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Is the GOP still a national party?
September 26, 2012 10:39 PM   Subscribe

Is the GOP still a national party?
posted by latkes (100 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting comment: The Republican party is now, in essence, a parliamentary party trying to operate in a presidential system, and this bad fit is what causes them to lose presidential elections.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:56 PM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Last I looked they'd only lost one Presidential election out of the past three. Yes, it looks likely they'll lose the next one, but even with a nominee with unusually high negatives, they're still running a close campaign.

We here this story every four years - this will be the year the losing side loses relevance in politics, will never be elected again, has lost touch, etc, etc, etc . And guess what - it's never true.
posted by Neale at 10:58 PM on September 26, 2012 [38 favorites]


What about changing demographics? The piece doesn't seem to touch on that. The makeup of the country is changing but the Repubs are not changing with it. That they can't is a trap of their own design, it seems.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:02 PM on September 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


They never were a majority party.

The coalition of plutocrats, bible-thumpers and we-built-its was jammed together in order to overrule the Liberal Consensus and roll back the New Deal.

It's pathetic how the rank-and-file holy rollers are letting themselves be used like that.
posted by univac at 11:08 PM on September 26, 2012 [36 favorites]


The makeup of the country is changing but the Repubs are not changing with it.

Are you sure? I am not American so I probably don't know enough of what goes on at the grassroots level, but Bobby Jindal (first Indian-American governor in the US), Susana Martinez (first female governor of New Mexico and first female hispanic governor in the US), and Nikky Haley (first female governor of South Carolina, second Indian-American governor in the US) are all Republicans.
posted by vidur at 11:10 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


the party of Eisenhower ’52

As I predicted!
posted by univac at 11:13 PM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bobby Jindal (first Indian-American governor in the US), Susana Martinez (first female governor of New Mexico and first female hispanic governor in the US), and Nikky Haley (first female governor of South Carolina, second Indian-American governor in the US) are all Republicans.

And Michael Steele was their chairman until they ran him out on a rail. Institutionalized tokenism is not a broad demographic base of support.

The GOP won't change until Roger Ailes decides that it needs to. A party that commands the ongoing support of a ubiquitous, nationwide news outlet (and which has cowed the other one into near-total capitulation) will always have a significant impact at the national level.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:16 PM on September 26, 2012 [24 favorites]


Also, holy shit so much money...
posted by R. Schlock at 11:16 PM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Last I looked they'd only lost one Presidential election out of the past three

Put another way, once we're done in November they will have gotten more votes for President in one of the last six elections. And that was a fluke because of 9/11.

But there's still an outside chance they find a charismatic candidate and pull off a win in 2016. The real fun starts when the Latino population of TX grows enough to swing that state to the democrats. It's happening.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:25 PM on September 26, 2012 [16 favorites]


Are you sure? I am not American so I probably don't know enough of what goes on at the grassroots level, but Bobby Jindal (first Indian-American governor in the US), Susana Martinez (first female governor of New Mexico and first female hispanic governor in the US), and Nikky Haley (first female governor of South Carolina, second Indian-American governor in the US) are all Republicans.
So is Dinesh D'Souza. What's your point? The comment was about the party's base, not a broad statement about every single one of its members.
Institutionalized tokenism is not a broad demographic base of support.
You know, that's some BS right there. Sure, the GOP doesn't do much to actively pursue the Latino or black votes, but it can appeal to those groups through means other than identity politics.
posted by deathpanels at 11:27 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bigger question of course, is what exactly have "we" won? Because if the Republicans' goal is to see a Conservative in the Oval Office, well then Barack Obama getting two terms is a great success for them.

My hoped-for future involves both parties splitting, and we're left with four parties:

A new Liberal party, since American liberals are currently unrepresented.
The democratic party can become the choice of sensible, Obama-style Conservatives who don't mind health insurance or gay people.
The republican party can be for slightly-to-the-right of Obama righties.
And a Tea Party style far-right party for the real crazies.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:29 PM on September 26, 2012 [27 favorites]


So, you want four parties beholden to the rich, rather than two? What does that fix?
posted by univac at 11:32 PM on September 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Hell, judging by the array of villains and dunces they surfaced for the presidential nomination this time, they barely qualify as a political party at all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:33 PM on September 26, 2012 [14 favorites]


obligatory
posted by 7segment at 11:34 PM on September 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Look, if you hitch your entire wagon to white men in a time of waning population share of white men, you've made a deathly strategic error. Even in this election, the only shred of hope for a Republican win lies in massive voter suppression. Four years from now, voter intimidation in swing states probably isn't going to be enough. 90% of US Latina/os under age 18 are citizens. The entire core of the Republican party is overtly anti-Hispanic, except for the business wing represented by Mitt Ro-- oh, wait.

I imagine the Republicans fancy themselves the equivalent of the Tories, but in reality I think they've become an outsized American analogue to the BNP or Front National.
posted by threeants at 11:35 PM on September 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


it can appeal to those groups through means other than identity politics.

Do you mean "can" in the sense of "is presently able to", or "can" in the sense of "could if it wanted to"? Because if it's the former, I want a hit what you're smoking. And if it's the latter, then we're no longer talking about your crazy uncle's GOP.

Do you suppose that blacks and latinos are so freaked out by gays that the anti-marriage equality plank will bring them into the big tent? Because that's the only thing I can think of that even remotely supports your claim here. And it's a stretch.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:35 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama is our Eisenhower
posted by univac at 11:36 PM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Drone strikes are our Interstate Highway System.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:37 PM on September 26, 2012 [20 favorites]


Control+F 'demographics'
0 results

This article is missing a major reason that the GOP is in serious trouble.
posted by mullingitover at 12:06 AM on September 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: The makeup of the country is changing but the Repubs are not changing with it.

vidur: Are you sure? I am not American so I probably don't know enough of what goes on at the grassroots level, but Bobby Jindal (first Indian-American governor in the US), Susana Martinez (first female governor of New Mexico and first female hispanic governor in the US), and Nikky Haley (first female governor of South Carolina, second Indian-American governor in the US) are all Republicans.

deathpanels: So is Dinesh D'Souza. What's your point? The comment was about the party's base, not a broad statement about every single one of its members.

I didn't really have a point to make. Given my admitted ignorance about grassroots level American political landscape ("the base"), I was wondering about the political significance of Republican governors who come from a background that seems to be part of "makeup of the country" that is changing.

If the issue is the changing demographics, then surely there is something to be said about the changing demographics of Republican governors itself. These are elected politicians, not just journalists/authors (like Mr. D'Souza, who I had to google just to be sure) or some random people from the new American demographics who happen to be Republicans. These are people who have been elected by "the base" to govern in their respective states, so I suppose their existence means something beyond token nominated party positions.

Or, I have it wrong and America will soon have just one party of significance because of changing demographics. I say this sincerely, because there is nothing impossible about that as such.
posted by vidur at 12:10 AM on September 27, 2012


It strikes me that immigrants and many minorities can be socially conservative and should form a natural part of the Republicans' base, but are being driven out by racist and anti-immigration policies.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:26 AM on September 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


If the issue is the changing demographics, then surely there is something to be said about the changing demographics of Republican governors itself. These are elected politicians, not just journalists/authors (like Mr. D'Souza, who I had to google just to be sure) or some random people from the new American demographics who happen to be Republicans. These are people who have been elected by "the base" to govern in their respective states, so I suppose their existence means something beyond token nominated party positions.

The selection of candidates in either party is heavily influenced by party interests, partisan media, and wealthy donors. This is, in some ways, inevitable. There is literally no way someone in Florida or Oregon would have ever come to hear of Barack Obama if the Democratic Party hadn't chosen him to speak at their convention and otherwise raised his profile. So no, I don't think the perhaps-disproportionate amount of people of color in state and national Republican politics represents a groundswell of popular support for Republicans in those communities. Empirical polling data prove the contrary.

It may be worth noting that many Republican politicians of color represent sub-demographics that bring them closer in some way to the general makeup of the party. For example, Bobby Jindal converted from Hinduism to Christianity; Nikki Haley was raised Sikh but identifies as a Christian; Marco Rubio is Hispanic but also Cuban-American, a group with a particularly strong tradition of conservative politics; Herman Cain is delusional; etc.
posted by threeants at 12:34 AM on September 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


@vidur: Republicans on the national level appeal to a base of working-class whites and mostly-white upper-middle class people, plus the Bush II era religious extremists, and the Nativist (anti-immigrant) segment. In addition, the Tea Party (ultraconservative offshoot) has been pulling the GOP right, which is why we haven't been seeing a moderate Republican party as national demographics continue to change.

Things are different in regional elections. Romney and McCain were relatively moderate as governor and senator, respectively. But they quickly changed their tune when they entered national politics, because that's how the GOP wins national elections.

Basically, the GOP has one national election strategy: appeal to the base. They're afraid of straying from that strategy and probably won't until they start losing by wider margins than they do currently.
posted by deathpanels at 12:41 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Last I looked they'd only lost one Presidential election out of the past three. Yes, it looks likely they'll lose the next one, but even with a nominee with unusually high negatives, they're still running a close campaign.
We here this story every four years - this will be the year the losing side loses relevance in politics, will never be elected again, has lost touch, etc, etc, etc . And guess what - it's never true.


I find that my opinion of the article is often influenced by reading it. You might try it sometime.

They never were a majority party.

Reagan '84: 58.8% of the popular vote, 49 states, 525 electoral votes.

My hoped-for future involves both parties splitting, and we're left with four parties

I dunno, i honestly don't think that can happen. i forget whether it was Nate Silver I read pronouncing on this the other day or some other, less informed source, but I was definitely reading something about how there tends to be significant ideological shift within parties in the US but real splits are rare and viable third parties non-existent. I think that's just a function of the way our system is set up --- the Electoral College is written into the constitution, and even if you winkled that out of there, the presidency being siloed off from the legislative branch means that you just don't get situations where you can get varied party coalitions bringing a leader to power: Either it's your guy or it's not and if it is he has all the marbles and can determine whether you're able to pass anything or not. Given that the presidency is a sort of enormous canal lock determining the flow of power, I wonder if a two party system isn't simply a naturally stable end state, since you need to have a big enough group rallying under one flag in order to have the resources to win it.

Like, imagine the position of the smallest party in your scenario --- how do they get anything done? They pretty much have to throw their support to the party closest to them ideologically in order to have a hope of getting one of their priorities passed, because being the smallest party they're pretty much guaranteed to never have one of their own presidents in office, which means everything they want to pass is at much greater risk of veto. And even when they do get something through, if it turns out to be popular, the president can take partial credit, meaning that any fourth party is less likely to move more supporters into its column through pure legislative success. So if you can't make a name for yourself nor win the big prize on your own steam, why not just pack it in and merge with the party most similar to you? Your loyalty may be worth something.
posted by Diablevert at 12:43 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks, threeants. That made a lot of sense to me. Googling, I came across this recent report (PDF) that seems to have empirical data to support what you said. This BBC article is good too.
posted by vidur at 12:48 AM on September 27, 2012


And on lack of preview, thanks to deathpanels too.
posted by vidur at 12:49 AM on September 27, 2012


Why the Republicans Will Never Change, Cont'd.
posted by homunculus at 1:01 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


vidur: "Or, I have it wrong and America will soon have just one party of significance because of changing demographics. I say this sincerely, because there is nothing impossible about that as such."

There will be two parties. We here in the US are just hoping that the Republicans don't do something really, really stupid on their way to reformation. The violent (and frankly ignorant) rhetoric of the Tea Party wing is often dismissed as just that, rhetoric. The problem is that a rather large proportion of those who self identify as Tea Partiers seem all too willing to "take back" their country through violence. It has been some time since we've had such a substantial fraction of the electorate cheering on our failure and hoping for an armed revolution.

They don't realize it, but they are working to make the US a third world nation. That is also scary. I'm not sure if it makes it more or less scary that they don't know that's what they're working towards.

threeants: "Marco Rubio is Hispanic but also Cuban-American, a group with a particularly strong tradition of conservative politics"

Strong, but weakening, if my Miami-based friends are to be believed. Apparently the younger folks just don't have the fear of Castro in them, despite their parents' best efforts.
posted by wierdo at 1:40 AM on September 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yes, it looks likely they'll lose the next one, but even with a nominee with unusually high negatives, they're still running a close campaign
There's no nice way of saying this so I'll just come out and say it. They're still running a close campaign against a black man. If everything was the same except Obama's skin was white he'd be looking at polling leads in the 20s and 30s. There is an enormous section of the Republican vote which is just straight up racist and if you took that away Romney would probably be sat at home right now because campaigning would be a waste of time.
posted by fullerine at 2:08 AM on September 27, 2012 [39 favorites]


Precisely.
posted by spitbull at 2:14 AM on September 27, 2012


@drjimmy11 The GOP has better bench strength for the 2016 election than the Dems. The only Dem candidate to jump to mind is Hilary, and the prejudice against a female President in the US is even higher than a black man. Which leads me to...

@fullerine You are correct, there is a section of the GOP vote that is straight up racist. Whether it is enormous or not is another matter. A larger problem for Obama is the economic state of the country (regardless of who is to blame of it), with any incumbent bound to struggle with an unemployment rate of >8%.

However, to say that the GOP can't change, or will never change is to ignore a hundred years of historical precedent that proves political parties - including the GOP - can and do change, constantly. Yes, they have tilted towards Tea Partyism now (unsurprisingly enough a change in and of itself), but is that any more electorally damning in the long run than the tilt towards McCarthyism? Of course not.

It's always nice, on either side of the spectrum, to believe your political enemies are in the final death spasms before they slip into oblivion. These beliefs, more often than not, tend to be short-sighted, rose-tinted, and wrong.
posted by Neale at 2:24 AM on September 27, 2012


Hell, judging by the array of villains and dunces they surfaced for the presidential nomination this time, they barely qualify as a political party at all.

My view of this is that after Obama's tremendous victory in 2008 the GOP simply decided that there was no way in hell they were going to unseat him in 2012 and basically wrote that election off. Then suddenly in early 2011, with all the things that upset Obama's further-from-the-base voters causing real backlash, the GOP woke to the notion that 2012 was in fact potentially winnable. But it was too late to organize a proper campaign and those party weirdos who were taking advantage of the vacuum were already off and running. Which is why the whole GOP primary process was such a freakshow. So in Romney the GOP has the most-electable of its unelectables-with-money and will likely run slap into a loss in November as those outraged by Obama's failure to do certain things realize that the vote against Romney is still valuable to them. What happens in 2016 is obviously going to be different; and it will depend in large part on a) whether the GOP has electables that are for now remaining backstage and b) who the Dems choose to run. (Plus of course all the other infinite variables of the election process; this is simply about the candidates.)
posted by chavenet at 2:27 AM on September 27, 2012


A small followup, a quick bunch of links on the death of the opposing party. Some of these are 'analysis', some are merely 'rants' (and there's a least one link from one of Metafilter's favourite people) but there's a constant theme you are welcome to enjoy - the claim that the other party is dying.

I just grabbed the first few I could find with no thought to sanity or quality, but there a thousand more similar screeds out there.

If you want to go ahead and join the illustrious ranks of those below, sure, claim the GOP are dying, or claim they aren't a national party, or claim they can't get ahead of the demographics, or claim they can't change even when presented with the polling data, or whatever. You wouldn't be the first to claim they're dead, and in 50 years time you won't be the last.

2001: The Democratic Party is Dead

2002: The Dying Democrats

2004: The death of the Democratic Party

2005: Dying Gasp GOP and the Future of the Democratic Party

2005: "The Dems will never win another national election until the last Vietnam era Dem pol has died off."

2006: Obituary for the GOP...or "He's Dead, Jim"

2006: "Even a dying party has death throes."

2011: The Death of the Democratic Party (1828-2012)
posted by Neale at 2:48 AM on September 27, 2012 [26 favorites]


It's going to be pretty interesting to see how the GOP takes losing in November. Because, even if it isn't a big loss (though I think it will be) - it's still a loss, and a costly loss, at that. 4 years of blocking, at significant cost in terms of popularity and credibility - for naught; all the money blown on SuperPACs and all that Citizens United - enabled spending - for naught.

So, when they lose, what's the plan? Continue to block everything? Is that going to sound like a winner, the morning of Wednesday, November 7? Maybe the mere fact of loss *again* is going to shake things up.
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 3:49 AM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, I don't think McCarthy is saying that the GOP is dead. What he's saying is that the current GOP strategy isn't going to win national elections or allow the country to be governed effectively and therefore we wind up with the worst of all worlds.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:27 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


The GOP has better bench strength for the 2016 election than the Dems. The only Dem candidate to jump to mind is Hilary, and the prejudice against a female President in the US is even higher than a black man.

Hahahaha... no. The GOP had the best opportunity to unseat an incumbent since GHW Bush. It was gonna be Carter II. If they had managed to produce a field of candidates who weren't utterly bonkers and/or corrupt to the bone, this election would be a cakewalk. The only candidate who was remotely qualified, John Huntsman, was never, ever in the running.

Once they lose this one, it will be a bloodbath, a battle for the soul of the party between the right-wing and the moderates, and the moderates don't look like they're in a terribly good position.

I'll take Deval Patrick or Al Franken* over anyone, anyone who emerges from that wreckage.

* - Yup. I just went there. You heard it here, first, kids.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:35 AM on September 27, 2012


For what it's worth, it looks like NC will have a Republican governor after this next election.

As for everything else, I will wait until THIS election is over before I assume anything.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:50 AM on September 27, 2012


The GOP has better bench strength for the 2016 election than the Dems.

I keep hearing this, but I still have no idea what it means. There are currently 51 Democratic senators (17 under 60 years old) and 20 Democratic governors--not counting former such officials getting the oh-so-valuable "private sector experience"--and the mayor of almost every large city in the U.S. is Democratic. What determines our bench strength exactly?
posted by psoas at 4:51 AM on September 27, 2012


What determines our bench strength exactly?

School boards.
posted by R. Schlock at 4:53 AM on September 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


The GOP has better bench strength for the 2016 election than the Dems.

Seeing as Romney was the only even remotely viable candidate in this year's Republican primary race why would you think that 2016 would be any less of a clown show?
posted by octothorpe at 4:53 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, what's interesting is that many people think that if/when Romney loses, the Republicans will have a "McGovern" moment and turn HARD to the right, and their next candidate for president will be someone like Mike Huckabee, who could never be confused for a liberal.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:16 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I keep hearing this, but I still have no idea what it means. There are currently 51 Democratic senators (17 under 60 years old) and 20 Democratic governors--not counting former such officials getting the oh-so-valuable "private sector experience"--and the mayor of almost every large city in the U.S. is Democratic. What determines our bench strength exactly?

There was a FPP that discussed this last week. Basically, the story is that between the Obama campaigns sucking up a lot of the money and the DNC rolling back Dean's 50-state strategy, there isn't a next generation of Democrats (let alone liberals) that is poised to take on political campaigns at all levels of government. Just on the Federal side alone, there's 22 Democrats are up for re-election in the Senate in 2014, and almost all of them are vulnerable. Meanwhile, the GOP spent the last several decades years grooming candidates for local and state office as well as Federal, and in all the Census (and therefore redistricting) years like 2000 and 2010, they've conspicuously won wave elections for those offices. Thanks to those elections controlling said redistricting, they not only run a majority of state legislatures and almost half of the governorships, they've calcified enough of the US House to make it difficult to take back barring a complete party meltdown. And there's the possibility that there's enough people on the ideological edges of the parties who are angry enough at their own party to punish them in national elections but don't care, don't know, or aren't organized enough to make a big push to influence local and state elections. At the moment that's much more of a problem on the left (and not without good reason, but still) that no one apart from Dean has really worked towards fixing.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:24 AM on September 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Seeing as Romney was the only even remotely viable candidate in this year's Republican primary race why would you think that 2016 would be any less of a clown show?

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, maybe Chris Christie or Huckabee? Now, I don't even think they are insanely great politicians presentationally. But they aren't obviously absolutely insane like the Pokemon-quoting Herman Cain or (can't believe I'm saying this) onetime-frontrunner Michelle Bachman.
posted by jaduncan at 5:25 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


//It's going to be pretty interesting to see how the GOP takes losing in November.//

I suspect they will double down on the current strategy of opposing anything Obama supports. I good number of them really would prefer that the country fail if success means Obama gets any credit for it.
posted by COD at 5:40 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, maybe Chris Christie or Huckabee?

Huckabee is too old and his variety of Crazypants won't appeal to anyone outside of the South. Chris Christie is too abrasive. Jeb Bush is, well, a Bush - they're like the Anti-Kennedys at this point. Rubio won't make it out of the primary, mostly because of racism and fear of a Spanish-Speaking America.

Hillary Clinton might be too old at this point, but she's a brawler, and she'll have access to both the Clinton and Obama campaign machinery, which is really, really potent. Deval Patrick is a very likable man, in charge of a very economically successful state. Al Franken is photogenic, charismatic, and fiercely intelligent.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:44 AM on September 27, 2012


The battle for white men
Since 1972, white men have voted roughly 60-40 percent in favor of the Republican Party in presidential elections.



For Romney, experts say, holding onto close to 60 percent of the white male vote is particularly critical because he has fewer options to fill in the void with other demographics. He is not doing well with white women and he is unlikely to attract sizable numbers of African-Americans and Latinos.
posted by XMLicious at 5:45 AM on September 27, 2012


I'm not arguing that they'll win!

The benchmark was "why would you think that 2016 would be any less of a clown show?". I would submit that, say what you like about them, they aren't Bachmann et al.
posted by jaduncan at 5:47 AM on September 27, 2012


Ignore the habitual italics on the top line. :/
posted by jaduncan at 5:47 AM on September 27, 2012


The period in which this has happened corresponds to a historic resurgence of the GOP in Congress and at the state level. There’s an intuitive connection. Significantly fewer people vote in state and congressional elections than presidential elections. The GOP base is better organized and more engaged locally than Democrats are. But this actually undercuts the party at the national level. So well organized are the GOP’s ideological constituencies that they prevail in legislative primaries and push the party’s overall identity to the right. (That’s not the same as making it more “conservative,” as I’ll explain in a minute.) These ideological groups also have a great deal of muscle at the presidential primary or caucus level, but even beyond that, their success at the legislative level means that a presidential contender’s loyalty to the GOP brand — proof that he’s not a RINO — has to be demonstrated by professions of fealty to what is an essentially regional identity, not a national one.
That's the gist-- the idea is to reconcile two curious facts -- the GOP is killing it at the State level, but struggles to field a national candidate who can win.

Here's the thing -- all the GOP needs is another GWB, a candidate that appeals to just enough of the rest of us and who can make it through the primaries without smudging the Compassionate Conservative packaging too much.

For this cycle Romney was that candidate. He was the moderate with the big money. He was the crossover. It's the GOP's dumb luck (and Obama's typically good luck) that he's also an unlikeable plutocrat who can't run a political campaign.

By 2016, eight years out of the White House and the inevitability of Obama's departure will temper some of the grassroots GOP anger (the funding and institutional support will dry up for those types, too, 'cause that kind of idiocy will be less useful), and the GOP will field more Huntsmans and fewer Huckabees.
posted by notyou at 5:48 AM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


The final paragraph sums it up pretty nicely.
[Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan] didn’t pretend they were going to abolish the welfare state — often, they didn’t even pretend they would cut the welfare state — unlike so many of today’s Republicans, who don’t follow through but do use their rhetoric to polarize. That gives us the worst of both worlds: big government plus the delusional sense within one party that it represents the antithesis of big government and may freely hate other Americans who don’t mouth the mantra.
posted by gaspode at 6:01 AM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


The "bench strength" argument is a numbers thing, entirely. Democrats will be defending a shitload of seats and, just numerically, will be at a disadvantage.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:08 AM on September 27, 2012


Money is such a bigger thumb on the scale at the local level, too. For example, in my congressional district my congressman is used to running unopposed. This time he has a challenger. According to some research, the incumbent has +/- $300k in the warchest, while the challenger has about $5k. That's a HUGE differential. But it's also, in the scheme of things, a pittance in total.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:16 AM on September 27, 2012


Oh, sweet Jesus.
posted by ColdChef at 6:17 AM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


The only Dem candidate to jump to mind is Hilary, and the prejudice against a female President in the US is even higher than a black man.

I think Hillary Clinton would've won in 2008, and I think we're finally ready to elect a female president. Women are 50.8 percent of the US population according to the 2010 Census [PDF].
posted by kirkaracha at 6:35 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would submit that, say what you like about them, they aren't Bachmann et al.

The problem they may have is, assuming a loss in November, the rank and file blames it on Romney not being sufficiently crazy, the elitist choice, and the compromise candidate who lost because he was a compromise. This sets up a dynamic for 2016 that goes even loonier than 2012. Etch a Sketch candidates face a steeper obstacle, with true believers getting the preference. Which more likely than not sets them up for even bigger, uglier loss.

The biggest threat to Democrats in the long term is the return of sane Republicans. But it looks unlikely to me until after 2016, when it's most likely for a whole generation of conservative loons to be most deflated and have given up on national politics.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:38 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the ONLY thing Ms. Clinton has working against her in 2016 is the fact that she'll be 69 years old.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:39 AM on September 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm with Neale. There's always a swinging motion, sometimes it's just a generational thing, other times it's due to a geo-political/environmental/economic disaster. But it always changes.
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:44 AM on September 27, 2012


Samuel L. Jackson: Wake the Fuck Up
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:46 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think Hillary Clinton would've won in 2008, and I think we're finally ready to elect a female president. Women are 50.8 percent of the US population according to the 2010 Census [PDF].

I think we're ready. But Clinton wasn't that candidate in '08. That was clear to me once Obama made his national appearance.

Whatever negatives she may have been easily tarred with then, may have a harder time sticking in '16, after she's proved her mettle as SoS. Assuming she can run a campaign that doesn't rely on divisiveness, she might be a serious contender.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:54 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Absent my utterly unrealistic Elizabeth Warren daydream, Hillary would be just awesome.
posted by jaduncan at 7:02 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


2016: Villaraigosa vs Rubio
posted by univac at 7:04 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


chavenet: "Then suddenly in early 2011, with all the things that upset Obama's further-from-the-base voters causing real backlash, the GOP woke to the notion that 2012 was in fact potentially winnable. But it was too late to organize a proper campaign and those party weirdos who were taking advantage of the vacuum were already off and running. Which is why the whole GOP primary process was such a freakshow."

I see where you're coming from, but I have to wonder if they've got somebody better lined up for 2016. Both parties seem to be seriously neglecting cultivating up-and-coming politicians (not to mention that the Democrats are doing a shameful job at the state level, and need to clean up their image at the local level). Barack Obama was a wildcard -- In 2005, I distinctly remember him as a guy who would be a "dream" candidate in 2012 or 2016. The fact that he got the nomination in 2008 suggests that the party had no other viable options.

Who's next in 2016? Seriously. Who are the democrats or republicans going to run? The list of potential names is incredibly short.

Hillary Clinton will probably run. I like her. She's proven to be incredibly smart, and a phenomenal Secretary of State. I feel bad for opposing her in 2008, although I still do believe that she ran a terrible campaign that failed to resonate with the public. Also, dynasties = ick. [I honestly have no clue who else the Democrats could field. I love Joe Biden, but it would be a bad idea for him to run. Elizabeth Warren is currently looking like Obama did back in 2005, but we'll need to wait and see on that one...]

On the same coin, the GOP might be able to convince Condoleeza Rice to run. No idea if she's actually electable or even wants to run, though. Failing that, the GOP falls back to its "Idea Men," which is a scary proposition, given that they never seem to pay much heed to the actual quality of those ideas. Paul Ryan is likable, but just isn't very smart. He'd be eviscerated at any debate. Chris Christie is Mitt Romney, but without the charisma or half-decent gubernatorial record. Bob McDonnell is a possibility, although his ties to Virginia's batshit crazy legislature (and AG) might hold him down. Scott Brown is another possible option, depending on if he keeps his seat, although he might be too moderate.

Basically, local and state politics are important. If the party is strong on a local and state level, it will produce good candidates for national elections. If you are a Democrat, you should be pouring your heart into your local, state, and legislative elections. Those things are all far more important than the presidency in the American political system.

notyou: "For this cycle Romney was that candidate. He was the moderate with the big money. He was the crossover. It's the GOP's dumb luck (and Obama's typically good luck) that he's also an unlikeable plutocrat who can't run a political campaign."

I'm a moderate and a pragmatist. I like Barack Obama because he's also a moderate pragmatist. I don't agree with some of his decisions, but I'm glad that he doesn't make them purely based off of doctrine.

I initially supported Mitt Romney, because I thought he had a similar mindset (based on his pre-2008 political career), because I assumed Obama would be toast in this election, and because there were no other remotely electable candidates. I was wrong on two of those...

Mitt's proven to be a bit too adaptable, and seems willing to tell everybody exactly what they want to hear. Right now, that's destroying his campaign. Adapting opinions and policy positions based on new information and realities is an admirable trait, but I don't think that this is what we're seeing from Romney, given the astonishing abruptness of many of his ideological shifts.

Rather, Romney pretty much lacks any convictions of his own, and is beholden to his team of advisers and donors. I continue to believe that George W Bush wasn't a bad guy -- he was just surrounded by them, and never had the courage or wit to say no. The past few weeks have made it eminently clear that Romney might actually be even more vulnerable than Bush was in this area.
posted by schmod at 7:20 AM on September 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


2N2222: "Assuming she can run a campaign that doesn't rely on divisiveness, she might be a serious contender."

Yeah, but that was exactly the problem in 2008. I'm just not sure that her personality works well on the campaign trail. She'll also be 68 in 2016, which would make her the second oldest president (after Reagan).
posted by schmod at 7:27 AM on September 27, 2012


We here this story every four years - this will be the year the losing side loses relevance in politics, will never be elected again, has lost touch, etc, etc, etc . And guess what - it's never true.

GO WHIGS
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:37 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw Mick Cornett on Real Time with Bill, and he really seemed to have his stuff together. He's currently the mayor of Oklahoma City. Any one have things to say about him, good or bad?

I'm a moderate and a pragmatist. I like Barack Obama because he's also a moderate pragmatist.

I second that.
posted by BeeDo at 7:40 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Democrats will be defending a shitload of seats and, just numerically, will be at a disadvantage.

On the flip side, we've been hammered with the idea that incumbency is a huge asset, so ...which side of this coin do I bet on?
posted by psoas at 7:40 AM on September 27, 2012


I'm curious about how many people are like my white, middle class, now-retired, parents, and where they actually fall on the political spectrum; I would describe them as slightly right-leaning Democrats who used to be Republicans... until the whole Moral Majority, fundamentalist pandering etc. stuff. Religion in politics is so far afield from what constituted their Republican alignment that it's Opposite-World to them – and the Democratic party has inched toward the right for so long that they ended up basically where they always were, while switching affiliation.

They are moderate and fairly conservative (actual definition, not US political definition, where conservative often = rabid right / warmongers / kleptocracy / theocracy / bigots /women haters). They would be moderate Republicans or moderate Democrats, but there's currently only one possible party choice for them.

They don't want Roe-Wade repealed; are boggling about birth control being a "thing"; don't care about gay marriage (not actively for or against); very concerned about the economy and a balanced budget; very concerned about high standards and support of public education; very much believe in the "American Dream" of work effort rewarded by success/recognition; would be fine with a woman president; don't think we should be involved in foreign wars; aren't terribly racially sensitive, but don't have any problem with black or other "ethnic" president or representative (or coworkers / neighbors / family... we're white, so by marriage, for example).

Now that I've typed all that out, they seem pretty squarely left of center on what I see as the US political spectrum, but this is a profile of pretty conservative former Republicans. How weird/rare are they? Where do they really belong?

I wonder if the Democrats will become the old "Republicans," the Republicans will become the Tea Party, and a new Progressive party will replace the old Democrats? Or whether the Republican party will be snatched back from the zealots and theocrats, birthing an official Tea Party or whatever as the third party?
posted by taz at 7:44 AM on September 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Both Obama and Bill Clinton were keynote speakers at the DNC before they ran for national office, so assume that anyone that held that role this year will be on the list. Then add in "legacy" candidates (i.e. Bushes and Clintons) and add in the top 3 most popular governors in their respective parties. Now put special emphasis on people who aren't white guys, subtract anyone who barely made the grade in the primaries and/or has a decent chance to lose an office they're running year or in 2014 (i.e. Bachmann, also Ryan if you count potential VP), and you have your initial 2016 lineups for both parties.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:44 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


fullerine: If everything was the same except Obama's skin was white he'd be looking at polling leads in the 20s and 30s.

This isn't a realistic analysis. Firstly, a reincarnated Washington-Lincoln ticket wouldn't lead by 20 points. Secondly, the election is close because the economy is terrible. This is the worst economy for an incumbent to campaign in since the Second World War.

There is an enormous section of the Republican vote which is just straight up racist

Which were all going to vote for the GOP anyway, regardless of the race of the Democratic candidate. Obama is trailing his 2008 numbers among people who are non-racist enough to have voted for him 4 years ago. If you recall, he one that election by over 7 points and had a majority of votes, something Bill Clinton did not achieve.

If anything, Obama's race is probably a slight help, since it's boosting turnout among core Democratic voters.
posted by spaltavian at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2012


We here this story every four years - this will be the year the losing side loses relevance in politics, will never be elected again, has lost touch, etc, etc, etc . And guess what - it's never true.

It's been true many times; we just tend not to change the names of the parties anymore. Do you think the Democratic party looks much like it did in 1850? The modern Democratic Party owes more to Teddy Roosevelt-style progressive Republicans than its 19th-century namesake.
posted by spaltavian at 7:56 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


This entire thread is severely discounting the possibility that they simply steal the White House back. Republican governors control untraceable, entirely unaccountable electronic voting infastructure in 9 swing states, 3 of which were controlled by Democrats in 2008. There's a non-trivial chance of outright theft.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:32 AM on September 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


T.D. Strange, if the polls in Florida, say, on November 5, think that Obama is up by 9 points, and then Mitt Romney “wins” Florida, won’t that be VERY, VERY obvious cheating, such that the entire thing would go to the courts again?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:36 AM on September 27, 2012


That, plus the fact that most reporting is done precinct-by-precinct over time , and not all at once for the whole state. Not that it's impossible, but I would be surprised if they were so well-coordinated that they had someone subtly switching votes in each precinct (or even just swing precincts) and could cover their tracks.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:59 AM on September 27, 2012


Al Franken is photogenic, charismatic, and fiercely intelligent.

In other words, he's good enough, he's smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like him? I'd vote for him.
posted by wanderingmind at 8:59 AM on September 27, 2012 [27 favorites]


Do you suppose that blacks and latinos are so freaked out by gays that the anti-marriage equality plank will bring them into the big tent? Because that's the only thing I can think of that even remotely supports your claim here. And it's a stretch.

A lot of the Latino population is pretty heavily Catholic, so in fact, yes the Republicans have a pretty decent appeal to that demographic not only on gay issues but also with abortion. If the GOP could just divest themselves of the anti-immigrant portions of their platform I think they could make tremendous gains with Latino voters. But, even if they do that, it'll take a couple election cycles for candidates to wash that stink off themselves with Latinos. The GOP has already made a lot of hay over the past couple decades getting poor folks to generally vote against their own interests just because of Jesus, so I wouldn't put it past them to be able to do the same with Latinos.
posted by LionIndex at 9:01 AM on September 27, 2012


Demographics shmemographics.

The GOP will continue to be less attractive to a growing number of voters, making them less competitive in Presidential elections, but the Democrats will continue to only vote once every four years, allowing the GOP to continue to control county election boards and state governments and create conditions that allow them to maintain enough power and influence to weather a transition into a party that finds a niche in the new political landscape that unfolds once all the angry white men have their heart attacks or rage-induced strokes.
posted by snottydick at 9:13 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


That, plus the fact that most reporting is done precinct-by-precinct over time , and not all at once for the whole state. Not that it's impossible, but I would be surprised if they were so well-coordinated that they had someone subtly switching votes in each precinct (or even just swing precincts) and could cover their tracks.

A person? No. Code? This isn't exactly a hard coding/arguably-compsci-algorithm problem.
posted by jaduncan at 9:18 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


re: 2016 Democratic candidates, Cory Booker is already the president of my heart.
posted by Aizkolari at 9:36 AM on September 27, 2012


T.D. Strange, if the polls in Florida, say, on November 5, think that Obama is up by 9 points, and then Mitt Romney “wins” Florida, won’t that be VERY, VERY obvious cheating, such that the entire thing would go to the courts again?

Great, because we all know how well that worked out for Democrats in Florida last time.
posted by Aizkolari at 9:38 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the same coin, the GOP might be able to convince Condoleeza Rice to run. No idea if she's actually electable or even wants to run, though.

Condoleeza Rice was incompetent as National Security Advisor, blowing off warnings about Al Qaeda from Sandy Berger, the outgoing National Security Advisor. She was also one of the main advocates of invading Iraq, with her lie that aluminum tubes were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Great, because we all know how well that worked out for Democrats in Florida last time.

Lest we forget.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:00 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


deathpanels: There's no nice way of saying this so I'll just come out and say it. They're still running a close campaign against a black man
... who is presiding over a historic recession, with large unemployment numbers.

Honestly, by all the indicators the Republicans should have been able to run a toaster this time & still have a decent chance. Unfortunately, they picked one that wasn't plugged in.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:15 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


kirkaracha: On the same coin, the GOP might be able to convince Condoleeza Rice to run. No idea if she's actually electable or even wants to run, though.

Condoleeza Rice was incompetent as National Security Advisor, blowing off warnings about Al Qaeda from Sandy Berger, the outgoing National Security Advisor. She was also one of the main advocates of invading Iraq, with her lie that aluminum tubes were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs."
None of which makes her unsuitable to run for POTUS, given the US voters' history knowledge... especially as a Republican.

Hell, stupidity is praised by Republican leaders on a daily basis.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:18 AM on September 27, 2012


I think the ONLY thing Ms. Clinton has working against her in 2016 is the fact that she'll be 69 years old

I'm in my late twenties and would not hesitate to vote for her, what with medical technology being what it is. Perhaps that's naive, but I can't help but think of my grandfather, who's 90 years old and still cleans his own gutters, mows his own lawn, takes dance lessons, and is as sharp as the proverbial tack. Not to mention my parents. I'd just hate to have Hillary shut down because she's quote unquote "old" -- what a waste of knowledge and experience.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:22 AM on September 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I disagree completely with the conventional wisdom that this election was any given Republican's election to lose. It's not just the economy, stupid! Any Republican, even a relative moderate like Chris Christie or Jeb Bush (assuming an unsullied name) would be losing. I think the candidates of quality who have at least a foot in the real world realized this. That, combined with the fact only a fool or a poser seemed to be able to win this year, kept the heavies out. In any case, the fundamentals actually favored Obama.

How so? Let's compare him to the last two one-term presidents, Carter, whom he is sometimes compared to, & Bush:

(1) In 2012 the Democratic Party is unified, and there is no significant challenge from the Left from outside the party. There is some grumbling from liberals, but because of a combination of personal connection with much of the Democratic coalition and many liberals' fear of the extremism (in their eyes) of the GOP and said ideological fervor driving many Moderates who might otherwise be more critical of the President into the Democratic Party.

The election of,1980, on the other hand, represented the final death of the New Deal coalition, which finally died after the strain of Civil Rights & Vietnam exposed the fissures within the Party. President Carter was probably the most conservative Democrat in the WH since at least Woodrow Wilson and won in a fluke in the aftermath of Watergate. He did not get along with the Democrats in Washington and had a terrible relationship with Congress, which not only prevented him from accomplishing anything but antagonized the already strained relations within the party. When Ted Kennedy strongly contested the nomination of the sitting President from the Left, that signaled the end. Not only that, Jon Anderson ran a strong 3rd party campaign, offering a place for Moderate Republicans & independents ;who didn't like Carter but who couldn't stomach Reagan's conservatism.

George HW Bush also ran for reelection leading a divided party. He represented the Old Guard of fiscally conservative, socially moderate to liberal Republicans who, along with the progressives, and the rectitudinous WASPs & Midwesterners, used to compose much of the Republicans Party. He signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, and came to a deal with Democrats on deficit reduction. He was also unreliable on social conservative issues, at least from the Conservative perspective. Hence, the Reagan Revolution-Contract With America-Tea Party crowd rejected Bush. During the primaries, Pat Buchanan gave Bush a bit of a scare, although he was never really serious, and in the general election Ross Perot further weakened Bush from the Right such that Bush the Elder was vulnerable to attacks on the economy even though it was technically in recovery by the election.
:
(2) Obama enacted a significant redirection in Federal power. This has been hashed and re-hashed, but in my opinion Obamacare and the allocation of funds to renewable energy and healthcare as well as arguably the auto bailout created constituencies that will on balance gain him votes, despite the vehement opposition, which I believe has been overstated in any case.

Neither Carter nor Bush, Sr. had anything close. As mentioned above, Carter had few allies in Washington even among Democrats, and he proved to be mediocre national politician. And Bush was more of a continuation and tweaking of Reagan. He did sign the ADA & an extension of the Clean Air Act, but these were extensions of previous policy.

(3) On foreign policy, both Bush & Obama have been considered successes, with no major embarrassments & the Gulf War & the revenge against OBL, respectfully. Both are seen as realist managers who competantly handled difficult situations and re-directed American foreign in subtly new directions while protecting the flow of oil out of the Middle East. They handled the end of the Cold War and the end of the 2nd Iraq War and rising Asia with aplomb, generally. (Both Clinton & Obama have neutered the Right's attacks on foreign policy that worked so well after Vietnam by coopting the realist wing of the Republican foreign policy framework.). Obama has executed the fight against anti-Western political-fundamentalist Islamism more aggressively & competantly than W did.

Carter had his share of success as well, as he oversaw the Camp David Accords. He also attempted to redirect foreign policy to a more humanitarian posture and away from a pure Realpolitic posture vis-a-vis the Soviets. In the latter he failed, and then the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, causing us to boycott the Moscow Olympics, and the Iran Hostage Crisis lingered and punched us in the gut. Especially since we were still smarting from Vietnam, our worldwide prestige took a major hit.

Nothing similar happened to Obama.

(4) Finally, the economy. It was a negative for Carter & Bush, and has been for Obama. But the situations are subtly different. Carter presided over a stagnant economy that had just completed a bad double-dip recession right before the election. Interest rates & inflation were high. The electorate was glum at the end of the'70's malaise. Bush's recession was much milder, being in between the Reagan & Clinton booms. However, because of structural changes in the economy, by the time the election rolled around the erstwhile recovery hadn't filtered to the middle class and Clinton was able to hang the dissatisfaction on the president, which was only possible because Bush was unable to hold the Republicans together. In Obama's case, he inherited an economy smarting from the worst financial crisis in almost 3 generations. (A cliche by now, but true.) While the economy has been a drag overall, and claiming it would have been worse is not a winning argument, a significant portion of the electorate feels that they can give Obama a mulligan and feel there is a recovery, if slow.

So in no sense should this election should have been seen as the Republicans' to lose. Overall, the fundamentals are rather strongly in favor of Obama. Superficially, it seemed like Obama's problems were similar to Carter and Bush. However, unlike Bush & Carter, he held his party together & implemented major change that benefitted his coalition. And unlike Carter, he avoided a foreign policy disaster, and his challenger is not able to pull voters into the challenger's coalition by virtue of his personality like Reagan was able to pull some of the shards of the splintering New Deal coalition into the GOP tent. (Given the current composition of the GOP, it's doubtful they can nominate anyone like that.)

Obama's about right where he should be, or perhaps a little worse.
posted by JKevinKing at 10:24 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a non-trivial chance of outright theft.

I love how this is completely non falsifiable. When Obama wins it'll be all "I only said it was non-trivial! I didn't say it was going to happen!" It's just dumb. The strategy isn't voter fraud (that's the Republican line), it's voter disenfranchisement. Which they're doing right out in the open.

Anyway, as to H. Clinton, I think she'd be a fine president but she's going to be really old to run again in 2016. We're talking Ronald Reagan old and you all know how that turned out mental acuity wise.
posted by Justinian at 10:24 AM on September 27, 2012


Neale: "A larger problem for Obama is the economic state of the country (regardless of who is to blame of it), with any incumbent bound to struggle with an unemployment rate of >8%."

But, oddly, he isn't struggling at all, except among partisan Republicans. The only income group that's even close is the $50,000-$100,000 set. He does well among (some) Fox News watchers and committed partisans. Less than 40% of the electorate believes Romney can win. It's a bloodbath out there right now. Maybe that will change, but I've been thinking that for two weeks since the spread increased.

The national tracking polls are still vaguely close, but when you look at the state level, there's little contest. There's a fairly decent chance Obama will get more than 330 EVs.


jaduncan: " But they aren't obviously absolutely insane"

I used to think that about the Huckster, but then he got his Fox News show and suddenly started talking a lot of nonsense. Or, more accurately, had his nonsense broadcast far and wide rather than kept in the room with him.
posted by wierdo at 11:07 AM on September 27, 2012


People claiming one of the two parties will die really should be arguing that a realignment is going to happen. The Republican coalition as we know it has very limited time left thanks to demographics.

Does that mean the Republican Party is going to die? No. The two party system is basically permanent. Barring another civil war, the two parties will realign again until equilibrium is reached. Even if Republicans box themselves into regional party status, eventually some chunk of the Democrats will convert.

Dominant, one-party systems are inherently unstable. The natural state of our Presidential + first past the post system is a roughly even two party system. Democrats will surge thanks to demographics, but it will eventually break off again.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 12:00 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Institutionalized tokenism is not a broad demographic base of support.

You know, that's some BS right there. Sure, the GOP doesn't do much to actively pursue the Latino or black votes, but it can appeal to those groups through means other than identity politics.

Right, yes, but whatever the GOP is doing is totally not working. Hispanics and Asians (who are too often forgotten) are quickly reaching base bloc status with Democrats, delivering them crushing majorities. The black vote, as is well known, is between 85% and 95% Democratic in any given year.

7 out of 8 Asians (in whole or part) in Congress are Democrats, and the lone Republican (Rep. Steve Austria, one Filipino parent) is not seeking re-election. Every single viable Asian-American Congressional candidate this year? Republican.

Blacks? Just 2: Rep. Allen West and Rep. Tim Scott.

Hispanics? Republicans have collapsed outside the Cuban community.

Did you consider the possibility that the reason that minority voters are shunning Republicans is because we minorities know what we are talking about when we say Republicans don't care about us? It's not because there aren't enough people that look like us in there. It's because on the issues that affect us, Republicans are a wretched deal.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 12:13 PM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Somewhat of an aside, but I've read a couple articles in American Conservative lately, and they have been jaw-droppingly sensible. In addition to this one, Revolt of the Rich was a fascinating read.

I'm about as conservative as Obama is a muslin, but they've been doing some darn good writing over there. Am I being punked? I thought we lived in a country where being conservative included parroting talking points Limbaugh style ad nauseum.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:38 PM on September 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


As we become a majority-minority nation, I hope the Republicans can move past the race-baiting and divisiveness they've embraced for my entire life. We've seen some awareness of the demographic fix they're in this year.

I acknowledge that there are often more than one way to solve a problem, and I'd welcome a government built on compromise, with input with different philosophies. The Republicans' obstructionist roadblock for most of Obama's first term has damaged the country.

The best thing for the country would be for Obama to win, the Democrats to keep or even expand their control of the Senate, and the Republicans to get swept out of the House. Their ugly, divisive policies and positions need to be decisively repudiated. I think we'll only go 2 for 3 (with Republicans keeping a smaller lead in the House), but a decisive smackdown would be better for all of us in the long run.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:44 PM on September 27, 2012


What I love about the map he includes is viewing the unbroken line of red that stretches from the northern Nebraska border through Kansas and Oklahoma down to the Rio Grande valley, and spotting the lone holdout: wacky little Travis County, TX — where Dubya lived (I won't say worked) for eight years, and where his daughters went to school.
posted by ubiquity at 12:55 PM on September 27, 2012


ubiquity:

Yes, that's Austin, the little blue dot in the big red state. It's the only tolerable place to live in Texas, and even then just barely.
posted by nushustu at 1:45 PM on September 27, 2012


I'm about as conservative as Obama is a muslin, but they've been doing some darn good writing over there. Am I being punked? I thought we lived in a country where being conservative included parroting talking points Limbaugh style ad nauseum.

As long as he stays away from foreign policy, David Frum is also good to read if you want to avoid the groupthink present in a lot of left-leaning media.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:28 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gary Locke in 2016!
posted by bz at 2:47 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to think that about the Huckster, but then he got his Fox News show and suddenly started talking a lot of nonsense. Or, more accurately, had his nonsense broadcast far and wide rather than kept in the room with him.

That's exactly it; if you watch Fox you like it and if you don't it's under wraps. It's not obvious insanity for low information voters in the way of a Bachmann.
posted by jaduncan at 3:08 PM on September 27, 2012


the little blue dot in the big red state...

I know a lot of Austinites like to think this way, but it's not only self-serving and a little smug, it's also not really accurate anymore. Just looking at the color-coded map alone, you can see a large cluster of counties down along the Rio Grande valley as blue as an azure sky of summer. Also, El Paso out in the western desert. Not to mention, several big city counties that swung to Obama in 2008: Harris (Houston) by 50.4%; Dallas by 57.3%; Bexar (San Antonio) by 52.4%.

So, while I do love Austin and always will, the fast-growing demographic that's going to change the face of Texas politics sure as shit ain't The Weird. (It will, however, consume just as many breakfast tacos.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:07 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


American Conservative has generally always been a good magazine. I used to subscribe from 2004 and 2006. Thinking about subscribing again. Not that I've ever been really conservative but it was especially refreshing in the dark days of '04-'06 to read conservatives actually being conservative about many of the things that matter, like endless war, torture, the growing surveillance state, and deeply incompetent leadership.

Back on topic, the GOP is overdue for a longish vacation from power. It won't last forever. In twenty years, I could easily see them being a pro-choice, somewhat pro-environment party which has managed to gather together people of all colors and creeds, all different types of sexualities, and unite them under the banner of "Our Taxes Are Kinda High" and then the banner of "I Would Like Less Government But I Also Want Someone to Tell Me What to Do" and then maybe the banner of "I'm scared! Somebody hold me!"

It's a matter of evolution and inevitability. Huntsman himself will never get elected to anything again, but, one day he'll be hailed as a prophet and will, as an old man, get seated in the place of honor as a Hispanic GOP president, politically slightly to the left of Obama, gets sworn in.

This is my rarely optimistic outlook. My pessimistic view is that the Republicans never stop doubling down, never stop holding the "My Way or the Highway" banner, and eventually drive the country apart.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:34 PM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the interesting thing about Republican problems is that in some ways they aren't about the electorate per se so much as the question of how one gets a candidate through the primaries without having already had them run so far to the right that they have a bunch of quotes that function as anchors around their neck.
posted by jaduncan at 4:57 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is my rarely optimistic outlook. My pessimistic view is that the Republicans never stop doubling down, never stop holding the "My Way or the Highway" banner, and eventually drive the country apart.

No, they'll just keep getting older until they die. Grumpy 90 year olds can't do much to drive the country apart.
posted by Justinian at 11:56 PM on September 30, 2012


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