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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 2012/ 24 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773

The GOP's middle-class problem

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama is an Ivy League-educated former University of Chicago law lecturer with intellectual pretensions and a wide streak of introversion. If he weren't president of the United States, he might be a staff writer for The New Yorker. It would hard to come up with an elitist liberal more stereotypically vulnerable to a Republican campaign lambasting him as out of touch.

Yet, in two presidential campaigns in a row, Barack Obama has easily bested his Republican opponents on the quality of being in touch with ordinary people. Somewhere, Adlai Stevenson -- who set the standard for eggheaded liberalism in losing presidential bids in the 1950s -- must wonder how Obama pulls it off.

According to the exit polls, 27 percent of people said the candidate quality that mattered most was "shares my values." Romney won 55 percent of them. Another 18 percent wanted "a strong leader." Romney won 61 percent of them. Yet another 29 percent wanted the candidate with "a vision for the future." Romney won them, too.

But the pollsters asked about one more quality: "Cares about people like me." For 21 percent of people, that was the most important quality, and Obama trounced Romney among them, 81 percent to 18.

Fifty-three percent of people said Obama is "more in touch with people like you," and only 43 percent said the same of Romney. In 2008, Obama held a similar advantage over Sen. John McCain.

Contemporary liberals will always be identified with caring, which is their calling card. But there is no reason that they should be considered the tribunes of the middle class. On Tuesday, a plurality, 44 percent, thought Obama's policies favor the middle class. A majority, 53 percent, thought Romney's policies would favor the rich.

It's not hard to imagine why this might be so. To put it in crude terms, the Republicans have an image as the party of the rich. Mitt Romney is rich. And, on top of that, his policies were easily distorted as simply favoring the rich. The Obama campaign was always going to have a broad opening to smear him as the tool of the "1 percent."

The Romney team evidently understood this, and the Republican invoked the middle class constantly. But he had no signature policies to back up the message. Romney's policy play for the middle class was almost a parody of a Wall Street Republican's idea of how to help middle-income families: He proposed to cut capital-gains and dividends taxes for people making less than $200,000 a year.

Romney ended up as an odd combination of an essentially pragmatic politician running on a cookie-cutter conservative agenda. Don't get me wrong: His agenda was far preferable to the president's. But his conservatism had no distinctive flavor and nothing to inoculate it from simplistic attacks.

A different Romney agenda could have provided more substantive reinforcement for his rhetoric: say, a tax plan that offered a generous child tax credit for families, a more explicit replacement plan for Obamacare that emphasized controlling health-care costs, and a proposal to begin addressing spiraling college tuitions.

There is a resistance on the right to a direct appeal to middle-class economic interests, out of an understandable fear of anything that smacks of class-based politics. But the middle class isn't a special-interest group; almost everyone identifies with it. A recent Pew survey found that only 7 percent of people call themselves lower class and 2 percent upper class.

In the wake of Tuesday's debacle, there will be a natural tendency for Republicans to want to try to appeal to specific demographic groups, in a direct counter to President Obama. This is likely to result in much that is foolhardy and ineffectual. Better for Republicans to think seriously about how to identify with the interests of the broad middle of the country, and to convince it that their policies will advance those interests.

This is hardly mission impossible. If Barack Obama can do it, anyone can.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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