The Party of Reagan on Immigration

A 1980 debate between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush shows a different GOP.

ronald-reagan-flag

In a Daily Beast essay on why Hillary Clinton’s strategy of laying low while her opponents take shots at her is “actually brilliant” (he’s right), Nick Gillespie points a posting by his Reason colleague Jesse Walker on how much the Republican Party has changed on immigration policy since the days of Ronald Reagan.

Three and a half decades ago, Republican rhetoric about the border sounded rather different than it does today. From April 23, 1980, here’s Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush discussing illegal immigration at a debate before the Texas presidential primary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixi9_cciy8w

Here’s the transcript:

AUDIENCE QUESTION: Do you think the children of illegal aliens should be allowed to attend Texas public schools free, or do you think that their parents should pay for their education?

[…]

BUSH: Look, I’d like to see something done about the illegal alien problem that would be so sensitive and so understanding about labor needs and human needs that that problem wouldn’t come up. But today, if those people are here, I would reluctantly say I think they would get whatever it is [that] society is giving to their neighbors. But it has— the problem has to be solved. The problem has to be solved. Because as we have kind of made illegal some kinds of labor that I’d like to see legal, we’re doing two things, we’re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent, family-loving people that are in violation of the law, and secondly we’re exacerbating relations with Mexico.

The answer to your question is much more fundamental than whether they attend Houston schools, it seems to me. If they’re living here, I don’t want to see…six- and eight-year-old kids being made, one, totally uneducated, and made to feel like they’re living outside the law. Let’s address ourselves ot the fundamentals. These are good people, strong people. Part of my family is Mexican.

[audience applause]

REAGAN: Could I add to that? I think the time has come that the United States, and our neighbors, particularly our neighbor to the south, should have a better understanding and a better relationship than we’ve ever had. And I think that we haven’t been sensitive enough to our size and our power. They have a problem of 40 to 50 percent unemployment. Now this cannot continue without the possibility arising—with regard to that other country that we talked about, of Cuba and what it is stirring up—of the possibility of trouble below the border. And we could have a very hostile and strange neighbor on our border.

Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems? Make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit, and then, while they’re working and earning here, they’d pay taxes here. And when they want to go back, they can go back. They can cross. Open the borders both ways.

The Supreme Court would render the question moot in 1982, ruling that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment required exactly what Reagan and Bush said that decency required. Reagan would go on to sign the Simpson-Mazzoli Act in 1986, legalizing seasonal farm workers and granting amnesty and a path to citizenship to some four million immigrants who were in the country before 1982.

What’s notable here is that both men not only instinctively understood the politics of insulting millions of people who had come to improve the lives of their family (or were simply dragged along by parents trying to improve their lives) but also the human decency of taking care of children, regardless of their legal status. Moreover, they understood that the real problem to be addressed wasn’t people crossing the border illegally but the prospect of a failed state below that vast border.

So what happened?

In an insightful essay in the June 1998 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, Christopher Caldwell argued that “The Southern Captivity of the GOP” was rendering the party “obsolescent.”

The party faces a crisis of confidence that has many symptoms — repudiation in the most sophisticated parts of the country, widespread distrust of the Republican leadership, an inability to speak coherently on issues. All of them grow out of the same root cause: a vain search to rediscover the formula that made that unformulaic President, Ronald Reagan, so broadly appealing — even beloved. Congressional Republicans triumphed decisively in 1994 on such Reaganite issues as free trade, welfare reform, and shrinking the government. But thanks to a deficit-dissolving economy and a dwindling memory of the Cold War, those issues were of declining importance even then, and they have given way to a bipartisan consensus. “Consensus,” of course, is only another way of describing the issues that have been taken off the table. What remains for the party to talk about? On first thought, not much. The Republican strategist Ed Gillespie says, “We’re like the dog that caught the bus.”

Now that there is no longer any force on the political landscape to challenge their general principles, the Republicans are clinging to power, even as they grow confused about what exactly they are supposed to do with it.

What especially struck me at the time was this analysis:

[In the 1996 presidential election] the Republicans lost heavily among Hispanics, America’s fastest-growing voting bloc, who added 1.5 million voters from 1992 to 1996, and will probably add as many again by the next presidential election. This alarming result confounded an earlier Republican optimism. Democrats who had arrogantly assumed that standard-issue minority politics would easily pull Hispanics into the party fold were proved wrong throughout the 1980s. Hispanic voters turned out to be disproportionately entrepreneurial and disproportionately receptive to Republican family-values rhetoric, and gave the party roughly a third of their votes in the three presidential elections from 1980 to 1988. Leaving aside Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York, who do fit the Democrats’ minority paradigm, the Republicans were doing better with the Hispanic vote than might be expected.

But the Republicans in the 104th Congress tried to shore up their Texas and California right wings with hostile rhetoric on immigration. They passed legislation that sought to deprive not just illegal but also legal immigrants of federal benefits. (Newt Gingrich and other Republicans backpedaled in 1997, reversing some of the measures, but the damage was done.) And California’s Proposition 187, supported by Republican Governor Pete Wilson and aimed at denying benefits to illegal immigrants, brought angry Hispanics to the polls in unprecedented numbers. Clinton took 72 percent of the Hispanic vote nationwide, including 81 percent in Arizona and 75 percent in California; he took 78 percent of Hispanics under thirty. He nearly split the Hispanic vote even in Florida, where 97 percent of the Cuban population voted for Reagan in 1984.

The hardening loyalty of Hispanics is a catastrophe for the Republicans’ presidential prospects. According to census projections, by 2025 the country’s two most populous states, California and Texas, will be 43 and 38 percent Hispanic respectively. And earlier in the decade California was hemorrhaging Republicans anyway, owing to what could be called the Fuhrman effect: a large secondary migration of older, middle-class whites who appear to have lost patience with the multiracial, multicultural society already in evidence in the state, and have moved to Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and other more solidly Republican states of the intermountain West.

Younger readers may not recall that California had been a solid Republican state at the presidential level. With the exception of the Goldwater debacle in 1964, the GOP carried the state in every election from 1952 to 1988. Nixon carried it three times and Reagan won it twice. Bush the Elder won it in 1988. Bill Clinton reversed the tide in 1992 and the Democrats have held it, usually by wide margins, ever since.  So long as the GOP doubles down on the Prop 187 message, it’ll never be competitive there.

Caldwell concludes making a broader point:

There is a big problem with having a southern, as opposed to a midwestern or a California, base. Southern interests diverge from those of the rest of the country, and the southern presence in the Republican Party has passed a “tipping point,” at which it began to alienate voters from other regions.

As southern control over the Republican agenda grows, the party alienates even conservative voters in other regions. The prevalence of right-to-work laws in southern states may be depriving Republicans of the socially conservative midwestern trade unionists whom they managed to split in the Reagan years, and sending Reagan Democrats back to their ancestral party in the process. Anti-government sentiment makes little sense in New England, where government, as even those who hate it will concede, is neither remote nor unresponsive.

The most profound clash between the South and everyone else, of course, is a cultural one. It arises from the southern tradition of putting values — particularly Christian values — at the center of politics. This is not the same as saying that the Republican Party is “too far right”; Americans consistently tell pollsters that they are conservative on values issues. It is, rather, that the Republicans have narrowly defined “values” as the folkways of one regional subculture, and have urged their imposition on the rest of the country. Again, the nonsoutherners who object to this style of politics may be just as conservative as those who practice it. But they are put off to see that “traditional” values are now defined by the majority party as the values of the U-Haul-renting denizens of two-year-old churches and three-year-old shopping malls.

If anything, the problem has grown worse in the subsequent seventeen years. For one thing, Hispanics now make up a whopping 17 percent of the population. For another, the country has grown far more liberal on key social issues, with the South fighting tooth and nail. And because the combination of concentration of voters, perfection of partisan gerrymandering, and greater propensity to vote among its demographic groups allows the GOP to hit above its weight in Congressional and midterm elections, the party’s leadership can deny that they have a problem.

The cultural wars will likely never end but the key battles of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s have mostly been lost by the South. School prayer and flag burning have long been off the radar screen. Women are commanding battleships and piloting fighter jets; a handful have now moved on to the Mountain Phase of Ranger School. Not only are gays openly serving in the military but they’re marrying other gay soldiers and getting full benefits. And, seemingly out of nowhere, the Confederate battle flag is being stripped not only from capital flagpoles but Walmarts and the tops of Dodge Chargers.

Even more than 1998, then, the Republican Party needs a new message. Reagan’s platform on tax cuts and military spending was so popular that the Democrats co-opted it; we’re now just haggling at the margins. Reagan’s rhetoric on abortion and other social issues—which was mostly that, with little policy energy behind it—is now decades out of phase with reality. And, as demonstrated, Reagan’s message on immigration and border policy would be most welcome in 2015.

As Gillespie details in his piece, Hillary Clinton is shrewdly letting Bernie Sanders and others pander to the Democratic base while keeping her eyes on the real fight with the Republican Party. We’ll see if Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and others from the more moderate wing of the GOP can demonstrate similar discipline and still win the nomination. A candidate who appeals only to elderly white Southerners has no chance of beating Clinton.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Borders and Immigration, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    This problem for the Republicans has it’s origin a couple of generations ago with Lee Attwater’s “Southern Strategy.” It actually worked well for them for several decades but not so much anymore. The deep South has always been a different country but even the South is in transition. Virginia is no longer considered a red state. In Texas Austin has always been blue but now both Houston and Dallas are purple and looking bluer all the time. Even Huntsville Alabama is trending blue as is Georgia. It won’t happen by 2016 but after that who knows. This is the result of at least two factors ;
    1) Migration from the North
    2) Many of the young people simply don’t share there parents and grandparents social conservative and Confederate values.

  2. Tony W says:

    I would love to see a modern Republican candidate “debate” the recording of their hero Reagan on some of these issues. Just for my own amusement, not sure it would persuade anybody to change but it would be entertaining.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nice post James, but may I suggest a different title? Reagan is Dead and so is His Party. My point being that the GOP keeps reaching back for a President who really wasn’t and a time that never really was. Conservatives need to move on.

  4. HarvardLaw92 says:

    There is a big problem with having a southern, as opposed to a midwestern or a California, base. Southern interests diverge from those of the rest of the country, and the southern presence in the Republican Party has passed a “tipping point,” at which it began to alienate voters from other regions.

    Ding ding ding …

    I’ve said for years that the South is, and always has been, effectively a separate country (that the rest of us are stuck with having) inside our borders.

    That having been said, for decades the South was the Democratic Party’s problem. Now it’s the GOP’s cross to bear, and we’re gleeful that’s the case. Be careful who you get into bed with, or you’ll wake up with fleas …

  5. anjin-san says:

    Reagan was also pro-union. Today’s conservatives don’t give a damn about what Reagan though on the issues, they simply want to exploit the mythical version of him that they have invented.

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @anjin-san:

    the mythical version of him that they have invented

    Exactly – Saint Ronaldus of Burbank – who has never existed outside the confines of the GOP’s imagination.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @Ron Beasley: Yes. Lest SD’s fears come true*, Republicans need to recognize that this didn’t fall out of the sky on them. This is something they did to themselves, and to the country. And they can undo it. Or at least they could undo it if, in this Citizens United era, they were still a party, not just a label and a contentious caucus.

    * I know, I know. SD’s real fear is that they will adapt, and no longer be his white people’s party.

  8. superdestroyer says:

    Reagan used to stupidly say that Hispanics were Republicans but did not know it. In reality, Hispanics have always been liberal voters and have always known it. There is no way the more conservative party is ever going to appeal to Hispanics when more than 50% of Hispanic Children are born to unwed mothers, as long as the academic achievement of Hispanics is where it is at, and as long as the Democrats can promise to tax the rich and spend the money on Hispanics.

    The future of politics is that the Democratic Party will increase its dominace, that Hispanics will just be one block inside the Democratic Party fighting over spending and who pays, and most Republicans will eventually start voting in the Democratic Party primary to have some influence on policy and governance in the U.S.

  9. superdestroyer says:

    @gVOR08:

    So course the Republicans did it to themselves. The cheap labor Republicans wanted high levels of immigration to push wages down. However, those idiot cheap labor Republicans did not think about the long term impact on taxes, government spending, or quality of life when they proposed to replace middle class whites and blue color blacks with third world immigrants.

    The real question is how high will immigration do as the U.S. becomes a one party state or will the Democrats realize that they do not need to keep importing so many automatic Democratic voters where the Republican Party is no longer relevant.

  10. Mark says:

    Screw Reagan and especially his idolators. Maybe he still provide nutrients to the soil but above ground it’s time for GOP to move on.

    Does anyone remember the 90s SNL skit about Bill Brasky, ‘best salesman in the office’? That’s what listening to Republicans (even James) talk about RR sounds like to me.

  11. Dean says:

    I am cautiously optimistic that with what, 17 people running already, that the GOP may have fractured enough to get the rebuilding process started this cycle.

    My thoughts:
    The Christian right is dead within the GOP as far as playing Presidential kingmaker.
    The Tea Party flamed out much faster than expected and is pretty much spent
    Trump is a buffoon, but he is anathema to social conservatives and he is very popular. It is telling that the first 15 minutes didn’t go to a SoCo.
    The country as a whole, especially in the past few weeks, has shifted institutionally to the left in a fairly significant way.

    Massive ideological shifts that remake parties happen, we saw it with civil rights, we may be looking at such a shift now. If the entire country is more or less in agreement on the big social issues (and polling indicates that this is rapidly becoming the case), the political parties will be forced by the market to find economic and policy issues to differentiate themselves.

    Personally, I don’t want to be faced with one party that I can’t vote for and the other one any longer, I want two credible choices (at a minimum).

  12. anjin-san says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Seriously dude, go see a therapist…

  13. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “There is no way the more conservative party is ever going to appeal to Hispanics when more than 50% of Hispanic Children are born to unwed mothers”

    You keep on about this, but why should it be? Does a marriage license magically make you Republican — because it sure didn’t with me. Do you think that women who have sex outside of marriage are too icky so subscribe to conservative economic principles?

    Or do you just hate and hear brown people?

  14. michael reynolds says:

    Reagan was somewhat more open-minded on immigration.

    But let’s cut the crap, here. Ronald Reagan deliberately played the race card. Ronald Reagan was the one who cemented the connection between the south and the GOP. Ronald Reagan is the second biggest reason – behind Nixon – that the GOP is now inextricably linked with racism.

    Once you start pandering to racists it is inevitable that nativism will follow.

    Given what I believe to be your age, James, by the time you became a Republican you were already clearly joining the White People’s Party. By 1980 there was no doubt in any objective observer’s mind that Reagan was pursuing a southern strategy of his own and was clearly and deliberately appealing to racists.

    On August 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave his first post-convention speech at the Neshoba County Fair after being officially chosen as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. He said, “I believe in states’ rights … I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.” He went on to promise to “restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them”.[6] Analysts believed that his use of the phrase was seen by many as a tacit appeal to Southern white voters and a continuation of Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy, while some argued it reflected Reagan’s libertarian economic beliefs. The speech drew attention for his use of the phrase “states’ rights” at a place just a few miles from a town associated with the 1964 murders of civil rights workers.

    That’s not subtle. That’s not even dog whistle race-baiting, it’s right out there in the open.

    No, I don’t think that means you’re a racist. I have never formed that impression of you. But like many whites, especially white males, and especially white males with a military background, you were drawn to a party that was 1) strong on defense, 2) capitalist, both of which appealed to me as well, but also 3) racist and 4) sexist. (The nativism came later.)

    Is national defense still a relevant rationale for supporting the GOP? No. The GOP is not stronger on defense. Is the GOP still more clearly capitalist? Yes. But they are also more clearly racist and sexist and nativist.

    So the modern Republican is making a choice. The modern Republican is prioritizing money over civil rights. And what money are we talking about? What is the net difference between what a Democrat would collect in taxes and what a Republican would do? Is it 10%? Hardly. How about 5%? Unlikely. So, something less that 5%. And that’s the price of a Republican’s conscience. Cut his taxes by a few points and he will throw blacks, Latinos, women, gays, whoever, under the bus.

    As recently as 1980, Republicans would only sh-t on blacks and women and gays for money. Now they’ll also sh-t on Latinos. That’s the GOP version of progress. And that, my little idiot friend SuperD, is why we are headed for a one-party state. The GOP dinosaur will not adapt. Survival is really quite easy: dump the south, dump the racism, dump the gay-bashing, accept the equality of women, and let’s all debate foreign policy and economic policy. Or, keep a good strong hold on that confederate anchor and ride it all the way to the bottom.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    Incidentally:

    The census also found that Asian mothers were the least likely to be unmarried, with just 11 percent of new Asian mothers being single. White single mothers also were below the national average, at 29 percent. Among Hispanics, 43 percent of all new mothers were unmarried, as were 68 percent of all African American women who had recently given birth.

    If we are to believe @Superdestroyer’s totally not insane racist analysis, we are to believe that the gap between 29% and 43% – a 13% difference – dooms all Latinos to be Democrats. And how do Asians vote? Democrat.

    So. . . Let’s see, the group with the lowest and the two groups with the highest rates of unmarried motherhood all vote Democratic. The group that votes Republican is 18 points “worse” than Democratic-voting Asians, but only 13% better than Democratic-voting Latinos.

    So clearly it’s all about unwed motherhood and certainly not race. Because SuperD is totally not an obsessed racist.

  16. Lenoxus says:

    michael reynolds:

    The modern Republican is prioritizing money over civil rights. And what money are we talking about? What is the net difference between what a Democrat would collect in taxes and what a Republican would do? Is it 10%? Hardly. How about 5%? Unlikely.

    Actually, my impression is that it was a nontrivial 30%.

    Or thirty somethings, I don’t recall the unit of measure.

  17. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “What is the net difference between what a Democrat would collect in taxes and what a Republican would do? Is it 10%? Hardly. How about 5%? Unlikely. So, something less that 5%. And that’s the price of a Republican’s conscience. Cut his taxes by a few points and he will throw blacks, Latinos, women, gays, whoever, under the bus.”

    The difference is who they are collecting the taxes from. Most Republicans object to taxing the rich more. Make the taxes regressive enough, and even Grover Norquist doesn’t mind (see Pennsylvania’s increases to gas taxes).

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @Lenoxus:

    Look at US government spending over time as a percentage of GDP. It hit the low twenties in the late 70’s. It took about a 5 point jump during the recession, and is now back in the low twenties, about where it has been pretty consistently across parties for about 40 years or so. So net net we’re arguing about 3% more or less of GDP.

    That’s the difference – and by the way, purely theoretical – which motivates Republicans to sacrifice the equality of their fellow Americans. That’s what it takes to buy their conscience. If you offered a Money Republican a 5% tax cut he’d sell out the First Amendment. For 10% he’d happily start rounding up Mexicans. For 15% he’d stand at the border machine-gunning children as they swim the Rio Grande.

    Money, money, money. Partner with a racist? Hell, that’s the least of what a Money Republican will do.

  19. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Why Asians have moved from being split between the two parties to being overwhelmingly Democratic Party supporters. I believe it is dues to the incompetence of the Bush II Adminstration, California moving to a one party state, and the overt religious nature of the Republican Party.

    However, it would make more sense for the Republicans to try to win back more votes from educated, personally conservative Asians before scrambling after the votes of very liberal Latino voters.

    However, no matter how the Republicans try to realign themselves, their attempts will fail and the U.S. will become a one party state. The question is how what the Republicans will do in the future but what will conservatives do when they are voting in the Democratic Party Primaries of the future.

  20. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The real question for the future is what will happen to spending and taxes when the Democratic Party no longer has to worry about the Republicans and can do whatever it wants. How high will taxes go to provide all of the entitlements and government jobs that Democrats keep promising themselves. What percentage of the GDP can the Democrats hope to control when more than 50% of voters are automatic Democratic Party voters and there is no chance that a fiscal conservative can win an election as dog catcher, let alone Senator or President.

  21. Lenoxus says:

    @michael reynolds: As I’ve found in other occasions, my joking style can be way too subtle sometimes. (I was alluding to a certain famous/mythical instance of someone trading values for the right price.) But this time I was rewarded with some interesting economic information, so thanks!

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Right. Or we could ask some people who aren’t racist idiots why Asians vote for the blue team:

    First, there’s race. The feeling of social exclusion stemming from their ethnic background might push Asian Americans away from the Republican Party. Many studies, like Henri Tajfel and John Turner’s work on the psychology of intergroup relations, have shown that one’s identification with a broad category of people—be it on the basis of language, ethnic or racial solidarity or some other trait—is important politically. Republican rhetoric implying that the (non-white) “takers” are plundering the (white) “makers” has cultivated a perception that the Republican Party is less welcoming of minorities. That might help explain why Asian Americans, despite their “maker” status, prefer the Democratic Party—even if the GOP doesn’t discriminate against Asians specifically.

    And many Asian-Americans do feel like they don’t get equal treatment. According to the 2008 National Asian American Survey, nearly 40 percent of Asian Americans suffered one of the following forms of racial discrimination in their lifetime: being unfairly denied a job or fired; unfairly denied a promotion at work; unfairly treated by the police; unfairly prevented from renting or buying a home; treated unfairly at a restaurant or other place of service; or been a victim of a hate crime. We found that self-reported racial discrimination was positively correlated with identification with the Democratic Party over the Republican Party.

    I doubt you were able to read that first graf. Let me see if I can help. It says, FIRST, THERE’S RACE. And then there’s this:

    The result: When immigration was framed as an issue that teamed Hispanics and Asians together under the umbrella of common interest, 72 percent identified as Democrats and 28 percent as Republicans. But when immigration was framed as an issue that pitted Hispanics and Asians against each other, only 67 percent of Asians identified as Democrats and 33 percent as Republicans.
    Our findings of course do not mean that social exclusion and solidarity with other groups are the only reasons why Asian Americans are Democrats. Nor do these reasons necessarily explain the variation among immigrants from different Asian countries (Indian and Chinese Americans, for instance, are more Democratic than Vietnamese Americans). But they do shed new light on why Asian-Americans in general have moved sharply left in recent years.

    What can the GOP do to win them back? As long as Republicans appear scornful of minorities, our findings suggest, they will not get Asian Americans’ electoral support.

    So, that would also come down to the fact that they vote D in large measure because of racist, nativist aszholes.

    But surely this is all from some lefty publication, right? Or maybe it’s from:

    Alexander Kuo is assistant professor of government at Cornell University.
    Neil Malhotra is associate professor of political economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Cecilia Hyunjung Mo is assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.

    I can believe three Asian political scientists, or I can believe a Storm Front internet troll.

    If you’re still having a hard time understanding, let me make it simple for you. The reason Asians vote with us us because of people like you. Very similar to why blacks and Latinos and gays vote with us. Because people don’t vote for folks who hate them. So as long as the GOP is a racist party, it will lose ground.

    Duh.

  23. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Thank you for showing what politics will be in the future. Whites are seen by all non-whites as the enemy and thus, non-whites need more government spending and entitlements. Thus, non-whites are never going to vote for any party that is seen as the white party.

    Many white progressive reporters have written that in the future that Latinos will want to be seen as whites much like Italians became whites. However, everything you post suggest that there will be a massive flight from being considered white and thus, the U.S. will have a one party state where all of the ethnic and racial groups with fight over special government privledge. You have already seen that in California where Latinos and Asians are fighting inside the Democratic Party over affirmative action. cite

    I agree with you that there is no way for any form of a conservative party to appeal to non-whites and that the U.S. politics will become like California politics. However, I see how keeping all of the blocks inside the Democratic Party together will be very hard once the perceived threat of Republicans is gone. Talking about voters suppression, Koch Brothers, and racist Republicans will lose its effectiveness as the Republican Party fades away to total irrelevance. However, unlike progressives, I try to think about what politics, governance, and policy will be in the coming one party state. Progressives seem to want to ignore the future because “Go Team Blue” is more important.

  24. steve says:

    “Whites are seen by all non-whites as the enemy”

    Nope just right wing whites. So, just to be clear, you are now saying Asians are lazy and just want government handouts? Here, let me remind you. “non-whites need more government spending and entitlements.”

    Steve

  25. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “However, it would make more sense for the Republicans to try to win back more votes from educated, personally conservative Asians before scrambling after the votes of very liberal Latino voters.”

    And I’m sure they will. And I’m sure they will make exactly the same racist assumption that you do — that because “they all look alike,” all Asians think alike. They, like you, are completely incapable of understanding the vast differences between Japanese, Chinese, Vietname and Korean cultures. ‘Cause they’ve all got those slanty eyes, and you know what they say about their women, hyuck hyuck.

    See, SuperD, that’s one reason it’s so hard for a racist party — or one racist loon — to appeal to people of different races. First you have to care about how they’re different.

  26. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    You are forgetting that Indians count under the Asian designation. They may not be similar to the Chinese or the Koreans but they vote in a very similar fashion to them. Thus, they will stay in the Democratic Party no matter what the Republicans try to do .

    What progressives are suggesting is that the Republicans just surrender and become some form of irrelevant Democratic-LIte Party that will be irrelevant to policy or governance but will be handy to blame for failures in the future (See the Republicans in California or Maryland as good examples.

    However, as the U.S. becomes a one party state, liberal voting Asians will understand that they have little in common with Latinos and their combined dislike of whites will not be enough to sustain their current policy and governance agreements.

    Instead of spending all of their time calling irrelevant Republicans racist, maybe progressive should spend more time thinking about what government funding will be in the future, what immigration will look like in the future, what fertility trends will exist in the future, and what happens in a country when more than 50% of the population is eligible for a quota, set aside, or affirmative action What happens when more than 50% of children are born to single mothers. What happens when most the population are either retirees, poor immigrants, or poor children of single mothers. How does that demographic situation compete in the world marketplace?

    But then again, why think about the future when progressives can spend their time cheer leading for them blue and calling people names.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I realize you’re both dim and obsessed, but of course nothing you said is remotely the case.

    Do all Jews hate all Germans? No. Do we all hate Nazis? Yes. Now take that formula and apply it to every minority, ever.

    Did Jews pick a fight with Nazis? No. Did Nazis try to exterminate Jews? Yes.

    Now take that formula as well and apply it to every minority ever. Blacks didn’t pick a fight with whites, blacks were minding their own business in Africa when whites kidnapped and enslaved them.

    It’s really not hard to grasp. Victims dislike the people who victimize them. They do not tend to dislike the people who do not victimize them. You are one of the victimizers. You’re like a rapist who then whines that women don’t like him. Try not being a racist aszhole and you’ll find you are not despised by blacks or by decent whites. Continue to be a racist aszhole and you will be despised.

    It’s entirely your choice. You seem to have some desperate need to be despised. God only knows what kind of a snake pit of a home you grew up in that left you with that need. I’m sorry for whatever has led you down this sad, self-destructive and shameful path, but whatever the cause you’re a creature who will be held in contempt by humanity until you get some help.

  28. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Think you for once again confirming that progressives love to use ridicule and public shunning to get people to mouth political correct platitudes. You seem to be confirming that as the U.S. becomes a one party state that race-based reparations will be a sure thing because no one will want progressives to call them bad names if they oppose race-based government.

    What everyone who is in 7-12 needs to be taught is how to mouth politically correct opinions while finding a way to live their lives to avoid the negative outcomes of the policies that they publicly support. I guess the way that all of the progressive, liberal voters in Marin County who are opposing George Lucas’s proposal to build affordable housing can be used as a case study.

    What is amazing is how a refusal to think about the long term impacts of policy and governance proposals will be seen as a positive in the future.

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Yeah, poor you. It’s so terrible when a racist gets called a racist. Accuracy is a terrible thing.

  30. An Interested Party says:

    …what immigration will look like in the future, what fertility trends will exist in the future, and what happens in a country when more than 50% of the population is eligible for a quota, set aside, or affirmative action What happens when more than 50% of children are born to single mothers. What happens when most the population are either retirees, poor immigrants, or poor children of single mothers. How does that demographic situation compete in the world marketplace?

    Is it any wonder that minorities vote for Democrats at such high rates, what with Republicans/conservatives spewing trash like this? What you fail to realize is that it is an attitude like this that drives minorities to the Democratic Party, not the alleged reasons you cite…

  31. ernieyeball says:

    We can go back to Governor Ronald Reagan of California on how he would end anti-war demonstrations at Berkely.

    “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement.”

    And we should also check his sentiments about feeding poor people.

    In FEBRUARY 1974, Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, led by Donald “Cinque” DeFreeze. One of its demands was a free-food program. Patty’s father, Randolph Hearst, publisher of the San Francisco Examiner arranged for such a project. Gov. Ronald Reagan commented on the long line of people waiting for free food, saying he hoped they’d all get botulism.

    WikiP
    Why do I think 2015 Republicans would endorse such depraved remarks?

  32. Hal_10000 says:

    A post that perfectly encapsulates why I used to be a Republican and why I’m not anymore.

    I do think you (and the GOP) underestimate the South. In 2008, Obama won Virginia and North Carolina and was competitive in Georgia. In 2012, the Southern primary voters turned out for Romney in all but a few states. A more moderate GOP would easily win the South, no problem. Hell, they might win back Virginia and have an easier time with Florida. The problem with the GOP is cowardice and an inability to see beyond the most vocal fringe.

    Probably the embodiment of this was George Allen. A native of California who came to Virginia and decided to adopt a BS “good old boy” persona. It eventually blew up in his face when he made a racist remark.

    I don’t want Jeb Bush to be the nominee but if he can win with a more moderate message, maybe it will encourage the GOP to recover their sanity.

  33. Dave D says:

    @superdestroyer: What no one seems to point out to you and it shows there is a definite lack of any Asian voices on this site (seen by me having to point this out). Every time you voice your disdain for AA you always make references to how bad Asians are getting treated under the program. They themselves do not have nearly the issue with it as whites do, concerning their designation in the program. This weird obsession on the right with how Asians are treated is seen by them. And I could be wrong, but all of the many Asians East and Central, I work with and talk to daily, is this thing that whites in general do to them. Asians are treated as the almost white or as good as white minority class. Mostly pushed by the right but the can be a trope of the left. By trying to prop them up as a model minority and shedding your crocodile tears that they are thrown to the wolves under AA is belittling at best. It is another reason they don’t vote Republican. You are always looking for the model minority and the tin ear your party has on race alienates any coalition that isn’t composed of whites fighting for the status quo.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    Republican establishment leaders know they need to get away from the Nixon/Reagan “let’s bring the racists into the tent but we’ll use code words so no one will know” strategy. But Donald Trump shows the problem with that. He’s capturing a solid 10% of the Republican primary voter, with spikes up to 20%. It seems to me that these are the people who are primarily or substantially motivated by race, and that correctly understand the Republican Party is their ally in this. A republican primary candidate can’t give up such a large block, and in the general election that block would be 5-10% of the overall electorate, again a block too large to give up.

    On the other hand, embracing this block prevents them from making inroads among the very blocks that could replace the racially motivated. So the dilemma: the choice made by Nixon and Reagan precludes them from making any other choice.

  35. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Given what I believe to be your age, James, by the time you became a Republican you were already clearly joining the White People’s Party. By 1980 there was no doubt in any objective observer’s mind that Reagan was pursuing a southern strategy of his own and was clearly and deliberately appealing to racists.

    I think this and your supporting evidence is revisionist at best.

    I was just shy of 15 when Reagan was elected but that was indeed the election in which I began to really care about politics. The Iran Hostage Crisis was the major framing event but Reagan’s economic and social message resonated as well.

    On August 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave his first post-convention speech at the Neshoba County Fair after being officially chosen as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. He said, “I believe in states’ rights … I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.”

    First off, this was mere months after the launch of CNN and decades before the modern social media environment. A speech given at a campaign rally somewhere wasn’t generally going to be dissected in the manner it is today. Second, despite “states rights” often being invoked in favor of both slavery and segregation in their day, there remains a very strong passion, especially in rural areas, for being allowed to govern themselves with as little interference from Washington as possible.

    Some of Reagan’s other messaging, notably his references to “welfare queens driving Cadillacs” and the like, was much more clearly aimed at white racial fears. But I don’t think the vast majority of people would have recognized that in 1980; the bar as to what counts as “racist” has been moving constantly (and for good reason) as we’ve gotten further from the Jim Crow era.

    In hindsight, Reagan was a more polarizing figure than his supporters want to acknowledge. But he won two national landslide elections, increasing his showing in his re-election bid. He nearly split the Hispanic vote in 1980, winning 42% to Carter’s 48% (and Anderson’s 7%).

    But like many whites, especially white males, and especially white males with a military background, you were drawn to a party that was 1) strong on defense, 2) capitalist, both of which appealed to me as well, but also 3) racist and 4) sexist. (The nativism came later.)

    That’s true but also revisionist. Most people are of their time and most politicians instinctively pander, often without much self-reflection, to the prejudices of the day. By today’s standards, the Jimmy Carter of 1976 and 1980 was certainly sexist and probably racist. Reagan was very mainstream in his social rhetoric, whereas the Tea Party wing of today’s GOP is pandering to a revanchist minority in the South and rural West. It’s a very different thing.

    Being “like Reagan” doesn’t mean doesn’t mean “being Reagan.” Someone running on Reagan’s 1980 platform—even if he possessed Reagan’s communications skills, natural charm, and sunny optimism—would have a hard time winning in 2016. It would be like someone running on FDR’s 1944 platform in 1980.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner:

    That’s true but also revisionist. Most people are of their time and most politicians instinctively pander, often without much self-reflection, to the prejudices of the day

    I accept most of your post, except for this part. The implication was that the code words and racism was unintentional. But that neglects Lee Atwater’s death bed confessions and contrition for what they had done. He confirmed that the Republican establishment had pursued a deliberately racist strategy, albeit using the code words of the 70’s and beyond rather than the “n*gger, n*gger, n*gger” of the previous decades. Lee Atwater was the Karl Rove of his day. He was not a fringe member.

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @Dave D:

    It is hard to claim that Asian Americans do not care about affirmative action when they just went to war with Latino Democrats in California over the issue. And in the end, the Asians won and kept affirmative action from coming back to California.

    Do you really believe that Asians support the idea in Texas that UT-Austin will apply a different admission standard for Latinos and blacks versus Asians and whites. Do you really believe that Asians do not care that the Ivy League has quotas on Asians. cite

  38. TheoNott says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The very example you just cited seems to refute your own theory that “minority set-asides” (or whatever) will keep going indefinitely into the future. I think the California example is instructive, actually. In the long run, the country will move to a stable compromise whereby the two populations who have been most gravely victimized in American history (the descendants of African-American slaves who are visibly black, and enrolled members of indigenous tribes) will be given privileges in government hiring, contracting, and perhaps college admissions. Not coincidentally, these two groups are effectively capped in number.
    I find it interesting that the racial Far-Right loves to harp on how supposedly unfair modern America is to whites due to affirmative action, contract set-asides, etc., but the truth is that the government continues to spend more on white Americans than their share of the population, and especially compared to their share of the poor population.

    See here:

  39. Tony W says:

    WTF is it with Republicans anyway? Even at age 15, I saw through Reagan’s BS in 1980. I’m amazed at people who really believed GW Bush had evidence of WMD, that his father would not raise taxes and that Reagan didn’t know about Iran Contra. I suppose we can blame willful ignorance, but when the D’s have a non-phony scandal it’s about dishonesty relating to BJs in the White House – slightly different scale.

  40. gVOR08 says:

    @Tony W: HW Bush saw through Reagan’s BS. And said so in the debates, “voodoo economics.” Of course he let that go in favor of his own ambition. Then paid for it when the bills for Reagonomics came due.

  41. Tony W says:

    @gVOR08: Excellent point, and it reinforces the ‘willful ignorance’ theme.

  42. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan: The Atwater quote is generally taken out of context. The 45-minute interview is actually quite nuanced, noting that you can’t fully separate race and racism from politics given our long history but that, by 1980, race was a background issue. Tax cuts aren’t racist and the appeal to them isn’t racist; the impact nonetheless has a disparate impact on blacks. Ditto, “tough on crime,” “welfare reform,” and other hot button issues.

    Daniel McCarthy does a really good job on this one as does John Hinderacker.

  43. ernieyeball says:

    …there remains a very strong passion, especially in rural areas, for being allowed to govern themselves with as little interference from Washington as possible.

    Yeah. The po’ clodhoppers aren’t satisfied with all the subsidies they get from the rest of us.
    They gotta’ steal the use of Federal land too.
    See racist Cliven Bundy.

  44. stonetools says:

    @James Joyner:

    Some of Reagan’s other messaging, notably his references to “welfare queens driving Cadillacs” and the like, was much more clearly aimed at white racial fears. But I don’t think the vast majority of people would have recognized that in 1980;

    Er, speaking as an African American who was there in 1980, you would be wrong about that. Most whites got the message, and the conservative racists-including many who were then in the Democratic Party-liked the message and voted for him. They became the Reagan Democrats of the 1980s and the “new” southern (and midwestern) Republicans of the 1990s and beyond.

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    Tax cuts aren’t racist and the appeal to them isn’t racist; the impact nonetheless has a disparate impact on blacks.

    This is the very definition of clueless.

    In order for tax cuts to pass they must get past voters. White voters assume that all non-defense spending is on minorities. The reason people believe that is because it’s what they were told, largely by Ronald Reagan. (The Atwater quote is perfectly apt.) And that’s how they are made to support tax cuts which will harm them as well. This game goes back to plantation days. The Republican tax cut agenda – like the GOP itself – relies upon racism.

    By the time you were supporting the GOP it was already clearly a whites only party. It was clearly scapegoating blacks. The speech in Neshoba County was a very clear signal, clearly understood at the time and commented on widely in the media; no social media required. There was no ambiguity.

    It is Ronald Reagan who chose to take his party down this path. He chose to scapegoat black people. He chose to pander to the worst elements in the South. He laid the foundation for the mainstreaming of white racism which supported the flying of the confederate flag. He invented white victimization – the very mentality that sent Dylann Roof on his killing spree. There is a clear and indelible connection between creeps like Roof and the demi-god Reagan.

    And people like you, good people like you, secure in your white male privilege, threw black people under the bus in order to cash a tax refund check.

    Now, you may not like that, but that’s the reality. Had Nixon rejected the Southern Strategy, had Reagan refused to expand upon it, this would be a better, fairer, more just country. But Republicans threw that better future away for a few extra dollars.

    It is time for Republicans to stop lying to themselves. It’s the truth that sets you free, not rationalization. You belong to a party that owes every modern presidential election victory to the votes of a deliberately coddled group of hardcore racists, a larger group of ‘soft’ racists, and manufactured white resentment. You cannot possibly make a case to the contrary and you know it. Your own comment section makes the case: we have half a dozen racists here and we both know they aren’t voting Democratic.

  46. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    In order for tax cuts to pass they must get past voters. White voters assume that all non-defense spending is on minorities. The reason people believe that is because it’s what they were told, largely by Ronald Reagan. (The Atwater quote is perfectly apt.) And that’s how they are made to support tax cuts which will harm them as well. This game goes back to plantation days. The Republican tax cut agenda – like the GOP itself – relies upon racism.

    I would qualify this, Michael, to say that there really was a class of “libertarian lite ” voter that really believed that Laffer curve, Milton Friedman BS. They were 1%ers and aspirational 1%ers that made up the thin upper crust of Republican voters. ( I count James and even more, Doug as that type voter).
    The vast majority of the Republican voters heard that tax cut language exactly as you stated. Those voters-and their descendants-later understood Obamacare as taking away their heard earned Medicare benefits and giving it to “you know who”. It is what was behind the Republican wave in 2010 and is why the Republicans are going to be pounding out the “repeal Obamacare” message for a while longer.

  47. stonetools says:

    @ernieyeball:

    The US West is pretty much a creation of the federal government. Federal armies conquered it from the Mexicans and the First Nations and corralled the natives into reservations. The Transcontinental Railway made it accessible . Federal land grants brought the farmers. Federal water projects made much of the land fertile. Federal subsidies and federal grants of grazing rights helped generations of farmers and ranchers. Federal highways-well , you get the idea.Yet the West is where all the rugged individualists go to live, there to vote against Big Gumint.
    There is a poster here who lives out there in the West, who is one of those rugged individualists. When Doug posted about proposed US Post Office cutbacks in the rural areas, he complained about this being a violation of the “national compact.”

  48. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “Some of Reagan’s other messaging, notably his references to “welfare queens driving Cadillacs” and the like, was much more clearly aimed at white racial fears. But I don’t think the vast majority of people would have recognized that in 1980; the bar as to what counts as “racist” has been moving constantly (and for good reason) as we’ve gotten further from the Jim Crow era.”

    Seriously? Did you ever leave the South before 1990? Did you ever meet a liberal or read a liberal magazine in Reagan’s time? Did you ever see Doonesbury? Because out on the west coast and in the north east, EVERYONE knew exactly what Reagan was saying and doing.

  49. stonetools says:

    Here is the sad reality of what the South’s love for Reagan’s policies has wrought:

    It is a downbeat reality for a region that for much of the second half of the 20th century was actually closing its gap with the rest of the country, helped by the federal war on poverty and the end of legalized segregation. But during the past 15 years — and particularly since the Great Recession — the catch-up has stalled. By some measures, it has reversed. Somebody born today in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia or South Carolina is far more likely than someone born elsewhere in the United States to attend a poorer school, drop out before high school, work a low-paying job, struggle with debt, go to prison and die young, according to national health, labor and education statistics.

    Hundreds of years of segregation are now creating a “very hard-to-break pattern of human behavior and economic relations,” said Robert C. Lieberman, the provost at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University and an authority on race in America.

    But the troubles in the Deep South go well beyond race to include frayed state finances, which have eroded the safety net for the poor, as well as public school underfunding, which leaves those who can afford it scrambling to private schools. And it extends to a growing technological divide that has left significant rural areas without access to the digital world; a rise in single-parenthood, which is a major indicator for generation-to-generation poverty; and the decline of rural job opportunities in states that have long relied on agriculture rather than on urban hubs.

    What went wrong in Tunica is a matter of perspective. For many African Americans — and the county’s current officials — it was a story of a largely white political leadership that did not grasp the depths of poverty facing many black residents and did not choose to use the casino revenues that flowed into the county in an equitable way. So instead of funding skills training and providing programs for the vulnerable, they poured money into a riverfront wedding hall, an Olympic-size indoor swimming pool and a golf course designed by a former PGA Tour pro — all while implementing a massive tax cut that primarily benefited the wealthy

    It’s like the South has forgot nothing and learned nothing over the last two centuries.

  50. TheoNott says:
  51. Grewgills says:

    wr
    Hell, I’m a few years younger and grew up in the buckle of the bible belt and I knew what he was saying. I was in a more liberal (relative to the region) family, but it was obvious to my friends and I in 5th grade.

  52. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools: God, Guns, and guts the US Army and federal infrastructure investment Won the West.

  53. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: I’m going to look up the Atwater interview and get back to you. But I think your generosity to Reagan’s intentions goes to far. My recollection, if not faulty, is there was tremendous stir about his speech and where it was located beforehand with questions about it put extensively to his staff and also to the man himself. So he definitely knew how many perceived it, especially in the black community. And when he got up and talked about state’s rights, well, he removed all doubt about what his intentions were.

    You seem to be saying that this appeal to racist white voters was an accidental side effect that wasn’t much noticed at the time. That may have been true in the South. It was certainly not true in his home state of California, nor the rest of the country.

  54. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: Basically, I think you are more correct than me, at least as far as a “smoking gun” goes. I conjoined two separate things – the series of death bed apologies he made in the early 1990’s and a 1981 anonymous interview (his name was revealed after his death) in which he uttered the infamous words. His main thrust in 1981 was that he didn’t have to use Nixon’s Southern strategy any more, and that he was still in full on Rove mode (or more accurately, Rove emulates the earlier Atwater, not the deathbed one). Given what I think of national Republicans after Eisenhower I take his words as a sneering lawyer-ish bunch of claptrap, but fairness I have to admit that someone who is willing to take them at face value and give the benefit of doubt could interpret them differently. FWIW, here’s something from what Wiki has on the 81 interview:

    Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

    Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”[10][11]

    Atwater also argued that Reagan did not need to make racial appeals, suggesting that Reagan’s issues transcended the racial prism of the “Southern Strategy”:

    Atwater: But Reagan did not have to do a southern strategy for two reasons. Number one, race was not a dominant issue. And number two, the mainstream issues in this campaign had been, quote, southern issues since way back in the sixties. So Reagan goes out and campaigns on the issues of economics and of national defense. The whole campaign was devoid of any kind of racism, any kind of reference. And I’ll tell you another thing you all need to think about, that even surprised me, is the lack of interest, really, the lack of knowledge right now in the South among white voters about the Voting Rights Act.”[12]

  55. MarkedMan says:

    I responded to James comment a second time, after I researched the Atwater interview and made the mistake of quoting Lee Atwater directly, rather than use the n*gger dodge. Could someone pull it out of moderation?

  56. MarkedMan says:

    Thanks

  57. DrDaveT says:

    @James Joyner:

    Tax cuts aren’t racist and the appeal to them isn’t racist; the impact nonetheless has a disparate impact on blacks. Ditto, “tough on crime,” “welfare reform,” and other hot button issues.

    You wouldn’t happen to be interested in buying a bridge, would you? I’ve got a great one over here…

  58. superdestroyer says:

    @stonetools:

    Anyone who believes that casinos will help the local economy has not studied the economic effects. Did gambling help the people living in Atlantic city or in all of those smaller towns that have riverboats?

    Also, it is hard to blame whites in Tunica when the county is over 75% black.

  59. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “First off, this was mere months after the launch of CNN and decades before the modern social media environment. A speech given at a campaign rally somewhere wasn’t generally going to be dissected in the manner it is today. Second, despite “states rights” often being invoked in favor of both slavery and segregation in their day, there remains a very strong passion, especially in rural areas, for being allowed to govern themselves with as little interference from Washington as possible.”

    It’s true that the ‘liberal’ MSM didn’t take note of that – the town was only significant for the murder of civil rights workers. It’d be like a right-wing German politician kicking off a campaign in the city of Dachau (if that city were smaller than it is).

    For some reason those liberals in the MSM said very little.

  60. humanoid.panda says:

    If we are to believe @Superdestroyer’s totally not insane racist analysis, we are to believe that the gap between 29% and 43% – a 13% difference – dooms all Latinos to be Democrats. And how do Asians vote? Democrat.

    Actually, the numbers you cite are even worse for SD’s “thesis” than they appear. Among white people, those without college degrees are more likely to have children out of wedlock- and vote Republican. White people with college degrees have near-Asian levels of two-parent households, and are much more likely than their working class counterparts to vote Democratic..

  61. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner: So we accept the analyses by a couple of partisans of Atwater’s remark, and Reagan chose Neshoba County why? Darts on a map? This county fair was the only venue available that date? Like @stonetools:, I was older than 15 and politically aware in 1980. The welfare queen remark was well known and widely regarded as a racist.

    Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They need to appeal to race while not letting the soccer mom’s realize they’re doing it. The dog whistling has gotten more difficult and more devious. They can deny it, and the soccer moms don’t hear it. But the dogs do. In the interview you discount, Atwater explained it. When Bush? talks of people needing to work more or Romney talks about 47% who won’t take responsibility, honestly James, what mental picture do you think the average Tea Partier sees?

  62. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Married whites vote for the Republicans at about a 2 to 1 ratio. The whites who who are the most likely to vote for the Democrats are high school drop outs, singles, and those who work in academia, the public sector, or law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_gap

  63. John H says:

    @Lenoxus:

    Yeah, a bit subtle. Even after you dropped the hint it took a moment to get the pieces of silver connection!

  64. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer:
    What you are doing here is a composition fallacy. We know that older people vote GOP; older people are also more likely to be married, which explains why married people vote Republican.

    However, we also know that for the population at large:

    High school graduates are more Republican than non-HS grads, but after that, the groups with more education tend to vote more Democratic. At the very highest education level tabulated in the survey, voters with post-graduate degrees lean toward the Democrats. Except for the rich post-graduates; they are split 50-50 between the parties.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2012/11/voting_patterns_of_americas_wh_1041497.php

    Given that we know that among younger White people, college educated people are more likely to both get married and be Democrats, the “marriage gap” will be closed in the next twenty years.

  65. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    College educated whites are much more likely to be married when they have children (a conservative POV) and to be finanacially stable before having children (a conservative POV), however, the average age at first marriage for college educated white males is over 30. And the number of children they are having is very low because children are very expensive.

    The 20 states with the lowest white birthrate and marriage rates are the bluest states. The states with the highest white birthrates and highest rates of marriage for whites are red states. The marriage gap is huge since it benefits Republicans it is ignored. However, the gender gap which is due to single mothers, black females voting 99% for Democrats, and the high costs of living in urban cores, gets reported all of the time.