Monday, March 3, 2014

Last Call For The Politics Of Resentment

NY Times political reporter Jackie Calmes talks about the Great White Whale for the Dems:  winning over white male voters.

No Democratic presidential candidate has won a majority of white men since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all prevailed with support of the so-called rising electorate of women, especially single women, and minorities. But fewer of those voters typically participate in midterm elections, making the votes of white men more potent and the struggle of Democrats for 2014 clear.

“Realistically, winning votes from working-class white men has just been a very tough political challenge for Democrats,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster. With demographic trends favoring Democrats nationally and in many states, strategists say it makes sense to concentrate resources on mobilizing women, young people, Hispanics, blacks and other minority voters.

Democrats generally win the votes of fewer than four in 10 white men. But they win eight of 10 minority voters and a majority of women, who have been a majority of the national electorate since 1984, while white men have shrunk to a third, and are still shrinking.

Republicans have been playing the Politics of Resentment for 50 years now.  It's difficult to imagine that Democrats are going to be able to fix that by November.

Democrats are for a bunch of freeloaders in this world as far as I’m concerned,” said Gari Day, 63, an Avis bus driver from suburban Detroit. “Republicans make you work for your money, and try to let you keep it.”

Michael Bunce, 48, buying parts at a Lowe’s in Southfield, Mich., first ascribed his Republican bias to fiscal matters, but quickly turned to social issues like gay rights. “I don’t see why that’s at the top of our priority list,” he said. “But you say that out in the open, and people are all over your back.”

Here's my question:  why should Democrats want to win over voters like that?  It's not going to happen and if it does, it's going to come at a far greater cost of current Democratic voters.  It hasn't happened in 50 years, so why is it a problem now?  Answer:  it's not.   

Here's your lesson:  In 1988, getting 38% of the white male vote was Dukakis's political death knell in a 315 point electoral vote bloodbath.  In 2012, Barack Obama getting 35% of the white male vote was an easy 124 point electoral vote win.  One last paragraph from the Times article:

Republicans say Democrats’ appeals to women, minorities and gays have been counterproductive with white men. “When you’re spending 60 percent of your time talking about birth control and Obamacare, not a lot of men are paying attention to you,” said Brad Dayspring, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Right, because Obamacare has been the problem for the last 50 years?

I suspect Hillary Clinton in 2016 would get something pretty close to Obama's 41% of the white male vote in 2008.  If that's the case, she'll win handily and the Republicans damn well know it.  The issue here isn't the Dems giving up on white male voters, it's the Republicans giving up on winning the White House.

Deeply Stupid Solutions "R" Us

Crystal Wright, aka @GOPBlackChick on Twitter, has an opinion piece in The Guardian on President Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" program.  There are not enough trains on earth that can be simultaneously wrecked in the same spot order to provide sufficient visual representation of how bad of an article this is.  Here's the gist:

Sadly, the message to minorities – and blacks in particular – is that we blacks can’t be expected to take individual responsibility for our lives like our white counterparts ... so the government has to do it for us. Blacks should find Obama’s assumptions more than disturbing. Young black men wouldn’t be wrong to find My Brother’s Keeper downright offensive. And everyone should realize that the first black president is not holding blacks accountable to the same standards as whites when it comes to parenting.

Let's understand that the entire point of being a black conservative pundit is saying whatever President Obama does or does not do is "downright offensive" to blacks, because all the grim statistics backing up the notion of centuries of struggle by black families in America only became a problem on January 20, 2009. 

Why won’t America ever see a government program that teaches white men how to live responsibly? Because society expects whites to take responsibility for their lives. Even the progressive black politics of a progressive black president seem to hold whites to a standard of excellence – and blacks to an all too familiar standard of inferiority.

Except for the part that the vast majority of people on assistance programs are white, so whatever.  So what's her solution?

Potential solutions could include making long-needed changes to Clinton’s 1996 welfare-to-work reforms by cutting off aid to mothers who have more than two children out of wedlock. And by punishing black men by putting them on probation for fathering babies out of wedlock and forcing them to do community service or other government work.

To recap, the small government strict constructionists want to criminalize black people having sex before marriage and punish the kids born out of wedlock to boot.  Sure, that seems reasonable and totally doesn't invalidate her entire premise as inane.

Jesus wept.

Well Things Just Got Real

In case you were wondering what the White House response on Crimea was going to be, it's the following:

We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the President of the European Council and President of the European Commission, join together today to condemn the Russian Federation’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in contravention of Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter and its 1997 basing agreement with Ukraine. We call on Russia to address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations, and/or via international observation or mediation under the auspices of the UN or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We stand ready to assist with these efforts.

We also call on all parties concerned to behave with the greatest extent of self-restraint and responsibility, and to decrease the tensions.

We note that Russia’s actions in Ukraine also contravene the principles and values on which the G-7 and the G-8 operate. As such, we have decided for the time being to suspend our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion.

"G-8 summit?  You mean G-7 Summit.  There are only seven nations."

I personally think this is a mistake, because it allows Putin to play the victim card and say all the other countries are ganging up on him.  That will "justify" whatever next step he decides to take.  If Putin were a rational actor, this would be a good idea.  But it's not because Putin is not a rational actor, he's basically pulling a Tea Party 101 move.

So we'll see what Putin's next move is.


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