Monday, October 23, 2006

The Not So "Great" State of Indiana

Another NYT article contradicts DeVos' statement that the rest of the country is doing "great" except for Michigan.
Indiana, so heavily Republican that it has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964, has become an unexpected battleground in this year’s Congressional elections. [...]

What is happening here in the Crossroads of America? [...]

Voters seem focused on larger matters. From the hills of New Albany near the Kentucky border to the gray streets of Mishawaka near the Michigan border, scores of voters in the three districts said in interviews that they were uneasy about Iraq, illegal immigration, the economy and the cost of health care. [...]

Second District

Representative Chris Chocola, a Republican, and the Democrat, Joe Donnelly, a lawyer and businessman, are in a race that was never supposed to be so close, though the district has elected Democrats in the past.

The economy and immigration loom as large as Iraq in this blue-collar district. Many auto-parts plants have closed or been cut back. Workers are nervous, and some say that Mr. Chocola does not understand their predicament because he is independently wealthy.

Plant workers blame Washington for higher gasoline prices, which hurt demand for automobiles; for spending money on Iraq that could be spent at home; and for failing, as they see it, to stop illegal immigrants from taking jobs in nonunion shops. [...]

“Billions of dollars go to China, they’re taking away our jobs, and they call it free trade,” said Richard Rittenhouse Jr., leaning against a friend’s pickup after their shift at the AM General Hummer H2 plant in Elkhart.

Illegal immigrants, whose numbers are relatively small in Indiana, but are concentrated in some areas, are “working hard and cheap” in nonunion plants Mr. Rittenhouse said, while union jobs are trimmed.
Plant closings and cut backs, concerns about the high cost of health care, and uneasiness about the economy. It appears that Michigan isn't the only state feeling the pain.

4 comments:

The Disembodied Head of Dick Devos said...

ENOUGH WITH THE CHINA STUFF!!

Sorry. Getting a little nervous with all this loose talk about health insurance and the economy maybe not being as rosy as billed. The important thing to focus on is "Everything is the Governor's fault."

If we can't do that, can we at least go back to the "Dick Devos supports intelligent design" thing, OK?

Kvatch said...

Setting aside the fact that the tone of those quotes sounds insultingly apologitic, seems to me that the rust-belt states are grokking that voting Republican is voting against their economic interest. Nothing strange there at all.

Lew Scannon said...

Well, Kvatch, voting Republican has always been against the workers economic interest, it's just too bad they're realizing it now, when all their jobs are being sent somewhere else.

Kathy said...

Disembodied Head, I'm willing to get off the China stuff and talk about something like that pyramid scheme Amway. How many of those jobs pay living wages? Any benefits? Pensions?