Hillary Clinton blaming the calendar for why she’s not your President today elucidates my earlier points about the Democratic Party running from salvation — as if they’ve discovered a shortcut to redemption.
The calendar fails to adequately explain one of several reasons why traditionally-Democratic voters either switched parties or stayed home last November: the economic “recovery” under President Barack Obama.
There was no recovery. Or at least not the kind of recovery that kept Democrats in a safe position on Election Day.
I know — few of you will push back with the same talking points used by Team Obama like “record jobs growth,” “72 consecutive quarters of jobs growth,” “near full employment” and “better than President George W. Bush’s record.”
But even President Obama’s former Council of Economic Advisers chairperson, Alan Krueger, dismantled the “recovery” story in a report [PDF] last year.
The Princeton economist, in collaboration with Harvard’s Lawrence Katz, found that 94 percent of the new jobs created by the US economy between 2005 and 2015 were in the “involuntary part-time” category. These jobs generally fall under the “alternative work” category.
We’re talking about millions of people who want full-time jobs, but can’t find them. Instead, they entered the lower-paying “gig economy” of contract work, accepted temporary jobs or spent a few hours a week working below their earnings potential in a restaurant, coffee shop or retail store.
Nope, the Affordable Care Act did not drive people to ditch their full-time jobs to pursue their passion for making cappuccino art, or prompt employers to create part-time jobs as a response to the ACA employer mandate. The Economic Policy Institute explains:
The [ACA] provision requires that certain employers pay a fee if they don’t offer a minimum level of health insurance to employees working 30 or more weekly hours. Had these health care–related labor costs prompted employers to reduce more positions to part-time hours, there would be a number of trends in the data that suggest a structural change in involuntary part-time working or hours worked, and these trends do not appear.
With 11 years of fewer work hours, along with lower wages and annual earnings — not to mention the large number of people who involuntarily left the workforce — how happy do you expect these people to be about the political party in power on election day?
The Democratic vanguard has been aware of this jobs problem well before Krueger and Katz’s report. Remember what former DNC interim head Donna Brazile wrote in a February 13, 2016 email, now made famous by Wikileaks, to Clinton’s Presidential campaign chair John Podesta:
I think people are more in despair about how things are—yes new jobs but they are low wage jobs. HOUSING is a huge issue. Most people pay half of what they make to rent…
In addition, the Democratic Party leaders played themselves by tethering their campaign messaging on a recovery that’s been absent in many parts of the country.
This invisible recovery is not confined to Appalachia or the Rust Belt. For example, cities like New York saw income inequality rise during the Obama years.
History shows that poverty and desolation can draw out people’s worst fears and prejudices. Donald Trump’s rise in relevance was inevitable because a part-time jobs recovery did not translate into a substantive change in the fortunes of many Americans.
Except blame the calendar. Despite facts to the contrary.
Or blame THE RUSSIANS.
Or James Comey.
Or blame the poverty and working classes Democrats claim to represent.
Okay — let’s include the “Resist” movement that Clinton just joined as something Democrats are doing. I tackle that topic later.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of people who voted Democrat last November have regrets today, despite Trump’s Presidency.
The most astonishing part is that Democrats — having learned absolutely nothing from November’s election meltdown and blindly clinging to all beef against anything or anyone who didn’t enable Hillary Clinton’s presumably inevitable crowning — have neither a resonating campaign message nor a pragmatic set of policies which will convince a wider circle of voters that the party, once a sinner, is now born again …
song currently stuck in my head: “i can’t help it (original demo)” – michael jackson