Right and left read the same writing on the wall from Scott Brown’s upset victory in Massachusetts, and draw conflicting conclusions. Both Pat Buchanan and Thomas B. Edsall of The New Republic see Obama’s agenda as slanted toward minorities — but each views that agenda in a starkly different light.
Here’s Pat Buchanan:
So what have Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi been doing for a year? Crafting a federal takeover of health care with a vast plan that provides coverage for the uninsured—most of whom are minorities—while sticking it to Medicare recipients, 80 percent to 90 percent of whom are white.
Immigrants are 21 percent of the uninsured, but only 7 percent of the population. This means white folks on Medicare or headed there will see benefits curtailed, while new arrivals from the Third World, whence almost all immigrants come, get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. Any wonder why all those Tea Party and town-hall protests seem to be made up of angry white folks?
Buchanan sees an opportunity for Republicans to reverse their 2008 loss if they stake out positions that will attract white voters:
An end to affirmative action and ethnic preferences, an end to bailouts of Wall Street bankers, a moratorium on immigration until unemployment falls to 6 percent, an industrial policy that creates jobs here and stops shipping them to China appear a winning hand in 2012.
I’d vote for that.
Now, back to Mr. Thomas B. Edsall, who sees the same social-political alignment but takes the opposite side. The magazine he writes for, The New Republic, combines liberal social and economic policies with a hawkish foreign policy. Translation: It’s another Neocon tabloid. (No wonder homosexual activist Jamie Kirchick used TNR to launch his smears against Ron Paul, and Neocon patriarch Robert Kagan toils there as an associate editor.)
Edsall is even more explicit in describing the significance of the Federal takeover of health care:
The harsh reality is many voters consider the health care bill a multibillion-dollar transfer of taxpayer money to the uninsured, a population disproportionately, although by no means exclusively, made up of the poor, African Americans, Latinos, single parents, and the long-term unemployed. Providing medical care to this population is an explicit goal of the legislation, and a worthy goal, but political suicide in the current environment.
As everyone knows, the United States is undergoing a profound demographic transformation. Non-Hispanic whites are likely to become a minority by the year 2042. This shift underlies the theory of a Democratic realignment: Pro-Democratic groups are growing while the pro-Republican white population is declining.
And that’s a good thing, according to Edsall. The progressive agenda — shared by liberals and Neocons — requires a demographic revolution to succeed. That’s why Bush/Cheney pushed amnesty for illegal aliens, and why Obama planned to take it up after he passed his health care takeover. But despite that temporary setback, Edsall sees hope for the progressive agenda in current population trends:
From 1988 to 2008, [Ruy Teixeira of the Center for American Progress] wrote, the importance of moderate and low-income white voters had steadily diminished: “The minority share of voters in presidential elections has risen by 11 percentage points, while the share of increasingly progressive white college graduate voters has risen by four points. But the share of white-working class voters, who have remained conservative in their orientation, has plummeted by 15 points.” It was the dawn of an enlightened political era, he explained: “A new progressive America is on the rise.”
That’s the fork in the road we’ve paused at. Will we agree to go down the path toward that new progressive America, or not?