The Democratic problem

A USA Today/Gallup poll today gives John McCain a 50% to 46% lead over Barack Obama powered by the Sarah Palin bounce, which has beyond a doubt been given extra lift following the liberal reaction to her.

Clive Crook mulls this issue in the FT today and wonders if the Democrats will ever learn some respect for parts of the American people, for those “flag waving patriots”, or will endlessly repeat the mistake.

“Democrats speak up for the less prosperous; they have well-intentioned policies to help them; they are disturbed by inequality, and want to do something about it. Their concern is real and admirable. The trouble is, they lack respect for the objects of their solicitude. Their sympathy comes mixed with disdain, and even contempt.

“Democrats regard their policies as self-evidently in the interests of the US working and middle classes. Yet those wide segments of US society keep helping to elect Republican presidents. How is one to account for this? Are those people idiots? Frankly, yes – or so many liberals are driven to conclude. Either that or bigots, clinging to guns, God and white supremacy; or else pathetic dupes, ever at the disposal of Republican strategists. If they only had the brains to vote in their interests, Democrats think, the party would never be out of power. But again and again, the Republicans tell their lies, and those stupid damned voters buy it.”