Saturday, June 15, 2013

Even After 2012, The Conservatives STILL Haven't Learned


"Three Signs Republicans Haven't Learned Any Lessons From 2012, "'Immigrants Are More Fertile,' Jeb Bush Says In Reform Speech," and "Census Benchmark for White Americans: More Deaths Than Births," three stories as a prelude to the coming elections in the U.S?

In a story in the National Journal, "Three Signs Republicans Haven't Learned Any Lessons From 2012," by Josh Kraushaa, we learn that the more things change, the more they stay the same:

"To much acclaim, the Republican National Committee released its road map for reform in March, emphasizing that the path to success called for moderating the party's position on immigration, courting a more diverse set of officeholders, and building the GOP around pragmatic governors rather than polarizing members of Congress.

"Three months later, those recommendations seem to have already been forgotten. Party leaders in Washington anonymously rebuked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for his self-interested scheduling of a Senate special election, treating a rare blue-state conservative governor like a pariah. As the debate on immigration heats up in Congress, the majority of House Republicans cast a symbolic vote rejecting President Obama's executive order to end deportations of young people brought to this country illegally as children. In Massachusetts, the party nominated a Hispanic military veteran who is within striking distance of winning a Senate seat, but few major donors are giving money to his campaign.



"This is the world's longest psychotherapy session. Everyone's trying to talk their way through what happened in 2012. The more they talk, the more they enjoy the therapy session,' said Republican strategist Brad Todd, who is working for Gabriel Gomez, the GOP nominee in the Bay State.

"The composite is a party stuck in the status quo despite its leaders' public hand-wringing. Much of the desire for change is coming from the top, while the more-populist conservative grassroots—skeptical of wide-ranging legislation and disdainful of pragmatic problem-solvers—are pulling in another direction.

"The disconnect is on full display in this month's Massachusetts special election, which features Gomez, a former Navy SEAL pitching himself as a new kind of Republican who is moderate on gun control, immigration, and the environment. He's just the type of nominee the Republican leadership is looking for—especially in a deeply Democratic state—and public polls show he has a chance against Democratic Rep. Edward Markey, a 37-year Capitol Hill veteran. Yet Gomez hasn't won the enthusiasm of the donor class or received much assistance from any outside Republican groups, including the establishment-centered American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "The moderate donors want to be certain their investment is going to pay off. The conservative donors want to make sure the candidate won't do something they disagree with," Todd said. "Add all that up, what it comes down to: People are scared to engage."

"Another big election in 2013 is in New Jersey, where Gov. Christie is well positioned to win a second term despite running in a solidly Democratic state. But among Republican officials in Washington over the past week, he's being branded a traitor because of his scheduling of a special election to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Christie picked a date in October, ensuring that the race won't interfere with his own November election—but also alienating Republicans who hoped to make an aggressive push for the Senate seat. In the interim, Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, who is not running for the seat. With the election just four months away, Republicans didn't have enough time to recruit a competitive candidate. (Steve Lonegan, a conservative who unsuccessfully challenged Christie in the 2009 gubernatorial primary, is expected to be the party's standard-bearer for the Senate.)

"Christie's allies say the carping overlooks the fact that the governor faced few good choices. He could boost Democratic turnout by scheduling the special election in November or likely lose a messy court battle if he tried to engage in a partisan fight over delaying it until 2014. Neither would burnish his standing as one of the rare center-right Republicans who's as popular with independents and Democrats as he is within his own party.



"Christie's broad appeal could make him a potentially potent force in the 2016 presidential election—the straight-talking, blue-state conservative governor who has built politically savvy relationships with Democrats, including President Obama (on hurricane recovery), Newark Mayor Cory Booker (on education reform), and several state legislative leaders (to pass his landmark pension reforms). It's those very relationships, particularly his working partnership with Obama, that have soured his relationship with the base, however. And it's his desire to protect his standing in New Jersey that has burned bridges with party chiefs in Washington. But there's no denying Christie has made himself a widely popular Republican, the type that's in short supply these days within the party.

"There's a cognitive disconnect between what we need and what we have right here in front of us in New Jersey. They're missing the connection," one Christie ally said. "When they say 'pragmatic,' it sounds great on paper, but not in reality. Conservatives can't stand the fact he had a productive relationship with President Obama in the wake of Sandy."

"Meanwhile, the most significant gap between the RNC's recommendations and the GOP reality remains on the issue of immigration. The dissonance is less about individual lawmakers' positions on the comprehensive immigration reform being debated in the Senate than the tonal insensitivity the party often conveys to Hispanic voters.

"Case in point: Last week, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, an immigration hard-liner, cosponsored an amendment to defund the program Obama initiated that allowed children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States. King's rhetoric on immigration was considered so politically toxic that Senate Republican strategists urged him to stay out of Iowa's Senate race, fearing he could cost them a battleground seat. But all but six House Republicans voted for his legislation, including most members in swing districts.



"'It reinforces a tone of insensitivity that is just beyond baffling,'" said one senior Republican official.

"The party's own political and policy recommendations are falling on deaf ears. The establishment isn't fully getting behind a compelling blue-state Senate candidate out of fear that its money could go to waste. The grassroots are driving even pragmatic conservative representatives well to the right of public opinion on immigration. And both are rebuking their most popular governor even though he boasts conservative credentials. Welcome to the GOP, circa 2013."

In the meantime, Bill Chappelle writes at Npr.org, "'Immigrants Are More Fertile,' Jeb Bush Says In Reform Speech."



"Jeb Bush has created a stir with remarks he made during a speech on immigration, in which he said that women who immigrate to America are more fertile than women who are born in the country.

"'Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans, over the last 20 years,' Bush said. 'Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.'

"A flurry of interest — and attempts at humor — broke out on Twitter, where Bush's name rose on its 
'Trending' chart Friday.

"In one of the better examples, New York magazine tweeted, 'Give us your tired, your poor, your "more fertile" immigrants.'

"Bush was speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's 'Road to Majority' conference in Washington, D.C., where he laid out a case for immigration reform. Calling the system broken, he said that allowing more people to move to the U.S. in order to create more opportunities and economic growth is 'a conservative idea.'

(The Conservative who supposedly came up with this "Conservative idea" still can't be found -- Joyce, Jrn.)

"Bush has been discussed as a potential presidential candidate for the 2016 race. NPR's Brakkton Booker, who filed a report for our Newscast unit, says that in his speech, Bush "points to the decline in fertility rates in the country and says immigrant populations could help rebuild what he called the 'demographic pyramid.'"

"Bush's statement about fertility rates led several writers, including Peter Grier of The Christian Science Monitor, to parse his point. Noting that fertile 'means "capable of reproduction,'" Grier says, 'what Bush was saying was immigrants are more physically able to have children. That's not true.'



"But as Grier says, what is true is that women who were born outside the United States have a higher birth rate than women born in the U.S.

"'The 2010 birth rate for foreign-born women (87.8) was nearly 50 percent higher than the rate for U.S.-born women (58.9),' according to a Pew Research analysis of Census and NCHS statistics, released last November.

"As our colleagues at the Shots blog noted back in February, U.S. fertility rates have been falling for decades. And in recent years, women who immigrated to the U.S. have joined that trend.

"'There were 63.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2011 (the lowest on record),' NPR's Scott Hensley wrote, 'compared with 64.1 in 2010 and 66.2 in 2009.'

"The U.S. birth rate's fall from the recent high of 69.3 in 2007 has been led by immigrant women, according to federal statistics.

"Using that data, the Pew Research study found that while women who hadn't been born in the U.S. had a higher birth rate in recent years than did U.S.-born women, foreign-born women experienced a sharper decline, dropping well below 100 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2010.

"'From 2007 to 2010, the overall number of births declined 7 percent, pulled down by a 13 percent drop in births to immigrants and a relatively modest 5 percent decline in births to U.S.-born women,' according to the Pew analysis.
And while Conservatives still bury themselves in truth-telling, we find in a piece from Sam Roberts at The New York Times, "Census Benchmark for White Americans: More Deaths Than Births, a piece designed to panic Conservatives from all walks of life:



"Deaths exceeded births among non-Hispanic white Americans for the first time in at least a century, according to new census data, a benchmark that heralds profound demographic change.
"The disparity was tiny — only about 12,000 — and was more than made up by a gain of 188,000 as a result of immigration from abroad. But the decrease for the year ending July 1, 2012, coupled with the fact that a majority of births in the United States are now to Hispanic, black and Asian mothers, is further evidence that white Americans will become a minority nationwide within about three decades.

"Over all, the number of non-Hispanic white Americans is expected to begin declining by the end of this decade.

'These new census estimates are an early signal alerting us to the impending decline in the white population that will characterize most of the 21st century,' said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.



"The transition will mean that 'today’s racial and ethnic minorities will no longer be dependent on older whites for their economic well-being,' Dr. Frey said. In fact, the situation may be reversed. 'It makes more vivid than ever the fact that we will be reliant on younger minorities and immigrants for our future demographic and economic growth,' he said.

"'The viability of programs like Social Security and Medicare,' Dr. Frey said, 'will be reliant on the success of waves of young Hispanics, Asians and blacks who will become the bulwark of our labor force.' The issues of minorities, he added, 'will hold greater sway than ever before.'

"In 2010, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, more non-Hispanic whites died than were born in 11 states, including California, Florida and Pennsylvania. White deaths exceeded births in a majority of counties, including Los Angeles, the most populous.

"The disparity between deaths and births in the year that ended last July surprised experts. They expected that the aging white population would eventually shrink, as it has done in many European countries, but not for another decade or so.



"Nationally,' said Kenneth M. Johnson, the senior demographer at the Carsey Institute, a research center based at the University of New Hampshire, 'the onset of natural decrease between 2011 and 2012 was not anticipated.' He attributed the precipitous shift in part to the recession, adding that 'the growing number of older non-Hispanic whites, which will accelerate rapidly as the baby boom ages, guarantees that non-Hispanic white natural decrease will be a significant part of the nation’s demographic future.'

"Professor Johnson said there were 320,000 more births than deaths among non-Hispanic whites in the year beginning July 2006, just before the recession. From 2010 to 2011, the natural increase among non-Hispanic whites had shrunk to 29,000.

"Census Bureau estimates indicate that there were 1.9 million non-Hispanic white births in the year ending July 1, 2012, compared with 2.3 million from July 2006 to 2007 during the economic boom, a 13.3 percent decline. Non-Hispanic white deaths increased only modestly during the same period, by 1.6 percent.

"The census population estimates released Thursday also affirmed that Asians were the fastest-growing major ethnic or racial group. Their ranks grew by 2.9 percent, or 530,000, with immigration from overseas accounting for 60 percent of that growth.



"The Hispanic population grew by 2.2 percent, or more than 1.1 million, the most of any group, with 76 percent resulting from natural increase.

"The non-Hispanic white population expanded by only 175,000, or 0.09 percent, and blacks by 559,000, or 1.3 percent.

"The median age rose to 37.5 from 37.3, but the median declined in Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma. It ranged from 64.8 in Sumter, Fla., to 23 in Madison, Idaho.

"The number of centenarians nationally neared 62,000."
Keep these stories in mind for awhile, "Three Signs Republicans Haven't Learned Any Lessons From 2012, "'Immigrants Are More Fertile,' Jeb Bush Says In Reform Speech," and "Census Benchmark for White Americans: More Deaths Than Births," you'll be hailed as the next Nostradamus as the Conservatives are looking at a bleak future indeed.



The inmates (Tea Partiers) are still running the asylum (GOP), the leadership is branding one of their sitting governors, a front runner for the 2016 Election, as a traitor (Christie), another front runner is babbling racist rhetoric (Jeb Bush), and Conservatives aren't birthing enough babies (low libido?).

And what can they do about it?  First: lie, instead of the lame strategy in the last few years of truth-telling about their aims for the 98 percent of the rest of us, and two: fix the vote -- that's what they do best.  The GOP can take heart in the new Gallup poll showing Dubya with a 49-46 percent favorable/non-favorable rating this week, and the Big Lie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie) can outshine a lot of the demographics.

These strategies will be led by the consultants and other Conservative propagandists, and the Sheeplets will follow.  The only problem is that there won't be anyone else following them.



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"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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