Saturday, August 1, 2015

Last Call For In The Clear

It's weird how given the manufactured controversy that Planned Parenthood is crushing babies into parts for mad scientists that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, one of the first Republicans in the nation to order an IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION WITH CAPITAL LETTERS into the organization has found exactly nothing incriminating and has dropped the case.

The state of Indiana on Thursday cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing in the handling of fetal tissue. 
A July 16 investigation ordered by Indiana Governor Mike Pence found no evidence of any laws being broken and no evidence that Planned Parenthood facilities in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Merrillville had sold tissue from aborted fetuses, the Associated Press reported
At least 12 other states have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood after videos surfaced earlier this month in which Planned Parenthood executives appeared to suggest that the organization was selling the tissues of aborted fetuses. Legislators in other states have also called for investigations.

Many presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, have also waded into the debate since the videos were made public. Some Republicans have called for Planned Parenthood to lose its federal funding.

How strange that this isn't national news.

Anger Mismanagement

It's nice to see somebody in the press finally talking about the uniting feature of the Republican base: like Dr. Bruce Banner in the Avengers, the secret is Republican voters are always angry.

But Republicans’ identification as the antigovernment party leaves its followers more prone to alienation. In a Pew Research Center poll before the 2006 midterm election under Mr. Bush, 28 percent of Democrats described themselves as “angry” at the federal government. In a similar poll four years later under Mr. Obama, 33 percent of Republicans called themselves angry. 
When Pew examined public trust in government during recent presidencies, it found trust among Republicans in the Obama era lower than among either party for the past half-century; just 12 percent said they trusted government to “do what’s right” always or most of the time. And 52 percent of Republicans said Mr. Obama made them angry.

Imagine that.  After years of Republican politicians and pundits describing Barack Obama as everything from Hitler to the Antichrist to a monster, a majority of Republicans are angry at him. Go figure.

In 2011, Mr. Trump fanned those sentiments with skepticism about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate. The next year, Mitt Romney touted Mr. Trump’s endorsement of his presidential campaign. 
Mr. Trump rallies supporters by accusing rival Republicans of incompetence and railing against illegal immigrants. The immigration issue holds special potency because it arouses the anger of older, white conservatives over America’s changing demography. 
In a Mississippi primary last year, one Republican Senate candidate, Chris McDaniel, encapsulated that angst: “An older America passes away, a new America rises to take its place,” he said. “We recoil from that culture. It’s foreign to us. It’s offensive to us.”

Understand that this is white anger against a black president and growing Latino population. And Republicans have embraced being the party of white anger fully.

Such sentiments endanger Republicans nationally as Latinos, for example, of that “new America” swell as a proportion of the electorate. Even so, some Republican candidates were slow to denounce Mr. Trump for decrying many Mexican immigrants as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists.” 
Other 2016 Republican candidates have matched Mr. Trump’s rhetoric. Senator Ted Cruz accused Mr. McConnell of lying in a legislative dispute; Mike Huckabee accused Mr. Obama of marching Israel “to the door of the oven” with the Iran nuclear deal. 
Jeb Bush felt compelled to distance himself from that sort of heat. “I don't have anger in my heart,” he told an audience in Florida. “I’m not a grievance candidate.”

There's no room for you in the GOP today, Jeb.

His hopeful tone may yet prevail. But days before the first televised debate, Mr. Bush trails Mr. Trump in polls of Republicans nationally and in the crucial states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

The GOP is the party of Trump, white anger, racism, and resentment of an America where white privilege doesn't go as far as it used to.  And today's Republicans are scared, pissed off, and looking for revenge.

The Key To The City Of Cleveland

Republicans need to win Ohio to win the presidency in 2016.  They've never been able to win the White House without carrying the Buckeye State, and Obama won it twice.  The RNC's summer meeting this week in Cleveland and next year's Republican National Convention are a pretty big investment in winning the state, and Republicans think they can sell the party to Cuyahoga County black voters without Obama in the picture.

What I have seen and what I have heard tells me that we’re at a moment in time when the black community is receptive,” said former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, the first black man to hold that job. “As we transition from the Obama administration and the Obama leadership, they are looking. They have not sold themselves on Hillary. They have not bought into the Bernie Sanders socialist view of the world. They are suspicious of Martin O’Malley.”

It would not take that many black votes to complicate the Democrats’ electoral map. Neil Newhouse, a veteran Republican pollster working for a super PAC supporting Bush, said in an e-mail that the “demographic challenges” facing whomever the GOP nominates are “real and significant” but fixable. 
“The payoff can be significant,” Newhouse said. “It doesn’t take much of a swing in minority votes to make a difference. Winning even 10 to 14 percent of African-American votes in states like Ohio, Florida or Virginia could put those states in the GOP column in ’16.” 
Cuyahoga County and Cleveland, which will host the first Republican primary debate next week, have been laboratories for that theory. Obama had won the county by a 256,613-vote margin, which boosted him to a 166,272-vote statewide win. In some Cleveland precincts, Romney won no votes at all. Just two years later, Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the county by 22,333 ballots, in a landslide that has become part of his story to Republican primary voters. 
Frost spread around the credit for that. Kasich himself aggressively pitched black voters, and the local party started a conversation with some open-door debates. In October, for example, black Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley came to midtown Cleveland as the conservative voice in a GOP-hosted debate. The party collected the names of about 200 skeptical voters who showed up, then stayed in touch with them. It was a soft sell — one of many — and it seemed to work. 
We really believe that every vote in every neighborhood of Cuyahoga County is winnable for Republicans,” Frost said. “We are in a fight where we want to win every vote.”

That's a nice fantasy.

Here's the cold, hard reality.

Romney won just 17 percent of the nonwhite vote in 2012, down a bit from the 19 percent John McCain won in 2008 and a steeper drop from the 26 percent George W. Bush won in 2004. Had Romney performed as well as Bush among nonwhite voters, he too would have won Ohio.

He still would have lost in 2012, just by a smaller margin.

Pretty sure the black community in Cleveland and in other Ohio cities are going to remember Ohio Republicans limiting early voting in the state at every opportunity in an effort to lower black turnout. The state was sued by the ACLU and settled but not before voter turnout in 2014 was sharply limited by the plan put in place by Gov. Kasich and Secretary of State Jon Husted, which helped Kasich get his "landslide" win.

This plan also presumes that Democrats won't set foot in the state or something and won't campaign here.

Sure.  After years of trying to keep black voters from voting in Ohio and other swing states, we're just going to be "receptive" to the GOP now?

Keep on believing that, guys.
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