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You'd think the GOP would've gotten a clue after Harry Reid's decisive win in 2010.  But no.  Seems they were the only ones who didn't know they had a fatal minority math problem. The result?  A 2012 election night that literally left them "shell-shocked."

More than a week later, and Republicans are still going through the Five Stages of Grief.  I've only seen Denial, Anger and Depression from them.  I suppose Bargaining is unthinkable, and if there's any Acceptance it's drowned in bitterness. The situation is so bad folks are mocking them all over the internet. (Check out this interview with Jenny Feinberg, the creator of the White People Mourning Romney Tumbler page.)

So what's a "shell-shocked" party to do in the face of crushing defeat? Well, when it's the Republican Party, there's no soul searching required. Why go navel-gazing when you're convinced the problem lies with the shiftless moochers who didn't vote for you?  

Bill O'Reilly on Obama voters:

Offensive?  You betcha, and from the polling numbers, it appears many minorities, including African American conservatives, heard the dog whistles.  Cord Jefferson of Gawker agrees in an article titled, "How the Republicans Lost Another Black Supporter:"

I recently asked my father how he feels seeing so many of his fellow Republicans gleefully slinging unvarnished anti-black antipathy at our president and others. He said that while it makes him a bit angry, he's mostly disappointed by the degradation of an institution he once respected, and which he believes once respected him…..My father spent his whole life living up to the standards Republicans ostensibly expected of him, because that's what came naturally to him. But he can never be white, and, more and more, that seems to preclude him from inclusion in the party where he once found a home. My dad has been a Republican since he could first vote, and he told me once that he will almost certainly die a Republican. But this year, he's supporting President Obama.
In the same vein, Darth Thulhu responded to another poster in the comment section of Rod Dreher's article titled "GOP, Black Voters, & The Broken Record" at the American Conservative:
"If you are remotely serious about investigating the rationales of your black neighbors, you will find a diverse variety of reasons why even socially conservative, fiscally conservative black Americans refuse to give the Republican Party the time of day. Those reasons boil down to active and passive malice on the part of the Republican Party and its propaganda corps against these Americans’ equal access to impartial justice, unrestricted voting rights, and basic human dignity."
(I recommend reading Thulhu's comment in its entirety.  It's brilliant.)

The GOPs chances of recapturing the black vote appear to be slim to none.  That's not to say it's impossible, but maybe climbing Mount Ararat would be a damn sight easier. I guess this is where the depth of my cynicism comes in. Considering the last four years of Republican tribalism, how could their racist elements not destroy whatever good remained within the party? Witness the moderates who either abandoned ship or were forced to walk the plank by the crazies.  Bigotry has saturated the party to such an extent that they may not even care about regaining the black vote.  The problem is that systemic.  

From what I've observed, those GOPers who see the racial divide, either don't understand it, or refuse to acknowledge the GOPs part in creating it. Dick Morris is one such example.  Watch how he gives his biased perspective about how Republicans (historically speaking) lost the black vote and why they shouldn't make the same mistakes with Hispanics (cue Marco Rubio promo). This video was first published on Jul 16, 2012.

Notice he doesn't cover the '70s, '80s or '90s--when Republicans gleefully blew their dog whistles, digging an even deeper racial divide. There's no mention of Lee Atwater's Southern Strategy, Karl Rove, Willie Horton or Jesse Helms' Hands. No mention of contemporary rabble-rousers like Sean Hannity or the plethora of other Republican racist nonsense. He just segues into his Hispanic vote recommendations, leaving the unspoken reality that the GOP has probably killed its chances with AAs.  Notice too that he offers no suggestions for how to fix this.  

Obviously the Republicans are desperate to draw more Hispanics.  It's all they seem to be talking about as of late.  An article titled, "How the Republican party can rebuild — in 4 not-so-easy steps," offers some suggestions:

Find a way into the Hispanic community:….“We have to stop closing the door on Hispanic voters,” said Republican pollster Glen Bolger. “Without them, we can’t win another national election.” ... What Republicans can do — from a policy perspective — to convince Hispanics that they are on their side is a bit murkier, although every Republican strategist we talked to insisted that the party needs to cut a deal on immigration reform — a move that would allow a values conversation to happen. And that’s a conversation GOPers believe they can win.
The only question is how?  Hispanics don't have a beehive mentality any more than African Americans or whites do.  True, immigration is an important issue to them, but it's also true that they care about all of the same issues that concern other minorities.  And what's this about "values?"  Does the GOP believe Hispanic values are different than the ones held by Blacks, Asians and Native Americans?  Call me a cynic, but whenever Republicans start talking about values, I hear divide and conquer.

Andrea Shalal-Esa of REUTERS writes in her article, "Republican Outreach Leaves Immigrants, Minority Groups Skeptical:"

Michael Omi, a leading scholar on U.S. racial politics at the University of California, Berkeley, said the Republican party faced a crisis in how to adapt to changing demographics, which show blacks, Latinos, Asians and others will eclipse whites as a majority of the U.S. population in three decades, without moving away from its core constituency of white males … He said it was still unclear if Asian-Americans and Latinos would be increasingly accepted as "honorary whites," which could align them more closely with the Republican party while perpetuating a black-white divide, or if the country would move toward a new, more multi-faceted view of race.
If the GOP goes this route, they'll be treading old ground.  The 'honorary white' ploy is from an ancient playbook.  One where rich elites pitted poor and working class whites against minorities of the same economic stations.  Pam Spaulding writes in her blogpost, "Will we see a new ‘Southern Strategy’ — break up the 2012 minority vote coalition by doling out privilege?":
It obviously wouldn’t be the first time, as history has shown us, ethnic white minorities (e.g., Irish, Italians) in this country were treated no better than American blacks, but those groups achieved full white status and privilege over time and became part of the dominant culture — along with the benefits accorded by that.
But this strategy is even older than Ellis Island.  It goes all the way back to the colonial period when the rich and powerful first devised a way to remain ... well, rich and powerful.  Tim Wise breaks it down:
In the U.S., for instance, planter elites during the colonial period used the notion of whiteness as a way to split class-based coalitions that often developed between enslaved Africans and indentured Europeans (who were only slightly above slaves themselves). Afraid of rebellions that would threaten their power and their material domination of the poor, elites carved out special legal protections for all Europeans, which placed them above persons of color, and gave them a stake in the system. The landowners and political elites also utilized poor whites on slave patrols, to give them a sense that they were a vital bulwark against black uprisings, and regularly stressed the superiority of Europeans. By convincing white working people that their interests were rooted in skin color, rather than economic need, wealthy Europeans helped link the development of the class system to the development of white supremacy.
A 1790 federal law aided this divide:
"Being of European descent, Italian Americans (as with the Irish and Jews) were able to “become white” via assimilation, and were aided in the process by the Naturalization Act of 1790, which granted citizenship in the U.S. to all “free white persons.”  Indeed it was that ability to become instant citizens that prompted large-scale immigration of European ethnics in the 19th and 20th centuries in the first place: an early form of whites-only affirmative action if you will."
Since the GOP seems to have written African Americans off, will they just target Hispanics without resorting to their old bag of tricks?  Or will the leopards and spots adage play out? But the bigger question is, how will minorities respond?  Spaulding writes:
Will Latino and Asian voters resist that temptation if approached by the GOP with siren songs of privilege, or see through this attempt to continue an unhealthy fixation on race rather than the policies of the party? Given how ham-handed and unsophisticated that the Republicans have been in their sudden conversion (less than 24 hours after the election) to see the value of the Latino vote, I think they are going to have a hard time convincing reality-based people of color to divide and conquer.

But they will try. And it will be ugly.

I still have hope. Many whites and minorities are sick of the old ways. The white ex-Republican in the video below is no exception.  Like many Americans, he knows the GOP will never be a viable party until they step into the 21st century and respect the intelligence, diversity and legitimacy of EVERY citizen in this great country.

Originally posted to WFBMM on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:34 PM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community.


Will the GOP try a "New Southern Strategy"?

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Comment Preferences

  •  The part that makes me so angry about this is (10+ / 0-)

    that they don't CARE about the AA and Hispanic folks. they just see them as votes for their sacred GOP.

    They can't do caring because they don't care about AAs and Hispanic community members. They just don't care.

    And if it's not that, it's class-related issues they don't care about. They spit out insults about caring for early children's programs.

    They are just an altogether vile bunch.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 03:05:15 AM PST

    •  they are still using Rove's tactic as well (5+ / 0-)

      as they claim Democrats have deceived minorities for decades, promising reforms that have never materialized.  They also claim the GOP was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act.
      Most recently, they now deny the Southern Strategy has been used by their operatives in more than a generation.
      However, anyone who believes this should listen to Lee Atwater's audio tape on the Southern Strategy and dog whistles which recently emerged (also wingers claim the term "dog whistle" is an insult to minorities)

    •  No, they don't care. The fact that they (3+ / 0-)

      had to lose to realize that they aren't an island, is disgusting enough.  Now they're trying to make Hispanics their new best friends.  As if latinos are going to buy their bull####.

      “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

      by WFBMM on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:09:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ha! The Five Stages of Grief (7+ / 0-)
    I've only seen Denial, Anger and Depression from them.  I suppose Bargaining is unthinkable, and if there's any Acceptance it's drowned in bitterness

    If the smarter, more adult members of the GOP decide to  take the reins and clean up their party's collective mess, it will take well more than a single election cycle to gain any credence or trust from those demographic groups they need to win over.  I suspect it will take decades.  

    Another very impressive post, WFBMM.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 03:29:13 AM PST

  •  The GOP will try to peel off Latinos (8+ / 0-)

    Both parties are wrong if they imagine that people they define as minorities are homogeneous.  There are liberals and conservatives in this world and they should associate with political parties that reflect their views.

    One GOP problem is that they are the party that screams insults at anyone who is not a white man.  So long as they encourage bigotry and ignorance they will have a hard time winning votes from anyone who is not bigoted and ignorant.  Judging from Rubio's 'age of the earth' answer, they remain in favor of ignorance.

    The second GOP problem is their far-right policies.  The GOP wants to deny choice to rape victims.  They want more benefits for the rich.  They want to cut Social Security and Medicare.  They are out of step, and all the improved messaging in the world won't change it.

    A new birth of freedom..

    by docterry on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:08:10 AM PST

  •  Tipped, rec'ed and republished (4+ / 0-)
    Does the GOP believe Hispanic values are different than the ones held by Blacks, Asians and Native Americans?  Call me a cynic, but whenever Republicans start talking about values, I hear divide and conquer.
    Fortunately, most of them will be unable to contain or repress their racism and xenophobia.

    Just as the selection of token front faces like Steele, or the Tea Party touting Kain did not stop the endless stream of dogwhistles,  disrespect and open racism, nothing will cover-up how they really feel about Latinos - no matter how many Marco Rubio's they parade.

    If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:05:37 AM PST

    •  Thanks, Denise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, a2nite

      I think you're right about the xenophobia getting the best of them.  The racists within the party will never be able to pull of a con-job of this magnitude.  Sooner or later they'll show their true colors.

      “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

      by WFBMM on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:12:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, I'm thinking handing out certificates of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Mistral Wind

    honorary whiteness isn't going to save the day. Their kind of hard to value, and even harder to redeem.

  •  Spot on! GOP must treat minorities w/ respect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They think they can duplicate LBJ and the Civil Rights Act with Hispanics and Immigration. Unfortunately, the public is ahead of the GOP on this. The fealty of blacks to the Democrats was because LBJ was taking a risk--he was being a leader--and was respected for his rhetoric and deeds.

    Maybe Asian Americans will be fooled by "honorary white status"-- look at Govs Haley and Jindal--but even Jindal is repulsed by the way the GOP speaks about minorities.

    IMHO, the GOP has been too disrespectful in the way they speak of Hispanics that putting up Marco Rubio as their frontman may not be enough.

    "I feel like I'm still waiting to meet my true self. I'm assuming it's gonna be in a dark alley and there's gonna be a fight." ---Rachel Maddow

    by never forget 2000 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:07:00 AM PST

  •  Here's the real crux of the problem for the GOP: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistral Wind, indubitably

    Evangelicals and social conservatives. This group is already frustrated that the GOP hasn't turned this country into a fundimentalist Christian theocracy. They demand purity on the issues of abortion, contraception and the denial of evolution. I believe these issues, above even their stance on immegration are driving off women and independant voters who might otherwise agree with Republicans on fiscal and tax policy. The problem for the GOP is that if they try to moderate at all on these three issues, the Evangelicals will abandon them. They will not pick up enough independants to counter the loss of Evangelicals. I really don't see a way forward for this party, at least when it comes to the White House and the Senate the next 2 to 4 election cycles. They may be able to keep the House in 2014 but anyway you slice it, 2016 should be even worse for them than 2012.

    Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

    by Tim D M on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:20:09 AM PST

    •  Agree. the GOP provides so many reasons to (0+ / 0-)

      want to see the party just cease to exist. When they revert all the different ways they turn people off there will be nothing to distinguish them from the democrats they hate so much and think are not real Americans. Black people have not done anything to earn this hatred, other than survive the most inhumane history. If black can be hated for no good reason, then why not the brown and the yellow? There is poor in every race so without the racial construct why would they ever been in favor of the GOP? The same is true of laborers, women, and whites who refuse to associate themselves with the divisive politics of the right. Not to mention believers in the true gospel, and not this Rovian distortion of the faith. I see our coalition growing in strength on so many dimensions, the issue for our side is how to keep our own coalition together, grow it, and make the D party keep moving toward a more perfect union. The GOP has forfeited the privilege to lead, and I hope they keep flailing, and picking the wrong answers. Eventually, they will just go away.

  •  Please, please repost this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Midday, evening, sometime when it can get more eyes.

    This is an outstanding diary and rings true on so many levels.

  •  The thing is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know a number of blacks that are attracted to the Republican Party for any number reasons and, when circumstances permit, may vote Republican at local levels (I've cast several votes for Republicans, although I haven't since 1998).

    As far as Pam's theory, I've thought the same thing as far as the GOP offering some sort of "white privilege" Asians and Latinos but the problem is their voter base...hell, the Dixiecrats of old didn't even take kindly to quite a few ethnic whites and the Dixiecrats in their party remain the gOPs albatross.

  •  I know that there are dedicated GOP members of (0+ / 0-)

    color.  But it is hard not to see them as "sell-outs" because the RNC makes it obvious they don't want folks of color among their fold no matter how many times some white members begrudgingly accept Gov. Jindal, Col. Powell or Dr. Rice.

    So, not only will they try the "Southern Strategy", they will extend the "model minority" myth as a way of recruitment to get immigrants of color who want to assimilate into American culture and be accepted as an "honorary white".

    However, what Dr. Rice and other folks of color who willingly become part of the RNC have yet to discover is that there is a price to be paid for being part of an organization.  To been be partially accepted into the GOP's world, they sacrifice their heritage, overlook acts of racism by being suddenly "colorblind" and adopt extreme positions to demonstrate their allegiance.

    The problem with this is whether the Republican of color is doing this because they believe the doctrine or that they want to achieve more social currency in the realm of patriarchalism.

    If anything, all the RNC wants of their members of color is their vote and little else.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 04:13:52 AM PST

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