When Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic congressman of Facebook fame resigned in disgrace, it was a foregone conclusion that his replacement would be another Democrat. Only one in four voters in his district is registered as Independents or Republicans. Nonetheless, it is turning out to be a race in this super-solid Democratic district that gave birth to Sen. Schumer and other leading Democrats. The reason is broadly held feelings of deep disgust for Barack Obama among working class Democrats. It’s a local situation with national implications.
From today’s New York Times
Dale Weiss, a 64-year-old Democrat, approached the Republican running for Congress in a special election and, without provocation, blasted the president for failing to tame runaway federal spending. “We need to cut Medicaid,” she declared, “but he won’t do that.” She shook her head in disgust. “He is a moron.”
After nodding approvingly for a time, the Republican candidate, Bob Turner, signaled for an assistant to cut off Ms. Weiss. Frustration with Mr. Obama is so widespread, he explained later, that he tries to limit such rants to about 30 seconds, or else they will consume most of his day.
“It’s endemic in the district,” Mr. Turner said. “You can’t stop them once they get started.”
Working people can be quite forgiving of a leader’s mistakes when they believe the leader is doing his best. People will endure a great deal of hardship from a leader who is with them in it. But even then, there is a limit. When working people see themselves as on a sinking ship and you yell “I’m here to help” as you speed by in your yacht, you have lost them.