That’s what Dave Weigel asks at end of an article explaining why he thinks teatardism is good for the GOP. One answer is pretty obvious: when that active, powerful base consists entirely of people from a shrinking demographic and blocks efforts to reach out to other demographic groups. BurlingtonGate and the Arizona law make it clear that the Tea Party will make it damned near impossible for the Republican party to get on the smart side of the inclusion/exclusion debate on immigration and other related issues. And that’s probably the whole ballgame, in the big picture, for the next 30 years. You’re not going to win national elections getting less than a third of the Latino vote. I just don’t see how you can do it.
Teatardism may help this fall, it motivates the base, and, even if the candidates are nuts, they at least adhere to the Derek Sanderson “Hit, fight, do something” philosophy of hockey/politics, which, as any former Eric Massa volunteer can tell you, is at least half the battle in House races (in Senate races, teh crazy is more problematic). But having Republican Congressmen and Senators ranting about anchor babies and the amero for the next 20 years isn’t something that’s good for the GOP.
I don’t know why smart people like Dave Weigel ignore the GOP’s obvious demographic challenges and the ways in which teatardism exacerbates them long-term.
Well, you can always lie. Republicans have gotten very good at lying. Certainly, much of Latin America has a history of right-wing politicians doing very well for themselves. So it’s not as though Latinos are completely averse to being lied at.
You don’t have to win all the latino voters in all of the states all of the time. But if Texas Republicans want to go after the Latino vote (something they’ve basically been required to do for the last ten years anyway), then they can pick up the slack in the Southwest and let the racist bigots yammer on in Alabama and Mississippi where the population will remain staunchly white even into the distant future.
You’ll notice Rick Perry has been able to side-step the immigration debate successfully for some time now. Wonder why SB 1070 hasn’t raced to the top of the legislative schedule in Austin?
I don’t know why smart people like Dave Weigel ignore the GOP’s obvious demographic challenges.
Tax cuts! Tax cuts will win back the hearts and minds of haters sure as capital punishment deters crime.
That’s simple. You either
1) Make sure they can’t vote. and/or
2) Make sure that it’s difficult/unsafe/frustrating enough that small percentages of them vote.
Vote suppression and voter intimidation are Republican friends and have been for as long as I’ve been alive.
Why do we ignore the challenge of addressing greenhouse gases when it will just make it harder to address in the future? Why did big financial institutions pursue short term profits with such obvious long term risks? It’s human nature.
I say it’s ignored, because the whole point of the teatardism is trying to tilt the political discourse to where such demographics are totally made irrelevant, by hook or by crook. And getting elected in the now gives them well enough chance to institute bullshit that will marginalize those growing demos in the future.
Will it work? God I hope not, but that’s my assumption as to why they’re so all-in embracing the teatardation.
And @Zifnab makes a good point: they can always pivot the lies and hope the American public has short memories. That isn’t exactly an empty hope for the ambitious after all.
I haven’t read the piece yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s because political victories are generally considered only in the short term. Like corporate earnings reports. Probably a human brain flaw.
Remember how the Republicans had established a “permanent” majority? (And dang — remember how that didn’t seem to trouble anyone who reported on that pronouncement?) Also too, I feel like Obama’s election was followed on our side by a profound sense of “Whew, we finally did it.”
And then there’s winning the morning and all that.
I agree the Texas Republican party has been very smart about this. I think it’s a top down decision dating back to Rove. Teatardism makes it harder to enforce top down decisions. And that’s the big problem here for Republicans nationwide.
Perry can try to keep side-stepping this, but if it keeps on rainin’…..
That’s worked great with African-American voters, hasn’t it?
In the long run, we are all dead. The Republicans have been focusing on ‘win this election, whatever it takes, and count on the voters’ short memories for the next one’ since at least Reagan. In fact, you could argue that was Nixon’s “gift” — and Tricky’s CREEPster minions are still working the levers at the RNC, aren’t they?
To be quite honest, I don’t think the right can acknowledge the racism/xenophobia in their movement. Ken Melman apologized years ago for the GOP using racial divisions to get elected. That disappeared into the ether. Now Steele is commenting on the use of the Southern Strategy, but that will disappear by the wayside too.
They can’t do this, frankly, because from Nixon on, the electoral success of the fiscal conservative members of the GOP has relied on the racism and xenophobia. This is exacerbated by the fact that everyone wants to pretend the teatard movement is about fiscal policies and that they are disinterested in the culture wars.
When one absolutely must not acknowledge the truth, some weird theories will arise in its place.
Recently I have read articles stating how the Repubs favor gay rights more than the left. Gee it seems like only yesterday that they were against gay rights and many states were passing laws making marriage between a man and a woman.
See how easy it is to change your mind.
Oh, Doug, Doug, Doug. I remember when I believed in Peak Stupid, when I was young and naive.
At this point, after pissing away a few trillion for the Mess in Mesopotamia, I don’t think sane people can ever get a long enough run to rebuild things enough to turn the corner, even if they had spines, unlike Barack “Caspar Milquetoast” Obama. We’ll just keep dropping down the various rungs (the 2013 invasions of Iran and Pakistan by President Romney, the Syrian invasion of 2015 by President Palin following Mitt’s unfortunate accident, etc, etc) until the Constitution is declared null and void and the great corporate-states of Pepsico and Exxonia begin their epic historical journey.
How many things did Republicans believe 30-50 years ago that should have made them irrelevant now? Nullification, anyone?
People have short memories. Once hating Latinos hurts Republicans, they’ll simply stop hating them, and start ranting about someone that Latinos can hate on too.
In general, if you think that being genuinely horrible human beings will hurt a particular group, you have way more faith in people than history says you should.
It did when they had the breadth of law to marginalize said voters before. And we currently don’t have a sustained movement or a leader figure in the real vein of MLK to hitch our start to in order to push back against the bullshit.
I can’t read that and avoid giggling like a little kid. It’s just so hokey.
David Brooks (not that one)
They’ll always find something new to rant about. The goal is to keep the lizard brains in a constant state of fear and herd them to the polls. Who had heard about anchor babies or desert beheadings six months ago? Six months from now there will be a new fear button.
Works every time.
Yes, I apologize for bringing up the disturbing image of lizards being herded.
It seems like the Republicans have learned that by yelling and screaming enough on any issue they can drag key Democrats (Obama, Reid, Hoyer, etc.) away from leftist positions on pretty much everything thereby greatly reducing the likelihood of liberal legislation passing (in the few times the Democrats hold the Legislative and Executive branches). The second objective seems to be suppressing interest in participation in politics from the “fringe” groups like Hispanics who are not exactly enthusiastic with the Democratic response to the Republican screaming and yelling, thus the “enthusiasm gap.” As long as they pretty much control the megaphones it’s hard to compete.
When it’s a Democratic base.
Isn’t the more appropriate question here: When is anything ever bad for the Republican Party?
According to today’s GG, one of the 7 reasons Democrats are fucked in the “enthusiasm gap” is that Latinos are angry at them.
So maybe the Latinos will vote repub out of spite?
I intimate no opinion on the matter. Just humbly passing along what Glenn said for the edification of other great thinkers.
Because he’s blinded by his tribal affiliation with GOP and white people. Because he spend all his time around a majority of white people because he travels in the upper echelons of society and thus doesn’t realize the demographic change is happening.
Mainly because he’s not as smart as you think he is.
I feel like this is amazingly generous to the Republican Party. Have they stopped actively hating blacks and women yet? Contrary to the delusional protestations of Steve Schmidt, gay rights is not being co-opted as a conservative cause. How many conservative candidates are running as open advocates for gay rights? How many elected Republicans in Washington D.C. have come out in favor of gay rights without receiving some kind of vehement backlash from their base?
This line of thinking is completely unfounded in reality. They will always hate The Other. Always.
I have trust issues with conservatives/libertarians that is going to make it difficult for me to work in a bi-partisan manner :)
Serious and fundamental trust issues. Perhaps insurmountable.
Reading Dave Weigel just brings all that history to the fore, sadly.
I’m not a fan of GG’s political analysis, but I do think Democrats would be wise to take immigration reform on. It’s tricky since they won’t be able to get anything through the Senate, but I still think there’s some way to at least appear to be trying to do something.
“…the Tea Party will make it damned near impossible for the Republican party to get on the smart side of the inclusion/exclusion debate on immigration and other related issues.”
“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. “
–H. L. Mencken
Glenn says it is, and that is another item on his list referenced in my previous comment.
Well, to be more precise, he says something to the effect that shitloads of republicans now support gay marriage, thereby rendering them to the left of Obama on that issue.
@DougJ: That’s like saying the Teatards are going to usher in an era of honest-to-god spending cuts, rather than another Treasury raid, if Republicans retake Congress. Or like the SCOTUS is going to overturn Roe v. Wade with just one more justice on the bench. Or like we’re going to get out of the Middle East if only Ron Paul becomes President.
Republicans can’t win state off in Texas without appealing to the Latino community. They can’t get near national office. That’s what keeps the party in check. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, you can cruise to a number of seats on the KKK vote.
And it’s not like the tea party itself hasn’t been more than amicable to double-speak nonsense. They’re for tax cuts, against cuts to defense spending, AND the loudest of the deficit peacocks. They’re both for and against Medicare. Both for and against Social Security. Both for and against civil liberties. They’ll blow whichever way the party leaders take them. Give them 10 minutes of winger ranting and they’ll be burning Che Guevera posters in effigy. 40 hours of Glenn Beck later, and these yahoos will line up to vote for Fidel Castro for President.
The question is whether the Koch / Murdoch / etc groups can capture the Latino media as effectively as they’ve captured white people media. Once you get a 24 hour Telemundo marathon questioning Obama’s religion and insinuating he’s a drug smuggler and a coke fiend, we’ll see how well he does in polls.
@David Hunt: On the flip side, it’s also why simple voter suppression won’t keep Latinos down. Suppressing a 20-30% black community vote is one thing. Suppressing a 50-60% latino community is a completely different story.
t jasper parnell
In the interests of inclusiveness it really ought to be the Pellaroon, or the Dolloonso, or something.
If the GOP can go from a joke two years ago to sweeping to a huge victory this Nov (I believe they will), nothing is impossible.
The hatred they have ginned up for Obama is incoceivable to me. I knew people had little short-term memory, but this is stunning.
@eemom: Seems like a question of politicians vs. voters. What Republican _politician_ is gay-rights-positive?
I feel like they hate women far less than they used to (although it depends on what kind of woman you are), and a surprising amount of women vote Republican. Look at how many women are involved with the tea parties, especially in comparison to other populist right-wing movements.
Maybe I overstated my case before, but I just don’t see how this will cripple the Republican Party if being wrong about every single thing in the entire world for the past seventy years hasn’t done it.
Keep Latinos from voting
“You’re not going to win national elections getting less than a third of the Latino vote. I just don’t see how you can do it.”
The old Democratic, Dixiecratic, Party controlled the South for generations with a lot less than a third of the vote of a demographic even bigger in that part of the country than the Hispanics are now. I’m speaking, of course, of the Black vote, which the segregationists kept pretty close to zero in almost all of the South, even where blacks made up more than 30% of the people in a given state.
You’re right, absent a return of effective states’ rights that lets states systematically disenfranchise Hispanics, I too just don’t see how you can do it, how you can alienate Hispanic voters and expect to win elections.
But I don’t assume that they are idiots. My conclusion is that they are as good as their word. The return of states’ rights that will allow them to systematically disenfranchise Hispanics in their states is their actual aim when they spout off endlessly, as they do, about states’ rights. They are dead serious about getting rid of the 14th Amendment, thus bringing back an effective the Tenth Amendment, because they have a very specific and vital role in mind for their newly regained states’ rights.
@DougJ: I doubt they need to do much more than point out the xenophobia from the right wing. Latinos are paying attention to the wingnuts and teatards very closely, regardless of what dems say or do. They already know dems want to pass comp immigration reform, so dems forcing votes before the election that are sure to fail, will only serve to give the wingers opportunity to demagogue and misrepresent the issue to a nation that is more on their side than not, at the moment.
At least you didn’t accuse eemom of cheering on the tea baggers, so that’s an improvement.
@eemom: It’s a tricky topic. Yes, obviously the people on the right support SSM out loud only to make Obama look bad.
Yet, we now have people publicly stating that gay people should have actual real federal and state marriages. Whatever cynical purpose there is for their statements, their viewers don’t consider them to be charlatans. So it will have some effect.
Please forgive some gays if they find solace in the fact that someone is willing to publicly say we should have the right to marriage, whatever their motivation, to the group of cave dwellers who oppose it.
Weigel is mildly teatarded.
Obama’s at 64% in Latino polling and Democrats have a 30 point edge in the generic ballot there.
IMO the “enthusiasm gap” threats are a way to drive policy initiatives (immigration), and that’s a fair tactic, on the part of those Latinos who want that to be a focus, but a lot of it is empty threat, as a practical matter, because Latino activists know one thing, if the Democrats lose the majority, there isn’t going to be any movement there.
I just don’t know when “enthusiasm” became the most important determining factor. Every single policy preference is now phrased as a way to narrow “the enthusiasm gap”. It’s the all-purpose stick. “Do this or I lose enthusiasm!”
I think DougJ misses what Dave Weigel forgot to mention: consistency and engagement.
How many of those Teatards are listeing to AM talk radio, whether it is an on or off year election?
What percentage of Latinos are equaling engaged in an on/off year election cycle?
It’s never going to be trouble for the GOP to win votes. The active and insane wing of the GOP is going to be a HUGE problem for them when they try to govern.
As I see it, the GOP’s leadership is planning the Lucy with the Football play for the Tea Party. Promise the sky and then count on the freakshow to run out of steam after the election. Despite Dick Armey’s (is there a better name in politics?) best efforts, the tea partiers are not going to play nice with the usual “go along/get along” ethos in Washington.
I don’t think they realize the degree of crazy that has been unleashed. They’re going to want to actually vote to cut SS/Medicare, eliminate HCR, deport immigrants, etc. and their agenda will drive a truck-sized wedge between pragmatists and tea partiers just in time for a presidential election.
Well, Harry Reid and others are too quick to put latinos into a single policy box.
There are a LOT of latinos that don’t care about immigration, and favor strong enforcement. Some of them never immigrated – they were here when the US acquired their territory. Some of them immigrated generations ago and now they’re citizens and they just don’t give a fuck. Not a lot of Irish care about immigration any more either, in case nobody has noticed. Many latinos connect more strongly with their religious roots – which was reflected in the Prop 8 voting patterns here. With a strong and devout Catholic community, there are a lot of positions on the right that resonate with them.
Anyone who thinks that latinos are going to look at SB1070 or at the rantings of Tancredo and conclude that they’re a lock as Democrats are one day going to find a large voter bloc abandoning them. If Democrats want latinos (or gays, or blacks, or muslims) to be reliable voters, they need to talk to them and they need to address their many, many other concerns. It’s just as stupid to stereotype them as immigration single-issue voters as it is to stereotype them as illegals stealing our jobs.
Leading with your strength may not always win, but like Runyon said:
“The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s how the smart money bets.”
The Republicans have always led with their strength, much to the sometime ruination of our country. The teatards are simply the pointy end of that spear.
@Martin: You are correct about not putting Latinos in a policy box, and even on immigration, but the question is not so much on policy than on tone of the tea baggers and the GOP these days. And even conservative leaning Hispanics on policy are put off by the unwelcome tone of the wingnuts. At least here in NM, and I suspect elsewhere.
Love the shoutout to Turk Sanderson. He was one tough mofo.
The GOP will do well this fall, then it’s over for them. History and demographics will not be denied. The GOP presidential primaries will be a shit show of epic proportions as the crazy will get doubled down on every day, and twice on Sundays.
I think it’s important to note right now that only three House Republicans voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and only five of their counterparts in the Senate did so as well. Not to mention that their last presidential candidate was firmly opposed to such legislation. Oh, and how can we forget about odious laws such as this from Oklahoma:
The Republican Party, at every possible level, could not give a fuck less about the rights of women, especially their reproductive rights. Could.not.give.a.fuck.less.
Because the world isn’t the same place anymore, that’s why.
I just think 64% for Obama and 30 points for Democrats on the generic ballot are very good numbers, enthusiasm gap or no enthusiasm gap.
I actually think the Obama Administration know exactly how important that vote is, and act accordingly. Just look at their speedy-quick ‘n decisive actions in Arizona. They are very aggressive there. They are suing the sheriff, for example.
I don’t blame Latino activists who favor reform for using it as a stick, though. I think they should use whatever they have, and what they have is the enthusiasm gap.
Answer: because Weigel is not only a conservative hack, he’s a teabagger fluffer.
No, they just won’t vote. They’ve done it before. They’re not a particularly high turnout demographic in the first place.
Well, I think that the Republican demographics are more favorable for a midterm than a presidential, that is for sure. But the thing that should scare Republicans with Latinos is that they already have low turnout. It’s probably not going any lower and it could go up, maybe not this election, but in the future. That would scare the hell out of me if I was backing the Arizona law.
We need mandatory voting in this godforsaken mess of a country. That would help.
@General Stuck: No, I agree with that, but my feeling is that the tea partiers will be short-lived. In 2012, the stakes will be much higher, the election will be more national and less local, and the GOP will for the most part crush the tea party movement out of recognizable existence. Further, if the tea partiers do make any real gains here in 2010, they’ll all come out looking like Brewer did in her debate – thoroughly unprepared for the job they’ve been elected to. (Someone remind me here if there are any teapartiers that aren’t complete train wrecks – I can’t think of any off hand.)
I don’t know how long latinos memories will be (they’ve been pretty long against prop 187 here in CA, but the CA latino population is fairly different from TX, for example) – but I wouldn’t count on Dems being able to rely on the latino population being a ‘natural’ Democratic vote as early as 2012, and certainly by 2016. Dems need to keep working for it. I know Reid’s statement rubbed a number of NV latinos the wrong way.
It’s funny you bring this issue up because I remember awhile back there was a survey regarding the Arizona “papers please” law. When it was broken down by racial groups, the respondents most against the law were…black Americans. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why black people were most against a racial profiling law, but I think the fact that Hispanic weren’t as strongly against it shows that they haven’t been nearly as harassed by police as black people.
Now as the law gets enforced, attitudes are gonna change. No one likes proving to police their right to exist(except Michelle Malkin). And like them black folks trapped on the Democratic plantation(stop me if you’ve heard this one before) they are going to vote for the party opposite the white nationalists. And cue the voter suppression centered around “illegals” committing voter fraud.
Because they think they can prevent them from voting in the long term? One way or another?
After all, if you look at the Arizona laws… isn’t a hispanic person who is voting in an election acting suspiciously? Shouldn’t they be made to produce ID, and if they can’t, be kicked out of the country?
Why isn’t this obvious to everyone? Lack of enthusiasm among Dems was one of Kerry’s big problems in 2004. And obviously, it’s going to be a big problem for us again this year. It’s not enough for Democrats to have something to vote against; Dems need something to vote for.
@kay: The trend for latinos in recent elections have run from a basic circa 30 low water mark percent vote for gooper candidates nationally for presnit, to the high water mark of about 44 percent for GWB in 2004.
Many hispanic voters are just like many white voters, they base their votes on likeability and are not all that focused on particular policies. A good number of them that might lean dem liked GWB because it seemed he liked him, and he likely did. But those same potential swing voters do not like the current tone generally from the GOP and their teatard wing, and that is amplified in the SW.
I live in a very blue country as far as dem voter registration compared to GOP. Last time I checked it was around 5000 goopers and 14 thousand registered dems. But even in presnit elections the country only goes blue by about 6 or 7 thousand actual dem votes, to nearly all the repubs voting at around 5000. There is a lot of voter apathy amongst dems generally around here, with about half the population as hispanic. I wonder if the Hispanic part of apathetic dems will be more likely to go vote after what has and is happening in nearby AZ, and nationally with the anti immigrant and sometimes blatant xenophobia towards people of color in general with the right wing. I guess we will find out soon.
Because he doesn’t want to get fired again.
Also, as I think someone asked above, WHAT republican elected official — other than I guess Ahnold — has come out in support of gay marriage? If that happened I totally missed it.
If the AZ “show us your papers” law starts to spread Latino’s are going to get the message they GOP only cares about white people.
@Martin: As long as this country struggles economically, then I think the teatards will continue to grow stronger. And I think we are in for a long term struggle with economic issues.
The teatards are idiots by and large, and their members candidates will be idiots if elected, or not. But the beauty of the idiocracy, is that idiots don’t think they are idiots and keep doing idiotic things thinking them non idiotic. And there a lot of idiots in this country.
@kay: The real problem is jobs. Pretty much any time the black or latino community has been pissed at Dems it’s because they were suffering unemployment rates twice the national average and nobody said anything, nobody cared, and nobody did anything. Hell, they’re always suffering higher unemployment, but here in CA, the county with the highest latino concentration has an unemployment rate of 30%. That’s a whole other ballgame when one in 3 is out of work.
Jobs will trump immigration issues every time.
Speaking of defeating teatards and helping good guys win, check out Scott McAdams. He’s the real deal and, thanks to Joe the Teatard Miller, he now has a real shot at taking Lisa Murkowski’s Senate seat.
Consider this: Miller’s got $600,000 from just the Koch Brothers alone, and tons of cash from other wingnut sources, and has used it to carpet-bomb Alaska with radio and TV ads — and up until this week, Scott McAdams only had around $15,000 in his campaign account, and no radio or TV ads. Yet McAdams is still within six points of Miller.
We can help Scott McAdams take down a true teatard. Miller is eminently beatable. The line forms here.
@eemom: We need mandatory voting in this godforsaken mess of a country. That would help.
Why do you hate our freedoms?
@General Stuck: Maybe, but I don’t see the tea parties, as they are current representing themselves getting very far. At some point they’ll need to produce something or else some other group will get the populist attention. And as far as I can tell, all of these movements exist solely because they are being supported by the very groups that the pro-tea party voters claim to oppose. That’s just not sustainable.
There seems to be a consensus that the Rs will win this fall & their subsequent failure to lead will be the death of them. I’d like to point out that nobody is mentioning what happens next. The Ds are not going to be the recipients of all those disillusioned voters. Here in Minnesota we have had a disaster of an R governor for 8 years making a mess of everything yet he is more popular than the DFL House. It is not because of what each has done or not done. The “Tax & Spend” and “Crazy Liberal” tags have settled into the minds of low information voters to the point that reality does not matter.
The rage of the teatards might actually grow & real viloence arise. That instability could result in a demand for even stronger daddys in control.
The Brown Shirts were backed by the big industrialists because they thought they could control them as a weapon against the left. It turned out the couldn’t control them and things got out of hand. The Koch boys might be showing us the same hubris and fail.
The biggest error Obama has made so far is to soft-peddle immigration almost entirely. If he makes a fight of it, Latinos are far more likely to vote their interest – i.e. for the party that supports real immigration reform. He should be forcing the GOP to define themselves nationally and at state level as anti-reform, thus anti-Latino.
If you want to win battles, you have to force the enemy into the killing zone. Electorally, this is the killing zone, and Obama absolutely has to control it. Otherwise, Latinos will either not vote, or seek patronage from the GOP – which might just be able to make enough promises to sway a decent number of voters. People forget that Latinos have enough conservative DNA that the GOP without the xenophobes might be genuinely competitive for their votes.
Bill Section 147
In four years Fox News will comfortably let you know that the Democrat President was responsible for the Frito Bandito marketing campaign and Republicans have always felt mi casa es su casa. And abortion was invented to kill Meskins.
And when in the future there are more Mosques than chapels you will remember that it was liberals who blew up the twin towers and forced secularism on America when we could have had Republican-blessed Sharia law.
Because the Red Team is all about winning and so are their fans. So shake your greenback pom-poms and go team. Remember too… a bad call is just an activist referee.
I just think there is a general recognition within the Democratic Party that they are a very important voting group. I haven’t seen the slightest indication either nationally or state-level that anyone takes them for granted. I’m “for” that, incidentally. I think if you have electoral clout you should use it.
It is just hard for me to imagine that any group that turned out those massive numbers of people in March of 2006 need help organizing, or need help with the “political” end of… really anything. It was millions of people, in more than 300 cities, in 2006. They dwarfed the Tea Party protests.
@Martin: Yes, I think you are basically correct, and they will likely fade in most of the country outside the south, where the neo confederates are defined by what they are against, and the nursing of long term resentment from northern aggression. They will do fine there, and somewhat in the border states, I think.
That is unless they do get some sane leadership and perspective on what they are for. But The asylum (tea party) is full of crazy people, only distinguishable by matters of degree.
In other news, Dave Weigel bemoans the apparent theft of his $120 headphones.
Yeah, that’s right. As soon as Latinos figure out that tax cuts really do create jobs, we will lose them.
@kay: I still think it’s too early to predict a gooper blowout, despite the polls. Too many unknowns, and fairly unique factors at play in this mid term election. Though history tells us the party in power is generally not as angry as the one out of power, and the wingers are totally out of power for this one. Anger is a prime motivator for people to go vote, especially in mid terms.
Oh, I agree. My problem is I don’t know what to do with the “enthusiasm gap” analytically. It seems such a fuzzy concept to me. “Anger” is not the opposite of “enthusiasm”, apathy is. If you’re saying that they’re angry about employment, I buy that, but “anger” implies they’ll be staying home out of spite.
I’m sure the whole enthusiasm gap meme is perfectly valid and I’ll see that after the midterm elections, but for now I just can’t jump totally on that bandwagon.
There’s something we seem to be missing here. It’s all well and good that the Latino vote tips toward the Democrats for the most part. But right now Latino voters blame both parties for not dealing with immigration issues. And that stomps on the desire to actually vote.
The Republicans have been mad geniuses the past two years. The overall trend of legislation passed and deferred has managed to excite their base and depress the Democrat’s base. Even major victories become so tainted with compromise due to Republican obstructionism and blue dog complicity that the several minorities that make up a lot of the Democratic base are discouraged.
Yell all you want about firebaggers. Who cares where the loyalties lie if the car keys stay on the coffee table on Election Day?
Quien es Juan Galt?
Speaking of the conservative movement and its future, apparently Conor Friedersdorf has decided to highlight our own ED Kain:
What puzzles me is what CF thinks is left to reform in the GOP. How does he find fertile soil in a desolate wasteland?
Dave Weigel wrote for Big Journalism:
That alone disqualifies him from the “smart people like…” club, imho, DougJ.
Unless you were using that phrase sarcastically, or snarkily.
Unfortunately, in my experience with GOTV, one of the motivators for voters is if they think they are going to win.
So, again, IMO, the general media theme of “doomed” matters, and will matter, but there isn’t a thing I can do about it, because it is now the absolute, dyed in the wool conventional wisdom.
There are more than 36,000,000 Irish-Americans at this time. There are only 3,900,000 Irish left in Ireland. I don’t think there are that many people left there who are interested in emigrating to the US.
2. Disenfranchise the groups who won’t vote for you.
Wingers will always lie. Nothing new there. What they’re trying to do these days is actually accomplish the disenfranchisement part. See Arizona and the repeal of the 14th amendment. It’s their only hope. So, expect the next 2 years to be ALL about how they can get it done. Or something substantially like it. I suspect that they’ll get it done with the help of the Dems.
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
@DougJ: And do you trust any of the “Democratic Establishment” on their political analysis?
This, maybe, I think. Weigel is in vogue right now, I guess, but I’ve yet to see much evidence that he’s all that smart.
@Zifnab: Er, that’s cause we love our migas, fajitas, and margaritas. Duh.
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
Give me an example.
I tend to trust Nate Silver. I can’t think of anyone else of the top of my head.
They (“we”) do in Boston, as they did when I was growing up in the Bronx. Continual low-level pro-Armenian agitation here as well — I understand that group gets a certain amount of attention in your area, too. And the Poles / Greeks / various Eastern-European groups still count every ballot carefully in Chicago. “Ethnic voting” has been more important to the urban pollsters, at least for the past century or so, because that’s where the identifiable blocs are. But if you assume that the Gated Community megasuburbanization of America has gone about as far as it can go, and that communities over the next 50 years are going to swing back towards urbanisation (denser settlements, including more ‘towns’ beaded along public-transit hubs), then the political parties have more incentive to court voting blocs who can swing key precincts.
I tend to think of Weigel as a concern troll, even though he’s not a liberal, he’s more of a Libertarian. Still, there’s something really concern troll-y about him that I find annoying.
Conor is an irredeemable moron and I don’t know why Erik pals around with him.
But.. but.. he under-blogs for Andrew Sullivan!
I wholeheartedly agree with that. The “we’re fucked” meme is absolutely a self-fulfilling prophecy, and that is why it makes me absolutely furious when people on the left espouse it, as they’ve been doing in ever increasing numbers.
@DougJ: He is pretty dim, but he is willing to call Mark Levin a dishonest asshole, so you have to give him some credit.
That’s slightly akin to giving him credit for knowing that the big shiny thing in the sky is the sun.
Because Conor Friedersdorf is one of the biggest morons alive today when it comes to political analysis. He writes superfluous comments like this:
without ever once acknowledging what kind of impact these efforts have had at moderating or reforming the party. He just writes about this magical crusade to reform the conservative movement…right as Murkowski gets bounced in Alaska by a candidate who believes Social Security is unconstitutional.
The guy is a clown and a half.
I don’t know why smart people like Dave Weigel ignore the GOP’s obvious demographic challenges and the ways in which teatardism exacerbates them long-term.
I would have to say the Weigel suffers from “Inside the Tea Beltway” as much as his co-workers suffer from “Inside the Beltway” starry-eyes. It isn’t that I don’t find him particularly smart, although I don’t find him to be one of the “smarter ones”, it is that he can’t separate himself from their obvious shortcomings. It is difficult to decipher if he is enamored by the lot of them or oblivious to the future of American politics.
Asian-Americans are trending more progressive in large part due to xenophobic and nativist rhetoric. There is no reason to believe the Latino population won’t be primarily progressive by the end of the teatarding fad.
Yeah, Sullivan has, let’s call it a “gift”, for picking dimwitted high-privilege underbloggers who make his own less-than-thought-through posts seem scholarly in comparison.
No points for snarking about John Cole’s taste in underbloggers, because it’s too easy.
A rodeo clown and a half even? Perhaps we should now start measuring right-wingers in Beck Units?
I have always been loyal to the regime, comrade.
That’s a big part of the problem, absolutely, but another piece of it is folks who look at the catfood commission, the apparent unwillingness and/or inability to do anything more to reduce unemployment, and the administration’s dismissive attitude toward any criticism from the left, and just don’t want to vote for these clowns. It’s not in their best interests, it’s not particularly logical, but the emotional response is real and important. I try as much as possible to keep these things in perspective, but every time I hear a Democratic politician talk about incinerating Social Security or the need to keep Bush’s tax cuts for quadrillionaires in place for “just a little while longer, we’re in a recession dontcha know?” my gut reaction is that these fuckers deserve to lose. I know things would get a lot worse if they did, but that’s my immediate emotional response.
I am all about ranking right-wing idiocy and absurdity using “Glenn Beck Rodeo Clown” units. That is something I think this
countryworld desperately needs.
The Great Orange Satan speaks and says the Dems will slaughter themselves before the Tea Party controls the GOP…or something, http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/9/2/898455/-Losing-Latinos?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29&utm_content=Twitter
But that’s just it. Winning right here, right now is always good, and gives you more room to maneuver tomorrow. If the Republicans can retake one or both houses of Congress in 2010, and if they can retake the White House in 2012, then they have a good chunk of the next 30 years in the bag.
Control legislation and, more importantly, the confirmation of federal and Supreme Court justices, and you can blunt the impact of changes in voting patterns.
And some Democrats and liberal pundits keep forgetting that Reagan, Dubya and even Gramps McCain previously were all in favor of various forms of amnesty. If the Republicans regain power, they will find all kinds of ways to “refudiate” positions on immigration that they presently hold.
Demographics aren’t destiny, at least not a straight line. Increasing numbers of Latinos don’t automatically equal increasing number of committed voters, and certainly not committed Democrats.
A recent NY Times article dealt with Demographic shifts in California, Orange County Is No Longer Nixon Country, and dramatically indicated a key shift: “The percentage of registered Republican voters dropped to 43 percent, the lowest level in 70 years.” Demographics is at the heart of this change.
But Democrats are not the biggest beneficiaries of this shift.
An accompanying graphic shows that while registered Republicans are dropping dramatically, the offsetting rise is in Independents, not registered Democrats. And there is this:
The Republicans aren’t total fools. Why do you think that they are recruiting people like Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley?
Yeah, the GOP is on shaky demographic ground. But this does not translate into an easy win for Democrats, especially if they can’t shake their complacency, and too easy faith in numbers.
The future? Long term? There will be some other issue to demagogue; thus continues the cycle.
Because conservatives in power will probably destroy the planet long before demography removes them from political power. Climate Change will ensure the extinction of the species in a very short time. Now the Democrats suck pretty hard on that, but at least they are trying and have presented plans that would improve the situation and would do more later.
Conservatives would annihilate the human race.
Gawd, even I wasn’t gonna go there….
Plus at some point, and I think we are pretty much at the point, the party will be tarred as crazy for a few generations and in an election where a lot of other things are equal it will cost them.
It is self fulfilling prophecy, and I recognize that, but it’s hard not to end up buying into the prophecy, when it’s most ardent prophets are your own political leaders, and when the geniuses representing your own party believe the idea to stave that off is…to try and out-Republican Repubilcans.
I believe we truly and honestly are fucked, precisely because none of our Dem leaders seem to actually want to be a part of the party anymore.
When has that ever stopped either party?
What Republican Party are you thinking of that will allow someone that looks like Bobby Jindal to become the standard bearer for an increasingly resentful white male demographic base?
In mid terms, all politics is local is true. There are national overtones of this or that meme of dem doom, and to a degree that will cause some dems to give up and stay home. But these contests are very local, and we (you) dems and we independents that lean dem) still have the party of Bush card that has not yet expired, imo. So I look for that enthusiasm gap to narrow some when the campaign starts after Labor Day, and dems pay attention more. Why should they up till now, their folks are in charge and it’s summer. The wingnuts have been itching to vote since day one of Obama’s swearing in. Most folks don’t watch cable news, and the ones that do are partisans pol junkies to some degree.
Then we have the tea bag candidates like Brewer, who can barely put a sentence together in a debate, and the other nuts around the country like Angle are even worse. So cheer up libtards, the game ain’t up yet for dems losing congress.
Objection, assuming facts not in evidence.
@Brachiator: Yep. The numbers complacency issue could be a major problem. And people have to remember that there was a lot more that went into the 1960s and before that solidified African Americans as a reliable Democratic base than civil rights. There were also a lot of anti-poverty programs (beyond just “welfare” and affirmative action as part of the Great Society era as well. And these things probably weren’t presented to African Americans as something that Democrats were doing to “get their votes”, but something that was felt was the right thing to do by a lot of Democrats at the time (in the end at a very great political risk to themselves, since a lot of those programs have long since been dismantled and largely abandoned.)
If Democrats are seen as just favoring comprehensive immigration reform again as just something they’re interested in only to get votes and not because it somehow is the right thing to do to solve a problem, and that subect is the only thing Democrats want to talk about whenever they speak with Latino groups, I can’t see a sort of long term affinity growing between the the two.
Well… here’s the thing.
I think the GOP is working out very well for the GOP right now. However, I think what’s good for the GOP at the moment is bad for America as a whole.
You’re right – they’re unleashing a lot of crazy. And what scares me is that they’re starting to lose control of it. Did you see how many people still attacked Shirley Sherrod even after the jig was up? It’s *possible* (NB: I didn’t say likely) that they *could* unleash a kind of 1930s Germany crazy. Something that make Beck or Limbaugh or even Coulter say “holy crap – please tell me I didn’t help bring about *that*”.
I think they’re like a mining company bringing home the bacon but soon people are going to notice those missing mountains, and tainted water supplies are going to start sickening people. Is that “good” for the mining company? Technically, yes – see, big money!
But it’s the wrong kind of question.
but posters have to write about something.
One of the funniest (and truest) GOTV responses I ever got was in 2006, when this woman I called said, really whiny, “are we going to win this time?”
I think that was heartfelt. I just laughed and laughed. She was not playing if she was going to lose again.
I don’t do GOTV anymore, because I have to do “election protection” which is the too-cute Ohio term for “lawyer to watch polling places”. I have to do it because we have only two Democratic lawyers in-county, and one of them is my husband, and he’s on the Bd of Elections.
I miss GOTV, because it’s a lot like delivering mail, and I was a darn good mail carrier. I’m really too cranky to do election protection, but I’m stuck with it.
You are not thinking this through. The issue isn’t that Latinos are single-issue voters, or that Democrats think that–I don’t know anyone who does. The issue is that the GOP and especially the teabaggers are openly, viciously hostile towards brown people.
There’s no getting around the fact that a nontrivial and influential percentage of conservatives are unrepentant racists. Predicting that the GOP’s share of the Hispanic vote will dwindle to fatal levels isn’t taking anyone for granted, it’s an observation of cause and effect supported by the voting patterns of every other minority group the GOP has a hate-on for. To the extent that the “single-issue voter” thing is true at all, most people tend to be single-issue voters when that single issue is that the other side openly hates them for who they are.
Have you notice the recent surge in violence and harassment against Muslims and anyone mistaken for being Muslim? It hasn’t gotten to Kristallnacht levels yet, but you can see it from here.
Weigel has to drown out the echos of the drunken bongo solo he played at Ezra’s hippie drum circle. So, he plays the flute now.
Less than a third now. By 2012, the numbers on Hispanics will look a lot more like blacks. That is, there’s a wide variety of political viewpoints among all people, but you’re probably not going to vote for the party that depends on racist appeals against you to turn out the vote. With Bush gone and McCain flipped, there is no icon left in the Republican Party pushing a moderate line on immigration. With anti-immigrant radicalism comes dependence on, and defense of, racist elements. It’s never been otherwise.
Did Jindal and Nikki Haley switch parties while we weren’t looking? Until he showed that he was not ready for prime time while delivering a response to an Obama speech, Jindal was being mentioned as a GOP up-and-comer.
The GOP may yet crash and burn. But people who keep insisting that there are no Independents, only Democrats and Republicans, and that the GOP is exclusively the shrinking habitat of old angry white males, are clearly wallowing in their own rhetoric and are not paying attention to reality.
Tea baggers, yes. The GOP no (not yet). Also, is Latino voter registration up? Are Latinos and other groups entirely abandoning the GOP? And again, if voter turnouts are low, but the GOP and tea baggers are more motivated, then Latino reaction to GOP and tea bagger hostility won’t amount to much.
Surprisingly, some people consider outright bigotry to be a single issue worth basing their vote on.
I think Jindal still has a shot exactly because he’s the easiest cover for anti-Hispanic, anti-black racism. He’s an educated Indian-American who has converted to the sort of rabid showboat American Catholicism that Gingrich hopes to use to cover up all his divorces. Jindal, by the way, believes that abortion should be illegal in all cases, including rape, incest, and threats to the life of the mother.
What I think may yet sink Jindal is the split between the Catholic right and the Protestant right that has been held together with spit and bailing wire over the last few decades, mainly over abortion and homosexuality.
And this isn’t like Beck or Romney’s Mormonism, either: Jindal is on record as saying some nasty things about Protestantism as a belief system, the sort of things that anyone raised Catholic will recognize as par for the course for late and overeager converts. That shit flies in Louisiana, of course, but it’s his robo-call weak spot in the primaries.
I think this sentence speaks volumes for itself. This is pretty much how things consistently go for every “rising star” on the Republican Party’s bench. Has there been one Republican elected official who was declared the “future of the party” who didn’t completely humiliate themselves within a very short timeframe?
I don’t think I’m insisting that there are no independents, but I am well aware of the fact that independents have been repeatedly demonstrated to be among the most partisan of voters and voters who have very strong affiliations and connections with the particularly parties they support, but of which they are just not officially a member.
And are you seriously arguing that the Republican Party is anything other than an “exclusively shrinking habitat of old angry white males?” Are you claiming that this is not a real thing?
Hell, I’ll just go ahead and say it’s pretty dumb for anyone who isn’t white to vote Republican in a national race. All you have to do is turn on the television.
Very true. Which is why I think the GOP (as opposed to tea baggers) will try to tone down the rhetoric if they do well in the 2010 mid terms.
While the tea baggers are nuts, there is a difference between being opposed to illegal immigration and being opposed to immigration. And with the economy still reeling, Democrats will have their hats handed to them if they push for anything that looks like blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants.
@eemom: Yes, that bugs the hell out of me as well. It’s not 1994, it’s not even remotely 1994. Now there’s people on this website whining that Obama shouldn’t even run for another term because the left yelled at him. They’re ready to concede both House and Senate and run for the fucking hills without even a single vote. And these are the so-called ‘pragmatic’ ones on the website, who have always claimed that we’re a center-right nation.
I think it’s pretty well established among those who study voting patterns and intentions that often people vote in order to be on the winning side. Just the same way that people suddenly become Yankees fans or Patriots fans.
Preach it, brother Frum
Poetic, and that’s my opinion too. Weigel’s work at Slate has definitely been less pointed than his old Esquire stuff. Hopefully it’s just temporary, and the post-Labor-Day election ramp-up will be irresistable to Brutally Clear-Eyed Weigel… unless, of course, his new employer’s branch of the Kaplan Empire has him on some sort of double-secret-probation where loyal brainpithed glibertarians peruse his stuff for signs of traitorous levity.
A good chunk of those proud Independents are
moranslow-information voters who’ll turn out for whoever looks to be the winner, because it’s just another sporting event in their tiny self-obsessed little… worlds. Scott “Cosmo Boy” Brown’s winning margin, for example. Another reason us Dems should sack the fvck up and stop pre-lamenting how terrible horrible very bad no good it’s gonna be once the ‘inevitable’ losses happen in November. A few carefully gamed polls and sufficient media buys, and these same Independents will be bragging about how they always knew Obama’s people were in it to win it, or whatever the latest sports cliche is.
@fasteddie9318: Weigel was on Countdown a lot posing as a “smart” and “reasonable” libertarian.
But half of the time I couldn’t understand his logic. (maybe this is why people think he is “deep” and “smart” since he is hard to understand.)
The other half I just think he is just full of it. For example he thinks it is “not fair” for Harry Reid to call Sharron Angle “extreme” because he thinks she is actually “refreshingly honest” and is now trying to play down her teatard strain for the general election (normal people will call her deceptive to the voters).
Er. I’ve just finished reading the linked Weigel column. Without having read the entire thread here, to the OP regarding Weigel’s concluding sentiments: I’m disappointed enough in him that I now consider him to be to be a member of the opposing team.
I don’t know why smart people like Dave Weigel ignore the GOP’s obvious demographic challenges and the ways in which teatardism exacerbates them long-term.
it’s the same reasoning that Kelly McDonnell used when going on the other night about Sarah Palin and her use of the “North Star” as a branding tool, and how wonderful and smart that is — all the while acknowledging that Palin isn’t the smartest tool in the shed, can’t converse intelligently about any policy matters and is really “just a mom”…
it’s only smart if the only thing you’re worried about is the short term, in the minute stuff… sure they may get noticed, but you sure as hell don’t want them anywhere near the really important stuff — like running government.
@sukabi: I think you mean Norah O’Donnell from MSNBC.
You are right. These “journalists” only care about “making news” and analyzing short term tactics. She read that VF piece and all she came away with is how smart Palin is; forget about all the sociopathic behavior revealed in the article.
I think the issue is that we haven’t seen that come to fruition. And until it does, people (including yours truly) will remain skeptical of any projections of conservative extinction. I’d love to be proven wrong.
I don’t think it will be that low by 2012 but if I were a Republican strategist, I would have to consider it might go that low eventually. The fact is, there is a group that has been demonized by Republicans for 40+ years and that group now votes 90% for Democrats. I don’t see why the same thing couldn’t happen with Latinos.
People bring up Irish and say, oh, a hundred years after their last major wave of immigration, they’re not solid Democrats (though, by the way, while I can’t find data, based on how Boston goes, I bet they vote more Democratic than most other white people). I’m saying that the way things are going, Latinos will probably be a solid Democratic demographic for 30-40 years. Irish voting patterns hardly provide counterevidence.
@Meg: you’re right she’s the vapid talking head I meant… after awhile they all sort of look and sound the same…
Every ‘tea party’ person I know out here in CA was already a conservative republican before there was ever a tea party. They were militia sympathizers/supporters during the Clinton administration & now they are this. Same thing though.
I don’t get the media (including Dave’s post) not accepting these are just republicans. They aren’t a new phenomenon of John Q Public blowing their lids on an ‘evil’ government. Simply Republicans acting like (current) republicans act….children.
“I don’t know why smart people like Dave Weigel ignore the GOP’s obvious demographic challenges and the ways in which teatardism exacerbates them long-term.”
I’m inclined to agree with you, since the trends seem pretty strong… but at the same time, I think you’re falling into the Kevin Drum/Steve Benen/Matt Yglesias trap of thinking, “Why are they doing something that doesn’t make sense to me?” when instead, you should be asking yourself, “Why do they think this works for them? And what might I be missing?”
First, who’s to say pulling the GOP further rightwards is bad for it? Look what Bush (43) did from 2000-08. Granted, it cost him Congress in 2006 (but to what effect?) and Obama spanked McCain (only to govern like an Eisenhower-Rockefeller Republican, which has incensed the GOP base to the point the party may regain both houses of Congress). Would you take a year and a half of nominal impotence in exchange for ten years of partisan dominance? Or, more to the point, do you think Republican political leaders would take that exchange? Shit, yeah.
Second, the GOP seems quite plausibly ready to neutralize Democratic advantages with a couple demographics: who hates Obama the most? The oldest voters; the whitest voters. Who benefits from Social Security? The oldest voters. Is Obama defending SS? Um, good question. Would Obama defending SS turn those voters around? Um, probably not. Republicans, despite having only shitty ideas that’d destroy SS, are going to be put into power by the people who benefit from it now, who hate any idea of screwing up their benefits, but who are willing to sandbag a Democratic president, who… oh, hell, this has stopped being logical. But you see what I mean? You’d think SS beneficiaries would protect it for themselves and future generations; you’d think Dems would be united against GOP efforts to screw it up. But that’s not how this is shaking out.
The other unusual demographic is Latinos: Democrats can’t push immigration reform without inciting conservatives (well, Dems can’t tie their shoes without pissing off conservatives; there should be a lesson here), and if Dems can’t push immigration reform – in a crappy economy – they can’t lock in those Latino gains from 2006/08.
Oh, and the third thing is that Republican obstruction has only emboldened the GOP: they got their asses beaten badly in 2006 and 2008 – as Chris Rock put it, Bush fucked up so badly he made it hard for a white dude to get elected president – and yet, the pendulum is swinging back with a vengeance. Why shouldn’t they get the biggest wackos into Congress that they can? If they can parlay the hand they had in 2009 into a real threat to take over the House and Senate – with liars like Paul Ryan and idiots like Mike Pence, and Bible-thumpers like Sharron Angle and coots like Rand Paul (Kentucky, what the fuck? First Bunning, now Paul?) – then why should they scale back their ambitions? Why mess with success?
And “because non-Republicans don’t understand why it’s good for the country” is not a persuasive answer. I wish it were, too… but it’s not.
I hate to be rude but I must point out the obvious error in your piece: Dave Weigel isn’t very smart.
He’s a clever writer and an independent thinker for a right-winger, but he’s also a libertarian. He’s of the camp that surveys the collapse of our financial system under the weight of backroom bets against risky, obscure financial products by the very people who sold them, and concludes, do you know what we need? Less regulation and less oversight.
He is an ideologue whose belief system breaks down to Bush Turbo. Remember when the solution to every problem was extending or increasing tax cuts in favor of the top brackets? Weigel’s solution to prosperity was to eliminate the government, and now his solution to crisis is to eliminate the government.
That’s not very smart.
@Brachiator: That’s my point: there isn’t anyone in Republican Land anymore with the ear of the party who actually has a plan on immigration. They just repeat a bunch of rhetoric about “closing the border” that means nothing.
The Republican Party’s main figures have boiled down from a group that staked its claim to a tough stance on illegal immigration to a gaggle of media-kissers who are just plain anti-immigrant. And with that comes the influx of modern-day Know-Nothings, Klansmen, and nativists, who are then heartily defended by the new kings of prime time cable news.
This is all in the past, by the way. It’s already happened, so don’t blame me, because it’s not like it’s a good thing for America.
Good points here. The Irish comparison is extremely inapt, and I say that as an Irish-American; my grandparents’ siblings can go seamlessly from talking about ‘that damn Dick Cheney and the damn Republicans’ to discussing what a shame it is that the Jews now run professional basketball.
The point being that that sort of talk is a comedic relic – Irish ethnic separatism doesn’t exist in this country anymore outside of the exaggerated romance of traditional urban enclaves, and the Irishman that you see in old-timey Atlantic Monthly cartoons tells a poignant historical story that nevertheless doesn’t affect me negatively one whit today. No one under 75 is trying to figure out whether my family is Irish-American, and probably the people trying to suss out whether we’re Jewish or not skews 50-and-up.
On the other hand, ethnic separatism concerning Hispanics is something heartily endorsed in public by tons of white people who vote Republican. Because let’s be clear: any talk about how Spanish is destroying English, or how Hispanic culture is diluting or poisoning ours, or about “invasion”, is fundamentally racist – and this talk seeped into the debate well before W. Bush’s hand left the tiller. It’s just that when that happened and McCain switched positions and Arizona blew up, suddenly there wasn’t any gap between the Republicans’ biggest names and loudest talkers and that new-fangled nativist horrorshow.
The Readers Digest version:
1 Weigel is not that smart,
2 nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste or smarts of the American public, which are clearly declining, so Weigel’s lack of assumed IQ points is not a liability,
3 Peak wingnut was a lie,
4 punching yourself in the face is considered a greater asset in politics than the ability to do nuance from the fetal position.
BLITZER: “You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Chris just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these voters, almost all of them that we see, are so old and they are so white, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold.”
Seriously, though, your well-argued point about triangulating on SS is going to get passed along in some form at every opportunity I get during liquor-fueled political scraps over the next couple, no lie. It is absolutely astounding that the Republicans are set to seize the SS constituency, and the Democrats can’t even appeal to defending Social Security. Cheers.
The Republicans had the lion’s share of constituency when it was in its 30s, 40s and 50s, so it is not a surprise that they will have it in its retirement. The boomers and the silents were at the heart of the culture war on one side or the other, so it is not surprising that they would continue these politics into retirement. This is politics for them.
Its probably genXers like me, who have basically been told for 30 years that SS was broke, or broken, or the reason that our jobs were going away that are going to be lost in this Deficits over Jobs obsession of Obama. Petersen’s Catfood commission is just confirming what we already knew about our retirement, although I kind of thought that the Dems were supposed to defend their most popular programs. That it looks like they are treacherous on social security is all on the administration’s head at this point since it did not need to convene this commission that is freaking us all out.
@John Bird: Smart has nothing to do with it. Weigel is merely polishing beltway conventional wisdom, and also is still smarting from his Wapo comeuppance. Obama may or may not be smart, but he plays to the “middle” (who are plainly not the middle and who will always work to destroy him). Jay Rosen might observe that in Washington it is “savvy” to pander to the right.
@danimal: “Despite Dick Armey’s (is there a better name in politics?) best efforts, the tea partiers are not going to play nice with the usual “go along/get along” ethos in Washington”
I disagree. The people behind the right will withdraw the corp astroturf money from those who don’t cooperate, and switch it to those who do; set up new astroturf organizations to drum up loud support for the GOP’s policies. Beck, Rush, Faux et al. will fall into line, enough to get by.
I’m sick of these “OMG IN THE LONG TERM THE REPUBLICANS ARE DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED” posts. They’re kicking our asses.
They play to win, election by election. They don’t plan their attacks 40 years in advance.
Once there are enough Latino voters that Latino-bashing loses its effectiveness, they’ll drop it, and drum up some other vote-getting controversy.
As soon as the Tea Party is no longer politically useful to them, FOX News will stop promoting it 24/7, and it’ll fizzle out.