Will race trip up Republicans in 2014 and 2016?

This photoshopped image of President Barack Obama became a favorite in conservative circles in 2009 during the healthcare debate.

This photoshopped image of President Barack Obama became a favorite in conservative circles in 2009 during the healthcare debate.

Way back in 1981, legendary Republican strategist Lee Atwater outlined the strategy that conservatives were following to leverage racial tensions for political gain without offending moderate and centrist voters.

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’” Atwater explained.

“By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract.”

According to Atwater, the narrative would need to grow ever more suggestive.  The Republican appeal to white voters would come with a wink and a dog whistle, not an overt call to arms.

“Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites,” he explained.

Until the election of Barack Obama, and the rise of the rural-based tea party, that cynical but also essentially healthy trend-line was more or less continuous.

The politics of necessity merged with what I would argue was a legitimately more expansive racial inclusiveness on the right.

Constrained by circumstance, Republicans slowly edged further and further away from Willie Horton style racial appeals.

Many conservative politicians, including George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, began to build significant bridges to communities of color.  Bush had an admirably diverse cabinet, and won a sizable chunk of the Hispanic vote.

The Right’s dangerous new rhetoric on race

It is amazing, in the age of Obama, how much has changed.  America’s new hard-right resurgence has brought with it some legitimate debates over the size and reach of government and the sustainability of large-scale government programs.

But it has also heralded a return to far more caustic and overt racist language.  Clearly, not all conservatives have bit into this poison fruit.  I know many tea partiers who are on board with the idea that Amerrica is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society.

But again and again, I find cases where important conservative thinkers and writers are making what can only be described as white tribal and Christianist arguments as they survey America’s political divide.

Orson Scott Card, perhaps the most widely read right-wing author in America, published an essay in May warning that Mr. Obama is a dictator who will soon field a thug army of urban black men.

Where will he get his “national police”? The NaPo will be recruited from “young out-of-work urban men” and it will be hailed as a cure for the economic malaise of the inner cities.

In other words, Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies.

Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people “trying to escape” — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama.

That same month, a scholar with the prominent Heritage Foundation, Jason Richwine, was fired after the Washington Post revealed that he had published a scholarly work arguing that Hispanics are inherently intellectually inferior.

“No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites,” Richwine had written, “but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

This kind of overtly racial argument is particularly dangerous for a Republican movement that already finds itself with limited appeal within the nation’s growing minority community.

Will racial insensitivity be 2014′s version of rape insensitivity?

We have already seen what happens when a traditionalist movement edges beyond coded language into the realm of the overtly offensive, as happened in 2012 with Republican talk of “legitimate” rape in Missouri’s Senate race.

Lightning struck again in Indiana where a Senate candidate suggested that in some cases rape represented “a gift that God meant to happen.”

Those moments of crazy didn’t just offend feminists, or liberal women, or even women writ large.  They offended voters in the vast, squishy middle of American politics, including a lot of men.  The GOP runs the same risk in 2014 and beyond with racial politics.

As Republicans seek to mobilize their mostly white, largely rural base, I’m guessing that Americans will tolerate a certain amount of carefully parsed language, including debates about affirmative action and wrangling over the Trayvon Martin verdict.

But too often, and more frequently, Republicans find themselves slipping over a more overt racial line.

In 2012, two activists at the Republican National Convention were ejected after they threw peanuts at an African American journalist, saying, “This is how we feed animals.”

Last month, Iowa’s conservative Rep. Steve King argued that “for every one [young undocumented person in America] who is a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there, they weigh 130 pounds and with calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

That stings because a year ago, King compared the process of immigration to the genetic selection process that leads to a healthy breed of bird dog.  “You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest,” he said.

Don’t think those kinds of statements turn off mainstream and moderate Republican voters?

This week, the co-chairman of one of Iowa’s county GOP committees resigned abruptly, citing his party’s lurch to the right in general, and King’s views in particular.

“No one’s really stood out to really fight him on those,” said Polk county co-chair Chad Brown, 34, in an interview with the Des Moines Register.  “I think they’re hateful statements.”

The Southern Avenger

A top aide to Sen. Rand Paul was exposed by a conservative newspaper as the "Conservative Avenger" and forced to step down.  (Source:  Southern Poverty Law Center)

A top aide to Sen. Rand Paul was exposed by a conservative newspaper as the “Conservative Avenger” and forced to step down. (Source: Southern Poverty Law Center)

Also last month, presidential hopeful and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul accepted the resignation of his co-author and director of new media, Jack Hunter.

Hunter stepped down after a conservative website revealed Hunter’s history as a “neo-confederalist” who went around wearing a mask, calling himself the “Southern Avenger” and praising the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Hunter, who worked closely with Paul for three years, wrote that John Wilkes Boothe’s heart was “in the right place” adding that his sole regret was that “Lincoln’s murder automatically turned him into a martyr.”

Conservative Media Opens The Door to Backbenchers

Unfortunately, there are three intertwined problems at play here, which makes the new race rhetoric in the Republican Party difficult to untangle.

The first is the new structure of the conservative world’s media-political network, which allows politicians who would normally be back-benchers into the lime-light.

Guys like Steve King and Rand Paul are major players in the modern GOP.  Paul might very well be the standard bearer in 2016.

As recently as the 1990s, they would have been relegated to marginal roles until thoroughly vetted, until their views and rhetoric had matured.  In many cases, they would have been permanently banished to the margins, David Duke-style.

That’s just not happening anymore.

Compounding the problem is that many core voters in the Republican base — energized by media voices like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage — simply don’t want the old establishment brand of Coke.

They hold racial views that are, to put it mildly, out of sync with mainstream America and they want those views to be expressed, boldly and unambiguously, by their candidates.

“Republicans tell us privately,” Politico reported recently, “that pressure from conservative media only encourages their public voices to say things that offend black audiences.”

In other words, the old feedback loop that used to nudge GOP lawmakers toward more moderate, tolerant racial rhetoric has been replaced by a new feedback loop — one that rewards politicians who describe the president as a Kenyan imposter.

Mobilizing White Voters, Limiting Voting Power of Black Voters

The third problem – and this one’s the doozy — is the fact that in the short term Republicans may actually be able to win elections as a more or less pure-white party.

But this only works if they continue to gerrymander voting boundaries, and employ voter suppression tactics — such as voter ID laws — that target minorities.

The linkage between white appeal and potential victory at the ballot box was summed up in a court filing made by the state of Texas, defending its efforts to minimize the power of black Democratic voters in that state’s congressional races.

“[R]edistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats,” state officials argued.

“It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.”

Ponder the implications of that argument for a moment.  In modern America, black voters are almost exclusively Democratic.

Rather than attempting to appeal to those voters — shaping policies, messages, arguments to win more African Americans back to the GOP side — conservative operatives work to shape the voting system so that it minimizes the power of their ballots.

This isn’t just clumsy racist rhetoric.  It’s not one muddled politicians talking about Hispanics as if they were bird dogs, or one high-level operative talking about the merits of gunning down Abraham Lincoln.

This is a reasoned legal argument from some of the GOP’s best legal thinkers in one of the largest states in the Union, concluding that a rationale exists for deliberately skewing the nation’s democracy, regardless of the ” incidental effects” on certain racial groups — in this case, black and Hispanic voters.

Yes, Democrats Are Different

It’s important to note that there is no equivalency here on the Democratic side.  Democrats are not “the party of people of color” in the way that Republicans have become the “party of white people.”

According to Fox’s 2012 exit polls, Barack Obama won 39% of white votes — not a majority, by any means, but a healthy chunk.

Mitt Romney, by contrast, eked out a solid majority among whites – 59% – but got shellacked with every other ethnic group in our society, winning between 6% and 27% of their support depending on race.

Which explains why you don’t hear racial dog whistles from the left.   Yes, Democrats win — when they win — by pulling in big margins from minority blocs.

But without a truly multi-racial coalition, including big numbers of whites, Democrats lose every time.

Reversing a trend?

Can the Republicans catch up, finding ways to marry their more conservative arguments about our society’s future with America’s increasing demographic diversity.  It won’t be easy.

Taken together, the three new pressures described above threaten to pull the GOP in the opposite direction.

In 2014 and 2016, the party will likely face more irruptions of insensitive and even openly racist language from prominent voices in the conservative media and within the Republican Party’s ranks.

Some of those voices will likely win office (and bit TV ratings).

But on a national stage — in presidential races and key, big-state Senate match-ups — I’m guessing that the vast majority of voters won’t stand for it, any more than they were willing to stand for talk of “legitimate” rape.

If the GOP continues down this path, swapping the dog whistle for the bullhorn, Democrats will benefit politically, and the nation as a whole will lose.

28 Responses to “Will race trip up Republicans in 2014 and 2016?”

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  1. The Original Larry says:

    What about Democrats’ paternalistic, condescending attitude towards minorities? Flinging vast amounts of guilt-assuaging money at them and generally treating them as if they can’t take care of themselves. That keeps them in a permanent state of dependency, buys their votes and prevents forward motion. It’s a clever take on racism, to disguise it as altruism. Lyndon Johnson was no lover of minorities but he was certainly a political genius.

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  2. Brian Mann says:

    OL -

    The problem with your construction is that Democrats include racial minorities in their decision making. In other words, Democrats aren’t a “white party” displaying a “condescending attitude towards minorities” as you suggest.

    They are a legitimately multi-racial party, with blacks and Hispanics and Asians in positions of power throughout the entire ecology of their movement. So the fundamental premise of the argument you’re making here doesn’t add up.

    In order for this to be true, black and Hispanic leaders would have to be deliberately acting to disguise their animosity toward their own communities as altruism.

    More broadly, your argument accepts pretty sketchy historical understanding of the way public policy in the post-Johnson era has helped black and Hispanic communities.

    Not all “Great Society” and “war on poverty” programs have worked, to be sure.

    But the ability to register to vote without being murdered, or participate in government aid programs (or buy a home) without being excluded because of your skin color hardly represent “a permanent state of dependency.”

    On the contrary. The black middle class has grown dramatically in the post-Johnson era.

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  3. Pete Nelson says:

    Brian:

    Good essay and an even better response to Larry, who has no idea what he’s talking about. For some guy from Alaska who is a self-described “small town reporter in the North Country” you are on quite a roll lately with issues of of diversity, urban policies and race.

    As someone from whose politics and activism were honed in big-city environs and whose teaching work today is conducted in an urban, diverse world, I see an unmistakable two-pronged change that suggest to me that conservative white politics is headed for permanent exile in the margins: winning elections here and there but of less and less relevance.

    First, white conservatives are tone-deaf to our rapidly evolving contemporary American culture. Look at the astonishing pace of progress on gay rights – even from the Supreme Court. The value systems of younger generations are light years from the values systems of my generation. So it’s not that conservatives are wrong on given issues as much as it is that they just don’t get it, that “it ain’t that way any more.”

    Second, this cultural sea change combined with electoral successes for people of color, up to and including the most powerful position on Earth, has given an unengaged minority electorate a reason to vote, to believe with a new level of commitment that their vote makes a difference. This is the thing that is potentially seismic: the numbers have said for years that if minority voted turnout approached white turnout the ballgame is over, as it were.

    I’m a political skeptic, maybe even a cynic. But on the ground it sure feels as though either the Republican Party finds a way to appeal to minority voters, starting with relegating the strident, policy-dominating right-wing members of their constituency to the ash-bin of history, or they will become a poor stepchild in the two-party system that defines our electoral landscape.

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  4. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The big divide among young people might be whether they are carnivores, vegetarian, vegan, omnivore…Republican appeal is getting thin among the people who will control the future.

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  5. Mayflower says:

    No quarrel with the substance of your comments, Brian. My eyebrows went up, however, when I reached the end of your article and found no mention of Ted “Don’t Blink” Cruz — surely one of the scariest guys currently strutting on the GOP platform, hurling red meat at his wildly cheering base.

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  6. Jim Bullard says:

    “Can the Republicans catch up, finding ways to marry their more conservative arguments about our society’s future with America’s increasing demographic diversity. It won’t be easy.”

    Easy? When your avowed position is that the group(s) you are targeting are actually inferior and should be relegated to second class citizenship, how do you convince them to accept that status and vote for you? I think the GOP’s future is certain. Only the time span and how far they can bend the system to their advantage before it breaks are in question.

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  7. The Original Larry says:

    Brian,
    Your well-known anitpathy towards Republicans is showing again. Any progress made towards racial inclusion (“George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, began to build significant bridges to communities of color. Bush had an admirably diverse cabinet, and won a sizable chunk of the Hispanic vote.”) is written off as “cynical”, “politics of necessity” and “Constrained by circumstance”. Meanwhile, the sainted Democrats, for all their soi-disant altruism, haven’t done a damn thing except buy elections with public money. Participation by minorities in the gold rush doesn’t legitimize it.

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  8. Peter Hahn says:

    Demographically, the GOP is not only the rural white-man’s party, but also the older (soon to be elderly) white-man’s party. Its an unsustainable strategy, but can continue for some years.

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  9. Will Doolittle says:

    I assume the vast amounts of money you’re referring to, Larry, are welfare programs such as food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, Medicaid and so on. I wouldn’t think it would need to be said but those programs do not flow exclusively to minorities. If you are from upstate New York, as I am, that would be obvious.

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  10. Brian Mann says:

    OL -

    I can see how you would interpret my praise for the Bushes as part of the larger pattern I described, but I don’t actually hold that view.

    Yes, I think Republicans moved to the center on racial issues in the 1990s and early 2000s in part because it was just too toxic to do otherwise.

    After engaging a stark “Southern” strategy in the 1970s and 1980s – wooing away white voters from the Democratic party in part with racial appeals – the GOP adopted healthier, less toxic rhetoric.

    I think the Bush family, however, represented a ‘next generation’ of racial inclusiveness within the GOP.

    I think — this is obviously only an opinion, but I think it’s based on fact — that their openness and inclusiveness were sincere, and deeply felt.

    Unfortunately, the GOP is struggling now to maintain that kind of diversity and openness.

    Your arguments reflect part of the problem. The Democrats have worked for a generation to be more welcoming, more inclusive, more systemically diverse.

    Rather than ask open-minded questions about those successes, you default to the idea that racial diversity is merely a code-word for giveaways and bribes to people of color.

    Engaging in a meaningful dialogue about race and politics is impossible when you believe that winning support from minority groups is all about bribes and pay-offs.

    This is, unfortunately, one of the memes that has gained traction within the conservative movement.

    Those who argue in favor of engagement and outreach are branded as “compromisers” who want to sacrifice “principle” in order to expand the big tent.

    Which is fine, on one level. Stick to your conservative guns, and your conservative ideals.

    But surely if an idea is a good one, there must be a way to communicate it respectfully to African Americans and Hispanics, without talking about immigrants carrying diseases, or lower IQs or “wetbacks.”

    Right?

    -Brian, NCPR

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  11. myown says:

    Obviously the Republican plan to try and remain competitive at the national level is to employ unjustified voter ID laws in as many states as possible in order to prevent non-Republicans from voting.

    In addition, as long as partisan gerrymandering is allowed Republicans will control the House and continue to be the Party of No.

    Yes, support for Republicans is dwindling. But it is also dropping for Democrats. Registered Independents are the fastest growing political segment. And just look at the extremely low public approval ratings for Congress. On many current issues both parties in Congress have positions that only a minority of Americans support. Our political system is captive of big money interests and is in need of serious reform.

    Let’s talk about:
    Public funding of political campaigns with limits on spending.
    Overturn Citizens United.
    Require all states use independent commissions to determine Congressional boundaries.
    Impose meaningful restrictions on the back and forth flow of executives between government and corporations.

    Until we do these things the political system will continue to represent the interests of powerful corporation lobbyists over the interests of average Americans regardless of which political party is in charge.

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  12. Pete Klein says:

    Obama certainly brought out from under the rocks some of the more goofy Republicans, much to the detriment of the Republican Party.
    One can only hope there are enough people in the Republican Party who are willing to send these people back under the rocks from which they came.
    We need a two party system for democracy to work.
    The first thing the Republicans need to do is to stop campaigning against Obama.
    They might start by realizing Obama is not black. He is multiracial and as time goes on, more and more Americans are multiracial.
    This is a country of mixing. It began with Americans from different European countries and even different Christian religions marrying outside of their “cultural group.” This mixing now continues with every race, creed and nationality marrying every other race, creed and nation of origin with greater frequency.
    It has gotten to the point where a “pure” anything is the smallest minority there is in this country.
    It’s time to wake up and smell the reality.

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  13. Peter Hahn says:

    The question for the GOP is how do they get out of this hole. We’ve gone hyperpartisan where the minorities are mostly Democrats. Now doing anything that appeals to minorities also favors Democrats. “Amnesty” whatever that code word means viscerally, also results in more Democrats.

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  14. Paul says:

    One thing that is certainly helping the democrats is the willingness of many of the party that are mad as hell at the president to stick with him. I live in a pretty left wing place and most liberals here are up in arms but they have become more like republicans as far as their willingness to “fall in line” when necessary. The Tea Party are an example of the other side of the coin. They seem willing to stick with their convictions even if that means sinking with the ship like some are describing above.

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  15. The GOP has a more fundamental problem. Their far right seems to want to wage war against anyone who isn’t a straight, white, Christian male. This might have been a decent political strategy in 1951 but suicidal in an increasingly diverse nation. Anyone in the party who’s only moderately conservative, who, you know, tries to speak a tiny bit of common sense, is burnt at the stake. The Democrats stink but compared to this lot, they seem like a bunch of Churchills.

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  16. Paul says:

    I consider myself moderately conservative and I have not yet been burned at the stake?

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  17. hermit thrush says:

    try running for office if you want to see what brian is talking about, paul.

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  18. hermit thrush says:

    and this little nugget from larry really can’t be allowed to stand:

    Meanwhile, the sainted Democrats, for all their soi-disant altruism, haven’t done a damn thing except buy elections with public money.

    it would be a lot better if people bothered to look things up before opening their mouths, but have a looky at the historical poverty rate, especially at the last chart, which breaks it down by race. the rate for all races, and especially for blacks, came way down in the 60s and has stayed down (although it certainly fluctuates to some extent with the business cycle).

    since i’m not larry, i’ll acknowledge right away that there’s a ton of nuance to this story. poverty is really complicated. no one’s ever going to really prove one way or another exactly what effect this or that policy has, or why the poverty rate does what it does when it does. but that said, the evidence is more consistent than not with the great society programs of the 60s having a significant beneficial effect on poverty, especially among blacks. this “haven’t done a damn thing” business is really, really hard to believe.

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  19. myown says:

    According to Nate Silver (who has a pretty good prediction record) don’t count Republican’s out just yet. He says it is possible the GOP could win control of the Senate.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/senate-control-in-2014-increasingly-looks-like-a-tossup/

    Again, we need to restore the democratic process and end the buying of elections that go to politicians (Republican and Democrat) who only represent the highest bidders.

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  20. Mike Ludovici says:

    I have said it before.
    We are seeing the beginning of the end of the two party system.

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  21. Marlo Stanfield says:

    The Republicans have screwed up colossally by sticking to the late 1960s strategy of appealing to white fear as the country changes around them. Bush Jr was on the right track, and for all his flaws in other areas, I think he was sincere about his desire to bring Hispanics into the party and into American life generally. But too many of his colleagues in the party want anyone who speaks Spanish to go away. I was reading an interview with a Latino Republican leader recently, who was saying one of his problems is getting recognition and respect from the party’s leadership. That the party heads wouldn’t be interested in someone who is actively trying to organize and bring into the fold America’s biggest growing demographic is unbelievably short sighted.

    Thing is, Latinos are natural conservatives. They come from a more traditional type of society than most white Americans, where family is still the most important thing. They’re more religious than native Americans, not fans of gay rights or abortion generally. They came here to work and make something of themselves, like our families did, not looking for handouts. Most of the Latinos I know aren’t liberals in their mindset, but they’re Democrats. When the Republicans spend so much time talking about how they would oppose any path of citizenship for 12 million people (some even subscribe to the fantasy that it would be possible to deport them all), what else are they going to do?

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  22. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Republicans lose Hispanics on issues around worker rights, poverty/welfare issues, English-only legislation…it does boggle the mind.

    “I agree with nearly everything you’re saying except that you’re saying it in Spanish and you need to learn English when you come to our country.”

    “But my family has been here since before Jamestown, or the Mayflower. We had St Augustine Florida, and Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California…”

    “Don’t change the subject, just learn English.”

    “But I already speak English.”

    “And don’t you forget it. Keep it up and work hard and maybe we’ll let you be a real American someday.”

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  23. Peter Hahn says:

    Most of the “hispanics” we are talking about are native Americans who have been “here” a lot longer than any European descendants. They are from rural working class backgrounds. They are also frequently evangelical Christian. African American women are supposedly the most orthodox Christian group in the USA. You would think the GOP could connect.

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  24. Mervel says:

    Peter is correct there are connections to be made.

    I think the Republicans are in a huge jam, they have utilized the fringe when it was necessary but now they are stuck with this monster and they can’t keep it in the closet anymore. However, the Democrats should not delude themselves into thinking that the changes in our country mean you are looking at some sort of demographic which would fit very neatly into the very secular kind of MOVEON.org MSNBC, type group who don’t connect at all with people of faith who don’t connect with actual working people or pro-life low income people or rural people in any real sort of way. They are becoming a default party to the Republicans not much more.

    I think you may see a split in the Democratic Party as an outcome with the liberal secularists on one side and the more conservative Hispanics, lower income working families and people of faith on the other. But right now if your demographic is the strange rebel man in a mask pining for the confederacy or the anti-immigrant people or the just plane old racists, you can’t win, there are not enough of those guys. Texas will become purple within 20 years and then everything will change. But it may change in ways people don’t expect including Liberals.

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  25. Mervel says:

    The other problem with the Republicans is that they went for the cheap reality T.V. type of plan. I don’t know how else to describe people like Palin or Rush etc they are fun, but the idea that they would be taken seriously? Certainly we still have Buckly and even Bill Krystal, but for example now I understand they are liking this guy from Duck Dynasty to run for a House seat. So when you go down that road of cultured stupidity, of wanting to be dumb as a badge of honor, versus a joke, I wonder if the GOP even cares if they win or not? Maybe they are all just in it to make money on some sort of “media” platform? Does Beck or Rush make any less if the Democrats win? No not at all. Sarah Palin has made more money since she lost and quite as gov. then when she was actually taken seriously in office.

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  26. The Original Larry says:

    It’s just great to read all about what Republicans need to do from people who avidly hope they never win another election. Time to take a long, hard look in the mirror. People understand the difference between rhetoric and accomplishment. Plenty of the former to be had from Democrats but precious little of the latter. Billions spent “fighting” poverty but all we hear is how the gap between rich and poor is growing. Supporters tout Clinton’s “record” as Sec. of State but what did she do to help the situation in Syria? What, for that matter, has Obama done about it? Same thing; a big, fat nothing. Obama has out-Bushed Bush on many of the issues he ran on: failure to improve the economy, successful prosecution of the war and damage to personal freedom in the name of fighting terrorism. So, well into Obama’s second term we still have an economy in shambles, ineffective foreign policy and seemingly daily reminders of government spying on its own citizens. Sure, keep telling Republicans what they need to do.

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  27. mervel says:

    Well they have always been a minority party that has won presidential elections by pulling together independents and democratic voters along with their base.

    I think they have a shot, I often vote Republican. Many of the things you point out are essentially correct, our president has underperformed he also supports some very basic things that I find simply wrong and unethical. But Republicans can’t be so toxic as to turn people off so badly that they will take anybody but you. The fact is we live in a Democracy, a Democracy that has changed in huge ways demographically in the past 30 years, the fact is you can’t win even with 60% of the white vote (if you want to put this in racial terms), can’t be done, the numbers don’t add up. The reason I put it in racial terms is that you have large groups of voters who vote overwhelmingly against Republicans, all of the time. So that says this IS racial, we can ignore race if we want to as Republicans, but to our peril we will never win a national election again. At one point in time you could win a national election even if 100% of black voters voted against you and 75% of Hispanic voters voted against you. That America is gone and blacks are at over 90% against Republicans, Hispanics I think voted at least 70% against the Republicans. This has to be solved. I think it can be solved but not with the idiots.

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  28. mervel says:

    Its not nearly as much in the bag as Democrats believe it is. George W Bush won the Hispanic vote twelve years ago, so its not ancient history it can be done.

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