Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Token Post on a Busy Day

After the last game of the fall ultimate frisbee season, we had beers at a local pub (see beer tangent below), and we ended up talking US politics.  I knew before but the math really hit me (must have been the beer): Obama is going to going to get super-majorities of the votes of Hispanics and African-Americans AND he is way ahead among female voters.  So, it seems that white males will have to vote overwhelmingly for Romney and turn out far more.

Then a twitter friend mentioned #voterfraudfraud.  Yes, I know and have long known that the GOP is trying to offset the Democratic advantages of being a big tent with multiethnic/multiracial/multireligious/pan-gender/multi-sexuality constituencies via voter suppression.  Still, voter suppression should not yet show up in the polls which make this race kind of even.

I would still bet that the GOP will be increasingly marginalized in future elections as the demographics continue to shift against them unless the party learns to reach out to non-white folks and non-male folks. 

Or they can keep talking about rape in the most offensive ways possible. 


Anonymous said...

@concatenating: I would love it if the GOP were increasingly marginalized. But looking at the electoral college mapped with demographics, it's not as bizarre as it seems. There's recent data showing working class white men to be a much more divided group than previously assumed -- and Romney is not winning them across the board -- but they are a huge voting bloc in the swing states where turnout is essential. If sexism were a determining factor in voting, the GOP would be dead. As much as I'd like to trumpet the DNC's wonderful legacy on women's issues, national candidates are always about two decades behind society when it comes to beliefs. If you want the adult population to vote for you (particularly the reliable-turnout Baby Boomers and seniors), you can't say "All rapes are equal." I say this from personal experience -- feminists/women are hardly a united group to begin with, and once you discriminate for age, you'll find that you have to tread carefully if you want to shore up the "women's issues" bloc.

Under normal circumstances, Romney wouldn't have a chance. He is, in many ways, the antithesis of the GOP and was not the preferred candidate for huge swaths of GOP voters. But this is a crazy election (even by US standards!) for numerous reasons: (1) Racism (I don't mean the people who freely use the n-word but the unexamined, back-of-your-mind prejudice that we all carry and have to unlearn); (2) Recession; and (3) the need to blame someone. Romney is a very, very good businessman and has the personality of one -- that's not a backhanded compliment; business is about handshakes and pouring on the charm -- while Obama is a terrible politician. One of those unanswerable questions: would the race be this tight if Obama were white?

Romney is pretty much the ideal GOP candidate this time, as he stands for nothing and for everything. People are angry. White men are looking at a black president who hasn't helped them, and ads say he's giving people "Obama Phones." There are, what, three conspiracy films now? One is showing for free on an Ohio cable network. Blame affirmative action. Why do women get birth control on my dollar? My taxes are too high. &c.

Obama, to his credit, has recognized that government has failed many people, and that this failure extends beyond race and class. Romney is just shoring up some combination of typical conservative blocs and racist anger. What Romney's own views are, I don't know -- seriously, this guy is the Bugs Bunny of fact-checking -- but it doesn't matter to the RNC. Votes are votes. If Romney is harnessing the support of angry white men, so be it -- he doesn't have to be seen with them. And inside the liberal echo-chamber? Drones. Take a third option. How can the RNC keep doing this to us. Guys, stop talking about racism, okay. HEY LOOK AT THE STUPID THING A CONSERVATIVE SAID LOL. I'm mad that Obama is acting like a politician and not running on change. There are legitimate critiques to be made, but for akls;dfadls;fj;'s sake, it's an election.

If Romney loses, then the firefights already seen within the GOP will probably escalate into full-on war. But they think they have an enemy in Obama and they think they can win, so right now, they're banding together. For once, the RNC crowd looks like the liberal one: acting in total chaos, in disagreement with itself, and one election away from an implosion.

Vladimir said...

Steve, do you think that Canadians truly understand how race relations have warped US politics? My past reading of exit poll data is that the Republican candidate can expect to win a majority of the non-Jewish European Caucasian vote (i.e non-Jewish whites). The voter suppression issue surely arises in recognition that this is a shrinking demographic. Indeed Romney may lose the popular vote yet win 55-60% of non-Jewish votes. Obama or any Democrat tends to win 75% or more of the Jewish vote, 90% of the African American vote, 60% of the Hispanic vote, about the same of the Asian vote and other minority group voters. This is why turnout will be important.