It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Political strategist James Carville and pollster Stan Greenberg argue that Washington and Wall Street have made life difficult for the average American. In It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! Carville and Greenberg make the case that our political parties must admit their failures and that voters must reclaim their voice.


James Carville and Stan Greenberg

Comments [22]

Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

As strategists for the Demoplutocratic Party, hats off to Carvout and Greenbacks for diverting the auditors attention again to the Animal Farm style debates regarding health care, jobs, taxes and environmental concerns.

The reason why Stan is whistling Dixie was tripped over several times during today's 40 minutes of infamy: the repeal of Glass Steagal under Clinton is the final AND proximate cause of our current "crisis." And the Obamanites are completely controlled by the Geithner/Bernanke crowd into thinking that nothing can be done about it. The answer is simple: bring Glass Steagal back with a VENGEANCE. Dissolve the investment banks that opine otherwise. The truth is that the reason no bankers are in jail is that we made their counterfeiting enterprise not only legal but laudable. Counterfeit? Yes. The hypothecation of debt by issuance of equity in that debt based only on faith in the currency (and the gubmint) of the United States was, and is, and always will be counterfeiting of the US currency. And Uncle Hank Paulsen's parting shot to make sure his peers got well by paying off overseas banks at 100 inflated cents on the dollar, approved by both houses in record time was, and is, and always will be, treason covering cupidity.

I am a left of left "liberal." I voted for Obama. I campaigned for Obama. He has lost my vote and voice permanently behind the chainlink fences at Guantanamo, in the subsidized aisles of Walmart, and in the continuing wars against fictional terrorism that George Dubya Bush concocted for his photo ops after 9/11. As Eisenhower said: if you want perfect security, go to prison. Freedom and security are at some level antithetical.

The idea that the middle class (for which read working poor, as noted by other commenters)is going to vote at all is pathetic. The only friend Obama has left in this race is Romney, who seems determined to elect a Democrat president despite all the Koch brothers' efforts to the contrary. D.C. is now an unmitigated farce of empty-headed spin-doctoring, which makes the tea party (and its child, the Occupy movement) correct in its primary critique of both parties.

Jul. 11 2012 01:16 PM
Calls'em from Bermuda

@ Joe fm nearby - as Margaret Thatcher once said: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." In fact the Dems and leftists are doomed, and the 0bama regime was their last grasp at control. It has now failed, miserably. As people become wealthier they leave the Dems behind. This will happen with Hispanics and is continuously happening with Asians and East Indians. Even the propagandized youth leave the leftish camp as real life experience replaces hair-brain ideas. The Hispanics and Blacks are religious and many are rejecting Democrat positions on such. The news you hear on NPR and the main stream media is not what is really happening out on the streets. There are 10,000 conservative activists for every 0WS loon. 0bama and the Dems are going to lose in a landslide.

Jul. 11 2012 01:11 PM
joe from nearby

The GOP is demographically doomed.

So they're grasping for everything they can get before the ship finally goes down.

Jul. 11 2012 12:41 PM
Calls'em from Bermuda

Welcome to the left wing propaganda hour. This show is right out of the Onion. And Lenny rarely if ever lets a dissenting voice be heard. Lenin and Saul David Alinsky would be very proud. Heck of job, boyz! Ed Murrow is somewhere in heaven, crying.

Jul. 11 2012 12:34 PM

What is the Democratic answer to the powerful Republican slogan "lower taxes, smaller government, strong defense"?

Jul. 11 2012 12:33 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Boy, I say boy, pay attintion when I'm talkin' to ya, bo'!

Jul. 11 2012 12:32 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

thcatt - good point, and you have my every sympathy! union "leadership" is stale (old, white) and seems bent on the status quo, using labor as foot soldiers in the push to remain relevant. when comes the revolt for bad representation? i'm not union labor, but stand with you for attempting to keep the standard strong for us all...but we seem to be failing to do just that.

Jul. 11 2012 12:30 PM
Rich from Brooklyn

The guys dismiss the wealth of members of Congress as an driver of policy, but I think it makes members fall out of touch with average Americans. They worry more about safety of planes than buses, for example, and are sensitive to tax burdens on people like them.

Jul. 11 2012 12:30 PM
Michael P. Gaughan from Brooklyn


There are Workers and Owners. The term Middle Class originates in Europe and it defined the merchant or business class between the Upper Class Landed Aristocracy and Low/Working Class (non-landed non-business owning people)

In the USA there is NO landed aristocracy, land ownership is OPEN TO ALL. There are only 2 classes Owners, those who own businesses Small or Large and Workers, those that DO NOT Own the businesses from which they get a PAY CHECK.

Since the US economy is a form of capitalism, it is advantageous to be an owner.

Michael P. Gaughan

Jul. 11 2012 12:28 PM
KP from NJ

In 1982, I worked as a cashier at a grocery store in my home town. I was making $8.65 an hour and tuition at Rutgers was $1500 a year (I had no 'college fund',I had to work). I worked with middle class men and women who were supporting families on the full-time salaries we could make at that store.

In 2012, my niece works at the same grocery store and she makes $8.10 an hour and her tuition at Rutgers is $6000 a year. No one who works there full time is middle class today, they are the working poor.

That's what the last 30 years of Republican economic policy has brought us.

Jul. 11 2012 12:24 PM

In reference to the "Campaign Finance Reform", why it is always Obama - Romney discussion? Why we never hear about third party candidates, even from NPR?

Jul. 11 2012 12:24 PM
thcatt from Bergen County, NJ

one of th primary reasons unions have continued to falter is th fact that LOCAL Unions' politics haven't really changed since th fifties! Example: over 20 years ago after completing my apprenticeship (building trades) I went and received a BA w. a major in 'Labor Studies,' from a very good school. I graduated w. honors and up until this very day, I still haven't been appointed on to a single committee. nepotism and favoritism still rules th day in Union politics.

Jul. 11 2012 12:23 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

i adore carville for his frankness, and miss his active role in the dem party; now that he and greenberg have provided analysis, can he provide voters a way forward that's more nuanced than "voting democratic?"

also--are they working with axelrod et al on obama's campaign (or at least, actively, providing guidance)?

Jul. 11 2012 12:21 PM
Sarah from UES

Why does the conversation never go to "Campaign Finance Reform." Wouldn't most of our woes be solved by fixing this big problem? It seems like the elephant in the room.

Jul. 11 2012 12:18 PM
james andrea from brick, nj

Given who Mr. Carville's wife is, why shouldn't I think politics is a cynical shell game being perpetrated on the "middle class" by an oligarchy clever enough to employ him as a shill?

Jul. 11 2012 12:18 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

how can we "reinvigorate" the flagging middle class if the political trend is to disintegrate unions and generally wrench power from labor? what do your guests think about the fact that everyone's squawking that we "need to manufacture here again," when the pervading sentiment is to lowball labor wages? even romney complains that all the solar technology is "made in china," but makes labor wrong in the same breath.

Jul. 11 2012 12:17 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

1962, average hourly was $2.50 and GDP $612B. In 1968, GDP had grown by 50% ($940B) but average hourly had only grown to $3/hr. That is the blueprint that the Upper Tier has been following for the last 40 years.

Jul. 11 2012 12:16 PM

Speaking of NAFTA, was not Clinton elected with Carvil's "it's the economy, stupid"?

Which raises the question - who is stupid?

I think the answer is us - the middle class - ready to be sold another bag of goods....

It is truly - each people deserve their government.

Jul. 11 2012 12:14 PM
stuart from manhattan

According to a 2009 study by the Center for an Urban Future, a single person living in Manhattan needs to earn $123,322 a year to be considered middle class, the equivalent of a $72,772 salary in Boston and a $50,000 salary in Houston. A reisdent of Manhaatan pays more in housing costs, utilities, food, child care, etc than anyone else in the Untied States. So a middle class married couple in NYC would be just under the 250K limit and survive the proposed expiration of the Bush era tax cuts. But what about the typical family of 4? They would be penalized. Why aren't taxes pegged to the geographic area of the taxpayer's primary residence?

Jul. 11 2012 12:14 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

In my view, the NAFTA experiment exposed the agricultural workers in Central America and Mexico to American agribusiness. Their surplussed workers became OUR illegal immigrants. How could we have prevented this from happening?

Jul. 11 2012 12:09 PM
thomas warren from astoria

Wasn't the middle class built on millions of jobs that are now beyond our shores? The Chinese middle class has increased by the tens of millions! It seems that no one is willing to say bring the factories and call center jobs back here. How else can we RE-EMPLOY and thus grow the middle class?

Jul. 11 2012 11:43 AM
oscar from ny


Jul. 11 2012 01:16 AM

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