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70% of Muslims in America voted for Bush in 2000
November 7, 2012 2:25 AM   Subscribe

"In the 2000 election, approximately 70% of Muslims in America voted for Bush; among non-African-American Muslims, the ratio was over 80%. It can be safely said that if the Muslim community had voted the same way they had in 2000, [Romney] would have won." So what happened?

Baseball writer Rany Jazayerli reflects on the changing relationship between Muslim-Americans and the Republican Party, once their natural political home. His conclusion:
Look, I don’t want to be a party-line voter. It does Muslims no good to be identified with a single political party – we run the risk of being taken advantage of by the Democratic Party, while having our needs completely ignored by the Republicans. And I look forward to the day, hopefully in the near future, when I once again vote for a Republican candidate. If Chris Christie - who unlike Romney has forcefully denounced "the crazies" (his term, not mine) - runs for President, I'll give him full consideration.

But first, the Republicans have to stop insinuating that I’m alien to this nation. They have to stop implying that I support terrorists. They have to stop accusing me of being anti-American. And they need to denounce anyone in their ranks who does those things. That, I’m afraid, is not negotiable.
posted by MartinWisse (74 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
These were the 1970s, when the income tax rate on the highest earners was 70%, a rate that people of all political persuasions would agree today can only be described as confiscatory. My dad had just left behind Syria, where the government had literally confiscated his family’s wealth, and he would be damned if he was going to let the American government take more than two-thirds of his marginal income.

Ahh, so it's not just white conservatives who don't know what the fuck marginal taxes are.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:49 AM on November 7, 2012 [94 favorites]


His doctor dad could not possibly have been anywhere near the top tax bracket, which was reserved for the really damn rich (and which even they could keep out of by setting up a charitable trust or something like that). Yet the very existence of that progressive income tax was enough to drive his educated father into the hands of the Republicans. And if some of the side remarks the author makes along the way are indicative, he may be voting Democratic but he's still not really on-board with a Democratic (i.e. New Deal liberal) economic system. I hope that, as Republican attitudes drive people like Mr. Jazayerli onto our side, they spend long enough with us that they pick up our pro-big-government, social-welfare statist, environmental conservationist worldviews as well.

That is a great article all around! But reading it felt like a reunion tour of all the bigoted crazy shit I'd been trying to forget about Fox News in the last decade.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 3:12 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


So what happened?

Hrm. Is that a trick question?
posted by Mezentian at 3:25 AM on November 7, 2012 [22 favorites]


I thought we all knew what marginal taxes are ... institutionalized theft, just like most all other taxes ... same as in town.

Back to our regular programming.
posted by jannw at 3:28 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that a trick question?

No but the way Jazayerli lays it out is devastatingly powerful.
posted by ninebelow at 3:37 AM on November 7, 2012


My parents had settled in America to get away from an authoritarian regime in their homeland, and here came a man running for President on the platform that the best way to govern was to leave the public alone.

Maybe American Muslims have learned, along with many other minority groups, that being "left alone" can also mean "being unprotected" when the majority, whipped up by the fear the "Elite" love to use, need someone to kick around?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:39 AM on November 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


Romney lost? Praise Allah!
posted by Renoroc at 4:16 AM on November 7, 2012


Muslims saw common ground with Christians on most social issues. While the topic of abortion is not nearly as cut-and-dried for Muslims as it is for many Christians, the Muslim community certainly agreed with the goal of limiting them as much as possible – and more to the point, in limiting unwanted pregnancies in the first place by stigmatizing casual sexual encounters. Muslims shared with their Christian neighbors their belief in the sanctity of the nuclear family, and their belief that a household headed by a married mother and father was the best household in which to raise children.

Sigh, so, let me clear this up. Your social group, which is a religious minority that has been pretty much hated by the religious majority for 1200 years or so, makes common cause with them because you want to regulate what other people do in their bedrooms and living rooms and how they structure their families, and you are shocked when you discover that regulating what you do in your places of worship is also on their agenda? Especially as a minority, it's really hard to protect your freedom by attacking others'...

Also, to give G.W. Bush credit where credit is due, among his few and wan virtues was (I think) a genuine lack of interest in racist rhetoric, at least directed against Muslims, Arabs, and (to a lesser degree) Hispanics. Sadly, among his many and glaring vices was the lack of interest or ability to force those elements out of the party he was ostensibly leading.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:20 AM on November 7, 2012 [67 favorites]


Wonder if Romney's loss will galvanize an Xian/Mormon split as well. With the Right in complete disarray, maybe we can dream of a non-rightwing President for the first time in over 30 years.
posted by DU at 4:46 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yet the very existence of that progressive income tax was enough to drive his educated father into the hands of the Republicans.

I disagree with him, in that I wish the top marginal tax rates were much higher. But I don't see anything crazy about having a principle and voting based on it, even if it isn't one that you expect to directly impact your own life. I'll never vote for an anti-abortion-rights candidate, even though I am a man, for example. Hell, my ideas about the top marginal tax rates influences my voting (as in, hell no I'm not going to vote for some flat tax person) even though there is no chance I'll ever earn enough for it to directly impact me.
posted by Forktine at 4:48 AM on November 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Isn't at least some of what happened the consolidation of African Muslim immigrant populations? Perhaps I speak as a Minnesotan high on the thrill of defeating the voter suppression initiative* but I have a tough time assuming that, say, the Somali population here is going to be a Republican group, like, ever. Sure, there's a lot of cultural conservatism - but plenty of Somalis here have seen that (while there are certainly racist gays and lesbians) the white folks who aren't bigoted against them tend to be disproportionately queer-friendly and culturally liberal, and IME with this town, Somali voters are perfectly able to understand coalition building. Plus, I think that the conservatism of Muslim immigrants around here gets misstated - people think that because they see a woman in a hijab, or a cafe occupied only by men, that women have no power in the community. And social services are a big deal for a lot of Somali people - there are lots of elders who need support and lots of people with chronic health problems. Also, our Muslim rep, Keith Ellison, is left-liberal - so there's sort of a cultural push in that direction.

Islam isn't any more monolithic than christianity. With any luck, in a generation or two there will be public liberal Muslim presence in Minnesota as strong as the liberal christian presence.



*May I point out that this thing was viewed as so horrible, racist and Golden Dawn-y that plenty of local anarchists not only voted against the damn thing but actively organized events opposing it?
posted by Frowner at 5:03 AM on November 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


That was a great read. At first I got pissed about the whole "taxes are gubmint stealing my money" but I read the rest of it and it was excellent.
posted by discopolo at 5:03 AM on November 7, 2012


Ahh, so it's not just white conservatives who don't know what the fuck marginal taxes are.

It says "two thirds of his marginal income" right there in the article.You quoted it yourself. You're so ready to see positions you don't agree with in your political opponents that you don't even bother to read the exact text you quote.
posted by atrazine at 5:05 AM on November 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


But I don't see anything crazy about having a principle and voting based on it, even if it isn't one that you expect to directly impact your own life.

Pretty sure that massive reductions in taxes for the ultra-rich does in fact directly impact the lives of the non-rich.
posted by DU at 5:21 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wish the top marginal tax rates were much higher

The problem with really high tax rates is that people will avoid earning taxable income and the amount that the government gets actually decreases (diminishing returns or Laffer curve). England had an even higher rate (92%) and rich people (tax exiles) just left the country.
posted by bhnyc at 5:22 AM on November 7, 2012


The 80s called, they wanted their voodoo economics back.
posted by DU at 5:24 AM on November 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Your social group, which is a religious minority that has been pretty much hated by the religious majority for 1200 years

Yeah, well, that's not exactly true, now is it? Certainly not in the USA, which misses some 1,000 years of that history...

It's not an unique American phenomenon that conservative, religous minority groups are attracted to nominally Christian parties. You got German Turks voting CDU/CSU because they approve their social conservatism and pro-business economic agenda, Moroccan origin small business owners doing the same for the CDA and even the right-liberal VVD in the Netherlands, sikhs voting Tory in Britain, undsoweiter.

(Or for that matter a Jew becoming Tory prime minister of the UK.)

Even though all these parties could be a bit racist, they weren't overtly hostile to people like Rany Jazayerli's father, as the fact of their being chamber of commerce/Rotary Club type of people trumped their "foreignness". These people in turn could overlook the sort of casual racism still encountered because they were for the most part accepted, if grudgingly.

What we've seen happen in the past ten years however is that the Republican Party deliberatedly started to drive these people away from themselves, just as they'd earlier driven away their African-American voters in order to court the elderly white alter kakker racist vote.

And, as you said, once upon a time Bush was actually seen as a moderately progressive Republican candidate, part of the new post-racist party as it went for the Latino vote and there was talk about a new conservative majority, but then Rove happened.

My own prejudices say that any truly conservative/rightwing party will sooner or later go racist just because the defence of the status quo by definition brings along the need to "defend" the country against newcomers.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:34 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The problem with the Laffer curve is that it doesn't pass the laffer test.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:36 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


plenty of Somalis here have seen that (while there are certainly racist gays and lesbians) the white folks who aren't bigoted against them tend to be disproportionately queer-friendly and culturally liberal, and IME with this town, Somali voters are perfectly able to understand coalition building.

That's what we've seen a lot in the Netherlands as well, where minority groups more inclined to support conservative parties actually vote for the Labour Party, simply because that party is more likely to defend their rights, even if they do not always agree with its other policies...
posted by MartinWisse at 5:37 AM on November 7, 2012


The problem with the Laffer curve is that it doesn't pass the laffer test.

The problem with the Laffer curve is that the politicians who claim to believe in it don't actually think about. The existence of the Laffer curve wouldn't automatically mean that tax rates should always be reduced, and there are plenty of economists who believe that it exists, but that it's distributed such that the optimal high marginal tax rate is 70%. The Laffer curve is disputed, but fairly legitimate economics. The political use of it is just a fig leaf to cover the Republican party's cult of lower taxes everywhere all the time no matter what.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:41 AM on November 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


These sortsa columns and views come across that all the infrastructure physical and otherwise that made this success possible, it just somehow appeared and was maintained by magic or something.
posted by ambient2 at 5:42 AM on November 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


The problem with really high tax rates is that people will avoid earning taxable income and the amount that the government gets actually decreases (diminishing returns or Laffer curve).

That's true, but it doesn't start to actually reduce total tax revenue until it gets a lot higher than it is in the US.
posted by atrazine at 5:55 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ahh, so it's not just white conservatives who don't know what the fuck marginal taxes are.
I guarantee that Rany Jazayerli knows what marginal taxes are.
posted by dfan at 6:06 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Or for that matter a Jew becoming Tory prime minister of the UK.)

David Cameron is not, to my knowledge, Jewish. If you mean Benjamin Disraeli, he was baptised into the Anglican faith as a boy - he was Jewish in the sense of the line running through his mother, and his parents were (at least somewhat) conforming, but calling him a Jew, or indeed Jewish, is kind of correct but not complete.

If he'd been an observant practitioner of Judaism, he would not have been allowed into Parliament, much less the office of Prime Minister: his contemporary Lionel de Rothschild was prevented from taking his seat by being unable to take the oath of office.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:09 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I really don't care if he knows what marginal taxes are or not. When he writes a sentence like "a ____ that people of all political persuasions would agree" then as far as I am concerned his brain is full of sand. You don't get to tell me what I think or agree with, and when you try a rhetorical stunt like that I really lose interest in reading further.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:11 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Pretty sure that massive reductions in taxes for the ultra-rich does in fact directly impact the lives of the non-rich.

Of course, and I would assume that is part and parcel of why a lot of people want to lower those rates -- it has follow-on consequences of starving the government of revenue, etc, that I think are shitty but about 48% of the electorate appeared happy to vote for.

My point was just that it is totally possible to have a principle about marginal taxes even though you yourself will never pay at the top rate.
posted by Forktine at 6:16 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem with the Laffer curve

... is that we're still way on the left side of the graph. But the idea that eventually taxes can get high enough that a $1 of extra tax is actually worth less than a $1 of revenue is pretty solid. Taxes can get high enough to hurt the economy. Taxes can get high enough to make tax avoidance and capital flight irresistible. It's just that, in the American context, we're no where near that yet.

I certainly would want the highest marginal tax rates to go back to the upper 30s. But personally, I think it's not good policy, or fair, for the highest bracket to pass 50%.
posted by spaltavian at 6:20 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Also, while it's never considered; it would reason that if you follow the Laffer curve far enough to the left, eventually you get the opposite problem: another $1 not collected in tax is no longer worth $1 to the economy, because at some point government cannot perform basic functions. If we all paid no taxes, we'd have more money, but would quickly be effectively poorer as we paid for private roads and police. But again, this makes the concept of the Laffer curve valid to me.)
posted by spaltavian at 6:23 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


With the Right in complete disarray, maybe we can dream of a non-rightwing President for the first time in over 30 years.

I hate to break it to you DU. but Obama's been re-elected and the Republican party has already had its meltdown with Bush so we should have already had the first non-rightwing President.

Instead, Obama's first term - with TWO exceptions (Obamacare and the repeal of DADT) - was not so different than that of George Bush - same tax cuts, same foreign policy, same mollycoddling of Wall Street, an even more muscular war on terror - was about as far right as a Democrat can come and still get away with calling himself a Democrat.

Whilst I am pleased that Romney did not win, I am hardly looking forward to four more years of this non-right wing President.
posted by three blind mice at 6:29 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I guess he's proved the point that if you're hardcore enough about any religion, you're probably going to eventually make some really stupid (and even self-defeating) voting choices, while somehow pretending it isn't all about money.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:32 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


But personally, I think it's not good policy, or fair, for the highest bracket to pass 50%.

If you think it's not good policy, present some evidence. Your notions of "fair" have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:59 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


...about as far right as a Democrat can come and still get away with calling himself a Democrat.

I have some even worse new: I doubt it. From Clinton to Obama, the electorate is getting more and more excited by farther and farther right-wing "Democrats".
posted by DU at 7:01 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you mean Benjamin Disraeli, he was baptised into the Anglican faith as a boy

Which I did. Faith doesn't really enter into it, in this context. Being Anglican didn't stop him from being heckled in parliament for being Jewish (which provoked the reply that "his ancestors were temple servants when yours were still living in caves"), just as currently being of Middle Eastern descent doesn't stop people from being attacked as Muslims, notwithstanding that whole "Islam is not a race" dodge.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:09 AM on November 7, 2012


I thought we all knew what marginal taxes are ... institutionalized theft, just like most all other taxes ... same as in town.

Back to our regular programming.


ooh ooh ooh, I get to drag out one of my favorite lines.

So there's a tendency, especially prevalent on the Internet, for people to get the statement "taxation without representation is theft" mixed up with the shorter statement, "taxation is theft." Here's how to tell the two apart: the first one is a maxim from the founding fathers and a key part of the theory of representational democracy. The other one is stupid.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:13 AM on November 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


I keep waiting for the day that the GOP realizes that if it keeps running a straight-racism ticket, it's going to lose categorically once minorities are no longer the minority. They have the opportunity to appeal to a lot of people whose ideas of social control line up pretty closely with their own, but no Muslim or Latino in his right mind would vote for a party that is actively hostile to him and his family.

It's actually win-win, because if they keep race-baiting and openly attacking everyone who isn't white and Christian, they'll be a political afterthought in 30 years. If they stop with the racist douchebaggery, they might win more elections, but then hey, even though we elected Republicans, we elected Republicans who aren't racist douchebags!
posted by Mayor West at 7:29 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


>Your social group, which is a religious minority that has been pretty much hated by the religious majority for 1200 years

Yeah, well, that's not exactly true, now is it? Certainly not in the USA, which misses some 1,000 years of that history...


I am pretty sure the early European settlers of the Americas had at least a dim idea of Muslims and did not approve. Just because a group is not in evidence does not mean you can't hate them, at least in the abstract. In many ways, it makes the hating easier.

My own prejudices say that any truly conservative/rightwing party will sooner or later go racist just because the defence of the status quo by definition brings along the need to "defend" the country against newcomers.

You're probably right, or, at least, it takes a lot of effort to not have that happen, and, since letting it happen provides a quick "jolt" of political support, when it comes up hardly anyone has the mettle to put in that effort.

I still find it interesting (and mildly distressing) how socially conservative religious minorities are willing to make common cause with more powerful religious groups that make no bones about their desire to be rid of all minorities. It's kind of like watching Log Cabin Republicans nursing their wounds over another party convention -- I'm not sure the Republican party can survive the ouster of the religious right any more. Without the knee-jerk "social values" crowd, the Republicans' policies will be even less attractive to the electorate....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:31 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good Lord, folks. The Laffer curve exists, it's just that we're probably on the far left hand side of it; Rany Jazayerli is a co-founder of Baseball Prospectus, a pioneer in sabermetrics (advanced baseball statistics), and undoubtedly understands what a marginal tax rate is (and says so in the very comment getting a ton of favorites!)

This is no better than the outpouring of ignorance last night about four more years of welfare, etc. It's embarrassing.
posted by downing street memo at 7:37 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am pretty sure the early European settlers of the Americas had at least a dim idea of Muslims and did not approve. Just because a group is not in evidence does not mean you can't hate them, at least in the abstract. In many ways, it makes the hating easier.

The writings of the founders, at least, were fairly consistent in admiration for the "Mohamedians". That's an elite, educated opinion of course. I wouldn't at all be surprised if everyday people didn't know Islam existed.
posted by downing street memo at 7:39 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Most commentators seem to explain Romney's loss through some facet of identity politics. Few seem to address the substance of the matter: which is that neither Romney nor Ryan nor the GOP as a whole presented anything that remotely resembles a plan for carrying the nation forward. Just more war, implausible tax cuts, and social stratification. Given the circumstances, is it really a surprise people don't want to vote that into office?
posted by deo rei at 7:54 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


No, the surprise is that so many DID want it. I am still baffled.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:55 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's a shame you guys use that electoral college thing, otherwise most people would realize that Obama won by about 1.5%. Not exactly a landslide, although given how similar his policies are to Romney's it's no surprise. While I will agree that Obama is much much better than Romney, where I come from that's called "damning with faint praise".
posted by blue_beetle at 7:59 AM on November 7, 2012


"...neither Romney nor Ryan nor the GOP as a whole presented anything that remotely resembles a plan for carrying the nation forward."

People don't vote on plans or policy details.
posted by downing street memo at 8:01 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


downing street memo: To be more specific, we know logically that there are issues with extreme ends of the taxation spectrum, but I don't believe we've ever even proved it's a simple curve. Maybe it has several peaks? Maybe it is dependent on cultural context and the shape and profile changes from country to country...
posted by whittaker at 8:11 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


hell no I'm not going to vote for some flat tax person

So long as the IRS can be used as a big, crude political stick to beat up on those who are deemed "a problem" there is no way a flat tax will happen.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:20 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


People don't vote on plans or policy details.

Nonsense. I do. And there's tons of one-issue voters. People who only care whether the candidate will raise taxes or appoint anti-abortion judges or end Don't Ask/Don't Tell or whatever.
posted by straight at 8:24 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here's how to tell the two apart: the first one is a maxim from the founding fathers and a key part of the theory of representational democracy. The other one is stupid.

...if you keep going, however, you get to the idea that "property is theft", which is not at all stupid, and is in fact rather troublesome to deal with.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:31 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Faith doesn't really enter into it, in this context.

Slight derail, but in that case I don't think I understand the context. Because, honestly, using Disraeli as an example to support the contention:

It's not an unique American phenomenon that conservative, religous minority groups are attracted to nominally Christian parties.

Is tricky. First, because he wasn't part of a conservative, religious minority group - he was from a family of wealthy, urban-and-urbane and liberal (small-l) Jewish people. Second, because "nominally Christian parties" makes little sense in the context of 19th-century British politics. You had to take an oath of office as a Christian to enter the House: there was no "nominally unChristian" party to be attracted to. Third, because "conservative" is tricky - he was a capital-C Conservative, but that's the party which introduced the Second Reform Act, and his roots were in Radical (capital-R) politics. Fourth, because this seems to suggest that Jews in general voted Tory in late 19th century Britain. I don't actually know if this is true, but if they were doing so they were not doing so for Disraeli - his seats were in Maidstone, Shrewsbury and Bucks. Plus, the Tory party was not ideologically homogenous in and of itself - a laissez-faire Adam Smith type of the kind that mutated into the Chicago School and thence libertarianism would probably have felt more comfortable in the Liberal party of Gladstone.

(And, y'know, it's sort of tricky to insist that Disraeli was "a Jew" - born into the Jewish faith and of Jewish descent, certainly, but calling the adult Disraeli a Jew is contrary to his self-identification and, as far as one can tell, his faith, apocryphal deathbed conversions notwithstanding. "He's really a Jew" was kind of what his political opponents said, in an Obamatastic fashion, and it feels like the argument you want to make is smaller than the implications of saying 'Regardless of his stated faith, Disraeli was a Jew, and therefore belonged to a religious, conservative minority". I'm just sayin'.)

So... "Disraeli was attracted to the Tory party because he was Jewish, and exemplifies the attraction the Jews (a conservative, religious minority group) have for nominally Christian parties" is a contention that I think hits snags at pretty much every point.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:36 AM on November 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I will be interested to see if , with the wonderful successes of same sex marriage and equal rights progress we made in the elections last night, the Muslim community will lean back towards the radical right. Despite the wails and moans about prejudice and fear and discrimination that is frequently targeted at them, Muslims are some of the most homophobic people you will ever meet. My daughter's best friend was recently kicked out of his home--he's 17--because he came out to his mother and she declared him a disgrace to his family. Tolerance is not a one way street, and if you read the tea leaves correctly, we are steadily moving toward the day when sexual orientation is a non-issue. Will the Muslims come along? Or will they lead the charge to swing the Republican party hard right?
posted by Kokopuff at 8:37 AM on November 7, 2012


It's a shame you guys use that electoral college thing, otherwise most people would realize that Obama won by about 1.5%.
Obama and Romney campaigned to maximize their chances of winning the electoral college, not to maximize their share of the popular vote. Of course the two are correlated but they're not at all the same thing - most states were foregone conclusions as far as the electoral college was concerned. Sneering at someone who achieved a significant victory with Victory Condition A for having only a narrow margin of victory if it were replaced at the last minute with Victory Condition B is kind of silly.
posted by dfan at 8:40 AM on November 7, 2012 [25 favorites]


The problem with this essay is that politically, the muslim angle is just a dodge. The essential thesis is that all would be well with the Republican party if they just ditched the racism/nativism/"southern strategy." You are going to hear this talking point coming out of the mouths of all the newly minted "libertarian conservatives" out there; I just heard some young libertarian woman hanging Romney's loss on the obsession the "tea party" types had with Obama's hidden muslim identity, rather than "low taxes and small government... which has a great appeal."

Except that the Republican party would become completely irrelevant, instantly, if they ditched the racist appeal and everyone knows it.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:11 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


dfan, yes, that! The entire race would have looked different if Romney and Obama were competing for the popular vote.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:12 AM on November 7, 2012


Except that the Republican party would become completely irrelevant, instantly, if they ditched the racist appeal and everyone knows it.

On the other hand, a long term election strategy of hating homosexuals, blacks, muslims, the poor, people who live in cities, and young people might not be so viable. Maybe if they tried not hating over 50% of the population at once they'd get enough votes.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:14 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love the 19th century politics derail. No sarcasm - it's fascinating! I didn't realize that there were still oaths required to sit in the British House of Commons - I thought that was ended with the end of the repeal of the Test Act, but apparently that just allowed Catholics to take public office. Jewish men were allowed to sit in parliament/the legislative assembly in Canada in 1832 (though this was well after the first election of a Jewish representative), but apparently it took longer in the UK (and took many steps).

I think this could be the basis of a fascinating historical mini-series - ITV, are you listening?
posted by jb at 9:16 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The existence of the Laffer curve wouldn't automatically mean that tax rates should always be reduced, and there are plenty of economists who believe that it exists, but that it's distributed such that the optimal high marginal tax rate is 70%.

I came in to say the same thing--the Laffer curve is excellent. It argues for a top marginal tax rate of right around 70%--particularly at a point in history when your country is supposedly going to hell in a handbasket because of supposedly unpayable deficits and you are supposedly supposed to be doing everything in your power to close those budget deficits because they are putting us in the road to wrack and ruin.

That's exactly the point in history when you would very strongly consider going for the 'optimal' point on the Laffer curve rather than the point you just happen personally to like best. Because if you did absolutely need to maximize income while minimizing the consequences to the greater economy, setting the highest marginal tax rate at the Laffer-suggested 70% is exactly what you would do.

Luckily all of the 'supposedlys' in the above paragraph are all wrong, but they are certainly the stated position of the same party that likes to talk about the Laffer curve as the basis for setting tax rates.

Given that in fact we are not actually on the road to wrack and ruin, but in fact just need to tweak the budget and tax rates a little bit to get everything back into balance, and we are w*a*y below the optimal point on the Laffer curve for the highest marginal tax rates, all we need to do is tweak the rates up by a small bit in the direction of the optimal point, and problem solved.

It's so great that the Laffer curve advocates have presented us with such an easy solution to the problem.
posted by flug at 9:21 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Your notions of "fair" have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

I would ask that you either point out where I indicated it did, or that you stop being a dick.

As for good policy; the evidence is the experience of the 90's, where we had strong economic growth and a surplus. I think tax policy should be used to pay for all the good government we can afford; I don't agree with taxing as much as we can without breaking the system.
posted by spaltavian at 9:37 AM on November 7, 2012


I really don't care if he knows what marginal taxes are or not. When he writes a sentence like "a ____ that people of all political persuasions would agree" then as far as I am concerned his brain is full of sand.

If we aren't allowed to blithely insist that all right thinking people believe the same thing, we might as well close up Metafilter political threads pre-emptively.
posted by atrazine at 9:39 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Given that in fact we are not actually on the road to wrack and ruin, but in fact just need to tweak the budget and tax rates a little bit to get everything back into balance, and we are w*a*y below the optimal point on the Laffer curve for the highest marginal tax rates, all we need to do is tweak the rates up by a small bit in the direction of the optimal point, and problem solved.

If a given rate really is "optimal," why not just be at it all the time?

I would ask that you either point out where I indicated it did, or that you stop being a dick.

You are the one who brought up fairness in the same breath with policy, and I specifically quoted you on it, so don't play dumb.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:47 AM on November 7, 2012


I will be interested to see if , with the wonderful successes of same sex marriage and equal rights progress we made in the elections last night, the Muslim community will lean back towards the radical right.

As with the general American populace, this is a very much a generational thing. Muslims who were immigrants to the United States, are often far more conservative than their kids who are born and raised in the US. The majority of Muslims I know who grew up here, support marriage equality - and the vast majority support civil unions at the very, very least.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who is a practicing Muslim, is a strong advocate for LGBT rights. He said of the amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota (that failed yesterday): "I believe that the right to marry someone who you please is so fundamental it should not be subject to popular approval anymore than we should vote on whether blacks should be allowed to sit in the front of the bus."

There are loads of progressive Muslims that are vocal about LGBT rights - this is just a few of them.

The level of support is not where it should be - but by far, educated, American-born Muslims are really pretty socially liberal. I can't say the same is true for their parents, but so goes the trend with members of other religious groups as well.
posted by raztaj at 10:20 AM on November 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


You are the one who brought up fairness in the same breath with policy, and I specifically quoted you on it, so don't play dumb.

My quote:

I think it's not good policy, or fair,

"OR". I didn't, and wouldn't, frame my personal feelings on fairness as objective policy analysis; and that's what you accused me of. Who's playing dumb?
posted by spaltavian at 10:22 AM on November 7, 2012


If you would like to continue pointlessly splitting extremely fine semantic hairs, take it to MeMail.

Back on topic, there can be little doubt that while 9/11 helped Bush enormously, the fallout from it, including the racist garbage, may continue to hurt Republicans for years to come. We can hope.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:49 AM on November 7, 2012


California Voters: Please Tax Us
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:21 AM on November 7, 2012


>>> So what happened?

>> Hrm. Is that a trick question?

> No but the way Jazayerli lays it out is devastatingly powerful.


Not to me. He's concerned about GOP bluster about Muslims and "sustained use of drones" but not concerned about Holder's FBI setting up hapless wanna-be extremists with fake bombs?

I suppose an average American Muslim is affected more by propaganda and a climate of hate, but the real risk to disaffected young male Muslims of being ensnared in a nutty fabricated plot seems like it has to piss off some potential voters for Democratic candidates, no?
posted by morganw at 11:53 AM on November 7, 2012


We should have a poll asking GOP voters if we should nuke Mecca. That would be a valuable datapoint.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:35 PM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


but the real risk to disaffected young male Muslims of being ensnared in a nutty fabricated plot seems like it has to piss off some potential voters for Democratic candidates, no?

No; I don't think too many people have sympathy for people who were willing to blow up Americans, not matter how they might feel about these stings.
posted by spaltavian at 1:42 PM on November 7, 2012


NYPD Informant: I Used To "Bait" Innocent Muslims For Money
posted by homunculus at 1:49 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find it disgusting that one of our two major political parties has lost sight of the first amendment while rabidly defending the second. It is my foolish hope that more Repulican "leaders", when faced with ugly rhetoric, like that surrounding the "ground zero mosque" would defend Muslims and their right to religious freedom in America. Non-Christian does not equal bad. Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall any Democratic leaders taking cheap shots at Mormonism to scare voters away from Romney.

I wish third parties were an option in America. I'm glad Obama was re-elected, mostly because the one viable alternative to him was much worse. A true progressive would be my preference.
How can we get out of this poisonious two-party grid-lock and actually solve our nation's problems?

I also wish we would get rid of the outdated electoral college.
posted by natasha_k at 5:46 PM on November 7, 2012


I nursed a grudge for a long time about how the major national muslim organizations endorsed Bush in 2000. Jayazerli's points about social conservatism are true enough, but a big push for a muslim bloc vote for Bush was with an eye toward Israel/Palestine and a mistrust of Lieberman (who to be fair is an awful awful man). Everybody blames Nader, but the muslim vote in Florida was sufficient to give Bush the win.

Now I guess we've made up for it: The Muslim vote helped defeat Romney in 2012
posted by BinGregory at 6:24 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


A full 85 percent of the voters surveyed said the endorsement by the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council Political Action Committee (AMPCC-PAC) was a factor in their decision, according to CAIR.
The most important factor that led Muslims to vote as a bloc for Bush was the unity and perseverance of the leaders of four principal public policy organizations: the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Muslim Council (AMC), and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
Elsewhere in the second link it mentions that muslims supported democrats nearly 2 to 1 prior to the heavy lobbying by the bloc vote mafia in the year leading to the 2000 election.
posted by BinGregory at 6:47 PM on November 7, 2012


So I guess what I'm saying is dispute the premise that the Republican Party is or was the natural home of American Muslims.
posted by BinGregory at 6:51 PM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Phony Name, Real Time: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Gets Year in Prison for False ID
posted by homunculus at 8:17 PM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


So I guess what I'm saying is dispute the premise that the Republican Party is or was the natural home of American Muslims.

Well, to him it was. Some of the criticism of the original post seem to think this was a political essay rather than a personal reflection written by somebody usually not that involved in politics.

It's not that the criticsm is or isn't valid, more that it misses the point. This is an example of how non pol-sci nerds think.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:26 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phony Name, Real Time: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Gets Year in Prison for False ID

Christ (if that is your real name), what an asshole (if that is the actual body part in question)!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:17 AM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congressman’s Restaurant Refused To Serve Muslim Couple
posted by homunculus at 1:17 PM on December 5, 2012


Well, that's pretty fucked up.
posted by Mezentian at 2:27 PM on December 5, 2012


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