Back in South Carolina, during the Bad Old Days (pre-Newt) the Third Congressional District was controlled by the very powerful, very corrupt House Ways and Means Chairman Butler Derrick. Once in awhile the GOP actually had a viable candidate, someone who would be within 5 points and closing. It never failed, but about 5 days before the election Derrick would plant himself in front of the cameras, in Anderson, right in front of the courthouse. There he would tell seniors the end was near. Those nasty little Republicans were going to take away their Social Security.
Sure ‘nuf, the seniors would come through for ole’ Butler, and he would be re-elected again. He kept this up until 1994 when some very nasty new rules went into effect. After that year, members of Congress would be unable to shift their war-chests from campaign accounts into personal accounts for their own use. Once Derrick was poor. He left offfice quite wealthy, never to be heard from again. (There were a few other reasons, but we will leave it at that).
Those days are gone forever. Lindsey was elected take Derrick’s place, and the Third District has remained Republican since that date.
The point is, Democrats courted the Senior Citizen vote, then again, we’re talking a different group of Seniors. They are post- New Deal. Some of them are the tail-end (unfortunately) of the Greatest Generation. The rest (God Help Us All) are post Greatest Generation – you know – the superficial ones. They’re a heck of a lot more tech and communication savy – so the Dems can’t snooker and manipulate them the way they did their parents and grandparents.
Barack Obama doesn’t give a rip about Seniors, that’s for sure. He can’t con them the way he does his youthful followers. Seniors have experience, rational intellect, and know how to tell when they are being fed a line of bull.
Obama’s people have announced that Seniors will not receive a cost of living increase in Social Security because there is no inflation. To misquote Barney Frank, what planet is the Obama Administration from? No, I don’t like to see spending, but there is a time and a place not to be so tone deaf, and Obama is tone deaf (thank heavens!)
All of this has given an opening to the GOP. Today Michael Steele introduced the GOP’s Senior Bill of Rights.