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June 9, 2008
Overconfidence on the left
Democrats have convinced themselves that victory will just fall into their lap. An overconfident foe is usually blind to its own weaknesses.
Markos Moulitsas, of the Daily Kos, has written a piece for The Hill that, not surprisingly is very critical of Republicans. The premise of the article involves a fantasy that the far left believes. Namely that the Democrats are the party of racial harmony and racial unity. And the Republicans are not, and are "doomed to struggle just to retain a shrinking constituency mostly comprised of white Southern males." (Apparently he doesn't believe there are any white Southern females in the Republican Party).
In fact the Democrats are the party of racial dis-unity. In the Democratic primary race 90% of African Americans were voting for Obama, and in many states large majorities of whites voted for Hillary. A CBS exit poll of West Virginia Democratic primary voters found this: "Looking ahead to the general election, 59 percent of Clinton voters say they would either vote for Republican John McCain or not vote at all if Obama is the Democratic nominee."
At a time when the Republican Party can't raise money or attract top-tier recruits to run for office, the failure to attract minority candidates may seem a trivial concern. But the lack of diversity in current candidate ranks points to a dim future, as the party appears doomed to struggle just to retain a shrinking constituency mostly comprised of white Southern males.
Let's look at his assertion that the Republican party can't raise money. We didn't have to in the primary, we had a sensible nominating process and selected our presidential candidate in a timely efficient manner without spending huge amounts of money. The Democrats on the other hand have a very convoluted undemocratic process. The record $425 million spent in the Democratic primary race was a battle within the Democratic Party. Now that Obama has stumbled across the finish line where is the money? Hillary is $20m in debt and at the end of April the DNC only had $4.4m left to spend. The RNC has $40.6m in its accounts.
He briefly mentions the Governor of Louisiana as our "only governor of color". Bobby Jindal is a rising star in the Republican Party. I'm not telling Bobby what to do but I imagine he wants to finish rebuilding Louisiana and then maybe make a run for president. Republicans prefer our presidential candidates, whatever their ethnicity to have some experience and accomplishments under their belt before they run for the highest office in the land. Unlike the Democrats who fall for the first person "of color" with a good speaking voice and a thin resume. In any case Bobby Jindal is more qualified than Barak Obama to be president right now.
He continues with dire predictions for the Latino vote:
While 44 percent of Latinos voted for George W. Bush in 2004, only 28 percent of them voted Republican in 2006, and that dropped to 23 percent in 2007. The GOP is losing ground with this demographic as the Latino share of the overall electorate grows steadily, from 6 percent in 2002 to a projected 10 percent in 2008. With Latino support for Republicans dropping so drastically, the situation is dire.Yes 44% of Latinos voted for Bush in 2004, and in 2006 only 28% of them voted Republican. This is not surprising, the Republican brand lost support across the board in '06 due mainly to the Iraq war. Now that the situation in Iraq has improved significantly, it remains to be seen how Latinos will vote in the next presidential race.
Author Earl Hutchison in an interview in Newsweek had this to say about race in politics: "... the rules of political engagement fall apart when you talk about black and Latino candidates. I do not believe Latino voters will vote even for a candidate like Obama who is an appealing, well-financed liberal Democrat."
Its also interesting to note that the Culinary Union's endorsement couldn't carry Barack Obama to victory in Nevada, the Culinary Union has many Latino members, this does not bode well for Obama's appeal to these voters.
Yet what can Republicans really offer these constituencies? African Americans are watching conservatives trash Obama as un-American, a closet Muslim, a member of a supposedly "hateful" black church. The message sent? African Americans aren't really Americans. Latinos, for their part, are quite cognizant of the GOP's strong nativist streak and the hateful anti-immigrant efforts that terrorize and divide families in a culture in which the family is preeminent. In fact, Republican support for remittance and travel bans to Cuba are even costing it support among its traditional Cuban American allies, putting the GOP's three South Florida Cuban American congressional seats at risk."What can Republicans really offer these constituencies?"
For starters how about a chance to get out of crime infested under performing inner city public schools with vouchers. The Democratic party forces inner city kids to go to these schools. They will not allow these families to send their kids to better schools where they would have a chance to break the cycle of poverty. The Democrats don't want these constituencies to really improve their lives, they might lose their votes.
We are witnessing a Republican Party so bereft of ideas, so hampered by unpopular policy positions on everything from the war to the economy, so incapacitated by scandal and corruption, that it's left with only one card to play:Did he say "scandal and corruption"?-- What about: Chicago politics? Rezko?Land deal? Ayres? Wifes salary triples? Earmarks for hospital?
"It's the politics of identity - not necessarily racial or ethnic identity but identity as an American," writes Mark Schmitt, a senior fellow at the New American Foundation, in an American Prospect cover story. "And we have already seen how that manifests, in McCain's slogan ["The American President Americans Are Waiting For"], the politics of the flag pin, the e-mails charging that Obama doesn't salute the flag, and the attempt to associate him with the anti-American politics of 1968, when he was 7 years old."Here the problem appears to be that Republicans identify themselves as Americans and we like to wear flag pins and salute the flag, what's wrong with that? And Republicans are trying "to associate him with the anti-American politics of 1968, when he was 7 years old." Was he 7 years old when he went to William Ayers' house? Was he 7 years old when he went to Rev. Wright's church?
The Republican Party has some work to do to recruit minority candidates, but the Democratic party is not the racial utopia that Markos Moulitsas and Howard Dean proclaim it to be..