The naysayers, skeptics, critical thinking old school political hands, Republicans who are terrified of losing to Obama, as well as Democrats who are crowing about an inevitable victory come November, are alternatively either bemoaning or cheering what they see as the
I am in the minority of opinion on these matters. Despite what the polling data and other models are suggesting, I believe that Obama, if he wins, will only sneak by in a nail biter. The Bradley Effect was pronounced slain, and dead on arrival, in 2008; however, given Romney's sophisticated use of race-baiting and dog whistle tactics, the ghost in the machine may come roaring back as a political poltergeist in 2012. The experts are also talking about how Obama's likeability may trump both a bad economy, and a candidate in Mitt Romney that is less than inspiring to the GOP base--a man who is also an insincere, negatively enigmatic figure, in the eyes of undecideds and independent voters.
I do not know if this is a corollary to what political scientists call sociotropic or "pocketbook" voting, but my sense is that a bad economy, plus a black president, are a recipe for a losing election. I do hope that I am wrong.
To outsiders, the Republican Party platform is pure "red meat" for the base, and as such, has a little bit of something for everyone in the New Right: it doubles down on killing Trayvon Martin(s), keeps lazy and unqualified colored people from jobs that they do not deserve (like the Presidency), ensures that men can control women's bodies, and keeps the damn Mexicans out of the country. It also talks enough about the framers, American exceptionalism, and the merits of trickle down economics so that Saint Ronald Reagan will remain at peace in his grave.
For those outside of the Right-wing echo chamber, and who have not drunk deeply from the New Right Fox News Tea Party Jim Jones Kool-Aid, the 2012 Republican platform is one more example of how a major political party is in the midst of its death throngs as it slips further down the road to demographic suicide. However, for those in the Fox News echo chamber, and for many low information, right-leaning voters, the language of the document is imminently sensible.
On immigration, what reasonable person could disagree with the following statement?
"We support changing the way that the decennial census is conducted, so that citizens are distinguished from lawfully present aliens and illegal aliens. In order to preserve the pinciple of one-person, one-vote, the apportionment of representatives among the states should be according to the number of citizens."Or alternatively, who could disagree with this phrasing against "unfair" programs such as "affirmative action?" The language sounds so meritocratic:
"We support efforts to help low-income individuals get a fair chance based on their potential and individual merit; but we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides, as the best or sole methods through which fairness can be achieved, whether in government, education or corporate boardrooms...Merit, ability, aptitude, and results should be the factors that determine advancement in our society."The Republican Party platform uses superficially benign language in order to advance the Right's radical political agenda. This is a genius move. As such, we mock the Tea Party GOP platform at our own peril.
Am I giving the spin masters on the Right too much credit? Or is this platform one of the last exhalations of a political party on the verge of obsolescence, but is willing to fight to the end in defense of its "principles?"