Thursday, March 09, 2017


White Working Class Whisperer Salena Zito won fame by predicting that Republicans would go for Trump, and holds it with her rare gift for finding ordinary WWC people who just naturally speak in fluent Republican Party Talking Points. In her latest column, her subjects retain their traditional, suspicious eloquence, but the Talking Points themselves have changed, as announced by the headline:
Trump’s voters have high hopes – even if they don’t expect miracles
Sounds like somebody got a memo about lowering expectations. Zito lays it out in a preamble:
MINGO JUNCTION, OHIO — Many people living in this town of used-to-be’s don’t expect their community will ever return to its glory days. 
They don’t anticipate the return to a downtown of bustling businesses patronized by a well-paid middle class working at the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel plant. They want a little fresh paint on the vacant buildings, to cover up the sorrows lining the main business district’s ironically named Commerce Street. 
And they’re not expecting magic from President Trump.
Weird. I recall Trump was very explicit about bringing back steel and coal jobs. I recall also that swing state gomers were hooting and hollering over such jobs during the campaign -- "After asserting he's 'going to fight for steel businesses that have been taken away,' [Trump] said he wants to make Pennsylvania and Ohio 'the manufacturing hub of the world again.' The comments brought cheers from supporters inside a crowded gymnasium," etc. Yet listen to Zito's specimens now:
“All we need is to invest in ourselves with some small businesses up and down the street, and we’ll be fine,” said Rich Grimm, a retired steel worker. Grimm is aspirational, pragmatic about the return of steel or coal jobs, and determined.
They don't need heavy industry -- they just need to invest in themselves, and they will, soon's as they work up the nerve to dig up Grandpappy's corpse, pry out the gold teeth, and take them to some big-city pawnshop for a grubstake in a nail salon! And a little fresh paint!

Even more than that, what Zito's WWC folk need is the GOP platform, dumbed down for credulous newspaper readers:
They’re happy with what Trump has done so far — limiting US entry from certain countries; plans for a wall along the US-Mexico border; taking the ObamaCare bull by the horns — but it’s tax and regulation reform that they all believe will truly help their community. 
“Look, we all know the steel jobs aren’t coming back to the degree they once were, nor the coal jobs,” said Grimm. “Honestly, we never expected that."
You city slickers have got the salt-of-the-earth guys all wrong -- they don't want (ugh) steel and coal jobs, they just want to get rid of immigrants, immiserate the poor, and give rich people a big, sloppy tax cut.

What happened? My guess is, with Trump "taking the ObamaCare bull by the horns" -- i.e., letting Paul Ryan fuck it up in exchange for Ryan letting him use his office for grifts -- things are going to start collapsing pretty soon, and the MAGA dream is going to look pretty stupid, so advance men and women like Zito have been sent to get the gaslights going full blast. Hell, in a few months they'll be telling us The Leader has always said coal and steel mills are an environmental menace!

UPDATE. Comments are terrific. Example: "Mingo Junction ain't exactly a backwater," says Worriedman. "...It's an hour outside of Pittsburgh. The steel plant, which closed in 2009 after 8 years of Democratic malfeasance and incompetence, will start producing steel this month. Trump works fast! Ungrateful fucks." And do check out keta's September 2017 story datelined BENDOVER, PA:
Local painter Jess Splurtz agrees. “Obama never gave us a drop,” he says. “With Trump I feel like the the hose is directed at us and we’re gettin’ it good, enough to really bask in. Sure, the jobs ain’t come back, and the health care looks to be cut off for most of us, and the mental health and opioid addiction services my family uses a lot look to be cut off completely, but you know what? There ain’t been a dark-skinned loafer seen in Bendover for over a month now, not since them ICE fellers took ‘em all away.”

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