Dems have become the government union choice
Charles Lane hits at least part of the Democrats problem with voters right on the head.
Public sector unions are not just the base of the party — they’re the base of the base.
But in an era of increasing discontent over taxes, government spending and the perks of government employees, these are not necessarily the allies you want to have. A party that depends on the public employees to get elected will have trouble reaching out to the wider electorate — i.e., the people who pay the taxes that support public employee salaries and pensions.
Bingo. The supposed strength of the Democratic party was its support of the common man – the blue collar worker. The middle class family. I’ve always thought such a characterization was nonsense, however, that was the narrative they successfully embedded for years.
That is now visibly changing. And I think it is apparent that the new narrative isn’t a particularly good one politically speaking. They’re now the party of big government and government unions. In an era of financial difficulty that’s not exactly the constituency you want to be identified with – especially when it is becoming common knowledge that government workers now earn more than private sector employees doing comparable jobs.
And that’s especially true now that the woefully underfunded public pension plans are coming to light and Democrats are casting around for a solution to include considering ideas such as using 401(k) funds to rescue them.
This new constituency is not a particularly popular one and even more damaging is they’re a very visible one. Think of all the incidents that reflect badly on government unions which have involved the SEIU lately.
When the majority of the country is oriented toward smaller government, less spending and less intrusion, working to satisfy a constituency whose entire existence demands precisely the opposite approach is not the best place to be at election time.