"Protectionist and populist sentiments run strong" among Dems in PA, IN and NC, "showing why the campaigns" of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "are moving in those directions." A "plurality" of Dem voters in PA, IN and NC "blames predatory lenders and mortgage-company greed for the housing crisis that may be dragging the U.S. economy into a recession." A majority in each state "favors a government bailout of homeowners in danger of foreclosure, according to a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll" of Dem LVs.
Obama and Clinton "have bashed free trade, promising to slow new agreements, renegotiate existing ones and punish China," with which the U.S. had a record $256B trade deficit last year. The two "also advocate greater supervision of financial markets and have devised plans to assist homeowners in danger of default."
Dems "in all three states had a negative view of trade," with 58 percent in IN, 55 percent in PA and 61 percent in NC "saying it has hurt the economy. At least three in 10 in each state say it hurt a lot" (Benjamin, Bloomberg, 4/17).
Club for Growth pres. Pat Toomey writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer, with all the NAFTA-bashing, "it is easy to forget that there was a time" when the Dem party "was not reflexively protectionist." Bill Clinton "deserves credit for shepherding the largest free-trade agreement in the Western Hemisphere through Congress." He "was right." Since NAFTA's inception, "bilateral commerce among" the U.S., Canada and Mexico "has more than tripled," from $297B to $930B. PA "is one of the country's top exporters to Canada and Mexico." Since NAFTA, PA has seen a 112% increase in exports to Canada, and a 160% increase in exports to Mexico. Moreover, in '93 the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 7.3%. Today it is 5.1%. "Do we really want to go back to the days of less commerce, fewer jobs, and higher unemployment?" (4/17).
Wet The Sugar With Bitters, Mash Together With Orange And Cherry, Add The Rocks And Bourbon
Wall Street Journal's Henninger writes, remember the culture wars? This week the Dems sued for peace. Time "was not long ago that" a Dem could have said folk "in small-town aAmerica" cling "to guns and religion and are hostile" to "diversity" with nary a peep from his party. Not now. "Obama was repudiated. Crushed. Media analysis suggested the damage could last til November." And before midnight, "Hillary was paddling down Whiskey River with the boys at Bronko's." Set "aside the controverseis over the name-brand religious-right leaders. Whatever one calls these people -- Reagan Democrats, the religious right, values voters -- their main beef was not with the election returns but with the manifest evidence that the big-city elites thought their beliefs and their lives were stupid. That is what died this week."
Whatever he meant to say, Obama's small-town "cling-to" statement was the Final Condescension. Hillary's trip from Bronko's bar to Messiah College ratified drinkin' on Saturday night and prayin' on Sunday morning. "Certainly, both as president would stock the judiciary from the liberal flock. Conservatives should still pocket the fact that the awful culture war has been replaced by a legitimate political competition whos locus has moved rightward. What's left of the rancid war are guerillas in the Hollywood foothills, pot-shotting at Pat Robertson and other bogeymen. But at the big-league level of presidential politics, it's over. Say good-bye to the Michael Moore Mockathon. Say hello to the spirit in the sky" (4/17).
Arizona Star's Parker writes, being effete "comes naturally" to Dems, though compared to Obama, Clinton "looks like a mud-bogger from East Texas." The truth is, Americans don't really insist that their presidents be as "ordinary" as they are. Only pollsters think they do. "But voters do like to feel respected, and Obama's San Francisco remarks sounded like contempt" (4/17).
Wall Street Journal's Kopel writes, imagine a race of Pat Robertson versus James Dobson, "each of them appearing at organic grocery stores and Starbucks" throughout MA, "with each candidate insisting that he alone deserves to vote of gay-marriage advocates." An equally silly spectacle is taking place in PA, NC, IN, WV and KY, as Obama and Clinton "compete for the pro-gun vote" (4/17).
Two Households Divided Against Themselves, Still Standing
Meanwhile, Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) endorsed Obama, became co-chair of his GA camp and "urged his wife to join the movement." Vivian Bishop "chose instead to become a leader" in the GA Women for Hillary Council. In contrast, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) and his wife, Alfredia, "started off together as Clinton supporters." But after Obama won "overwhelmingly" in the GA primary and in the 13th CD, Scott switched. His wife did not (Malone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/16).
This article appears in the April 17, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.