This is a lovely interview about how the Democratic Party became the party of white upper middle class professionals. Watch the video.
That’s the class that consistently gets what it wants out of the party. That’s also the class that’s by and large fine with American inequalities. They are comfortable.
Here are some highlights.
1) The short story is that the Dems split with organized labor over the Vietnam War, and once they were unmoored from organized labor, the Dems stopped caring about the working poor as a central aspect of their identity.
2) The comparison between FDR’s brain trust and Obama/Clinton’s brain trust was great. FDR’s brain trust orchestrated the New Deal and weren’t all Ivy League academics, and the ones that were, weren’t orthodox in their departments. Obama, on the other hand, lots of Harvard, lots of Yale, and the ones who work for him are the orthodox folks at their schools. Our orthodox credentialed smart people are bad at generating wealth for anyone but the top 10 percent, which they happen to occupy.
3) This professional class of Dems has a lot in common in intellectual disposition with bankers and tech folks, which explains the revolving door and persistent lack of anti-trust and other regulatory enforcement. It’s hard to think of your classmates, dormmates, and buddies as criminals.
4) Complexity is a virtue with them, whereas in other administrations it’s been a sign of fraud. Though they explain NAFTA and TTP with simple phrases, “Globalization” and “Free Trade” as if it’s the natural order of things, both of those agreements are as thick as phone books, and none of those words are written by people with working American’s interests in mind.
5) They can lose state legislatures, Governors’ races, and the US Congress, but they don’t blame themselves because they, themselves, are doing fine, as white upper middle class professionals in the Obama economy.