Monday, July 13, 2015

Last Call For The Bernie Coalition

If you listen closely, Bernie Sanders is telling us exactly who he is, and which Obama voters he cares about...and which ones he wants to be rid of in this conversation with NYT Upshot's Nate Cohn.

But Mr. Sanders, who has surged in the polls against Hillary Clinton, called to advance a different theory of the race. “I look at these things more from a class perspective,” he said.

I’m not a liberal. Never have been. I’m a progressive who mostly focuses on the working and middle class.”

The difference between a liberal and a progressive focused on workers might seem slim, but it nonetheless shapes how he envisions the potential of the political coalition he hopes to assemble. He believes he can mobilize a working-class coalition spanning ideological divides.

“Ordinary people are profoundly disgusted with the state of the economy and the fact that the middle class is being destroyed and income going to the top 1 percent.”

Many of these people “may not be liberal” or may not “agree with me on gay marriage,” but “they want a fighter,” he said in the cordial conversation.

The issues that could potentially rally disaffected lower- and- middle-class voters “cross traditional liberal-conservative lines,” Mr. Sanders argued. He is in a good position to raise these issues, he said, citing his positions on trade, issues affecting older Americans and the minimum wage.

If Bernie's own words are raising alarm bells in your head right now, there's a reason for that, if you look at Cohn's analysis.

If Mr. Sanders did build a coalition of working-class voters, it would look a lot different from the coalitions assembled by recent liberal Democratic primary candidates. It would be positioned to do far better among Hispanic, black and less educated white voters than recent anti-establishment Democratic challengers, like Barack Obama, Howard Dean, Bill Bradley and Jerry Brown.

Far better among black and Latino voters than Obama?  Obama got 93% of the black vote with record black turnout in 2012 and 71% of the Latino vote, for a combined 23% of the entire 2012 electorate.  Exactly how does Sanders do "far better" than that?

In fairness to Mr. Sanders, few, if any, recent Democratic candidates represented the economic, populist left. The anti-establishment candidate of the last four competitive primaries all featured challenges from intellectual, professional-class liberals. Mr. Brown, Mr. Bradley, Mr. Dean and Mr. Obama — each educated at some point at an Ivy League university — all fared well in Marin County, Calif., and Greenwich, Conn.; none appealed much to voters in the Appalachians or along the Rio Grande.

And there we have it (despite the fact that Obama in fact did very well among voters in the Texas border area.)  It's always back to the white West Pennsatucky vote, and this is where Bernie thinks he can do better, while keeping black and Latino voters.

The problem is Bernie's idea of appealing to us isn't working real well.

When asked why his campaign was struggling to attract the working-class, less liberal voters he thought he might be reaching, Mr. Sanders acknowledged the challenges facing his campaign. “I’m not well known in the African-American community, despite a lifelong record,” he said, acknowledging one of the most consistent critiques of his chances. “That’s a real issue, and I have to deal with it.”

Maybe your support of gun manufacturers and your slagging of Obama has something to do with it, Bern.  Just saying.  When you try to broaden your appeal to voters in the Appalachians at the expense of voters in black neighborhoods, you're going to lose and keep losing.

Or, you could just go the Jim Webb route and be statistical noise and a giant joke.  Your call.

An Early Sighting Of Haley's Comment

GOP South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley knows that whatever bloody massacre happened in the state where she is in charge, the fact Dylann Roof bought a gun when the law said he shouldn't have been able to is anyone but her fault.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said on Sunday that she did not support increasing waiting periods to allow federal officials ample time to conduct background checks even though flaws in the current law allowed Charleston shooter Dylann Roof to purchase a gun.
Not her problem, not her fault, not her job to fix it.  Leadership!

“Do you think the background check should be expanded, instead of a three day period, maybe longer?” NBC host Chuck Todd asked Haley during an interview on Sunday.

Haley insisted that she was “literally sick” to her stomach when she received the news that Roof was able to purchase a firearm because of a failed background check.

“When the feds say they are going to do something, we take them at their word that it’s going to get done,” the South Carolina Republican opined. “And the fact that it didn’t get done is terrible. And it’s one more thing that these families are going to have to go through that they don’t deserve to have to go through.”

“I think we need to look at the fact that it’s not about time,” she continued. “It’s about technology. You know, this is something, when someone has a charge filed against them, it should go into a database and it should be shown immediately to anyone that’s looking at it.”

“So, I would be more interested in what went wrong. What sort of — why are they dealing with paperwork and not dealing with technology that they wouldn’t have had this.”

Oh, so perhaps Congress should allot more money to improve the nation's background check system and pass legislation requiring states and the federal government to work together on these checks.

Except that's exactly the opposite of what the Republicans who control Congress actually did: since they took power in January they've made background checks more difficult, federal databases harder to access, and cut budget money to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Republicans also filibustered a national background check bill in the Senate in 2013.

Perhaps Governor Haley should be speaking with Speaker Boehner and majority leader McConnell instead of wasting time with Chuck Todd whining how nothing that happens in South Carolina is actually her fault.

Senate Democrats on the other hand want to make background checks work. They will be blocked again by Republicans for sure.  And Nikki Haley will continue to blame everyone but herself.

Demography May Be Destiny, But Not Anytime Soon

I disagree strongly with former NY Times editor Howell Raines on the Democrats taking over the South.

Even more dramatic changes in voter attitudes will shift the region’s party balance, to the detriment of the Republicans. This won’t come about because current Republican voters and their elected officials now in office will somehow be converted, but because they will be overwhelmed by new voters in the burgeoning Hispanic and Asian communities, who will join the black minority. Over half of the nation’s 40 million blacks live in the South.

For the time being, however, a traveler through the South can’t help but notice that its affluent, suburban whites remain myopic about the obvious signs, like the multiracial families to be seen among Walmart shoppers on any given day in any shopping mall.

Houston and Dallas are among the 11 American cities with the largest Hispanic populations. Vibrant Vietnamese communities are all along the Gulf Coast. Major cities have Spanish-language advertising, and have or soon will have sleek Latino-oriented shopping centers, like the new one on the fashionable southern side of Birmingham. The Asian presence in the medical, academic and business communities is substantial and growing, perhaps most notably in Baton Rouge, where Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana and presidential candidate (who is Asian-American, like Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina), works.

Judging from the laws they are passing, Southern Republicans seem untroubled by Mitt Romney’s 17 percent of the minority vote in the last presidential election. It seems an overstatement to say that Southern Republicans are in outright denial about the fact that whites will be a minority in America around 2043. It does seem fair to say that the national Republican Party is underreacting, and Southern Republicans seem to be especially resistant to appealing to their minority neighbors.

Like their counterparts in the national G.O.P. and the current crop of about 15 me-too Republican presidential candidates, Southern legislators seem unwilling to make any change on social welfare, retirement, health care or women’s and gay rights that would attract Southerners not voting Republican at present.

A survey of demographic and polling data in what the Brookings Institution demographer William H. Frey calls a New Sunbelt, stretching across the Southern Rim from Miami to Los Angeles, makes an ironclad case for this huge recalibration in political and cultural attitude
s. Yet, for example, in the Florida Panhandle the same whites who cheer the new Hispanic stars at high school soccer matches deliver a bloc vote for the most conservative-sounding candidates at local, state and national levels. Anecdotal evidence indicates that affluent Southern Republicans continue to believe that minority voters can be attracted with punitive polices based on the Paul Ryan model.

The statistical evidence shouts otherwise. “Demography is destiny” is the theme of Mr. Frey’s new book, “Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics Are Remaking America,” and another recent book, “The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown,” by Paul Taylor and his colleagues at the Pew Research Center.

Did anyone Howell cited in the article pay attention to the 2010 and 2014 elections, where Republicans gained 80+ seats in the House and turned a 60-seat Democratic majority into a 54-seat Senate control, and gained governor's mansions in deep blue states like Illinois and Maryland, or did I miss that?  Did anyone pay attention to Chief Justice John Roberts gutting the Voting Rights Act and assuring the GOP will control the South for another 30+ years at the very minimum?

Yet Howell craps out this pipe dream:

In presidential politics, the transition will most likely be seen first in red states like Texas, Georgia and North Carolina, all states that could be in play next year and could become purple, if not yet blue, as early as 2020.

All three of those states will be red states for the rest of my lifetime.  Demography doesn't equal destiny when Republicans suppress the minority vote and stir white resentment politics to the max.


Related Posts with Thumbnails