The nation’s public discourse of late has been consumed by two subjects: the public health risk posed by Ebola; and the collapse of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy in Iraq.
Almost all political experts agree: this upcoming midterm election will be a referendum on the Obama Administration’s abysmal national security record — both at home and abroad. Deep Democratic Party losses were already expected in both the House and the Senate, raising the prospect of sweeping GOP gains in the Congress.
The confluence of these two discourses makes New York’s 26th congressional district, largely blue collar and working class, quite contestable. New York’s 26th includes the Reagan-Democrat suburbs that have elected Republicans like Jack Quinn and Jack Kemp, though in redistricted forms over the decades.
These voters trend more socially conservative, but not by much. They are Democrats because of organized labor and the community’s working class roots. They resent issues like immigration reform and have visceral reactions to politicians who dare support free trade or NAFTA. Statistics suggest that they are slightly less formally educated, considerably older, and much poorer than national averages.
Weppner’s uncompromising style and direct-to-the-point posture is reminiscent of Carl Paladino, but packaged in a more friendly soccer-mom-from-Williamsville form. Mind you, Carl Paladino — even with his more brute manner — won these same Buffalo suburbs by wide margins.
Weppner has blanketed WBEN’s airwaves with a scathing and unapologetic critique of the Obama Administration.
The Obama Administration’s withdrawal of an American military presence in Iraq is the most serious blight on his presidency, critics argue. The collapse of security there following the American withdrawal gave rise to the most ferocious terrorist state we’ve ever seen — on President Obama’s watch.
The error in judgement is so stunning because it undermines the premise of his election. He was the candidate for peace and represented an apologetic, more submissive America. He then cut military spending, downsized our military footprint, and destabilized global security by weakening our forward posture in the world.
Other foreign policy failures– as egregious as they are in their own right –seem now to pale in comparison.
Benghazi. Fast and Furious. Ignoring Syria. The Arab Spring. No Arab-Israeli peace process. An emboldened Putin.
But more damaging than anything else has been the eroded respect that we had once commanded on the global stage. Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies are unsure if they can trust us.
Weppner’s critiques may resonate with the 26th’s electorate — especially among disaffected anti-establishment voters whose silent majority has always been capable of ousting incumbents.