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2012 or Never for GOP's White Base

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-28-12 11:39 AM
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2012 or Never for GOP's White Base
Jonathan Chait has a brilliantly insightful piece at NY Magazine.

August 27, 2012

A Republican strategist said something interesting and revealing on Friday, though it largely escaped attention in the howling gusts of punditry over Mitt Romneys birth certificate crack and a potential convention-altering hurricane. The subject was a Ron Brownstein story outlining the demographic hit rates each party requires to win in November. To squeak out a majority, Mitt Romney probably needs to win at least 61 percent of the white vote a figure exceeding what George H.W. Bush commanded over Michael Dukakis in 1988. The Republican strategist told Brownstein, This is the last time anyone will try to do this this being a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election.


The 2012 or never hypothesis helps explain why a series of Republican candidates, first in the House and most recently at the presidential candidate level, have taken the politically risky step of openly declaring themselves for Paul Ryans radical blueprint. Romneys campaign has been floating word of late that it sees a potential presidency as following the mold of James K. Polk fulfilling dramatic policy change, and leaving after a single term. Multiple senior Romney advisers assured me that they had had conversations with the candidate in which he conveyed a depth of conviction about the need to try to enact something like Ryans controversial budget and entitlement reforms, reports the Huffington Posts Jonathan Ward. Romney, they said, was willing to count the cost politically in order to achieve it. David Leonhardt floats a similar sketch, plausibly outlining how Romney could transform the shape of American government by using a Senate procedure that circumvents the filibuster to quickly lock in large regressive tax cuts and repeal of health insurance subsidies to tens of millions of Americans.

Blowing up the welfare state and affecting the largest upward redistribution of wealth in American history is a politically tricky project (hence Romney's belief that he may need to forego a second term).

Stunning clear is Romney's promise to those 55 and over, that THEY will not see their Medicare benefits affected. Romney desperately needs what remains of this steadily shrinking base, to vote for him. But for the rest of us, under 55, we will see our contributions throughout our working life to our own anticipated Medicare, destroyed. Instead, WE will be issued a voucher to go find our own health care (and by the way, good luck!).

But what Romney/Ryan aren't telling seniors 55 and over is that they plan to repeal Obama's Affordable Care Act (aka 'Obamacare'), and re-open that "doughnut hole" in Medicare that Obama's ACA closed for them. (Sorry, but you will have to pay out of pocket for that under Romney/Ryan.)

And Romney/Ryan also aren't telling seniors 55 and over that they intend to strip out the ACA provision for covering free preventive care (cancer screenings/well care) through Medicare. (So sorry, you will have to shell out from your own pocket again.)

As we can see, protecting his old white 55+ base is key to Romney's approach, while he lies to them at the same time. And the rest of us can go to hell.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are not nice guys.

Jonathan Chait further explains how Romney constantly reminds us that 'Obamacare' subsidies for people under 55 will be slashed, while reassuring those over 55 that their medical benefits won't be touched. Divide and conquer at its ugliest.

In their heart of hearts, Romney and Ryan would probably prefer a more sweeping, across-the-board assault on the welfare state. But the immense popularity of the largest, middle-class social insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security force them into the divide-and-conquer gambit. They can promise to hold their disproportionately old, white base harmless and impose the entire brunt of their ambitious downsizing of government on young, poor, and disproportionately nonwhite Democratic constituencies.

Theres no moral or policy rationale for Romneys proposal to increase social safety net spending on current retirees while cutting Pell Grants, Medicaid, childrens health insurance, and food stamps to shreds. The nonwhite share of the electorate is increasing fast enough that the political math of this sort of gambit will grow completely impossible there will simply be, from the right-wing perspective, too many of them and not enough us. But there may be just enough us to pull out one more win, and thus the Republican determination to make such a win as consequential as possible.

Jeb Bush is out there bleating cynically that the GOP 'needs to change its tone' to reach 'a broader audience'.

He would have been President of the United States before his brother George but the first time Jeb Bush ran for governor in 1994 he lost. During the campaign Bush was asked by reporters what his administration might do for Black Floridians. He made a tactical blunder. He gave an honest answer. He said, "Probably nothing." Jeb Bush got 4% of the African-American vote and Lawton Chiles beat him in a close race. ----Link

Liars never change their tone.

They cannot hide the meanness in their eyes.

No, Jeb. Your party doesn't need a paltry 'change in tone'. Your party needs a total annihilation from American politics, and for all time.

Wonk that.

This election cycle is the hill in Florida that the GOP will die on, and they know it.

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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-28-12 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. +1
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-12 05:45 AM
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2. They might not need that 61% of the white vote
if they suppress the vote of enough minorities.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-12 10:02 AM
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3. Bingo.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-12 10:27 AM
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4. I remember all the pronouncements in 2008 about the death of the Republican party.
Then came the record breaking elections of 2010.

Don't be so quick to discount them. They even found a way to make poor people sympathize with rich people.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-30-12 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. A party can accomplish many things after
they have thoroughly infiltrated the opposition party. Well, it seems that way sometimes. And the suckin' media. Don't get me started.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-30-12 02:17 PM
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6. Hey, judging by the convention speakers, the RNC is as female oriented and minority-oriented as
it gets.

Besides, they've had people having babies for God for years.

They do plan ahead!

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