Democrats Want The Bill, Republicans Don't, I'm confused.A few of the contributors sort of get it but not properly. What "Jimothy" seems to think is that the Democrats are the party of the downtrodden working class while the Republicans are plutocratic, top-hatted bankers who flick cigar ash at the masses from the windows of their Cadillacs as they speed by on the way to Wall Street. Ah, the perils of trying to understand America through the prism of the BBC...
I would have thought that the Republican Party would be the ones crying out for the Bill to go through, but it seems to be the Democrats.
Can anyone explain why?
Maybe fifty years ago the Democrats were the party of the industrialised and unionised white working class. But there aren't too many of them left these days: those jobs are now in Shanghai. Nowadays the Democrats represent a coalition of rather disparate groups:
1. The minorities, especially blacks. And this isn't really anything to do with Obama: blacks vote overwhelmingly for the Dems at every election.What all of these groups have in common is the desire to use the state for their own class interests. Minorities want abominations like the Community Reinvestment Act that seems to be directly implicated in the current mess. Most of the intelligentsia hates the West and wants to bring it down by brainwashing future generations. Government workers have everything to gain from government expansion. And the Wall Streeters operate in an industry with extremely close links to the state. They all understood that their dodgy CRA loans would be bailed out by Fannie and Freddie and, if necessary, Ms Mae and Mr Mac would themselves be "saved" by the taxpayer, exactly as we've just witnessed. And I've not even mentioned the whole rotten system of GOVERNMENTAL central banking that empowers the Wall Street crowd who wouldn't know a free market if it hit them on the head.
2. The intelligentsia. This is where most of the Democratic activist base is to be found. I'm thinking of teachers, professors, lawyers (especially lawyers), journalists, television folk and almost everyone in the entertainment industry - one of America's biggest. Subsets of this group are the gay and feminist lobbies.
3. Other government workers of all types, although not including too many members of the military.
4. Wall Street. Yes, and why not? Top bankers generally live in the same cities and neighbourhoods as the leading members of the liberal intelligentsia - in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They socialise with the entertainment elite. I note that even the Republican Paulson seems to have actively donated to typically leftist causes. People like to fit in.
And what of the Republicans?
The Christian fundamentalist element isn't that important, despite what the BBC might tell you. Essentially the Republicans are the millions and millions of normal middle class Americans who live in the suburbs and small towns and who work predominantly in the private sector. They do include professionals and business owners who are often wealthy but, unlike all too many rich Democrats, they've made their own way in the free market without any "help" from the government. It's hardly surprising that these cautious, taxpaying Republican voters bitterly resent being asked to hand over their lifetime savings to bail out the profligate. And that's the message that's been given to members of Congress today. Good and hard.