Monday, December 17, 2012

Six Reasons The GOP Is Doomed

Jeremiah Goulka, in his article in, "Former Republican: 6 Reasons the GOP Is Doomed, The formerly Grand Old Party needs to change to survive. But all we're seeing are botox solutions," may be the last word on the demographics that spell doom for the Conservative front group, the Republican Party:

"Do any of their proposals exhibit a willingness to make the kind of changes the GOP will need to attract members of the growing groups that the GOP has spent years antagonizing like Hispanics, Asian Americans, unmarried women, secular whites, and others? In a word: no.

Instead, from my informal survey, it looks to this observer (and former Republican) as if the party is betting all its money on cosmetic change. Think of it as the Botox Solution. It wants to tweak its talking points slightly and put more minority and female Republicans on stage as spokespeople. Many in the GOP seem to believe that this will do the trick in 2014 and beyond. Are they deluded?

You’ve heard the expression 'putting lipstick on a pig,' haven’t you?

The Blame Game and the Short-Term Outlook

Although most Republicans see hints of future demographic challenges in the exit polls, many prefer to focus on other factors to explain Romney’s loss out of a desire not to 'blow up the party if there are less radical solutions.' (Hence, the delusional quality of so many of their post-mortems and the lack of interest in meaningful change.)

Trying to appeal to the Right while facing various nutcase candidates, Romney shot himself in both feet, labeling himself a 'severe conservative' and staking an extreme anti-immigration position. George W. Bush, on the other hand, could run as a 'compassionate conservative' in 2000 because his street cred on the Right was unchallengeable. Indeed, Paul Ryan is already talking up 'compassion,' while Ted Cruz, the new (extreme) senator from Texas, is hawking 'opportunity conservatism.'

"...anxious Republicans (think) that they are not crazy for seeing no immediate need to make big changes to appeal to demographic groups outside the Party’s aging white base. But the short term is likely to be short indeed. Think of them, then, as the POD or the Party of Denial.

Meanwhile, on the Bridge of the Titanic

"Avoid it as they may, the long-term picture couldn’t look grimmer for the Party. Demographics may well be destiny. Even a cursory look at the numbers exposes the looming threat to the Party’s future prospects.

"1. Whites: About three-quarters of the electorate (and 88% of Romney’s voters) this year were white, but their numbers are steadily sinking -- by 2% since 2008. Yes, many whites may have stayed home this year, turned off by Mr. Car Elevator, but whites are projected to become a demographic minority by2050 -- or possibly even before 2040 -- and minority births are now outpacing white births.

"2. White Christians: The bulk of Romney’s supporters (79%) were white Christians (40% of whom were evangelicals), but this is an aging and shrinking group. Three-quarters of senior voters but only a quarter of millennial voters are white Christians, and the generations in between are much less likely to consider themselves 'strong' members of their religion than seniors. (Non-white Christians, Jews, observers of other faiths, and the growing number of the religiously-unaffiliated all overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.)

"3. Hispanics: According to the Washington Post exit polls, Obama received 71% of the Hispanic vote in 2012 (67% in 2008). Already 10% of this year’s voters (9% in 2008), the Hispanic population is exploding, accounting for halfof U.S. population growth.

"4. Asian Americans: The nation’s fastest growing demographic group -- now 3% of this year's voters (2% in 2008) -- gave Obama 73% of its vote in 2012 (62% in 2008).

"5. Unmarried Women: The percentage of unmarried women has been growing slowly since the 1970s, up to 53% of women as of last year. Even among subgroups favoring Obama, there was a marriage gap in which unmarried women (23% of this year’s voters) favored Obama by huge margins. Despite winning 53% of (mostly white) married women, 31% of this year’s voters (down from 33% in 2008), Romney lost women overall by 11 points.

"6. The Young: The millennial generation (born between 1978 and 2000) has been voting overwhelmingly for Democrats (66% for Obama in 2008, 60% this year). They are projected to be 40% of the eligible voting pool by 2020. Because they are relatively diverse and secular, the GOP cannot assume that enough will emulate previous generations and swing to the right as they age.

"Such polling figures should frighten GOP leaders. There’s no reason to believe that what we saw on November 6th was anything but the tip of the iceberg.

"The factions in the party that are not socially conservative see these looming threats as an opportunity to get the GOP to drop the social stuff. But movement conservatives aren’t going to cede ideological ground, not when they (correctly) think it’s a necessity if they are to attract their base voters. 'This country doesn’t need two liberal or Democratic parties,' is the way Bobby Jindal puts it, typically enough.

"Like right-wing pundit Fred Barnes, many movement conservatives and Tea Party leaders will continue to insist that whites are going to remain 'the nation’s dominant voting bloc… for many elections to come.' Hedging their bets, they have decided to become more 'inclusive' or at least just inclusive enough in these days of micro-targeting and razor-thin election margins. After all, Romney would have won New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and Colorado if he had captured even slightly higher shares of the Hispanic vote and he could have won in the Electoral College if fewer than 200,000 voters in key states had switched their votes.

"To get more inclusive, however, these leaders offer an entirely cosmetic approach: emphasize the Party’s middle-class message, increase outreach or 'partnership' with Hispanics and Asian Americans, back off the anti-immigration message a tad, say fewer stupid things à la Akin and Mourdock, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.

A Nonsense Strategy

"When it comes to why this won’t work down the line, it’s hard to know where to start. Take that middle-class message. Many Republicans think that it should offer “crossover appeal” on its own, so long as it’s said loudly enough.

"But what exactly is it? After all, it’s never about jobs going abroad, retirement worries (except insofar as the GOP wants to increase insecurity by privatizing Social Security), underwater mortgages, missing childcare for working families, exploding higher education costs, or what global warming is doing to the Midwestern breadbasket and coastal agriculture (much less the long-term capability of the planet to sustain life as we know it). Instead, it remains about 'choice,' lowering taxes (again), “entitlement reform,” and getting the government out of the way of economic growth.

"As if what the middle class really wants or needs is 'choice' in education (Jindal’s plan to divert tax funds to private and parochial schools through vouchers was just ruled unconstitutional); 'choice,' not affordability, in health care (the #1cause of personal bankruptcy in America); and ever more environmental pollution, as well as further challenges to getting workman’s comp if you get injured on the job.

The Jerk Factor

"As for those demographic groups the GOP needs to start winning over in the medium- and long-term, putative 2016 A-lister Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to see a middle class 'message of prosperity and freedom for all' communicated loudly to immigrants and the young. But as one astute Republican insider said to me, 'Hispanics won’t hear our message so long as they think our immigration platform says, "We hate Mexicans.’”

"Bobby Jindal was right to say, 'If we want people to like us, we have to like them first.' But the Party hasn’t truly begun to grasp what might be called the liking gap between the GOP and the groups it needs to cultivate. It’s time for Republicans to take a long, hard look in the mirror. It’s not just recent anti-immigration fervor that repels Hispanics and others from the party. The GOP needs to internalize the fact that the dead bird hanging from its neck is its entire modern history.

"The Party’s modern history began when business leaders got politicized in response to the New Deal and then the GOP began courting the Dixiecrats after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 (despite knowingthat he had 'just delivered the South to the Republican Party'). The white South started voting for GOP presidential candidates in the Nixon years and would soon become solidly Republican. At 70% of the electorate (nearly 90% in Mississippi), it remains so today.

"White-flight suburbs around the country followed suit. Add in the fervent cultivation of evangelical Protestant Christians -- anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-evolution, anti-science -- and the various modern incarnations of nativist Know Nothings. Don’t forget the ejection of moderates from the Party, and you have the essential history of the modern GOP in two paragraphs.

"It is, of course, theoretically possible that Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) could attract enough Hispanic and other voters in 2016 to win the presidency. Provided that the primaries don’t turn into another bizarro battle. Provided that the tone set by Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, or fringe candidates of their ilk doesn’t sink the A-listers. Provided that not too many 'stupid' things are said -- on abortion, immigration, evolution, or global warming. (Rubio has already gotten to work on that one by punting on a question about the Earth’s age to keep the creationists happy.)

"But come 2020, 2024, or 2028, whatever’s left of the GOP is going to be kicking itself for not having built a foundation of anything other than words that no one outside its rank-and-file actually believed. Texas, after all, could go purple by 2020 or 2024.

"Of all the signals emanating from the GOP since Election Day, perhaps the most significant came last week when the socially and fiscally conservative Tea Party kingmaker Jim DeMint voted with his feet. The man who would rather have '30 Republicans in the Senate who believe in principles of freedom than 60 who don't believe in anything' is leaving that body for the Heritage Foundation -- a hint about the future of what is arguably the most important GOP organization in the country.

"It looks like the GOP is at the wheel of the Titanic, sailing toward that iceberg, while the band plays 'Nearer My God to Thee' for all it’s worth."

The demographics are in place, but we need to remember that the demographics should always be in place since the Conservative leadership is in a 2% minority, and historically always has occupied the smallest place in any society.  What we must fear is the money factor, coupled with the use of one of the most effective propaganda machines in our history and the Final Solution: voter intimidation, voter suppression, and vote fixing.  These factors are the reason why we keep electing Reagans and Bushes against our own best interests.  Only when Conservatism is completely illegitimized will we finally achieve the promise of democracy created by the Founding Fathers.


"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."

Orson Welles


1 comment:

  1. You don't count that some of the white population are actually mulatto, where one of their parents ancestor was a black slave. There are quite a number of them, because the southern gentleman loved having two wives,one being mulatto and simply considered a breeder and play thing, by their white wife. Then emancipation came along. I came from that group.