Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 21, 2007 in At TMV | 36 comments

GOP: Boy Do They Not Got Rhythm

01minstrel.jpg

If you are a black, it wouldn’t take a stretch of imagination to think that the Republican presidential candidates would like nothing more than to ship you off to Jena, Louisiana. If you are a Hispanic, it wouldn’t take a stretch of imagination to think that the Republican presidential candidates would like nothing more than to ship you off to Mexico or wherever the heck you came from.

That is the resoundingly negative message being delivered almost without exception by the Republican presidential wannabes, who in an astoundingly knuckle-headed but revealing group move, are shunning a major debate next week on PBS on minority issues and another debate on Univision, the big Hispanic network.

The excuse the candidates are giving is that they have scheduling conflicts, which actually is quite true: They’ll be at the GOP country club giving their drool cups a workout while tut-tutting about how the Party of Lincoln has gone so far into eclipse that you’d think these white boys were wearing black-face. Besides which, they say, we’d just get booed. Got that? These guys would stand up to Osama bin Laden, but would wet their Depends if they had to address an auditorium full of black college students.

You can talk around the issue all day, but the reason that the Republican Party can fashion attractive platforms on, say, taxes but not minority issues is that the party’s base just doesn’t like blacks. They may not all be a bunch of racists in the David Duke mold, but they are opposed to leveling the playing field in employment, housing, education and other areas where minority Americans continue to be disenfranchised and want a voice in who the next president will be.

This current runs so deep that it resulted in a rare setback for Karl Rove, whose plan to convince black and Hispanic voters that the Republican Party was welcoming was doomed even before he sent former party chairman Ken Mehlman around the country to proclaim that fried chicken and tacos were the GOP’s favorite foods.

Mehlman says the debate snubbing is a mistake, while one of the party’s few remaining wise men, Newt Gingrich, calls it “an enormous error.”

Pardon the term, but the reason for their refusal (save for John McCain) to appear on Univision is even more black and white.

The candidates are taking a monolithic view of the contentious issue of immigration reform and while the podium-pounding approach may work on the stump, it won’t play well with the millions of people from Mexico and Latin America who represent the fastest growing bloc of voters.

Make that Democratic voters.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • Banjo12

    Blacks don’t vote in numbers and those that do pick Democratics 90 per cent of the time. Not much point in wasting a lot of time there. All of these millions of new Hispanic voters — if they’re here illegally, how can they vote? Yes, yes –Harry and Nancy can work up a legislative fix, but is there time? The Republican party is wise to try to win over white voters — still a majority last time I looked! The Democrats should try it sometime. Worked for them in the past too.

  • George Sorwell

    A lot of conservatives seem to have retreated into their own insular world. It’s a world where they don’t have to respond to arguments. It’s a world where the people who disagree with them are desperate cowardly traitorous hypocrites. And shrill. And suffer from something called “BDS”.

  • superdestroyer

    There is no upside to cause Republicans to want to attend or any short term benefit. Blacks will never vote for Republicans and the Hispanic audience of Univision is close behind. All the Republican candidates can do is either commit a gaffe that will cause them to be ridiculed and shredded in the media or alienate their own Republican base.

    Ask President Bush how sucking up to Hispanic voters with his immigration ideas worked out. He alienate Republican votes, caused donations to drop, and still gets called a racist. Why would any Republican candidate want to risk the same thing.

    However, in the long run, the demographic trends in the U.S. will eventually eliminate the Republican Party. The real question is how will the U.S. function when the Democratic Primary is the only relevant election in the U.S.

  • T-Steel

    Banjo12,

    So basically black and Hispanic folks are totally worthless (politically) for Republican presidential candidates to talk to? Not even worth the try? I think that is plain terrible. You are running for President of the United States. Not President of Those Who Agree With You and Make You Feel Good. I say jump into the rhetorical fire and make your case. With all the tough talkers and fire breathers on the Republican side, they should relish the challenge.

  • krit

    They should attend- if only for appearances sake. To do otherwise is to create the impression that they only care about the Christian white vote that forms their base. This base is too small to give them the permanent Republican majority that the RNC craves and which was the purpose of much of Karl Rove’s machinations of the last 7 years. Bush successfully reached out to Hispanic voters in Texas and was able to win substantial portions of their votes in both of his presidential wins. The strategy now has ultimately failed, as national security fears and insistence on closed borders collided with Rove’s attempts to add more Hispanics to Republican voting rosters.

    Anti-minority bigotry has reared its ugly head in the GOP, nurtured by conservative Talk Radio, which whipped up the anti-illegal immigration sentiment in the first place. Presidential candidates may risk rejection by those in their party, but leaders should lead- and not follow the lowest common denominator, which in this case is jingoism.

    The GOP will find its voting rosters shrinking to only include its core base, as it chooses to focus on wedge issues which turn off independents, gays, moderates, Hispanics, blacks, libertarians, non-Christian whites and anti-war voters.

  • DLS

    Why should GOP candidates attend the equivalent of an ACLU convention? Whether they go or not, the “racist” Big Lie will continue to be said, anyway.

  • superdestroyer

    krit,

    The majority of all Americans did not want the bipartisan immigration bill. Even the NAACP cheered Tom Tancredo (even though they would never, ever vote for him). The problem that will eventually make the Republican Party irrelevant is that if they pander to blacks or Hispanics to get their votes, they lose more of their base than they pick up with blacks or Hispanic. That is the real lesson when president Bush came out for Amnesty. Pandering hurt the Republicans more than it helped.

  • krit

    SD- The reason many did not want the bill was due to a great deal of misinformation on talk radio- which continuously pummeled the WH for its position for many months. This campaign will finish the GOP with Hispanics, and won’t really help them with the black community either. GOP in Congress were set to vote for the compromise bill until they went home on recess, and realized the level of opposition among their constituents. This opposition was fanned by talk radio- because 2 years ago- illegal immigration barely registered on the political landscape. Passing no legislation isn’t a solution- though somehow anti-immigration activists feel they won a victory.

    Also, the majority of Americans want us to set a timeline for our forces to withdraw from Iraq, yet I don’t see you condoning that act?? Leaders need to show the courage of their convictions.

  • superdestroyer

    krit,

    So how would you suggest that the Republicans pander to blacks and Hispanics without losing their base voters. Blacks will not vote for any politician who does not support quotas, set asides, Affirmative Action, and other raced based programs. Yet, the Republican base just will not support any of those and hold President Bush responsible for being too soft on those issues. The same goes for pandering to La Raza. It is a net vote loser for the Republicans.

    The Democratic party has a huge advantage in that it functions as an umbrella for several rather distinct polticial factions. Just look at the difference between the extremely white crowd at the Yearkos versus the Congressional Black Caucus versus the Hispanic Caucus. The CBC is against immigration while the Hispanic caucus is for open borders. Yet, one group never affects the others. The Democrats in control in Seattle can come out an idiotic diversity program that was overtly racist and the Democrats are not affect. Yet, a Republican controlled school board in Kansas can have a policy on evolution and every Republican in the U.S. is tarred with it.

    In the long run, there will only be one real poltical party in the U.S. The real question is who will be the winners and losers in such a deal. I suspect some groups who demonstrate a huge amount of scorn for middle class white Republicans will eventually be the biggest losers in such a deal.

  • krit

    SD- They need to moderate their message and become a big tent party again. They should drop the attempts at creating wedge issues, and concentrate on their traditional message of small government and fiscal responsibility, combined with a strong national defense. They can come out as promoters of fairness and equal opportunity and appear at these debates without taking the same position as the Democrats.

    Even in minority communities there are voters who are disaffected with the Democrats and who want a choice. This approach would also win back libertarians, moderates and independents who abhor the wedge issues, and dislike the Christian right’s headlock on the party’s platform.

    A poll came out this week indicating that fewer voters now identify themselves as Republicans. The problems I have identified, along with continued problems with corruption, sex scandals and support for an unpopular war are the cause.

  • superdestroyer

    Small government message does not play with blacks or Hispanics. Even when upper middle class blacks make enough money to cause them to tend toward the small government Republicans, they just will not vote Republican. I would guess that most blacks in the U.S. have never voted for a Republican in the entire life. There is no issue, no strategy, no campaign that will ever bring blacks into the Republican Party.

    Blacks are made at the Democrats because the beleive that are not getting enough pork, set asides, and special programs. There is no issue that wins for the Republicans but there are huge downside effects if someone like Maxine Waters starts waging her finger.

    However, if the Republicans would actually try to govern as small government, fiscally responsible, law and order, stay out of foreign alliances, academic education first conservatives. they probably stand a much greater chance of getting the Northeast and Pacific Coast.

    However, the only way to attract blacks and Hispanics is give up any pretense to being conservative and just out right pander. That is a losing idea in both the long term and the short term.

  • krit

    SD- Republicans could run moderate, centrist candidates, which would soften their image. Somebody like Schwarzenegger or Charlie Crist. They have been successful in leading electorates with a large minority population. Republicans need to give up their harsh ideology and appear more compassionate. Not fake compassion like Bush had, but real compassion for others’ misfortune. I don’t consider that pandering. Emphasize equality of opportunity.

  • casualobserver

    One might argue it is emminently more useful to fix the holes in one’s existing tent than to worry about making it bigger.

    Right now, most mainstream, thinking Republicans feel like the Vikings did right after Jim Marshall’s “touchdown” run.

    Time to get back to basics, get rid of all the deadweight and distractions, basically just start running in the right direction again.

    Once they get the heating and plumbing working again, they can worry about planning the addition.

    However, Dem bloggers should keep their egos in check……..for all the Republican attempts to commit political suicide these past few years, your candidates are not far beyond of margin of error plus undecideds.

  • superdestroyer

    krit,

    Governor Schwarzenegger won 63% of the white vote while getting only 30% of the black vote (in a state with a very small black vote). He also won less than 45% of the Hispanic vote.

    Governor Schwarzenegger shows that the only way for Republicans to win elecitons is to win much more than 50% of the white vote. They cannot do that pandering to blacks and Hispanics. They cannot do that by putting 10 million poor Hispanics on the road to citizenship. They can however do that by acting like real conservatives, by stop making stupid mistakes, and by playing up the nut cases in the Democratic party like the ones in California who want different reading lists for white, blacks, and Hispanic students.

  • krit

    SD- Acting like real conservatives will lose the minority vote. Schwarzenneger is now being called a RINO, but he has been highly successful. If he gained 30% of the black vote, that is still 20% more than the national average of blacks who vote Republican. And 45% of Latinos is a lot better than nothing. He was successful because he realized that building consensus between parties and flexibility worked where rigid ideology failed.

    The GOP also needs to drop their family values platform- as it just highlights their own moral failings and hypocrisy. The party is also overrun with corruption. I notice that Craig got the boot but not a word has been said to Sen Stevens who is under investigation by the FBI for taking bribes from a developer. The Dems will be using that issue again in ’08, plus the GOP’s whites-only approach to pick up new votes.

  • Shaun writes that the GOP is opposed to “leveling the playing field” – I thought it was the Democratic Party that was in favor of affirmative action and the GOP that was in favor of “leveling the playing field” to allow people to compete on their own merits? I must have missed a press release.

    Still, I do appreciate Shaun’s willingness to explain my confusion by pointing out that myself and and every other Republican are racists. It says volumes about his character that he’s willing to go out of his way to help us see our true motivations, no matter the cost his own (and this blog’s) credibility. Much appreciated, old bean (although I think you forgot to mention that we also hate women).

  • krit said:

    I notice that Craig got the boot but not a word has been said to Sen Stevens who is under investigation by the FBI for taking bribes from a developer.

    You’ll also notice the difference in the procedural postures of the cases. Stevens is under investigation; he has not been arrested or indicted, and has neither pled nor been found guilty. So you’re comparing apples to oranges. If and when Stevens pleads guilty, if at that point the Senate GOP doesn’t treat him as it has Craig, then you can raise a charge of hypocrisy, but not unless or until.

  • krit

    But what then of all the criticism directed at Democrats for reelecting William Jefferson, who at the time was under investigation, but who hadn’t pled guilty?

  • superdestroyer

    Considering that the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles in sleeping with subordinates and that Willie Brown former Democratic Speaker of the State House and former Mayor of San Francisco has been sued for sexual harassment, the Democrats in California have no room to talk about scandals. Remember that Gary Condit was a Democrat.

    I doubt that the Republicans can find many candidates who have been in the movies and have sold DVD’s that are owned by large portions of the black and Hispanic population. If you look at black and Hispanic women, the Governor did not do any better than Bush.

  • krit

    SD- Pointing out the foibles of Democrats in local races won’t help Republicans running for national office. Maybe if you’re lucky Jefferson will have been convicted by ’08, lol.

    Schwarzenegger may not have done that much better than Bush, but Bush wouldn’t have won either time if he hadn’t gotten at least some of the Hispanic vote.

  • Sam

    “Why should GOP candidates attend the equivalent of an ACLU convention?”

    Because thats how you win people over. Again, not to put too fine a point on it but that entire mentality of Us/Them dominates the right and is one reason I find myself leaning more left as I get older. The right simply doesn’t want to negotiate or try to understand those who differ with them. Some in the GOP do, and usually get labeled RINO’s for their efforts. Its time the right start admitting maybe they should find some common ground if they want to lead the entire US, not just white christians.

  • DLS

    “Why should GOP candidates attend the equivalent of an ACLU convention?”

    Because thats how you win people over.

    Not when they have pre-concluded they should not, probably never, be won over, and will simply use the appearance as an excuse to attack, not to learn.

    Again, not to put too fine a point on it but that entire mentality of Us/Them dominates the right and is one reason I find myself leaning more left as I get older.

    The Left is far worse than it, complete with group-think, enforced conformity, and PC suppression of dissent, not to mention a more irrational, frequently vicious, reason-less and even cultlike behavior than any stereotype it dares fling at the Religious Right. I needn’t add that they demonize those different from them and consider some of their own celebrity few to be saints, but I shall.

    The right simply doesn’t want to negotiate or try to understand those who differ with them.

    More true about the Left than about the Right, and has been true since the 1960s, if anything worse now. The Right, on the other hand, remains often on the defensive (particularly when subject to constant attacks by the media and from those in academia and in government).

    Some in the GOP do, and usually get labeled RINO’s for their efforts.

    No, RINOs are named for their words and deeds, behavior that is non-conservative (or non-partisan Republican), not for trying to understand the other side. Aiding if not joining the other side is more like it.

    Its time the right start admitting maybe they should find some common ground if they want to lead the entire US, not just white christians.

    As in 2000, 2002, and 2004? That stereotype has always been false.

  • DLS

    Small government message does not play with blacks or Hispanics.

    Nor for the many others in the USA who see government as a service agency and surrogate parent rather than as a government, and value first and foremost entitlements. The GOP is seen first and foremost as a threat to current and future (more) entitlements.

  • DLS

    They should attend- if only for appearances sake. To do otherwise is to create the impression that they only care about the Christian white vote that forms their base.

    K, this has never, repeat never, been true. The Religious Right is not the sole constituent of the GOP’s “base,” just a handy object of hype and hatred by the Left, one of their, if not their greatest, demons.

    That it’s the party seen primarily as that of middle-aged and older, tending to be more affluent, white males is a much more realistic and honest depiction.

  • DLS

    By the way, what would have been the reaction in the mainstream media or here on the Liberal Voice if a non-liberal used blackface and jive talkin’ to make their point?

  • Krit, you make a good point about Jefferson, who indeed wasn’t indicted until relatively recently. Nevertheless, I do think that there are salient differences between the situation then with Jefferson and the situation now with Stevens. Even then, the evidence of wrongdoing on Jefferson’s part was very strong, much stronger than the case against Stevens is now. If there’s a continuum between Larry Craig and Ted Stevens, I think Jefferson is a lot closer to Stevens.

    Sam, as DLS has pointed out, you can’t seriously contend — as you do, by implication, in saying that the “mentality of Us/Them dominates the right and is one reason I find myself leaning more left as I get older” — that the us against them mentality doesn’t dominate on the left today. A random sampling of left-leaning blogs on an average day would easily rebut such a claim.

  • T-Steel

    I feel that both the Democrats and Republicans are both wrong in their approach to blacks. Democrats pander sickenly (with the help of the “Black Christian Church” in many cases) and Republicans just ignore. Both our counterproductive and I’m an independent because of it.

    I’m still sick that some black Democrats called former president Bill Clinton “the first black president”. Yuck!

  • Sam

    “The Left is far worse than it, complete with group-think, enforced conformity, and PC suppression of dissent, not to mention a more irrational, frequently vicious, reason-less and even cultlike behavior than any stereotype it dares fling at the Religious Right.”

    Oh you have to be kidding me. It wasn’t the left that suggested we let terrorists blow up San Francisco because they banned handguns, or gays and atheists that said christians brought 9/11 upon us, or that we conquer the middle east and convert them all to christianity, refer to all democrats as traitors, or want science to not conflict with the bible.

    You want intolerance and groupthink you turn on the 700 club and watch good ole Pat stir the pot. Or go youtube a Bob Jones University commencement or three, maybe read some columns by Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. We are talking big names here, players. Who are you referring to? Some no name group of college kids? ELF? Perhaps some overblown douchebag like Chomsky whose writings make nice juicy excepts for those on the right to pull out and tar everyone left of middle with? Thats about extent of his political contributions to America.

    Face it, the guys you are referring to are fringe elements of the left, while those who we have problems with on the right are mainstream big time influences you can see on TV almost every day.

  • superdestroyer

    Another way to look at the issue is why should the Republican more efforts into attracting blacks voters when black politicians but zero effort into trying to attract white voters. Virtually very member of the Congressional Black Caucus is elected without any real support from whites.

    Black politicians never feel compelled to moderate their message to appeal to whites. Black politicians would never appear at the NRA, the Club for Growth, or in front of Mormoms.

    Just like the rest of set asides, quotas, and Affirmative Action, blacks are just demanding that whites act in a way that they would never do themselves.

  • krit

    Simon- So now its about how strong the evidence is? I think you are shifting the argument to win your point. We actually have no idea how strong the evidence is against Stevens. We do know that an oil exec admitted supplying free labor and building supplies when he renovated his house, and that Stevens son and other Alaska politicians have been caught up in a big bribery scandal with VECO. Its not 90 thousand in the freezer, but it still sounds like corruption to me.

    We need to apply the same standards across the board to be fair. Not a single media source on the right pointed out that Jefferson had not been indicted or convicted at election time. They just threw Jefferson back in the Democrats’ faces to counter their claims of Republican corruption. Maybe innocent until proven guilty should be the standard here. If so, only Craig is guilty, and even he’s pulling strings to erase his plea, lol! Will the party still kick him to the curb???

  • krit

    Another way to look at the issue is why should the Republican more efforts into attracting blacks voters when black politicians but zero effort into trying to attract white voters.

    Are they trying to win elections or playing tit for tat? This is exactly the kind of thinking that is causing the decline of the Republican Party. I disagree with the Bush administration on just about everything, but Rove’s election strategy, expanding the base of the party, while dividing Americans on wedge issues, was simply a great success. Unfortunately, Bush brought him into the WH, where this strategy continued to divide the country. For the GOP to continue to thrive, it needs to find the unity that we had after 9/11, and focus on our commonality, not our differences.

  • Smearing the GOP as being anti-black or anti-Hispanic just because of the views or comments of a few GOP presidential candidates is engaging in a level of debate below that which I have expected to see at TMV.

    For one thing, you can’t blame an entire party for the views/comments of a few people in that party.

    Second, not being politically in tune with the views held by many African-Americans is hardly the same as “[likeing] nothing more than to ship you off to Jena, Louisiana.”

    Thirdly, being opposed to illegal immigration is hardly the same thing as “[liking] nothing more than to ship you off to Mexico or wherever the heck you came from.” I happen to be Hispanic, and I can tell you that such a fear has never crossed my mind.

    I think we really ought to refrain from injecting race and ethnicity into politics when it isn’t necessary. I think the current slate of GOP candidates (with the possible exception of Ron Paul) is extremely disappointing. But accusing them of racism doesn’t contribute to the debate. In fact, I think it lessens it.

    Shaun, you’re at you’re best when you criticize the hypocrisy and abuse of power by the current administration. Trashing the entire GOP gets old.

  • krit

    Quite honestly, I’m a little sick of reading comments that insist that all minorities and all Democrats want big government with big programs so that no one has to work too hard for anything.

  • C Stanley

    Where have you read comments like that, Kim? The only ones I can think of that come even close to that are from one particular commenter (superdestroyer) who points out the demographic trends among minorities, but even he(she?) doesn’t make the assertion that you mention about “wanting big programs so that no one has to work too hard for anything”.

    Who has said that (particularly, where have you seen a mulititude of comments like that which would lead to your being sick of reading them?)

  • krit

    CS- Yes, SD writes them on this site pretty regularly- during every political discussion. And he does make the assertion about big government programs. I should know, because I always take the bait and argue about it. There are a couple of others who do that occasionally- but I really don’t recall who. If I notice it again, I’ll mention it.

    But, I’ve strictly seen this in the comments, not in the posts.

  • C Stanley

    Kim: I honestly haven’t noticed SD writing in the way you described, as in demonizing Democrats for wanting to create programs “so that no one will have to work too hard”. I guess I can see how that’s implied, but then again, it may be more of an inferrence on the part of the reader rather than what he’s actually stating. That’s a fine line, I think; for example, to give case from the conservative side where I sometimes feel “demonized” is when people state that conservatives don’t care about an issue because they’re opposing a liberal proposal. Say, for example, the current SCHIP battle (heh, no pun on naval battles intended). Many progressives are rejecting the idea that conservatives might oppose the expansion of SCHIP on principle, because we don’t want to grow another government program. I feel that people from the liberal side should argue on the basis that they think this is the best way to handle the problem (and provide factual analysis to back that up- and be able to rebut arguments that it might not be cost effective). Instead, many choose to argue that conservatives (Bush in particular) don’t care about healthcare for children. That annoys me. But if someone makes this argument implicitly, I can just point it out and that helps clarify perceptions. If they make the argument explicitly though, they aren’t leaving room for me to rebut the claim. In other words, if someone just says, “I don’t think conservatives care enough because they’re opposing this”, then I can come back with “Not true, we do care but we think it’s a problem that this program will cost too much and will continue to expand uncontrollably, so we think the problem should be handled like this instead….”

    But if they present it like “Obviously conservatives don’t care a lick, and even if they say they do they’re lying”, then that offends me (see a recent post here at TMV on the topic, and that’s exactly how the author presented it).

    So what I’m saying is that there’s some leeway IMO on presenting what we think are the motivations of “the other side” as long as we aren’t stating them as foregone conclusions. I can say, for example, that I feel that some Democrats don’t pay enough attention to the costs of programs and aren’t always considering that once programs are begun or expanded, they tend to take on a life of their own- and that bureaucracies are loaded with inefficiency so that in the end this costs a lot and doesn’t necessarily solve the problems the way people think they will. That’s a lot different then saying “evil big government democrats just want to put everyone on the dole because they’re lazy and don’t want to work for a living”.

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com