At Salon, Joan Walsh writes:
Does Mitt Romney have a prayer with young voters? [...]
A new survey by Harvard’s Institute of Politics shows that voters 18-24 are less engaged in this election than that age group was in 2008, with only 64 percent registered to vote, as opposed to 73 percent four years ago. Where two-thirds said they’d definitely vote in 2008, less than half say that today. “The president’s support among young voters is bleeding away,” Republican strategist Mark McKinnon claimed in the Daily Beast, using IOP data. When McKinnon hyped his piece Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Republican Joe Scarborough intoned that “the bull’s-eye is really on the back of the young voters,” who know that the “burden” of Social Security, Medicare and “the $ 17 trillion debt will fall on them.”
As a matter of fact, the Institute of Politics youth-vote study actually contained mostly good news for Democrats. (This is typical in the media, in which “Bad news for Dems” stories can be found everywhere, even in data that aren’t bad news for Dems.) “Over the last several months, we have seen more of the Millennial vote begin to solidify around President Obama and Democrats in Congress,” Harvard Institute of Politics director Trey Grayson observed in the press release announcing the survey results. In fact, Obama’s lead over Romney increased to a 17-point margin, up from an 11-point lead in an IOP poll last November. It’s true that young-voter enthusiasm is down somewhat, and Obama doesn’t enjoy the 2-1 lead he built over Sen. John McCain in 2008 — but there’s still time. [...]
The toxic but illogical politics of pitting young against old was on dizzying display in Esquire’s deeply messed up “The War Against Youth” feature last month, which argued that the last 30 years have witnessed a massive income transfer from young to old, courtesy of greedy baby boomers and both parties. ”The old are eating the young at the dinner table,” author Stephen Marche memorably wrote. Ick. His piece started out with an economic blooper so egregious that the rest of its reporting is suspect – confusing “wealth” with “income” when comparing young vs. old, then and now. But some of the points he made were valid. We are spending far more on seniors than we are on young people – and it’s going to get worse as the boomers age. [...]
Of course, the party that’s determined to cut Social Security and Medicare is even more determined to slash programs for young people. To avoid the automatic defense cuts promised by the debt-ceiling deal last August, the House budget cuts Pell Grants and child nutrition programs, even the refundable child tax credit, for God’s sake. Mitt (“borrow college tuition from your parents”) Romney is probably not the best standard-bearer for a Republican Party that wants to win the youth vote, anyway. [...]
But the Democrats have to do more to earn the youth vote than keep the interest rate on one category of student loan from doubling.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011:
It didn’t take long for the usual suspects on the right to start whining about politicizing a historic moment. But it isn’t political exploitation to tell the truth. And none of the voices that now decry the truth-telling cared a whit when Bush blatantly exploited the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with politically timed orange alerts and the lies and fear-mongering that led the nation into a war on a nation that had had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks. Republicans have been dishonestly exploiting fears of foes real and imagined for decades, and the cynical strategy’s most recent incarnations have been the questions about President Obama’s birth certificate, the lies that he is secretly a Muslim—as if there is anything wrong with being a Muslim in the first place—and of course the Sharia Law freak show, as if anyone anywhere in this nation has ever been threatened with the imposition of any form of religious fundamentalism other than that emanating from the cesspool of right-wing theocrats.
This historic moment is political. All historic moments are political. History is political, and the only people who now claim otherwise do so purely for political reasons. Even the desperation to deceive the public into believing the lie that the Bush administration’s immoral, inhuman, and illegal torture regime helped make this successful raid possible is purely impurely political. Dick Cheney wants credit for this success because Dick Cheney doesn’t want anyone to remember that his astonshing failures made this raid necessary. Every time Dick Cheney appears on television, it becomes necessary to revisit the historic facts. Every time any Republican or right-wing apologist or oblivious media hack repeats the lie that Republicans are competent, much less superior to Democrats, at protecting national security, it becomes necessary to revisit the historic facts: If not for the Bush administration’s unprecedented failure at national security, the unprecedented terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, would not have succeeded.