all the racial prejudice drummed up by Fox in the intervening years. While there was maybe (only maybe) less talk of Obama being a Kenyan Muslim this time around (the insane blatherings of Trump aside), there was a massive amount of dogwhistle talk of freeloaders and ‘illegals’ and so on, which is very, very obvious in O’Reilly’s answer to a question on Election Day, when he said (paraphrased, but only slightly) “If we lose, it’ll be because whites are no longer in the majority, it’s not traditional America any more. A majority of blacks and hispanics and single women want… stuff”. So while I don’t think that it can be said that any given republican is racist, I think it’s naive to not notice the kind of tactics that are being used, and why.

snowberry's avatar

I am not in favor of socialized medicine. Never was. I don’t use doctors for the most part; I find I am healthier by researching and taking care of myself. Really.

I am not in favor of laws requiring that my money pays for abortion.

I was not in favor of Obama’s giving everyone that tax rebate shortly after he was elected….I can’t see that it helped in any significant way.

Etc.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Also, aside to my above, the white youth vote was only 51% for Romney. Again, higher then I’d like it to be, but far, far lower then the overall white vote. So we are changing.

@snowberry a) The ACA is not socialized medicine, and calling it such just makes you look silly. And you’re still perfectly free to eschew doctors all you’d like, misguided as you may be to do so. You just can’t stick the electorate with the bill when you inevitably need healthcare. b) Obama did not propose, pass, or do anything to suggest tax money pay for abortion, and never did. I believe it should, personally, but Obama did not and has not. The Hyde amendment is still in full force, and no one it trying to remove it.

ragingloli's avatar

Purely speculating, I think it is because the Democratic Party openly caters so much towards minorities, e.g. nonwhites, which to a lot of crackers white people either means they are being neglected, or that the Democrats support groups them whities detest that these white people do not like.
Or it could be that the Colonies at large are truly still far right politically, minorities included, but which in the case of minorities is superseded by the Democratic catering towards them.

bolwerk's avatar

@BhacSsylan Re ”As a white male, I can say I myself am rather fiercely liberal, and have many other white male friends who are as well. So it’s not just that we can’t change”: what I meant was, the white (especially white male) demographic isn’t really moving much in the USA. Other demographics are changing; e.g., women and non-white makes are getting more college degrees. It could point to some issues with how we teach males, as has been suggested by others.

Actually, this is true of black males too; little movement or advancement, even as black females have been doing better socioeconomically.

SpatzieLover's avatar

For 2012, the Dems made it clear they were going after all of the votes that were up for grabs. They began early campaign commercials on Telemundo. The DMC made it clear they wanted all of the Asian votes they could get.

I don’t think it’s as much about doing poorly getting white votes as it was, spending the time and the money they had wisely. They focused on the votes they knew they could secure.

DrBill's avatar

At least part of it is because the democratic party caters to poor people with their plethora of social programs, and there are more poor people that are non-white than white.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Asians are poor @DrBill?

BhacSsylan's avatar

@bolwerk I think we’re mostly disagreeing on semantics and degrees. Overall I agree inasmuch as we are moving far slower then we should be, and that this is a large reason for the vote divide.

zenvelo's avatar

@DrBill That’s not true. There are more poor white people than minority poor people. And I’m not sure where you get the “plethora of social programs”. There are investments in education so that we have an educated work force, and there is investment in Public Health but that’s to keep people healthy and productive.

It sounds to me @DrBill that you did your research by listening to Romney’s 47% address, which was shown to be a lie and unfounded, since he included people on social security who paid into it their whole career.

tinyfaery's avatar

Every white person I know is a democrat and voted for Obama. I think the location of the white people might be more relevant to the question.

Why do white people who live in the south and middle America not vote democrat? Those states tend to be poor, working class people, yet they vote against their own self interests.

I’ll say it. Those people are racist and won’t support a party full of people of color. They believe in a white America no matter what they have to sacrifice to get it.

DigitalBlue's avatar

My personal perspective makes me inclined to agree with @tinyfaery.

tom_g's avatar

Map 1 is interesting.

bolwerk's avatar

I think the race thing is only part of it. Whites are more likely to be able to feel secure voting for Romney as a protest vote. Many obviously weren’t happy with Obama, and didn’t feel they had anywhere else to go.

@zenvelo: the goal of @DrBill‘s comment about poor minorities voting Democratic is to get it out there, and leave it floating out there like a giant turd in a bowl. He’s done it before.

wundayatta's avatar

I suspect it is lack of education. To understand a nuanced approach to policy, you need to know a lot about the facts of many, many issues. Democrats generally take a nuanced approach. They are interested in science and analysis.

Republicans, on the other hand, take an ideological approach. They use their guts, which are often wrong, but right enough that they feel justified. If you lack education, you mistrust science. You trust your gut. You find a home with Republicans.

Of course, this is only part of the answer, since there are many people of color who lack education as well, and yet they for for Democratic candidates. There are also many educated whites who vote for Republicans. It would be interesting to see a geographic breakdown of the white vote. Did whites in the Northeast vote for Obama? Is it whites in the South and Midwest and Southwest that are Republicans?

Seek's avatar

I’m related to about half the Romney fanbase.

They’re Christian Fundamentalists who reel away from anything with a skin tone darker than ivory, who believe Adam and Eve were white and that’s the way God made people, and those darker were the children of the cursed son of Noah.

They heard once, somewhere, from someone, (though they can’t put a finger on where) that Obama’s a Muslim and was born in Africa, and since the pastor believes it that’s good enough for them.

They believe that abortion should be illegal because babies are God’s plan and “thou shalt not kill” is God’s law, but “thou shalt not allow a healthy woman to die because a child died in utero” isn’t.

They believe Socialism is Communism, and communists have three heads, worship Satan and Hitler his Prophet, and eat their children.

They were born in the South (which really means they were born in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky, and the South is where men were men and women shut up and stayed in the kitchen and kept the children quiet, and that’s the ‘Merica that the troops died for.

rojo's avatar

Here is an interesting article that suggests that it was a two stage revolution based mainly on racism.

bolwerk's avatar

@rojo: that’s interesting, thanks. Apparently four of the 10 whitest states went for Obama.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Eight of the ten richest counties also went for Obama. I wish I could find a larger breakdown of vote by socioeconomic status, but sadly it doesn’t look like anyone’s crunched those numbers yet.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I really don’t know – I am white & I voted Democrat. If you stop & think about who you are voting for, then you realize that there is very little reality connected to the Republicans & the Tea Party.

DrBill's avatar

@zenvelo I did not watch Romney’s 47% speech.

@bolwerk If you actually read my post, you would have seen I said noting about who anyone voted for, but it is your habit to criticize people by changing what they actually said.

woodcutter's avatar

It could be that it has been pretty much a jobless recovery if it can really be called a recovery. This recovery has one foot on a banana skin. Whites who have not been convinced that the president deserved a second term voted for another alternative even if they voted for Obama last time. Minorities who also see that shit is moving way too slow are willing to vote the same as last time. Maybe they don’t feel they have anything to lose.

ETpro's avatar

@thorninmud GA. There’s certainly an element of racism in the rhetoric of Republican leaders.

@bolwerk Thanks for leaving me some room to slide outside that tent. I’m definitely white, also elderly, and definitely not a racist. In fact, I think I’m pretty close to the leading edge of change as America adapts to the 21st century and beyond. Obama did win many millions of votes from us white folk—even the males among us.

@Judi Thanks for pointing out that fear of change is operating in there too. Not everyone is racist just because they oppose a black president. So how do Democrats win those over who are afraid of change? Change, after all, will happen no matter which party we put in charge. It’s the only sure bet—the one constant in the physical Universe.

@BhacSsylan GA! And thanks for amplifying my response to @bolwerk.

@snowberry Check and you will find that @BhacSsylan is absolutely correct on every point. Fox News listener, are you?

@ragingloli Ha! Interesting speculation. I’m pleased you were able to REDACTED the racism.

@bolwerk Interesting observation about all us males lagging behind. I gotta get me a chromosome transplant.

@SpatzieLover I agree the Democrats played the demographics and battleground states game masterfully in this last election, but my concern here is going forward. How do we get back to being one America and not red/blue, lib/con, black/white and so on. I sincerely hope Republicans start addressing the same challenge. If they do not, they will assure themselves of becoming irrelevant and being replaced. It’s happened to parties before. Consider the Whigs(United_States).

@DrBill That’s Republican propaganda, and as propaganda always goes, it doesn’t stand up to the facts. The blue states are net tax contributors. Despite all their rhetoric, red states are the mooches. Blue states are at the top in education level and in per capita income.

@zenvelo Thank you.

@tinyfaery Sad but true. They are dupes.

@tom_g Fascinating link. Thanks for a GA!

@wundayatta I think that is a major part of it. How Democrats fix it, I am not so sure.

@Seek_Kolinahr Harsh, but there is an element of truth in it. So, is the answer for the Democratic Party, “Just ignore that lot.”?

@rojo Thanks for the excellent links. Indeed, some very white states did vote for Obama. And even some of the solid South is no longer solid.

@Linda_Owl Thanks.

@woodcutter It really can be called a recovery. Just go back and look at how we were hemorrhaging jobs and where the DOW was at the end of Bush’s rule. The voters had the good sense to remember 1929 in 1936, 1940 and 1944 when they reelected Franklin Roosevelt instead of turning the wheel of the ship of state back over to the party that had run it into the rocks and darned near sunk it.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro nice Democratic leaning website, course I could quote sites that don’t lean that way, but you would just dismiss it as a bias site, just like I will dismiss yours as being bias.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill If you refuse to deal with verifiable facts, claiming the facts are biased, what does that leave you but propaganda? Post sites proving my link wrong if you wish. The data is available from the IRS. It’s easy to check, and what I posted the link to is quite true.

I don’t resort to ad hominems to decide what data is true and what is false. If I can’t verify it, then it’s suspect no matter what the source.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
so you want me to believe you have verifiable information from your slanted website. I have a news break for you, not everything on the web is true…..

ETpro's avatar

IRS data isn’t a slanted website, and who runs an article doesn’t control the veracity of the data it presents in the real world, @DrBill. You’re right that “not everything on the web is true…” but to use that to invalidate specific things because they are on the Web and you don’t like what they tell you is absurd. It is equally true that not everything on the web is false.

Here’s some links you might like better. They confirm the same truths shown in my priginal source regarding the financial drag red states place on their more liberal neighbors.
Washington Post
Yahoo Finance
US Census Bureau

And here’s how the Right spins that factual information to deliberately distort it and make themselves right when they are wrong. Fox Business left out the per-capita part of how much Federal funding each state receives. Instead, they looked at lump sums going to each state. Surprise of surprises, the most populous states got the biggest share, and most of them are blue.

You’re welcome to believe only right-wing sources if you want, but I am not buying your claim that all media outside that catering to the American right-wing is biased, and that Fox and friends are “Fair and Balanced.” You are crying bias while personally demonstrating it.

bolwerk's avatar

IRS is run by DemoncRATS, @ETpro. Information @DrBill finds disagreeable is heretical, and people who spread it are liars!

Seek's avatar

If they’d change the party name to Demon-Rats, I’d consider actually being a full-time member, instead of just swapping around depending on who I like in the primaries.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro You may call it a technical recovery but with the unemployment numbers currently as well as the invisible unemployed the way they are it will not seem that it is a practical recovery. Especially if you are not working right now or are working some shit job(s) If only we could stop people from being born for the next few years the numbers would start to go down. That’s not going to happen. It’s taking too long. People get tired of hearing “we have more to do” No shit.

DrBill's avatar

@bolwerk what I do find is today Obama said the economy will get worse before it gets better, My towns only major employer is laying off more people, and they credit Obama’s re-election as the reason, Obama now says he will be raising everyone’s taxes, including the middle class. They also announced that they will be cheating taxpayers out of their retirement that they paid for, including the Contracted and court ordered pay raises they were due two years ago. If a private company tried this crap, Our “so-called” government would be screaming their heads off.

I see a sign today that summed it up, it said there are three main differences between Obama and Reagan, 1 Reagan did not spend four years blaming Carter for everything. 2 Reagan had a stimulus plan that worked. 3 Reagan did not spend five trillion dollars with nothing to show for it.

Seek's avatar

Reagan also declared a “war on drugs” that did absolutely nothing to quell the “drug problem”, and cost the country untold billions in prison costs and lost productivity.

Reagan was a whackjob that had no business being in the office. While he was in office, the entire world feared he’d go manic one day and just start blowing shit up. Which he did at least once.

tom_g's avatar

I know it’s probably a waste of my time, but @DrBill, could you please cite your source for the claim “Obama now says he will be raising everyone’s taxes, including the middle class”?

I’ll keep it simple. Just this request for now. Thanks.

DrBill's avatar

@tom_g It was on the nightly news last night (11–14-12) ABC news, and it was film of him talking, not some reporters opinion. I kept it simple for you.

@Seek_Kolinahr I am not saying everything he did was right, there was some fault to be found with every president we have ever had.

Judi's avatar

@DrBill, are you talking about letting the bush taxcuts expire?
Obama still is trying to get congress to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, but it won’t be the end of the world if they expire. The middle class is hurting but the lower class is devastated. The problem with increasing the tax burden on the middle class is that they are the ones who actually spend money and stimulate the economy. The uber rich are just hoarding it right now. Tax rates the same as during the Clinton administration won’t kill us.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Obama is also very aware of two things. A) letting the tax cuts expire (aka hitting the ‘fiscal cliff’) will not immediately raise taxes. They will have several weeks to broker a new deal before the shit hits the fan from that change. And b) most Americans are, at the moment, smart enough to blame the republicans and their obnoxious obstructionism should that occur, meaning that there will be large amounts of pressure on the republicans to not allow the lower cuts to expire.

I say this for the edification of others, however, since I don’t expect @DrBill to believe me. Especially since he still thinks “I heard it earlier, I swear” is a source.

tom_g's avatar

@DrBill: ”@tom_g It was on the nightly news last night (11–14–12) ABC news, and it was film of him talking, not some reporters opinion. I kept it simple for you.”

Ok, I will repeat my request one more time. Then, it will be up to you to take to answer why you will not provide a link. Could you please do this? Please.

Jaxk's avatar

The election results were really quite clear. Obama was very successful in making the election about social issues rather than the economy. He held up the ‘Dream Act’ for Hispanics, Gay marriage for gays, and ‘Reproductive Rights’ for women (whatever that means). White males were left to vote on the economy. The election was not a success on democratic ideology but rather a successful strategy on garnering specific demographics. Not to mention Obama had a great ground game. We all knew he was a good campaigner, hell, he’s been practicing for 5 years now.

I find it amusing that there would be so much argument about change, as if that were a trait of democrats but not Republicans. Change can be good or bad depending on exactly what change we are talking about. The election has triggered a fairly dramatic change in the stock market but I wouldn’t consider it good. We are staring at four more years exactly like the last four. Is that lack of change good or bad.

Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. I’m staggered by those that think this is a tidal change in the electorate. Personally, I hope we can survive until the next ‘Tidal Change’ in the electorate.

Seek's avatar

‘Reproductive Rights’ for women (whatever that means)

That means that old white Christian men don’t get to decide whether or not, and under which circumstances, I procreate.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@Jaxk I expect wacky numbers out of @DrBill, but less so from you. 50.6% to 47.8%, or 62610717 votes to 59136717 votes if you want raw numbers, is not ‘less then 1%’. That is, in fact, 2.8%. Now, I know it’s hard to grasp sometimes, but 2.8>1. Source See how that work,s @DrBill, with the link and everything? If you have a better source then AP, please enlighten us.

Also, your ignorance of what reproductive rights actually means and your belief that only white males were capable of thinking about the economy only serves to highlight the problem.

bolwerk's avatar

Really, how dare women, gays, the poor, and minorities go out and register a vote against the people who openly pledge take away their rights and freedoms?

This claim that these groups were voting against Mitt on the grounds of handouts from Obama (or whatever Mitt is claiming) is being vastly overplayed. The fact of the matter is, Mitt Romney’s economic policies, insofar as he copped to them, were harmful. Maybe middle class whites – the ones that weathered the recession well enough – felt secure risking the farm on crackpot economic theories backed by vague promises of recovery, but why would anyone else?

Sure, some women, quite sensibly, were galvanized away from the Republikans because of comments pertaining from “honest” (Ron Paul), “legitimate” (Todd Akin), or “gift-from-God” (Mourdock) rape. Comments like that are incredibly deranged and creepy. Even if you think Mitt would cut your taxes.

@DrBill: never you mind that none of those claims you’re making are substantiated, I can’t find any reason to think any of them are even likely to be true. If your town’s major employee laid people off because Obama was elected, he sounds like a butthert, sociopathic asshole.

Re ”Reagan had a stimulus plan that worked.”: a tax-and-spend plan, mind you. Of course, poverty conspicuously inreased Reagan’s election. Fancy that.

Re ”Reagan did not spend five trillion dollars with nothing to show for it”: what do you suppose Reagan had to show for all the debt he added? You know, the debt that he left for the children who were alive already when Reagan was elected? Children can’t vote against things that are against their interests. Obama’s stimulus certainly wasn’t a complete dud, and this habit authoritarians have of blaming Obama for Bush’s spending habits by accounting for it is both patently stupid and dishonest.

Jaxk's avatar

@BhacSsylan

I suppose you’re right. I hadn’t looked at the vote count since the day after election. I’ve been on vacation. I certainly concede to an ignorance of women. I hadn’t heard Romney talking about where or when women could procreate as @Seek_Kolinahr indicates. Maybe free birth control really is a bigger issue for them than the economy. Who knows. Unless things change, we’ll get to find out in the next four years if that really is more important than the economy. You guys won, I’ve resolved myself to that. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not we survive the next four. Only time will tell. Personally, I’m hunkered down to weather the storm. I do admit to a certain curiosity about whether the ‘Blame Bush’ strategy will work in 2016. I didn’t think it would work in 2012 which shows I underestimated the electorate.

Anyway rehashing all this does us no good. Obama’s budget has us into the $20 trillion range by the next election. I expect Greece style demonstrations by then as the economy collapses. But then we’ll have free birth control so I guess it won’t be so bad.

bolwerk's avatar

@Jaxk: Romney is anti-choice. However, deranged comments concerning rape from certain Republikan congressional candidates probably drew more attention to the matter than there otherwise would have been. I’m not sure you can blame Obama for that. And where did free birth control come up?

And Greece-style demonstrations – you’re expecting the emergence of an American left-wing?

Seek's avatar

Mitt Romney Comments on when and under what circumstances women can procreate

Some selections:

” I vetoed an effort, for instance, to give young women a morning after pill who did not have prescriptions.”

”... I’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states and the elected representatives of the people and the people themselves have the ability to put in place pro-life legislation.”

“requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable.” here

Of course, you could just as easily find Romey quotes in the other direction, if you add the word “IVF” into the question. He’s perfectly cool with killing embryos as long as you’re trying to make a baby out of it. What’s 25 dead if one or two live? IMO – he’s only openly OK with IVF because two of his kids have IVF babies and openly opposing it would be too hypocritical even for Mittens.

bolwerk's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr re ”He’s perfectly cool with killing embryos as long as you’re trying to make a baby out of it. What’s 25 dead if one or two live?” – more precious angels to live on Kolob!

Judi's avatar

Romney never really made any convincing argument for HOW he would fix the economy except tax cuts for the rich. The rest of his plan was hidden away with his tax returns.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@ETpro You could not possibly ask for a better answer to your question then @Jaxk‘s answers. But let’s take this piece by piece.

First of all, there’s two parts to this, I think. First is why all the minorities voted democrat and yet whites did not join this exodus. Especially when some demographics, such as Latinos, generally poll more conservative. The answer to this is the easy part, and that is just that republicans just don’t insult white males the way they insult everyone else.

‘Maybe free birth control really is a bigger issue for them than the economy.’
‘we’ll have free birth control so I guess it won’t be so bad.’
‘He held up the ‘Dream Act’ for Hispanics, Gay marriage for gays, and ‘Reproductive Rights’ for women (whatever that means)’

Add to this the rhetoric of other republicans every day. Again, O’Reilly’s little “minorities want stuff’ argument. Romney’s “they’ll never take responsibility for their lives” and just now, ” the he promised them stuff” argument. More recently, Maine’s GOP chair freting about the existence of black people in Maine (yes, really).

As you notice, it’s all ‘them’. Its the ‘other’. Not white guys, never white guys. No talk about how they want tax breaks, more money is totally not ‘stuff’. Or the gift of being able to force their girlfriends to carry their child, first by taking away birth control and then criminalizing abortion. Nor the ‘gift’ of letting them screw their underlings out of health care. Nope, those aren’t gifts, that’s not ‘stuff’.

So, women and minorities fled from the blatant racism, othering, and promises to take away their rights. But that only accounts for why white men didn’t run away, at best that explains why Obama didn’t secure a white majority, not why Romney had the majority. For that we have to go deeper. But it’s still plainly obvious in @Jaxk‘s response: they make them feel special.

They’re the real Americans, they’re the smart ones, they know the truth, they’re not blinded by greed, they’re the ones that have America at heart. Minorities? They’re incapable of seeing past the shiny objects. But white people, they know what’s going on. Well, white republicans at least.

‘I expect Greece style demonstrations by then as the economy collapses’
‘we’ll get to find out in the next four years if that really is more important than the economy’
‘White males were left to vote on the economy’
‘The election was not a success on democratic ideology ’
‘I do admit to a certain curiosity about whether the ‘Blame Bush’ strategy will work’

And, again, O’Reilly saying “If Obama wins, it’s because it’s not traditional America anymore”. People on welfare, people below the poverty line, those aren’t real Americans. They just want stuff. Not you, white guys! You’re really real America.

See, @Jaxk knows what’s really going on. Us? We’re all blinded. Those minorities just can’t see anything past their own greed. Women are only capable of thinking with their uteri. But white men, they see the big picture. They’re real America.

It’s simply not possible that others saw Romney’s ‘plan’ and rejected it. It’s not possible that someone could possibly believe that Obama’s ideas for the economy are better. It’s not possible that we all looked over and saw Europe struggling badly under austerity (now in a second recession) and rejected that path. It’s not possible that we heard about the suppressed congressional report showing that tax breaks for the rich don’t stimulate the economy. We couldn’t possibly have factored in that some of the best economic growth ever occurred under Clinton-era tax rates, and in general private industry does better under democratic presidents. We just simply couldn’t possibly believe that Romney’s ‘12 million job’ plan was based on a mashup of different reports with different time frames that didn’t say what he claimed they said. And there just is no possible way that we thought that the tax policy center’s analysis of Romney’s plan was right, and a handful of blog posts didn’t refute them.

No, Republicans look at all that and say “White guy republicans, you really know the truth. You’re real America. Everyone over there? They’re blinded by greed and hormones. But you, you know how the world really is.”

ragingloli's avatar

@BhacSsylan
Can I bear your child?

tom_g's avatar

@DrBill – Man, this is getting absurd. Do you see the pattern here? You type a few nonsense words you heard somewhere, and refuse to provide a link to the source. I have made 2 requests. Ok, this is 3 now.

In case you forgot, could you provide a source for your statement, “Obama now says he will be raising everyone’s taxes, including the middle class”?

bolwerk's avatar

@tom_g: the tactic @DrBill uses is the Gish gallop.

DrBill's avatar

@Judi I never mentioned Bush
@BhacSsylan I’m still waiting to find an Obama supporter who can come up with an answer besides “the republicans did it”
@tom_g The reason I do not post as much as you is because I work, while you sit at the computer and wait for your welfare check to come.
@bolwerk So your back to posting lies.

Is there an Obama fan anywhere that can comment on a post, without making it about something totally unrelated to the original post? If there is, I would like to meet them.

tom_g's avatar

@DrBill: ”@tom_g The reason I do not post as much as you is because I work, while you sit at the computer and wait for your welfare check to come.”

And here we have it. This is about as close as we’ll get to a concession from the good doctor.

DrBill's avatar

@tom_g If there were a reason for concession, I would, or is it you are still hiding the truth?

wundayatta's avatar

This is what I learned from @BhacSsylan‘s excellent post. @DrBill and @Jaxk have been showing us why white guys aren’t attracted by Obama, but we have to decode their language a bit. They believe they are special. The annointed. They believe they understand the economy where others don’t. They believe they understand the real issues, but others don’t.

They do not recognize issues of immigration and birth control and abortion as economic issues. They see them as social issues, and they don’t think social issues are serious. Besides which, they are issues that are not relevant to them, at least not directly, so how could they be important?

They see Obama as blaming others for the economy, and not taking responsibility, and worse, implementing policies that won’t work. For whatever reason, they see the Republicans as having policies that will help, although it is probably more likely that they like Republican policies simply because they feel more at home there, amongst the white, male faces.

Republicanism is about being a member of the club. Democratism is about data and knowledge and reality. But social welcome matters more, especially to white guys, it seems. Republicans can never explain things or prove things. So they almost always deflect questions rhetorically. Like @DrBill throws out accusations that Democrats keep on saying “Republicans did it,” as if all the substantive, sourced arguments we make don’t appear on his computer screen.

But name calling is a direct outcome of a political party based on social affiliation. There is no there there. It’s just white males and a few others (some white females) who sympathize. When the association is based on race and gender, there can be no substantive argument. There can only be affiliational argument.

As to the future, I believe the economy has to get better in the next four years, or we will see a change of party in the White House. It probably has to get significantly better, not just slowly better. However, it will only get slowly better, because the Republicans will stand against any stimulus. They want to send the economy back into recession with steep spending cuts. And they see a political percentage in making that happen. They don’t want the economy to get better now that they’ve lost the election and they don’t care what happens, because their guys, the white guys, are doing ok.

We need more stimulus. We need to let the deficit grow further. If we can get the economy booming, we’ll be able to pay off the deficit very quickly, because inflation will reduce the deficit significantly. But if we kill the economy, the deficit will be harder to pay off, and will grow faster, especially if we find ourselves in deflation.

We’ve argued this with the conservatives here over and over, and I still dont’ understand why they disagree with this approach. Look at Greece. Budget cuts are disastrous. Disastrous. Spending cuts are not the way to grow an economy. Allowing the private sector to pollute more and to rip off more people are not the way to grow the economy for the long haul. Short term, perhaps yes. But eventually, we’ll get hoist on our own petard, like the mortgage loan crisis, and be thrown into recession. Sustainability matters, and cutting regulations makes growth unsustainable.

Our only way to prosperity is if Obama can somehow get the Republicans to see straight. He needs to call it budget cuts or something, but let it really be stimulus. If the Republicans can go along with this, and shit, we can call it their victory. Who cares? The point is that it is what will work. Then maybe we can get the economy going. And maybe more white guys will see that Obama really does know more about what he’s doing than they think.

Jaxk's avatar

@wundayatta

Wow…... You spend a lot of time telling us that Republicans think they know the economy but others don’t and then go on to make that exact argument for the Democrats. You say we don’t have any facts and yet supply none to back up your extensive rant. You spend a lot of time calling us racists and seem to use that to explain any opposition. Your name calling doesn’t get us anywhere but it does help to explain the animosity between the parties.

You want to look at Greece and say budget cuts don’t get us anywhere but you seem to want to ignore the tax hikes. Budget cuts and tax hikes when combined spell disaster. You may want to think about that while you’re supporting Obama’s budget cuts and tax hikes. I think Reagan said it best: “it’s not that Democrats are ignorant, it’s that they know so much that isn’t true” (I’m paraphrasing).

The payroll tax cuts will expire in January. There is no plan to extend them and that will raise taxes on virtually everyone. I’m not opposed to letting them expire since they did us no good but it will still be a tax hike. Additionally half the Obama care funding comes from new taxes and he wants to raise the tax rates for everyone over $200K. Then you want to increase spending on a new stimulus. Think about that for a minute. You take money out of the economy with one hand (taxes) and then inject money back with the other (spending) and expect that to solve our problem. Ridiculous. The only way to spur growth or stimulate the economy is to inject money into it. And the best way to do that is with private money not government money. Create an environment for investing. lower the cost of living for the average person by lowering the cost of oil. Things like that. It creates a huge injection of cash into the economy and it grows.

Your assumption that everything revolves around race is simply hysterical. Obama has no clue about what to do to fix the economy. He’s simply way over his head. And all the free stuff in the world won’t fix anything.

DrBill's avatar

No matter what party does what, the simple truth is you cannot borrow your way out of debt.

wundayatta's avatar

@DrBill Except you can, if you put the borrowed money to use in creating productivity. Sometimes, you need another infusion of capital. It gets you over the hump, and you become profitable.

bkcunningham's avatar

That is a simple truth, but one some people, for whatever reason, refuse to accept, @DrBill. I have recently heard some people talking about debt not being such a bad thing. You can twist things anyway you want, but the truth is still the truth.

DrBill's avatar

@wundayatta I don’t see how you can borrow your way out of debt, it just makes more debt. Even your comment is dependent on another infusion of capital, when you borrow that, it just adds more debt.

ragingloli's avatar

The entire economy is based on making more and more debt. Money does not just appear in people’s pockets. Interest, compound interest and “creating value” create the necessity to increase the money supply in an economy, and someone ultimately has to borrow that money.
If you want to do something about debt, you have to scrap the entire current economic model and come up with a new one.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Wait, so you’re saying that the entire idea of borrowing startup capital is incapable of working? The large majority of buisnesses, especially small buisnesses, would disagree with you. Hell, Romney would disgree with you. Or do you already forget his “borrow money from your parents” comment.

Or do you mean more broadly, that spending money is incapable of resulting in making money? Um, in that case, pretty much every buisness ever would like to disagree with you on that seeing as that’s how buisnesses function…

Judi's avatar

@DrBill, let me explain (from experience. )
My husband and I had debt. Even with debt, we borrowed money to buy an apartment building. Now, the income from the apartment building not only pays the mortgage, but pays our personal debt as well. We are a couple of months from being debt free (with the exception of the rental property mortgage. )
We never would have gotten here if we had not gone into debt to buy the apartments.

Jaxk's avatar

I can’t believe your all talking about how good debt is. Debt can be useful and has a role in any business or economy but you have to keep it under control. Size matters. We not talking about taking a loan to improve things, we’re talking about taking a loan to pay our bills every month. We’re borrowing 40% of our monthly bills every month. That is unsustainable. And we are borrowing it at close to zero interest rate which is a temporary rate. When the interest rates go back to normal (we won’t even talk about Hyperinflation) we’ll be pay 90% of our revenue just to make the interest payments on the debt and entitlements. In other words, we’ll only have 10% of the revenue to run the country. How the hell are we going to do that?

wundayatta's avatar

@Jaxk I think the problem is that you believe money is a real thing. Therefore, you believe debt is a real thing. They aren’t real. They are fictions that allow us to exchange goods. Or, to put it another way, debt is confidence.

You only lend when you believe someone will do what they say they will. What you say when you refuse to lend, is that you have no confidence. And this is the difference between liberals and conservatives these days. Liberals have confidence in the current system and conservatives don’t. If you were in power, it would be the other way around.

The thing is, you think the economy won’t go unless we cut spending and squeeze people. Somehow, you think this will give business confidence to invest. Why they would invest when no one will buy anything, I don’t know, but that’s what you conservatives seem to believe.

We liberals believe that if people have enough money in their pockets, they will buy, and that will give business confidence to invest in production.

Debt only matters if people think there is too much money chasing too few goods. We are not even close to that situation. Right now, there is too little money chasing too many goods. Thus, business won’t invest. Reducing the amount of money will only make that worse.

We do not have too much debt, and we won’t until we start seeing inflation. All the traditional measures of debt are useless if you don’t understand what I’m saying. The proper objective measure of too much debt is inflation. Right now, inflation is too low. That means we can borrow more. And more. Until we see inflation ticking up too fast or the economy looks like it will get overheated.

As long as inflation is under control, we are ok. And even if it starts getting out of control, we can then ratchet back lending. But we should let the market decide about this. It is highly ironic that conservatives want to control the debt by using federal fiscal policy, instead of controlling it through the market. But then, you don’t seem to be rational creatures, and your notions about debt are based on emotion, not a correct understanding of what it really is: just a proxy for confidence.

Although, that is part of the problem. You lack confidence. And you think by cutting debt, you will gain confidence. As long as you believe this, you’ll be fighting us, and you’ll be pushing these useless policies. Worse than useless. They will actually harm the economy.

bkcunningham's avatar

“We liberals believe that if people have enough money in their pockets, they will buy…” How do you propose getting enough money in your pockets?

Judi's avatar

That’s the argument for stimulus spending. You take care of crucial infrastructure needs and employ people at the same time. That’s how we got out of the Great Depression and ended up with an interstate freeway system.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham A good start would be not trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class so we can give millionaires another round of tax cuts.

DrBill's avatar

@Judi
That is true for people, but the Government can’t go out and buy a million or so apartment buildings, and even if they did the government has never ran a business that made money. They can’t control their own spending, liberals spend, it’s part of their nature. Conservatives conserve, hence the name.

bkcunningham's avatar

Not trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class. How so?

wundayatta's avatar

@bkcunningham The money comes from the bank. We lend it to those who have plans to create businesses. We use the regular banks to determine who is a good credit risk. Conservatives should love this, since it’s all about creating businesses and encouraging employment. Oh, except they don’t really believe in that. They want to conserve.

@Judi the problem with stimulus is when you do it too much. The sign of too much stimulus is inflation rates above 5 or 6%. We aren’t close to that and we haven’t been there for decades. That means there is wasted excess capacity in the system. There are factories and workers who aren’t working. Until you reach the end of work copacity, stimulus spending won’t increase inflation. It’s just put more workers to work.

However, once we reach the end of the available workforce, stimulus spending creates inflation. That’s when you shut it off. Or maybe, if you are conservative, you shut it off just before you reach the end of the work force. Unfortunately, most conservatives think you should shut it off before you even start, because they are afraid of debt due to irrational thinking. With them, it is a matter of faith that debt above some ratio of the gdp is bad. No reason for that, other then they need to pick a number. It is not based on principle.

The principle that debt that does not cause inflation is good debt is a workable principle. There are other things to add, too. The debt should be lent out responsibly. It should not be dumped on people who don’t know how to pay it back, as was done in the mortgage crisis. But that happened due to an elimination of regulations demanding a certain about of collateral for debt. Again. Conservatives who think no regulation is good. Again, they brought on the recession with that kind of thinking. It’s hard to imagine people can make such unwise decisions, but conservatives appear to do it over and over again.

Jaxk's avatar

@wundayatta

I know your building a good sounding argument here using generally accepted talking points that Democrats use frequently. I have always wondered what deregulation you think caused the recession. And of course, how you blame it all on Bush. According to the Federal Registry, Bush put 16,000 pages of new regulations on the books. I am curious as to how that can be defined as deregulation.

wundayatta's avatar

The regulations on banks. Those were the killers when they were removed. I don’t remember the name of it, but people mention it here a lot. Maybe David-Bacon? I’m not sure.

woodcutter's avatar

Davis Bacon? That was the deal that made contractors pay prevailing wages on govt contracts. Something the right hates with a passion.
The banking industry needed regs to bring them in line with the 21st century. Nothing they did before the crisis was illegal. Sometimes legal and right don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

Kropotkin's avatar

I’m somewhat persuaded by Post-Keynesian arguments regarding the description of how money and finance operates, especially the work of Steve Keen who is the only economist in the world to have accurately predicted the financial crisis and also modelled it mathematically.

Other than the latent and sometimes manifest racism that seems to be the reason for many whites not voting Democrat, there’s also a lot of confusion around basic macroeconomics and what the national debt actually means.

The US crisis was brought on by a private debt bubble, with private debt being something over 300% of GDP in 2009. Financial institutions and households have since been deleveraging all at once, with the private debt to GDP now being around 250%. As debts are paid down, the amount of money in the economy is reduced and private spending drops. The prescription in this scenario is for the government to increase spending to make up for the drop in private sector spending.

The best solutions are sadly the least politically feasible ones, such as a debt jubilee, and even printing money and dropping them from helicopters would have been more effective than the repeated quantitative easing.

The national debt itself has been mythologised into a problem that isn’t real. The real economy is the productive capacity of a nation; the resources, the labour skills, the capital goods. The advocates of a “balanced budget” and the need to pay off the national debt risk destroying real capital and real jobs all for an imagined moral obligation from the mistake belief that government debt is anything like a personal debt.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Governments don’t try to run for-profit businesses in a capitalist society. But Medicare delivers high quality healthcare at administrative costs far lower than any for-profit insurance company can do.

They can’t control their own spending, liberals spend, it’s part of their nature. Conservatives conserve, hence the name. That Big Lie has been recited so many times most people accept it without any critical thought. The truth is exactly the opposite, as this chart and this chart clearly show.

Jaxk's avatar

@wundayatta

I suspect you’re thinking of Glass-Steagal, which was enacted during the 30s and gutted with the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999. That was passed under Clinton. It did have an impact on the recession but Bush had nothing to do with it. Here is Bill Clinton defending that bill. I disagree with Bill but whether you agree or not, it was his bill.

Care to try again?

wundayatta's avatar

Eh. Not really. I’ll stick with the overall issue of not enough money in people’s pockets. Like @Kropotkin said. It would probably have been better to drop money from helicopters. But that’s not politically feasible.

bkcunningham's avatar

@wundayatta, what you are saying doesn’t make sense. You say there isn’t enough money in people’s pockets and that people get the money from the banks. That is like you where milk comes from and you say it comes from the store. There is a little more to the process.

wundayatta's avatar

The Fed creates money, and sends it to banks. Banks then have more money to lend to people. People have to come up with a plan to show they can pay the money back. The bank vets the plan, to make sure they believe the people will pay it back. They only lend to people who will pay it back.

If the money is paid back, then the borrowers have created a new business or bought a house or something. They’ve borrowed money, used it, and paid it back. The Bank has earned money for establishing the appropriate level of risk and reliability for borrowers. The economy has been stimulated by the borrowers buying stuff. Nobody loses money. The economy is better off. We are all better off.

This all happens because the Government, through the Fed, has created a fiction that there is this money, which allows real people to turn it into real money and real value through their labor.

Now not everyone the banks lend to are going to pay it back, and if too many people don’t pay it back, there’s a problem. But if enough pay it back, the banks make money.

The other problem is if banks lend too much money. At that point, we have too much money in the system and there is no capacity to supply goods and services for that money. At that point, we see inflation.

However, the Fed can stop pushing money to banks. The money supply dries up a bit until we have the right amount of money in the system for the goods out there and the services people provide.

It’s a balancing act. People need to have confidence that money equals the stuff we have and the work we do. The gauge we have for this is whether there is inflation above 3%. That’s when we start to worry. But as long as we are between 2 and 3%, we are fine. Below 1%, and we start worrying about deflation, which stops the economy cold.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I’ll try for @wundayatta The Gramm, Leach Bliley act was put forward by three Republicans of the same names. It was the signature piece of Republican must-have legislation for the 1999 legislative session. The GOP told Clinton that to get anything he wanted, he HAD to sign it. Triangulating Bill Clinton did sign it, and it did play a major role in causing the financial meltdown of 2007. Clinton can claim it didn’t all he wants. I call a lie a lie regardless of the party pushing it.

But to put the entire responsibility for the repeal of Glass Steagall on Clinton just shows that at least for you, the claim of being the “Party of Personal Responsibility is just one more GOP Big Lie.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I was showing that Bush had nothing to do with this. I know you’re all about bashing Republicans and there is no reason for you to stop but you still have to stay within the realm of reality. Gramm-Leach-Biley passed the house with a 362 – 57 majority. I’d call that bi-partisan. I’m not trying to blame anyone merely showing that all this blame Bush crap is misguided.

I’m still looking for the policies that you all have been trying to pin on Bush that created the recession.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Not so fast. I will grant you Bush had nothing to do with Gramm-Leach-Bliley but his administration did push sub-prime lending as it kept inflating the housing bubble that was the only force making his tenure look anything like a fiscal success. Bush Jr. had the worst job creation record since Herbert Hoover.

Also, his irresponsible tax cuts and spending spree, much of it unbudgeted, doubled the national debt and left his successor with a huge financial crisis and little in the arsenal to right the sinking ship with. There is a very good reason Bush was Google Bombed so that a search for “Miserable Failure” brought up his name. He truly lived up to that moniker.

DrBill's avatar

Bush Average = $500,000,000 / year
Obama Average=$1,250,000,000 / year

One thing about Obama and his followers, they are all good at blaming Bush for for Obama’s shortcomings.

Seek's avatar

^ One question:

In our society, numbers mean things. But words help to explain what things the numbers mean. Numbers rarely speak for themselves.

What things do those numbers mean?

tom_g's avatar

^^ It’s simple. The numbers reflect…

Average dollar amount of good stuff divided by square root of bad stuff. Then multiply by the number of times Glenn Beck has cried in a given year, and add half of the annual # of God’s tears that have fallen on North America, and divide by the number of businesses that have blamed Obamacare on their demise. Don’t forget to adjust for inflation. Also, numbers should be converted from the US dollar to gold coins and then back to US dollar.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill More actual figures you totally fail to grasp. Bush sent the economy over a steep cliff. The impact and the damage control all came after he left office. Except for the stimulus, which was needed to stop the economic free-fall into a depression, the deficits Obama was stuck with Bush spending initiatives and the massive drop in GDP, employment, and thus tax base thanks to Republican Voodoo economics under Bush.

The Obama Administration has actually been paring back the endemic deficit passed to it by Bush at all-time record levels. We are now reducing the deficit faster than at any other time in US history except immediately after WWII. That’s the fact.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
A real leader would do something other than blame the previous administration. Obama has done NOTHING without blaming Bush, you have not made any post in support of Obama without blaming Bush. If either of you had any real answers you would not have to play the blame game.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

” We are now reducing the deficit faster than at any other time in US history except immediately after WWII. That’s the fact.”

You link doesn’t take me to anything that would support that claim. If you look at the deficit, it is not declining. I don’t have any idea what kind of voodoo magic you could use to make it appear otherwise.

Just a note on your last blame bush rant. Bush didn’t invent sub-prime mortgages nor credit default swaps. In fact the push for home ownership can easily be traced back as far as 1938 with the creation of Freddie and Fannie. In fact Mortgage backed securities were sold by Freddie and Fannie as far back as 1971.

As far as your blame Bush theory, I haven’t seen anything that bush did that caused the crisis. Other than all the typical screaming and yelling from the Democrats that there was nothing wrong at Freddie and Fannie. You can read about it here

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Are you blinded by partisanship? We’ve had nearly 3 years now of private sector job growth after losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month as Bush’s disastrous rule came to an end. The stock market lost half its value thanks to Bush. Under Obama, it’s gained it all back. The auto industry in the US was heading for liquidation bankruptcy. It’s roared back, repaid the loans, and is exporting cars all around the world. You call that doing nothing? You claim Bush is blameless for the mess he left? I guess Hitler had nothing to do with the holocaust, either. That was all Angela Merkel’s fault according to that warped logic.

I’ll grant you that there were plenty of Democrats pushing Fanny & Freddie to loan to minorities. But fact is the minority loans were less than 15% of the defaults. If that is all that had gone wrong, we would have weathered it easily. over 85% of the defaults were real estate speculators leveraged to the hilt on stated-value loans. And it was not Democrats pushing that part of the housing market. As usual, when things go horribly wrong there is guilt to go around. But also as usual, you won’t hear but one side of it from a partisan hack, and claiming you are an independent doesn’t cut any ice with me. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
And yet you cannot answer something so simple without the Bush bashing, that is a sign you follow a false leader, and like him, you have no real answers.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill Those are all real answers. You just don’t like those facts. And when you claimed Obama has done nothing but blame Bush, of course that not bashing even though it’s patently false. Let’s agree to disagree.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
I agree I can’t get an answer without the bashing, which means you have no answer. You are very good at saying who is at fault, but can’t figure out what to do about it, and if you look back at EVERY speech he has given since elected, he has blamed others for the problems he has failed to deal with.

It does seem to be one sided though, Reagan did not spend 4 years bashing Carter, Nixon did not bash Johnson for 4 years, Bush did not spend 4 years bashing Clinton.

The only thing Obama is good at (as long as he has a teleprompter) is pointing at a problem and telling people who is at fault. He likes scaring the poor people, and making them angry at his opponents, because they all have a vote, and he wants himself and his cronies to be reelected. The only reason he picks on poor people is because thanks to him, there are more poor people than anything else.

Kropotkin's avatar

@DrBill I’m in the UK, but I had been following the US election campaign very closely (watched all the debates, various political ads, campaign speeches, etc) and have a morbid interest in the reality show circus you call American politics.

I did not see any “blame Bush” strategy from the Obama adminstration. In fact, it was amazing to me how much they didn’t focus on Bush’s adminstration as being at fault for anything at all. The most they tended to state was that they inherited a mess—which is factually correct. Obama inherited the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, and it just happened to be Bush who was the President when it started nose-diving. This is undeniable and objective fact evidenced by various economic indicators and the historical reality that Bush was indeed the President of the USA when it started.

I don’t know how anyone can deny the reality that Bush presided over the worst economic collapse since the 1930s. It’s not necessarily “blaming” Bush. I don’t think Bush was intelligent or aware enough to be blamed for anything, since not even any mainstream economist was aware of what was happening or was about to happen, and it’s clear that this was a systemic problem that was decades in the making.

It’s very probable that I somehow missed the “blame Bush” strategy of the Obama adminstration. So I ask you, DrBill, do you have any sources that quote Obama specifically blaming Bush, or expressing that it was Bush who was directly responsible for the economic crisis? I’ve been unable to find anything at all. Thanks.

Jaxk's avatar

@Kropotkin

A short list
One
Two
Three

I won’t go on. If you Google ‘Obama blames Bush 2012’ you get about 37,000 results. This has been a 4 year campaign based on blaming ‘The Other Guy’. I’m surprised you missed it.

Kropotkin's avatar

@Jaxk Obama neither mentions nor blames Bush in the first link. He appears to be responding to the accusation that he was to blame for the economic conditions, and is correctly pointing out that they were inherited.

The second link refers to a blog by two economic advisors. There’s no mention of Bush or blaming anyone and lists various economic indicators and the sort of conditions which were inherited. All looks rather reasonable.

Third link—may well be true, but has nothing to do with the economic crisis.

Googling a text string and counting its hits is next to worthless. You do realise that “Obama blames Bush” is also a meme? It’s not like I haven’t looked. I do follow up links and scrutinise them. I’ve checked your links and about half a dozen other articles and videos with Obama allegedly blaming Bush for the economic crisis, and so far they’ve all failed. So if you have something more concrete, please do go on.

DrBill's avatar

@Kropotkin
watch any speech given since he was elected. RE: Third link, I did not specify they were all about the economy. he also did the same blaming the previous administration when he was a senator from Illinois. Peter Fitzgerald got blamed for everything Obama could not fix. The only thing he is really good at is spending taxpayer money, he helped run Illinois to the brink of bankruptcy, and now is doing the same for the country.

ETpro's avatar

@DrBill I’ll trust other members here to judge who’s unable to support their case and who relies on insults as opposed to facts. Plonk.

Jaxk's avatar

@Kropotkin

It seems your changing the parameters. If he blames the previous administration, that’s not blaming Bush. If his blame is justified in your mind, then again that’s not blaming Bush. So basically the argument that ‘the economy is bad but it’s not my fault because it was bad when I got here’ Is perfectly acceptable to you. Pity.

Judi's avatar

Do you remember where we were 4 years ago today? Did you go to the mall 4 years ago today? There was no one there. The economy was destined to go the way of the great depression. No one was buying (and our current economy depends on consumerism.) The only thing selling was guns and ammo. We have come so far in 4 years. Yes, not far enough, but it could have been so much worse right now.
It sort of reminds me of how Clinton never got credit for avoiding a 9/11 type of disaster. When he tried to go after Al Qaeda he was accused of wagging the dog and was just trying to create a distraction from the Monica scandal.

DrBill's avatar

@ETpro
They also know who is answering, and who is blame shifting

If you cannot answer a question without blaming someone for the question, then you have not answered, only making excuses for not answering.

DrBill's avatar

and thus, your shift to the dark side is complete.

ragingloli's avatar

Here is an accurate analogy for this whole situation:
An arsonist burns down a house, and the occupants now hire a builder to rebuild the house.
Some of those occupants are friends with the arsonist, and start openly stealing building materials from the builder and generally sabotaging his building efforts.
Despite the sabotage, however, the builder makes progress in rebuilding the house, albeit slowly.
From the moment the builder was hired, the arsonist’s friends question and harrass the builder why there is no intact house.
The builder correctly and justly points towards the fact that the arsonist burnt down the house in the first place and the arsonists friends are stealing his materials, to which the arsonist’s friends’ only response is how pathetic the builder is for blaming the arsonist.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli An apt an accurate analogy.

bkcunningham's avatar

Huh? I seriously don’t understand your analogy, @ragingloli. Why would homeless people waiting on their home to be rebuilt harass and steal from the builder trying to rebuild their home? Why would they delay the home being built and cause the costs to themselves to ultimately increase? Why would homeless people be friends with someone who destroyed their belongings and their home?

Judi's avatar

@bkcunningham , because the arsonist has convinced them that it they don’t God will send them straight to hell.

bkcunningham's avatar

Be serious please, @Judi. I don’t get his analogy. What does he mean?

Judi's avatar

He means that the Republicans were more concerned with blocking Obama and not letting him get anything accomplished than they were with doing what was best for the country. They would rather see the country suffer than give Obama a victory. And what I said was also true. many seem to think that cooperating with Obama would be like making a deal with the devil and be harmful to your eternal soul.

ragingloli's avatar

@bkcunningham
“Why would homeless people waiting on their home to be rebuilt harass and steal from the builder trying to rebuild their home? Why would they delay the home being built and cause the costs to themselves to ultimately increase? Why would homeless people be friends with someone who destroyed their belongings and their home?”

That is the point. They are irrational.

bkcunningham's avatar

Oh. I knew there was an insult to republicans/conservatives in there. I just kept thinking the builder was the republicans and I knew YOU wouldn’t say that.

ragingloli's avatar

Not an insult. An observation.

bkcunningham's avatar

Do you have a real example of what you’ve observed, @ragingloli?

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DrBill's avatar

An analogy would be, if someone had a flat tire and ask someone else, “what should I do?”, and they insisted on blaming the tire for going flat, rather than answering the question asked.

bkcunningham's avatar

Your example sounds very similar to what happened between the unions (home occupants/arsonist) and the Hostess Brands Inc. company (builder), @ragingloli.

Seek's avatar

@DrBill No. No one blames the tire for going flat, as the tire is an inanimate object, not a sentient being. And a flat tire is hardly analogous to the economy, as a flat tire must be replaced entirely. Are you suggesting we call AAA and replace capitalism? I’m game, I just don’t think you’d be.

DrBill's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr
I would be game also, the question becomes, replace it with what?

bolwerk's avatar

What the hell is all this teeth gnashing about blaming Bush? Are we only allowed to blame problems on black presidents or something? OK, it’s not Bush’s personal fault. As @Kropotkin said, Bush probably doesn’t have the depth to do much on his own. Idiot ot not he certainly isn’t into that heady stuff like finance and economics.

The major fault in the USA lies with the Bush Administration, which through its various appointments was responsible for most of the economic and financial regulation in USA. The other major party at fault was the Federal Reserve, headed by an appointee first selected by none other than bumbling clown McPresident Ronald W. Reagan. If Obama is at fault for anything, it’s repeatedly capitulating to the Republikans and the Republikan-like nincompoops in his own party.

Judi's avatar

I still think it’s Reagan’s fault for convincing everyone that government was the problem. It started an attitude that even Clinton embraced and tipped us so far to the right that we almost toppled. Time for a little correction, which, will probably go to far to the left in 30 years and require another correction.

DrBill's avatar

@ragingloli it looks like that is where we are headed under the current administration.

ragingloli's avatar

Oh look, the entirely expected “Obama is a communist” nonsense.
So predictable.

DrBill's avatar

oh look the entirely expected ‘I know he did not say anything like this, but I’ll credit them with it anyway’ BS

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