It’s always raining near Philadelphia (and everywhere)

Posted in Stumble and Fail at 8:35 am by George Smith

Listening, as all good swells do, to National Public Radio, the air freshener for the mind, the Times sent its Pennsylvania boy — Michael Sokolove — back to his hometown to put the thermometer in the anus of the locals.

As a piece, it was like NPR’s, commented upon last week here.

Sokolove’s place of maturation was Levittown, something he notes along with his two previous missions to consult the heevahavas, conducted during the presidential race. I mocked it back in 2008 here:

Michael Sokolove had returned to his old home ‘burg, Levittown, in Pennsyltucky. As everywhere in the state, it’s “whiter, older and less educated than the rest of the nation.”

There is mention of Reagan Democrats, white men who turn into Republicans the instant they find a candidate on the other side of the fence who seems like a strong and manly daddy-figure. Maybe John McCain in the general election.

They’ll be union workers come upon hard times by the closing of a local steelworks, in Levittown — US Steel’s Fairless Works, as opposed to Bethlehem Steel in the Lehigh Valley. The same kind of union workers, who more often than not, voted for Republicans and social and economic policies inimical to their standard of living and chosen livelihood.

In the Times piece, made for the Week in Review this Sunday, Sokolove writes:

It is a place that can seem like a relic: older, whiter and less educated than much of the rest of America.

However, outside the reusable thought — which is not entirely true since good education has been in decline everywhere, the air seems to have gone out of Sokolove. His is a glum thing, devoid of the usual belligerent Tea Party quotes or profound wisdoms of the power drinkers at the neighborhood bar. Surprisingly, there’s even one statement, from a fired worker, that he won’t be voting for the GOP. The Republicans, he mused, had put up “nut jobs” for election, in retaliation against those who voted for Obama.

Sokolove no longer has a stake with these people, just like the rest of his journalism brethren so fond of covering them. However, he may be signalling he’s more than a little worried about what will happen when and if the GOP takes control in Congress. That would be the rational way of looking at the world.

However, it’s still Pennsylvania, and the politician in defense of his seat, a Democrat named Patrick Murphy, is not looking good. Mass unemployment, personal catastrophe, obvious national decline, the accelerating destruction of what remains of the middle class, all piled together at the worst time for the Democratic Party.

After a desultory canvassing trip with Murphy on a rainy night, Sokolove concluded:

Several people shook Mr. Murphy’s hand and commented on how cold it was. They couldn’t believe that he was outside on such a horrid night. But they let him stand at the door. No one invited him in for so much as a cup of hot tea.

Census workers were treated worse. At least they didn’t call the police on the guy for interrupting sports tv.

Hat tip to CE for the notice.

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