1 year ago: There’s a pattern here

June 14, 2012, on this blog: There’s a pattern here

Let’s be clear: These guys are all whackjobs and they in no way represent the official views of the Republican Party or of the majority of Republicans. Whackjobs aren’t rational creatures, and they can choose to attach themselves to any larger institution whether or not that institution welcomes them.

Yet there’s a clear pattern apparent to anyone who looks at this particular form of racist whackjobbery: These guys all consider themselves Republicans.

Why would this be? Why are racists — outright, proud, explicit racists — attracted to the Republican Party? These guys sound like President Andrew Johnson, yet they’re not drawn to Johnson’s party, the Democrats. They are, instead, drawn to the part of Lincoln. The Republican Party condemns their views, explicitly and consistently, yet they remain convinced that, despite such official pronouncements, it reciprocates their affection.



"And if we lived in a world where pizza parlours often kept child sex slaves ..."

And his own received him not
"While I'm at it, were they paid by the government to look after the children?"

And his own received him not
"You made the mess, you clean it up?"

And his own received him not
"I don't know. What if the people running the trains in Germany etc had refused ..."

And his own received him not

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  • Carstonio

    An appropriate reprint. One year later, the GOP continues to say it needs to appeal to women and Hispanics and young people in order to survive, but does everything it can to repulse those groups. Its officeholders still claim that pregnancy from rape is almost nonexistent, and they threaten to block immigration reform unless protections for LGBT couples are dropped.

  • Hexep

    Ahh, American politics are so much fun. Maybe one day I’ll get to vote in an election…

  • The Republicans haven’t always been dominated by religious loons. However, since the civil rights legislation in the 60’s (which ushered in a second wave of Reconstruction) racist loons have been drawn to that party.

  • aunursa

    The Republicans need to do a better job of appealing to single women. Obama won single women by 67%-31%. Romney won married women by 53%-46%, which was actually an improvement over McCain (51%-47%).

    And married men chose Romney by a 22% margin, while single men chose Obama by a 16% margin. So the telling demographic characteristic is not gender, but marital status.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, when married women and married men go for the same candidate at similar margins (7 percent and 22 percent are not comparable margins) and when single women and single men go for the same candidate at similar margins (36 percent and 16 percent are not comparable margins), I’ll believe gender has nothing to do with it.

  • aunursa

    I did not say that gender has nothing to do with voting patterns.

  • EllieMurasaki

    “So the telling demographic characteristic is not gender, but marital status.” –aunursa, “an hour ago”

  • aunursa

    That’s correct. That doesn’t mean that one’s gender has nothing to do with one’s voting pattern. Both gender and marital status affect voting habits.

    But marital status has a greater effect than gender.

    EDIT: Perhaps I should say “correlation” rather than “effect.”

  • Carstonio

    (TW: rape)

    That disparity highlights a huge feature of the party’s social agenda. The aging white evangelicals who now dominate the base believe that women should be either married or celibate. These folks are about shaming women who want to have sex without being mothers.

    I don’t know if the Democrats support freedom for women to make their own marital, sexual and reproductive decisions, but that’s damn well my own stance.

    I would have thought that married women would be just as repulsed by the slut-shaming. But data on rape trials reveals that women on juries are more likely, not less, to believe that the victim provoked her attacker. It’s probably a form of denial, a refusal to accept their own vulnerability to rape. Some lower-level version of that mentality might be going on with many married women who vote Republican.

  • they in no way represent the official views of the Republican Party or of the majority of Republicans.

    Sure. Uh-huh. Oh yeah.

    The Republican hierarchy does so much winking and nudging in the speechifying by the likes of Romney, Hastert, Frist, you name it. They talk about “tough love”(!), “failed inner-city schools”(@), “thugs in rap music”(#), “welfare mooches”(%), “deadbeat dads”(*) and all those other phrases spoken by a bunch of white guys who are all but announcing that if you’re not a white guy, don’t even bother trying to fit in ’cause you ain’t gonna.

    (!) By which of course they intend to exemplify the strict-daddy portrayal of government, even though they probably personally called the chief of police when their kid got busted with a DUI.

    (@) By which they mean purposely underfunded schools which resort to Herculean efforts to keep their kids at the top of standardized test score groupings to secure what piddly extra funding comes from the metrics involved.

    (#) Because nothing says racism like calling out the differences between the way black and white people speak and sing in the USA, and using those differences to make black people look stupid.

    (%) Always such a wonderful crabs-in-a-bucket classic. Get the poor whiteys angry at the wrong people, because it’s easier to make someone mad at one person apparently grabbing an extra few hundred bucks a month than at some faceless CEO whose tax dodges got the company a refund and him, an extra few million when he exercised his stock options.

    (*) by which of course they mean those dark-skinned no-good folks, not a rich white guy who hides as many of his assets as he can to avoid making child support payments to his ex-wife.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What you’re saying now doesn’t mean the same thing as what you were saying an hour ago. It isn’t a clarification, it’s a completely different thing.

  • Carstonio

    It would be useful to break down the numbers further. Perhaps married women are more likely to oppose legal abortion and access to contraception.

  • dpolicar

    By your estimate, how much of the variance in voting patterns is accounted for by marital status, and how much by gender?

    Or, if this is easier, what do you estimate the ratio of those numbers to be?

  • Lori

    I suspect that Romney’s relative success with married women is less a reflection of married women’s feelings about the GOP than it is a result of the GOTV characteristics of the Romney campaign. IOW, the fact that the Mormon guy did well with the married women who turned out to vote is not that much of a surprise.

  • Get the poor whiteys angry at the wrong people, because it’s easier to
    make someone mad at one person apparently grabbing an extra few hundred
    bucks a month and is probably still having trouble making ends meet despite the extra cash than at some faceless CEO whose tax dodges got the company
    a refund and him, an extra few million when he exercised his stock

    I added a part in bold. Hope you don’t mind.

  • I suspect it’s just age. Older women are more likely to be conservative, and older women are more likely to be married. I want to see an age breakdown there alongside the “marriage” breakdown.

  • Yeah, Fred’s doing his being extra-nice thing. So extra-nice that he ends up just plain wrong. The Republican Party is racist, it uses racist dog-whistles, and it caters to racist people.

  • I think older women are more likely to vote along different lines. And I think that is all this is. Women in their 20s are less likely to be married than women in their 50s.

  • drkrick

    There’s a difference between spoken and unspoken agendas. Google Harry Dent and Southern Strategy. The GOP made a conscious strategic decision starting in the late 1960’s to go after the segregationist voting bloc the Dems had alienated when they wholeheartedly embraced the cause of full civil rights for African Americans earlier in the decade. Ronald Reagan’s decision to start his post-nomination 1980 campaign with a “state’s rights” speech in Philadelphia, MS, the site of one of the pivotal atrocities of the resistance to the civil rights movement, was a less than cleverly disguised dog whistle to the same bloc, but hardly the last.

  • Ben English

    There are degrees of racist less than literal Nazi. The Republican Party is racist, but the average Republican still finds the views of skinheads and Nazis disgusting.

  • Ben English

    On the bright side, that bullshit will be untenable in a few years because of shifting demographics.

  • Alicia

    True, but in general if you’re a human being you should really set your aspirations better than, “Okay, I’m not a Nazi..

    That’s like saying your football team is better than the Cleveland Browns. That should just go without saying and pointing out makes me wonder.

  • Ben English

    There’s generally a lot of internalized misogyny involved here too. Depending on circumstances, upbringing, religious views, etc, even younger women can have regressive views on women’s sexuality and reproductive health, especially slut shaming and victim blaming.

  • stardreamer42

    Why? The answer is stunningly clear: the whackjobs don’t look at what the Republicans SAY, they look at what the Republicans DO. Every item listed in one of Fred’s “Republicans continue their outreach to women, gays, and minorities” roundups tells the whackjobs that this party welcomes them. The goody-goody pronouncements don’t even register as anything but MWA MWA MWA.

  • FearlessSon

    One of the things I have observed about whackjobs (of any kind and affiliation) is that they tend to believe that they are just speaking the truth to what “everyone knows” but are too polite to say. I suspect that this is because they tend to associate primarily with other whackjobs, and the echo chamber makes them think that their views are more mainstream and generally acceptable than they actually are.

  • Ben English

    True, but a lot of racism among Republican voters (or Democratic for that matter) is based less on racial animus and white supremacy and more on privilege blindness and cultural prejudice. That distinction doesn’t matter on the national policy level, but it matters when confronting racism in other contexts.Too many people think racism is just base hatred or delusions of racial superiority. Hence the “I’m not racist, I have black friends” or “there’s a difference between black people and n—–ers” nonsense. As a stupid teenager, I looked at affirmative action and said “That’s stupid, I don’t get special treatment for being white, how is that fair?”

    I didn’t think black people were coming to take my women or shoot up my neighborhood. I just didn’t see all the ways in which being white is life on easy mode.

  • FearlessSon

    The Republicans need to do a better job of appealing to single women.

    I would concur with that assessment. I suspect that quite a lot of the “war on women” thing was responsible for pushing more than one (especially single) woman away from the Republican party. Just to be clear, I do not believe that the whole anti-contraception or even necessarily anti-abortion furor is part of the party platform on a national level, but it is part of the platform of the religious right that has come to occupy a significant portion of the Republican voting base. It is why you see most of the attempts to crack down on family planning for women happen in lots of simultaneous local attempts rather than being something nation-wide, and thanks to that base’s disproportionate influence on the rest of the party it ends up tarring any national candidates with the need to associate with them.

    It is, as Fred noted, a pattern though, but I suspect that this is a bit of a mutually disadvantageous one. The party cannot outreach to women on issues like birth control without alienating the religious base, and if the religious base is alienated the Republican party loses a significant chunk of its reliable votes. On the other hand, the religious base is shrinking, and is no longer enough to propel them to victory on a national level without some kind of big-tent appeal, yet that base itself shrinks the tent just by being in it. The party is in a bit of a demographic bind.

  • Ben English

    Saying the Republican party needs to do a better job at appealing to single women is like saying Dionaea muscipula needs to do a better job of appealing to bugs.

    The GOP needs to stop supporting misogynist groups, running misogynist candidates, and enacting policy that negatively affects women.

  • Lori

    Age is a major factor, if not the factor, in GOP voting in general. That doesn’t explain why Romney did better with married women than McCain did. I suspect that’s down to differences in the composition of the electorate.

  • Teenage boys also think rape is a terrible crime, but sexing a girl who’s passed out on the couch is perfectly acceptable.

  • Is “MWA” an acronym, or onomatopoeia for that Peanuts adult-talking noise, or something other?

  • Probably the Peanuts-style onomatopoeia. It always sounded like BLOBOBLOBLOBLOB to me.

  • On the other hand, as an acronym, the first two letters could easily stand for “Male White”. Couldn’t figure anything for the “A”, though.

  • Carstonio

    I’m expecting that divide to reach critical mass by 2016, with the party unable to unite behind a single ticket, The GOP might break apart into two smaller parties, one backing Christie and the other backing Ryan.

  • stardreamer42

    The latter. I’d just read a comment somewhere else that used it, so it was at the top of my mind.

  • JustoneK


  • P J Evans

    Actually, I think it is part of their official platform, as well as their actual platform. Otherwise they wouldn’t keep pushing it all over the country.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Quotes from http://www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/, parentheticals my comments:

    The most offensive instance of this war on religion has been the current Administration’s attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion.

    We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
    (Ctrl-F in the PDF for that second section, there’s a lot more after it.) We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception.

    (Women are mentioned in the platform only in context of abortion, military service, “committed men and women of charity”, and these two bits:)

    Under our Constitution, treaties become the law of the land. So it is all the more important that the Congress—the Senate through its ratifying power and the House through its appropriating power—shall reject agreements whose long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear. These include the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights […]

    We will use the full force of the law against those who engage in modern-day forms of slavery, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the forced labor of men, women, and children.

    (Yes, the War on Women is part of the Republican platform.)

  • You are correct. But it is not going to happen.

    Bringing evangelicals into the Republican party, and tailoring party platforms to keep them there, was a Devil’s bargain. Because evangelicals are utterly opposed to Women’s Liberation and all it stands for; including how it also liberates minorities of religion, skin color, ethnic origin, and/or sexual orientation.

    Basically, they are all about the hippie-punching. And now that being environmentally conscious, caring about equality of everyone, and tolerating all kinds of religious beliefs has become mainstream… they have nowhere to go and no one to take with them.

  • FearlessSon

    In that case, whoever wrote that into the party platform needs to be dragged onto stage and furiously beaten during the next voter’s convention.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Your continued insistence on using violence to counter violence, when nonviolent protest is both more effective and more ethical, continues to disturb me.

  • The GOP will not break up until they win. As long as the Democrats are in power, they’ll hold their noses and vote for whichever old white plutocrat they put up, no matter how far over the line of sanity they are, because the alternative is a democrat winning.

    That’s the way it works. The party doesn’t split because it’s in trouble, it splits because it wins. If the GOP ever succeeds in gerrymandering and vote-suppressing themselves into that permanent majority they’re angling for, that’s when we’ll see a schism, and the GOP will break into a center-right party and a far-right party.

    (Contrariwise, if the GOP finally collapses and ceases to be a viable option, you’ll promptly see the Democratic party split into a center-right party and a center-left party. And if this cycle repeats about a dozen times, we’ll eventually get ourselves a proper left-wing.)

  • FearlessSon

    In this context, I question if it is really more effective. Dealing with bullies has taught me that they equate an unwillingness to engage in direct action to be weakness that they can exploit. Conversely, moving swiftly and decisively against them causes them to back off and recoil.

    Allowing the bullying to continue causes more suffering. Moving directly to counter that bullying and shut it down as quickly as possible results in less. Of course the target of the direct action suffers, but what is their brief suffering measured against the extended suffering they inflict on several times their number?

  • EllieMurasaki

    ‘Direct’ and ‘violent’ are not the same thing.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    Look, there are basically only two parties in the US: Republican and Democrat. The Democrats are widely seen as the “black” party (every member of the Congressional Black Caucus is Democrat and Blacks vote Democrat in margins upward of 90%). So if you are a racist, which party are you going to join?

    It doesn’t matter WHAT the Republicans believe or say. Racists who want a political affiliation have nowhere else to go. But Condolezza Rice, Clarance Thomas and others might disagree with them were they ever to meet. And the fact that these people are much more prominent than the racists should tell you something about where the Republicans actually stand.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Had it occurred to you at any point that black folk vote overwhelmingly Democratic because the other choice is to vote anti-black racist?

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    No, I think Blacks overwhelmingly vote Democrat because they’ve been socialized to do so–against their own interests. Looking at the Black unemployment rate, Obama has done more to hurt blacks than George Wallace ever did.

    If Blacks are voting themselves out of work in the belief that Republicans are racist, than they are sadly misinformed. And they are suffering the consequences of their misapprehension.

  • EllieMurasaki

    …what in hell world do you live in? ‘Cause it looks nothing like reality.

  • Geoffrey Kransdorf

    Is that the most intelligent response you can come up with? I mean, honestly, “He’s a conservative so derp derp.”

    I live in the same World you do. Do you dispute the unemployment numbers? Do you dispute that Republicans have chosen blacks for Secretary of State and the Supreme Court?

    What World do you live in? One where liberal policies work, I suppose…

  • EllieMurasaki

    I live in a world where the economic downturn and housing collapse–a grand-scale theft of wealth from the black community, among other things–happened under the Bush administration, was the fault of the Bush administration and their Wall Street buddies, and shouldn’t be blamed on Obama just because he hasn’t fixed it yet. (Obama does get blame for not fixing it yet, since he’s had years, but it’s not his fault it happened to begin with.) I live in a world where Republicans use racist dogwhistles (and sometimes not even dogwhistles–I direct your attention to “blah people”) and Democrats don’t. I live in a world where maintaining the conservative approach to many things–climate change, capitalism’s need for infinite growth in a world with finite resources, etc–is going to send us into a downturn we can’t get out of, if it hasn’t already. I live in a world where being progressive (note, not ‘liberal’, ‘liberal’ is the moderate position) on many things–civil rights for women,
    the monetarily underprivileged, and minorities of all shapes and colors, etc–is the only ethical position.

    What world do you live in?