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Maybe white conservative voters should have mass orgies where no one wears a condom? Would this guarantee victory in the future?

There are many theories about why Mitt Romney lost on Tuesday.

Some smart folks are talking about the importance of the Democrats' superior ability to microtarget voters, how Obama flipped retrospective voters to evaluate the economy in terms favorable to him, and how efforts at shrinking the electorate through voter suppression actually hurt the Tea Party GOP.

Other smart people are engaging in some real talk as they call out the Republican Party's belief in magic and lies. As I suggested here, the Tea Party GOP is a cult where political orthodoxy serves as a religion. Faith--what is a belief in things that cannot be proved through normal means, appeals to science, or empiricism--has damaged the Right's ability to reason about political reality.

The implications of this dynamic are worrisome: Mitt Romney's defeat, and the Tea Party GOP's surprise at that fact, is a symptom of mass psychosis.

The easy money, what is a sexy story that puts butts in the seats, is being devoted to the puzzle of white voters and how demographic changes have doomed the Republican Party to obsolescence. By comparison, I would suggest that all of the energy that is being spent on figuring out the "white problem" in America's electoral politics is very premature, and tinged by a lack of historical context.

The decline of White America thesis, and what changing demographics will mean for the country's politics and future, is an old and tired trope that has been around since (at least) the end of the Civil War. The befuddlement by the Right-wing media and political establishment in response to their thorough thrashing by President Obama and his coalition of women, young people, and people of color, is focused on how to bring more brown people into the Republican Party.

Here, there is no real interest in altering issue positions to appeal to a broader base; no, the Right is ironically deploying a strategy of political black and brown face quota theater (what they accuse liberals and the Left of doing) where people of color will instinctively come over to the Right because of racial kinship and affinity.

Implicit in their complaining and dismay is a deep vein of white victimology. America is not "their country" anymore; this arrangement is unnatural and unfair. From the perspective of "imperiled," "normal," spoiled, and entitled Whiteness, a President who can win without a majority of white (male) voters does not have a real mandate for change.

The herrenvolk politics of conservative white male America are mirrored by the fears and worries of White Nationalists about the extinction of the "white race" and what their propagandists have termed "demographic winter."

The Republican Party is the United States' de facto White Political Party. Therefore, the Republican Party has a great deal of overlap with racist white people. All Republicans are not racists. However, racially resentful and bigoted white people are much more likely to be Republican and conservative. In all, if one were to draw a Venn diagram of both the Republican Party and White Nationalists, the overlap would be pretty significant.

I am unsure about how the responsible adults in the Republican Party will reclaim their organization and its proud and respectable history.

It is clear that the United States is mired in extreme political polarization. While there is all sorts of silly talk fan fiction about a "second civil war," (which is not going to happen) the more substantive and important concern is how do we rehabilitate the Republican Party so that it can act responsibly as one of the country's two institutional parties. I am also concerned about how the Tea Party GOP's extremism makes the Republican Party a fertile recruiting ground for White Nationalists.

As the "reality" of demographic change in America remains a talking point in the weeks to come, the narrative of white victimology and imperiled Whiteness will become even more common. This cannot be to the benefit of the Common Good. It will be a blessing for white racist organizations, Fox News, and bloviators like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.

A national obsession over the obsolescence of White America in the Age of Obama cannot end well. To paraphrase Langston Hughes, what does Whiteness do when its dreams are deferred? Does it shrivel up? Or does it lash out?

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Republican party, victims of... (10+ / 0-)

    ...the White Horse's-Ass Prophecy!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:42:03 AM PST

  •  ..bringing more brown people in to the party. (5+ / 0-)

    Haven't the Republicans tried that for decades? Haven't they tried to use social wedge issues like LGBT to peel off black voters? Abortion to appeal to Catholic Latinos?

    This doesn't really sound like a new strategy for them, rather it sounds more like, "We didn't clap loud enough, Tinkerbell is still dead!"

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:42:10 AM PST

    •  well romney actually painted himself brown (9+ / 0-)

      for the interview on univision. i guess they are sincere and desperate...couldn't resist.

    •  Here's the thing (4+ / 0-)

      Remember, black people used to (by and large) be Republicans.

      Knowing that, I went back into some black newspaper archives that are available at my library from the pre-FDR days simply to see how black newspapers pitched and shilled for the Republicans prior to FDR.

      What I found out was...yes, you DO get the Republicans lead to more proseprity blah blah blah but even then black people were even more concentrated on civil rights and that's what drew them to the GOP in those days (after the major mistake that some black leaders made in courting Woodrow Wilson, that is).

      Bottom line: if the GOP supported civil rights for blacks or for Latinos, etc., then I think that a number of people in those groups would be attracted to various portions...or maybe even most of the economic arguments.

      But support of civil rights for (fill in the blank of the group) is a prerequisite for anything that the GOP does, period.

      At least that's what the historical record more or less shows.

      At least that's what the Bush family knows.

      •  check out the book (6+ / 0-)

        Farewell to the Party of Lincoln which explains how and why African Americans moved to the Democratic Party.

        •  Oh, I know most of the history (0+ / 0-)

          I mean, 2/3 of (Northern, I suppose) black folks voted for Herbert Hoover in 1932.

          That's how important civil rights were at that time to black people (to me, that's a stunning statistic).

          Considering what had happened the last time that a Dem made it to the WH (Woodrow Wilson) can anyone blame blacks for not trusting FDR

      •  Folks here need to remember the history (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev, OldDragon, Plu, mungley

        of the parties. Both of them. The GOP really was the "Party of Lincoln" and even progressive for a very long time. The "Klanbake" was the 1924 Democratic Convention where the KKK got a plank in the party platform. And in those days the Klan was centered in Illinois and the Midwest. But fortunately scandal rocked the Klan and they imploded, membership fell by 95% in a few years and they lost the clout to affect either party. But a funny thing happened. In 1928 Herbert Hoover looked at the nation and decided he needed the South to win. But how to get them, Republicans had no pull in the South. It was Democratic territory. So he openly started kicking blacks out of his campaign staff to appeal to Southern whites. And it worked. But with the Great Depression hitting him less then a year from his victory he and the Republicans got screwed. FDR wasn't huge on civil rights, but by supporting the poor and middle class he helped blacks out and brought some of them in to the party. But Republicans didn't go "full on racist" until Nixon revived and expanded on Hoover's strategy. And thus, roughly a century after Lincoln, the GOP claimed the mantle of racism. The course of history is often a very strange tale.

        To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:02:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Hoover could kick blacks out in that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ontheleftcoast, mungley

          way because after Wilson, blacks were not going to vote Democratic and Hoover was right about that.

          •  Yeah, Hoover wasn't a complete idiot (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chitown Kev, isabelle hayes

            But he was definitely unprepared to deal with the nation's needs after Oct '29. If the Depression hadn't happened who knows, a conservative, wealthier United States could've ended up supporting Germany in WWII. I've always maintained we got lucky with FDR, the US doesn't automagically "do the right thing" when confronted with crisis. Imagine a Bush the Lesser like figure at the helm in '39 when Hitler invaded Poland?

            To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

            by ontheleftcoast on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:09:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  One more important pt. here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that has contemporary ramifications...

              Even as (Northern) black folks voted 70-75% for FDR, blacks were still very very hesitant to identify themselves as Democrats even at that time; only abt. 50% of (Northern) blacks dentified themselves as Democrats.

              Even with FDR receiving the black support that he did, there was still a stigma (to an extent) attached to the democratic Party in the black community.

              Blacks, of the time, are actually better described as Roosevelt Democrats, they liked the man (sometimes) but not necessarily the party.

              Which gets back to chauncey's thesis here.

              I thought that George W. Bush missed a glorious opportunity to make inroads in the black community with the incompetent handling of Hurricane Katrina by the Bush Administration.

              After all, this pic and this picis every bit as significant as this pic...if you forget the context of the Bush pictures...those Bush pictures occured after Katrina became an absolute debacle.

              Had Bush handled Katrina better, he'd have made some inroads...the GOP would still have had a looooooooooooooooooong way to go, but you have to start somewhere.

              •  There's another lesson to be learned from this (4+ / 0-)

                election. Turn out. If the Democratic party actually did more for the black and other minority communities (like ending criminalization of marijuana, true job growth, etc.) we'd have even better turnout from the minority populations. Why are we excited about 60-70% turnout at election time? Those 30% or more of voters are ones who feel that NEITHER party has anything for them. Why can't Democrats realize that and actually bring real, positive actions that will get those folks to vote and vote Democratic? If that happened we'd never have to put up with a Speaker Boner or even the fear of a President Romney ever again.

                To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

                by ontheleftcoast on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 01:44:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, scaring the voter (3+ / 0-)

                  with "those other guys are so much worse" without really doing anything  simply encourages cynicism of the political and electoral process.

                  FDR (using the Hoover/FDR example) couldn't do everything that was on the agenda (i.e. anti-lynching legislation, deseregating the military) but he began to do somethings to keep those black votes.

        •  Woodrow Wilson was a racist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chitown Kev

          He segregated the US Postal Service and he invited the despicable Klan movie, Birth of a Nation, to premiere at the White House. The most horrendous period for black people after the Civil War took place during Wilson's administration. He gave full rein to public lynchings and the like.

          •  The Democratic party, as a whole, was racist (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chitown Kev

            That was the point I was trying to make. The Klan didn't exactly just barge in and take over the '24 convention. Yes, it was contentious, but it was more like the Tea Party showing up at the 2012 Republican convention.

            To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

            by ontheleftcoast on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:19:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Of course, I know all that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            what did surprise me when I went back and read some historuy of the period, though, is that black leaders courted Woodrow Wilson because they thoght that Republicans (including Teddy Roosevelt) wanted the civil rights issue to maintain a bloc of black (male) votes as opposed to actually doing something about civil rights (and the GOP made the same mistake during Truman's Administration).

            •  Oh, back where this conversation started (0+ / 0-)

              Sure, the GOP could bring more black and brown faces into the party. But it will cost them some of the racist vote.

              The GOP's problem is that if they don't bring more black and brown faces into the party, it may cost them even more in the long run.

  •  No orgies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but there is the quiverfull movement.

    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

    by Inspector Javert on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:54:57 AM PST

  •  This white man says, get the fuck over it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Plu, isabelle hayes, mungley

    If you're not a racist, then you don't fear people of color, and you don't fear them holding the highest office, and you don't buy into all kinds of bullshit conspiracy, and you do not question their citizenship based on race.  They really can all get fucked.  They make me sick to my stomach.

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:57:14 AM PST

  •  But when Donald Trump marches on Washington (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckydog, mungley

    all that will change, and America will regain it's lost blondness.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:59:10 AM PST

  •  Billionaires didn't get what they paid for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes, mungley

    They gave $400 million and more to Karl Rove in return for the Oval Office and congressional seats. In return they got nothing. Sure they're mad at Ole Bait and Switch Rove who promised them the Rose Garden and delivered, instead, an ass kicking.

    The upside is that Old Money Bags can now take their complaints to Senator Warren. She can teach them a lesson about consumer fraud.

  •  The GOP has to give up the Southern Strategy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev, isabelle hayes, mungley

    and focus on economic issues to become competitive.  They have mobilized using race, but demographically it's a loser.  The youngsters are not as committed to racial divisions as the older folks are.  In the last eight years or so, the GOP has been able to ramp up racial divisions, fanning the flame through the use of propaganda and repetition. They've pissed off Latinos, women, and African Americans. Why can't we use their techniques to do the opposite and push back? After all, there are more of us than there are of them. Why can't we make it a point to confront every racist and sexist statement and blitz the country with the same kind of propaganda, only politically correctly, of course.  

    By the way, I am noting that we did indeed reelect President Obama, counter to your predictions, with a full 60% of all voters under 30.  

    •  yeah, chauncey does need to eat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluedust, mungley

      a little crow on his pessimistic predictions.

      Even if the GOP focuses on economic issues, there would have to be SOME discussion of race (given the relationship between race/ethnicity and economic class) but they do need to cutout the full on race baiting and sure...the can get more ethnic votes.

      In Texas, George Bush wasn't simply good at getting the Latino vote, he was also pretty good at getting the black Texan vote, I think he got between 30-35% of black Texans when he was reelected as governor...can't remember where I read that.

      •  no crow, filet mignon. i was playing a different (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        game. go to WARN and see some of the to and fro on the matter.

      •  I wonder if they wouldn't do better by making it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev, mungley

        a complete non-issue and not talking about it at all.  I don't know how it works in every community, but it seems to me that when skin color and ethnicity are out of the equation, individuals's politics in the minority blocks fall across the full spectrum with respect to philosophy and politics.  A lot of Latin governments are pretty conservative and as prone to oligarchy, fascism, and plutocracy as any billionaire could hope for.  (Of course, that's not the demographic that leaves their native country.)

        •  I'm not sure they could get away with "not (0+ / 0-)

          talking about it at all".

          I'm not in favor of having a government based on Chile, Paraguay or even Mexico here.

          "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

          by glorificus on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 06:33:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Older white heterosexual conservatives having (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    mass orgies is just not something I want to be thinking about.

  •  j'aime pas ca: (0+ / 0-)

    "how do we rehabilitate the Republican Party so that it can act responsibly as one of the country's two institutional parties"

    the people of that party aren't good americans, or good world citizens either

    they're either obsessed by their money, their "status", fear of the democratic "mob", fear and hatred of "the other", and other such unworthy positions;

    they're invested in keeping what they have and seeing to it that it doesn't get spread around

    i'll bet even a lot of their children will revolt

  •  But at the same time (0+ / 0-)

    people on the Right demonize the French, the Swedish and various other Europeans, as well as the Canadians and their Nasty Socialist Health Care.

    Maybe they need to start kissing up to them, since one of the main reasons the demographics have changed is immigration.

  •  Can we cancel O'Reilly now? (0+ / 0-)

    O'Reilly is only on TV for his whiteness.

    If we whites are no longer relevant, let's stop having us on tv and the radio 24/7.

    Great diary. Thank you.

    Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

    by mungley on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 03:11:07 PM PST

  •  Republican Party can go to dustbin of history for (0+ / 0-)

    all I care, and that is where they're headed.    

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:17:03 PM PST

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