Saturday, September 8, 2012
It's NOT the Economy, Stupid! And Obama Wins!
[ A DISCLAIMER: I don't believe in "the races". There's only one race: the human race. I don't like categorizing people as "minorities". Nevertheless, politics in America still swirls around these distinctions. So if we are going to swim in the pond, we have to get wet.]
Obama is not only getting his convention bounce, but he will score his basket throw for a November win! It's mathematically assured, not just wishful thinking. And it's not just this morning's new polls that tell us this - though they are looking good! - nor the way Obama WAS "the President" in his speech while Romney was an obviously pathetic wanna-be, scratching at the window.
It's the demographic numbers. It's what you SAW at the two conventions. Just a glance at the delegates tells the story of this presidential election and its inevitable outcome. The GOP delegates were almost uniformly white. The Democratic delegates were definitely not. He who has the support of the "minorities" wins this election. And the skin tones at the conventions merely reflect the reality of the divide between the two parties: minorities support Obama overwhelmingly. Thus he wins in 2012.
This isn't just a factor. It's the whole game.
This assured victory for Obama is not any feel-good theory on my part. In fact, if this election is a done deal, what's to blog about for two more months? And why should any of us lift a finger for Obama? (More on that later.) Most of all, doesn't it just seem too good to be true?
Ask two guys who really know numbers: Nate Silver and Karl Rove. The all-time odd couple, for sure! Everybody knows who Karl Rove is but mostly for the wrong reasons. His one incontestable achievement is that he grasped the political reality of demographic changes back in the 1990s and launched a strong effort to make the GOP the Latino friendly party. (That's a whole blog by itself.) It worked! In 2000 he got George W close enough to a winning total that it took only one more vote to make him president. (Thanks a lot, Sandra Day O'Connor!) And Rove did this by just shaving the usual Latino vote for the Democrat.
Time passes. In the intervening decade the GOP stupidly scuttled Rove's courtship of Latinos just as Latino population numbers and geographical distribution explode. It was the biggest boner in American elective political history!
And now comes NY Times statistics analyst Nate Silver to whisper just how big a boner it was. He recently posted a column seemingly indicating that there is no way Romney can win. Nate was very low-key about this. No blare of trumpets. (Nate's a quiet guy. Plus he's got to keep his NYT column going for two months.) ) His point is that, according to the numbers, the so-called minorities will provide Obama with the majority. And that's that. Game over.
"Oh, sure", you shrug. "If turnout is high."
No, says Nate. Even if minorities come out in the same proportion as in 2004, Obama has the win. Yes, Nate said 2004!
Further, this is true even if the whites turn out in greater numbers than in 2008. Yes, greater than 2008!
Apparently Obama's lead among minorities is so large - and they are such a large portion of the public - that a big turnout isn't a big issue.
This is hard to believe. I want to believe it, but it seems too good to be true.
But it could be. The caveat is that Obama still requires a solid number of white votes. He still has to draw almost as many as Kerry did in 2004. And don't snicker! Kerry drew a lot of votes in '04. But for Ohio being snagged by the GOP, Kerry would have won the election.
So now it's clear why the GOP has leaned on race-baiting these past three years in hope of stoking more whites into a pro-GOP, anti-minorties vote. They can't switch the Latinos to the Republican side because the GOP base hates the new spread of Latinos and other minorities into the North, rural Midwest, and the Old South. Having wedded a racist base decades ago, the GOP can't risk its base when that base is now seeing Latinos in its formerly lily-white Southern and Midwestern towns. With these new folks in town, many more whites are very uneasy. Thus the GOP dared not support the Dream Act, and Romney had to endorse Arizona's racist anti-immigrant laws. It is not really about illegal immigration; it's about skin color.
All the GOP can do is keep playing for more whites. Their bet is that most blue-collar, nominally Democratic whites are potentially racist. This is the bet that Nixon made in 1968 with his "Southern strategy" and Reagan made with his talk of "welfare queens" and "strapping bucks on welfare". Nixon in '68 and Reagan in '80 won their bets and their elections.
Will this strategy work again for the GOP? Or have all the potentially racist whites already left the Democratic rolls? Will current economic hard times make new racists out of whites who feel newly financially threatened by "the other"?
Without specifying the reason, Nate Silver includes in his projection an upturn in whites voting Republican this time. This is probably a prudent move on his part, but it is a sad one. If he is doing it, not because of a perceived increase in white racism but because of white displeasure with the economy, then why isn't he doing the same with the non-white voters? Indeed, blacks and Latinos have been hurt the worst by the Bush Crash we are still struggling with. Apparently Nate is silently acknowledging that the GOP race play is working up to a point. How much? He's projecting it's going to raise the GOP white turnout about 2%. Not enough to give the GOP the win, but a sad commentary on some portion of America's whites.
On the bright side, there's the simple justice of the larger result. The GOP's use of racism has finally backfired on them. (No matter Marco Rubio, etc., people of color are very astute at recognizing racism.) The racist evil launched by Nixon and Reagan now rises from their respective graves to push the GOP into its own. This election is but the first step of the GOP into its ever-deepening grave. The GOP will not only lose the presidential race in 2012 but national elections a long way into the future as demography shifts against the Republicans at an ever-increasing rate. In short, the GOP in 2012 - and hereafter - is toast.
So can Democrats lean back, crack a beer, and relax? Absolutely NOT! Tune in next time for "Why Democrats Still Need A Good Turnout".
But, meantime, it's okay to smile. Evil has lost a great battle.
Be a good boy, Mitt. Do as your daddy did. Give us those tax returns! You're gonna lose anyway, so 'fess up!