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Sunday, September 2, 2012
Benjamin T Moore, Jr.: If Mitt Is Losing The "Redneck" Vote... What's He Got Left???
Benjamin T Moore Jr
How do you know Mitt Romney, the Republican Party and all the billionaires who're funding them are in trouble? Well, you certainly have to go beyond the slick campaign ads, biased news channels and look for other signs. You cannot see the wind, yet you can track it's passage by observing the leaves on the trees, the grass gently bowing and it's feel on your cheek. If you watch FOX news - more correctly FAUX News - you will come away with the impression that this election is in the bag for Mitt Romney. If you watch CNN - FOX Lite - you will believe that the election is extremely close with Mitt having a slim lead. Watch MSNBC and you'll get the impression that President Obama has a clear lead. Who's right?
Sometimes the most accurate information comes from other sources that are not even on the political radar. We got such an indicator on Thursday. This indicator was delivered by Nielsen's overnight ratings. The fourth episode of TLC's - The Learning Channel - "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," a show based on a "redneck" family with a child competing in the "Toddlers in Tiaras" beauty pageants, with just shy of 3 million viewers. It out performed all the other Cable outings for the evening covering the RNC Convention and garnered a 1.3 rating. FOX News came closest with a 1.2 rating. "Honey Boo Boo" beat ABC and CBS combined and topped NBC by two-tenths of a point.
When more people from the demographic that Mitt Romney is desperately courting would rather watch a 6 year old playing dress up, than watch their signature event, what does this tell us? The Republicans spent a ton of money to create the slickest infomercial they were capable of. They've race baited, out and out lied, filled the television and radio waves with ad after ad to tell the American people that their sky is falling and impending disaster will consume this nation if President Obama is reelected. They have spent a lot of money targeting the "redneck vote." Before some people get their panties in a knot, the appellation "redneck" originates from the description of farmers who used to walk behind their plows with their heads down exposing the back of their necks to the burning rays of the sun. Thus it applied to people who earn their living by working hard with their hands tending their land.
The Republicans have long considered this a fertile group to seek votes from. They're hardworking people who because our society has made the move to a more industrial, now technology based economy, are not doing as well as in days gone by. The Republican calculation has been that these people are the easiest to persuade, the cause for their economic malaise are people of color and "illegal" immigrants. Get these people agitated enough to flood to the polls and Republicans believe they'll do well come November. Thus did they design their entire presentation to appeal to this demographic. The selection of music and artists was to appeal to the perceived tastes of the viewers they expected to collect. Clearly they failed. Ratings don't lie. Advertisers who bought spots to have their products seen by the demographic the Republicans purport to attract, would have done much better buying ad time on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." It would have been cheaper to boot!
Another key indicator of Republican failure has been the customary "Bump" in the polls candidates usually receive. There is usually a nice "Bump" in the polls following the announcement of the Vice Presidential pick. Remember Sarah Palin? Her pick put John McCain squarely in the positive... until she opened her mouth and started doing interviews. Mitt Romney got no such bounce from Paul Ryan. Candidates also get a "Bump" following their national conventions. We have yet to see any positive movement for Mitt Romney in spite of the Republican convention and all the money from his billionaire donors. In fact, one of his main donors - David Koch of Koch Brothers Fame - has jumped ship.
Is this election in the bag for President Obama? Absolutely NOT! We still need to get out our vote! What we are seeing in my opinion is the collapse of the Republican house of cards they've built out of lies told to the American people. Like the little boy who cried wolf, you can only tell so many lies before people realize whom they're dealing with. This is the second election cycle in which the Republicans have tried to lie their way into the White House. Last election it was "Death Panels," Birtherism, President Obama was a secret Muslim... until they discovered Rev. Wright, he hung out with terrorists when he was 8 years old and on and on. Never mind that it didn't work then, it's all they've got. So the lies keep on coming. Insanity has been defined as continuing to do the same thing, expecting a different result.
I have always been puzzled by the rhetorical criticisms coming from Republicans about the evils of government. Most often these critiques are leveled by those who've been in government the longest. If government is the problem they claim it to be, aren't they responsible for the contributions to the problem they've made? They've had years to fix theses supposed problems, why haven't they? They have voting records. Surely they ought to at least be able to point to bills, they've sponsored or votes they've made that were in accordance with making the improvements they suddenly claim to be so in favor of?
• John Boehner - 21 years in the House of Representatives