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Sirota's claim is factually inaccurate. But they allow certain groups to play the "I never left the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me" game. "Facts are stupid things," as Reagan said.
Key distinction, of course: Race. Obama, last I saw, was running a few points ahead of McCain among the white working class. But his margins among Latinos and black folks -- two groups much more likely to be working-class than whites -- are enormous and probably even wider than the headline numbers at that income level.
Which is why we point out that neglecting the race dynamic makes the argument about Democrats' directon fatally flawed. The conclusion -- "Dems need to be more populist or we're going to bitch and moan non-stop!" -- might be a good one, but the premise is simply wrong. The shift has a lot more to do with the culture wars than with enormous changes in the Democratic platform. The Dems have been running on basically the same platform for about 70 years, the only major changes being Truman's addition of universal health care, the Kennedy-Johnson switch on civil rights, and the party's support for Roe.
But a key goal of Sirota's perspective has always been excuse-making for backwardness, not change.
Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
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