Weren’t Democrats supposed to be the party of Everyman? If you went to work and obeyed the rules, Dems would “make work pay”–plus give you unemployment compensation and Social Security and medical care in old age. White male workers are sort of the indivisible denominator in American politics–they have no special economic leverage, and no race- or gender-based claim to special privileges. They’re naked as far as favoritism goes, and thus (not unlike Marx’s proleteriat) are the representatives of universal privileges (such as Social Security). The new Obama coalition threatens to abandon this universality, becoming instead the party of non-universal skills, ethnic and gender identities–of special pleaders, victims and causists. Not of citizens…

Similarly, if you don’t care that much about ordinary white unskilled workers you might be perfectly willing to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, as Obama has apparently been willing to do. After all, it”s not such a big deal to retire two years later if you are an accountant. But what if you are a coal miner? The worst example of all would be Obama policies that push poorer workers out of Medicare into often-inferior Medicaid, as Scott Gottlieb has charged the Affordable Care Act will do. (I await Jonathan Cohn’s explanation of why Obamacare doesn’t actually do this).