Translating the Latino Vote




Translating the Latino Vote

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Is there any political disadvantage to taking a hard left turn in the United States these days? As a conservative, I would hope so, but the evidence doesn’t seem to be there.

In the aftermath of President Obama’s reelection, it immediately became the trendiest thing in the world to promote Florida Senator Marco Rubio as the new (as some wags have put it) “Great Brown Hope” of the Republican Party. He was on all the talkshows, posed for the cover of Time Magazine, and even delivered the official Republican response to this month’s State of the Union. “The Republican Savior” said Time.

The logic of all this Rubio-boosting is blunt. Mitt Romney lost among Hispanic voters, and he lost big. Only 27% of them voted for the Gov, less than George W. Bush (38% and 44%), even less than John McCain (31%). A recent Gallup poll suggests if an election were held today, the number could be as low as 24%.

As the fluently bilingual, charismatic son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio is assumed to be non-threatening to this demographic in a way previous white guys were not, maybe even holding the potential (if we really want to go nuts here) to be the Hispanic Obama (black vote: 93%). By Republican standards, Rubio is also something of a softie on immigration reform, openly supporting some manner of “pathway to legalization” (if not outright citizenship) for America’s mostly Hispanic, 15 million-or-so illegal alien population, and angrily chastising those Republicans who don’t. “It’s really hard to get people to listen to you on economic growth, on tax rates, on healthcare if they think you want to deport their grandmother,” he quipped.

It’s a compelling pitch for an obvious 2016 aspirant, but sadly it’s also one entirely based on false assumptions.

Though the GOP establishment and various conservative media-types are deeply convinced that the road to Latino love is paved with immigration reform and/or amnesty, there’s not a lot of evidence (beyond lazy instinct) that this is an issue Hispanic voters actually care much about.

We might want to look over those last few words again slowly, because it seems few Republicans have. The funny thing about illegal immigrants is that they’re not citizens. And the funny thing about non-citizens is that they can’t vote. And the funny thing about non-voters is that their opinions don’t matter at election time.

Since Latino-American citizens — by definition — don’t have to worry about deportation or Green Cards or whatever, their political consciousness is no less multifaceted and nuanced than anyone else’s. CNN found they rank the immigration issue in the same place as any other demographic group, which is to say, pretty low. Polls show they vote overwhelmingly Democrat not because they’re uniquely obsessed with perceived GOP racism or insensitivity on the border question, but rather because, well, they’re liberals.

This in turn, contradicts the other sloppy fallacy of conservative Hispandering; the stereotypical assumption that Latinos are “Republican at heart” (to quote Dick Morris) because, well, they’re all super Catholic, right? And Catholics are down on gay marriage and abortion and that’s what the GOP hates too!

Leaving aside whether or not these are the most compelling political issues of our time, the facts just aren’t there. Latinos are actually the most pro-gay marriage demographic in America at the moment, backing it 53%, and support legalized abortion by even greater margins — 74%, according to some polls. For what it’s worth, they’re also among the biggest fans of Obamacare, hiking taxes on the rich, and the President’s economic performance in general. It’s really not a mystery why these people aren’t backing the right-wing guy.

Some conservatives get this. The idea that the GOP might be stumbling into a pointless amnesty plan that will do little more than, in Ann Coutler’s words, “create up to 20 million more Democratic voters,” is one that’s gathering credibility, particularly among the angry voices of the alt-right blogosphere, who have long been pushing the idea, sometimes dubbed the “Sailer Strategy” after alt-right grande dame Steve Sailer, that the GOP’s future lies with inreach to whites, not outreach to minorities.

But listening to an alt-right podcast the other day I was struck by the equal incoherence of this righty reaction. If I may put this delicately, the inreach strategy seems to be dominated by people who, uh, don’t care much for Latinos, and thus see white pandering as some moral end unto itself. But even when followed to its logical conclusion, this supposedly bold, politically-incorrect, unabashedly right-wing strategy brings the Republicans to the same ideological dead-end as the aggressive Hispandering they despise.

Outside of the Deep South, where Republicans already win by easy margins, there’s no evidence some sort of explicitly “white interests” hustling would yield any electoral hay for the party. Romney lost white votes by the barrelful in states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, and even his own Massachusetts not because he wasn’t white-friendly enough, and not even because he was too rich or big businessy (something the nominally fiscally responsible alt-righters have strangely decided is a bad thing now) but because he was a conservative and these places aren’t.

Much has been made of the fact that the President wins huge majorities of the minority vote, but minorities only get you so far in a country that’s still over 60% white. Democrats have won five of the last six presidential popular votes by losing the white vote overall but keeping around 40% of it — aka, the liberal chunk.

There’s a bit of an Ocam’s Razor going on here, but it’s easily lost amid the chronic over-thinking of professional pundits and political consultants. America has a two party system divided on ideological lines. Based on the last couple of presidential elections, the left-wing party seems to be doing quite a bit better than the right-wing one, which suggests there are more American voters sympathetic to the left-wing message. Voter skin color seems fairly incidental.

A right-wing party — especially one as righteously and confidently right-wing as the Republican Party has gotten lately — can’t really do much with a depressing diagnosis like this.

So they don’t.

77 Comments; - Discuss on Facebook - Discuss on the Forums (16)



^ 77 Comments...

  1. Juan

    I think more important to the immigration issue than how highly Hispanics rank it in terms of the things that matter to them is the rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate. You're a Hispanic-American citizen and the GOP anti-immigration stance doesn't directly affect you, fine; but Hispanics listening to the discussion surrounding immigration cannot help but feel that the Republican Party feels hostile towards them and that at the end of the day, it would really be better if the Hispanics were simply not here, even the legal ones. One can sense this undercurrent in even the more moderate/PC Republicans. Among the more radical Republicans the hostility is much more obvious and open and at the ground-level the rhetoric surrounding immigration reaches outright racism.

    Bill O'Reilly's response directly after Romney lost the campaign is instructive: he was disappointed in "demographic shifts" in America, legal or not. The message coming from him is clear, "America is for white people".

  2. @RicardoB

    It certainly doesn't help to put Mexicans in New Mexico, Cubans in Florida, and Puerto Ricans in New York all in the same "Hispanic" boat. Way to enforce that broad, meaningless demographics are more important than policy.

  3. robota rozum

    Very interesting.

    Inspired me to try and find whether Latinos self-identify more as liberal or conservative and went down the rabbit hole, because of course "Latino" is no more indicative of a political bloc than "European". According to wikipedia Mexican-Americans identify as liberal, and as the largest Latino subgroup influence our perspective of the overall Latino vote, but Cuban-Americans identify as conservative, and indeed swung Florida for President W. Bush, who made it a point to pursue the Latino vote. The Electoral College combined with these sub-group distinctions makes the Republican problem even less susceptible to clumsy pandering.

  4. Zulu

    horribles* medicina* Can I be your translator?

  5. @AshburnerX

    I too think this is the biggest problem with conservative politics right now. You can't court a minority group while simultaneously blaming them for all of your country's problems.

  6. drs

    Illegal immigrants can't vote but Hispanic citizens are more likely to know them — or be related to them! — and care about their deportation. AIUI Prop 187, a GOP led crackdown on illegal immigrants, basically wrote off California for the Republicans.

    I've seen arguments that Southern whites should be considered their own ethnic group, with Republicans having turned into an ethnic party. http://crookedtimber.org/2012/11/16/southern-whit

  7. Amicus Dan Negrottee

    Tattering and pondering such will have you only wondering where yonder's is, and a majority of people pursue these inclinations only to find that conservative values hold true and fast no matter what the political storm throws at their arena. It is a shame people laude president Obama for his official status on immigrant reform, and gnaw at his track record since his opponents have criticized him over and over for his care plan. Maybe the president is really out of touch with the minority view on Immigration,for history has shown major influxes to the united states are dear to this countries grain,rings,and core as it has grown in the mighty nation that it is. However we tend to keeping this country as great as it is, is the contemporary issues we have at hand for electing are Commander and Chief to lead us in his political will to oversee policy that will keep our borders intact and safe for the American people. This is where the informed demographic becomes essential to the equality that the US offers as a country in which you can claim patriotism's radical roots for the brave and free right to live as such,oh thanks forefathers for our beloved 'constitution'.

  8. Amicus Dan Negrotte

    Unfortunately however we tend,incerpts

  9. Colin Minich

    What doesn't help is when you have televised pundits bemoaning the reelection of Obama as some sort of proverbial end of "white America" and "white values" a la Bill O'Reilly. Rubio tries, yes, but if anything there has to be a lid shut on the reactionaries for other races, especially Hispanic, to even think the Republicans are friendly to be around in the first place. And it's interesting that Hispanics don't care as much over immigration reform as people would believe judging by your piece. I can agree to that somewhat as the largest portion, IIRC, of undocumented Hispanics are of the Mexican population, not Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Latin American, etc. So really, it makes sense half of this doesn't fall on their radar.

  10. Dude

    I think the biggest advantage of immigration reform is that it should help defuse the sentiment that Republicans are driven by xenophobia – so many of their policy positions seem to boil down to either fear of or hatred towards groups that aren't well-off middle-aged straight Christian white guys that anyone who is socially liberal(like most youth and minorities are) either runs away in terror or turns into a nose-holding vaguely-Republican libertarian. Immigration reform might not win the Hispanic vote overnight, but it should help defuse some of the belief that it's a party driven by hatred, which is something they really need to do. (It may not be the optimal way of doing so, but it's certainly a way)

  11. drs

    Latin American as opposed to Mexican?

    But yeah, I'd guess immigration's not on the radar of Cubans, who can stay if they set foot on our soil and most of them have probably been here since Castro, or Puerto Ricans who are already citizens.

    *OTOH*, things like Arizona's law, that end up with local police harassing brown people in general, that can be on all their radars.

  12. Colin Minich

    Latin American as in Guatemalan, Honduran, Costa Rican, and so on. Mexico technically is North American.

    Cubans were granted amnesty because of Castro and a larger portion of Puerto Ricans are citizens or enjoy an easier time living in a US territory.

    AZ on the other hand should be on EVERYONE'S radar.

  13. drs

    Mexico is North American (geography) *and* Latin American (speaks Spanish). Latin America is the Americas where they speak Spanish or Portuguese.

    Yeah, all PRicans are citizens, thus they don't have immigration worries.

  14. Zael

    You are such a racist asshole you know that right?

  15. Zael

    The solution to the hispanic problem is to reuse an previously tested solution to the issue. The plan was called ( excuse me for the name ) Operation Wetback. We simply use the National Guard and remove any Hispanic found without papers across the United States of America

  16. Zael

    Mexico isn't north American. North Americans are civilized

  17. Zael

    Why shouldn't America be for White people? They founded it and died for it , Not blacks or Hispanics

  18. Trenacker

    This essay is not only timely, but wise. Republican logic has crossed over into the bizarre. On election night or shortly afterward, dominant voices in that party blamed "un-American" minorities for accepting the Obama administration's "bribes." Short hand for the kind of social programming that Republicans reject as unfair redistribution of wealth. Yet since November 6, the overriding conclusion within the party has been that the election was lost on presentation, not details. Wooden Mitt Romney, with his persistent inability to charm the "common man," didn't convince enough people that, at the end of the day, Republicans really have their best interests in mind. That their promotion of do-it-yourself "boot strapping" is a form of tough love.

    I have long believed that a fundamental defect of the Republican Party has been its obsession with the harshest of harsh theory. The unshakeable conviction that the private sector is always more efficient than the public. That the market of theory is market in practice. That public assistance can only ever lead to dependency. Obama's reelection seems to prove that, more than ever, Americans are open, on the whole, to the idea that government may provide a fulcrum to solve big problems in an equitable manner.

    The obsession with Rubio strikes me as a kind of crypto-racist commitment to advance somebody with the right ethnic background — to prove, crassly, "that people like you can believe in our agenda, too!" This, when many Republicans have no qualms about admitting that they think minorities are little more than a permanent liberal constituency, and a significant element within the Party actively talks about "inreach" and "white issues." The fact that these people, O'Reilly especially, aren't instantly condemned in the strongest possible terms gives the lie to the idea that the Republicans aren't, in large part, very willing to overlook racism, so long as they can get away with it. That may be human, but it's also despicable.

    I think a tragically large number of Republicans quietly wish minorities would just go away. There are too many people who complain thoughtlessly about having to listen to Spanish language options on the telephone. Too many people who resent non-native English speakers. The ultimately minor inconveniences of a multicultural society. Many celebrate the idea of racial profiling, which they believe would be a much more efficient way of enforcing laws, "given where the crime really is." They have a vague idea that better enforcement of immigration laws will stop the "social decline" of certain neighborhoods, and so they demand fences at the border to "enforce our laws."

    As for the rest, whether or not they form a majority of Republicans, they feel that there are still bigger fish to fry before resuscitating the party's reputation with what remains, for many, a non-critical constituency, or merely one about whom there are stereotypical beliefs. Some of these perceptions are driven by the outcomes of the Proposition 8 vote in California, where minorities were alleged to be the decisive factor that allowed "traditional marriage" to prevail.

  19. Jake_Ackers

    Funny thing is that the Tea Party got what almost 40 percent in 2010? Higher than McAmnesty and almost as high as George Bush.

    As a Latino and son of a former illegals this whole thing that illegal immigration is a Hispanic/Latino issue is just plain bigoted. Illegal immigration is an American issue. It's the left that makes it about race, when Latino isn't even a race. It's a culture, an ethnicity at best. Moreover, illegal is an immigration status not a race. Yet you have groups like La Raza running around. And the GOP doesn't help itself by some of the stupid things they say.

    Let's face the facts. A Democrat can pretty much say w/e and most likely will get a pass. Aka Biden calling Obama a clean articulate black man or w/e he said. One Republican says something stupid and they all get labelled crazy.

    Truth is the GOP doesn't need to pander to get the Latino vote. It's the style of rhetoric rather than the positions. Most Latinos lean right on some social issues. But that isn't everything either. It's the comments and the way they have been made that have turned Latinos off. Lets face it, McCain was Mr. Amnesty himself and he lost the Latino vote. While the Tea Party did better among Latinos.

    Moreover, supporting amnesty is just going to add millions of votes to the Democrat side. There is no reason for the GOP to support it. It's not like those former illegals will vote Republican. McCain lost the Latino vote while Bush did very well (although he did support amnesty). The Left makes it about immigration and amnesty and the GOP fall into that trap. It's not a support of amnesty that will win the vote. It's connecting with people like Rubio has been saying. And rhetoric does go a long way.

    Just one more point. It's not that the GOP are racist or blame Latinos. It's that the GOP doesn't come out and say the contrary to it. In the absence of facts, rumors will fly. So the Dems just label the GOP as racist and it sticks. The GOP just doesn't like talking about racially social issues because it feels that is up to the public. Not much the gov't can legislate on that. So they tend to focus on legislative social issues like abortion. So when a Republican speaks of Latinos it's in the context of immigration because that is the only real major legal issue they can discuss (as the Cold War is over). So in the end the Dems talk about cultural and social elements and the GOP only legal ones. That is what makes them appear to be racist or what not. If they talked about free trade with Cuba and the Americas, they would win a lot more Latino votes.

  20. Jake_Ackers

    Former illegals will never vote Republican. McCain was Mr. Amnesty and did horrid. He should of won all the Bush Latinos plus all the left leaning ones for his stance on immigration. And he got destroyed. The Tea Party did better than him.

    Trying to win the Latinos vote with amnesty is just admitting what it is. Buying the vote and expect them to go along with it. Not going to happen. Has to be a bit more of an effort on rhetoric and issues than just amnesty.

  21. Jake_Ackers

    Puerto Ricans lean left. Cubans lean right. So they care because of ideology not that it affects them personally. The rest are more concerned because it affects them or their families.

    But honestly it is so annoying when the media keeps painting illegal immigration and immigration as a solely Latino issue. How many illegal Chinese are there? And the Right has done well, IIRC, among the Asian voters in some elections considering most of them are in liberal states like CA and WA. It's more than just immigration. The GOP frankly loses votes when they think all that Latinos care about is immigration.

  22. Jake_Ackers

    IIRC, Cubans can be stopped in the waters but not once they get ashore. It's something grey scale like that, I could be wrong. Either way Cubans are refuges so yah with them immigration is a whole other issue. But it's still on radar because they lean right.

    Latinos are all those that speak a Latin based language and are from the Americas. Brazil in addition to the Hispanic countries are Latinos. Haiti and Quebec technically are too but the cultures are a bit different, especially for Quebec. And then there are Latins which including the European based ones like Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Romania and Moldova. But that's a whole other issue.

    For the most part Latinos or Latin Americans are all those that speak Spanish and Portuguese from the Americas.

    Also Mexicans don't consider themselves as North American because they refer to Canadians and US citizens as "Northerners."

  23. Jake_Ackers

    Yah Dixie has for a long time has been an ethnic group. Even rural Southern blacks make a distinction between themselves and urban Northern blacks. For a long time Dixie Whites were second class citizens.

    It's a completely different culture than the North. And after all culture is what makes an ethnicity.

  24. Jake_Ackers

    They are conservative on some issues but vote Democrat. Puerto Ricans are the most left and Cuban the most right. And most legal Latinos tend to be PR or Cuban with Cubans tending to vote a bit more often proportionally.

    But now it's shifting as Latinos are just mixing into other cultures and races. In addition to the fact that most Latinos are already mixed with the Latinos culture (White-Latino, Blacks-Latinos, Mixed, Natives-Latinos, etc.) and now are mixing with the existing US cultures of also White, Blacks, Mixed. Natives, etc.). And by White-Latino I mean like Cameron Diaz and Charlie Sheen not George Zimmerman which is Hispanic with White.

    So you have those who are culturally Latino but racially w/e (Jessica Alba). These are more likely to call themselves Latinos. While there are those who are technically Latinos but aren't culturally and probably don't self identify as such. Like Cameron Diaz and Charlie Sheen. Then there are those who are like Alexis Bledel, who are impossible to tell unless they come out and say it.

    Which goes to my larger point, Latino is a cultural which in itself is mixed and varied. Put it this way. White people in the US are the same as Latinos. Expect white people in America are mostly Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Irish and Italian based and a bit of African and Natives. While Latinos are Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian based and a bit of African and Native. Aka it's the same dynamic expect one is from base off of Northern European culture and one is based off of Southern European culture. Otherwise the dynamics are quite similar. Racial tensions, social-economic issues, etc. etc. With the exception of Brazil which has mixed so much over the years that racial divisions are the least obvious in the Western Hemisphere.

    In the end right leaning Latinos might just not even label themselves as such or have been in the US already for generations. While left leaning ones might more so willing to label themselves or are more recent arrivals to the US. So the whole demographic thing is frankly as difficult to read as what exactly is "white" or even "European" like robota rozum has mentioned.

  25. Jake_Ackers

    True. Half of New Mexico is Hispanic yet they have been a swing state for a long time as most of them are quite assimilated into American culture. Even though it is still the Southwest US.

  26. Jake_Ackers

    It's not that the GOP blames Latinos or not. It's that the GOP doesn't come out and say the contrary to it. In the absence of facts, rumors will fly. So the Dems just label the GOP as racist and it sticks. The GOP just doesn't like talking about racially social issues because it feels that is up to the public. Not much the gov't can legislate on that. So they tend to focus on legislative social issues like abortion.

    But yah whenever you hear one Republican say one negative thing about Latinos, it gets replayed over and over and it paints all Republicans as such. After all, Reagan gave amnesty, Bush ran on it and McCain wrote the bill. Yet that's the problem. The GOP only address amnesty and immigration. Never the other issues that Latinos care about. So when a Republican speaks of Latinos it's in the context of immigration because that is the only real major legal issue they can discuss (as the Cold War is over). So in the end the Dems talk about cultural and social elements and the GOP only legal ones. That is what makes them appear to be racist or what not. If they talked about free trade with Cuba and the Americas, they would win a lot more Latino votes.

  27. OldsVistaCruiser

    ¡No se olvide de legalización de la marihuana, tambien!

  28. rmjones13

    Oooh, someone here doesn't know jack-shit about history! Innit cute?

  29. Amicus Dan Negrottee

    How can immigration be such a disastrous affair to mention,for they boot them out randomly and regularly for violations of law and yet they still protest to the officials who constantly debate such yet rendering the whole useless for the institutions that establish our great country for what it is leaves the minority at a loss for which way to argue their merits, and if the way to citizenship defines how one becomes accredited dare I say for the use of the word visa, seems to allocate such a resemblance of idealization of legalization that is the sought by the soughtee then to what is the vain use of rhetoric become some meaningless jargon to whoever wish to display this site and since the server is not CPU instructed for the network use and only centered on page,then to what is your syntactical intention for the exception that your throwing is not catchable due to default settings and if the null value it is set too,well the only person that can change that is the administrator and since it only takes a couple of minutes to do such, well I think I can read and DIM. I know they sell products such as these that deal with that but thats another matter that deals with the type of personal kiosk you have.It just a shame that overall this site is being targeted for racism and bigotry in serious ways that can either determine ones opinion of wether immigration is detestable or even worth partitioning into some legislation that will only reach the floor to be discard in the mass of the already negligible waste of bylaws that seem to make for a politicians verbiage and since I cannot truly digest such as any means in which I can discern, well the fabrication of such only makes there intentions well negligible to the whole of the people they represent and since responsibility falls ever short to those are inhabitants of our beloved country,then to what is the capitalistic dream sold?

    "Why shouldn't America be for White people? They founded it and died for it , Not blacks or Hispanics" What is there to say to this for truly at the cost and loss of whom and what?

  30. Hello

    Since when have there been any "hard left turns" in the United States? Are you talking about the moderate-Republican Obamacare bill? The modest Keynesian Recovery Act? The return of certain tax rates to the level they were at in the 90s? The revival of immigration reform, last attempted by George W. Bush's administration? The President's very gradual embracing of gay marriage? The Democratic position of "balanced" deficit reduction? The financial reform bill in response to the greatest North American economic collapse since the Great Depression?

    As someone who likes to think of herself as part of the Left, such as it is, it's very curious to see what's happening in the United States described as a "hard left turn." But then, when "Conservatism" is where it is right now, everything the moderately left of center Democrats do must seem to the "Conservative" partisan like a hard left turn.

  31. inquiries

    i wonder why they're grey

  32. Jake_Ackers

    The Obamacare bill was fashioned after a bill from a Republican in MA and started from people inside the Washington Beltway. Keynesian is not free market. It's gov't spending. Never has there been this amount of a gov't spending done to bailout companeis. The immigration reform bill attempted by Bush and McCain were opposed by the Right because it was tried under Reagan and failed. The balanced deficit reduction plan is done by raising taxes and spending without cutting spending. And the tax rate would of been higher if Obama had his way. The reform bill never really addressed the underlying problem with the economic crisis.

    This isn't a hard left turn because you are correct it has been done before in one way or another. Problem is that it was never accepted it fully even in moderation. Now Obama is wanting to raise taxes higher than the 90s, bailout companies with huge sums and spend more than ever. It's a matter of degree. He has been doing what Bush and Clinton and the rest have done for decades but now it's greater. There is a tipping point that people tolerate.

    It's a kind of "fool me once" kind of thing. Reagan tried amnesty. Companies were bailed out in the 90s. Taxes were raised. Clinton and Bush wars for nation building. People were mad at it once and they don't want it again. Especially not in a greater degree.

  33. virgil

    .lol…well if that's really how Republicans think then no wonder so many people here get so upset about them.

    I suspect though, that they might be better served by an explanation from one of their own. From one who is a Republican I can only give my own analysis……

    I think the reason Republicans like Rubio is because he's an articulate speaker that holds conservative views….and probably aligns with conservative movement more than most candidates. I think that the Republican message tends to be one of freedom through self-empowerment rather than through government..but that the message has been lost or obscured since Reagan.

    I think that a path to legalization….as Rubio proposes….is the right and decent thing to do because it gives people a greater measure of freedom and that…economically…it gets rid of a black market on labor that apparently is extensive. I also think that it should be some years before the illegals get full citizenship though…as there are already legal procedures for entering a permanent resident and citizenship queue and, while I support their being able to enter it, I don't think they should get a shortcut over those already here.

    I don't think the issue is going to instantly win any votes….nor be an instant act that makes Republicans instantly competitive with those who entered illegally. I think it would however take care of a festering problem. I don't think its a racial issue…however as the Republican message seems to have limited resonance in minority communities at present it might provide an opportunity for outreach to many groups that, mistakenly I believe, think of our party or the conservative movement as hostile to their interests. I also think that no one gets hurt by government programs that engender dependence more than the voters of any group who tend to continuously vote in the Democrats…whether the media classifies them by race, sex, age group, or any other subcategory. At the end of the day all of us are individuals.

    But that's just me…..

  34. Trenacker

    I've been a registered Republican since 18. I was unabashed in my support of George W. Bush. I even rate Richard Nixon one of our better presidents from a policy perspective. But that's just it: even Richard Nixon would be a Blue Dog Democrat today.

    From where I'm standing, the reason that Republicans like Rubio seems to have as much to do with the color of his skin as the purity of his politics. That's a judgment, and a harsh one, yes, but I want to ask: would Rubio have been his party's obvious point man if not for the fact that minorities are credited for giving Obama his victory in November?

    I think that just as liberal messages about the primary of social justice are lost on Republicans who don't see how emphasizing and codifying social differences will help end them, conservative celebration of "self-empowerment" tends to ring hollow for liberals who believe that the real equity means an equal start, not just the freedom to climb.

    The Republican message in 2012 placed far too much emphasis on entrepreneurs. In presumably trying to capture the risk-taking culture of American self-starters, the party managed instead to sound as if it was aware of — and worse, interested in — only people who owned capital.

    Conservatives have limited appeal to minorities are a variety of reasons, some having to do with the racism of Republican thought leaders — which always goes over worse than that of Democrats, who are presumed to be, on the whole, multiculturalists — and some having to do with a strong affection for the government as defender of social justice, not just social equity.

    Racism is a problem that infects both parties to a significant extent. I argue that it is even more prevalent, in the form of persistent stereotypes and "passive" judgment, than most Americans probably believe. Nevertheless, Republicans have the least credibility of either party, so each misstep simply hurts them more.

    A similar problem was in play with women in 2012. Few conservative women were very upset by the positions taken by Mourdock and Akin: many already share roughly the same belief system. The real problem was for voters who ordinarily think of themselves as independents relative to presidential elections, or voters who lean liberal but would otherwise have stayed home, especially during the campaign season.

    The latter point is rarely considered by pollsters. In tight races where footsoldiers are at a premium, does opposition mobilization-by-gaffe help explain why one candidate sometimes pulls away at the end better than voter turnout?

  35. Hello

    Saying Keynesian economics is not free market reminds me of Senator Ted Stevens infamous "the internet is not a flatbed truck." Well, yeah. Austerity is also not free market (or a flatbed truck). It's government spending.

    Keynesian economics is a school that holds that in times of depression increased government spending will stimulate demand for goods and services, revive the economy, and increase employment while decreased government spending will only further contraction. There is currently a lot of evidence, historical and recent, supporting this position.

    As for taxes, they're right now extremely low and the increases have been directed at the rich.

  36. Dude

    Bush was pro-amnesty too – that didn't distinguish the two. His legislation may have been stopped by Congressional Republicans, but the man himself was staunchly in favour of it. Bush was also from a much bigger border state than McCain(so the home-state bump will probably be worth an extra point nationwide all on its own), was generally more popular, and speaks fluent Spanish.

  37. Zulu

    Because Hispanics are racially ambiguous. They are White, Black, Asian, and Mixed. There is no Hispanic "color," although most Hispanics in the US are Mexican, which are usually Mixed but can very well be White.

  38. Jake_Ackers

    Again you prove my point. Yes they have been directed at the rich. Which can that be anymore left wing?

    You are trying to argue if Keynesian works. That is not the argument here. Keynasian is left wing. No conservative or libertarian would try to use gov't spending as an excuse to simulate the economy. At the end of the day, yes all politicians want to spend. But Keynesian under Obama has reached new heights. If Keynesian is left wing, then Obama plus Keynesian is really hard left. That's what I think people mean when they are refer to the "hard left." It's not so much the policy as the degree of it.

  39. Jake_Ackers

    And yah and the Democrats loved Obama and Hillary for their "experience." Yah… How many people voted for Obama because he is black and Hillary because she is a woman?

    The reason Republicans appear "racist" is because of the media. The Republicans don't go around try talking about social issues unless its something to do with the law. Otherwise it's a personal issue. Which is why abortion and immigration take center stage. Civil rights has been passed, you can sue for discrimination. So every-time there some radio jockey says something racist, it's part of the private sector not gov't. So the Dems spend out someone like Al Shaprton to whine and scream about the issue until it gets enough attention. While the GOP never bothers to say anything. So in the absence of the GOP saying anything, the media go like "Why haven't the GOP refuted this or that?" "Must be racist!"

    Reagan never left that absence of a message. He responded and talked about social issues even if they weren't legislative. I believe Santorum and Ron Paul had a back and forth on that once. Although Santorum never reached to the point talking about racism and discrimination he only talked about religion and family. Ron Paul didn't even want to go near any of it because it wasn't the job of gov't to legislate it. Santorum corrected him by saying, he (Ron Paul) is right it's not a legislative issue but it's still important to talk about it. He was referring to a Teddy Roosevelt "bully pulpit" kind of thing. The GOP doesn't embrace the "bully pulpit" anymore like the Dems do.

    On your last point. It's correct. One candidate opens his mouth and then ends up losing. That is the hardest to refute because the GOP doesn't have an army of people to deal with these gaffes and issues. The Dems are way more organized and drive the gaffes home resulting in Dems gaining that extra edge in a close election.

  40. Jake_Ackers

    Yah that my point, Dude. Bush had a wider appeal than McCain. So just because someone supports amnesty doesn't mean support. It's about more than just one issue.

  41. Hello

    I don't know, the upper class tax rates we had back during the Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy administrations? They were much higher.

    The Recovery Act was actually too small, which is why it only stabilized the economy. It didn't reach "new heights" – there are far, far larger examples in the past and present (the greatest height was probably Germany in the 1930s and China's Keynesianism has dwarfed anything attempted in the contemporary West, meanwhile WWII America had full employment through the war economy).

    And your logic is nonsense: modest Keynesian economic policies implemented by a left of center administration (which ran on this issue during the election) equals "hard left"? The term "hard left" means an extreme position, whereas these are just the normal policies a center left Democratic administration would pursue.

  42. Amicus Dan Negettee

    This is the point exactly that we are referring too.We can argue over what act should be enacted or not,and since Obama care was rammed down are throats per se, his legacy as President will remain infamous for this,wether or not its rejected by congress.

  43. drs

    "I even rate Richard Nixon one of our better presidents from a policy perspective. But that's just it: even Richard Nixon would be a Blue Dog Democrat today. "

    No, he'd be a raging liberal well to the left of Obama today. :p
    (One can pick and choose, and his healthcare proposal was to head off Ted Kennedy's. But he signed sweeping environmental laws and welfare expansions, instituted price controls, and as the recession hit gave an unabashedly Keynesian speech that Krugman would weep tears of joy if anyone gave today, and that Obama certainly hasn't.)

    Pre-1970 Republicans are basically incomparable with modern ones.

  44. drs

    "No conservative or libertarian would try to use gov't spending as an excuse to simulate the economy." — Jake Ackers

    "We are all Keynesians now." — Milton Friedman. And as I say above, Nixon.

    "But Keynesian under Obama has reached new heights. If Keynesian is left wing, then Obama plus Keynesian is really hard left."

    What no you're totally wrong. Obama's "Keynesian" stimulus was 1/3 the size that Keynesian economists calculated was needed. Then he backed off and spent a couple years talking about debt rather than full employment. And most of the increase in federal spending wasn't the stimulus, it was automatic stuff like food stamps or extensions of unemployment insurance, because of the recession and 10% unemployment. Most of the deficit comes from both that and collapsing tax revenue, because of the recession and 10% unemployment. "Obama went on a spending spree" is flat out false.

    If you think Obama is hard left I wonder what you'd call FDR or Truman. Or someone who wants Medicare for all, full employment guarantees, free college, and a top marginal income tax rate of at least 50%? Hard hard left? Let alone someone wanting a wealth tax, or a wealth cap, or a citizen's dividend, or a citizen's grant…

  45. drs

    Preach it.
    Overall I'd say the US has gone to the left socially since 1980, but veered far to the right economically, such that the bipartisan received wisdom and status quo of 1970 gets called "hard left" today.

  46. Trenacker

    It is also my understanding that federal income tax, especially for those in the highest income brackets, is at or near the all-time low.

  47. Trenacker

    And what if Democrats loved Obama "because he is black?" Or Hillary "because she is a woman?" I am prepared to agree that Obama's race probably played some role in his meteoric rise, just as I think Palin's sex mattered in her selection in 2008. I think you'll join me in lamenting that race and sex still matter when we pick our leaders. In fact, I know that you will.

    But let me ask you this. If Republicans had run Allen West, do you think that he would have stolen a meaningful proportion of black votes from President Obama? If the answer is, "Probably not," then Obama's appeal clearly transcends race, even for those voters who were very excited about the idea of a black man in the White House.

    I didn't find it remarkable that Obama neatly wrapped up the African American vote. For one thing, African Americans are considered among the safest of democratic voting blocs. For another, the election of a black man as the American president could be seen as a goal unto itself, transcending the candidate himself. Whether that is a good or a bad thing? That boils down to personal opinion.

    Politics is the language of shorthand. Democrats and Republicans. Westerners and New Englanders. I think that there are some cynical bets being placed right now that Marco Rubio's ethnic background can send a simple message to Latino voters: " The Republican Party speaks to your issues." But we know that it doesn't. So instead, the message that gets sent is slightly different: "The Republican Party doesn't reject you." How… exciting.

    The real question to ask isn't, "Why do blacks vote for Obama?" It's, "Why do blacks feel so strongly that the Democratic Party serves them, if, as we Republicans believe, our politics are for everyone, regardless of race?"

    The media doesn't make Republicans racist. The media didn't make Bill O'Reilly a crypto-racist. It didn't force Mitt Romney to blame minorities for a lost election. The media is arguably more to blame for painting Akin and Mourdock as uniquely hostile to women when, in fact, their statements reflected the convictions of a huge swath of Americans, including millions of women. Mourdock's infamy was arguably the result of a gaffe. I still think that he was trying to make a comment about God's role in human affairs generally, inclusive of evil, in the context of trying to understand why some people suffer horribly in this life.

    You say that Republicans don't talk about social issues that don't have some prior basis in law. But isn't that a truism? "Republicans," in this case, refers to elected officials — men and women whose role is to make, or unmake, law. And they are ably abetted by a legion of radio hosts, television personalities, and civic leaders who every day talk about abortion, "the Feminist Agenda," "the Gay Agenda," and welfare dependency.

    The reason that Al Sharpton isn't routinely excoriated by the Democratic Party is that he is, in the end, a relatively small-time actor who receives attention in part because he is regarded as a pompous self-promoter. Rush Limbaugh is far more influential.

    The GOP uses the bully pulpit frequently: civic leaders aligned to the GOP, and significant to its king-making process, rail against the president on an almost daily basis.

    Democrats don't have a better reputation because they have better spin doctors; they have a better reputation because more minorities believe that Democrats care genuinely about issues that matter to them. Consider that, at one point in our history, African Americans tended to be a solid Republican constituency. While few Republicans were necessarily "enlightened" about matters of race, the Democrats tended to self-consciously position themselves as the "white man's party." You now have a notable debate going on in this country about whether or not Republicans are the party of old, white people… and apparently a movement inside the party to embrace that new identity that is getting sufficient press to have risen to the attention of a Canadian cartoonist.

  48. rmjones13

    Nooo…. the GoP does say stuff. I mean, unless you ignored the racist shit Romney said in the 47th percent tape (which he never apologized for, at least as far as I know on that front), or the shit Bill O'reilly says all the time (and for better of for worse, he is a major voice of the republican party as a it's news castor, and one thing democrats know how to do is to say they do not condone the horrible things that other people have said in their party which republicans need to learn because OH RIGHT, to be silent has historically and is often presently a vehicle of oppression). Or what about Rush Limbaugh, or… man. Do I really need to start listing the sheer number of "gaffes" that went down? I mean, those are just a couple of the major ones this election and some who are still given a major voice in republican politics.

    Now, is there still passive racism in the democratic party? Sure, yeah. But they aren't the ones with key news castors and a person running for president saying and perpetuating blatant racism. If the republican party wanted to get their media organized, they could, and considering Fox News is the biggest news station you would think they had a decent sized platform to speak.

    However… seriously. I kept up with many of the "Gaffes" and the biggest gaffe of all was the lack of any substantial apology. Many did release apologies, but those were often the bullshit "we are sorry you were offended" ones.

  49. Jake_Ackers

    That I would agree with. Would you say liberal socially or libertarian socially?

  50. Jake_Ackers

    Let me explain it this way. I'm not saying it is in fact hard left. What I am saying is that the perception is there because people feel it is a matter of degree. Most of the people alive now can't remember how FDR was a President.

    I want to make it clear. I don't think the country has turned hard left. But I think people believe it has because there has been this era of people wanting smaller govt and less spending for quite some time. So anything that is an increase over what has been done in the past is viewed as hard left. A "hard left" in modern US politics is different from a hard left in world politics or a hard left in our history's politics.

    What I am saying is that people keep using the term "hard left" because it is being compared to what has been done and what has been the trajectory for a few years now. Regulation and lower taxes under Reagan. And under Clinton the argument was over a small stimulus and much smaller deficits/gov't spending. Now compare that to the taxes increases Obama said he wanted plus the spending he and Bush did. It's easy to see how a person would think there is a hard left. Doesn't mean in fact it is a hard left. It's just a perception of it. I was explaining why they use the term, not giving it validity. Sorry if it came out that way.

  51. Jake_Ackers

    I refer to my new post above under Hello.

  52. Jake_Ackers

    I may be wrong on this but it seems to me that there is quite a bit of difference in some people's minds when the party talks like Mourdock and Akin versus a Limbaugh.

    For example when Mourdock and Akin open their mouths its labeled the "Republican" candidate. So when a moderate "Republican" runs in some of these liberal or moderate states they get slammed because of association.

    Limbaugh on the other hand is labeled as a "conservative" even though yes he is the main voice for the GOP in many ways. Therefore, a moderate Republican can distance themselves from Limbaugh by saying they aren't conservative which in fact would reinforce their moderate message. While it's much harder to distance themselves as a Republican if its next to their name on the ballot box. Again I think its a perception issue on that front.

    Now I do agree with you that both sides have a race problem. And yes most blacks would vote for Democrat even if the GOP ran West or Rice. Blacks in America are liberal, very liberal. However, I do think the turnout would be less if it was lets say Biden versus Rice in terms of the black vote. But Dems would still win that overwhelming.

    The reason why I say the GOP doesn't use the pulpit effectively is because of candidate centered elections. What Rush Limbaugh says doesn't always mean that is what the Republican candidate in Nowhere's Ville or the Republican candidate in a moderate district is saying. So even if Rush Limbaugh came out and talked about the evils of racism and the social injustices cause by our police force and w/e else.

    I still think the candidate themselves would not benefit from it that much. Because after all the Democrat candidate would be speaking about those injustices and the GOP candidate wouldn't. Does Limbaugh have an affect? Of course, a HUGE affect. But when you have two candidates going toe to toe in a candidate centered election. If the GOP candidates themselves talked more about these issues the perception would be different. It's different having Limbaugh and Ingram and Hannity, and O'Reilly talk about these issues and pinning it on a Republican. For better or for worst. Than if you have a GOP candidate say it themselves.

    Having the Rubios and Akins/Mourdocks of the world saying something has a different affect on an election than if Limbaugh or O'Reilly does. The GOP needs politicians to refute the stupid things coming from O'Reilly and the sort. While the GOP also needs a civic part/non-profits to refute the stupid things the politicians say. The Dems have a much better organization and balance to deal with that than the GOP. The GOP runs around like headless chickens and at best say, "I don't agree with it." Or "I'm sorry." That doesn't win votes when you have more O'Reilly's and Limbaugh's and Akins and Mourdocks than you have Rubios.

  53. Jake_Ackers

    There is a difference between Akin/Mourdock saying something and Limbaugh saying something. I refer to my new post below under Trenacker.

  54. Jake_Ackers

    Agreed. Nixon would be a Blue Dog but I doubt he would of come close to getting elected in a state like CA. Certainly wouldn't of been in the GOP, even if he was he wouldn't of progressed much further either.

    Problem is not such that there are no cons in the Dems or no libs in the GOP. Problem is the con Dems and the lib Reps never get a fair chance. The Governors are viewed as watered down and those are the only moderates (Huntsman). And the other side never is willing to give them a chance in office for like the Senate (think Lingle).

    So you can have the moderates as Governors but never as Senator. Unless they come from state who their party is the dominate force like Utah and NY. However, then they risk losing primaries. As a result this just further divides the federal discussion.

  55. drs

    The liberal — well, moderate — Republicans have been largely purged from the GOP by e..g the Tea Party. They had a fine chance, they were holding office, but were unseated in primary after primary.

  56. J.J. McCullough

    You're reading to much into this. The point is not whether or not Democrats are "left-wing" by some standard of ideology purity. The point is that they're perceived to be more left wing than Republicans on issues such as gay marriage, abortion, health care, and taxes. And "more left-wing than the Republicans" is what Latino voters seem to be looking for.

  57. Jake_Ackers

    Yes and I mentioned that, "Unless they come from state who their party is the dominate force like Utah and NY. However, then they risk losing primaries."

    Do you think someone like Lingle or Christie would ever have a chance in a Senate race? Lingle lost the Senate race. Romney lost the Senate race. Even a moderate Republican running in NJ for Senate has lost. Dems in NJ would never vote for a Moderate/Liberal Republican. Even though there are tons of them in NJ.

  58. Trenacker

    Political parties have always struggled to identify, and retain, their so-called "natural" constituencies. We hear often about how Democrats have neatly wrapped up organized labor, city-dwellers, and minorities. Republicans do well in rural counties, and among the more religious. Democrats have supposedly unassailable strongholds in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states, and along the Pacific coast. Republicans are perennial winners in the Old South and Mountain West.

    Today, the prevailing wisdom is that, until Karl Rove, parties fought over undecided or swing voters who were self-described moderates. The winner was the party able to convince those nominal independents to "break" in their direction during a particular election cycle. Karl Rove is now justly famous for arguing that there is no such significant bloc of independent voters, and that a party can gain many more votes by focusing on turn-out among core constituents whose choice is not between the two parties, but between voting for one party or not voting at all. It also tended to be supposed that the preponderance of both parties' voters were ideologically weak — closer to the "moderate middle" than the wings. Fighting for independents require the Right to tack left and the Left to tack right. But once they were taken out of the equation, parties adapted their platforms and messaging to appeal instead to the wings, where they could supposedly pick up the win.

    At least some of modern partisanship probably has to do with the advent of the 24-hour news cycle in the 1990s, which gives the impression that the nation is continuously on the brink of crisis and that all decisions, all the time are about "all the marbles." Combine that and the need to pander to the wings with the democratization of web access, which gives individual voters the ability to step into utterly homogenous echo chambers; the end of the gentlemen's agreements that once protected cabinet nominees and judicial appointments from much partisan scrutiny before 1980s; and the popularization of pseudo-scientific approaches to political argument in which one side purports to carefully pick apart what is actually a strawman of the opposing perspective, and you get hyper-partisanship.

    One of the things that few of us ever do is consider what parts of our political beliefs are based on assumptions — about what is right, what is possible, and how the world really works. Republicans place their confidence in the free market — in competition, which they believe produces both efficiency and excellence as a certainty. They take a dim view of government, which they believe is fundamentally inefficient — lacking competition — and, most of the time, unfair, since it stands to reason that people will vote themselves unearned benefits whenever possible. Democrats tend to believe that the government is a lever of unparalleled size, and can be effectively applied to advance the causes of economic and social justice. They are more likely than Republicans to believe that structural defects, including those arising out of history, substantially hinder meaningful social advancement and that disparities in wealth have fundamentally negative consequences for society at large. To Republicans, Democrats are dangerously naive. To Democrats, Republicans are preposterously cold-hearted.

  59. Trenacker

    Some of the Republican reputation for racism arises out of misunderstanding of their opposition to affirmative action programs. Conservatives believe that social programming breeds dependence. Liberals believe that it provides social programming serves an essential leveling function. But it doesn't help the Republican cause that some conservatives see in Affirmative Cction "reverse-discrimination." Liberals tend to be very comfortable with the idea that whites enjoy inherent advantages because they were the explicit beneficiaries of the old system, and are the implicit beneficiaries of the new (which emerged from the old). Conservatives believe that the only way to truly move away from a society predicated on race is to avoid continuing distinction based upon it.

    But conservatives haven't always helped their cause, and since the purpose of my post is to explore why conservatives have a "problem" with race, let us put aside, a moment, the failings of the Democratic Party or liberals generally. The conservative cause isn't helped by the substantial number of conservatives who are happy to call Affirmative Action "reverse discrimination" and complain loudly about "white liberal guilt" and ask why whites are being disadvantaged. Those who remain split between either party are usually more liberal than the average conservative, and therefore more likely to accept that whites already enjoy inherent advantages as a consequence of birth.

    Conservatives also tend to be comfortable with certain types of discrimination. Think about their effort to avoid giving special protections to certain communities. Republican leaders contend that this would only further discrimination. But everybody knows that Republican voters will tend to punish somebody who stands up for gay rights. And liberals are left wondering, "Are Republicans really afraid that white people won't get a fair shake?" It seems ridiculous to most liberals, who have already internalized the idea that whites get ahead in a variety of ways that society mostly avoids talking about. Whites worry less than people of color, "Did that just happen because of the color of my skin?"

    Libertarians, who are generally regarded as conservative allies, may even speak out against positive protection of civil rights. "The Party of Calhoun" indicates that there is a long history of sacrificing concepts of social justice to be able to fight supposed federal overreach. But liberals don't usually buy into federal overreach, and so don't have much sympathy for Republicans who argue that they are fighting a bigger fight for all the right reasons. Instead, Republicans come off as people largely unconcerned with what matters to minorities — even blind to a demonstrable plight.

    The conservative cause is also damaged when Republicans appear to make mealy-mouthed or incomplete statements about comments that liberals tend to consider "outrageous." It is damaged when popular talk radio hosts say incendiary things about Obama's sympathies, about his appeal to black voters, and about his birth. Would they dig so deeply into the provenance of a white candidate? No liberal thinks so. Ergo, Republican commitment to finding out about Obama's race is (A) a completely transparent act of political vindictiveness, and (B) a stark manifestation of racism, even just by omission. Many Democrats asked some version of the following question, both to Birthers and to those who threw in with Birther candidates: "So you're telling me it's okay to be racist, or to ignore racism, so long as there's political hay to make?"

    Republicans aren't helped along by the fact that their current ideology presumes that their votes will come from within the same community that they already represent. For demographic reasons, that community is among the least socially progressive.

    Many conservatives start with fundamental truths that drive them toward the politics of extreme theoretical purity. Thus, some say, "If people don't pay for health insurance, they deserve what they get." Even libertarian Ron Paul seemed genuinely shocked when the overwhelmingly conservative audience of the primaries cheered at the idea. And yet many conservatives don't have health insurance. Because the system is tied to employment, and indeed to specific kinds of employment, getting affordable insurance isn't always that easy. Nor are all employer healthcare plans going to cover catastrophic illness. Because this is a party that already sees disparities of wealth as an issue not much worth getting worked up about, it is easy to label Republicans as fundamentally heartless.

  60. drs

    Hey, these days lots of Democrats also think Republicans are naive if not outright delusional.
    "Keep government hands off my Medicare."
    "I care about reducing the deficit, so I vote Republican" <- most of the federal debt comes from recent Republican presidents.
    Support for creationism, denial of anthropogenic global warming, blocking research funding into social effects of guns, support for austerity in a recession despite repeated failure… it's not just a difference in values, it looks like a systematic denial of reality and hostility to science.

  61. Trenacker

    Republicans more than Democrats, as the party often loudly committed to spending cuts, must grappled with a constituency that is absolutely committed to certain entitlements.

    This, I think, may help explain why Republicans always fall back on the same specific examples of "pork" — public radio, the National Endowment for the Arts, and welfare. Two of those are negligible in the grand scheme of things, and welfare was cut down drastically in the 1990s.

    Many Republicans are in the habit of applying theory without adjusting it to practice, in my opinion. They demand that we avoid taking on more debt, even at times when interest rates are low and deficit spending could be a useful source of stimulus. Ironically, loans are exactly the way many businesses generate necessary capital during tough times.

  62. Amicus Dan Negrottee

    I guess fundamentally I am just speaking of the millennial that is too come and since saying nothing on it is as bottom less as one can presume,well then to where does one go for I came I saw but got conquered doesn't quite feel me with jollies,but hay we know what government is supposed to be for,right?

  63. Amicus Dan Negrotte

    "Many Republicans are in the habit of applying theory without adjusting it to practice, in my opinion." If I were to make a conference to such then I would be pro porting governments seeds are why its institutionalized anyways and no matter what acts they bill up to place people within, I guess comprehension theoretically defines the idiocy we live without the world,in my digression of the sorts,but hay once again I break it like thanks.

  64. Amicus Dan Negrotte

    Who cares, take them out back and well you know. They just bicker over partisans, and becomes a true shame that health is on the back burner of some HMO/P who can easily assess and service the patient on basic needs,but the complication of funding such is every providers nightmare.

  65. Jake_Ackers

    It depends. Considering that Obama has added about the same as Bush and Reagan combined. Plus Clinton would of increased that debt too if it wasn't for Gingrich. Truth is ALL Presidents like to spend money. It's Congress who keeps saying no and ultimately just rollover. Only one we can truly say that was for reducing the debt no matter what was HW Bush and look how they turned out for him.

  66. drs

    Clinton wanted to expand spending, the Republicans wanted tax cuts, which also increase deficits.

    Obama has a much better excuse for debt: this little recession we're still in. Most of the deficit isn't because of anything Obama did. Compare to Bush cutting taxes in a boom.

  67. drs

    Meant to thumbs up, accidentally hit thumbs down.

  68. Trenacker

    Looking at the increase to federal debt during the past five presidencies, FactCheck.org found that, as of January 31, 2012, Obama had increased debt only by 45%, whereas Reagan had increased it by 190%. Our debt has increased substantially as a result of the recession that began in December 2007, before Obama took office.

    All this to say, I don't think Obama has a corner on debt. George W. Bush was an egregious spender of the public dollar by almost any measure, and at a time when citizens are demanding more of their federal government — more money for entitlements — it is hardly any wonder that the deficit is rising. Not that all those entitlements are necessarily unreasonable. While I mourn for our collective failure to engage in deficit-reduction, tax reform, and entitlement reform, I also recognize that we are paying out more each year in Social Security and Medicare benefits, as well as more in unemployment and supplemental nutrition assistance since the downturn.

  69. Jake_Ackers

    Depends on your ideology if cutting taxes work. So thats a different discussion. Gingrich wanted to cut spending,taxes AND balance the budget.

  70. Jake_Ackers

    If Obama's debt is justifiable then Reagan's is even more so. The spending was necessary to defeat the Soviets. Also you can blame Iraq but there was quite a bit of spending directly as a result of 9/11. Can't say that wasn't necessary.

    I think the problem people have with spending is when it is unsure if it worked. Under Bush and Obama not everyone is in agreement if the spending (war and stimulus) was beneficial. I think results speak more to people than theory or what is justifiable or not. Most people whine about entitlement but keep using it.

    HW raised taxes, cut spending and then a recession. Whether a result of it or not. People don't care. They only see there recession. Same with Clinton. Economy was good, only thing people care not so much how.

    Truth is you cut taxes and hope economy grows. You increase spending and hope economy grows. Raise taxes and hope you don't take a hit and revenue increases. People frankly I think just want to pay less (or some one else pay more) and use more. They don't know enough or simply don't care.

  71. drs

    At this point it should be a matter of evidence, not ideology.

  72. drs

    Most of Bush's deficits are from his tax cuts, not the wars. And his tax cuts favored the wealthiest. That's $2 trillion of debt, right there.

  73. Jake_Ackers

    Again depends on your ideology. If these arguments were settled there would be only one party in Washington. Furthermore, the poor got the biggest tax cut. The rate went from 15 to 10%. That's a lot more than the 4.6% decrease the wealthy got.

    And again that is assuming if taxes weren't cut we would of had increased revenue. People forget the tax cuts were also done in response to 9/11 and to the recession we were in. Which could of been akin to the Left spending money. If Gore was President he would of just spent more money which would of resulted in a deficit also. Unless you actually expected him to increase taxes as well as spend more money. Which leads to my next question.

    If its between cutting taxes and cutting spending versus gov't spending and tax increases why do you favor the latter? Do you seriously believe that if we cut taxes and cutting spending wouldn't benefit the economy? At the very least keeping spending the same and cutting taxes.

    Or do you just think we should increase taxes AND cut spending? And I think we all can agree that spending more and lowering taxes is also not a good idea when our debt is through the roof as it is. If its the last one (increase taxes AND cut spending). I can understand, but austerity in a recession is a bad idea. I believe we agreed on that point a few comics back.

    However, I do acknowledge we need certain amount of gov't spending during a recession in order to stimulate it. The point is to save in a good economy and spend in the bad. Even in this recession (despite the deficit) we needed SOME spending. Primarily in the right places and not the random spending to Acorn and this botched supply side economics that was the "cash for clunkers." So my problem is not spending per say, its where it's done (and of course the amount). If you are spending billions and get us out of a recession then sure. Not this "oh it could be worst" so be grateful. if you going to spending this amount of money, you better expect it to do something other than just "stopping thing from getting worst." Yes it could be worst, but it should be better.

    My biggest problem with the Left is this idea that cutting taxes is bad. Not like we cut spending in order to "pay" for the tax cuts, both from a fiscal and ideological standpoint. If you cut taxes, Americans, spend and it stimulates the economy and brings in more revenue. I don't understand how that is better than some politicians coming up with some pork spending project or some program and dunking trillions in it. In addition to the fact that Obama spending is good but Bush and Reagan's spending to stop terrorism (with the exception of Iraq, which understandable) and defeat the Soviets was bad.

  74. Amilam

    Actually the GOP is just fine talking about race, perhaps not as comfortable as the Dem party, but it's easy enough to see.

    Now the Conservative base on the other hand freely swims in racial rhetoric and since they, more than ever, are front and center in talking the GOP, I'd say it's hard to argue that these stereotypes exist simply because of a GOP vacuum.

    While I don't find the GOP racist, they are very much a party of traditional white values in every sense. This is neither inherently good or bad, but it does make appealing to increasingly populous minority groups a hardsell.

  75. loroferoz

    Illegal immigrants don't vote, and they are not citizens. Fine. Let's suppose they know nobody and that nobody cares about them individually in the voting, U.S. citizen Latino population, which is simply not true. They are invisible, and also, they could as well not care about immigration law and policy. For they are already quite afoul of it. Which brings me to…

    Latino-American citizens have relatives who are legal immigrants, some who are not permanent residents, and some who are. Has anyone even stopped for a second to think about the precariousness of their situation? About the difficulties faced by legal immigrants? They get to face and have to comply with the bulk of restrictions, requisites and decrees put in place by immigration and naturalization laws and policies about which illegals and citizens don't care. They are the ones having to show the world that they are law-abiding ALWAYS, they are the ones whose honesty is doubted at every turn, having to carry "papers, please, all of them, or else", they are the ones navigating restrictions on things as basic as getting hired to work, and risking getting expelled if fired, worrying about the ever-present risk of falling into illegality through any oversight to an unaccountable bureaucracy, etc. etc.

    Then there's aspiring legal immigrants who might or not be related to a citizen. They have to face every test known to man about their bona fides, quotas, and backlogs, sometimes of many years, for their applications to even be considered.

    These extremely law-abiding (more so than most citizens) and generally hardworking people DO also eventually become permanent residents and even citizens in spite of the best (or most incompetent) efforts of the INS which have the effect of denying them any peace of mind. They DO NOT FORGET how it was, nor who they have to thank for all the amenities in their long personal Via Crucis. Their U.S. citizen relatives and friends, as co-participants and afflicted parties, have also a surfeit of grievances for voting time. Particularly if incompetence and/or malice succeed and their relative is forced out of the U.S.

  76. kentoikeda

    I'm so jaded by stupid internet comments that I'm actually more upset about the capitalization of the word "white" than I am by their racism.

  77. H Squared

    "Without papers." What is that even supposed to mean? I am Hispanic and I am white. I do not look like what is the stereotype of a Hispanic person. Being Hispanic is not a race, it is an ethnicity. No one can judge what ethnicity you belong to by what the color of your skin. There is no "Hispanic problem"—there are many issues that we face, but none of them pertain exclusively to one race or ethnicity, nor are they caused entirely by one group of people. Your blatant prejudice (as displayed in your comment and other comments on this article and comic) is what contributes to a roadblock in allowing people to come together to solve the issues, put aside their differences and take pride in what they have in common: that they all are Americans. Most people (as I am) would be outraged at the prospect of making people carry their "papers" (whatever documentation you would require to be presented to prove citizenship) simply because they look a certain way. I do not always carry identification with me because I am a normal person living a normal life and I refuse, as most Americans would, to live in fear only because of an arbitrary characteristic: that I identify with a particular ethnicity. Yes, illegal immigration is an issue. But so is same-sex marriage, so is the economy, so is health care, so is our foreign policy. And the one thing all of those have in common is that they are American issues. Thus, they should be solve by Americans, which means listening to Americans who have solutions. And as citizens of the American experiement, the "great American melting pot," if you will, that means excluding no one based on arbitrary characteristics. When have Americans deported people "without papers" in a massive nationwide program? That has never happened. If I am wrong, correct me and cite this "program.".

    By the way, no, you are not excused for the name.

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