Pollster Stanley B. Greenberg, the CEO of left-of-center polling firm Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner, who also happens to be the husband of Democratic Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro, has written this weekend’s must-read, IMHO, an opinion piece in Sunday’s NY Times, entitled: “Why Voters Tune Out Democrats.”
As I (and countless others) have frequently noted, facts demonstrate that our nation’s government is controlled by its wealthiest citizens, the status quo, whom Matt Taibbi collectively refers to as Wall Street’s vampire squids. When many in the legislative branch flat out told us “The banks run the place,” such as Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin stated it, and as it was noted in THIS piece on HuffPo, in late April 2009, the nation noticed.
For years, like many others, I’ve covered this topic a number of times, including: “Another Ranking Member of Congress: ‘Banks Run The Place,’” (6/1/09), and “Sanders Echoes Durbin, Peterson: ‘Big $ Controls Agenda,’” (9/26/09).
In today’s NYT, Greenberg gives us a deeper dive that very much gets to the core of the matter (i.e.: “Why Voters Tune Out Democrats”). And, while—as one would expect any spouse of a Democratic member of congress to behave—he pretty much softballs the President, blaming matters on Congress and (and, indirectly upon) the Supreme Court (i.e. Citizens United, etc.); the reality is that, like all “consumers,” it’s no surprise that Democratic (and Independent) voters are becoming more and more disaffected. He notes that the words from our Party’s leadership—no matter how good their intentions, and more often than not--don’t reflect the end result (what is experienced on Main Street).
In effect, while Naomi Klein’s, “Shock Doctrine,” concurrently plays out before us, the problem within our party is more akin to what she discusses in another work: “No Logo.” See my post from January 19th, 2010: “A Must Read: Naomi Klein Revisits "No Logo," Brand Obama.”
Last but not least, Greenberg’s column was mentioned in two other posts by FPers DemFromCT, late this morning, and Mark Sumner, last night. But, collectively they received just a little more than 30 rec’s. Greenberg’s commentary is central to what ails our Party, IMHO. It’s worthy of ongoing mention. Here are their blurbs, below. If you find my analysis of this issue too disconcerting, please revisit their posts, and rec them up. This commentary from Greenberg is too important to just let fellow Dems walk on by.
Here’s DemFromCT, in a diary posted a couple of hours ago, “NYT: Debt deal 'very close' ... details emerging.”
But others are. Stan Greenberg, in a long piece worth reading in its entirety:Late last night, Mark Sumner, in the Abbreviated Pundit Roundup, noted:
In analyzing these polls in the United States, I see clearly that voters feel ever more estranged from government — and that they associate Democrats with government. If Democrats are going to be encumbered by that link, they need to change voters’ feelings about government. They can recite their good plans as a mantra and raise their voices as if they had not been heard, but voters will not listen to them if government is disreputable.Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.
Pollster Stanley B. Greenberg says that voters are not moving to Democrats, even when Republicans have consistently failed to deliver.Here are a few selected graphs from Greenberg’s piece that I found to be worthy of mention…It’s perplexing. When unemployment is high, and the rich are getting richer, you would think that voters of average means would flock to progressives, who are supposed to have their interests in mind — and who historically have delivered for them.
During the last half-century or so, when a Democratic president has led the country, people have tended to experience lower unemployment, less inequality and rising income compared with periods of Republican governance. There is a reason, however, that many voters in the developed world are turning away from Democrats, Socialists, liberals and progressives.
…voters feel ever more estranged from government — and that they associate Democrats with government. If Democrats are going to be encumbered by that link, they need to change voters’ feelings about government.
…This distrust of government and politicians is unfolding as a full-blown crisis of legitimacy sidelines Democrats and liberalism. Just a quarter of the country is optimistic about our system of government — the lowest since polls by ABC and others began asking this question in 1974. But a crisis of government legitimacy is a crisis of liberalism. It doesn’t hurt Republicans. If government is seen as useless, what is the point of electing Democrats who aim to use government to advance some public end?What do you think?
In earlier periods, confidence in the economy and rising personal incomes put limits on voter discontent. Today, a dispiriting economy combined with a well-developed critique of government leaves government not just distrusted but illegitimate.
GOVERNMENT operates by the wrong values and rules, for the wrong people and purposes, the Americans I’ve surveyed believe. Government rushes to help the irresponsible and does little for the responsible. Wall Street lobbyists govern, not Main Street voters. Vexingly, this promotes both national and middle-class decline yet cannot be moved by conventional democratic politics. Lost jobs, soaring spending and crippling debt make America ever weaker, unable to meet its basic obligations to educate and protect its citizens. Yet politicians take care of themselves and party interests, while government grows remote and unresponsive, leaving people feeling powerless…