When a U.S. Senator and a sitting governor from your own party won’t say if they support the reelection bid of the incumbent president from their party, well, that’s a political party that is verging into Jimmy Carter territory.
Party-wise that is.
Carter faced an insurgent bid from Hubert Humphrey progressives in his own party while vying for a second term as president. The result was a nasty primary contest that spilled into the Democrat National Convention in 1980.
And while the roles this time are reversed with incumbent Obama playing the part of insurgent progressive against the rest of us, the fissures in the Democrat party are still real enough, even absent a primary threat.
In fact, don’t expect the outcome to be much different than 1980.
Scores of Democrats running for reelection will defect from Obama before the campaign is done. And scores of Democrat voters will reject him too.
Why? The same reason voters will likely vote to kick Obama out of the White House: self-interest, if not outright self-defense.
Democrat Governor Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia has announced that he isn’t sure that he will be supporting Barack Obama for reelection.
“Tomblin said in statement released by his campaign that he was a ‘loyal member of the Democratic Party’ but was concerned by fellow Democrat Obama's ‘misguided policies,” reports the Charleston Daily Mail.
This wasn’t an off the cuff remark, or a canned press release supporting National Candlemakers’ Day. Campaigns put a great deal of thought into even routine statements. They layer nuance on nuance until they get it right.
And when they say “misguided policies,” they are just being polite.
West Virginia’s newest Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin has been a little more direct about his distaste for Obama.
“If that means I have to break with my party to do what's best for the country,” wrote Manchin in an op-ed in the Gazette-Mail, “I will. If it means I take on a sitting president to protect West Virginia interests, I have and I will.”
Manchin’s bow-shot on SS Obama was returned by advisor David Axlerod on CNN’s State of the Union: "I think he was very candid there,” reported the National Journal. “His concern is about his own political well being. He's running for the Senate in that state. We didn't win the state the last time. It's going to be a tough state for us again, and he's making a political judgment about himself."
And Manchin is also grading Obama.
At interest of course is the $3.5 billion in coal revenues dug out of the West Virginia ground every year.
Even before he became president Obama declared war on the coal industry.
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant,” said candidate Obama, “they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.”
Obama has taken very real steps to make good on the threat.
The EPA has already regulated out of existence any new coal fired plants- the cheapest and most abundant energy resource the U.S. has- has forced the shutdown of other coal plants; and it’s clear they would do much more to hurt coal interests if they could get the fiat power to force change.
While the administration is busy crucifying oil and gas, coal has died upon the cross.
In its place, Obama has offered nothing; nothing for the 30,000 workers who are directly employed in coal mining in West Virginia; nothing to replace the 50 percent of electricity that is currently generated for an electric-hungry country; nothing to replace the dollars that consumers, especially the working poor, will pay for higher electricity rates.
Plunder the rich? Yeah, and then go rape the poor.
Obama has offered us no policy but plunder, pillage, rape and Solyndra.
And if David Axelrod doesn’t get the dynamic that has Democrats breaking with their own party, then let me spell it out for him.
We are all creatures of our own self-interest, generally speaking.
If we won’t think about what is best for ourselves, who is going to do that for us?
The “trust us” plan worked out great for the union workers who lost out on the Keystone pipeline jobs. It worked out great for Hispanics, who have been pandered to and used as house servants for the Obama administration. It worked out great for people who were concerned about more foreign entanglements in wars and rumors of war. It worked out great for the troops who are being misused and abused in Afghanistan.
And it’s working great for the people of West Virginia, who Obama likely considers just Electoral College chump change who cling to their coal and their guns and their religion.
Self interest, as our Founding Fathers knew, is a great motive power that is harnessed into lots of other selfs: self-government, self-improvement and, when necessary, self-defense against the selfish who would put themselves above the country.
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