The Battle for Rural Pa
Two years ago, President Obama, speaking at a Democratic fundraiser, famously complained about the frustrations of such men. “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” he said. “It’s not surprising, then, that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
Laus scowls at the mention of Obama. The stimulus and the health-care bill, he says, have done little for Pennsylvania’s steel country. “I don’t like the GOP, but I really don’t like what the Democrats are doing,” he explains, his rough hands clasped. Even though his congressman, two-term Democrat Jason Altmire, voted against Obamacare and has voiced his opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Laus wants to “throw him out.” He wants to elect somebody, anybody, who’s going to “repeal that bill” and cut taxes.
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