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Republicans Still Have A Problem With Female Voters

Gender Gap Politics

A new study confirms something that we’ve known for quite some time, namely that Republicans have huge problems with female voters and it doesn’t seem like they’re doing much of anything to solve them:

A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”

Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources.

Republicans swore they’d turn around the party’s performance with women after Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012. And while they are in good shape in 2014, poised to pick up seats in the House and possibly take the majority in the Senate, the new report shows they have not improved their standing with women — which could exacerbate their problems if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee in 2016.

The report — “Republicans and Women Voters: Huge Challenges, Real Opportunities” — was the product of eight focus groups across the country and a poll of 800 registered female voters this summer. The large-scale project was a major undertaking for the GOP groups.

“The gender gap is hardly a new phenomenon, but nevertheless, it’s important for conservatives to identify what policies best engage women, and our project found multiple opportunities,” said Dan Conston, a spokesman for the American Action Network. “It’s no surprise that conservatives have more work to do with women.”

Republicans in Washington say they recognize the problem. Republicans who have seen or been briefed on the polling were not surprised about the outcome. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Axis Research.

(…)

The report is blunt about the party’s problems. It says 49 percent of women view Republicans unfavorably, while 39 percent view Democrats unfavorably.

It also found that Republicans “fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live” — as breadwinners, for example. “This lack of understanding and acknowledgment closes many minds to Republican policy solutions,” the report says. The groups urge Republicans to embrace policies that “are not easily framed as driven by a desire to aid employers or ‘the rich.'”

(…)

Even on fiscal matters — traditionally the party’s strongest issue set — Republicans hold only slight advantages that do not come close to outweighing their negative attributes. The GOP holds a 3 percent advantage over Democrats when female voters are asked who has “good ideas to grow the economy and create jobs,” and the same advantage on who is “fiscally responsible and can be trusted with our tax dollars.”

When female voters are asked who “wants to make health care more affordable,” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage, and a 40 percent advantage on who “looks out for the interests of women.” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage when it comes to who “is tolerant of other people’s lifestyles.”

Female voters who care about the top four issues — the economy, health care, education and jobs — vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Most striking, Democrats hold a 35-point advantage with female voters who care about jobs and a 26 percent advantage when asked which party is willing to compromise. House Republicans say jobs and the economy are their top priorities.

None of this is new, of course. The so-called “gender gap” has been a fact of American political life for decades now and has played a large role in deciding everything from the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 to Terry McAuliffe’s narrower than expected victory over Ken Cuccinelli in the 2013 Virginia Governor’s race. During the 2012 Presidential election, we saw it play a role in the battle for control of the Senate thanks in no small part to exceedingly stupid comments by people like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in their effort to justify what seems to any normal person like the heartless position that even a woman who has been raped should be denied the right to an abortion We’ve seen it as Democrats have capitalized on the efforts by Republican controlled state legislatures to even further restrict the right to abortion and to push Personhood Amendments that would have the effect of banning some forms of contraception and, potentially, IVF procedures as well. More recently, of course, the right’s reaction to the PPACA’s contraceptive mandate has helped to further alienate it from female voters.

As far as solutions go, what the study proposes is pretty straightforward:

The groups suggest a three-pronged approach to turning around their relationship with women. First, they suggest the GOP “neutralize the Democrats'” attack that Republicans don’t support fairness for women. They suggest Republican lawmakers criticize Democrats for “growing government programs that encourage dependency rather than opportunities to get ahead.” That message tested better than explaining that the GOP supports a number of policies that could help fairness for women.

Second, the groups suggest Republicans “deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, then move to other issues.” And third, “pursue policy innovations that inspire women voters to give the GOP a ‘fresh look.'” The report suggests lawmakers and candidates inject “unexpected” GOP policy proposals into the debate as a way to sway female voters. Suggestions include ways to improve job-training programs, “strengthening enforcement against gender bias in the workplace” and “expanding home health care services by allowing more health care professionals to be paid by Medicare for home health services.”

On paper, I suppose, it sounds good. Certainly, the fact that polling indicates that economic issues remain of primary concern to female voters notwithstanding the fact that the GOP’s long association with extremist social conservatives would seem to indicate that concentrating on so-called “pocketbook” issues would be the smart way for the GOP to deal with its problems with female voters. It doesn’t mean that we’ll see a day any time soon when women start flocking to the GOP in large numbers, of course, but if it helps to cut down the so-called “gender gap” then it would make a difference on the margins that could tip the balance in an election. This would be especially true, it seems, in the so-called “purple” states and among suburban female voters in areas like Northern Virginia, It’s also worth noting that the “gender gap” almost completely disappears if you look at the voting patterns of married men and married women, which means that the real problem that the Republican Party has isn’t among female voters per se  so much as it is with single female voters. Given that this is a growing part of the population, and that these women are likely to carry their voting attitudes over into their married lives when that time comes, of course, this doesn’t mean the problem isn’t serious. However, it isn’t insurmountable either.

The problem that the Republican Party has in this regard, of course, is two-fold. First of all, it will be next to impossible for the party to tone down the social conservative rhetoric that this survey and others indicates are so off putting to female voters for the simple fact that social conservatives are such a substantial part of the GOP and among the most activist members of the party’s base. Not only does this mean that the party cannot afford to put them off by taking positions on issues like abortion and marriage equality that they are opposed to, but it also means that they can’t afford to ignore them in the manner that the survey’s recommendations suggest. The best example of that can be found in the recommendation a few years back from former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels that the GOP needed to declare a “truce” a social issues and concentrate on economic issues, especially for the then upcoming 2012 elections. The reaction to Daniels’ comments from activists social conservatives was overwhelmingly negative. Anti-abortion groups and prominent Republican social conservatives attacked him for what they perceived as an abandonment of principles. Others called it “an affront to the millions of conservatives who believe that social issues such as abortion and traditional marriage are non-negotiable.” Obviously, if the GOP tried to do the same thing again we’d see a similar reaction.

The party’s second problem, though, is one that the survey recognizes and one that is not easily fixed. Namely, it’s the simple fact that Republicans seem to not be able to understand how to communicate with female voters, and that’s a problem that even seems to extend to female Republican politicians. Until they fix that, no amount of change is going to amount to much of anything.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    The GOP has made itself into the home of sexists, racists, homophobes, nativists, science-deniers, amoral libertarians, religious fanatics, nihilists, war-mongers and buffoons. The amazing thing is that any woman, Latino, African-American, Asian, atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, young person, or white person with an IQ higher than room temperature votes for them.

    The GOP is the Rob Ford of politics. The only good reason to vote for them is for the entertainment value.

    How can they fix this? They could stop being a motley collection of ass-clowns, I suppose, but then what would they have left?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 4

  2. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    And there is absolutely nothing the GOP can do about it, as constructed. The GOP would rather eject those with whom it disagrees, even if this means half the population. There is no pathway to sustainable growth, only shrinkage as the old are not replaced by the young.

    It remains difficult to even see what comes after. GOP “leaders” today are forced to adopt ancient, failed policies just to get past an angry primary. So we get zero leadership, and instead serious discussions about the twice-failed Romney as a serious contender for a third time.

    There is a wretched mean streak that touches every part of the GOP platform, the powerless bleats of a passed authoritarian who has been roundly and routinely debunked by the info age.

    After the attrition of 2014, whatever false hopes it brings the GOP will blind them to the closing of the electoral walls around them. It will always be someone else’s fault, likely a lefty. Or some loud-mouthed broad. But never the GOP and its wholly rotten policies. The inability to confront and deal with the Bush Years is a prime example. W still cannot be trotted out or talked about or even thought about at length. Everywhere we look, we see conservative kryptonite. Social media has been most brutal to its social agenda.

    Badmouthing women ends up being a symptom of the disease, one which is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  3. Rafer Janders says:

    Namely, it’s the simple fact that Republicans seem to not be able to understand how to communicate with female voters, and that’s a problem that even seems to extend to female Republican politicians.

    And a large part of that is because they see them as “female voters” and not as actual human beings like themselves.

    Republicans seeem to view men — and especially older rural white men — as the baseline of normality. Anything that is not that is not “normal” and thus a problem to be solved, rather than an actual human being with all of the normal wants and needs and desires of any human being.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 2

  4. steve q says:

    ‘Rafer Janders’ ain’t no Real Merican name.

    :-P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  5. Eric Florack says:

    The phony ‘war on women’, often disproved, has still been an effective ploy in terms of keeping the GOP at bay, particularly the centrists, The establishment GOP isnt going to change that, being too interested in ‘compromise’ (IE Capitulation)

    The answer to the problem is the one thing the establishment wont do… embrace and argue forcefully for conservative principles. It would not be a quick fix… changing minds never is, particularly when what youre arguing against is based in myth and dogma, as the left is, today.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 44

  6. stonetools says:

    The GOP’s problem is that they really believe their BS about women:

    That “good ” women shouldn’t have pre-marital sex.
    That women shouldn’t work outside the home
    That contraceptive care is just an optional extra for women who should avoid having “too much sex” by controlling their “rampant sexual desires”, etc .

    They particularly seem to believe that women having babies is an unalloyed joy for married women and divine punishment for single women.
    With such beliefs, the mystery is why ANY women-outside rich women and those married to rich men-vote for Republicans.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

  7. al-Ameda says:

    The report — “Republicans and Women Voters: Huge Challenges, Real Opportunities” — was the product of eight focus groups across the country and a poll of 800 registered female voters this summer. The large-scale project was a major undertaking for the GOP groups.

    “The gender gap is hardly a new phenomenon, but nevertheless, it’s important for conservatives to identify what policies best engage women, and our project found multiple opportunities,” said Dan Conston, a spokesman for the American Action Network. “It’s no surprise that conservatives have more work to do with women.”

    None of this is at all surprising.

    To me, the Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh “incident” perfectly crystalized and encapsulated the current conservative Republican problem with female voters, particularly with younger women. After that dust-up we were treated to comments from politicians like Todd Akin that reinforced the view that conservative Republican men (and the GOP at large) had less than modern views toward the changing role of women in all aspects of American life.

    It’s going to take while for the GOP to turn that aircraft carrier around.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  8. stonetools says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The answer to the problem is the one thing the establishment wont do… embrace and argue forcefully for conservative principles. It would not be a quick fix… changing minds never is, particularly when what youre arguing against is based in myth and dogma, as the left is, today.

    As a Democrat, I sincerely hope that Republicans argue loudly and forcefully for conservative principles concerning women-including their time honored and scientifically proven remedy against being impregnated by rape-just having the female body “shut it down”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 2

  9. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @Eric Florack: “embrace and argue forcefully for conservative principles”

    Those arguments have failed. The GOP keeps losing the big elections, with at least two more to come. And there really isn’t going to be any convincing of those generations the GOP has alienated by any conservative man-splaining, sorry.

    At some point, governing must occur. And that means compromise. Adults know this. We also know it will be the GOP will be doing the compromising until they are replaced by what comes after, yet to be determined.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  10. beth says:

    @Eric Florack: embrace and argue forcefully for conservative principles”

    And what would these conservative principles look like in practice? Getting government off our backs? Standing up for liberty? At some point the GOP is going to have to offer specific ideas, not bumper stickers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  11. Scott says:

    Let’s peel this back a little more. The whole thrust of the article is about the GOP and women and how large segments of each are at cross purposes with each other. Look at it this way. This means there are large segments of men and women who are at cross purposes with each other. This is not good for a lot of relationships even if the relationships are not based on politics.

    I may be wrong in this but I think men need women far more than women need men.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  12. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So why not take your beliefs to their natural conclusion and explain how the U.S .will function as a one party state where disagreement inside the Democratic Party is not tolerated and most issues cannot even be discussed.

    Who does a democracy work when elections are no longer relevant and everyone has to agree with the dominant party or face not only being irrelevant in politics but also unemployed.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 23

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @beth:
    As Eric said:

    embrace and argue forcefully for conservative principles”

    A good follow-up would be:
    Is asking requiring a woman to carry to term, a pregnancy that is the result of rape, a conservative principle worth arguing forcefully for?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  14. @Eric Florack:

    embrace and argue forcefully for conservative principles

    The problem is that conservatism has become an identity group rather than a philosophical ideology, so there isn’t any such thing as “conservative principles” any more.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  15. gVOR08 says:

    …criticize Democrats for “growing government programs that encourage dependency rather than opportunities to get ahead.”
    …“deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, (how?) then move to other issues.”
    And third, “pursue policy innovations that inspire women voters to give the GOP a ‘fresh look.’” The report suggests lawmakers and candidates inject “unexpected” GOP policy proposals into the debate…

    On paper, I suppose, it sounds good.

    Umh, no. Not even on paper. It just sounds like a bunch of people who realize they have a problem and, given their base, can’t come up with any acceptable specific proposal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  16. Tillman says:

    “deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, then move to other issues.”

    Heh. Comedy gold. Let’s not touch abortion, let’s just honestly agree to disagree and move on. It’s not like once we’re elected we’ll pass legislation making it harder to get one or anything. No, pay more attention to our shiny economic proposals!

    It’s not like unwanted pregnancy could be considered an economic cost or anything.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

  17. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: i know nobody in here ever really looks at the liberal wing for it’s comedic value- mainly because we’re used to it and we have higher expectations of republicans?! the wacked out stuff that happens daily is mainly ignored as it’s “just (insert name) being (insert name).
    so i assume hillary is going to run on “voter rights and abortion/free contraception”- as she really has nothing to stand on/for anymore?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 22

  18. Paul L. says:

    OFFENDPROGRESSIVESBEASTMODE
    How About Weakening Unwed Motherhood, For Starters?

    Shrug. Do away with government-supported unwed motherhood, and you’ll wreak major havoc to this GOP-hating demographic, while strengthening and enlarging the female demographic that does vote Republican.

    When you have a huge segment of women who look to the state to be their husband and daddy, you’re not going to find much in the way of support for a party that they think threatens that cozy relationship.

    @al-Ameda:
    Don”t you just wish she was dead?
    Miss USA contestant: I am a ‘child of rape’

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 24

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @Eric Florack: The other side is based “in myth and dogma”? Gawd, I love it. Keep ‘em coming, Eric.

    @superdestroyer: You gotta follow Eric’s lead. Work a little humor into your one party schtick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  20. superdestroyer says:

    @gVOR08:

    What is amazing is the almost constant stream of post about how badly the Republicans (and conservatives) are doing yet no one takes it to its logical conclusions.

    Maybe if people would ask themselves, is there an issue out there that would cause women (or blacks, or Latinos or public sector employees or Jews or academics) to split their votes 50/50 between two candidates. Given how almost all of the Democratic primaries have been routes this year, I do not believe that there is an issue (or a group of issues) that would cause any of the blocks currently inside the Democratic Party to split their votes.

    Thus, it makes more sense to assume that the U.S. will be a one party state rather than have two political parties that do not disagree on any issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  21. steve q says:

    I want nothing more than for the GOP to run Eric’s Florack’s dream candidates. Or, even better, Eric himself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  22. beth says:

    @Paul L.: Let’s make a deal – I’ll agree that there shouldn’t be any rape exemption for abortions if you agree that starting immediately, all children in orphanages and foster care are to be given to random men to be cared for until adulthood. Okay?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  23. Grewgills says:

    @gVOR08:
    Exactly, more bromides coupled with attempts to deemphasize and deflect on issues most women find noxious always seems to be the answer these Republican study groups find.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  24. Grewgills says:

    @superdestroyer:
    Your dogged insistence that the Republican party is only an opposition party if it remains exactly as it is today is as boring as it is ahistorical.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  25. Paul L. says:

    @beth:
    According to feminists and progressive, Men are too dangerous to be left alone with children.

    Your proposal is Ex post facto,

    How about children who are born because the mother could not get a abortion with the rape exemption are given to random men?

    What percentage of abortions are due to rape?
    Rape and Incest: Just 1% of All Abortions

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 23

  26. Scott says:

    @superdestroyer: Even if the Republican party withers away and there is just one party, such a situation is inherently unstable and that one party will quickly split into two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  27. beth says:

    @Paul L.:So you see us as merely emasculating, men hating baby machines? There’s your problem with the GOP base, clear as day.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It’s not a question of an issue that would split this or that vote. It’s a question of not broadcasting your hostility to various groups. Here, I’ll give you the short steps:

    1) Stop attacking and degrading anyone who is not a right-wing, white male.
    2) Ask non-Republicans what you can do to improve their lives.
    3) Do it.
    4) Get votes.

    Specifics?

    1) Accept rape and incest exemptions from the moronic pro-life policy. It won’t make logical sense, but you’ll look less like woman-hating Taliban and you’ll still keep the Bible-thumpers.

    2) Get over gay marriage. Get over evolution. Get over global warming. These are things that make the GOP simply unacceptable to intelligent people.

    3) Make common cause with African-Americans on police thuggery. This is one area where there ought to be agreement, but you people would have to stop yelling, “Ni–er” long enough to actually reach out.

    4) Comprehensive immigration legislation with reasonable provisions and a minimum of lunatics screeching that Guatemalan children are going to overrun the country and take all our women.

    5) Tax Reform. Keep it progressive, kill the games and special pleadings, simplify, rationalize. The GOP needs to get to the Democrat’s flank on this by taking a strong stand on cutting b.s. provisions and exemptions.

    6) Work to overturn Citizens United. GOP support for this decision makes them defenders of corruption. See #5 above: outflank the Dems by being “purer than thou.”

    7) Common-sense gun control. I know you guys think you are in the driver’s seat here, but remember when you thought gay marriage was a winner for you? Remember how fast that turned into a negative? Gun control is going there.

    8) Do the hard work of coming up with long-term policies that are something other than, “More money for rich folks.” Look at the country 50 years down the road and come up with rational policies that offer people hope and a shot at genuine optimism. Space. Infrastructure. The power grid. Tech fixes for global warming. Something that says, “We got this.”

    9) Ditto foreign policy. The Dems are in disarray – half dove, half hawk. A pragmatic, non-threatening, realistic policy would be nice. Invent one.

    None of these is so radical it will force the crazies from the party. They have nowhere else to go. And these trims will scoop up some independents who dislike Dems for various reasons, but simply cannot identify with a party of racist morons, Bible thumpers and war-mongers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

  29. steve q says:

    2) Get over gay marriage. Get over evolution. Get over global warming. These are things that make the GOP simply unacceptable to intelligent people.

    That would alienate total retards the entire GOP base

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @steve q:

    I don’t think so. I think in their hearts even the nuts know gay marriage is a loser for them. If someone in the GOP had the guts and integrity to actually tell them this, they’d wine and complain and then accept it. The GOP needs a Sister Souljah moment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  31. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The problem here, Mike, is that the Republicans are doing too well electorally to risk any of this. I expect that they’ll have to be hit by a couple of electoral landslides before they listen to reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  32. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools: Especially at the state level. Even if nothing changes, contra SD, race, money, and gerrymandering will keep them alive in several states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    @al-Ameda:
    Don”t you just wish she was dead?
    Miss USA contestant: I am a ‘child of rape’

    No.
    I’m in favor of the woman (the mother) making that decision for herself.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    What percentage of abortions are due to rape?
    Rape and Incest: Just 1% of All Abortions

    The inference here is that it is fine to require women who are pregnant as a result of rape, to carry those pregnancies to term – is that what you meant?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  35. stonetools says:

    @Paul L.:

    Note why this “child of rape” revealed this:

    Miss Pennsylvania Valerie Gatto, 24, who will compete for the Miss USA crown on Sunday, told NBC’s “Today” show that she wants to use her mom’s rape experience to teach women to be more aware of sexual assault.

    “Being a child of a rape, not knowing who my father is, not knowing if he’s ever been found, most people would think it’s such a negative situation,” she told the network.

    “Being a voice is life-changing, and I just want to keep going.”

    That sure doesn’t sound to me like she wants women to be forced to take these births to term, although I’m sure she is glad her mother made the choice.

    In any case, Paul L’s comment is yet more evidence of why Republicans won’t be turning around anytime soon. He clearly believes that women should accept pregnancies from rape as blessings. The Republican base BELIEVES this stuff.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @Scott:

    I will take that as a now and no one can find an issue that would split women (or blacks or Latinos or public sector workers or academics). Unless someone can come up with a model that can predict how the Democrats would split into two parties, it is more reasonable to believe that politics will become like it is in large blue cities: a fight over government goodies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    All of these points will just make the Democrats stronger: progressive taxes, a much larger federal government reguling everyone use of energy, law enforcement by quota, more automatic Democratic party Latino voters, and more entitlements. You can make an argument about abortion and gay marriage but I suspect that the polling shows it does not get the Republicans one vote from the left but will cause all of the social conservatives to walk away from the Republicans.

    Once again, all you have suggested is to have two political parties that do not disagree on any issue and moving to a system where the few competitive elections are based on personality and scandal. I suspect that if the Republicans tried to move hard to the left that the U.S. would just become a one party state faster than it is already becoming.

    I suspect that the only way for a conservative party to survive would be to double income taxes, reduce deduction, eliminate set asides and quotas and let the people know that the only way they get something from the government is to either pay more or take it away from some other group. However, there is not a single politician alive today that has the skill set to make people understand that they should only get the government that they (and not someone else) are willing to pay for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  38. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I suspect that the establishment homosexual community is too far to the left politically for any Republican to ever have such a moment. Trying to pander to a group that is far to left while alienating people who actually vote for Republicans is a losing proposition. Just like being liberal is a part of black culture, being a far left liberal is part of homosexual culture in the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  39. DrDaveT says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Specifics?

    1) Accept rape and incest exemptions …
    2) Get over gay marriage. Get over evolution. Get over global warming. …
    3) Make common cause with African-Americans on police thuggery. …
    4) Comprehensive immigration legislation…
    5) Tax Reform. …
    6) Work to overturn Citizens United. …
    7) Common-sense gun control….
    8) Long-term policies that are something other than, “More money for rich folks.”…
    9) A pragmatic, non-threatening, realistic foreign policy would be nice. Invent one.

    Awesome list, Michael.

    Number eight is the poison pill. For a very long time now, the Republican party has been an uneasy alliance of poor white rural male “social conservatives” (read: bigots) and their dupes, and urban wealth. The party can afford to offend anyone — might even benefit from it — except not the wealth. Without the money, there’s no party. And all the money cares about is money. The instant the Republican party is no longer the party of special bennies for the wealthy, they become merely a dysfunctional agglomeration of disaffected whackos.

    The Tea Party is working hard to drive that wedge, but I doubt they will succeed. Any serious attempt to adopt the sound conservative platform you propose above, though, would shatter the Republicans into flinders. There aren’t enough actual conservatives left to carry the mail, once you lose the greed vote on one side and the monoculturists on the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  40. DrDaveT says:

    Republicans Still Have A Problem With Female Voters

    No, women still have a problem with Republicans. There is an unsubtle distinction between those two statements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You’re a racist. That we know. But what you don’t get is that your intellectual “foundation” makes rational political analysis impossible. In the end, it always has to come back to your bigotry. It’s like trying to do math when you insist that every answer has to be six.

    Politics is the art of the possible. Politics is about assembling 51% of voters. Because your bigotry creates a massive blind spot, you don’t see the obvious: if you start with 40% you don’t need every Latino, every African-American, every woman, every college-educated person, you only need some. You only need to get to 51% of the total. Get a third of Latinos and you’re close. Get 20% of gays and you’re closer. Get 10% of African-Americans and 48% of women, and you win.

    So the math is pretty simple. You need to attract more new support than you lose old support. Where would the pro-life vote go if the GOP softened its stance? It would still be pro-life, just not insanely so. Lose a few, gain more.

    Where would the gay-hating vote go? It’s already shrinking, the passion is gone, so accept gay marriage just as the GOP is now accepting Obamacare, and you lose very few, and gain more.

    It’s not rocket science. But you’re a blind man insisting he can see. So you’ll never get it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  42. sam says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I suspect that the establishment homosexual community is too far to the left politically for any Republican to ever have such a moment.

    Well, ya know Supe, if the GOP wasn’t such a bunch of dicks about a whole lot of things, maybe it wouldn’t be on the Alienation Express to Political Suicide. Waddya think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  43. anjin-san says:

    I’m going to venture a guess about Florack. He’s married to a woman he has know since he was 20 or younger. She defers to him, always has. His experience with women aside from his wife is about as extensive as my knowledge of the inhabitants of exoplanet MOA-192 b.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  44. anjin-san says:

    Just like being liberal is a part of black culture, being a far left liberal is part of homosexual culture in the U.S.

    I just can’t figure out why blacks and gays don’t want to associate with people (Republicans) who treat them like shit.

    It’s a mystery…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  45. Paul L. says:

    @al-Ameda:
    I am worst than that.
    I am a domestic terrorist who wants to give the women free sonograms.
    And progressives believe that is so “triggering” that it should be banned.

    Being Right Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

    The poster refers to the anti-abortion poster used by Thrin and Joan Short. Miller-Young saw it, lost it, seized it and, in the process, committed battery on Thrin. But all this, from the suppression of ideas Miller-Young found wrong to the physical harm of Short, was secondary to the big wrong. The big wrong was that the Shorts were WRONG, WRONG, WRONG about abortion, meaning that they must be silenced and their ideas must be eradicated by any means necessary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  46. humanoid.panda says:

    @anjin-san: Of course, the logical step he won’t make is to examine WHY Jews, gays, affluent Blacks, and Asians all vote Democratic, even though they embody his concept of who the republicans are, being net tax-payers and all. Such self-reflection might lead him to examine himself in the mirror..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  47. Kari Q says:

    Actually, I find this part surprising:

    Republicans hold only slight advantages that do not come close to outweighing their negative attributes. The GOP holds a 3 percent advantage over Democrats when female voters are asked who has “good ideas to grow the economy and create jobs,” and the same advantage on who is “fiscally responsible and can be trusted with our tax dollars.”

    Given the economic performance of the two Bushes, why does anyone think Republicans are better on the economy and jobs?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  48. stonetools says:

    @Kari Q:

    Given the economic performance of the two Bushes, why does anyone think Republicans are better on the economy and jobs?

    Shows the incredible power of propoganda. You know the classic free speech libertarian says that in the marketplace of ideas good ideas and good speech will drive out the bad. But John Stuart Mills never saw Fox News and right wing talk radio. If he did, I think he would be a lot less confident about good speech driving out bad speech. I certainly am no longer confident about that at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  49. Gustopher says:

    The Republicans could make massive inroads with women by putting forward some policies to help parents afford childcare.

    Block grants to the states to provide vouchers for private childcare, with a work requirement and religious freedom — dress it up in all the right-wing buzz words and policies, and they could get their base to swallow it.

    I’d avoid drug testing, if I were them, since no one likes being treated like a criminal and these are people they want to attract. And I would avoid means testing, since they really want to get the middle class (soccer/badmitten/curling/whatever-this-year’s-sport-is) moms on their side.

    It’s what they always say: Chicks dig political parties that treat them like people and try to make their lives easier.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.: okay, so you don’t believe that the choice should be left to the woman, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  51. gVOR08 says:

    @superdestroyer: Still no humor. Maybe something like:

    Knock, knock.

    Who’s there?

    The 2020 RNC chairman.

    The 2020 RNC chairman who?

    (Crickets.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. dennis says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Just like being liberal is a part of black culture, being a far left liberal is part of homosexual culture in the U.S.

    Dude, you need to step outside your own head every now and then.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  53. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I guess people who failed to understand math have problems with the concept that if you get 10% of the black vote but lose 50% of the social conservative vote, then the party is much worse off. I always find it odd that liberals and progressives believe that middle class white voters in the Republicans Party will act the same as blacks in the Democratic Party. If you actually look at majority-minority districts, it should be obvious that blacks will vote for Democrats no matter how corrupt, incompetent, or failures. The idea that Republicans can pander to Latinos, blacks, and homosexuals without losing any of their current voters is beyond naive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  54. superdestroyer says:

    @anjin-san:

    It is not about associating with Republicans. If should be easy for blacks and homosexuals to be moderate, fiscal conservative, or libertairan leaning inside the Democratic Party. But that is not the position taken by elected blacks or homosexuals. The elected leaders from those two groups are far to the left of most whites in the Democratic Party and take on positions that no Republican could ever support.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  55. superdestroyer says:

    @Gustopher:

    In the long run, government vouchers, subsidies, and entitlements always benefit the Democrats. The government would have to hire more people to operate the system. The government would but a huge number of rules on the private day care providers. The government would go after private day care that does not have the appropriate number of minority children and minority employees.

    Politics in the U.S. is not really about 51% or the art of the possible. As David Axelrod has shown in Chicago and will show in the U.S., politics is about getting the elites into a position that they cannot lose no matter how much the screw up. That is the future of politics in the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  56. superdestroyer says:

    @dennis:

    Maybe you can provide a list of the moderates who are member of the Black Congressional Congress. Maybe you can provide links to all of the black politicians who are libertarian leaning, who want a smaller government, a smaller regulatory burden, and more individual freedom. Look at how blacks are supporting open borders and unlimited immigration and hoping to off set all of the downside economic effects by mandating more entitlements and creating more employment regulations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  57. superdestroyer says:

    @DrDaveT:

    You do realize that none of those issues will cause a single non-white voter to walk away from the Democratic Party but passing them will not only make the U.S. a one party state faster but things like severe campaign finance reform will just lock the current elites into their positions of power.

    I am always amazed how hard progressives are at working to eliminate elections as something that is meaningful in the U.S. I suspect that in a couple of years that progressives will go after all of the state laws that allow initiative and referendum so that outside groups will have even less power. I also suspect that as the U.S. becomes a one party state that the real trick to politics is getting what the elites want without leaving their “fingerprints” on whatever policy or laws that they want. I suspect negotiated deals with elected executives and the courts to become the way government develops policy and governs. That way, elected representatives will be nothing but a Kabuki version of democracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  58. superdestroyer says:

    @Gustopher:

    Let me translate that for you. Single moms really like a government that taxes others and gives entitlements to them. The Democratic Party currently fills that roles. If the Republicans try to compete in that space (to use the jargon word), the Republicans will probably not get any more votes from single moms but will lose the support of married white males who work in the private sector and pay taxes. Why should those white males have to pay more taxes to pay for more entitlements to a single mothers ( a group that seems to despise married white males).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  59. jukeboxgrad says:

    Florack:

    The answer to the problem is the one thing the establishment wont do… embrace and argue forcefully for conservative principles.

    Your alleged support for “conservative principles” is a joke.

    Reagan tripled the debt. GWB doubled it. The 17 largest deficits (as a % of GDP) in the period 1947-2009 were all produced by Republican presidents. Tell me the number of tea party demonstrations that took place prior to 1/20/09.

    The tea party is packed with people who instantly became born-again deficit hawks on 1/20/09, after napping for thirty years. The GOP is led by phony conservatives because the GOP base is made up of phony conservatives. They love small government except when their team is in charge of the government. That’s why no one takes them seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  60. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Well, like I said, there’s no point talking to you. You either suffered some pretty effective brainwashing as a child – I assume your father was a rabid racist as well, it’s usually the father. Or you’ve committed an act of intellectual self-mutilation for psychological reasons I can’t fathom – trauma, mental illness or whatever. Either way your brain is fried.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  61. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    I’m back, folks. Always lurking…

    Anyway, this:

    @superdestroyer:

    I am always amazed how hard progressives are at working to eliminate elections as something that is meaningful in the U.S.

    I think the term for this claim is ironic, given the person spouting it belongs to a party ideology that gerrymandered themselves into a majority after the 2010 elections and then subsequently aggressively pursued so-called “Voter ID” in many states to limit–surprise!–Democratic turnout.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  62. superdestroyer says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    Voter ID is irrelevant when it comes to politics versus the majority-minority district that are drawn to ensure that liberal black Democrats are elected to Congress. If you want to see the future of politics, look up Congresswomen Robin Kelly, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Kelly , who was elected to replace the disagraced Jesse Jackson Jr. Rep. Kelly won the special election ins a rout and can stay in office as long as she wants or until she leaves office due to a scandal.

    At least Republicans (which I am not one) do have some competitive election in their primaries. This is different than the Democrats where no incumbent Democrats seems to ever face an opponent. If you want to know why Democrats do not vote in municipal or primary elections, just look at the absence of competitive election or alternative view points. Of course, I do understand how progressive refuse to think about the gerrymandering of majority-minority districts or refuse to think about turnout in non-presidential elections.

    Of course, in the long run, the single women mentioned in this post will get what they want: a one party state, few relevant elections, a massive federal government, much higher taxes, and a scofflaw attitude when it comes to complying with laws and regulations. I just believe that thinking about demographics and how it will affect policy is more important that going: GO TEAM BLUE! WE’RE GOING TO WIN, WIN, WIN.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  63. socraticsilence says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Wait, are you positing that the GOP doesn’t try and restrict female bodily autonomy in a manner that even most conservatives would find unacceptable if applied to men?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  64. Grewgills says:

    @superdestroyer:
    I don’t buy your premise, but for the sake of argument, who do you think those good hard working white males vote for then? Do you think that they will simply drop out of the process completely like whiny little babies, or will they make the rational choice to support the party that more closely aligns with their preferences?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  65. superdestroyer says:

    @Grewgills:

    I think they do what white males have done in the deep blue states, they just move over and vote for whatever Democratic candidate that they were is to vote for. However, since there are almost no competitive elections in the Democratic Party, it does not really matter who they vote for. In the long run, those middle class private sector employed white just become irrelevant to politics much like they are current irrelevant in places like the District of Columbia, Baltimore, Chicago, etc.

    A long term thinker who is involved in politics may want to look up what happens in one party states like Mass., to the groups that vote overwhelmingly for Republicans in other states. However, given all of the demographic trends in the U.S. white males will soon be totally irrelevant to politics whether there are two parties or one, whether they vote or not. I assume that in a few years politics will be seen as Woman’s work because what heterosexual male is going to want a career being the tax collector for the welfare state and where entitlement spending has force the government to give up trying to do anything else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  66. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I find it odd that progressives who claim to be data-driven, reality-based individuals would say that anyone who notices demographic trends in the U.S. is brain-fried. I would suggest that people who keep claiming that politics should be model as if everyone is a middle class white male are the people who are really brain-fried.

    You have always claimed that people are involved in politics because they want power. I agree and the easiest way, by far, to gain political power is to become a conventional Democratic Party operatives and agree with the standard templates that Democrats have been running on for years. Of course, that means not questioning very much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  67. george says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The problem is that conservatism has become an identity group rather than a philosophical ideology, so there isn’t any such thing as “conservative principles” any more.

    With the qualifier that you’re talking about the US here. Plenty of conservative principles in just about every other part of the world.

    What is called conservatism in the US is anything but. Conservatism is like the Conservative Party in Canada conserving public health care and abortions (ie refusing to change them because they’re settled matters). What US conservatives want is some fictional Hollywood/TV fantasy of the 50’s – you can’t conserve what never existed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  68. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Dude, we all notice data, you obsess. And you exclude all contrary evidence. You claim to be data-driven, but the source of your obsession (an obsession that has made you a running joke around here) is not love of truth. You may be fooling yourself, but you’re fooling no one else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. Chip Daniels says:

    The bit about turning the US into a single party state is laughable, but reveals a blindness as to why the GOP is doing soo poorly with the rising demographics.

    Much of what passes for “highly debatable” or “Principled Conservative” points within the GOP are out of step with the majority of Americans- same sex marriage, global warming, progressive taxations, Social Security/ Medicare, contraception, and on and on.

    For most people outside of the RedState/Fox News axis, these are not issues any more than free gold or the missile gap- they are musty remnants of battles long over.

    There ARE issues that could split millenials, black people, gays, whatever- they aren’t any more monolithic than old white guys from the New Deal Era are. Its just that when you have to choose between a political movement that erects statues honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK and one that elects a President who looks like you, your differences with another black guy probably pale in comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  70. Grewgills says:

    @superdestroyer:

    A long term thinker who is involved in politics may want to look up what

    happened every time there was a political realignment in American history. Societies change and the political parties that represent them change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  71. dennis says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yeah, mr, I was going to respond to sd; but what’s the point, really?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  72. Usetabe A. Conservative says:

    @Eric Florack: The problem with your premise is what I told one of my friends when he asked me why I had “changed” so:

    Political conservatism, as it is currently constituted, is socially, economically, politically, and morally wrong on every issue of foreign policy, domestic policy, and philosophy. It really IS that simple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  73. Usetabe A. Conservative says:

    @Paul L.:

    Your proposal is Ex post facto

    Ummm…Your comment is a dangling modifier–Her proposal is Ex(sic) post facto…what?

    Ex post facto functions as a modifier after “is” and needs additional modification to tell what is ex post facto about it.

    Yours truly,

    The Grammar Police.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  74. Usetabe A. Conservative says:

    @Paul L.: Okay, I’ll tell you what–I’ll agree that a professor on a college campus should not be engaging in supression of speech and assault (easy for me, I think that she was wrong) and you tell me where the reference to free sonograms comes into the article in The Campus Fix. I didn’t see it in the article.

    But, I do want you to know that I am not accusing you of embellishing a story to gain sympathy for your position because I know that you wouldn’t do that. It must have been an oversight by The Campus Fix or the author of the blurb that marked your link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  75. superdestroyer says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    Since you cannot list an an issue that would split blacks or Laltino, then it should be assumed that they do not exist. Here is another way to test your theory, list a Democratic Party primary race where black or Latinos split their vote beween two candidates. Anything where than the gap is less than 10% is acceptable. I doubt if such a race has occurred in any election during the Democratic primary season in the last six years. When voting for Democrats has become part of black culture in the U.S. and when blacks feel the need to vote for “their” candidate, the primary elections become irrelevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  76. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Thank you for reinforcing every stereotype about progressives: facts mean nothings, status seeking drives your political view points, and snark is all you have. Once again progressives are data driven until the data goes against their silly status seeking and then the data must be ignored.

    The future of governance and policy in the U.S. will be very interesting when the U.S. is a one party state and most data that the government collects cannot be used to make policy or governance decisions because the data will be cosidered “brain-fried,” “obsessive,” or “KKK hate facts.”

    Someone who is really interested in political science should be thinking about the future but I guess status seeking and being part of the conventional wisdom is too hard to overcome for most people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  77. Anonne says:

    All this bleating about a one-party state… everyone seems to forget that George Washington himself warned against factions! That is, he was suggesting that we avoid political parties. And even so, there can be disagreement inside a party about issues. What is more important is that we have a thoughtful process on issues, not so much party identification.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  78. superdestroyer says:

    @Anonne:

    And what would be your demonstration of a throughful process that has occurred in the last few years where the blocks inside the Democratic Party managed to review a wide range of options and come to a conclusion that lead to a successful outcome?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

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