Hillbillies For Hillary

West Virginia is definitely Clinton and not Obama country. The Los Angeles Times describes How West Virginia Could Spell Trouble for Obama:

“My worry is there’s just too many people in this country who aren’t ready to elect a black president,” said Charles L. Silliman, a retired Air Force officer who is Hardy County’s Democratic Party co-chairman. “There’s a lot to like about him. But I’m just afraid that too many people will vote against him based on their fears and prejudice.”

Silliman and his wife, Carmen, are Clinton supporters, drawn by her healthcare plan and her endurance on the campaign trail. Still, the couple repeatedly have found themselves defending Obama, correcting acquaintances who relay baseless rumors about his name and religion.

Carmen Silliman has collected a sheaf of poisonous e-mails that have flowed into her in-box. “We do not need a Muslim to lead the good ole USA,” reads one. Obama is, in fact, a Christian.

Neil Gillies, an Obama supporter who runs a local environmental nonprofit group, glumly recounted the gibes that his wife, a schoolteacher, hears regularly from her students. “They’re convinced [Obama] is a Muslim, a terrorist, a guy who’s coming to take away their guns,” Gillies said. “It’s just sad.”

Slung along the bottom of West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, Hardy County was once rock-solid Democratic. Senior citizens fondly recall the day Eleanor Roosevelt arrived to dedicate the opening of Moorefield High School in 1941.

But socially conservative church groups and gun-rights supporters here have helped tilt the vote Republican in recent presidential elections. In 2004, Hardy County lined up for George W. Bush by a 3-1 ratio.

I’m not surprised that socially conservative areas are going to go for the socially conservative Clinton over the socially liberal Obama. Add racism and an area more prone than most to fall for the usual conservative scare tactics and lies and a Clinton landslide is inevitable. After all, it was the voters of West Virginia that the Republican National Committee conned with mailers saying that if he was elected John Kerry would take away their bibles as well as guns.

There’s no doubt that an area like West Virginia would be the last bastion of Clinton conservatism, even at this state in the race. It doesn’t really matter. The Democratic nomination is pretty much settled. West Virginia will go Republican in November regardless of whether Clinton or Obama, now the presumptive nominee, is the candidate. Besides, even if there was any truth to the claims that Clinton could do better in November due to bringing in such conservative voters, this is not how I want to win.

Actually I wouldn’t even see it as a win. I’d go with a liberal such as Obama over a Clinton conservative, regardless of the impact on electability as the election would be lost from the start if our only choices were Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Fortunately we do not have to face such a dilemma as Obama is likely to bring in far more educated, affluent voters than Clinton is likely to bring in socially conservative, uneducated, and working class voters.

Update: As we’ve encountered so many times before, the economic populist/social conservative wing of the Democratic Party which backs Clinton resorts to ad hominem attacks when they have no rational arguments to support their case. The Democratic Daily begins by repeating the fallacy of over-emphasizing the fact that Clinton does better among working class Democrats. To them, only white, working class voters seem to matter. If you are black, a white collar worker, or, heaven forbid, educated, you are an elitist whose vote does not count. By their bizarre logic, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be able to receive more than eight percent of the black vote, as James Clyburn has pointed out.

This attitude that only the working class vote matters is a major reason why the Democrats have been a minority party for so many years. As I’ve pointed out in several previous posts, Democrats have the best shot when they form a big tent which welcomes the votes of a wide variety of people. Obama does have the ability to bring in the votes of liberals, including the affluent and educated voters which Clinton supporters insult as elites whose votes do not matter. Obama will also bring in the traditional core Democratic votes, including the working class, just as Clinton would have been able to bring in the black vote under normal circumstances. (This year creates a particular problem in that the race baiting used by the Clinton campaign will cause a tremendous number of blacks to remain at home should Clinton be the nominee).

Education and intelligence are also important in distinguishing between Clinton and Obama supporters. There are several reasons why the educated voters overwhelmingly choose Obama over Clinton. One reason is that Clinton campaigns based upon flawed economic policies to pander to the lower income voters. She promotes policies such as the gas tax holiday and and her proposals for the mortgage crisis which require education and knowledge of the issues to see the serious errors. Clinton and her supporters try to circumvent criticism of her plans by the educated by writing them off as elites whose views do not matter. While Obama is developing a diverse group of supporters, Clinton is now leading an anti-intellectual movement which believes they can shout down those who criticize them as elitists.

Clinton has also depended on low educated, low-information voters when she has spent much of her campaign using mailers and robo-calls to distort Obama’s positions and record. The smarter one is, the more likely they are to see through such attacks. One responds to the Clinton campaign’s talking points in much the same way the do with Fox News. Either they have the ability to see through the propaganda or they do not.

Another reason that education and intelligence separate the voters is that there is a high correlation between education and belief in the liberal values which differentiate Obama and Clinton. While populist on economic issue, and therefore mislabeled a liberal, she is a conservative on social issues, civil liberties issues, and foreign policy. She has stronger ties to the religious right than the presumptive Republican candidate. She backs the same types of abuses of executive power practiced by George Bush. Clinton supported the war, despite her attempts to hide this fact. It is unfortunate that the Clinton camp echoes the Republicans in opposing these liberal values and in considering the educated people who defend liberalism as elitists.

Update II: As I’ve responded to one of the lines used to deny the reality that Obama has for all practical purposes won the nomination, Jason at PoliGazette responds to “the blatant irony and hypocrisy of bitter-end Clinton supporters telling Obama supporters to ‘deal with defeat'” at MyDD:

With Hillary Clinton predicted to win West Virginia by a huge margin, even Clinton supporters are highlighting West Virginia’s usually white-dominant racial demographics as a major reason. But some Clinton supporters are choosing radical means to suppress commentary on the increasingly open racial appeals coming forth from the Clinton campaign’s desperate rhetorical thrashings by banning all commenters who even talk about it.

If there was an actual response to make to the charge that the Clinton campaign is increasingly embracing open racism, why would it be necessary to ban people instead of just responding to them? There is no evidence that the bannings are responses to spammers, since only 6 such commenters have thus far been banned. Instead, it seems that Clinton’s last die-hard supporters are forced to use whatever tools they have to avert their eyes from the ugly caricature of the Democratic Party’s worst history that their candidate has embraced. While it is not true that every criticism of Obama is “racist”, it IS true that the Clinton campaign has increasingly focused on racial demographics in recent weeks. It is that shift in focus, not the existence of criticism, that shows racism.

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7 Comments

  1. 1
    da goste inda masheen says:

    I just took a trip to No Quarter. Ugh! The racist Clinton supporters of WV (as opposed to those non-racist Clinton supporters) and the denizens of No Quarter are not what the Democratic party should be about. I hope the door doesn’t hit their back sides when they leave.

    When this is over, we need to have a campaign to get liberals to purge blogs like No Quarter from their blogrolls.

  2. 2
    Karen says:

    Hey, isn’t Democratic Daily the blog you left because of the antisemitism and defending of Mel Gibson and Holocaust Deniers, Ron? Sure figures. Not only are the Clinton supporters tainted with racism, now we have some connection to antisemitism too!!!

  3. 3
    Karen says:

    I haven’t been to No Quarter and after the comment above I don’t ever plan to. I did see some moron at Corrente has taken only a part of this wonderful post out of context and then added a title to give a totally different spin. The section has a different meaning than they suggest when you read the context and the attack it is responding to. Oh well, integrity and Clinton supporters sure don’t go together.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    da goste inda masheen,

    You made me curious so I checked out No Quarter for the first time. It was ironic that the page includes an ad for Sidney Blumenthal’s book. That’s the Clintonista who was caught spreading around the right wing emails with Obama smears. As for No Quarter, I stopped reading when I came across the post entitled “Let Me Explain to Obamazoids Why We Don’t Care To Hear From You.”

    As for what the Democratic Party should be about, what many fail to realize is that there are vast differences between Democrats. The frequency of votes designed to go along party lines obscures the differences. The populist social conservatives like Clinton are quite different from the social liberals.

    As an independent I won’t say what the Democratic Party should be, but I will say that I will only vote for them if they put up candidates like Obama who support liberal values and opposed the war. There is no value to me in going out to vote for a someone like Clinton who offers pretty much the same governing philosophy as Bush. While the economics are different, in each case we have a slimy politician who uses promises of favors to get votes from their own base.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Karen,

    Yes, that would be the same blog. However, while we can definitely fault the Clintonistas for resorting to race baiting, so far they haven’t resorted to Antisemitism. Of course I wouldn’t put that past Clinton if not for the fact that she has a good number of Jewish votes to risk losing.

    As for Corrente, you got it right but don’t be surprised. If they possessed integrity (or the ability to rationally discuss issues as opposed to taking things out of context) then they wouldn’t be Clinton supporters.

  6. 6
    Charles Lemos says:

    This is unbelieveable. I look forward to doing all I can to defeating Obama. You are throwing away the working class that built this country. FDR must be spinning in his grave. No the reason Democrats lose elections is because they nominate effete liberals that are “out of touch” and who call rural voters “bitter” and “clinging to religion.” I vote my values and Obama does not share my values. Go drink some more koolaid.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Charles,

    That is the opposite of what I am saying. I’m not sure to what degree it is that Clinton supporters repeatedly twist everything said by their opponents thinking they win some political points, or that they are just too narrow minded to consider the views of others. This includes your twisting of what I said and your distortions of Obama’s comments on rural voters.

    I am not “throwing away the working class.” I have repeatedly written of the need for Democrats to consider the views of both working class and more affluent voters if they are to have any chance to build a winning coalition.

    In contrast it is the Clinton supporters who write off affluent liberals as “effete liberals” and repeatedly argue that our votes don’t count, that we should not have influence on the Democratic Party, or that we are not real Democrats. More recently the Clinton campaign has begun to even write off the votes of blacks.

    The New Deal coalition has been dead for a long time. Many Democrats have failed to realize this, leading to their frequent losses. This is an entirely different era.

    “I vote my values and Obama does not share my values”

    Yes it is unfortunate that the Clinton supporters have moved so far to the right on values issues. We support liberal values such as allowing people worship or not worship as they please, as opposed to having religious and values issues imposed upon them by the state. We support liberal values such as increased individual liberty and decreased power and secrecy in the Executive branch. We support a rational foreign policy, not pandering to fear of terrorism and supporting wars such as in Iraq like Clinton. We believe in honest politics, not imitating Karl Rove’s tactics as Clinton does.

    There is a tremendous values divide. many of the conservative working class voters which Clinton goes after do not share liberal values. Many working class people do now vote based upon the conservative values of the Clinton campaign and many do now vote Republican. As I’ve discussed in previous posts there are basically two swing votes for Democrats to go after. There’s the conservative working class voters who have voted Republican in recent years and affluent liberals. I think there is a much greater chance of success in supporting liberal values and attracting the affluent liberal vote as opposed to moving to the right to try to get back the votes of conservative working class voters. I don’t really think Clinton will be successful in picking up enough conservative votes in November to be able to win. Regardless of where there are more votes, I only have interest in supporting the Democrats if they support liberal values as Obama does as opposed to moving to the right as Clinton has.

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