Category Archives: GOP at a CROSSROADS

Good Governing as a Gift

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Mr. Romney said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”

The president’s health care plan, he said, was also a useful tool in mobilizing black and Hispanic voters. Though Mr. Romney won the white vote with 59 percent, according to exit polls, minorities coalesced around the president in overwhelming numbers: 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge,” Mr. Romney said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

I really want to quote this whole post. This is a big part of the Republican attitude towards government that’s dooming them. Someone should make it illegal to do things that voters like in order to get their votes. That’s clearly just vote-buying. The role of government is to make tough choices that cause people to suffer, but which will vaguely someday lead to more jobs. If a policy is directly making people more prosperous and they like it, it’s a “gift,” meaning a bribe.

But I’d say this way of thinking is the basis of today’s Republican party. They’re the party of making America competitive, meaning we’d have a huge, desperate lower class that will work any job for any wage, with an upper class and corporate system that face no restraint or tax. This would never appeal to people in the lower class and the free-falling middle, which is why the GOP has always sold it in terms of racial resentment and kept hidden the part where directly helping people is wrong.

This election was the first clear sign that racism would no longer be effective, so it’s fitting that these last four years of campaigning have been especially characterized by racial attacks. That’s also why these have been the years of “true conservatives” actually articulating their agenda of hardship for America. As the GOP was losing their method of concealing their policies they doubled down on both losing strategies. Abandoning their economic core of unfettered capitalism would mean becoming an entirely new party, and it likely wouldn’t happen easily. So it remains to be seen if there’s a new kind of fear or resentment the GOP can capitalize on to save themselves.

Should the GOP Bother Appealing to Latinos? No? Oh, okay.

Here’s a stupid story by a stupid guy named Mark Krikorian in the (stupid) National Review. His post-election philosophy is a popular one with Republicans: everyone is too in love with the welfare state for the Republican party to ever be viable again, so let’s double down on radical conservativism because maybe that’ll squeeze out one more election victory.

Kirkorian is talking specifically about immigration to the US. Romney lost the Latino vote 27 percent to 71 percent(!).  That’s a big drop from Bush who tried to pass center-right immigration reform and got 40 percent. If Romney had Bush’s numbers with Latinos the popular vote would have been a near-tie. So should the GOP accept centrist immigration reform and drop their anti-immigrant, anti-Latino plank? Nah.

Immigrants are always using government programs and shit that we want to destroy, he says, because they’re poor, so they’ll never like us. What we need to do, and now he’s kneading his hands frantically and spitting a lot, is get 100% of the CONSERVATIVE vote because we only got 82% and Obama got 17%. In Kirkorian’s mind this means that 17% found Romney insufficiently conservative so they went for Obama, or something? It certainly has nothing to do with different definitions of conservatism, bad exit polling, anything like that. And so really showing the American people how far right the GOP can go will fix everything, shifting demographics be damned.

Matt Yglesias actually agrees that immigration isn’t the Republicans’ problem, even that embracing increased immigration could enlarge “an electorate that’s fundamentally hostile to their worldview.” Meaning, much like with their complete lack of consideration for D.C. statehood or Puerto Rican statehood, they’d be deciding without ideology, just electoral strategy.

Kirkorian ends saying all Republicans can do is “outreach” to Latinos and cooling it on the “harsh rhetoric,” in other words, a hope that some PR changes will lessen his party’s policy hostility to a large portion of the American public.

So, this is one strain of thought on the new Republican party. They essentially declare defeat, acknowledging that their principles don’t permit them to win anyone but whites. Any deviation from their standard antipathy towards non-whites would lose them their cultivated base of racially fearful whites, who get no benefit from the party’s true agenda of aid to corporations and the wealthy, while bringing negligible gains elsewhere.

They’ll use magical thinking to ignore the problem, postponing the reckoning and reconfiguring of the party for a later, more apocalyptic election that may actually destroy the party instead of giving this one an opportunity to change.

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GOP at a CROSSROADS (ha ha)

Republicans lost pretty much every competitive race Tuesday, and you can tell it’s serious because they seem to actually be preparing for some soul searching over What Went Wrong. It’s about time.

They’ve been doing their best to ensure extinction by pinning their hopes on white men, formerly sufficient as a single-race/gender voting bloc to win elections. But that’s been obviously declining for over a decade, and this is the first time the party seems to be giving serious thought to trying anything different.

I think periods of shift in political party positioning and ideology are really interesting, so I’m going to be reading what Republicans and conservatives are writing and saying about what the problem is and how to fix it. And then I’ll cover that from my own radical-left perspective because I think that’ll be funny.

Will we see a new party come out of this? Or will the Republicans of 2016 be very different from those of 2012? Will they find themselves too locked into their current course to make serious changes in platform, and end up losing even worse 4 years from now? This should be fun.

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