Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

Pundits Tell the Republican Party: ‘The Only Way You Can Win Is by Importing More Democrat Voters’

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Congratulations to Ted Kennedy on his historic election victory. The Lion of the Senate may no longer be with us, but there is little doubt that he secured Barack Obama’s win—for as every media outlet has pointed out, Romney simply “ran out of white guys”. If America had the demographic profile of 1992, the Republicans would have secured victory; had the country its 1980 electorate, the GOP would have won in 2008 too. Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which he said would lead to at most 50,000 people a year arriving (slightly below the actual figure of one million) swung it.

The consensus among the commentariat, therefore, is that the Republicans and by implication the Conservatives need to do more to attract non-white voters by cutting down on their objections to immigration and multiculturalism. In order to win, the Republicans must encourage the importation of millions of Democrat voters—an almost flawless plan.

This rests upon a couple of false ideas. Firstly, that there is a straight comparison between Latin American immigration today and that of eastern and southern European Catholics and Jews from the 1880s to 1920s. Sure, some of the complaints sound similar, but there are major differences, and the main one is that it took the 1924 law restricting immigration to facilitate the integration of white ethnic minorities.

Integration has many forms, among them the adoption of English, intermarriage, relative equality of outcomes and voting patterns; minorities with strong identities tend to vote along ethnic lines, while integrated majorities split fairly evenly, as one would expect in a healthy democracy. Hispanics continue to have different levels of income and education to non-Hispanic whites well into the second and third generations, and beyond.

As long as that continues it is unlikely they will turn Republican en masse. Even the pro-immigration Hispanophile George W Bush, whose dynasty is partly Hispanic, only won 40 per cent of the Hispanic vote at the height of the sub-prime mortgage boom. Better than Romney, but in a two-party system not exactly reason to pop open the champagne.

Secondly, there’s not much evidence that Hispanics actually care about immigration controls. If I were a poor Mexican-American farm worker I think it’d be in my interest to seal the border; the only beneficiaries of open borders are big business, self-appointed community leaders and the Democrats. Many white ethnics favoured shutting the door in the 1920s, including Samuel Gompers.

In Britain non-whites have views on immigration to the Right of the mainstream parties, in fact so much so that by the standards of the anti-racism industry many black and Asian Britons would be considered far Right. What good does a steady supply of cheap non-white labour do for them, either socially or economically? Believe it or not, but most immigrants don’t want to turn their new home into their old, which they left for a reason.

Non-whites don’t support the Republicans or Tories, not because of immigration rhetoric, but because party loyalty is to an extent tribal and emotional. In all Western democracies centre-Right parties have difficulty attracting minority voters. The Conservatives won just 16 per cent of the ethnic minority vote in 2010; in France 93 per cent of Muslims voted for Francois Hollande.

If anyone thinks that this is due to rhetoric about burqas or being “swamped”, it’s worth noting that Boris Johnson, perhaps the most pro-immigration Tory around and a man blessed with an unusual, affable charm that attracts non-Tories, did poorly among non-whites both in 2008 and 2012. The exceptions were middle-class Indians in Harrow, and Jews, the latter because Ken Livingstone’s policy of courting one minority alienated another. Boris won London because he had enough white guys—how do you think the Tories will fare in London in 2016 or 2020? Shall we just have the bitter recriminations now and get it over with?

But even British Indians, who are the home-owning “bedrock of Middle Britain” and small c-conservatives in all the best ways, don’t tend to vote Tory that much. Why? Maybe it’s because, however patriotic they are, many just don’t like Tories as a group, and instead feel part of the more multiracial Labour family.

But a side-effect of this is that some members of the Labour family no longer feel at home; while the Democrats have gained from America’s increasing number of Asian and Hispanic voters, many whites have moved towards the GOP. Not enough to shift the demographic change in the Republicans’ favour, but enough to weaken democracy by tribalising it.

The media is unable to look at this rationally because educated people are fixed on the concept that whites are powerful exploiters (“the dominant group”) and non-whites victims, so the consensus is established that this is some unique problem of white American racism. And yet in every multi-ethnic democracy where the majority is not comfortably secure, people vote on tribal grounds, whether it be Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Iraq or increasingly, some small areas of western Europe. If you were a Martian sociologist looking at these trends, would you conclude this is down to clear, repeated patterns in human nature, or the GOP’s “rhetoric on immigration”?

The obvious solution for the Republican Party, and for the health of American democracy, is to turn off the tap, like America did between 1924 and 1965, and allow those minorities already here to assimilate into Republicans.

Even as a matter of principle, conservative parties should not embrace mass immigration because, aside from the fact that their voters don’t want it, it is a profoundly un-conservative policy. But principle aside, any political strategist who suggests he has the formula for winning over large numbers of ethnic minority voters for the Tories by adopting socially liberal immigration policies is a snake-oil salesman.

Unfortunately, so stunned are conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic by the liberal media’s headlights that they’re unable to see what’s heading for them.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why Hispanics Don’t Vote for Republicans

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The call for Republicans to discard their opposition to immigration amnesty will grow deafening in the wake of President Obama’s victory. Hispanics supported Obama by a margin of nearly 75 percent to 25 percent, and may have provided important margins in some swing states.

{snip} It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic Party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation. Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election.

And California is the wave of the future. A March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds—“it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”—compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics.

The idea of the “social issues” Hispanic voter is also a mirage. A majority of Hispanics now support gay marriage, a Pew Research Center poll from last month found. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.

The demographic changes set into motion by official and de facto immigration policy favoring low-skilled over high-skilled immigrants mean that a Republican party that purports to stand for small government and free markets faces an uncertain future.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Real Reason Affirmative Action Wasn’t Banned in the 1990s

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

The 1990s were a time when Black-Run America (BRA) could have been defeated. But it is a little known story that was ensured the rolling-back of affirmative action programs never transpired. It is the machinations of former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer and his over-the-top recruitment of Black athletes at every position (both offense and defense) that inhibited affirmative action from being banned once the GOP took power in 1994.

You see, “The Contract with America” was nothing more than a contract to continue the unimpeded promotion of Black people to positions of power and adulation: former Oklahoma quarterback and – at the time – the next “Black Republican Hope” J.C. Watts would be the man who stopped the GOP from pursuing the ban on affirmative action.

The world we live in now could only have been spawned by the Opiate of America, which helped create positive memories of Watts amongst the almost entirely white alumni-base of Oklahoma that enabled him to get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the first place [THE 1994 CAMPAIGN: THE REPUBLICANS; More Black Candidates Find Places on Republican Ballots, by SAM HOWE VERHOVEK, October 07, 1994, New York Times]:

J. C. Watts Jr., who is running for Congress, is still remembered here as the quarterback who directed the Oklahoma Sooners down the field for a dramatic victory over Florida State in the waning seconds of the 1981 Orange Bowl.

But what really makes Mr. Watts stand out is that he is a black politician in a state that is overwhelmingly white, and a Republican amid a national black population that is overwhelmingly Democratic. Mr. Watts was the first black person elected to statewide office in Oklahoma when he won a spot on the utility-regulating Corporation Commission four years ago, and he is widely regarded as the favorite to win on Nov. 8 in the Fourth District in southwestern Oklahoma.

Mr. Watts, with 92 percent name recognition in one poll and known almost universally here as just J. C. (which stands for Julius Caesar), has shown a wide lead in some early polls in his race against the Democratic nominee, David Perryman, a white lawyer from Chickasha. Many people expect the race to tighten considerably and predict that some white voters who told pollsters they would vote for Mr. Watts would not.

But Frosty Troy, editor of the Oklahoma Observer, a bimonthly political newspaper, said that Mr. Watts’s conservative, Christian image was so firmly established that it could overcome the reluctance of many white conservatives to vote for a black man.
Perhaps even more tellingly, Mr. Troy added, Oklahomans seem to like their football stars this fall. Mr. Watts was a Sooners quarterback in his day, but so was the Democratic nominee for Governor, Lieut. Gov. Jack Mildren. A Republican nominee for Congress in Tulsa, Steve Largent, a former Seattle Seahawk, holds the National Football League record for career receptions. “Oklahoma,” Mr. Troy said, “seems to be a jockocracy this year.”

College football is a religion in America; thus, the athletes who represent the beloved alma mater of the University of Alabama, Auburn University, University of Georgia, Texas University, and the University of Oklahoma will come to be looked upon as Gods. Such was J.C. Watts, whose donning of the “OU” colors and proficient running of the ‘wish-bone’ offense was his ticket to public office.

With the GOP poised to push to end affirmative action, it was Watts who convinced the Republicans to hold-off on this move. As a way to get the Black vote [Watts Walks a Tightrope on Affirmative Action, By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post,May 12, 1998]:

It wasn’t until Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) read a Financial Times interview with Rep. J. C. Watts (R-Okla.) in August that he discovered where his colleague actually stood on affirmative action. Sitting on a plane, Clyburn tapped fellow Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and said, ” ‘Bennie, read this. We have not done right by J. C. Watts,’ ” Clyburn recalled. “When you read what he had to say, he was exactly where we were on the end result.”

After more than three years of decrying affirmative action – mandated preferences for minorities and women in jobs, education and other programs – while simultaneously refusing to abolish it, Watts has come to occupy a pivotal role in the House debate on the controversial issue. Even as Republican leaders have repeatedly given their blessing to measures aimed at rolling back such programs, the lone black Republican in the House has served as a bulwark against any dramatic change.This phenomenon was on full display last week, when 55 Republicans voted along with almost the entire Democratic caucus to defeat California Republican Frank Riggs’s amendment denying federal funds to public colleges and universities that rely on the policy in their admissions. The day before, Watts had joined liberal Democratic Rep. John Lewis (Ga.), also an African American, in circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter urging members to vote against the measure.

“This is not the time to eliminate the one tool we have – imperfect though it may be – to help level the playing field for many minority youth,” they wrote.The amendment, which lost 171 to 249, failed by an even greater margin than the measure offered last month aimed at eliminating racial preferences in awarding federal transportation contracts. While Republicans may bring up a similar amendment in the future, they acknowledge the Republican Conference is not ready to overturn affirmative action – partly because of Watts.

The true test on affirmative action came in early November, when the House Judiciary Committee met to mark up a bill sponsored by Rep. Charles T. Canady (R-Fla.) prohibiting the federal government from considering race or gender as a factor in federal hiring and contracting. House Republicans held an impassioned debate on the bill in a closed meeting, in which both Watts and Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.) objected strongly to the measure. Four Republicans then joined the panel’s Democrats in tabling the bill.

“It was his objection last fall that really convinced us to hold off on this and talk about it more,” said Rep. John Linder (Ga.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

But he also is unsparing in his assessment of GOP leaders, arguing that they cannot afford to abolish affirmative action without first taking substantive steps to reach out to blacks. Watts noted that while House leaders brought Riggs’s amendment to the floor, his bill aimed at revitalizing inner cities remained dormant.

“I would sure like to see them throw their support behind community renewal, and put the same kind of effort behind that effort that they put behind Riggs,” he said.Watts, who co-chaired Robert J. Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign and gave a major speech at the GOP convention, was also openly skeptical of the Republican National Committee’s outreach program.

“Look at the RNC, we probably have one black Republican at the RNC, one,” he said. “How do we defend that, that you have one African American in charge of outreach . . . [who] probably doesn’t have the authority to do outreach?”

Even though Watts’s opposition may block any effort in the House to kill affirmative actions programs, some Republicans are still willing to raise the subject to spark a public debate. One Republican lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said GOP leaders are convinced a greater percentage of Americans are eager to abolish affirmative action than the current margin in Congress reflects.

Flash-foward to 2012: An NBC News/Wall Street Journal showed GOP candidate for president, Gov. Mitt Romney had zero percent support from the Black community. Following Mr. Watts advice sure did work out, didn’t it?

In 1989, Sports Illustrated would publish a cover story on OU head coach Barry Switzer that showed what would happen when you allowed a team of primarily Black athletes become the dominant culture on campus [You Reap What You Sow
Oklahoma has paid the price for the anything-goes attitude that coach Barry Switzer has allowed to take root, by Rick Telander and Robert Sullivan, February 27, 1989]:

An important element in Switzer’s success as a coach and recruiter is that he has always gotten along well with blacks. “My black players look at me as honest and open,” he has said. “They’re not suspicious of me. I’m their friend.”

Barry Switzer’s career can largely be defined by this article from Sports Illustrated:

An important element in Switzer’s success as a coach and recruiter is that he has always gotten along well with blacks. “My black players look at me as honest and open,” he has said. “They’re not suspicious of me. I’m their friend.”

The first of two sons of a mercurial, drunken bootlegger and his tormented, pill-popping wife, Switzer grew up in a house that had no electricity, phone or gas. He was such an outcast that even as a star high school athlete he had to have other boys pick up his dates and take them home. He was friends with the poor blacks who lived nearby and bought untaxed booze from his dad; his identification with them would eventually make him the greatest recruiter of black athletes in college football history.

By the 2007-2008 season, 71 percent of the Oklahoma Sooners football team was Black; less than two percent of the undergraduates at OU were Black males.

In his autobiography, Bootlegger’s Boy, Switzer would write:

I’m not a licensed physiologist, but for more than forty years I have played and coached football, lived with athletes every day, competed with them, competed against them, watched them in action, seen them get beat up, exhorted them, inspired them, made them angry, seen them perform under extreme pressure.

But all I needed to know about physiology, I learn in the eighth grade.

I’m going to anticipate something here since unless I precede what I am about to say with the point that I am one of the country’s foremost “experts” on the subjects, I believe there are a lot of “knee-jerk” liberal types out there who are going to try to label me a racist. I am, in fact, the world’s leading nonracist. Ask any of my black friends or players.

I have seen all of the perform, and my recognition that, in general, blacks were better athletes than whites, particularly in certain areas, led me to be one of the leaders of integration in intercollegiate athletics.

I believe, then, what I say in this area is indisputable, and those who would dispute me simply haven’t been looking at athletics for the last thirty years or so.

In general there is no question but that the black athlete has superior physical skills in all games that involve running and jumping and catching. In fact, I personally believe that it was probably the black athlete who drove the whites into inventing the weight room and also into taking steroids.

The black athlete is usually a much more efficient machine physiologically than his white competition.

Some of you may be shocked to hear it, but it is a fact that today one of the common jokes that is used totally in fun by athletes, both black and white, is a comical reference to “white boy’s disease.” If a white or black kid is made to look silly by some of the better black or white athletes, the comment is often that that athlete suffers from white boy’s disease – which simply recognizes that white boys (generally) can’t do it the way black boys can. And our black kids would use that phrase as a jab to their other black friends whom they may have blasted on a particular play. “Hey, man! You’ve got white boy’s disease!” Just think about it. How many great college or pro running backs and receivers in the last twenty-five years or so have been white? A few. But just a very few. (46 – 48)

Well, let’s just forget that Black males mature faster than white males do [(Meat) Market Failure
Recruiting, Genetics, and the White Athlete, Paul Kersey, Alternative Right] and trust a “mentally unbalanced” coach whose mother committed suicide after he wouldn’t give her a kiss.

It is later in Switzer’s autobiography that we get to the heart of the cultural change that integrated football helped bring to America:

I worry about what is going on with college athletics now and what has bee in the process in Oklahoma and in the NCAA as a whole. I am particularly sensitive to the race-related aspects of it, since I was in the forefront of the emphasis upon the recruitment of talented black athletes. I was playing blacks at any position, depending totally upon their individual abilities, before other team would even recruit them.

But a lot of you folks out there do not realize something very critical about the process of athlete recruitment and the state of racial integration in this country. By law, there is equal opportunity for every child in the country, all schools are to be integrated, and every kid (black, white, yellow, or red) is supposed to have his shot at being president. But that’s not the reality.

In truth, there are lots of different classes out there – different economic levels, different levels of intellectual ability, and, just as important, different life-styles. What has happened nationwide in athletic programs that have mixed all of the races together to achieve success is that you have a mix of color, values, and life-styles. The problem with that is that all of these kids are viewed and judged by the same standard – that of the press and college administrators, both of which  professions are dominated by well-educated white men raised in middle or upper-class homes that had both a mother and a father. To some extent that’s okay. these kids, who are trying to use the college experience as a way out of the slums and the ghettos and to obtain a little bit of the “good life,” need to learn that they are often going to be judged by the white man’s standards, values, and standardized tests. (p. 336-337)

There you have it: Barry Switzer was the man responsible for creating the cult-like status that enabled J.C. Watts to get elected to the House of Representatives and ultimately stymie an affirmative action ban.

The Opiate of America was strong-enough to stop the banning of affirmative action. But, the story does have a happy ending – “A deal for the producer of “The Blind Side” to make a movie based on former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer’s book “Bootlegger’s Boy” could be completed as soon as next week, Switzer said on Wednesday.”:

After speaking in Fayetteville to the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club, so many people lined up with copies of “Bootlegger’s Boy” to have them signed that he decided to tell them about the planned film, Switzer told the Tulsa World.

“In the next couple of weeks, I want my lawyer to look over things and get back with me, but I’m ready to do something, and they are, too,” Switzer said of the filmmakers, including Molly Smith, an executive producer of “The Blind Side.”

The best-selling 1990 book chronicled Switzer’s career as coach of the Sooners in the 1970s and 1980s, from winning national championships to scandals that led to his resignation.

But it’s the book’s story of him being raised in Arkansas in the 1940s and 1950s, the son of a bootlegger who during a time of segregation became friends with black people who were like members of his family, that the film will focus on, Switzer said.
“If you saw ‘The Blind Side,’ you know that wasn’t a football movie, but a human-interest story,” he said. “That’s the way that we see ‘Bootlegger’s Boy.’ ”

Switzer said that Smith – the daughter of Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx – contacted him after reading the book on the recommendation of her father. She didn’t want to make a football movie, Switzer said, “and neither did I. That’s the only way I would do the movie.”

“It’s more about how I was raised in a time when integration and civil rights wasn’t a thought for many people there, in the world of the rural south, and being white and having a life connected to my daddy being a bootlegger, and these people were in my home all the time,” Switzer said of the multiple black families working for his father’s business.

One of only two coaches to win a national championship in college football (three at OU) and a Super Bowl (with the Dallas Cowboys), Switzer said he had been approached about making a movie based on the book several times since it was published 22 years ago.

But suitors had little interest in focusing on “a story of what it was like to be raised in the Mississippi River delta and how that can impact a person’s life,” said the coach who revolutionized the recruiting of black athletes into formerly all-white college athletics.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Liberal Super PAC: Calling Republicans Racist More Effective than Criticizing Policy

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

A top official at a liberal super PAC with the goal of eradicating tea partiers from Congress is telling activists that it’s more effective to label Republicans as racists than criticize their policies.

According to an audio recording obtained by The Daily Caller, Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold, the national campaign manager of the liberal CREDO super PAC, told a gathering of supporters in Aurora, Colo., on Sept. 8 that they’ve realized “policy did not move voters.”

He used Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King as an example.

“When we said that Steve King … is pro-life and believes in cutting Social Security and voted for the Ryan budget, no one cared,” Arnold said. “When we said Steve King’s a racist, Steve King believes that immigrants ought to be put in electric fences, people moved.”

“When you talk about the substance of a man’s character, people respond,” Arnold continued. “Believe it or not, that is not something politicians knew.”

The super PAC’s strategy of trying to smear Republicans is evident with the nicknames they’ve given to the 10 members they are targeting this year: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is “Queen of Crazy,” Florida Rep. Allen West is “Beyond Crazy,” Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh is “America’s Most Offensive Congressman,” and Iowa Rep. Steve King is “Paranoid Bigot.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ryan Sparks Split on Immigration

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan could be Mitt Romney’s olive branch to voters who want to see illegal immigrants gain legal status, with the Wisconsin Republican having repeatedly backed legalization efforts and cast himself in the mold of former President George W. Bush, who fought a battle with his own party on the issue.

But in the first few days since Mr. Ryan was announced, a split is developing among immigration reformers. Those in the business community say they are thrilled, while those who approach the issue from an immigrant-rights stance reject him as a salesman.

Mr. Ryan’s record is decidedly mixed.

As a staffer in Washington, he worked for Jack Kemp and Sen. Sam Brownback—both of whom were part of the Republicans’ pro-immigration wing, and who fought crackdown efforts from within their own party.

As a congressman, he voted for a 2002 legalization bill, praised the 2006 Senate immigration bill backed by Mr. Bush and co-sponsored a 2009 Democratic bill that would have legalized immigrant farmworkers. Each time, he was in a minority of Republicans.

But he also routinely backed the House Republicans’ enforcement bills, including voting for the Secure Fence Act and for a 2005 bill that would have turned being an illegal immigrant from a civil violation to a criminal charge. Most recently, he voted against the Dream Act to legalize young adult illegal immigrants.

{snip}

But Rick Swartz, who founded the National Immigration Forum in 1982 and who worked for decades to build left-right coalitions on immigration, said Mr. Ryan does offer a chance for outreach on an issue that has bedeviled the GOP for a decade.

“Yes—but,” Mr. Swartz said. “The ‘yes’ is, intellectually, substantively, past record, knowledge of the issue, yes. The ‘but’ is, [it] depends on the constituency to which one is appealing. So for high-techs, yes. For Latinos, kind of less so. Because, ‘What have you done for me lately?’”

Mr. Ryan was part of what one reporter, writing for Wired Magazine in the 1990s, dubbed “the pro-immigration mafia.” The magazine said he worked against California’s Proposition 187 in 1994, and then worked to water down the strict immigration limits in a bill Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, was working to pass in the mid-1990s.

“Although he has co-sponsored amnesties to give illegal aliens a path to citizenship, I can’t find examples of Ryan making speeches, writing op-eds or otherwise publicly advocating for the amnesty,” wrote Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, in an action alert to its members.

Mr. Beck said Mr. Ryan in recent years has “discarded most of his bad immigration habits from the Bush era.”

Still, NumbersUSA, which graded Mr. Ryan a “C” for his record, asked its members to be on the lookout for any Ryan statements that would help them delve more deeply into his record.

Enhanced by Zemanta

‘Joe the Plumber’ says ‘start shooting’ on border

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

An Ohio plumber thrust into national politics during the 2008 presidential campaign says the United States needs to build a fence at the Mexico border and “start shooting” at suspected illegal immigrants.

Samuel Wurzelbacher made the comment during a Friday night fundraising appearance in Arizona for state Sen. Lori Klein.

Click here to find out more!

Wurzelbacher became known as “Joe the Plumber” four years ago after he confronted then-candidate Barack Obama about taxes during a campaign stop. In March, he won the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in northern Ohio.

He told an audience in Prescott he wasn’t willing to hide his views on border security just because he’s running for Congress.

Wurzelbacher didn’t immediately return a call for comment Monday, but Klein insisted that Wurzelbacher was kidding when he make the remark about shooting.

Enhanced by Zemanta

In the Long Run, Is the GOP Dead?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

In his New York Times report, “In California, GOP Fights Steep Decline,” Adam Nagourney delves into the reasons [there is despair about the GOP’s long-term future].

In the Golden Land, a state Nixon carried all five times he was on a national ticket and Reagan carried by landslides all four times he ran, the GOP does not hold a single statewide office. It gained not a single House seat in the 2010 landslide. Party registration has fallen to 30 percent of the California electorate and is steadily sinking.

Why? It is said that California Republicans are too out of touch, too socially conservative on issues like right-to-life and gay rights.

Race, age and ethnicity are at the heart of the problem. And they portend not only the party’s death in California, but perhaps its destiny in the rest of America.

Consider. Almost 90 percent of all Republican voters in presidential elections are white. Almost 90 percent are Christians. But whites fell to 74 percent of the electorate in 2008 and were only 64 percent of the population. Christians are down to 75 percent of the population from 85 in 1990. The falloff continues and is greatest among the young.

Consider ethnicity. Hispanics were 15 percent of the U.S. population in 2008 and 7.4 percent of the electorate. Both percentages will inexorably rise.

Yet in their best years, like 2004, Republicans lose the Hispanic vote 3-to-2. In bad years, like 2008, they lose it 2-to-1. Whites are already a minority in California, and Hispanics will eventually become the majority.

Say goodbye to the Golden Land.

Asian-Americans voted 3-to-2 for Obama, black Americans 24-to-1. The Asian population in California and the nation is growing rapidly. The black population, 13 percent of the nation, is growing steadily.

Whites, already a minority in our two most populous states, will be less than half the U.S. population by 2041 and a minority in 10 states by 2020.

Whites have become a minority in Texas. When Texas goes, America goes.

This year could be the last hurrah.

The GOP must work harder to win Hispanic votes, we are told. But consider the home economics and self-interest of Hispanics.

Half of all U.S. wage-earners pay no income tax. Yet that half and their families receive free education K-12, Medicaid, rent supplements, food stamps, earned income tax credits, Pell grants, welfare payments, unemployment checks and other benefits.

Why should poor, working- and middle-class Hispanics, the vast majority, vote for a party that will reduce taxes they don’t pay, but cut the benefits they do receive?

The majority of Latinos, African-Americans, immigrants and young people 18 to 25 pay no income taxes yet enjoy a panoply of government benefits. Does not self-interest dictate a vote for the party that will let them keep what they have and perhaps give them more, rather than the party that will pare back what they now receive?

What are the historic blunders of the Grand Old Party that may yet appear on the autopsy report as probable causes of death?

First, the party, intimidated by name-calling, refused to stop a tidal wave of immigration that brought 40 million people here whose families depend heavily on government.

Republicans acquiesced in the importation of a new electorate that may provide the decisive votes to send the party to the ash heap of history.

Second, Republicans, when enacting tax cuts, repeatedly dropped millions of taxpayers off the rolls, creating a huge class that contributes little to pay for the expanding cornucopia of benefits it receives.

Third, the social revolution of the 1960s captured the culture and converted much of the nation. According to a new Pew poll, the number of Americans who profess a belief in no religion at all has tripled since the 1990s and is now one in five of our countrymen.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Obama Enjoys Overwhelming Hispanic Support

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Hispanic Americans, the fastest growing minority group in the United States, favor President Barack Obama over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney by a huge margin, a potentially decisive factor in the Nov. 6 election.

They could tip the vote in the president’s favor in key swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida. What’s more, the Hispanic vote could put once-solidly Republican Arizona in play for Obama.

Hispanic voters historically have sided with Democratic presidential candidates out of a sense that the party best handled the immigration issue, which tops their list of concerns. They appear to be sticking with Obama despite his record-setting deportation of illegal immigrants. The Department of Homeland Security shows that since 2009 the number of deportations has approached 400,000 each year, well above the number during the George W. Bush presidency.

In the latest poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Obama overwhelms Romney by 67 percent to 27 percent among Hispanic registered voters. That support matches the 67 percent of the Hispanic vote Obama captured in 2008.

During Republican primary debates, Romney said that “the right course for America is to drop these lawsuits against Arizona. . . .   I’ll also complete the (border) fence. I’ll make sure we have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence, and I’ll make sure we . . . require employers to check the documents of workers.”

Romney also opposes the Democrats’ Dream Act legislation that would allow a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants if they serve in the military or go to college.

Perhaps the biggest question about Hispanic preferences arises in Florida, one that could prove key to the hopes of both candidates.

Mark Lopez of the Pew Hispanic center cites “changing demographics” there, which show more Hispanics registering as Democrats in the last two elections. In the past, the Florida Hispanic population had been dominated by Cubans, who are heavily Republican given that party’s history of a greater antagonism to Communist revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and his successor and brother, Raul.

But Puerto Ricans are a fast-growing part of the Hispanic community there and they overwhelmingly back Democrats.

In a hypothetical head-to-head general election matchup with Obama, 40 percent of Florida Hispanics said they would vote for Romney, while 50 percent prefer Obama, according to a Univision News/ABC News poll from late January.

The poll found that Florida Cubans side with Romney over Obama 54 percent to 34 percent, while Puerto Ricans back Obama 67 percent to 23 percent.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Allen West: Tanning Salon Tax ‘Racist’

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) may support parts of President Obama’s health care law, but he has a problem with the 10 percent tax on tanning salons. He told a mostly Democratic group of seniors at a retirement home near West Palm Beach, Florida, that he thinks the provision is racist, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“You want to talk about something that’s really racist? They have a tanning tax,” he said. “I’m not tanning.”

It was not the first time a conservative has made the claim that the tax discriminates against light-skinned people.

{snip}

Sarah Palin and Nikki Haley have named West among their top picks for the GOP vice presidential candidate.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Race, Republicans and Realignment

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

So long as I’m arguing with Jonathan Chait about the nature of the Republican Party, I should say something about his recent case for treating white ethnocentrism as the core of contemporary conservatism. Here, from his sometimes-perceptive, sometimes-less-so essay on the Republican Party in 2012, is Chait’s race-based read on the making and unmaking of a conservative majority:

… the dominant fact of the new Democratic majority is that it has begun to overturn the racial dynamics that have governed American politics for five decades. Whatever its abstract intellectual roots, conservatism has since at least the sixties drawn its political strength by appealing to heartland identity politics. In 1985, Stanley Greenberg, then a political scientist, immersed himself in Macomb County, a blue-collar Detroit suburb where whites had abandoned the Democratic Party in droves. He found that the Reagan Democrats there understood politics almost entirely in racial terms, translating any Democratic appeal to economic justice as taking their money to subsidize the black underclass. And it didn’t end with the Reagan era. Piles of recent studies have found that voters often conflate “social” and “economic” issues. What social scientists delicately call “ethnocentrism” and “racial resentment” and “ingroup solidarity” are defining attributes of conservative voting behavior, and help organize a familiar if not necessarily rational coalition of ideological interests. Doctrines like neoconservative foreign policy, supply-side economics, and climate skepticism may bear little connection to each other at the level of abstract thought. But boiled down to political sound bites and served up to the voters, they blend into an indistinguishable stew of racial, religious, cultural, and nationalistic identity.

Obama’s election dramatized the degree to which this long-standing political dynamic had been flipped on its head … Today, cosmopolitan liberals may still feel like an embattled sect—they certainly describe their political fights in those terms—but time has transformed their rump minority into a collective majority. As conservative strategists will tell you, there are now more of “them” than “us.”

In a follow-up blog post last week, he made a version of the same point, arguing that “the glue holding together the contemporary Republican agenda – the fierce defense of entitlement spending on the elderly, the equally fierce opposition to welfare spending on the young, the backlash against illegal immigration, the nationalist foreign policy, the cultural traditionalism – is ethnocentrism. Republicans are defending the shared cultural prerogatives of a certain group of people.”

I’ll go this far with Chait: Conservative identity politics is a real phenomenon, and its various tropes (a “real America” menaced by Europhiles and “takers”) owe a great deal to a Jacksonian, Scotch-Irish understanding of Americanness that’s always been more tribal than ideological. Certainly it’s impossible to listen to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh for any length of time without hearing hints of what you might call a politics of white grievance – not white supremacism, but a “who’s looking out for us?” resentment that resembles nothing so much as the left-wing identity politics of a figure like Jesse Jackson. And I’ve argued before that the changing demographic composition of the United States is likely to make debates over taxes and entitlements more polarizing than they otherwise would be, by making the old-young gap a white-brown gap as well.

But there are also problems with leaning too heavily on race and ethnicity as explanations for party platforms and coalitions. For one thing, the racial element, once cited, tends to crowd every other truth — encouraging partisans to impute the lowest possible motives to their ideological rivals, and to sidestep legitimate debates by casting their opponents as purely tribal actors in thrall to a “stew of racial, religious, cultural, and nationalistic” appeals. The racial element in the crime debate, for instance, was invoked by liberals throughout the 1970s and 1980s as a means of delegitimizing conservative arguments about criminal justice. But conservatives werelargely right about crime in the 1970s and 1980s and liberals were very often wrong. Likewise the immigration debate today: Restrictionists may or may not have the better of the argument (I think they do, in many cases), but either way Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s birtherism tells us very little about what our immigration policy should look like. So too the debate over higher education funding, cited in Chait’s follow-up: Complaining that stingy old people don’t want to invest in our multiracial future is a good way to evade the question of what, exactly, all our existing higher education spending is really buying us. And I could go on.

A second problem is that race-centric theories of politics often break down as soon as you move from the general to the particular. The broad liberal narrative of a Nixon-era Republican Party that exploited racial tensions to win over white Southerners has some truth to it, for instance. But as Gerard Alexander has argued, the Republican takeover in the South started in the periphery rather than the Deep South, among younger voters rather than older ones, among New South transplants rather than Old South segregationists, among upper-middle class suburbanites rather than rural whites, and so on. Apart from the unusual 1964 election, when the Republican nominee was explicitly associated with opposition to the Civil Rights Act, whites in the least racially-polarized areas of the South moved toward the Republican Party first; the Bull Connor/George Wallace demographic followed later.

The same complexities show up in Republican politics today. If defending the privileges and prerogatives of white seniors were as essential to contemporary conservatism as Chait suggests, you would expect the most right-wing and Tea Party-identified Republicans to be the most committed to “the fierce defense of entitlement spending on the elderly.” But from Rick Santorum to the DeMint-Paul-Lee troika in the Senate, more conservative figures in the party tend to be more committed to phasing in entitlement reform sooner rather than later, and the Paul Ryan plan’s senior-friendly promise to preserve Medicare as-is for the over-55 population looks more like a play to the center than to the base. Likewise, Chait’s “old white people” analysis would lead one to expect that Santorum, the last not-Romney True Conservative left standing, would be cleaning up among seniors in the primary campaign and losing among the young. But in most recent primaries, the opposite has happened: Santorum is winning younger voters, while the more moderate-identified Romney wins the elderly.

Finally, in a polarized country, a racialized read on politics can easily cut both ways. To show you what I mean, I’ll conjure up a race-centric portrait of the liberal future that mirrors Chait’s race-centric portrait of the conservative past (and that helps explain why a politics of white grievance resonates with many Americans). Describing trends in American politics between the 1980s and the present, Chait writes that time has transformed the Dukakis-era “rump minority” of “cosmopolitan liberals” into a “collective majority.” But the word “collective” is doing most of the work there, since obviously cosmopolitan liberals themselves are still just a fraction of the electorate. In reality, the realignment he’s describing is primarily being driven by America’s rising minority population, rather than by the (much more modest, and possibly tailing off) growth of liberal white college graduates. And this minority population is mostly a rising Hispanic population, whose votes the contemporary Democratic Party tends to court not with dog whistles or racial codes or vague identity-politics appeals, but with very explicit and specific promises of special legal treatment (in hiring, government contracting, college admissions, immigration policy, etc.) based on their ethno-racial background. If these promises help cement a new Democratic majority, then (to repurpose Chait’s analysis) the new progressive era he envisions will depend, no less than the conservative era that preceded it, on “ethnocentrism” and “racial resentment” and “ingroup solidarity.” If anything, the racial element will be even more explicit: Chait’s emerging Democratic majority will be less a rational coalition of ideological interests and more a kind of a race-based spoils system, in which progressive elites exploit a system of racial preferences designed to provide temporary assistance to the descendants of slaves to supply a permanent form of race-based patronage for America’s fastest-growing ethnic group.

Is this an unfairly reductionist take on liberalism, the Hispanic vote and Democratic coalition politics? Absolutely. But it’s no more reductionist or unfair than Chait’s race-based analysis of what makes modern conservatism tick.

Enhanced by Zemanta