Tuesday, June 25, 2013

YOU SAY "SOUTHERN CAPTIVITY" LIKE IT'S A BAD THING

Joshua Green of Bloomberg Businessweek thinks the GOP may regret its big Voting Rights Act win at the Supreme Court:
On its face, this looks like a big victory for Republicans. Is it really? I suspect it will turn out to be a poisoned chalice. Many of the GOP's current problems stem from the fact that it is overly beholden to its white, Southern base at a time when the country is rapidly becoming more racially diverse. In order to expand its base of power beyond the House of Representatives, the GOP needs to expand its appeal to minority voters. As the ongoing battle over immigration reform demonstrates, that process is going poorly and looks like it will be very difficult.

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down a central provision of the Voting Rights Act will make it easier for Republicans to hold and expand their power in those mainly Southern states. That will, in turn, make it easier for them to hold the House. It will also intensify the Southern captivity of the GOP, thereby making it harder for Republicans to broaden their appeal and win back the White House.
As far as I'm concerned, the GOP has only one current problem: it can't seem to win the White House. Republicans have a lock on the House; Republicans can deny Democrats effective control of the Senate as long as they have 41 seats: and Republicans can apparently win a governor's race in nearly every state in the union, including blue states like Massachusetts (not that long ago) and New Jersey, while also having the ability to take over state legislatures in blue states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. "Current problems"? You could have fooled me.

The Republican Party as a whole is ambivalent about immigration reform, minority outreach, and base-broadening because there's plenty of evidence that non-Republican voters can be gulled into voting Republican no matter how extreme and Southern and antediluvian the party seems. That could even be true at the presidential level in 2016 if Hillary Clinton doesn't run -- have you seen a single poll showing any other Democrat beating a Republican contender? -- or if Hillary's star fades somewhat by then. And if Republicans overcome their current distaste and nominate faux-centrist dreamboat Chris Christie, all bets are off. Democrats and independents love the anti-abortion, climate-change-skeptical, union-bashing Koch lackey.

The disappointing performance of a Democratic president on economic inequality, jobs, mortgage relief, etc., also makes it difficult to paint Republicans as extreme. I say that even though I know that the economic plan of the next GOP president will be brutal and merciless to ordinary Americans -- voters don't know that, and you can't blame them for looking at the past five years and not being sure whether they got the better deal by electing Obama.

So don't be too concerned for the Republicans in the wake of this ruling -- they'll be just fine.

10 comments:

Nefer said...

"...the next GOP president will be brutal and merciless to ordinary Americans -- voters don't know that, and you can't blame them for looking at the past five years and not being sure whether they got the better deal by electing Obama."

Oh, yes, I can blame them. I know any number of intelligent people (so stupidity or illiteracy are not excuses) who vote republican because... uh, because.

Likewise with the "they're both the same" camp.

I can and do blame them.

BH said...

Amen, Nefer. Two amens, in fact.

Victor said...

President McCain, and VP Palin, would have had us ears-deep in IED's in Iran right now, on top of staying in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And, throw in Syria, too.

President Obama got some pretty significant things done in his first two years.

And you can blame the wimpy Democratic response to the Teabaggers Obamacare accusations, for the losses in 2010 - and yes, include Obama in that group.

And, still, DADT was rescinded, before the reelection of 2012.

Anyone who doesn't think we're in a better place as a country, because of President Obama, instead of President's McCain or Romney, is a fucking imbecile of the first order!




aimai said...

I'm going to be a cock eyed optimist. I think the current crop of Republicans (southern and western style) are going to finally and permanently discredit Republicans anywhere else. I doubt very, very, very, much that a Republican will ever be a Governor in MA again, much less a candidate for Senate. Markey just one his election handily. Why? Because although the name "Republican" was slightly tarnished before by this time it has become radioactive. Scott Brown and Gormless Gomez both tried to run the old "I'm an independent" shtick but people just aren't buying it anymore. They are petrified that the social conservativies are going to come and basically put all their women and gays into chastity belts and auto da fe's.

And its only going to get worse. I hope that Wendy the filibustering Senator from Texas can beat Governor Goodhair for Governor--Ihave high hopes that she can. And if we once start getting kickass governors back in a few southern or western states then redistricting happens on our watch.

In a ten year horizon I think the Republicans will continue to do OK. But the more they scheme and publicly attempt to destroy democracy and voting during that ten years? The worse the reaction is going to be. McCain and Palin would have been worse than Obama on every score internationally and environmentally, but you can bet they would have presided over a faster and deeper destruction of the right for non white people, and women, to vote.

Philo Vaihinger said...

You are right, I think. Talk of demographic death for the GOP has been propaganda tied to the current immigration fiasco. The point was to scare or bully the GOP into swallowing an amnesty bill, complete with a quick and special path to the voting booth for the legalized illegals. And that's really all it was.

Steve M. said...

I hope that Wendy the filibustering Senator from Texas can beat Governor Goodhair for Governor--Ihave high hopes that she can.

From The New York Times:

Republicans, who control both the state Senate and House, will likely have a second chance at the bill. The governor, who called the special session and put the abortion bill on the agenda, may now call a second special session and once again tell lawmakers to consider the bill, known as Senate Bill 5. Political analysts said the bill will likely pass if a second special session is called, not only because of the large number of Republicans supporting it, but because the increased time will limit the delaying tactics that can be tried by Democrats.

Yeah, the GOP may have only a "ten year horizon." But that's plenty of time to dismantle much of the twentieth century, certainly in every red and purple state, and possibly at the national level if they get the presidency.

Steve M. said...

That, by the way, was after the Texas lieutenant governor acknowledged that the abortion law wasn't passed legitimately. Nice victory, but it's temporary. Texas Republicans hold all the cards (and now with the Voting Rights Act decision, they probably will for another fifty years).

Steve M. said...

I doubt very, very, very, much that a Republican will ever be a Governor in MA again, much less a candidate for Senate.

Maybe my pessimism stems from the fact that I live in a city that's extremely blue at the presidential, congressional, and legislative level -- but that hasn't elected a Democrat as mayor since 1989 (and, thanks to Weiner, will probably elect Giuliani poodle Joe Lhota this year).

Never Ben Better said...

Never another governor or senator from the Bay State? The solidly blue Bay State? Take a look at this map of the Markey election results:

http://www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2013/senate/mass-us-senate-results-2013.html

What sort of political geographic distribution does that remind you of?

Oh, and mouse-hover over the dark red towns, take a look at Gomez's winning percentages.

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