West Virginia miners, Ralph Stanley stand up for Obama

I’m not quite sure why, but I find these two developments profoundly encouraging and, yes, moving.

First, more than 400 union miners in West Virginia stayed home from work Monday, forcing a halt to production, to protest the presence last week at the Consol mine of a film crew from the National Rifle Association. The film crew tried to get the miners to speak out against Barack Obama.

“This was a surprise visit,” explained VP Local 1702, Safety Chairman Eric Greathouse, “and a lot of the miners felt this was a direct slap in the face of the union because they were trying to coerce our people into saying things against Barack Obama.”

Second, bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley recorded what I can only call a perfect radio ad for Obama aimed at his fellow southwest Virginians.

I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but I think we may be seeing the foundations of the Atwater-Rove culture-war politics of the past 30 years or so starting to crumble before our eyes.

(Hat tip: TPM)