The Gabfest on a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo in Eric Garner’s death, Young v. UPS, and Chuck Schumer’s assertion that Democrats lost middle class voters by tackling health care.

Did Obamacare Doom Democrats With Middle-Class Voters?

Did Obamacare Doom Democrats With Middle-Class Voters?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Dec. 5 2014 11:34 AM

The “I’m Pregnant, Don’t Fire Me!” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about recent grand jury non-indictments, Young v. UPS, and whether passing Obamacare doomed Democrats.

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For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, the hosts discuss the ethics of Rolling Stone’s piece “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA.” Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit slate.com/gabfestplus and try it free for two weeks.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the decision not to indict Staten Island officer Daniel Pantaleo, the pregnancy discrimination case headed to the Supreme Court, and the Democrats who are grumbling about Obamacare’s weak political returns.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • Josh Voorhees wrote about how bias in favor of law enforcement is apparent at multiple levels of the justice system.
  • The Cleveland police officer who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice had previously resigned from another Ohio police department where he was deemed unfit for duty.
  • “Broken windows” policing has not been proven to reduce violent crime, though violent crime rates in New York City have fallen while broken windows policies were in place.
  • According to the Washington Post, though UPS would not allow Peggy Young to transfer to a position that required less lifting, the company did make accommodations for drivers who get DUIs.
  • Since Young was filed several years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has changed its regulatory rules to allow conditions of pregnancy to qualify as protected disabilities. UPS has also expanded its company rules to permit pregnant employees to seek light-duty work.
  • Pro-life advocates and liberal women’s rights groups are both supporting Young. Pro-lifers fear that by allowing an employer to deny pay and benefits to a pregnant employee, a court ruling in favor of UPS could provide an economic incentive for pregnant women to get abortions.
  • This week, Thomas Edsall opined that Sen. Charles Schumer has plenty of political and electoral reasons to second-guess Obamacare.
  • During Obama’s tenure, Democrats have lost ground with white voters. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 59 percent of white voters.
  • In 2006, Obama attempted to reach out to skeptical Christian voters by discussing his faith, and how his religious beliefs informed and aligned with his moral and political beliefs.
  • Though some middle class Americans qualify for tax credits to help pay for health insurance, few dispute the claim that the poor benefit much greater from the Affordable Care Act.
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Emily chatters about Karen Joy Fowler’s novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

John chatters about Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s notable White House antics.

David chatters about Frank Rich’s recent interview with Chris Rock.

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The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Maxwell Tani.