I must say it’s fun to watch the Republicans turn their knives on each other instead of President Obama, at least for the moment. They didn’t win, despite a slouching economy and a stubbornly high unemployment rate, so obviously someone screwed up and there is a lot of finger pointing and I don’t see anyone pointing at himself. (*1) One conservative source concluded: “The Romney campaign was a consultant con job.” Carl Rove’s defense is their candidates would have done much worse without the millions donated to Super PACs like his, though they couldn’t have done too much worse as very few of the Rove backed candidates won.
Others blame Romney himself for running a lackluster campaign and, well, being Mitt Romney. A real conservative, not so easily mistaken for a mannequin, could have carried the day, someone like Chris Christie. Oops, he may be more to blame than anyone. Did he really need to praise the president to the rafters for his response to the devastating storm? And look like a bosom buddy of Obama in all those photos only two days before the election?
Maybe the storm itself was at fault. Talk about bad timing. Romney seemed to be picking up steam when God intervened….ah, no….. not God….. God only intervenes with storms to punish us for our failure to sufficiently persecute homosexuals and other wanton sorts. I forgot. Well, that atheistic storm, then, just plain bad luck. Certainly not related to global warming in any case.
The slicing and dicing will continue, and I look forward to returning to this topic, especially to the one broad problem that a number of Republicans can see: The future is not bright for a “party of old white men” in a country whose skin color is tending towards darker hues over time.
Obama crushed Romney in the black and Latino vote. Rush Limbaugh has described the Democrats as “the people who just want stuff.” Or as Ann Coulter might chime in, the “takers”, not the “makers”. And, while there are certainly a good number of white takers, I believe they see those with natural tans to be even more so, bought off by Democratic largess. While I’m sure Rush and Ann would find much to blame in the Romney campaign itself, in a sense they defend the failure by indicating the increase of the want-more-stuff folks makes winning all the harder for Republicans. (*2)
That’s why the following caught my attention. On Upwithchrishayes last Saturday Chris made an illuminating point. In addition to the other two racial/ethnic groups mentioned, Obama did very well with Asians, enticing 73% of their votes. These surely are not the people Rush and Ann have in mind as the “takers”, accused of just wanting more stuff. As a group they are more successful than whites, with a higher percentage of them making over $100,000 a year, according to Chris.
Shouldn’t the Republican ideal of rugged individualism and personal responsibility attract a much bigger chunk of these hard working, finish-your-homework-first, Tiger-mom-driven people? Who, by the way, according to Chris, make up only 3% of the voters now, but are predicted to expand to 9% in upcoming decades. Apparently more bad news for Republicans.
This seems to suggest there is something out of kilter with the right’s theory that it’s primarily the “gimme, gimme” people who are voting Democrat. I think Chris might have nailed it when he said: “The beating heart of modern conservatism is its visceral appeal to the anxieties and fears of white Christians.”
Asians don’t identify with those fears, even those who undoubtedly share the party’s conservative values which, by the way, many blacks and Latinos do as well. Maybe the main issue for many Asians who voted Democratic is they don’t feel welcome in a party of old white men, either.
Perhaps many are Democrats by default. It is not that they embrace the Democratic Party wholeheartedly and just want more stuff. It is that they reject you, Rush and Ann, and others who fan the flames of anxiety and fear and, may I add, resentment. Perhaps they are Democrats by default because the present Republican party has become a grotesque distortion of the “better angels of our nature” to borrow a few words from Abraham Lincoln whom, may I remind you, was a Republican.
Maybe a lot of people of color, Asian and otherwise, don’t want more stuff. They just don’t want you.
Even some old white guys can identify with that sentiment.
(*1) I began this piece two days ago. Since then I’ve noticed some Republicans pointing fingers at themselves as a party. For example, LA governor Bobby Jindal has said they must stop being the “stupid party.” More about this soul searching in a future post.
(*2) The categories of “makers” and “takers” may stem from a study about to be published by Nicholas Eberstadt, A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic. It is a view from the right, and does not seem fair in some ways, as pointed out in a review in the Fiscal Times.
- Conservatives Struggle To Explain How Mitt Romney Lost 2012 Presidential Election (huffingtonpost.com)