“I’m tickled to death with it,” Ms. Evans, 49, said of her new coverage as she walked around the Kentucky State Fair recently with her daughter, who also qualified for Medicaid under the law. “It’s helped me out a bunch.”Let us pause first to note that bizarre notion of the President's power, greater than anything Confucius ascribed to the emperor: “Nobody don’t care for nobody no more, and I think he’s got a lot to do with that.” The mind boggles. But then ponder that even though this woman has gotten herself and her daughter on Medicaid thanks to the efforts of the President and other Democrats, she still hates them. She is voting prejudice, not self interest. Based on the polls, the people of Kentucky (at least the white people) agree with her, and as a result the charisma-free Mitch McConnell will coast to reelection.
But Ms. Evans scowled at the mention of President Obama — “Nobody don’t care for nobody no more, and I think he’s got a lot to do with that,” she explained — and said she would vote this fall for Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, who is fond of saying the health care law should be “pulled out root and branch.”
We see this sort of thing all over America. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe once listed the issues that matter to his constituents as “God, gays, and guns.” Republicans have long anguished over why they can't get churchgoing, small-business-owning Latinos to vote for them, but the answer is pretty simple; people hate to be told, “we don't want you here.” Ideology and identity trump interest.
Not entirely, of course -- no political party could survive in America that didn't at least claim to have pocketbook solutions for its voters. But the older I get the less impressed I am by self-interest as an explanation of anything.