Archive for the ‘Blue Collar America’ Category

This article explains what’s happening in Minnesota. It’s long been known that Minnesota’s political landscape was changing. The last 4 years, though, have shown that the pace of change accelerated.

The article opens by saying “Ask Larry Cuffe why, after decades of voting for Democrats, he voted for Donald Trump four years ago, and he’ll talk about his distrust of Hillary Clinton and the need to get northern Minnesota’s mines back to work. Ask the former police officer why he’s sticking with Trump in 2020 and the list is very much longer.” The simplest way of putting things is by saying that President Trump has kept most of his promises to Blue Collar America. He hasn’t been perfect but he’s worked tirelessly to do what he promised. The political establishment hasn’t worked hard to support the lunchpail crowd.

Andrea Zupancich, a real estate agent and part-time mayor of the small city of Babbitt who also voted for Obama and signed the letter in support of Trump, twice testified to Congress that China dumping cheap steel on the US was killing her community. She said the imports drove down demand for iron ore from the mines around Babbitt which cost jobs, battered the local economy and drove people to leave the city. “We were pleading with Obama to do something about this. He started doing a little bit and then it just kind of fizzled,” she said.

Zupancich credits Trump for standing up to China by imposing tariffs on its steel that she says has injected new life into the industry in the US and the Iron Range. “The tariffs, that is causing an equal playing field for the selling of our steel, so we’ve noticed an increase in the mines’ production. We see that they’re hiring people, they’re putting money back into the mines. They’re planning on mining for a while,” she said.

The next time Joe Biden insists that President Trump took over a booming economy, then ruined it, throw this back in his face. The Obama-Biden administration hurt the Iron Range in northeast Minnesota and steel mill towns in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

President Trump got rid of the Obama regulations that revitalized the energy industry. Now we’re energy independent and energy dominant. President Trump imposed tariffs on China when they tried cheap steel into the US. It didn’t take long for China to stop dumping steel into the US. When the China steel dumping stopped, the Iron Range’s economy was revitalized. The Obama-Biden administration was mostly about career politicians flapping their gums. The Trump administration specializes in fixing economic problems.

“We are sitting on a half a trillion dollars’ worth of copper and nickel,” said Zupancich. “We import all our nickel whereas we could provide 90% of the world’s nickel and the state would really benefit. The mining taxes pay for our schools for the entire state.”

The plan ran into opposition from Minnesota Democrats over environmental concerns. To Zupancich it didn’t make sense if a ban on mining in northern Minnesota means the minerals then come from countries such as China or Russia with lower environmental and other standards.

Barack Obama will campaign with Joe Biden in an attempt to salvage what little is left of President Obama’s tattered legacy. An aide to the former president told ABC News that “President Obama plans to hit the trail soon, in addition to all the other activities he’s undertaken all year in support of electing VP Biden – as he’s said, we all have to do everything we can to win on November 3.”

It isn’t surprising that President Obama will campaign with Joe Biden. It’s just that President Obama is past his sell-by date. President Obama got fewer votes in 2012 than he got in 2008. That’s the only time in history that a US president got re-elected with fewer votes than for election.

Obama has participated in several fundraisers on behalf of Biden’s campaign and gave a primetime speech during the Democratic National Convention in which he excoriated President Donald Trump over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and extolled Biden’s leadership.

The former president has yet to travel to any of the traditional battleground states to campaign for Biden, mostly due to the greatly reduced in-person footprint the former vice president’s team has stuck to amid the ongoing pandemic.

The only battleground cities where President Obama might be welcome are Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Frankly, I’m not certain that he’d be welcome in Pittsburgh. Here’s why:

Compare that with this:

President Trump’s message appealed to voters because he preached the gospel of prosperity and restoration. Entire communities are getting rebuilt in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Industries have gotten rebuilt, starting with the energy industry, followed by manufacturing. Remember this?

I’d nickname President Obama Presidential Trash-Talker. I’d nickname President Trump Presidential Miracle Worker. Joe Biden is hoping that blue collar workers will forget the manufacturing jobs that disappeared during the Obama-Biden administration. I’m betting that won’t happen. If Joe Biden isn’t the recipient of divine intervention, the people will re-elect President Trump to another 4-year term in office.

Barack Obama might move the needle a little bit but he won’t move it in enough states. Democrats need to find a new savior. Right now, they don’t have one. They ran 30 (more-or-less) candidates for president. Sleepy Joe was the best of a terrible bunch.

Apparently, there’s nothing that will penetrate President Trump’s ‘Blue Collar Firewall.’ That isn’t surprising. While Democrats pay lip service to unions, President Trump has gotten things done that’ve made blue collar unions’ lives better.

The Obama-Biden administration swore loyalty to the unions’ right to organize. They also led the fight to kill blue collar industries like mining, energy and infrastructure trades. That led to the deterioration of their communities. At his 2016 Convention, President Trump spoke to the forgotten men and women:

After getting elected, President Trump went right to work in rebuilding communities, industries and the economy. He immediately signed off on building the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline. Teaming with Congress, President Trump used the Congressional Review Act to “kill five Obama regulations” implemented in the last days of the Obama administration. President Trump didn’t just talk the talk. He kept that promise in a big way. Within no time, the energy industry roared back to life. That, in turn, gave people in the forgotten communities in the Midwest hope. They weren’t forgotten anymore.

Thanks to the deregulation but also because of President Trump’s start on renegotiating trade deals, these communities started rebuilding. That’s why this is happening:

“We haven’t moved the needle here,” said Mike Knisley, executive secretary-treasurer with the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, who estimated that about half of his members voted for Trump in 2016 and will do so again. “Even if given all the information that’s been put out there, all the facts — just pick an issue that the president has had his hands in — it doesn’t make a difference.”

“He has a very, very, very solid foundation of our members,” said James Williams, a vice president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, whose surveys of members painted a similar picture. “They connect with his messaging and a lot of the fear-mongering going all the way back to when he was first elected with, ‘Be afraid of the immigrant. The immigrant’s here to take your job.’ That resonated with our membership. They feel like their way of life and their way of living is under attack and without really understanding the dynamics at play. I mean, the immigrant worker is being abused by employers.”

It resonated because cheap immigrant labor hurt union workers. It’s the simple economic principle of supply-and-demand in action. Cheap immigrant labor produced an overabundance of a commodity — labor. Companies took advantage of that situation, which hurt blue collar union workers.

Those voters, historically a bedrock of Democratic support, shifted away from the party in 2016, according to exit polls. Hillary Clinton won union voters by less than half as much as former President Barack Obama had four years earlier — and that swing alone may have been enough to account for her losses in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, one analysis found.

This really summarizes things perfectly:

The question this year is whether Biden can win those union members back, and by how much.

This video explains why Biden is having difficulty with blue collar union workers:

Last week, 6 DFL mayors issued a statement that they were endorsing President Trump’s re-election. This week, 3 of those mayors officially endorsed Jason Lewis’s US Senate campaign. While both gentlemen still face uphill fights to win a statewide election in Minnesota, the odds keep improving.

One of the mayors that’s endorsed both the Trump-Pence ticket and Jason Lewis is Babbitt Mayor Andrea Zupancich. She joined with Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe and Eveleth Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich in a roundtable discussion with Lewis. After the event, Lewis said “I’ve been on the Iron Range countless times since launching our campaign a year ago and I’m proud to be back today chatting with outstanding leaders like these Mayors. I am humbled to have the support of Larry, Bob, and Andrea in my campaign to represent Minnesotans and the Iron Range in the United States Senate. It speaks volumes about how radical Democrats in D.C. and St. Paul have become when even lifelong Democrats here on the Iron Range are willing to stand up and endorse Republicans for federal offices.”

Mayor Zupancich was interviewed by Tammy Bruce Thursday night. Bruce was filling in for Laura Ingraham. Here’s that interview:

It’s long past time for the Iron Range to flip from bright blue to red. The DFL is controlled by the Metro DFL, which means anti-mining environmental activists. The DFL’s anti-mining activist wing of the party hate Iron Rangers. They tolerate Iron Rangers only to have a chance of holding House or Senate gavels.

This article highlights part of the letter endorsing President Trump:

“Today, we don’t recognize the Democratic Party. It has been moved so far to the left, it can no longer claim to be advocates of the working class. The hard-working Minnesotans that built their lives and supported their families here on the Range have been abandoned by radical Democrats. We didn’t choose to leave the Democratic Party, the party left us.”

President Reagan once historically said that he didn’t leave the Democrats, that they’d left him. The DFL isn’t the party representing farmers and laborers. The DFL has become the party that’s dominated by environmental activists and white collar elitists. Republicans now represent farmers and laborers.

I wrote here that President Trump won the 4 rural congressional districts by comfortable margins:

In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 54%-38% margin in Minnesota’s Eighth District. That year, In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 61%-31% margin in Minnesota’s 7th District. Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 52%-38% margin in Minnesota’s First District. Finally, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 59%-38% margin in Minnesota’s Sixth District.

It’s time to recognize the GOP as the Blue Collar Party. These Iron Range mayors reflect that change.

We’re already seeing the Trump bounce. The battleground states have tightened further. President Trump’s approval rating improved during the DNC. The RNC put on one of the best conventions in history. That’s because they featured real people telling their stories of how President Trump’s legislative and executive actions improved their lives.

As is always the case, Salena Zito has paid the price in tires, interviews and penmanship in this article. This time, Salena interviews Trump campaign workers in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. What’s in the article should be taught for decades to come. For instance, she wrote “Outside the Trump headquarters, the door here opens and closes repeatedly as supporters old and new make their way into their office to pick up a sign, or three for their yards, a Trump face mask, and, more often than not, offer to help the effort.” Then she wrote this:

“I’ve been at this since 1992 in some capacity or the other, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” explained Tom McCabe, the county party chairman, emphasizing the last two words as he points to the busy office and packed parking lot.

Show up to watch, and you cannot miss the brisk activity. Show up and listen, and you cannot miss the enthusiasm. McCabe is also blown away by the efficiency, investment, and bodies the Trump campaign has placed here in Mahoning for person-to-person voter contact.

“We’ve always told our candidates over the years, if you’re going to do one thing, it’s your shoe effort, and you knock on doors,” he said. “It’s that personal contact, because that retail poll ticks with door-to-door. And what we saw this time is different than in ’16.” He added that at times “’16 was a little chaotic because the Trump team didn’t have that organization.”

The enthusiasm gap is visible. So is the tightening of this race. That tells you the what. This speech tells you the why:

President Trump hasn’t changed the GOP. He’s transformed it. He’s constantly fighting for the forgotten men and women that past admininstrations from both parties ignored. That’s why this will happen:

Trump did not win ‘the valley,’ but he came shockingly close. Clinton won the county with 49% of the vote; Trump had 46.9%. In contrast, four years earlier, President Barack Obama crushed Mitt Romney by 28 percentage points, earning more than 63% of Mahoning County’s vote. This time, Republicans plan on making the shift whole. If Trump flips the county, it will become the poster child for the slow drift of the working class into the Republican Party.

If President Trump completes the shift, Mahoning won’t be the only county doing that. If other like-minded counties find President Trump appealing, he’ll win by a bigger EV margin than he won with in 2016.

Sracic explains Biden’s inconsistency on trade is a big part of the problem, “He is running ‘Buy America’ ads now but voted for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China and NAFTA.” That kind of flippant pandering does not earn voters back.

“One of the mistakes people make when talking about places like the Mahoning Valley is that we think of Trump’s supporters as down-and-out white voters with no college degree who the globalized economy has passed by. Well, that’s a bit of a distorted image,” said Sracic. “While many of Trump’s voters may lack a college degree, that doesn’t mean they don’t work for or maybe even own a small business, for example, a landscaping business or HVAC repair company. They appreciate the Trump administration’s pushback on costly regulations,” he said.

The Democrats’ disdain for blue collar voters is evidenced in this infamous video:

I’ve said this since the start of the faux impeachment investigation but I’ll repeat it again. Whether you call it Flyover Country, the Rust Belt or America’s Heartland, that part of the nation is lost to the Democrats at the presidential level for the forseeable future. The Democrats’ elitist attitudes sink them like Bloomberg’s elitist attitude sinks him.

Kim Strassel’s Potomac Watch column nails it in terms of the presidential campaign. She wrote “The headlines of late proceed from the premise that Joe Biden is on a glide path to the White House. Stories highlight polls showing President Trump losing key swing states, even GOP strongholds. Texas is in play! Georgia is at risk! Journalists explain that Mr. Biden is banking money, while the Trump campaign’s leadership team is in chaos. They feature congressional race trackers, who rate more Republicans as vulnerable. All that’s left is for Jill Biden to pick the curtains.”

Let’s stop this stupidity this instant. Joe Biden is proposing to destroy the fossil fuel economy but fossil fuel-rich Texas is in play? That’s a joke and then some. This article says it all: “Biden’s liberal climate policies feared by unions in Pennsylvania.”

If Biden’s climate change policies worry union bosses in Pennsylvania, which Trump won by 44,000 votes, what’s the likelihood that Trump’s in danger of losing Texas, which he won by 807,000 votes? Does Trump have an enthusiasm problem in Texas? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Mr. Biden is promising to delete the jobs of millions of Americans—at a time of soaring unemployment. A study by the National Ocean Industries Association finds that a ban on offshore drilling alone would cost 200,000 jobs, damaging regional economies. Mr. Biden would overrun the nation with solar panels, wind turbines and charging stations. Basic consumer choice would disappear for vehicles, dishwashers, even homes. The Justice Department would become a weapon against businessmen who run afoul of fast-changing progressive standards.

That will be a huge issue in battleground states this fall. It won’t be the biggest issue, though. Riots and “Defund the Police” will be the biggest issue. COVID will be important, just not as important as Defund. People have worries about COVID but they’ve learned to live with the risk. They’re frightened about the riots and Defund the Police. Outside elderly neighborhoods, COVID isn’t that big of a worry.

Every neighborhood is threatened by Defund the Police. Either that or they know someone who’s threatened by defunding police departments. Further, Joe Biden is on the wrong side of the Defund issue. Yes, Chris Wallace, Biden did say that he’s for defunding the police:

Hint: redirecting money away from police departments is defunding. It’s just using a different word. The effect is still the same.

The Trump White House used the week to lay out a competing vision. At a UPS facility in Georgia Wednesday, the president announced a “top-to-bottom overhaul” of the federal environmental review process, which stands in the way of nearly every infrastructure project in the country. Transformation of that permitting regime would clear the way for new highways, ports, bridges, pipelines and tunnels. That would create millions of jobs, attract more business to America and make the country more competitive. “Biden wants to massively re-regulate the energy economy,” Mr. Trump said, drawing the contrast. “We want to get things built.”

In other words, President Trump wants to make life better faster. Biden wants to listen to AOC’s and Bernie’s socialist instructions. That’s the fast-track to a lost decade.

We lost a decade of economic growth during the Obama administration. We’d experience worse economic growth during a Biden-Sanders-AOC administration. In fact, we’d likely experience a major recession during a Biden-AOC-Sanders administration.

One thing that’s lost on the MSM about the Trump administration is that they’re great listeners. That’s the first thing that jumps out from Salena Zito’s interview of Vice President Mike Pence. In the article, Ms. Zito writes “The vice president began his daylong trip to various corners of Western Pennsylvania in Wilkinsburg, a predominantly black suburb of Pittsburgh, meeting with the African American pastors and community members at Covenant Church to listen to their experiences with racism and the hardships that have resulted from them.”

Shortly thereafter, she wrote “Pence said the first thing he heard again and again was that just public safety reforms won’t be enough.” Pence said “We have to continue to do what President Trump has done from the very beginning, and that is work to bring jobs, opportunity, educational excellence, school choice, and improved health outcomes to our inner-city communities, especially our African American community.”

The fact that the Vice President of the United States would spend an entire day listening to people in suburban black neighborhoods explodes the myth that the Trump-Pence team sees this as a base election. Clearly, African-Americans weren’t part of President Trump’s base in 2016. That doesn’t mean the Trump-Pence team won’t try to do much better with minorities this election.

“The second thing I heard was the role of faith and the role of the church in healing that which divides in this country,” he explained. “You can’t study the history of abolition in America without seeing the role of the church, the populous that thundered for freeing the slaves that literally made the moral case that led us to the Civil War that led us to ending slavery in this continent.”

This is totally spot-on. Christians are taught that everyone is created “in God’s own image.” The minute that people genuinely see others in that light, the equation changes. There’s now an incentive for being people of integrity. Things change when a person’s first thought is ‘What would Jesus do?’

Pence then departed a few miles down the road toward Sarver, where hundreds of people lined on both sides of the street waving flags and Trump signs as he made his way along North Pike Road for his last stop: an economic event at Oberg Industries.

The vice president was there as part of America First Policies’ “Great American Comeback Tour,” a nationwide policy series reflecting the trade agreement and the payroll tax cut of the Trump administration. He spoke for over half an hour to a crowd of around 100 employees and apprentices spaced 6 feet apart following a panel discussion on the reopening of the economy by local Republican congressmen Mike Kelly, Guy Reschenthaler, and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson.

Vice President Pence travels to Pennsylvania and “hundreds of people lined on both sides of the street waving flags and Trump signs. That’s a turnout that Joe Biden could only wish was possible for his campaign. It’s just more proof that the Trump-Pence campaign has enthusiastic supporters in this important battleground state. If Biden doesn’t win Pennsylvania, he’ll lose. It’s that simple.

Biden’s campaign took a cheap shot at the Pence visit, saying “It’s an insult to Pennsylvanians that Vice President Pence is using Pittsburgh as a prop on the cynically-named ‘Great American Comeback Tour’ — because had the Trump-Pence administration not bungled the response to the coronavirus pandemic so dramatically, there wouldn’t be a need for such an enormous comeback.”

When President Trump put in place the China travel ban, he stopped the spread of the virus from China. Biden’s response to that decision was to call President Trump a racist and accuse him of creating a hysteria. A Biden administration would’ve meant a lethargic response to the pandemic that likely would’ve cost tens of thousands more American lives. That’s the definition of bungling.

Perhaps, Joe Biden shouldn’t think that he’s got the Democrats’ base solidified. After reading this article, it’s clear that his base is split and likely unenthusiastic. By comparison, President Trump’s base is fired up and waiting instructions. Check this out:

Noting the eye-popping voter turnout, Graham credited Democrats for getting more votes than they did in the last cycle. However, Republican voters left no chance for defeat, with a turnout “more akin to, not quite a presidential year, but approaching gubernatorial their rivals at polls,” according to Graham. More than 17,000 votes were cast in the election in which all four council members were vying to protect their seats.

That’s in Virginia. If Biden loses Virginia but flips Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Trump still wins. That’s a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose situation.

Mrs. Whitsett praised the president at the White House after she recovered from COVID-19 after taking hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old treatment for malaria and lupus that Mr. Trump has touted as a prophylactic or treatment for coronavirus.

Last week, Michigan Democrats censured her:

As a result of her White House appearance, a Michigan Democratic organization censured her. Last week, Mrs. Whitsett filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and several other Democrats, claiming violations of free speech and defamation.

Mrs. Whitsett’s praise for President Trump represents the Democrats’ worst nightmare. She’s African-American, urban and willing to challenge her party elders in a swing state. If that doesn’t represent the Democrats’ nightmare trifecta, what does? If the Democrats want a future, they need someone this articulate, this sensible:

Unfortunately, Rep. Whitsett isn’t considered leftist enough. She’d likely be called Republican lite or something similar to that.

In Pennsylvania, county Democratic leaders rose up to castigate the party’s highest-ranking politician, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. They also slammed Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment effort against Mr. Trump. It is part of a “Democrats for Trump movement,” according to a Washington Post report, that is causing headaches for the party’s county and state leaders in the Keystone State.

I’ve been operating from the position that this election won’t be about right vs. left as much as it’ll be adults vs. children. Joe Biden has changed his positions more times than a chameleon changes colors. Why would blue collar Pennsylvania Democrats stick with Biden are he names AOC and Bernie Sanders to co-chair his climate change advisory panel? That’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Justin Haskins’ article highlights Biden’s difficulties:

It’s a strategy that has been adopted by virtually every U.S. presidential candidate in modern history: During the primaries, candidates appeal to their base, but after capturing a party’s nomination, campaigns move to the political center to win over undecided voters.

But in this unconventional cycle, Joe Biden is being forced to throw conventional campaigning to the wind. Instead of positioning himself as a centrist, Biden is choosing to move further to the left than ever before to satisfy the demands of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and his radical base of dissatisfied progressives and “Bernie bro” socialists who hate the Democratic Party establishment almost as much as they do free-market capitalism.

Biden is frightened by the prospect of a Bernie Bro rebellion. This means that the Obama coalition is dead. I can’t imagine socialism appealing to affluent suburban voters.

Further, it’s impossible for me to think that the Green New Deal will appeal to Blue Collar America. That’s like a pale of cold water on a hot fire. While it might not put the fire out, it’ll stop it from burning hot. This isn’t the way to unite Democrats. It’s a way to split it in two for a generation.

That’s a Democrat dilemma.