Monday, November 12, 2012

Huh? The Solution to the Failure of Mitt Romney's Use of the Southern Strategy...Double Down on the Southern Strategy Again!

These people are stuck on stupid are stuck in a feedback loop which is the result of rigid path dependency and narrow decision-making.

Laura Ingraham's suggestion that the Republican Party can reposition itself for victory in the future by returning to its core "principles" would be laughable if not for the bizarre understandings of political reality contained in such a prescription.

Ingraham should not be counted as an elite decision maker on the Right; however, the Tea Party GOP is a party where Fox News and its propaganda apparatus are dictating policy. The result has been a fantasy world where its believers, and the Republican leadership, are insulated from reality.

The second consequence of the Right-wing media industrial complex's influence on the Republican Party is that mediocre talents which are "entertaining" for the mouth-breathing base, and who are better suited as cheerleaders, are elevated to the role of quarterback. Such a strategy will not ensure victory in the long run. Moreover, such a strategy encourages political dysfunction and undermines American democracy because ideological purity and extremism are preferred over the pragmatism and horse trading upon with good governance is dependent.

Mitt Romney's race baiting, and efforts to gin up white racial resentment against President Obama backfired. Thus, they helped to contribute to his defeat last Tuesday. While Romney's use of the Southern Strategy 2.0 helped him mobilize support among white voters, this strategy likely pushed away some Independents, and motivated people of color to turn out in record numbers against him.

The pundits on the Right seem unable to grasp how changing demographics, combined with their embrace of a de facto "whites only" set of policy initiatives, have pushed the Republican party towards obsolescence.

The second problem with Ingraham's suggestion that the Right should go back to its "core values" is one of selective memory and delusion caused by their version of the "noble lie."

The winning strategy that she is alluding to in this interview, involved Republicans flipping the Jim and Jane Crow South to their cause in the 1960s by the use of subtle and explicit anti-black racism. This policy was so effective, that white conservatives would be trained to respond to seemingly neutral issue positions (e.g. "small government") through a lens that processed such language as code for lazy black and brown people.

To the present, conservatives are still motivated by such thought processes and political logic.

Partisans have a love affair with their values and political beliefs. They see the best of a thing through a narrow prism which justifies their investment of energy, time, and resources into a given cause. By definition, Ingraham views this formative moment of the contemporary Republican Party's electoral coalition as one that is pure and noble of heart and intention: in reality, the birth of the Nixon-Reagan coalition was an evolution of white racism, and a surrender to racial immorality.

Together, racism and conservatism are the "beast with two backs" in modern American politics. Romney lost because of an inability to honestly assess if white racism was a dominant electoral strategy that would bear fruit in the Age of Obama.

I am puzzled that the Right's pundits would continue to pursue this avenue for victory in the future. A politician's number one goal is to win elections. Why would a political party, and its spokespeople, continue to advocate for what has/is proving itself to be a less than viable strategy?

Do Laura Ingraham, and the Right-wing media have a secret and privileged insight into the American voting public, generally, and the White Public, specifically? Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

Alternatively, are conservatives and the Fox News cabal simply offering up a national level demonstration of  confirmation bias and post hoc reasoning?


Shady_Grady said...

To play Devil's Advocate (no racial joke intended) for a moment, CV, what else could the Republicans do? They aren't going to get large swaths of the Hispanic, Asian or Black vote probably no matter what.

Most people across the political spectrum are recognizing that demography is destiny. Immigration rhetoric aside, does a low-tax limited government states rights message resonate with many new Hispanic voters?

If yes then the Repubs just need to change messaging and maybe fit some immigration restrictionists with cement shoes before throwing them overboard.

But if the answer is no, if bringing in more Hispanic and Asian voters results in more Democratic voters than the Republicans have little choice politically than to try to get out the white vote and run up larger majorities among the white electorate.

To imagine if the show were on the other foot, if the Northeast US had current massive migration from Russia and the Ukraine, from the types of voters who made Avigdor Lieberman look moderate, to the point where some reliably blue states were starting to go red, and Republican consultants were bragging about the whitening of America, do we think the Democratic Party would be thrilled about such events?

I think even though long term it may be bad for the Republican party and bad for the country, the Republicans may have little choice in short term but to ramp up appeals to white voters. Eventually they will dissolve into an openly racist party. The Democrats, having grown too large to contain all contradictions will splinter and a new center-right party will arise to replace the Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Aah, but they WILL get a large swath of the Hispanic vote. Did you know that Fox News is starting a Spanish-language tv station? Once that propaganda machine starts spinning, aided by folks like Marco Rubio (when exactly did his family leave Cuba?) the Hispanic vote will sway.

- Buddy H.

Shady_Grady said...

No it won't...

Cavoyo said...

@Shady_Grady Also, most Latinos say that the most important issue to them is not immigration but the economy:

Having Latinos state lassiez-faire policies and expecting Latino voters to come in droves is just a more literal version of Romney's "tandering." It's not going to work.

Bruto Alto said...

"the Hispanic vote will sway"

No the white by default Cuban/Euro Hispanic vote will sway. PR/Mexican/Nica votes won't even though they share more with the Rep. party policies.