How Racial Politics “Helps” and Hurts the GOP

For the GOP, how important is  Rand Paul’s aide Jack Hunter’s involvement in the League of the South and neo-Confederate causes? I wrote earlier this week that the League’s leaders are in a messy divorce with the GOP but perhaps I spoke too soon. At the state level, linking up with secessionists might be viewed as a necessary strategy. So says editor of the SC Charleston City Paper, Chris Haire. Haire published a number of Jack Hunter’s columns prior to Hunter’s employment with Paul. Haire says he published Hunter’s columns to depict the real state of affairs in the SC GOP. He then opines:

I believe my intentions are pretty clear: This is what Republicans are in South Carolina, and at the national level they still continue to court racists and Lost Causers. Deeply entrenched racism is all but destroying the GOP at the national level while it continues to help them at the statewide level.

I think he could be right. Segue to this Atlantic column by Michael Wear for a look at the evangelical input on immigration reform. Clearly racism and alliances with secessionists and anti-immigration elements will hurt the GOP outside the South and in national elections but could be the face of certain GOP state organizations. Just to be clear, when I say “helps,” I mean in the pragmatic sense that candidates who claim to be protecting whites in some way bring  voters to the GOP side. In my view, this strategy is inherently self-defeating.

In the near term, the immigration reform debate chronicled in Wear’s column could signal a shift in GOP politics. If the House GOP members get this wrong, they risk closing the door to minorities and losing a segment of evangelicals as well.

 

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  • Tom Van Dyke

    Witch hunt. Are you now or have you ever been…?

    they risk closing the door to minorities and losing a segment of evangelicals as well.

    Black and Hispanic conservatives are gold to the GOP and are treated like royalty. The race rap is so 20th century. It’s the Dem Party that’s dead without race, and 75-85% of the black vote.

    As for evangelicals, if the GOP abandons social conservatism [traditional marriage & family, abortion, religion in the public square] damn right they’re doomed. You got that part right. W/o social issues, the evangelicals will go back to staying home, as they historically did until McGovernism and “acid, amnesty and abortion.”

    (Which BTW was a slogan originated by McGovern’s 1972 Democratic primary opponents, not the GOP. ;-)

    • JCF

      “As for evangelicals, if the GOP abandons social conservatism [traditional marriage & family … damn right they’re doomed.”

      If you mean opposite-only marriage, then the GOP is doomed, then.

      Boehner threw in the towel today on defending the remnant parts of DOMA in court. The writing is on the wall: the GOP *will* get out of the “Blocking the Courthouse Doors (to same-sex couples)” business. The only question is how soon that becomes the majority GOP position.

    • Boo

      If by “royalty” you actually meant “tokens,” then yes.

      • Tom Van Dyke

        You prove my point with even more race-baiting. Democrats must keep fanning this conflict, because your party is dead without it. It’s so routine that people let it pass without comment, but it should be noted when it rears its ugly head. Noted.

        It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Barack leaves the stage–he represents the high-water murk for black Democratic votes, It’s most likely that black turnout will return to its customary lower levels for white candidates, and the GOP should pick up another 5 points ala Bush-Kerry levels.

        If not more.

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/07/04/obama_will_make_blacks_vote_republican__119090.html

        • Boo

          Ah yes, that old standby “race baiting.” A delightfully useful conversation stopper. Doesn’t really mean anything. Can’t refute the point its responding to. But it can make it sound like you’re saying something when you really aren’t.

          This isn’t that difficult to grasp. The GOP gets almost none of the black vote because their policies are perceived as hostile to the interests of black people. And while they may parade around and fete the occasional individual black conservative, they have shown no interest in changing policies to appeal to the black community. If anything, all they’ve done is double down on white tribalism.

          Remember Michael Steel? The guy they put in as head of the RNC after Obama got elected so they could say “Hey look, we’ve got a black guy too!” Yeah, they sure treated him like royalty. At least, until he made the mistake of actually acting like he was the head of the RNC. Then they started doing everything they could to undermine him, to the point where people started claiming that Rush Limbaugh was actually in charge. The tokenism charge isn’t “race baiting” Tom, it’s “accurate.”

          • Tom Van Dyke

            Oh, Boo, you stopped the conversation with the driveby of

            If by “royalty” you actually meant “tokens,” then yes.

            which is insulting to any and every black conservative [as though they're too stupid to know they're "tokens"] and of course the roughly half of the country that votes opposite the way you do.

            No conversation possible in the presence of that. Hopefully, it won’t be socially acceptable to talk like that someday.

          • Boo

            I didn’t say the people themselves were tokens Tom, I said the GOP treats them that way, and provided an example of how they did so in one rather famous case. Nice attempt at derailing tho.

          • Tom Van Dyke

            Michael Steele was incompetent. We need to fire incompetents regardless of race.

            You have somewhat of a point about “window-dressing,” not that the Dems don’t trot out the Diversity Parade at every opportunity. [Neither would Barack Obama have been nominated on his qualifications alone, as they were practically non-existent.*] But I was thinking more of black conservatives who are genuinely beloved by Republicans such as Tom Sowell, and who wish there were a lot more like him.

            And I think someday there will be. Affiliation with the Democrats is almost as much a black cultural thing as a political one–until the disastrous nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964, the GOP was competitive—Eisenhower got 39 percent of the vote in 1956 and Richard Nixon received 32 percent of the black vote in 1960.

            We shall see.

            __________

            *”And the man once called the “first black president” remains deeply wounded by allegations that he made racially insensitive remarks during the campaign, like dismissing Obama’s South Carolina win by comparing it with Jesse Jackson’s victories there in the 1980s.

            “None of them ever really took seriously the race rap,” he told me. “They knew it was politics. I had one minister in Texas in the general election come up and put his arm around me.” This was an Obama supporter. “And he came up, threw his arm around me and said, ‘You’ve got to forgive us for that race deal.’ He said, ‘That was out of line.’ But he said, ‘You know, we wanted to win real bad.’ And I said, ‘I got no problem with that.’ I said it’s fine; it’s O.K. And we laughed about it and we went on.”

            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/magazine/31clinton-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

            But that was a one-off, a freak. Back to business, and if Black America wises up, it’ll go back to having friends on both sides of the aisle, not just one.

          • Boo

            Sorry Tom, the key is still policies. They have to change policies, and they can’t do it without alienating their base. Ain’t gonna happen.

          • Tom Van Dyke

            What “racist” policies? That’s where the lie shows, when Dems are asked to give real world examples of “racist” policies.

            You opened the door, Boo, now kindly walk through it.

          • Boo

            I never used the word “racist” Tom. Nice derail attempt #2.

          • Tom Van Dyke

            You intimated it. Your own reply is a didge. If you could have answered the question, you’d have won the debate. But you didn’t and you didn’t.

            You may find this of interest–by a conservative but of little comfort to Republicans.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/354265/plantation-theory-kevin-d-williamson

            I enjoyed Cornell West nailing race-baiter Al Sharpton as part of the “rent-a-Negro phenomenon on MSNBC,” but the larger point is why Black America doesn’t share the faith of white conservative America in free markets. It rather makes your argument in a principled and substantive way rather than cheap accusations of tokenism and cynicism.

            It is not surprising that blacks have less faith in the productive and transformative power of the free-market economy than do whites. Black Americans were for some centuries treated as an economic commodity themselves and were systematically excluded from full participation in the economy for generations after that. As horrific as slavery is, it may in fact be the latter experience that has undercut African Americans’ faith in capitalism. Slavery is an alien experience, but being passed over for a job or a contract, or being denied a loan, and suspecting that one’s race has something to do with the fact, is not ancient history. And while accounts of discrimination against black Americans in the marketplace may be exaggerated, they are not without basis in fact.

            That African Americans’ attitudes toward economic issues are strongly influenced by their historical experience of economic exclusion is consistent with other aspects of black life beyond political-party affiliation. For example, blacks are notably risk-averse when it comes to personal financial decisions. Blacks are much less likely to invest in stocks than are similarly situated whites. They invest relatively less in risk-involved instruments such as stocks and bonds and more in risk-mitigating instruments such as life insurance. (That is one of the reasons that affluent black households often end up less wealthy than white households with identical incomes and education levels. Women exhibit similarly risk-averse investing behavior with the same result.) Risk aversion is the reason that many Americans — black, white, and other — are made anxious by proposed changes to the welfare system, even when they themselves are unlikely ever to need it. They view the welfare state as (that inevitable phrase) a safety net.

            And that is what the plantation theory gets wrong. Democrats are not buying black votes with welfare benefits. Democrats appeal to blacks, to other minority groups, and — most significant — to women with rhetoric and policies that promise the mitigation of risk…

            Exc stuff, on which we might be able to both agree.

          • Tom Van Dyke

            Oh, and thanks for nothing, President Obama.

            Public attitudes about race relations have plummeted since the historic election of President Barack Obama, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

            Only 52 percent of whites and 38 percent of blacks have a favorable opinion of race relations in the country, according to the poll, which has tracked race relations since 1994 and was conducted in mid-July by Hart Research Associations and Public Opinion Strategies.

            That’s a sharp drop from the beginning of Obama’s first term, when 79 percent of whites and 63 percent of blacks held a favorable view of American race relations.

            Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/25/race-relations-have-plummeted-since-obama-took-office-according-to-poll/#ixzz2a5hknGa6

    • Emily K

      “It’s the Dem Party that’s dead without race, and 75-85% of the black vote.”

      Good point. After all, the non-White vote is rapidly shrinking. This nation is on the path to become what, 65% White in the next 20 years? The Dems are doomed if all they can do is court the non-White vote.

      Oh wait, that’s false. Actually Whites stand to become a modest majority, in an overall plurality, in which non-White voters are growing by 2% every year. And it’s the GOP that’s scrambling to court the non-White vote, lest they be doomed.

      TVD: “Black and Hispanic conservatives are gold to the GOP and are treated like royalty. ”

      Boo: “If by “royalty” you actually meant “tokens,” then yes.”

      I couldn’t agree more with Boo. NOM even had to put Black pastors on its payrolls during their ill-fated MD anti-gay marriage campaign.

      • Tom Van Dyke

        Yes–they are genuinely opposed to gay marriage.

        As for the rest of this race-baiting, I won’t deny it works. But it may not work forever. The old lions of the Civil rights Movement are dying off, and with them goes their moral authority. The next generation of black Democrats has little to recommend it.

        The political landscape may change very soon–perhaps this George Zimmerman thing will be enough to turn this nation’s stomach.

        • Emily K

          They’re actually not as opposed to gay marriage as white people of the same religion. If that old “They’re socially conservative and opposed to gay marriage” canard couldn’t work to get MD to deny marriage equality, and couldn’t work to fill NOM’s coffers, and couldn’t work to get Romney elected, chances are it’s an ineffective (possibly non-existent) aspect.

          I think there was a recent poll that showed even while Black and Hispanic communities disagree with gay marriage, members of those same communities aren’t as likely to call for public policy to match those beliefs.

          • Tom Van Dyke

            I’m not familiar with it. And it’s a mistake to assume that door can only swing one way. Abortion seemed a slam dunk trend after Roe, but it didn’t stay that way.

            http://weaselzippers.us/2013/07/10/rasmussen-poll-number-of-pro-life-americans-hits-all-time-high-pro-abortion-at-three-year-low/

            We’ll see, esp after Barack passes from the scene. It could be the support you speak of is more in support of Barack than of SSM itself.

            Polling on gay marriage among blacks has been mixed. A March 2013 Pew Center study — which compiled results from four surveys conducted over more than a year — found 40 percent of African-Americans support gay marriage, with 48 percent opposing. The same study found 49 percent of whites and 61 percent of Democrats support gay marriage.

            Other polls, with much smaller sample sizes than the Pew study, actually show a majority of black voters now support gay marriage. A March 2013 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 51 percent of African-American voters now support gay marriage.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Witch hunt. Are you now or have you ever been…?

    they risk closing the door to minorities and losing a segment of evangelicals as well.

    Black and Hispanic conservatives are gold to the GOP and are treated like royalty. The race rap is so 20th century. It’s the Dem Party that’s dead without race, and 75-85% of the black vote.

    As for evangelicals, if the GOP abandons social conservatism [traditional marriage & family, abortion, religion in the public square] damn right they’re doomed. You got that part right. W/o social issues, the evangelicals will go back to staying home, as they historically did until McGovernism and “acid, amnesty and abortion.”

    (Which BTW was a slogan originated by McGovern’s 1972 Democratic primary opponents, not the GOP. ;-)

    • Emily K

      “It’s the Dem Party that’s dead without race, and 75-85% of the black vote.”

      Good point. After all, the non-White vote is rapidly shrinking. This nation is on the path to become what, 65% White in the next 20 years? The Dems are doomed if all they can do is court the non-White vote.

      Oh wait, that’s false. Actually Whites stand to become a modest majority, in an overall plurality, in which non-White voters are growing by 2% every year. And it’s the GOP that’s scrambling to court the non-White vote, lest they be doomed.

      TVD: “Black and Hispanic conservatives are gold to the GOP and are treated like royalty. ”

      Boo: “If by “royalty” you actually meant “tokens,” then yes.”

      I couldn’t agree more with Boo. NOM even had to put Black pastors on its payrolls during their ill-fated MD anti-gay marriage campaign.

  • buddyglass

    I feel like there must be something going on w/ the Evangelical support for immigration reform. I used to read World Magazine’s online blog pretty regularly, before they shut off comments from non-subscribers. Back in the day the pieces they’d run that had to do with immigration usually heavily emphasized the “rule of law” angle. There should be no path to citizenship because we shouldn’t reward people for breaking the law, etc. Then, all of a sudden, it was like a switch was flipped and all of a sudden all the articles having to do with Hispanics or immigration were uniformly positive and pro-immigration. I remember thinking how weird it was that the shift happened so quickly. For the life of me I can’t figure out what might have caused such a sudden change, though.

  • Emily K

    They’re actually not as opposed to gay marriage as white people of the same religion. If that old “They’re socially conservative and opposed to gay marriage” canard couldn’t work to get MD to deny marriage equality, and couldn’t work to fill NOM’s coffers, and couldn’t work to get Romney elected, chances are it’s an ineffective (possibly non-existent) aspect.

    I think there was a recent poll that showed even while Black and Hispanic communities disagree with gay marriage, members of those same communities aren’t as likely to call for public policy to match those beliefs.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    I’m not familiar with it. And it’s a mistake to assume that door can only swing one way. Abortion seemed a slam dunk trend after Roe, but it didn’t stay that way.

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/07/10/rasmussen-poll-number-of-pro-life-americans-hits-all-time-high-pro-abortion-at-three-year-low/

    We’ll see, esp after Barack passes from the scene. It could be the support you speak of is more in support of Barack than of SSM itself.

    Polling on gay marriage among blacks has been mixed. A March 2013 Pew Center study — which compiled results from four surveys conducted over more than a year — found 40 percent of African-Americans support gay marriage, with 48 percent opposing. The same study found 49 percent of whites and 61 percent of Democrats support gay marriage.

    Other polls, with much smaller sample sizes than the Pew study, actually show a majority of black voters now support gay marriage. A March 2013 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 51 percent of African-American voters now support gay marriage.


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