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Demographics

I have heard a host of commentators from various outlets and backgrounds point to the demographics of the Democratic electoral coalition and note, therefore, that demographics explain the election.

Well, yes and no.

Yes, Obama won with a coalition of voters from various demographic groups (not especially odd for a Democrat, although more dramatic than the recent past, perhaps).

But no, because there is nothing inherent about being black, latino, or female that means that one is destined to vote Democratic,

It is about policy.

Take latinos:  it should be a shock to no one that Romney had a difficult time with this demographic.  One talk about whatever one likes, but the bottom line is that the Republican Party has been working overtime to inform latinos that they are not part of the Republican coalition and, in fact, might not even be real Americans.  What else do we all think that the message is when Republican-controlled Arizona passes an immigration law that has the practical effect of making any darker-hued individual feel like they might be asked for their papers?  Or when Republican-controlled Alabama passes an even tougher law that requires the gathering of data on the immigration status of school children.

Forget for a moment border issues and one’s views on immigration and just take those two very real, and very simple examples and try a little shoe on the other foot thinking.  If one is white one is not concerned in the least about these issues.  If one is of Latin American desecent, evne if one’s family has been in the United States before there was a United States, one is going to feel targeted.

The entire DREAM Act discussion also highlights how extreme many in the GOP are on this topic.  The DREAM Act would reward hard-working persons who are clearly pursuing what is supposed to be a founding principle of the US:  that hard work leads to self improvement.   And the party that allegedly values self-reliance can’t get behind this notion?

There are also other factors at work, such as the general economic status of the majority of latino voters.  The GOP is not offering them much of anything except austerity options.  If one in the lower class, or even the lower middle class, revenue-neutral across the board tax cuts and the elimination of nebulous regulations alongside promises of cuts to things like Pell grants and whatnot aren’t going to be appealing.  Telling a poor kid that he can go to college by borrowing money from his parents isn’t exactly going to motivate support.

We can also look to women.  In a clear attempt to capture some Catholics voters and to solidify hardcore social conservatives, the Romney campaign and the Republican Party in general thought it was a good idea to focus on contraception.  This was foolish.  Too many women understand that contraception is what allows them to compete with males in a professional context (and this applies as well to otherwise conservative, married women–trying to paint the users of contraception as sluts, as was attempted by some, was to indirectly insult a lot of women).  The ability to control if/when a pregnancy takes place is huge in the lives of women (and is part of modern society, quite frankly).  To blithely ignore this fact is political suicide.  Further, even many pro-life women do not want to hear about how pregnancies from rape are God’s will (even those who would say that they understand what Mourdock was trying to say do not want to hear some old man seeking authority making such pronouncements)  and they certainly don’t want to hear casual discourse about what might constitute “legitimate rape.”

One could go on.  For example, regardless of whether or not voter ID proponents are sincerely concerned about in-person voter fraud, the bottom line is that many minorities, even those with the requisite IDs, perceive of such laws as attempts at suppressing the vote, specifically the minority vote.

So, yes, these comments are linked to demographic groups but demography is not the driver.  Policy is the driver.

When I hear Republicans lament that they can’t get the latino vote as if there was some magical connection between having Mexican ancestors and voting for Democrats, I want to bang my head against the wall.  When your party effectively demonizes a demographic, that demographic is likely to vote en masse for the other party.

Heck, why did the Republican Party once have the African-American vote and why did they lose it?  Policy.

Why is this so hard to understand?

And, of course, I am saying nothing new here, and yet there are a lot of people out there who don’t seem to get any of this (just following the blogger’s freedom to vent a bit in public).

First, a lot of Republican voters and politicians clearly don’t get.

Second, a lot of commentators are being lazy by using demographics as the variable when, in fact, it is more complicated than that.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    I don’t usually…but this morning I put on Joe Scarbourough. Willie Geist made the point…Republicans can’t just throw out Marco Rubio and say; “…see, we love hispanics…” It has to come from the heart…it has to be real…and it has to be shown in REAL POLICY. Actions speak louder than words. Only actions can be trusted.
    Republicans on this site all the time refer to it as pandering. It’s not. It’s governing, and serving all of the citizens of this country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  2. mattb says:

    Beyond this, it also doesn’t help the Republican cause that so many of it’s most visible spokespeople — those in the Media and who speak at CPAC — often engage in casual racism, sexism and homophobia as part of their regular shtick. For example, while the average Limbaugh listener might have no issue with the term “femi-nazi” or his general attitude towards women, it doesn’t play well outside of the camp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  3. john personna says:

    Jan Brewer, current Governor of Arizona, sent a letter to me, in coastal California, asking me to be “a patriot” and support her immigration platform.

    I presume my name screened as non-Hispanic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. James Joyner says:

    The problem with this is that it ignores the case of blacks, who have voted straight Republican ever since Lincoln freed the slaves. People who have skin colors other than white just vote the same way forever, no matter what.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Certainly the GOP has shot itself in the foot concerning the immigration issue, but are you really going to sit there with a straight face and argue that demographics alone was not the driving force of yesterday’s election? No offense, but that would be cognitively dissonant.

    Right now unemployment among blacks is 14.3%. Among Latinos it’s 10.0%. The spreads between white and black unemployment (7.3 points) and between white and Latino unemployment (3 points) currently are among the highest ever recorded. Poverty utterly is rampant in the black and Latino communities. Foreclosures. Bad schools. Dropouts. Crime. Blight. So on, so forth.

    Blacks yesterday voted for Obama 93-7. Latinos voted for Obama 71-27. Find a democracy at any time in history in which by race there were such lock step margins for a party’s candidate. Again, by race, not by employment status or other metrics.

    Let’s not be as naive as Ivory Snow. This is politics by pure demographic identity. Not exactly something about which to celebrate or to gloss over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  6. Brett says:

    Think of the LGBT vote too – imagine if the GOP was more inclusive on these issues, they would likely pick up a lots more of that demographic’s vote, which went overwhelmingly for Obama. That alone would have been almost enough for Romney to win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. john personna says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Blacks yesterday voted for Obama 93-7. Latinos voted for Obama 71-27. Find a democracy at any time in history in which by race there were such lock step margins for a party’s candidate. Again, by race, not by employment status or other metrics.

    Some false equivalence there. While 93-7 is about as lock-step as you can get, 71-27 is just a spread. A third dissenting is a solid minority opinion.

    This is actually one of the wrong way (white) conservatives are playing the “demographics,” as if “all brown people are against us,” when no, they got millions of votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Console says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Don’t forget that asians were 78 percent for Obama. But that doesn’t really fit your narrative in that particular comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. mattb says:

    @john personna:

    This is actually one of the wrong way (white) conservatives are playing the “demographics,” as if “all brown people are against us,” when no, they got millions of votes.

    BINGO

    Not to mention the fact that actively talking about how “all brown people are against us” isn’t a particularly good way to encourage brown people to seriously consider joining your side.

    Likewise, the typical way that Republicans and Conservatives talk about recruiting brown people — i.e. “if you really understood what was good for you, you’d realize that you should really be voting Republican” — isn’t all that great of a recruiting strategy either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  10. Rob in CT says:

    Let’s try and imagine an alternate reality for a moment.

    Rewind to 2001. Let’s say the first round of “Bush tax cuts” gets done. Fine. It was sold as a stimulus measure to cushion the dot-com bust. Ok, that’s non-crazy even if I think it’s not a great answer. 9/11 happens, and therefore Afghanistan. Again, not wonderful but seriously there’s no plausible alternative scenario, and there was a valid casus belli. Now we diverge. No Iraq war. Focus is put on finding OBL. As we now know, that was doable. Let’s say it happens. Afghanistan is still a bloody mess, mind, so it’s not all roses. The second round of tax cuts doesn’t happen. Medicare Part D doesn’t happen. Or, if it does, it’s paid for via other cuts. Military spending is ramped up, but not as much as it was in our timeline. Obviously a lot of money blown in the sands of Iraq just isn’t. The federal government’s balance sheet would look a LOT better. There would have been deficits, but smaller ones.

    Now, the GOP may still have lost in 2008. The timing of the financial crisis is a tough one to overcome. But the brand would’ve been ok. And man, would they have been in better position to re-take power in 2012. The GOP could still plausibly claim to know what it was doing on Foreign Policy and it’s claim regarding fiscal issues would likewise be far more believeable. “Trust us” would likely be far more effective.

    This is obviously just a sketch. But really, demographic changes are not iron laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Rick Almeida says:

    Steven, great post.

    I suspect (can’t wait for the data) that women, particularly white women in the non-South, went disproportionately for Obama. I’m teaching political behavior in the Spring and was already going to talk a lot about the gender gap, now I might even amplify that section more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Console says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Don’t’ forget Katrina (part of bush’s problem wasn’t just policy, it was straight up incompetence) and the Teri Schiavo thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Davebo says:

    @James Joyner:

    The problem with this is that it ignores the case of blacks, who have voted straight Republican ever since Lincoln freed the slaves.

    No James. You are a Southerner like myself. And I have no doubt you want to believe the above statement is true.

    But it’s not. It really never has been. And were it not for folks like Lee Atwater promoting this myth you probably wouldn’t be a Republican at all.

    Here’s hoping you’re never forced to actually live in Alabama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  14. @Tsar Nicholas: So, you are saying that melanin content alone drives voting? That would be cognitive dissonance.

    In response to your other points, as I noted in the post:

    The GOP is not offering them much of anything except austerity options. If one in the lower class, or even the lower middle class, revenue-neutral across the board tax cuts and the elimination of nebulous regulations alongside promises of cuts to things like Pell grants and whatnot aren’t going to be appealing. Telling a poor kid that he can go to college by borrowing money from his parents isn’t exactly going to motivate support.

    What, pray tell, did Romney offer the unemployed blacks you mentioned beyond trickle down economics?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. Modulo Myself says:

    It’s policy…and the fact that for the average Republican, the world is divided between Us and Them, whereas for the average ‘demographic voter’, they are the Them.

    The GOP is not the party of irony, or distance, or feeling like one is an American but also not an American. It’s filled with the people who experience the exact opposite and who are radically opposed to admitting that any sort of experience outside of their own is legitimate.

    Obama’s voters are basically the equivalent of moderates in any other First World country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. mattb says:

    @Davebo:
    I’m pretty sure James was being ironically sarcastic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. Davebo says:

    Seriously, who adds their credence to a comment saying essentially “we locked up those niggers in 1862″???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  18. Davebo says:

    @mattb:

    Well Matt, I’d have to label that one as an Epic Fail but YMMV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  19. Rob in CT says:

    Console,

    Yeah, appointing schmucko the clown to run FEMA was not bright. You can roll that in if you like.

    The basic point I’m trying to make is that if the GOP had governed a bit more competantly… indeed, even if it governed just as (or more!) conservatively, we might not be where we are.

    While I think their whole theory of economics/fiscal policy is wrong, there are a LOT of people who find it plausible, and would go along. That tax cut stuff, much as it irritates me, is not really a liability (only when it reaches truely ridiculous extremes). People want to believe in the tax cut growth fairy. It’s an easy sell, at least in the short term. But if you add in other forms of nuttery, it becomes clearer and clearer that they have no idea what they’re talking about. The veil is torn. People notice.

    The GOP was supposed to be the party of adults when it came to Foreign Policy. None of this silly liberal nationbuilding bleeding heart stuff. And then they gave us the Neocons. They were supposed to be the hard-nosed bean counters, and yet they governed like frat boys on a bender. It’s not that the public has suddenly decided they’re Keynesians (moreso than previously, anyway) – most people are still extrememly suseptible to the comparison between the federal budget and a household budget (which is ridiculous). A lot of folks have decided the GOP is a clownshow, though. Enough folks to tip things over. Demographics certainly play a part, but there’s more going on.

    So if one imagines a reality in which the GOP didn’t go all clownshow on us, I don’t think the demographic changes would be so scary for the GOP.

    And look, they’re far – FAR – from dead. They hold the House. They have many state governments under their control. They will, as the out-party and the party whose voters skew older, likely have a stuctural advantage in the 2014 mid-terms.

    All this “it’s all over! The brown hordes have taken over” stuff is wildly overdone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Davebo says:

    @mattb:

    And seriously Matt. “Ironically Sarcastic”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Rob in CT says:

    Damn, a bunch of typos in that last post. I’m sloppy this afternoon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Jr says:

    @mattb:

    Exactly.

    The arrogance and tone-deafness by Republicans when it comes to minorities is astonishing to me. You really think you are going to win their votes by acting like you know what is best for them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. @Davebo:

    @mattb: is correct. Not the last sentence:

    People who have skin colors other than white just vote the same way forever, no matter what.

    He is noting that a lot of people, especially Reps, who talk about demographics act like non-whites are incapable of changing their minds. I alluded to the blacks and the GOP in my post: post Civil War they were solidly Republican, but the Democrats became the party of Civil Rights, that changed.

    Hence, policy.

    (Also: James finished High School and did his BA and PhD in Alabama, and worked here for about 4 years).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. Rafer Janders says:

    For example, regardless of whether or not voter ID proponents are sincerely concerned about in-person voter fraud,

    No. Not regardless. They are not at all sincerely concerned about in-person voter fraud (otherwise they’d be very concerned about absentee ballots, which they are not). Let’s not pretend this is anything other than what it is.

    the bottom line is that many minorities, even those with the requisite IDs, perceive of such laws as attempts at suppressing the vote, specifically the minority vote.

    They “perceive” it that way because that’s what it is. This isn’t a matter of their perception — it’s a matter of reality. Conservatives have been very clear about what they are trying to achieve.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. Rob in CT says:

    @Davebo:

    I think James’ meaning was very clear: he was mocking the idea that demographics is destiny.

    You missed it, I guess?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. James Joyner says:

    @Davebo: Re-read the statement; it’s obviously a joke. Yes, blacks have largely voted as a bloc. That’s hardly surprising given their rather unique shared history until the 1960s. But they were once lockstep Republicans and then became lockstep Democrats as the parties and their responsiveness to black interests changed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. Rob in CT says:

    Coming back to the Katrina thing: as I think most of us know, the local and state-level responses were ridiculous. If the Feds had looked competent by comparison, why, that would’ve boosted the GOP’s image. The locals were Dems, and were able to deflect a lot of blame because the Bush Administration considered FEMA to be unimportant (you don’t appoint a lawyer with no disaster response experience whatsoever to the post if you think it’s important). Imagine if they hadn’t been able to do that? The Dems take a hit.

    Competence matters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. DRE says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    This is politics by pure demographic identity. Not exactly something about which to celebrate or to gloss over.

    Your inability to grasp what Steven said, and the fact that it is shared by so many “Conservatives” is the reason why the demographic results are so pronounced, and likely will continue to be for some time to come.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. mattb says:

    BTW, for a prefect example of the problem that Republicans/Conservatives face in coming to terms with demographics is nicely (or rather sadly) highlighted by Victor Davis Hansen today over at the National Review’s Corner:

    The problem with diagnosis (3) [That the GOP needs to work to embrace a broder demographic base] is that there were plenty of good minority kingpins in the party –Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio, and an entire new generation of Hispanic and Asian governors and senators. Allen West lost despite being black and because he was conservative. An independent, successful Michele Bachman or Sarah Palin is hated more than stay-at-home liberal housewives.

    Race matters, but not without ideology.

    For now, voting conservative is considered “acting white” or “docile,” and minorities and young women will only be considered legitimate when they vote for big government, which for many brings logical dividends.

    Moreover, if Republicans would deal on illegal immigration, and propose paths to citizenship for the law-abiding who were brought here as children, the Latino leadership would still not, in turn, allow deportation for the felons and those not working and entirely on public assistance, or agree to close the border with finishing the fence, fining employers, and cross-checking federal documents.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/332932/three-ways-explaining-defeat-victor-davis-hanson

    So much inherently offensive stuff in such a small chunk of writing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. mantis says:

    It’s not just policy, it’s also candidates.

    There will be 16 female Democratic senators in the next congress. There will be 4 female Republican senators. The DSCC recruited women candidates for a reason, electing four new women and keeping all six who were up for re-election.

    I’m now looking into the numbers in the House and also the ethnic makeup of the newly elected officials for both chambers. I suspect we’ll see more diversity in those areas on the Democratic side also, and an even whiter, more male Republican representation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. superdestroyer says:

    @James Joyner:

    As you know, blacks have been very loyal Democratic party voters since the 1930’s. Most blacks alive today have probably never voted for a Republican. Even when elected Democrats have been incompetent, corrupt, and incapable of governing, blacks still vote for them in overwhelmingly numbers.

    The idea that white conservatives are ever going to appeal to blacks or overcome black culture in the U.S. is laughable. The idea that there are any black conservatives is insane. Blacks are the most liberal group in the U.S. (just look at the political websites run for a black audiences). The question becomes is what happens as blacks, Hispanics, and white elite progressives become the dominate political power in the U.S. and conservative are totally irrelevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  32. superdestroyer says:

    @Brett:

    Homosexuals are one of the most liberal groups. Homosexuals fall into those coastal educated elites who want to be the order givers in a progressive state. Homosexuals have never shown in any interested in smaller govermnet or lower taxes. However, homosexuals have shown a tremendous level of interest in a nanny state that review what all of the conservatives say or do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  33. mattb says:

    I know this falls of deaf ears, but… @superdestroyer:

    Even when elected Democrats have been incompetent, corrupt, and incapable of governing, blacks still vote for them in overwhelmingly numbers.

    While this might be true, you of course fail to note that, even when elected Republicans have been incompetent, corrupt, and incapable of governing, whites still vote for them in overwhelmingly numbers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    All you are going is reinforcing the idea that GW Bush will be the last Republican president. Not running up massive debt, not getting involved in Iraq would have helped the Republicans. However, that would just mean that the demographic wave would have had its full effect sometime between 2020 and 2030.

    Declining birthrates for whites, having more than 50% of children born to single mothers, and the effects of global competition would have continued. There never has been a question of when demographics was going to kill the Republican Paty, the real question has always been when. The incompetence of the Bush Administration just sped up the process by about 15-20 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  35. Rob in CT says:

    It’s funny. I know one of these homosexuals you speak of. I won’t pretend that this one guy is representative of the entire group, but the guy has a host of conservative personality traits. The dude doesn’t own a TV. His kids (3, adopted obviously) are raised in a manner I can only describe as strict. He’s often annoyed by the foolish behavior of his neighbors (and toys with moving) who do things like drive their kids a block and a half to school. The man is a successful corporate lawyer. A “taker” he isn’t.

    There is no rational reason for this man to be especially “liberal” politically except that he was given a double-barrelled “f*ck you” by the Right. And so, in 2008, that man proudly attended Barack Obama’s inaugeration. And I suspect he’s pleased today.

    Why? It’s not because he’s a pinko, I’ll tell you that.

    Gay Americans are overwhelmingly liberal largely because conservatives have told them they need not apply.

    That’s just one example among many.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @mattb:

    When you look at the number of congressional Republicans that were voted out of office from 2006 until today, I think that white voters do punish bad governance. However, considering that Marion Barry still holds office in DC and that members of the Congressional Black Caucus are not voted out of office even when they are medically unfit to hold office or are corrupt, it should be obvious that there is nothing the Republican can do to appeal to non-whites while still remaining the least big conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Rob in CT says:

    All you are going is reinforcing the idea that GW Bush will be the last Republican president. Not running up massive debt, not getting involved in Iraq would have helped the Republicans. However, that would just mean that the demographic wave would have had its full effect sometime between 2020 and 2030.

    No. The argument I’m making is that avoiding doing demonstrably stupid and/or wildly unprincipled things is a bad way of convincing people to join your side.

    If you replay the Bush years and insert better governance, there is no reason to automatically assume that the demographic changes would be hostile to the GOP. You keep thinking of groups of people as monolithic blocks. This is overblown. Coalitions crack up. Groups split.

    The GOP made its bed on this in multiple ways. Incompetence was one of them. Sucking up to people like you was another.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Attorney’s vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party. Attorney’s benefit from more rules, complicated laws, and a very complicated tax code. The idea that the Republicans could appeal to a homosexual attorney is laughable is they would just tolerate the government asking everyone what their sexual orientation is and giving quotas to homosexuals is laughable.

    Homosexuals will never be interested in the more conservative party when the more liberal party is willing to give them whatever they want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  39. Rob in CT says:

    Let me put it this way: if the GOP had been successful in actually fostering more broad-based prosperity, there would be more prosperous non-whites to potentially split off. Instead, it was go-go tax cut fairy and let’s invade a country for no reason. Also, deny that inequality was increasing and, when that failed, deny it was problematic. And then, finally faced with the fact of it, pretend that it means that half the country is a bunch of moochers who are lost to you.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. To the core.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. superdestroyer says:

    Dr Taylor knows that it is impossible for the more conservative party to ever appeal to non-whites when the federal government gives set asides, quotas, and government goodies based upon ethnicity and race.

    The idea that appeal to a group with a high unemployment rate and a 50% illegitimacy rate can be made when the other party is promising to tax the rich and transfer income to them is laughable. Most Hispanics have been very loyal Democratic Party for decades that there is nothing a conservative party can do to appeal to them.

    The idea of adding millions of Hispanics to the voter and entitlement roles in the vain hope of getting 30% to vote for a Republican is the untilmate expression of innumeracy. The Republicans committed suicide when Ronald Reagan support amnesty and the cheap labor Republicans in both Bush Administrations decided not to enforce the border. Now the only thing Republicans get to look forward to is a one party state with massive entitlement spending, social engineering, and a declining standard of living.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Rob in CT says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Heh.

    The guy works as a corporate lawyer for an insurance company, dealing with coverage litigation [which is indeed complex, for a variety of reasons - some governmental, some not]. What do you have in your head?

    Anyway, your defeatist assumptions assure defeat.

    It’s one thing to say that a particular demographic is likely to lean against you. It’s entirely another to loudly write off large groups of people, and then sneer at them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  42. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    For the Republicans to appeal to the coastal elite Republicans, they would have to throw all of the social conservatives under the bus. How does it work out to appeal to a group that will never be very loyal to the ideas of small government and more personal responsibility by throwing more loyal supporters under the bus.

    When was the last time the Democrats threw one of their core blocks under the bus?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Rob in CT says:

    As for appealing to “coastal elites” (man, ya’ll love to use that term), that shouldn’t be the concern. How many people is that anyway?

    The point here is that the GOP needs to pick up votes. Obviously if you pick up a few million by ditching the religious right, but lose 10 million in the process, you’ve lost ground. Duh.

    But as people have pointed out, there are Socons among the minority groups you routinely dismisses as hopeless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    There are few socons in demographic groups that have the social pathologies of blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. Also, blacks remain very loyal Democratic Party voters no matter their income, education, or occupation. There is nothing the Republicans can do to appeal to blacks or Hispanics while maintaining any form of conservative policies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. Rob in CT says:

    Obviously, black Americans are the harder target (and there are very, very valid reasons for that).

    As for the rest, you know what: great. Why am I bothering? I *want* you to fail miserably.

    Enough of this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Wait, “whites” are leaving California, leaving only “elites?”

    Another of your strange contradictions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Barry says:

    Stephen: “One could go on. For example, regardless of whether or not voter ID proponents are sincerely concerned about in-person voter fraud, the bottom line is that many minorities, even those with the requisite IDs, perceive of such laws as attempts at suppressing the vote, specifically the minority vote”

    They aren’t. Absentee ballots remain a vast open back door, electronic systems use unknown software to count votes with no auditable record. Those are wholesale methods of fraud, on the order of thousands.

    Meanwhile, the GOP cuts voting periods, enacts laws and then closes (selectively) offices to obtain ID, and flat-out confesses what they’re doing.

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  48. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: You forgot the smiley face :)

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  49. @Rafer Janders: @Barry: I understand your points. All I am saying is that even the most charitable interpretation of the events can lead to clear perceptions of problems from those on the outside.

    I am not trying to excuse anything or explain it away.

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  50. (and I know people who sincerely think voter fraud is a problem–people I know well)

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  51. Barry says:

    @Console: “Don’t’ forget Katrina (part of bush’s problem wasn’t just policy, it was straight up incompetence) and the Teri Schiavo thing. ”

    No, because he handled hurricanes in Florida just fine (you know, that swing state where his brother was the governor). It was ‘let them die’, pure and simple.

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  52. Barry says:

    @superdestroyer: “As you know, blacks have been very loyal Democratic party voters since the 1930′s. ”

    Wrong. Please go talk to somebody who knows US history. If you know any such person.

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  53. superdestroyer says:

    @Barry:

    FDR receive over 70% of the black vote in 1936. What election do you use to show that blacks are were willing to support Republicans. I set the standard at 45% voting for Republicans.

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  54. Lynda says:

    Although it has a lot to do with policy, as some of the posters above have indicated I think it also has to do with attitude – not just ignoring a demographic but actively trying to hurt it. Just to take Rob’s example above of the gay lawyer and how the GOP basically has a “need not apply” sign for him.

    What would happen if Republicans took Dick Cheney approach and said that gay marriage was a purely state issue and should be decided there ie a state right rather than a federal one.
    Or if they actively supported civil unions and legal rights for gay couples but still drew the line on “marriage” as a religious institution ie separate the church and state portions.

    It is not the approach I want (full marriage equality) but might keep enough on of the socons on board whilst gaining back some of the younger demographic repelled by their current bigotry.

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  55. Barry says:

    I gotta admit, it’s probably good for Superdestroyer to tire himself out with endless BS-ing; this way he can sleep without jumping out of bed every five minutes, because he thought that ‘they’ had finally come for him……….

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  56. superdestroyer says:

    @Lynda:

    Limiting homosexual marriage to the states does not solve the issue as social security benefits and federal tax benefits. It is also an issue of a federal judge saying that all states have to honor the marriages performed by any state.

    The real problem for Repubicans is that homosexuals are very liberal. Scott Brown came out as pro-homosexual marriage and all of the homosexuals donations still flowed to his opponent.

    Appealling to homosexuals means giving up on being a conservative party and just becoming the second big government, high tax, high entitlement, nanny state party. But then , why does the U.S. need two parties that are the same.

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  57. grumpy realist says:

    @superdestroyer: We’re not going back to 1950s America, so you might as well get used to it. Hell, we’re not going back to 1850s America, if it comes to that. People like having clean drinking water, medicines that work, roads that are drivable, and a safety net to catch them when the brown stuff hits the fan.

    You, sirrah, act as if you believe all of the above is “big government.” The biggest increase in government has been the rapid increase in the military and the incredible increase in the military budget.

    If you want to go back to 1910 levels of taxation, you’re going to get a 1910 level of economy. If you want an army that can outshoot the rest of the world combined, you’re going to have to pay for it. Quit whining. The number of unwed mothers has absolutely zilch to do with it.

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  58. Lynda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Limiting homosexual marriage to the states does not solve the issue as social security benefits and federal tax benefits. It is also an issue of a federal judge saying that all states have to honor the marriages performed by any state.

    Given social changes, I believe marriage equality is inevitable and that the GOP is stupid/bigoted to not just embrace it. However, if they are going to resist it one playbook to follow is the state one used for interracial marriages up until the Supreme Court decision in 1967 – how did the states solve the above issues for interracial marriages? Civil unions would solve far more of your points but haven’t really seen senior conservatives suggest that approach much.

    The real problem for Repubicans is that homosexuals are very liberal. Scott Brown came out as pro-homosexual marriage and all of the homosexuals donations still flowed to his opponent.

    Please stop grouping people into such monolithic blocks. Just because you let one issue dominate all your thinking to the exclusion of all else doesn’t mean everyone is as addled.

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  59. superdestroyer says:

    @grumpy realist:

    If you really want to maintain clean water, a healthy environment, drivable roads, etc, then progressives should be against increasing immigration, should be against a massive expansion of entitlements, and should be against single mothers having the most children in the U.S.

    If you want funds to be available for infrastructure and public health, then the U.S. needs to stop wasting money of massive entitlements and correcting the self-inflected problems of people with no future time orientation.

    However, as long as progressives are not willing to keep any third world immigrant out of the U.S., then I assume that progressives do not really care about the environment, the quality of life, or improving things for Americans.

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  60. superdestroyer says:

    @Lynda:

    No matter how much a Republicans is willing to give to the homosexual community, the homosexual community will always support his Democratic opponent. What is in it for Republicans to support a group that always votes against them?

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  61. grumpy realist says:

    @superdestroyer: This is brain-damaged. What does single motherhood have to do with clean drinking water?

    (My roommate from college is a single mother. She also happens to be a top-notch environmental lawyer working for the State of Texas’s Pollution Control Board, which I find is nicely ironic considering your rant.)

    Or is your logic as follows: single mothers = moral pollution == literal pollution == dirty drinking water?

    I’m very glad I don’t live in your head.

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  62. Gustopher says:

    The sentiment of “Obama lost the white vote, so he doesn’t have a broad coalition” really sounds to me like “If we just counted them brown folks as 3/5ths votes, Romney would have won by a landslide”.

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  63. superdestroyer says:

    @grumpy realist:

    The point is that as the U.S. has to spend a higher percentage of its public funds for entitlement and to make up for people’s bad decisions, there will be less money left over to fund everything from the EPA or weather satellites to defense.

    The long term question is why do the Democrats have to grow entitlement spending faster than the economy is growing.

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  64. An Interested Party says:

    No offense, but that would be cognitively dissonant.

    BWHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! That is comedy gold, considering the source…I suppose he wouldn’t realize the irony…

    The idea that white conservatives are ever going to appeal to blacks…

    Well, as long as the racist noose hangs around the necks of white conservatives, no, they never will appeal to blacks or any other non-white group…and that isn’t to say that all white conservatives are racists, as of course they aren’t…but many are, and that taint seems to present them as toxic to many other groups whose support the GOP would like to have…

    Gay Americans (and blacks, and Hispanics, and the non-religious, and moderates, and on and on and on) are overwhelmingly liberal largely because conservatives have told them they need not apply.

    Moving on…

    When you look at the number of congressional Republicans that were voted out of office from 2006 until today, I think that white voters do punish bad governance.

    Such absolute bullshit…if that were really true, George W. Bush never would have won a second term…

    You keep thinking of groups of people as monolithic blocks.

    This isn’t surprising as I’m sure that many racists think this way…

    (and I know people who sincerely think voter fraud is a problem–people I know well)

    And do you try to disabuse them of their delusions?

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  65. Console says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Eisenhower got 40 percent of the black vote. From 1964 on, the black vote hasn’t ever risen above 15 percent for the GOP (in presidential elections). Now, you can try to pretend that 40 and 15 (or 30 and 15) are one in the same because they aren’t majorities, but that’s a stupid and narrow point. A Romney that gets 30 percent of the black vote is a Romney that wins.

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  66. Dave Anderson says:

    @superdestroyer:

    No the homosexuals that I know would strongly prefer to not be demonized, and to be able to get on with their lives where the biggest problem is arguing who gets to control the remote control during a Steelers game.

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  67. superdestroyer says:

    @Console:

    the problem for the Republicans is that blacks have drifted to the left since Eisenhower was president. You should look at the Congressional Black Caucus website, any website that covers politics for blacks, or listen to black pundits on the cable television news programs.

    The idea that the more conservative party can ever appeal to the most liberal group in the U.S. is laughable. Do you really think that a demographic group that supports race based reparations is ever going to support smaller government and more personal responsibility?

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  68. Console says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Competence matters. The GOP post Eisenhower is simply a reactionary movement. They have dick all to do with small government or personal responsibility. How can a movement whose only one consistent quality is to “stand athwart history and yell stop” attract new voters? You can sit in your bubble all you want and pretend black people are somehow uniquely liberal. But that’s how you end up with the GOP’s numbers with hispanics and Asians cratering towards 20 percent. All minority and traditionally less privileged groups vote democratic. At some point the problem has to cease to be “there’s something wrong with everyone except old christian white people.”

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  69. superdestroyer says:

    @Console:

    I find it humorous that anyone would ever call Nixon or Ford small government reactionaries. The small government push came in the 1980’s after the debaces of high inflation, high unemployment, high crime, and the social engineering. However, even after that time, blacks remained very loyal Democratic Party voters.

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