John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Revenge of the Middle Class

Posted on November 3, 2009
Revenge of the Middle Class

The elections today should send a simple message to the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats. You lost the middle class, and you won’t get them back until you change fundamentally your legislative agenda.

During last year’s campaign, President Obama consistently stressed how his policies were going to help the middle class. He talked about his middle class tax cut. He promised that any new spending would be paid by the rich. He attacked his opponent, John McCain, continuously for his plan to raise taxes on the middle class. He promised change the middle class could believe in.

He was Mr. Middle Class.

John McCain never mentioned the middle class. Not once. Sure, he made fun of Obama’s celebrity (not understanding that the middle class kind of likes celebrity), he talked about the war (not understanding that many in the middle class are tired of war), and he talked about taxes and the free-market (when the middle class were growing tired of the free market and weren’t that concerned about their taxes going up).

Obama won the middle class (or at least did better than he should have) in the last election, and that is one of the most important reasons why he won the election.

Now, a year into his Presidency, the middle-class is turning on the Obama Adminstration, and more importantly, the Democrats in Congress. They don’t particularly love Republicans either, but at least Republicans aren’t being blamed for what has happened over the last 10 months.

The middle class sees the Wall Street bailout, sees Tim Geithner, a former Wall Street wunderkind, orchestrating it, and they get angry.

The middle class sees bailout money going for things like a grant for Syracuse University to study the sex lives of freshman women, or $800,000 for a project to build a backup runway for the John Murtha airport, and they get really angry.

They get angry because they know that they are going to have to pay for it.

They get angry because they know that they are going to have to pay for the new tax on energy consumption, a tax that they know will make life harder on them.

They get angry when they see a health care bill that may or may not give health care coverage to illegal immigrants, but certainly won’t make their current health care premiums go down. And they know that they will have to pay for that too.

They get angry when they see the President not make decision on or show leadership on Afghanistan, but rush off at a moment’s notice to Copenhagen to see if he can get his hometown of Chicago the Olympics, only to be humiliated in the process.

They like Obama personally (or at least that is what the polls show), but they are angry that the Democrats seem to care more about the rich and the poor, and less about them.

They see all this big government coming, and they see all this bailout money going, and they don’t think it is right. They think they are going to get screwed, and worse they think the country is going in the wrong direction.

And today, they are going to vote against the President and the Democrats, and send a message that they hope will get their attention.

If that doesn’t work, they will try again next November.