Republicans continue post-election outreach programs

Following their losses in the 2012 elections, Republican officials across America have stepped up their outreach efforts to improve their standing with black voters, voters over age 65, college students, disaster victims, voters with disabilities and women voters.

• Ron Weiser, finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, continues his party’s outreach to black voters.

• Sen. Tom Coburn explores new strategy for Republican outreach to voters over age 65.

• Florida Republican leaders explain outreach effort to appeal to younger voters.

• Rep. Scott Garrett continues Republican outreach to victims of natural disasters.

• Rick Santorum spearheads Republican outreach to voters with disabilities and those who love them.

• House Republicans outline plan to demonstrate commitment to women and minorities.

• Glenn Reynolds also offers his plan for Republican outreach to women voters.

• Rep. Steve King continues Republican outreach to Latino voters.

 

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  • That Other Jean

    I do hope they all keep it up, loudly.  That way, unless the American people are irreparably stupid, no Republican will ever be elected to any public office, ever again.

  • Tricksterson

    Unless Garrett isn’t planning on running again howthehell does he expect to get re-elected?

  • P J Evans

     Shh – we’re not supposed to notice what he’s actually saying, we’re supposed to just trust him, because he’s a Real True Amercian.

    (Typo unintentional, but I’m leaving it. Dear Ghu, it’s hard to understand how they’re that disconnected from reality and still alive and walking around.)

  • Lori

    If he’s in a skillfully gerrymandered district he can say whatever he wants and as long as he has a pulse and an (R) next to his name he’ll get reelected. We really need to do something about non-partisan redistricting.

  • Turcano

    He’s not.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Do they really have such a tin ear that they think hectoring non-whites is the way to win their hearts and minds?

    This kind of holier-than-thou behavior which assumes that the scales will just fall from the target’s eyes and the light will be seen and the One True Way revealed is very reminiscent of the way Bush’s cabal thought they could run the post-war Iraqi occupation.

  • Gotchaye

     It’s mostly beside the point.  I’m sure there are some who are misguided enough to think that this actually is how to go about appealing to a broader section of the population, but what Lori says just above doesn’t go far enough.  An R next to your name /doesn’t/ guarantee reelection in these highly-gerrymandered districts – you have to win the primary first.  And winning the primary is about winning exactly the people who are going to guarantee that the general election candidate with an R next to his or her name always wins.

    It’s like Gingrich in the presidential primaries.  The point is not to convince black people that he wants what’s best for them or that he’s on their side or even that he particularly likes them.  The point is to be seen to be taking a “tough love” sort of position with respect to black Americans for the benefit of the people who buy Gingrich’s books or who tune in to watch when he’s on TV.  Speaking truth to power, and all that.  Gingrich never had any reason to care what 95% of black Americans thought of what he was saying.

  • P J Evans

    An R next to your name /doesn’t/ guarantee reelection in these
    highly-gerrymandered districts – you have to win the primary first.

    But having the district boundaries drawn by your party makes it so much easier to win.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I thought gerrymandering only helped you win the general election. If you lose a primary because you embarrassed yourself before your constituents, then — yes — your party will still probably keep the seat but only after replacing you with someone else on the ticket.

    (For example, Missouri is a fairly conservative state but I think that the Republicans would have liked to replace Todd Akin with someone else on the ballot, because even a state that leans conservative won’t put up with absolutely anything a Republican says or does. Voters do have a way of shutting that kind of thing down.) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Pretty much, yeah. The problem is, outside of House of Representatives elections, it’s harder and harder to gerrymander enough to win an election without at least being competitive. You have to at least be tolerable during the primaries to people nearer the center, because you can’t get people to just forget about all that stuff when you try to pivot in the general election. 

    Romney kind of got tripped up by that; he was trying to out-scumbag Bachmann, Santorum, and Gingrich, and he more or less succeeded, but he had to run away from all that the moment the convention started because the hardcore right-wingers that control some of the really competitive battleground state primaries are not really representative of even most Republicans, much less most American voters. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I just don’t get how Mitt Romney can commit Republican heresy by conceding that African Americans in particular do not benefit as much as whites do, and for it to go down the Republican memory hole so completely that:

    1. Nobody from the (R) side threw a huge strop over it,

    2. Nobody from the (R) side took the chance to build on that tentative olive branch and begin shifting Republican policies to better benefit people of color.

    I mean, when your leading candidate implicitly concedes that Republican dogma about equality of opportunity is wrong, it should be time to wake up and smell the coffee!

  • Ima Pseudonym

    You know what would be really awesome?  If the congresscritters howling to cut social security, medicare and medicaid had to spend a month or three trying to live on it.  

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    We’ve seen what happens in similar situations. They either succeed with great difficulty, or they give up. They make a statement about how they have a newfound respect for the difficulties americans face. They describe them as heroes.  And then they go right back to trying to cut those programs, happy and self-assured that those noble heroic americans will rise to meet the challenge.

    Because, just like how we can’t have sensible gun control laws, we can’t have sensible public assistance. Because then the people on it wouldn’t be “heroes”, and being a hero is totally worth any death toll.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That and it’s never the same to begin with. For somebody who’s living on a budget equivalent to public assistance in order to find out what it’s like to live on public assistance, giving up and going back to the comfy salary is an option. For someone who is actually, y’know, living on public assistance…

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I know Santorum is both an idiot and an arse, but I’m still surprised at his stance on the convention wrt people with disabilities. Often people like him have less arsey stances on things that have personal experience with (see, Dick Cheney and LGBT rights) , which suggests to me that the problem is a lack of imagination and empathy for people they don’t directly relate to.

    Also, I know a lot of very conservative Catholics and for all the many things we disagree about, as a group they tend to be strong on support for people with disabilities. I don’t know any anti-UN freaks, though, so I guess it’s a shock for me to see the UN crap outweight the usually admirable disability position.

  • Jeff

    As a Republican, I don’t love the idea of “outreach”, because it can come across as pandering, which is what Democrats do.  But it is a tough problem.  If Republicans believe that their agenda and values — strong families, personal responsibility, fiscal restraint, individual liberties, etc. — are congruent with those of non-white constituenices, but those constituencies overwhelmingly vote Democratic, what accounts for this, and what can be done about it?  So the perception seems to be that it’s perhaps a matter of better messaging.  And who will deliver that messaging?  Certainly not the media!  It’s an interesting parallel with faith.  Christians believe that the Gospel is important and that people would respond favorably to it, if they heard it.  But so many don’t want to hear it; at least, not packaged in its familiar trappings.  How to present it in a way that people will respond to?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Have you considered that perhaps the problem isn’t the messaging but the message?

    Because, you know, people whose primary political concern is that they’re on the low end of the income disparity tend to object to political efforts to move money from folks with not much to folks with lots. People whose primary political concern is the ability to not have another baby tend to object to political efforts to make contraception and abortion less accessible. People whose primary political concern is the way that poor and imprisoned demographics skew brown while rich demographics skew white tend to object to political efforts to enforce that disparity including but not limited to stopping black folks on suspicion more often per hundred black folks than stopping white folks on suspicion per hundred white folks (which, since black folks and white use drugs at about the same rate, means the people busted for possession are a higher percentage black than the local population is), enforcing harsh drug sentences more often on poor black folk than on rich white folk, and for-profit prisons.

  • Jeff

    Well, I do think that at least part of the problem is that people like you, and the politicians you (presumably) support, distort the Republican message, and are apparently able to persuade minority voters that your distorted version of the message is the actual message.  A fine example is the way you reflexively grasp for the class warfare card.  No one advocates taking money away from the poor and giving it to the rich; your caricature is even more extreme than the Obama campaign’s, and that’s saying something.  Have the intellectual honesty to say what Republicans *actually* support. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    No one advocates taking money away from the poor and giving it to the rich

    Which clearly explains why companies making record profits pay no taxes (GE) and/or get massive subsidies (oil companies), why I pay a higher percentage of my income in taxes than Mitt Romney does when he makes in ten hours what I earn in a year, and why predatory lending institutions continue to exist.

  • EllieMurasaki

    (If you’re going to go on about intellectual honesty, it might behoove you to look at what Republican policies actually do.)

    (It’s only class warfare when the underclass start making noise about maybe striking back.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, and let’s not forget all the companies–Walmart leading the pack–where the astoundingly high profits for the owners are at least in part due to paying the employees less than a living wage and hiring two people at twenty hours a week apiece rather than one at forty a week who would consequently have to be paid benefits.

  • Lori

     

    Oh, and let’s not forget all the companies–Walmart leading the
    pack–where the astoundingly high profits for the owners are at least in
    part due to paying the employees less than a living wage and hiring two
    people at twenty hours a week apiece rather than one at forty a week
    who would consequently have to be paid benefits.   

    The kicker being that many Walmart employees need food stamps as a result of this policy. Which means that tax payers are subsidizing increasing the vast fortune of people who are already fabulously wealthy for no reason other than being direct descendents of Sam Walton.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     No one advocates taking money away from the poor and giving it to the rich

    I must have imagined all those calls for tax cuts on the rich and reductions in “entitlement” spending then. Because that is exactly what those things do. And you know that.

  • Jeff

    There are no calls by anyone for tax cuts on the “rich”, which you know perfectly well.  Republicans advocate maintaining the current taxation levels, as opposed to increasing the tax rate on high earners, which the President supports.  The President advocates this primarily as a mechanism to close the deficit.  The problem, of course, is that the tax increase he advocates is at least an order of magnitude apart from the magnitude of the deficit.  So it won’t really help fight the deficit, and it may do harm, if you believe that the small business owners (or at least, the ones who pay their business taxes on their individual returns) will (as an aggregate) hire less if more of their profit goes to the gov’t.

    The calls for reductions in entitlement spending reflect the fact, agreed upon by all, that current and projected levels of entitlement spending are unsustainable in the long term.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you want a dollar of government spending to produce nearly two dollars in economic activity, give that dollar to a poor person in food stamps or unemployment benefits. If you want that dollar to produce thirty cents or so in economic activity, give that dollar to a rich person in tax cuts (personal or corporate) or subsidies to established businesses.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    There are no calls by anyone for tax cuts on the “rich”, which you know perfectly well.

    Fine, the GOP wishes to extend the tax cuts Bush II signed into law, which would otherwise expire, and are fighting to the wire to include people earning over $250,000 per year. The current position requires positive action to remain such, and the Republicans are fighting to do that. If that’s somehow different to wanting a tax cut to you, then so be it, but it looks indistinguishable from where I’m standing.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    There are no calls by anyone for tax cuts on the “rich”

    Romney’s plan included a “permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates” as well as eliminating the estate tax and repealing the AMT.

  • Lori

     

    if you believe that the small business owners (or at least, the ones
    who pay their business taxes on their individual returns) will (as an
    aggregate) hire less if more of their profit goes to the gov’t.   

    I do not. Because I A) know actual small business owners and B) have looked at economic history.

     

    The calls for reductions in entitlement spending reflect the fact,
    agreed upon by all, that current and projected levels of entitlement
    spending are unsustainable in the long term.  

    The fact that you believe, or would at least say that you believe, that this fact is “agreed upon by all” tells me that your information sources are severely limited and not very good.

  • Jeff

    Lori, are you aware of economists who argue that running a $1T annual budget deficit, and the continued growth of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are sustainable into the future without a fiscal catastrophe?

    Maybe you actually do.  But even so, my point was simply that the allegation that Republicans wish to cut entitlement spending because they’re racists is as ridiculous as ridiculous can be.  Republicans want to cut entitlement spending because they don’t believe it’s sustainable.  And they’re right.  But if you have an information source that is not severely limited who can explain how spending $1T more than we take in can work out, by all means, please explain it to poorly-sourced me.  Do you run your own household with 33% more spending than income, and how does that work out for you? 

  • Carstonio

    If you want to be taken seriously, don’t compare national economies to household budgets. And don’t engage in pearl-clutching over accusations of racism. I’m not particularly interested in whether Republican lawmakers are motivated by racism or sexism. What matters is how the treat minorities and women, in their rhetoric and in their policies. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2011/05/11/9625/exxon-mobil-dodges-the-tax-man/
    If we ended a whole bunch of federal subsidies to business entities that don’t need subsidies (I don’t have the data to tell you which categories of entities I mean, but ‘highly profitable oil companies’ is at the top of the list), and if we taxed capital gains at the same rates as labor income (or, preferably, at higher rates than labor income), and if we put a fuck of a lot more effort into making sure everyone able and willing to be employed is employed at a living-wage job and can thus pay more in federal tax withholdings than they get in the annual federal tax refund, the deficit problem would quietly go away. It’d go away faster if we cut the military budget to the size the Pentagon wants, and faster yet if we cut the military budget so that we are outspending the second-highest-military-budget country by a little instead of by a lot.
    But that would take money away from rich people and it would take penis size away from powerful people and it would provide concrete benefits to not-rich people, so Republicans won’t ever support it.

  • Lori

     

    Republicans want to cut entitlement spending because they don’t believe it’s sustainable.    

    Jeff, you are aware of the size of the US military budget are you not? If the issue is unsustainable spending why isn’t the GOP taking an axe to the Pentagon’s budget?

     

    Do you run your own household with 33% more spending than income, and how does that work out for you?    

    I can only assume that you are unaware of the difference between macro & micro economics. If you were aware you would know that this tired old “Bev & Jim at the kitchen table, going over the bills” bit is inaccurate and irrelevant. It makes the ill-informed feel clever and that makes it easier for those who actually know what’s what to manipulate them, but it bears no actual relationship to the way the budget of a sovereign nation operates.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, there’s some resemblance. Households with more expenses than income can and (at least sometimes) do solve that by increasing their income. Case in point: hi. In the first half of December, I worked 88.25 hours. Full time with no overtime at this job is 75. Shockingly, my paycheck yesterday (after all the taxes and things came out) was more’n twenty percent higher than my paycheck from any pay period where I worked no overtime.

    But suggest that the federal government increase its revenues and Republicans stick their fingers in their ears and go LA LA LA.

  • Lori

    Good point.

  • Turcano

    Moreover, Brad Hicks has pointed out that when conservatives compare a government budget to a family budget, they usually ignore a distinction in the type of family budget, a distinction that turns out to be very important.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Do you run your own household with 33% more spending than income, and how does that work out for you?

    Unlike the federal government, I can’t print my own money.

    But if it takes spending 33% more than I make, you bet your fucking life I will do it because the alternative is “Which of the kids do we stop feeding?”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    If the growth of GDP (national production) outpaces the growth of government spending, the deficit automatically shrinks over time as a concern.

  • P J Evans

     Social Security is not a budget item and IS NOT PART OF THE DEFICIT.
    It’s paid for by payroll deductions invested in T-bills. IT IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT.
    Medicare is paid for by payroll taxes. IT IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT.
     And if the Republicans in Congress weren’t owned by corporations, we could have had a health-care program that works a lot better and is less expensive. But no, everything that was proposed that would have done that was ‘socialism’ and ‘wouldn’t work in the US’, even when there are programs that work exactly the same way already in existence, successfully, in the US.

    The Republicans lie a lot.

  • Jeff

    ” Social Security is not a budget item and IS NOT PART OF THE DEFICIT. It’s paid for by payroll deductions invested in T-bills. IT IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT. Medicare is paid for by payroll taxes. IT IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT.”

    PJ, you should bring this to the President’s attention immediately.  According to his FY13 budget submission, he is under the apparently mistaken impression that the $820B we are projected to spend on Social Security, and $628B we are projected to spend on Medicare, ARE part of the $3,656B in total outlays that the government will make in FY13, and he, apparently erroneously, subtracts that from the $2,902B in projected receipts to show a $901B deficit.  See for yourself:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/tables.pdf

    You need to let your President know that he is lying, or clueless, about how the federal budget works!

  • EllieMurasaki

    Disqus is still philosophically opposed to killfiles, right? So how come it looks like Jeff has killfiled me?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Because you scare him, I suppose.

  • Lori

    I suspect it’s because he can’t think of a (faux) clever response to you. It apparently isn’t your female user name because he answered me.

    So, congratulations! You’ve apparently won this round of “stump the winger”. I think that means you get a year’s supply of car wax.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Woot. I’d rather a set of tires, because I need tires and don’t know what to do with car wax except that it is probably external application only, but woot.

  • Lori

     I don’t recall ever seeing anyone win tires on a game show. There was one, I want to say it was The Price Is Right way back in the day that did give away car wax on more than one occasion. I remember it because it seemed like a less than thrilling prize, not least because it creates work for the winner. It’s not like that stuff puts itself on. I guess the assumption back then was that everyone was already waxing their car on a regular basis.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Wait, the prize is CAR wax?  I thought you said EAR wax.

    …I need to empty a barrel.  Be back in a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    You are allowed to ignore someone without the use of a killfile, though I’ll admit one would be great in this case.

    (Not because of you, of course, but for that one asshole who keeps posting 30 Youtube videos one-by-one and taking over entire threads.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    I emailed Fred about him. He hasn’t said anything yet today, has he? Maybe Fred actually banned him.

  • Gotchaye

    I think Stephanie Kelton and others who accept something like Modern Monetary Theory would affirm something like “we can run a $1T annual budget deficit and do better than we would running a smaller deficit for the foreseeable future”.  Although maybe they don’t count on the technicality that they’d want to create a lot of that additional money each year in a way that doesn’t pay interest (printing) rather than creating all of it in a way that provides rents to the financial sector (borrowing).

    Regardless, very few people on the left are actually advocating $1T deficits and unconstrained growth of entitlements.  Most expect the deficit to come down substantially as the economy picks up, and only want a very large deficit now because it saves money in the long run compared to austerity (which many European countries have been forced into, to terrible results).  Virtually all are also happy to endorse proven cost-saving reforms to our health care spending problem, such as the French or German model, which is much more than I can say for everyone on the right without the intellectual honesty to just admit that their plan is to let the poor go without.

    It’s also a little strange to talk about a “Medicare problem” when Medicare is absolutely wonderful compared to private sector health care. Put everyone on Medicare, raise taxes by the difference between what we spend on private health care and what we’d be spending if everyone were on Medicare, and watch as we start running surplus after surplus for longer than we can reasonably hope to predict. Although, really, there’s no reason to raise taxes quite that high. We waste a /ton/ of money on private health care.

  • Jeff

    Good points Gotchaye, and I think we’re all hoping for the economic recovery to kick in to get the “receipts” column of the budget up; that would certainly mitigate many of the concerns about how to accommodate increasing levels of entitlement spending.  But even the president’s budget projects $600-700B out to FY22 at least, and that’s under the (dubious) assumption that Obamacare will be deficit-neutral or will actually reduce the deficit.  And again, my point with the deficit/entitlements was simply that wanting to restrain entitlement spending growth isn’t reflective of racism on the part of Republicans.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    And again, my point with the deficit/entitlements was simply that
    wanting to restrain entitlement spending growth isn’t reflective of
    racism on the part of Republicans.

    Yeah, I have not trouble believing Republicans hate all poor people, regardless of race, creed or color.  It’s all the OTHER stuff they do that makes me think the GOP panders to racists.  See:  Birth Certificate, the state of Arizona, vote suppression…

  • EllieMurasaki

    the (dubious) assumption that Obamacare will be deficit-neutral or will actually reduce the deficit

    Meet Jack. Jack is diabetic. Jack is uninsured. Because there is no currently effective provision in the law to prohibit insurance companies from denying potential customers for preexisting conditions unless the customers in question are under nineteen or have been uninsured at least six months (Jack is neither), Jack cannot get insurance.

    Insulin costs a fuckton if insurance isn’t helping.

    By careful dietary management, Jack can keep himself from having too high or too low blood sugar. But all it takes is one time overestimating how much sugar he can eat at this sitting to put Jack in the emergency room.
    Emergency room treatment costs a FUCKTON.

    How is it less expensive to pay for Jack’s emergency room visits than to pay for Jack’s insulin?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    By careful dietary management, Jack can keep himself from having too
    high or too low blood sugar.

    If this is true, Jack is moderately lucky.

    If it remains true for the entire rest of his life after he’s diagnosed, Jack is exceptionally lucky.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Hence the emergency room visits.

  • Lori

     

    And again, my point with the deficit/entitlements was simply that
    wanting to restrain entitlement spending growth isn’t reflective of
    racism on the part of Republicans.   

    Funny how the entitlements that they want to “restrain” disproportionately effect non-whites and the GOP sells their entitlement restraint plans using very thinly veiled racism to get their base all fired up. Notice y’all never talk about cutting corporate welfare (as was mentioned in one of Elie’s posts that you’re apparently ignoring) or even entitlements that predominantly benefit middle class whites, like the mortgage credit (which I think someone else mentioned earlier). The GOP has worked very hard for many years now at convincing people that “entitlements” exclusively means welfare payments collected strictly by lazy people, almost all of whom are black and brown. (If you try to say that’s not the case you have either not been paying attention, you’re not very perceptive or you’re lying because you don’t want to own what you support.)

    But sure, if you ignore all that then the GOP plan isn’t reflective of racism at all.

  • Jeff

    “The GOP has worked very hard for many years now at convincing people that “entitlements” exclusively means welfare payments collected strictly by lazy people, almost all of whom are black and brown. ”

    Lori, most of the conversation during the Presidential campaign focused on structural reforms to Medicare, and Medicare recipients are 85% over the age of 65 and 80% white.  The purpose of the proposed reforms is entirely to make the program financially solvent.  You presumably disagree with the GOP’s proposed approach, but to continue to insist that it is due to racism just can’t be sustained. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Citation needed.

    ‘Medicare’ is not a thing that comes to mind when I think ‘welfare’. Food stamps, unemployment benefits, and TANF are, and those are [perceived to be] predominantly beneficiaries of color. And Medicare beneficiaries are worse off economically than the general population. Classism is really not an improvement over racism.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    “Most of the campaign focused on Medicare” is pretty false, but one of Romney’s very big points was “Don’t worry, elderly voters. I’m not taking away your medicare. Just your kids'”

    There was also a fair amount of effort in the campaign by repulbicans trying to convince eldery voters that Obama was going to take away  their medicare.

  • Jeff

    Most of the *discussion about entitlement spending reform* during the campaign focused on Medicare. 

  • Lori

     Repeating an assertion does not make it a fact.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Which doesn’t erase the facts that, one, racist discussion about reforming other entitlements took place during the campaign, two, reforming Medicare in a way that hurts its current beneficiaries and prevents younger people who are all-else-equal to current beneficiaries from being future beneficiaries is classist, and three, the problem here is still the Republican message, not the Republican messaging.

  • Gotchaye

     I recall that being technically true, but not in a way that reflects well on the Republicans.  Much of the primary was a competition to establish who hated Obamacare more.  I don’t recall much talk about specific reforms; the message was basically just “Obama’s reform is bad”.  Romney wasn’t much better after winning the nomination; he obviously wasn’t in a position to talk up the benefits of his own favored reform.

    The Ryan pick changed things somewhat.  Attacks on Obamacare became a bit more specific, with the campaign spending a lot of time attacking Obama for making the same cut Ryan himself proposed.  Romney and Ryan ran away from the specifics in the Ryan plan (although, to be fair, this was Romney’s policy on specifics for any spending cut or tax increase).  Eventually, the campaign came out with a modified version of Ryan’s voucher scheme, which was basically “don’t get sick”.  Of course, it actually wasn’t that bad, since the first part of the plan was “do nothing for ten years”, and the same political calculation that caused Romney/Ryan to put off implementation for that long made it a pretty safe bet that it would be put off by another ten years ten years later.

    And that’s pretty much all I remember.  I guess there was some talk, as there always is, of allowing people to buy insurance across state lines.  The idea there is to save money by triggering a race to the bottom, where healthy people can buy cheaper insurance from states that don’t require insurance companies to cover relatively rare or expensive conditions or which give insurance companies relatively more power to deny coverage after the fact.  I’m not sure that anyone seriously thought this would produce better outcomes; it’s just another form of “don’t get sick”, and it saves money on average by denying health care to people who really need it.

  • Lori

     

    Lori, most of the conversation during the Presidential campaign focused
    on structural reforms to Medicare, and Medicare recipients are 85% over
    the age of 65 and 80% white.  The purpose of the proposed reforms is
    entirely to make the program financially solvent.  You presumably
    disagree with the GOP’s proposed approach, but to continue to insist
    that it is due to racism just can’t be sustained.     

    I don’t think that “most of the conversation during the Presidential campaign focused
    on structural reforms to Medicare” and I’m inclined to think that you do because you believe that’s a winning argument for the GOP, but I’ll play along.

    First, classism is not an improvement on, nor does it preclude racism.

    Second, The changes that the GOP is pushing for Medicare would disproportionately effect poor people of color, so there’s that.

    Third, the purpose of the proposed reforms is most certainly not to entirely to make the program financially solvent, it’s to get rid of the program. You are either in deep, deep denial or you’re getting all your news from Right wing sources or you think we’re stupid. None of those are good.

  • Gotchaye

    I’m also curious to know what parts of Obamacare you’re worried about, but I mostly wanted to note that if the expected budget deficit  for FY22 is $650B, then we’re in pretty good shape.  That sort of deficit would stabilize debt/GDP at about 1, assuming 3% average GDP growth.

  • Jeff

    “I mostly wanted to note that if the expected budget deficit  for FY22 is $650B, then we’re in pretty good shape.  That sort of deficit would stabilize debt/GDP at about 1, assuming 3% average GDP growth.”

    Well, then you’ll be cheered by the President’s budget, which projects 7% economic growth over the next decade!  Although that would certainly be a great thing; even the 3% you predict would be great, but it does seem optimistic in the current configuration. 

    The problem is that the President’s budget has to assume for roaring levels of growth to get the Receipts column high enough to run only a $700B deficit.  If the economy grows more slowly than 7%, or Obamacare adds substantially to the Outlays column, or something catastrophically bad and expensive happens between now and then, then the deficits will be much higher, and the ratio of debt to GDP will correspondingly be much higher as well.  The prospect of $25T  of publicly held debt even in the President’s (overly) optimistic scenario seems alarmingly high to me, and the scenario in which we have about $20T in GDP and $30+T in debt seems much more likely, and would be even worse.  At what point does the debt burden become unsustainable, do you think?  Even the 100% ratio that you seem comfortable with seems too high to me, but I’ll admit to not being an economist.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you’re so worried about the debt, why are you so opposed to bringing the taxes on very rich people and highly profitable companies up and the tax breaks such people get down? Increasing household income is a time-honored way of reducing household debt, which (since you’re so sure the government budget should work like a household budget) must hold true for the government.

  • Lori

    If the GOP was actually worried about the deficit they wouldn’t be literally holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage in order to hang onto the Bush takes cuts for high earners.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3873

    See that big brown stip in the middle that’s getting bigger? That’s the thing the GOP is willing to wreck the country to keep. There is no reason to take Republicans seriously about the deficit as long as they hold this position.

    As for when the debt becomes unsustainable, I’d say it’s at some point well after people stop wanting to throw money at the US government because it’s the best deal available. It’s funny how the GOP and it’s patrons wanted us all to be terrified of the “bond vigilantes” when they supposedly hated the debt, but when investors demonstrate that they don’t think it’s a problem we’re all supposed to ignore them.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I normally discount the more alarmist predictions of people like Shadow Government Statistics, but the writer on that website has a point:

    If economic growth doesn’t keep pace with a mounting discrepancy between revenues and spending, sooner or later the US government will be forced to fill the gap with the printing press.

    It seems like the Republicans are trying to figure out a way to make it so they can stick the Dems with that albatross and escape all responsibility in their brinkmanship games making that scenario more likely and not less likely.

  • Lori

     

    It seems like the Republicans are trying to figure out a way to make it
    so they can stick the Dems with that albatross and escape all
    responsibility in their brinkmanship games making that scenario more
    likely and not less likely.  

    I suspect that at least some of them are thinking exactly this. Their 4 year project to make Obama a one term president failed so they have to find some way to turn his 2nd term to their advantage. One way to do that is to make sure the inevitable consequences of their policies land during his 2nd term so that he takes the fall.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, then you’ll be cheered by the President’s budget, which projects
    7% economic growth over the next decade!  Although that would certainly
    be a great thing; even the 3% you predict would be great, but it does
    seem optimistic in the current configuration.

    As EllieMurasaki said, Citation Needed.

    Because this sounds like you’re hoping to re-appropriate a gimmick Reagan’s economics folks used, where THEY predicted 7% per year throughout the 1980s to sell their recipe, which included some fairly steep tax cuts without concomitant sharp spending cuts (except of course to welfare).

    In doing so it seems like you want to try and take the lie that was exposed in Reagan’s time and hope you can smear Obama with it and not get asked by someone else why your accusation is so similar to something that happened on the (R) side.

  • Jeff

    I linked to it earlier, but here again is the President’s budget submission for FY2013:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/tables.pdf

    Look specifically at Table S-1. 

    The current GDP is about $15T, and the budget projects a GDP of about $25T by FY22.  That requires an annual growth rate of about 6%.  My earlier quick back-of-the-envelope calculation appears to have been off a bit on slightly more careful back-of-the-envelope analysis.  Regardless, 6%, 7%, neither seems particularly likely.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Are you calculating the growth rate using the simple or compound formula?

    (EDIT: Also, those don’t look like constant dollars. Those look like nominal dollars.)

  • Ross Thompson

    Do you run your own household with 33% more spending than income, and how does that work out for you?

    In that situation, one might almost think about going to one’s boss and asking for a raise. And yet, for some reason, the Republican answer is to slash the government’s income still further. Why do you think that is?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     for some reason, the Republican answer is to slash the government’s income still further. Why do you think that is?

    The phrase ‘small enough to drown in a bathtub’  springs to mind for some reason.

  • Demonhype

     Dishonesty again.  You know damned well that the current rates mean that the rich are paying infinitely lower tax rates than working class people, and all we’re asking is the rich should pay their fair share.  The Republicans want to raise taxes on the working class and even the working poor (by removing the work-credit system) while leaving the low rates for the rich and even cutting them further.  Even leaving them where they are amounts to tax cuts for the rich, since their tax rates are a joke.  And you know it.  But keep trying to obfuscate the situation and blow smoke over reality.  It did your party so much good in the 2012 election, after all.

    People aren’t stupid, and when your message is “screw you, I got mine”, at some point there’s no way you can frame it to mask the reality that most of us are living with every day.

  • EllieMurasaki

    And let’s not forget the Republican insistence that the proper place for a woman is working in the home to raise her kids with no pay save her allowance from her husband’s paycheck. Unless she’s a poor single mom, in which case how dare she do anything but work a sixty-hour week every week. And should she go on food stamps and attempt to get out of poverty, better make sure to set the asset rules concerning food stamps such that she has no way of accumulating a thousand-dollar emergency fund, let alone a three-, six-, or twelve-months-of-expenses emergency fund, without the food stamps being yanked out from under her such that she has to withdraw savings to keep enough calories coming in. (If she’s lucky enough to live in a state where her car doesn’t count toward her assets.)

    In case you have never felt the need to search out personal finance advice, the very first thing every personal finance advisor says everyone should do is save at least a thousand dollars, preferably enough to cover
    all living expenses for at least a few months, for in case of emergency.

  • Beroli

    Jeff, I am, for the moment, presuming you have at least a soupcon of honesty here.

    Your first sentence in this comment says “…the Republican message.” Your third says “advocates.” Your fourth and final sentence says “support.”

    Those are three different concepts. Generally, for those of us who observe that the Republican Party is now synonymous with money and power being ever-more-concentrated in the hands of a small cluster of straight, white men, the last one–“support”–is the one that matters. Saying “fiscal restraint, personal responsibility” rather than, “Rob the poor to feed the rich!” means nothing, the fact that your fiscal policies amount to money flowing from the poor to the rich means everything. Not all the talking points about “job creators,” not all the blithe assertions that lower taxes on the wealthy inherently mean greater economic growth, change the real-world effects of the policies the Republican Party pushes for.

    But by all means, double down on your belief that everyone wants to be a Republican if you can just find the right phrasing to tell them what being a Republican means.

  • Lori

     

    No one advocates taking money away from the poor and giving it to the
    rich; your caricature is even more extreme than the Obama campaign’s,
    and that’s saying something.  

    Have you actually looked at the polices currently be advocated by your party Jeff? And no, watching Fox News doesn’t count. I mean, have you actually sat down and looked at a fact-based report on what your party is currently doing? Because they are advocating taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich. That is not a caricature, it’s fact.

     

    Have the intellectual honesty to say what
    Republicans *actually* support.    

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

  • Tricksterson

    Okay, as someone who used to vote Republican, than said to hell with both parties and now reluctantly iuews the Democrats as the lesser of the two dominant evils, what do Republicans really stand for?  Give concrete examples please, not platitudes

  • EllieMurasaki

    Christians believe that the Gospel is important and that people would respond favorably to it, if they heard it. But so many don’t want to hear it; at least, not packaged in its familiar trappings. How to present it in a way that people will respond to?

    If you take out all the bits about two people (or, in most framings, one person, and by implication all the people with the same bits between the legs as that person) being responsible for all the wrong in the world, and about one person relieving the rest of us of all responsibility for the things we’ve done wrong, and about forgiveness for wrongdoing being in the hands of God rather than of the wrong-done-to, and (if you want to go for bonus points in the form of starting with conservative Christianity rather than the liberal Christianity our host subscribes to) about wealth being a sign of God’s favor and about sex being a thing to reserve for marriage and childbearing (and God forbid there be one of the three without the other two) and about the ‘loving’ response to someone who’s not following this religion’s rules (even if they are faithfully following the rules of their own religion, or behaving in accordance with their non-religiously-based code of ethics) being to smack them with this religion’s rules and threaten them with eternal punishment for finite wrongs (that are only wrongs because this religion says they’re wrong)…

    Well, it wouldn’t look a hell of a lot like the Christianity you started with, but it might attract the people who have run screaming from the Christianity you started with on account of all the above flaws of said Christianity.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Wait, no, I think I mischaracterized liberal Christianity, my apologies, bump the part of my previous comment about Adam and Eve from the all-of-Christianity section to the conservative-Christianity section. Maybe the bit about assuming that the person upset and/or bleeding by a hurtful act is of no relevance to whether the person who did the hurtful act is forgiven for it, too. And add a bit to the conservative-Christianity section about the conservative-Christian requirement that its adherents subscribe to the bullshit belief that evolutionary biology is itself bullshit and the other bullshit belief that humans are incapable of doing large-scale and/or permanent damage to the planet and (in many cases) the other bullshit belief that Jesus is coming Real Soon Now to whisk the True Believers off to paradise and torment the rest of us for the rest of ever.

  • wendy

    Here’s a start, one free pro-tip:

    Black voters. More than 30% are solidly conservative — on economics, on foreign policy, on crime, on guns and abortion and family and personal responsibility and a whole host of other issues. Yet they’ve been voting more than 90% Democrat since the 1960’s. Because voter suppression is a dealbreaker. VOTING RIGHTS is their a-number-one issue. 

    They will happily stand in line 8 hours to vote for somebody they disagree with on every single other thing when one party wants to make it easier to vote and the other party wants to make it harder to vote. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    That hadn’t occurred to me but it makes sense. And if it’s true, given that the reason Republicans are suppressing the black vote (at least the reason they’re saying out loud for why they’ve been doing it recently) is the overwhelming Democraticness of the black vote, then Republicans really are trying to fuck themselves running, aren’t they?

  • Demonhype

     Oh, but that wasn’t voter suppression!  The Republicans totally think black people should have the right to vote!  They just think that it should be contingent on jumping through various pricey hoops that mostly only middle-class and rich white Republican voters can afford!  See!  Equality!

    I feel sick even trying to channel their duplicity.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, I think they’d be a lot happier if they could figure out how to reinstate poll taxes and literacy tests and grandfathered-in voters without running afoul of the laws saying that that’s racist bullshit and not allowed.

    Though today I don’t think it’d work. Too many brown voters have money and/or can read and/or have grandparents who could vote.

  • hidden_urchin

    Let’s all take a minute to think nice things about LBJ.  The guy may have had problems with Vietnam but he certainly got a lot of good social policies enacted- the Voting Rights Act being one of them.

  • EllieMurasaki

    *toasts*

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Indeed. Reading Joe Califano and Vincent Bugliosi really rehabilitated him in my eyes a few years back.

  • BC

    If Republicans believe that their agenda and values — strong families, personal responsibility, fiscal restraint, individual liberties, etc.  
    Well, as someone who never, never votes Republican, I can tell you that this is NOT the Republican agenda that was acted on during the Bush and Republican Congress days.  “Strong families” = anti-gay, that’s all the Republicans ever did to help create “strong” families.  “Personal responsibility” = not taking responsibility for the effect of their policies on the Great Recession, trying mightily to push the blame onto minority homeowners.  “Fiscal restraint” = I’m laughing at this;  have you seen the chart that shows how we got to the large debt we now have?  It’s Bush tax cuts, Iraq war, Afghanistan war, and the Part D (prescription) Medicare.  All Republican ideas, the Republicans even went so far as refusing Medicare the right to bargain for lower drug costs that the VA health system uses to keep costs down.   Also, Dick Cheney famously said , “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.”   “Individual liberties” = Patriot Act, anyone?   This, too, is Republican idea.   For women:  The Republican fetish for anti-abortion legislation pushes medical tests for non-medical reasons (ultrasounds) and attempts to propagandize women for a political reason.  At the same time, Republicans are slashing spending on WIC, which helps pregnant and lactating women and infants and young children maintain a healthy diet for a developing and growing child.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    BC, I regret that I have but one like to give to your comment.

  • Demonhype

     Yes, dishonest Republican is dishonest.  What’s new?  All those “good values” he touts are dogwhistles for their racism, sexism, bigotry, and robbery of the poor that is inevitably enacted in their policies every time they get into power and those policies inevitably ruin the country worse each time.

    And all this whinging about abortion from them, about how it’s for “the poor innocent little babbies” and how much they care about children–but then they enact policies that will ensure those poor babies don’t have proper nutrition.  Or housing.  Or education.  Because in reality, their motivation is to punish a “whore” for the crime of having had sex at any point, and they don’t care one whit about the poor innocent little babies.  If that baby they fought so hard to ensure would be brought to term against the mother’s will starves or dies of a treatable disease or freezes–well, that’s the mother’s punishment for being a WHORE.  There’s also the mentality that a child is a bit of property, so as far as the right-wing is concerned, tax money going to ensure a proper diet for a poor child is EXACTLY the same as tax money going to buy that poor person a Mustang.  It’s a twisted mentality, and I can’t imagine how any of them manage to live with themselves.

  • Lori

     

    As a Republican, I don’t love the idea of “outreach”, because it can come across as pandering, which is what Democrats do.   

    It’s always nice when someone’s first sentence serves as fair warning not to pay any attention to anything they have to say. It’s so polite and considerate.

    If Republicans believe that their agenda and values — strong families,
    personal responsibility, fiscal restraint, individual liberties, etc.   

    Individual Republicans may believe in these things, but as a party the GOP do not believe in any of them. If we as a nation are very fortunate, the days when the GOP could use these supposed values as a smokescreen are coming to an end.

     

    How to present it in a way that people will respond to?   

    Not holding them in contempt would be a good place to start. As would stopping the practice of using values, which as I noted are a lie at the party level, as a tool of control.

    IOW, the GOP needs to be a totally different organization than it currently is.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    As a Republican, I don’t love the idea of “outreach”, because it can come across as pandering, which is what Democrats do

    Implicit in this statement is the idea that the default member of the party is a white male, otherwise there’d be no “out” in the reaching. Trust me, there’s a big difference between “including” and “pandering”, and the people you consider “out” are aware of the difference.

  • Jeff

    “Implicit in this statement is the idea that the default member of the party is a white male, otherwise there’d be no “out” in the reaching.”

    No, it’s not at all, but thanks for calling me a racist.  Rather, the statement reflects the belief on the part of Republicans that the party’s values have universal appeal, and don’t need to be packaged and presented differently to different constituencies.  

  • Lori

    the belief on the part of Republicans that the party’s values have
    universal appeal, and don’t need to be packaged and presented
    differently to different constituencies.   

    Even assuming that this is true, the GOP so strongly favors one constituency (aging white men*) over all the other constituencies that it’s main packaging and presentation is racist, misogynist and homophobic. Here’s a tip for you and the rest of the GOP from those of us who are not old, white men—we can hear you.

    *ETA: Aging white men living in the South

  • Consumer Unit 5012

      Rather, the statement reflects the belief on the part of Republicans
    that the party’s values have universal appeal, and don’t need to be
    packaged and presented differently to different constituencies. 

    I think I speak for every Liberal and Democrat in America when I say “Please just keep on thinking that.”

    As various people have already pointed out, what the Republicans SAY their values are, and what they actually seem to value are two very different things, and it’s not FREEDOM(tm) that the Republicans in Congress are currently threatening to crater the economy over, AGAIN, it’s trying to keep taxes on the rich from going BACK up to where they were when Clinton was President.  ([sarcasm]The horror![/sarcasm]

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    pandering, which is what Democrats do

    Ho! Please, pull the other one!

    Republicans most definitely do pander, in spades. Every time one of your guys talks about “inner-city entitlements”, that’s code for “those lazy shiftless black people sucking down welfare by the trainload”*.

    * Even though actual TANF spending is a piddly fraction of the US federal budget and the kinds of “entitlements” people don’t normally think of as such because they go to the middle class are what really gobble up federal spending: namely, military and social-security spending along with federal Medicare for seniors.

  • P J Evans

     Actually, Social Security isn’t a budget item. It’s medical-care costs (lots of which is insurance) that’s increasing  and a budget item.

  • Daughter

     TANF is not only a piddly fraction of the US budget, it’s a piddly fraction for anyone to live on. In my state, people get an average of $423 a month – and I know many states are far less. Even if they’re lucky enough to have Section 8 housing vouchers, they’re still paying $200-$300 a month in rent out of pocket. Most don’t have cars, and the cheapest way to get around on public transportation is a monthly bus pass, which costs $72. And then if they’re lucky, they might have $200 worth of food stamps – for a family of three, four, or five. Still, that leaves them with $50 to $150 of disposable income, with which to pay for clothing, toiletries, household supplies, furniture, school supplies, or anything else they might need. (So for example, what happens when your toddler outgrows their toddler bed, and needs a twin? The cheapest twin beds around are about $300 – I know, because I shopped around for this not that long ago).

     That’s what makes this “they vote Democratic for a check” meme so ugly – as if people want to live on so little.  Although if it’s a choice between one party that will at least give you some help, and another that will let you starve, it’s not a choice.

    And then if you want to do better, there are obstacles. Like getting your state-funded child care voucher pulled just as you get a job or go back to school.

  • Carstonio

    You’re confusing values with rhetoric. 

    “Strong families” is code for male headship and homophobia. 

    “Personal responsibility” means the old racist myth about black laziness, as Invisible Neutrino noted.

    “Fiscal restraint” again means opposition to welfare, and opposition to any government program that would make society more just. That includes everything from Social Security to tougher regulation of Wall Street. A party truly interested in restraint wouldn’t have fought two wars on the national credit card.

    “Individual liberty” means business owners operate as they please, even if it means discrimination in employment, unsafe products, and unsafe working conditions. A par truly interested in liberty would oppose DOMA as infringing on an individual’s marriage decisions.

    Whatever the GOP might have advocated originally, now it’s about protecting the economic and social power of rich straight white Christian men. 

  • Carstonio

    Also, every accusation I’ve heard of Democratic pandering implies that the party is giving voters “free stuff” to buy their allegiance. Not only racist, but also infuriatingly ignorant of how government spending works. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Jeff, since you like reducing macroeconomics to microeconomics, let me give you an example.

    I am disabled. I cannot work. I have a condition that will be immensely helped, if not cured, by immensely expensive surgery. I cannot get Medicaid without being on disability or having a child. I was not willing to have a child merely to get Medicaid — personal responsibility. I have been refused disability because I’m only in my 30s and have worked from home in the past. The fact that I am either in too much pain or too high on painkillers to do any work whatsoever means nothing to the right-wing, completely mucked-up state government.

    So, I’m in a situation where I don’t pay taxes. I am on food stamps. My parents have to support me rather than pay toward their retirements, and they can’t consume the fun stuff they would otherwise. I am a pure drain on the economy. I could not get insurance to cover the surgery because: pre-existing condition.

    Then Obamacare. And now I have insurance.

    I have an appointment with a surgeon in a couple weeks. It is probable that I will stop being a drain on the economy soon, and instead start putting money into the economy. You see how that works?

    When something breaks in your home, do you waggle your finger at it and tell it to start working again, or do you fix it? When someone in your family stumbles on hard times, do you lecture them or offer to help them with stuff? 

    The government is not a separate entity from the people. It is of the people, by the people, for the people. It is the way in which we organize ourselves in order to help ourselves. When government is not doing that, it is broken

  • hidden_urchin

    Just sticking my head in to say that I’m glad to hear you’ve got insurance now and that I hope your health problems get taken care of.  Best wishes and good thoughts!

  • Jeff

    Lliira, I’m glad to hear that you are able to get the medical care that you need and that your quality of life will soon improve as a result.  I think that’s a good thing.  I will simply observe that the provision of Obamacare that seems to be most responsible in your situation is the one pertaining to pre-existing conditions.  I don’t personally think that one is the problematic bit of the overall legislation — it’s the other parts of Obamacare that I think will lead to problems in the long run.  But this is a thread ostensibly about minorities and Republicans, so no need to go into that further. 

    Good luck with your upcoming surgery!

  • EllieMurasaki

    So if other people’s quality of life is a thing that matters to you, do you support increasing the asset restrictions on food stamp recipients such that it’s actually possible to work one’s way out of poverty without losing the food stamps until one is far enough out of poverty that losing the food stamps won’t plunge one right back in?

  • Lori

    I don’t personally think that one is the problematic bit of the overall
    legislation — it’s the other parts of Obamacare that I think will lead
    to problems in the long run.  But this is a thread ostensibly about
    minorities and Republicans, so no need to go into that further.

    Off topic is certainly nothing new here, so share away. Which parts of the ACA do you think are problematic over the long run. Keep in mind that if your issue is with the mandate the you have an issue with coverage for pre-existing conditions because without the mandate you can’t have that coverage.

  • Carstonio

    Looking at the all-white-male lineup of House committee chairs, I suspect that a majority are also evangelicals, and that any Catholics are similar to Paul Ryan.

  • Jeff

    I’d like to think that I have a soupcon of honesty, if I knew what a soupcon was.  But I wonder whether you do.  To wit:  I didn’t say that everyone wants to be a Republican.  What I actually said was that there are members of minority communities who hold views that are compatible with Republican positions, but those people vote Democratic.  For example, the African American community votes overwhelmingly Democratic (95%, I think?), yet for African American Christians, certain Democratic positions (e.g. abortion) are problematic.  So for that subset of African American voters who vote Democratic in spite of their beliefs, (a) why do they do that, and (b) how can Republicans connect with those individuals and persuade them to vote Republican?  It’s a separate question from how to persuade people with beliefs that are NOT compatible with Republican positions, although I of course think that too is important and worthwhile.

  • EllieMurasaki

    *soupçon*
    A very small amount; a hint; a trace.

    I’m thinking that those African-American voters consider compelling people to continue pregnancies that risk their physical, mental, and/or financial health to be less important than making sure food stamps (which are some people’s whole food budget and which are never enough per person to be anyone’s whole food budget) don’t get cut any further, and/or less important than bringing the percentage of black men in the criminal justice system (about a fourth, lifetime) in line with the percentage of white men in the criminal justice system (about a twentieth, lifetime).

    I note that I said several things before BringTheNoise and Beroli said anything, and you saw their comments so you must have seen mine, and you have responded to them and not me. I do not like being ignored.

  • Beroli

     

    For example, the African American community votes overwhelmingly
    Democratic (95%, I think?), yet for African American Christians, certain
    Democratic positions (e.g. abortion) are problematic.  So for that
    subset of African American voters who vote Democratic in spite of their
    beliefs, (a) why do they do that,

    The obvious answer would seem to be “because they find Republican positions even more problematic.” Of course–that’s an answer that means you have to do something other than repackage the same message, and so, as this post comments on, Republicans prefer not to acknowledge it.

    Putting all your eggs in the anti-choice basket and expecting single-issue voters to carry elections for you is a losing strategy, and gets worse every year. Please continue to use it.

  • hidden_urchin

    If the Republican Party wants to attract a certain demographic, e.g. ethnic minority groups, then the number one thing GOP politicians have to start doing is stop insulting those voters by implying, for example, that they are willing to commit voter fraud for the Democratic Party or that they vote Democrat just because they want government handouts.  That is the very first thing the GOP must do.  People will not vote for politicians who hold them in contempt.

    Until the GOP stops showing contempt for entire segments of the population nothing else matters.  However, if you want a hint as to what step two is, the GOP needs to start listening to potential voters instead of having conversations with empty chairs.  A lot of people don’t vote based on ideology but actually do pay attention to how their lives will be materially affected by certain policies.  See, for example, the ultra-wealthy who have successfully campaigned for years to keep the government from making them pay their fair share in taxes.  Actually, drawing Democratic voters might mean that the GOP has to swing moderate on some positions such as mariage equality.

    In addition to the above two changes, there is one more thing the GOP must do to attract non-Republican voters.  It has to split from the Tea Party.  You cannot appeal to every one in politics so you try to appeal to the most people possible.  The Tea Party is a small, extremist movement and pandering to those voters will necessarily reduce the number of non-Tea Party voters willing to vote GOP.  Lose the Tea Party and its accompanying platform and one has a shot at gaining back lost conservative independents.

  • Lori

     

    I’d like to think that I have a soupcon of honesty, if I knew what a soupcon was. 

    Let me Goggle that for you

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=soupcon

  • Lori

     

    For example, the African American community votes overwhelmingly
    Democratic (95%, I think?), yet for African American Christians, certain
    Democratic positions (e.g. abortion) are problematic.  So for that
    subset of African American voters who vote Democratic in spite of their
    beliefs, (a) why do they do that, 

    Because they consider the fact that the GOP uses racism to pander (why yes, the Republicans do it too) to it’s base and in the process does real harm to people who aren’t white, to be more important than using the law to strip women of their bodily autonomy.

     

    and (b) how can Republicans connect
    with those individuals and persuade them to vote Republican?  

    Good luck with that.

  • Darkrose

    For example, the African American community votes overwhelmingly Democratic (95%, I think?), yet for African American Christians, certain Democratic positions (e.g. abortion) are problematic.  So for that subset of African American voters who vote Democratic in spite of their beliefs, (a) why do they do that, and (b) how can Republicans connect with those individuals and persuade them to vote Republican?

    While I do not speak for the entire African American Community ™, I think it’s fair to say that it’s pretty simple:Republicans can connect with black folks when the Republican Party stops being a haven for racists.Before you tell me that not all Republicans are racist, I’ll point out that I never said that. What I am saying is that when you see people emailing pictures of the President with a bone through his nose, or watermelons all over the White House lawn, or people calling the First Lady “Moochelle”, when the President’s intelligence, competence, and Americanness have been questioned since day one, when he had to have Secret Service protection earlier than any other candidate in modern history–and when the supposed leaders of the Republican Party, instead of denouncing this blatant racism, tolerate it, ignore it, and even accuse those who point it out of being “the real racists”….we notice that. I notice that. I see Republicans engaging in the worst kind of disrespect for a woman who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, like me, who went to the same high school as my best friend, whose daughters look a lot like me at that age, married to a guy who’s a big dork with brown skin, short nappy hair and ears that stick out, kind of like my dad.

    I see Republicans questioning whether the President has the right to be where he is, and I remember all of the times my own intelligence and competence were questioned because of the color of my skin. I watch as Condoleeza Rice is held up as proof Republicans aren’t racist while Susan Rice is called “not very bright” by the man who wanted Sarah Palin to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, a man who graduated almost dead last in his Naval Academy class, and I note that the most notable difference between those two black female Stanford scholars (again, like me) named Rice is their party affiliation. I watch as Colin Powell is essentially drummed out of the Republican Party for openly supporting the first black President, and for daring to call the party out–however belatedly–on their racism. And I notice, as do people older than me who remember the Civil Rights Movement and the people who died so that I could have the right to vote and exercise that right, as Republican governors do everything in their power to keep black people from voting like nothing has changed since the 1960’s. 

    And none of this takes into account that I’m female and gay, and therefore, according to your own party platform, am not to be trusted to make my own medical decisions and don’t deserve to legally marry the person I love.

    Quite honestly, the fact that you’re even asking the question after the most recent election highlights the problem. You’re asking, “What’s the problem with black people, that they won’t vote Republican?” when you should be asking, “What’s the problem with Republicans, that 95-98% of black people will work hard to vote against us?”

  • Demonhype

     Excellently stated, Darkrose!  *rousing applause*  It sickens me when they ask “what’s wrong with black people”.  Contrary to popular racist belief, black people aren’t stupid and they know who has little to no respect for them as human beings, much less their practical interests at heart–and that’s not something wrong with them but something very right!  If black people were voting for a party that has such open contempt and disregard for them, and who enacts actively racist policies that target black people disproportionately and blames them for everything bad in the world, it would be the biggest case of Stockholm Syndrome ever encountered!  At risk of Godwinning, for them to wonder why black people won’t vote for them is like Nazis wondering why the Jews won’t vote for them.

    Come to think of it, I sometimes wonder if by “what’s wrong” they are confused that  black people aren’t as stupid and easily lied to as many of the poor white people who they’ve convinced to vote the food out of their children’s mouths.  Or even more like it’s not so much “what’s wrong with black people” as it is “what’s wrong with what I have always been taught and assumed to be true about black people’ s intelligence”.  I imagine them furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand the situation, wondering why the black people, which they’ve always been told by their racist parents and relatives and teachers and politicians are stupid aren’t buying what they’re selling–esp. when so many poor white people have swallowed their obvious lies with relish.

    Okay, now I feel filthy trying to figure out how a racist’s mind works, so I think I’ll stop right there.   But I am delighting in the mind-melting blend of racist certainty and electoral confusion they seem to be writhing in right now.  Sweet shadenfreude!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    At risk of Godwinning, for them to wonder why black people won’t vote
    for them is like Nazis wondering why the Jews won’t vote for them.

    I’d like to suggest a new generalized non-Godwin, if we may:

    It would be like wondering why a black South African would have ever voted in favor of apartheid.

  • Demonhype

     They vote Democrat because they are not willing to vote away their food and rights and employment opportunities just to be vindictive to some “whores”.  Because, as I said, they are not stupid like a lot of poor white Republicans are.

    I mean, I don’t always agree with the liberal view on guns, yet I vote liberal every time.  I guess it’s entirely because the Republicans haven’t shown me how fantastic they are–or I’m just too blind to see it–and not because my one view about gun policy is not worth voting for the myriad of atrocities that the Republican party stands for.

  • AnonymousSam

    Yeah, oddly enough, when Herman Cain says that the only reason Romney’s African American support was so low is because the African American Republicans were at work when the calls were made, a number of African Americans greater than zero happened to notice that they were African American and a little tired of Republican racist dog-foghorns.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    also, as spake by Jeff:

    fiscal restraint

    fiscal restraint

    fiscal restraint

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!

    A Republican virtue?

    Do, please try not to make me get a heart attack laughing mmkay

    Or do deficits mysteriously not matter when they’re about tax cuts for rich people and waving around the US’s metaphorical giant dick, a.k.a. its military?

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Okay, who the hell invited Satan into the thread?

  • Tricksterson

    Me, but this guy showed up instead.  Satan would never be that crude.  He is after all a man of wealth and taste.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Also, given how rudely we’ve been behaving to this guy, if he were Satan, by now our souls would surely be laid to waste.

    (note: not advocating being less rude to this guy, he’s asking for it)

  • fredgiblet

    I for one support this.  I want to see the Republicans double-down on everything that’s blatantly wrong with them, hopefully they’ll lose 2016 so badly that they collapse and split.  Then we can have some re-organization and get a decent party or two out of the chaos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomstone Thomas Stone

    I like the idea that the GOP apologist position is ‘look we know what’s best for black people but for some reason they just won’t admit it and keep voting against us, sheesh’

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomstone Thomas Stone

    90% of black people voting against us? Must be because people lie on blogs. If only we Republicans weren’t so galldarned honest!

  • Gotchaye

    I have a hard time judging Jeff too harshly for the stance he takes on Republican outreach to non-white voters because, after all, that’s basically my position with respect to people with Jeff’s stated views.  I think that common liberal values – strong families, personal responsibility, fiscal restraint, individual liberties, etc – are congruent with Jeff’s, and I’m always a little mystified that people who talk like he does, and who don’t appear to be particularly bigoted or particularly rich, vote Republican.  I’m sometimes tempted to think that the problem is messaging.  Liberals have to figure out how to overcome the manufactured narrative, which the media are generally complicit in, that the Republicans are actually anything like as good as the Democrats at achieving all of those values.  But many like Jeff don’t want to hear it, packaged in history and economics and other familiar trappings.  So how should it be presented?

  • Demonhype

     It would help if the media wasn’t overwhelmingly owned and operated by the Republicans–which is one of the things that sickens me even more about people like Jeff who whine about how the media is somehow just a lot of liberal liars making Repubs look bad.  Seriously, the liberal side has never been the side of the powers-that-be.  Ever.  It’s always been an uphill battle fighting for liberal values because those already entrenched have always had the money, power, and entire infrastructure in their control.  I keep hearing about this liberal media, and I’d really really love to see it, because all I ever see is two breeds:  Right-wing Conservative and Lukewarm Conservative.  To hear people like Jeff whining about how the media that is owned and operated by his own party–to the point where one of them, Fox “News”, is able to disseminate Republican-approved misinformation and outright lies as truth 24/7, is both laughable and sickening all at once.

  • Pat

    These people still scare me.  While Republican’s candidates filthy mouths did a lot to hand the election to the Democrats in 2012, I’m worried that it won’t affect future elections.  Obama had an awesomely coordinated campaign and get-out-the-vote effort in 2008 and 2012, but that did approximately jack in the state-level elections between those years.  In 2010, the face of the Republican Party wasn’t the relatively genial and sane Mitt Romney, but Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.  Still the same amount of racism, religious bigotry, and misogyny, and they won in landslides because their state-level organizations were much better than the Democrats’, and back then they didn’t have gerrymandering and incumbency to give them a boost.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    They may not have had gerrymandering in 2010, but state-level legislatures, IIRC, can set boundaries for federal districts, so Republican-controlled state legislatures helped even during the period of 2006-2010 when the Dems held both Houses of Congress.

  • P J Evans

     They’re still gerrymandering. That’s why the House has a Republican majority, even though the Republicans are a minority of voters in many states where they have most of the seats.

  • Demonhype

     At the state level, the Republicans relied heavily on gerrymandered districts that they had carefully redrawn so as to ensure their own victory.  Like here in Ohio, the majority vote was for Obama so he got the electoral votes, but because the Dem areas had been hacked to pieces and spread around into majority batshit-insane Repub districts, they won on the state level.  They cheated, in other words, by redrawing districts in the most painfully absurd and elaborate fashion so as to render Democratic votes impotent–though it didn’t translate into the national election because the electoral votes aren’t based on districts. 

    And Husted here in Ohio wants to find a way to extend that cheat to the national elections, so that Republicans can be ensured victory no matter how the actual election goes down.  He wants to make a state electoral college so that their cheat-districts they’ve drawn, with the Dem votes rendered meaningless, will determine the electoral votes by giving each district an electoral vote and basing where the presidential electoral votes go on that.  Again, cheating, with is the last and only chance the Repubs have, as they have lost all credibility, having run out of persuadable white voters and having burned their bridges with minorities.  They’re filth at their core.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Incidentally, for all the “RAAAAR WE WILL BITE TEH BULLET” from the Republicans about military spending cuts as part of their “Grand Bargain”, guess what they did NOT do the first chance they got at structuring a budget under those conditions.

    Thaaaaaaat’s riiiiiiight!

    They did NOT cut military spending.

    So much for being committed to anything except covering their own asses and those of the aforementioned old white guys.

  • Lori

    They’re perfectly happy to cut military spending—as long as it’s the money spent on actual humans. They’re perfectly happy to cut numbers at a point when their wars still have the military over-stretched and sending people on far too many deployments. They’re fine with cutting the VA. They’re fine with cutting research into treatments for PTSD. They’re fine with denying disability claims on highly dubious grounds in the name of fighting wastefraudandabuse.

    The toys are sacred though. The military-industrial complex must be continuously feed.

    The out-sourcing budget for executives is also sacred, although the money for the folks who actually do the work is much less so.

  • Tricksterson

    The conditions your talking about ceased to be several centuries ago.  The Catholic Church ceased being a temporal power a long time ago (although Lord and Lady, it does keep trying every now and then, don’t it) .  Get thine head out of both the Middle ages and thine arse.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Jeff lost me when he said that Republicans stand for strong families and fiscal restraint.

    One of these days I’m going to launch the Puppies and Chocolate Party. We won’t actually do anything to increase the supply of puppies or chocolate, but by gum we’ll stand for them, and who could disagree with that?

  • Darkrose

    Make it the Puppies, Kittens and Chocolate Party, and I’ll totally campaign for you.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I dunno, isn’t responding to the expressed needs of citizens pandering?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    A little something for Jeff:  Kung-Fu Monkey:  I miss Republicans

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    When looking at the Social Security books on their own, the SS budget runs a surplus. So Congress takes that surplus and spends it on other stuff.

    The accounting necessary to do this artificially increases the size of the US federal debt, although for all practical purposes it’s just shuffling money around in coat pockets.

  • AnonymousSam

    When the person the GOP has nominated to represent them dismisses nearly half of the country for not paying taxes and mocks the idea that they think they should be allowed to eat, and the room stands up to applaud him, I don’t think the problem is that we’re just too stupid to understand the brilliance of the meaning for the gaffe-prone tendencies of the speaker. It’s not like missing the forest for the trees here.

    1) It’s a stunning display of stupidity. The statistic is fully correct; 47% of the United States doesn’t pay income tax. That’s because 47% of the United States is children and the elderly, who we don’t expect to have an income in the first places. You also don’t need to be the IRS to know that they’re not fully exempt from paying taxes, either; there are more types of taxation than just income. Sales tax, for example? A candy bar at the grocery store in my state gets taxed by both sales tax and a sin tax nowadays.

    2) Even if it meant what he apparently thought it did and a sizable chunk of the adult population was failing to pay income taxes, what does it say of a man vying to be president of the United States to slam them and say he owes them nothing, rather than vow to bring about reforms? Especially with his inclusion that “they think they’re entitled to food.” So… what? He wants them to starve to death?

    And again, no one stood up to say, “There’s something very wrong with this statement.” They applauded. The GOP fucking applauded the idea of saying “Fuck these people. Let ’em die. We don’t owe them a damn thing.”

    I think I get the message, thank you.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Point of order: a lot of people with incomes get as much in federal income tax refunds as they get withheld from their paychecks, or they don’t have anything withheld and end up owing nothing, on account of they don’t have a hell of a lot of income. These are part of Romney’s 47%.

  • AnonymousSam

    True. And as someone who was in the latter group, making $6000 a year, it’s about as close to gaming the system as skipping the emergency room and doing your own surgery with a steak knife.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, I know, but you said the whole of the 47% was people with no income, which is false. Arguing the facts works better when the facts are true, you know?

  • AnonymousSam

    I — hm. Yes, I am appropriately reprimanded. Shall I write lines on the chalkboard or would you prefer to spank me with a ruler?

  • Lori

    Um, not cool Sam.

  • AnonymousSam

    If that offends, and even if it didn’t: Sorry, that was intended entirely to be self-deprecatory humor.

  • Ross Thompson

    Point of order: a lot of people with incomes get as much in federal income tax refunds as they get withheld from their paychecks, or they don’t have anything withheld and end up owing nothing, on account of they don’t have a hell of a lot of income. These are part of Romney’s 47%.

    I have to say, I agreed with Republicans when they said “It’s criminal that, in the richest country in the world, half the population doesn’t earn enough to pay income tax”.

    And then they blew it by going on to say “therefore, we should change the rules so they do have to pay income tax, regardless”.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The only real people to Republicans seem to be millionaires (-_-)

  • AnonymousSam

    I had been trying to think of a way to articulate this, but yes, there are frequent occasions when it feels like very few people in our government understand that not everyone makes at least a few hundred thousand dollars a year — or that the majority of our economy is designed for people who don’t. If prices at the grocery store expected me to make $250,000 annually, I think I’d do a lot less eating.

  • Lori

     

    I have to say, I agreed with Republicans when they said “It’s criminal
    that, in the richest country in the world, half the population doesn’t
    earn enough to pay income tax”.   

    I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a Republican say this, at least not a Republican elected official or talking head. I’ve only heard them complain about the not paying taxes. I haven’t heard word one about the low incomes. IMO that pretty much tells you all you need to know about the modern GOP.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A general rule of thumb is that 1/3 of the US population is not of working age* (either too young or too old), so of the 47% a maximum of 33% would be drawn from sectors who would not earn an income enough to warrant paying tax by virtue of their removal from the labor force.


    * You can deduce this from the registered-voter counts and voting-age population counts.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    In the old days before Banting and insulin, diabetics used to follow the Atkins diet to try and extend their lives. I believe one person managed to live for five years after diagnosis before his body finally could no longer keep going. :O

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Soooooooo.

    Fiscal Cliff Deal Reached.

    Obama caved on the tax thing and let the marginal tax rates go up only for above $400k, but the Dems did get a lot of the other tax stuff in too, like raising the capital gains rate back up to 20% and extending the tax cuts and unemployment insurance payments.

    The payroll tax rate is still due to go back up, so people will see somewhat smaller paychecks unless Obama can push an expansion of the EITC or some other compensating tax measure.

  • Ross Thompson

    Well, yes. They actually said “half the population doesn’t pay income tax”, and I (naturally enough) mentally inserted the reason why that was so; but either way, it amounts to the same thing. Half the population doesn’t pay income tax; the Republican solution is to force them to pay, rather than to make sure they’re able to pay.


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