The Sean Trende theory that Republicans can safely ignore immigration reform is gaining a lot of traction, I’m seeing a lot of internets about it today. Today, Trende replies to critics of this idea, including Karl Rove. I’ll explain Trende’s main points and why I don’t agree with them.
Trende believes (1) that the Latino vote is not in any way monolithic and is therefore recoverable for Republicans (at least in terms of getting 35 or 40 percent) regardless of what happens over the next few years, (2) that Obama benefitted from a huge African-American turn-out because of being black without suffering much of a hit among white voters because of being black, and (3) that the Democratic share of the white vote could go much lower.
These things are almost impossible to predict or quantify. It is true that a 13% African-American electorate is a change from the past and an increase from 2008 but there’s no way to tell if it’s all about Obama (who was on the ballot in 2008 too of course) or if there were other factors, such as the possible backfiring of Republican voter suppression tactics. Likewise, various studies have indicated that Obama did worse among white voters than a similar white candidate would have (this isn’t the non-existent Bradley effect, but something that might have actually happened), but these studies are by no means conclusive.
Here’s why I’m with Rove and Lindsey Graham on this one. First of all, political pundits like to turn a blind eye to the importance of identity politics, because they’re in the business of painting a pretty picture of politics not of winning elections. Second, while Trende says his models show that Obama did no worse than a white candidate would have among white voters, there’s no way to know if his model is accurate. I love Obama but I don’t see him as a magic man; I don’t see why I should believe he was able to pump up the African-American vote without taking a hit among white voters.
Finally, a strategy that relies on increasing the Republican share of the white vote while not losing its share of the non-white vote just seems too hopeful to me. If the share of the population that hates you is increasing, it makes sense to do something about it, not pray that the rest of the population will magically start to like you more.
I might add that this is my beef with contarianism in general. Any sane betting person would bet with Rove on this one, the same way any betting person would bet that the planet will get a lot hotter over the next 100 years unless something is done about carbon emission. Making provocative, speculative points is a fun parlor game, and perhaps an interesting one, but that’s all it is. There are no Slatesters in political fox holes.
Anyway, as liberal, I sure hope House Republicans are listening to Trende.
It’s all just “skewed polls,” part 2. Trende’s analysis is credible because the current power structure in the GOP wants it to be true.
libtards wanna give away the right to vote that was earned by european settlers so that illegals can take away this country from its original inhabitants. if we just sent all the illegals back to mehico then the dems would not get there votes and the GOP would not have a problem anymore.
James E. Powell
I don’t think we will get a complete picture of impact of changing demographics on the presidential election until we have another one with two conventional white guys running against each other.
If the next election is Hillary v. Whoever, we will see a storm of sexist stuff that will make the racist stuff that Obama brought out look mild. The fact that Hillary’s been around for years and has already endured it cuts two ways. It will be nothing new, sure, but it also means that almost nothing will be considered out of bounds.
Hmm. Is it possible the Republicans are hoping for 80-90% of the white vote? Or similar percentages that African Americans vote for Democrats?
@James E. Powell: Bring it on. With the War on Women the Republicans are waging, a campaign where a the female candidate of a major party has to endure all sorts of misogyny is going to paint a stark picture. Half the population is female. That’s a lot of voters to alienate.
As for the immigration reform, the Republicans making a short term, calculated political decision that Latinos Don’t Matter To Republicans is going to have long term effects. Those effects will not be positive for Republicans. Democrats need to trumpet the immigration reform issue very loudly and make sure everyone understand the Republicans are to blame for it failing.
Of course it’s recoverable. You just have to be interested in recovering it in the first place. And that starts with not running on a platform that pretty much says outright that anyone who’s not white and Anglo isn’t welcome, ever.
They actually do have something though. They say “6%” in Ohio. Now, they may have made that up, but there’s more!
They say “6% of working class whites”
I don’t know where they got “working class” either, but let’s give it to them.
So. They trashed Obama for 4 years. Used every conceivable dog whistle from food stamps to Obamaphone and STILL this elusive “6%” didn’t come out.
But, OTOH, Romney was a horrible candidate who got ripped off so had no real “campaign” other than ads.
Still, if Obama didn’t bring them out, what will? It’s not like they weren’t doubling down on white in 2012! They were! They have to triple down, I guess.
The unspoken factor is that these actions by the Republicans are alienating the Asians. That is the population they could maybe get back.
If Hillary gets the nomination, the sexism on display will put the racism of the 2008 and 2012 elections to shame. We will have every flavor of patriarchy rammed down our throats.
Whatever the Repukes do, I hope it fucks up their chances of taking the Senate in 2014.
Triple down with WHAT, however? This whole number crunching exercise might have an air of plausibility if it were accompanied by an actual strategy. If they have one, I haven’t seen it.
That had to be a weird thing to write…
They can try and get the white vote, but the white voters they’ll get are the kind who will be dying off in droves soon. Between gay rights, the war on women, and immigration reform, the GOP has alienated the hell out of young voters of every color.
@Suzanne: it will be worse than that because it will focus on her appearance and age in a way that will be truly repugnant.
Kenny fucking Rogers?? Ya gotta be shittin me.
That said, I kind of like that song.
@Redshirt: I’m looking forward to the unintentional comedy that ads aiming for 90% white voters will be. The GOP already has a tendency to say things that make my jaw drop, but it’s about to get really freaky.
I.love how they ignore Asians, too. It doesn’t fit this “build the dang fence!” frame so they’re just pretending it didn’t happen.
What’s going on there, I wonder? :)
Just Some Fuckhead
@eemom: Kenny Fucking Rogers discovered Don Henley. That has to count for something.
@Baud: As long as they have to kiss teatard ass to get elected, they’re gonna keep denying the problem just might be them. At some point that kiss is gonna come back to bite them, but unfortunately thanks to the South that will take awhile to sink in.
I don’t love Obama but here’s something to take into consideration:
2004 election demographics
2012 election demographics
A difference of 2% which can be assigned (or blamed) on “floating statistics.”
@Just Some Fuckhead: Don Henley Must Die.
There are probably plenty of minority voters who would agree with them on select issues. But when your entire party’s pretty much shrunk to “being white” as its only basic value, and “being white” is defined as “being anti-everyone else,” simple survival instinct means these voters aren’t gonna be interested. There may be elitist assholes in the black community, but when they see the clown spectacle that was Herman Cain’s presidential campaign (forced to meekly apologize for offending his betters by taking offense at the word “N/gg/rhead”), most of them say “fuck that” and vote for the party that’s not going to put them through that.
Trende’s analysis is the one that theorized if the GOP can get all the white voters hiding in uncontested northeastern blue states, they’ll have a chance of winning Florida, right?
Somewhere in the darkness,
The Rush-ster, he broke even…
Or is your analogy a different one, Sir Doug of Milhous?
Oh fer fuxsake. Why don’t you and AL get together and form a band called Brain Dead Buzzword-Bleating Dipshit Chicks Against Authoritarian Tribalist Patriarchs, and be done with it?
@Keith: Race war would be the only way, with some brutal dictatorship waging it. But then, that’s probably the long term Republican plan anyways.
Well, that’s my question. I sense we’re supposed to cower because Republicans are DOUBLING DOWN.
What does that mean? They’ll scream “you lie!” louder? They can’t get any less welcoming. Is there some alternate plan that is different than what they’ve been doing since 2008?
Do they have some White People Economic Plan, or are we just talking about louder screeching?
@Just Some Fuckhead:
fer realz? But what about the Eagles?
They can get a ton less welcoming. I just don’t think they’ll increase their share of the white vote by doing so.
@eric: Wouldn’t surprise me that if Hillary is the nominee, and the sexism and ageism is out of control, that there will be silent crossover votes among older, white women who usually vote Republican.
Who needs a fence when you’ve got a moat named the Pacific Ocean?
the GOP has alienated the hell out of young voters of every color.
I work on a college campus and can’t see the GOP picking up any new votes. Apart from the usual core of College Republican douchebags who think they’ll get rich sucking up to corporations, I can’t see the GOP having any appeal at all. They proudly self-identify as the party of stupid rednecks, crony capitalism and war bullies.
@Violet: I can totally see it. White racists too from Appalachia.
Has one too many “studies” in the sentence.
1. Given that the white vote is shrinking, and has in all but one presidential election for the past 40 years, the GOP can increase its share of it and still lose by the same margin – or worse.
2. Since the oldest white voters are the most Republican and the youngest are the most Democratic, the GOP probably isn’t going to increase its share by much.
Not only is the treadmill speeding up, but demographics are tying another weight to the GOP’s ankle every four years.
Hopefully democrats will not be riding the sole immigration pony in 2014. They need to hit the packet/purse issues and show the voters (again) the repubs’ terrible record on jobs, economy, sequester etc. and how the goppers are still with 1%ers. In short, bring on the class warfare full bore.
Just Some Fuckhead
@eemom: Who are the Eagles?
WHAT white working class? They don’t frickin’ exist, anymore. The Corporate Wing of the GOP shipped their jobs to China, Indonesia, India, etc., and then fired their asses.
@Redshirt: They already get numbers like that in the deep south. I don’t see how they could hope to get them nationally.
@Baud: Maybe they’re not yelling loud enough.
@Kay: Asians? I believe the Village has that demographic filed alongside elves and leprechauns.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Didn’t you see The Return of the King?
Just Some Fuckhead
@Omnes Omnibus: It’s really not difficult to write a (Insert Name) Must Die song. It’s almost a rite of passage for songwriters. My first (Insert Name) Must Die song was about Robert Guillaume from the television show Benson.
They have this vague Huckabee-Santorum Wal Mart voter “populist” thing. It’s distinct from fundie Christians , although obviously there’s overlap.
That was Huckabee’s Big Idea. He would be the fundie AND secular white working class “bridge”.
I don’t know what it means, specifically, and I don’t know how they make it work with the Romney part of the GOP.
@eemom: Because it’s more fun to stick around here and piss your bigoted, bitter ass off.
@mdblanche: You and I and most rational people don’t see it, but do they see it? Understanding of course that they are often deluded and wrong.
@Just Some Fuckhead: http://imgur.com/a/EKf9H
Just Some Fuckhead
In regards to the topic, I think Republicans are closer to right than wrong. Fact is, black voters won’t come out for a white candidate in the numbers they did for Obama. This was proven in subsequent elections after 2008.
And we won’t have a charismatic candidate like Obama that can energize the youth every four years. We’ll have Kerrys and Mondales.
And people are less likely to be fooled by the hope and change bullshit next time around. It was a cynical campaign strategy and it won’t get the same buy-in next time, no matter how well-intentioned.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
dunno about that, but John Barleycorn is one of the awesomest songs EVAH.
Sure they exist. I see them all the time. The average here would be 9,10 dollars an hour. They’re younger, generally, 20’s and 30’s. I think that’s where they’re getting “secular”, too. I think they’re less religious than their parents, younger working class people. Just my opinion.
They aren’t big voters, though, honestly, because lower income people just aren’t.
Sweetie, you piss me off about as much as a two year old who’s gotten herself tangled up in the Diaper Genie ribbon.
@Just Some Fuckhead: You wrote Robert Guillaume Must Die? I loved that song back in the day.
@Anoniminous: I believe “working class whites” is a euphemism for white people without a college degree. You know, people like Bill Gates.
You gotta understand, DougJ wrote that after he had just dropped in to see what condition his condition was in.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I’d normally say “Ask Cole,” but he’s a Steelers fan.
There was once a supremacist asshole in Berlin who was convinced a fictional white army would save his ass.
Generally, when conservatives say “the Latino vote is not monolithic,” they mean “Latinos are mostly Catholic, so if we just don’t hate them, of course they’ll be keen on our anti-abortion and anti-gay extremism!” Just like Rand Paul tried to whitesplain to them.
If there’s a conservative who means something different than that, they really have to say so. Otherwise it’s only reasonable to assume that’s what they mean.
@eemom: Good, I’m glad the Valium is working for you.
*round of applause* Smack our little Nooners clone down good and hard!
@Tripod: Frederick’s army at Hohenfriedberg wasn’t fictional.
@NickT: I think of her as our Regina George, forty years later.
@Omnes Omnibus: But do you know who else was once a supremacist asshole in Berlin who was convinced a fictional white army would save his ass?
Personal trolls — I haz them.
Whaddaya say to that, Mr. Fuckhead?
I think she’s Paula Deen’s imaginary friend without the good manners.
I think they believe the same about the Asian American vote. Of course the richer than average, more educated than average Asians saw the way republicans treat other minorities and voted en masse for Democrats,
James E. Powell
I think the archetype for the voter the Republicans are going after is the kind of guy who wants to have a beer with Chris Christie. A less religious version of George W Bush without the faux southern accent.
Just Some Fuckhead
You’ve come a long way, baby.
Finally a post with a reference to a song I actually know.
(I probably shouldn’t write that out loud).
Can I put in a vote for a Gettysburg thread? 150 years and all that?
Plus the occasional mention of Vicksburg would be nice.
@Viva BrisVegas: I always think of those battles as July 4th things. That’s why we celebrate.
@Redshift: It’s like you have the decoder ring.
@Walker: This. We know that we are only provisionally in the “good kind of non-white” category.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
There was no Hope and Change in 2012. The Obama campaign just systematically destroyed Romney for an entire year.
The Republicans have no policy platform. Christie, their best candidate in my view, is every bit the wingnut as the other Republican governor, but he gets better press right now. Once his policies are highlighted, Christie will resort to the name calling and yelling that doesn’t play well in most of the country.
@NickT: I am amused that she thinks she has “personal trolls” when she is always the one, in every thread, to make the first rude comment.
I suppose her “personal trolls” are her other personalities.
I don’t think you can call rabid stupidity a personality, as such – and that’s where her many and varied world-views begin and end.
@Hill Dweller: some fuckheads think hope and change is all about obama.
@Kay: This is where the anti-gay stuff really hurt them. They have had preachers preaching in many churches EVERY SUNDAY pushing conservative politics. Which was put to great effect in the marriage amendments. The price they paid was to drive young people away from religion. Even young evangelicals now associate Christianity with hating gays. With out the ability to push conservative policies with penalty of eternal damnation, they are going to have to sell their policies all by themselves.
@MikeJ: They’re always talking about how “smart” we are. Why they think we can’t see the methods they use to get votes and advance their policies is beyond me.
@eemom: So, quite a bit, then. That’s good to know.
Rove at least understands that you have to offer concrete reasons/benefits for voting for your party (e.g., “Security”, Medicare Part D). Currently the GOP is only offering to take things away from most people other than the wealthy. Not an easy sell.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@eemom: Which is funny, because it looked like you started it.
I think their White People Economic Plan is to keep white people believing that black people are taking their stuff.
This. The problem for the Republicans is that they have no practical policy leeway within their existing coalition. Their economic policy is written by the rich and ultra-rich, and their social policy is written by the wingnuts. They can’t try to attract poor people because that would mean upsetting the money side of the party, and they can’t try to attract minorities because that would upset the bigots. So they’re left with three groups in the debate about how to win:
1) Spinmeisters who believe they can win voters they’ve alienated by changing their messaging but leaving policy alone
2) Bigots who refuse to change policy and believe they can keep winning by disenfranchising Democratic voters
3) Policy people who realize they have to change their platform to attract new voters, even if that means alienating some existing group.
I think that the final group are going to be correct in the long term, but they’re a weak voice, both because they’re speaking out against existing powers in the party and because they can’t agree on which policies to change to attract which group that currently isn’t voting for them.
The Republicans know deep-down they need more of the non-white, female vote, but their hearts just aren’t in it to pursue any genuine efforts to win them. Hence their palpable sense of relief when they convince themselves they Don’t Have a Problem and can torch immigration reform, stampede over women’s reproductive rights, and pass every minority voter suppression measure they can think of, with the renewed gusto of an alcoholic returning to the bar after two days of sobriety.
What you said. “John Barleycorn” and “Low Spark” are one of the best one-two album combinations evah.
I heard a discussion about this and the right winger kept on going on and on about how it would be okay if the Repub got enough white votes. Nobody brought up what would happen when the Latinos would exceed the white population.
I personally think we should encourage the GOP to keep on thinking along these lines. There’s that quote of not interrupting your enemy while they are making a mistake.
I like Sun Zi:
“Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”
@Omnes Omnibus: Did you see that Dessa put a new album out last week?
I’m guessing that Republican anti-intellectualism also didn’t sell very well with Asian Americans, either.
@Viva BrisVegas: I am loving the Esquire/ Pierce blog Gettysburg stuff from LTC Bateman. Also the Gettysburg links at LGM last night were interesting.
A lot of amazing close calls there.
Republicans really do have the perfect mascot.
And so do Democrats.
Trende claims there are five million poor whites voters there for the taking. It’s a complete fantasy, but hey, Democrats spent thirty years saying pathetically stupid things to try and bring white southern conservatives back into the fold, so….
One other thing about Asian Americans: they’re probably less Christian than any other minority group, unless you want to count Jews. Obnoxious Christianism is going to be a big turn-off to Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and non-religious people, all of whom are well represented among Asian Americans.
I think their biggest problem is that for the last few decades they’ve gotten used to voters who do respond to that kind of thing. The typical Nixon/Reagan Democrat was middle class and riddled with racial anxieties; they didn’t flock to the new Republican Party because of its policies, they flocked to it because of its messaging (the “we’re the white people party” shtick) and felt economically secure enough to not care about its policy (deregulation, union busting, the whole “trickle down” mess).
Republicans have gotten used to a country where these voters are the center of gravity. Which is why they’ve gotten used to a country where you could fix your electoral problems simply by fine-tuning the “messaging.” It still hasn’t occurred to most of them that that’s not going to be enough anymore.
@Just Some Fuckhead: ‘Hope and Change’ was about wresting control of the executive from organized crime. A necessary step to reform, but just a partial step. Republicans like to dismiss it as foolish utopianism, but all the Obama supporters I know had realistic expectation,even if those are disappointed at times, too.
I would hazard a guess that you’re supposed to be “smart” enough to realize you’d be on the IGM side of IGMFY, and jump at the chance to be part of it. As with their various attempts to cut Social Security and Medicare, but only for the next generation, they always assume everyone is out to screw over everyone they can for financial gain, just like they are.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Xenos: That’s an incredibly naive viewpoint. I hope you are simply selling the koolaid and not drinking it.
Hard to get them to the polls when you are cutting down on voting hours, early voting, vote by mail, etc. But perhaps the GOP also has convinced themselves that their voter suppression efforts ONLY affect non-white voters.
Either that or they mean “smart enough to know your place.”
This is just the latest fantasy. I don’t think the white vote is as locked up as they think. I’m a white male 45 year old engineer and I’ll be damned if I ever vote for a Republican.
The policies of Republicans against various groups turns off more than just those groups. Men are turned off by the anti-choice, anti birth control & anti-women. There are whites turned off by the anti-immigration & anti-minority.
The more extreme they go, the more people they alienate.
@Redshirt: “Hmm. Is it possible the Republicans are hoping for 80-90% of the white vote? Or similar percentages that African Americans vote for Democrats?”
Please note that the African American vote was earned, both positively and negatively.
@Walker: “The unspoken factor is that these actions by the Republicans are alienating the Asians. That is the population they could maybe get back.”
But they won’t, since the message they’re sending is ‘White People Only’.
@mai naem: “I heard a discussion about this and the right winger kept on going on and on about how it would be okay if the Repub got enough white votes. Nobody brought up what would happen when the Latinos would exceed the white population.”
There are two reasons why I think that the GOP will double down – the first is that it’s what they’re doing.
The second is that for an older group, this makes sense. It’ll bite them in a decade or so, but they won’t care.
@Tripod: “Trende claims there are five million poor whites voters there for the taking. It’s a complete fantasy,…”
Last I heard, poor people (of all races) strongly vote Democratic.
“What happens if they run into 7 percent growth headwind, as Walter Mondale did in 1984?”
Then demographics don’t matter, you win!
His plan requires Republicans to become economic liberals to attract whites making less than $50K a year AND be in power when the economy grows as a result?
Honestly, it’s not a bad plan – for Democrats! I hope Joe Biden is taking notes.
Seems like a “whites only” strategy is doomed to failure when you have a lot of whites who are economically disadvantaged and becoming more so daily. By definition, you’re already leaving a lot of white folks behind. Trende elliptically addresses this by saying Republicans have to be less big business oriented and more populist, but that’s kind of like saying they need to be more like Democrats to get a bigger share of the white vote. You’re already seeing signs of this problem in NC, for example, where Republicans can’t agree on a tax plan. Some of their proposals raise sales taxes on food and services and tax social security benefits, all in the name of lowering corporate income tax rates and the top personal income tax rates. This is probably one reason they fixate on abortion and nonsense like sharia law, because they want to change the subject.
Short of appearing publicly in pointy hoods, I’m not sure what more the GOP could have done in 2012 to show that they were unabashedly the “white party”.
This Trende person seems like the erudite version of Palin, he is telling the Republicans what they want to hear. Republicans have become a party of snake oil salespeople.
Paul in KY
@eemom: No band name should be longer than 5 words. Plerase tighten it up a bit & repost ;-)
Paul in KY
@Just Some Fuckhead: I liked him when he was on Soap. Not so much afterwards…
Paul in KY
@Just Some Fuckhead: African Americans came out heavily for VP Gore back in 2000. They got shafted down in Florida, even though they did their part splendidly in that election.
Rob in CT
From the CBO’s analysis of the senate bill, released today:
CBO estimates that, by 2023, enacting S. 744 would lead to a net increase of 9.6 million in the total number of people residing in the United States, compared with the number of people projected under current law.
So, net/net, more immigration that under current law, sayeth the CBO. I’ve got nothing against immigrants, but this is not a good deal (for the working class, anyway. For the Job Creators, dollars be unto them, it’s probably great).
I think “Even the Liberal…” was actually right here.
I also think the GOPers who don’t think they’re going to make any inroads electorally by supporting immigration reform are probably correct, because the mix of policies backed by the GOP are unattractive to poor & many middle class folks, and immigrants will be poor and middle class, not rich. They could, of course, change that, but come on. They’re Republicans.