I've known Jim and his wife for years, very casually, through our church. We are not in the same social set. But in the last year I've run into Jim at Starbucks a dozen times and invariably we converse about the economy.
Jim's bank is the local, community bank; not Chase or BOA. Their mortgages are held locally. They are community oriented, community sponsors, solid people. Jim is the exemplification of that ethos. A Republican who votes for Democrats when they are the solid alternative.
Yesterday I ran into Jim and his wife at Starbucks and they noticed my Obama 2012 button, though they didn't make a big deal about it. We talked about the jobs numbers, how things could be much better. And then Jim made a startling statement: "The GOP Congress is to blame for the lackluster economy."
His reasoning, which his wife agreed with, was that the Tea Party has taken over the agenda and they are creating so much uncertainty that business is leery of jumping into the investment pool. He went on to say that this November the Country has to get behind Obama so that the Tea Party can finally be marginalized.
In other words--his Party has to lose at the National level in order to reconstitute itself back to a reasonable facsimile of the America that works for the common good.
Jim and I discussed the need for infrastructure and how government spending now, while the private sector was deleveraging and investment was stagnant, would be the remedy to picking up GDP, until enough consumers were working and deleveraged and able to be self-generating.
Obviously, hearing this from a decent, conservative, reasonable man; a pillar of our community, made me feel that the message is finally getting thru. We on the 'left' must realize that ideological purity is not the path to electoral victory. Jim is voting for Obama because he represents the solid alternative, not because he wants to live in the Paris Commune.
Obama has always understood this. Will we here ever catch up?