Political science

If I need a new career I think I could take up political punditry. Little in the way of knowledge or skills is required. For evidence we could look at the assorted explanations for yesterday’s vote. They include:

Turnout. Democratic voters didn’t come out to vote. Sometimes this is boiled down to younger voters, single women voters, or minorities. In other words, people who might vote for Democrats didn’t come out and vote for Democrats.

The Map. Then we hear about ‘the map.’ It refers to the predominance of so-called ‘red states’ whose senators and governors were up for reelection. Red states are dominated by people who don’t vote for Democrats.

In other words, Democrats lost because people didn’t come out to vote for them, or the people who did vote didn’t vote for them. See? You too could be a political expert.

I’m also dubious about the race argument. People supposedly vote Republican because they don’t like black people. But in two cases, black candidates on the Republican side won. Senator Tim Scott of South Freakin Carolina won in a walk, and Mia Love of Utah got a decent margin of victory to became a new member of the House of Representatives. True, there are only two of them, but they won in two of the most conservative states in the U.S. Why? Whatever bothers white folks about Obama doesn’t bother them about Tim Scott and Mia Love. Or Herman Cain, for that matter. Of course, the GOP doesn’t lack for successful women candidates either. I’m not suggesting the Republicans are a fount of enlightenment on race and gender policies, and underneath their animus in that context is some primordial prejudice, but it’s not as simple as a knee-jerk rejection of non-white/non-male faces.



Political science — 8 Comments

  1. One reason black Republican candidates can win white Republican votes is that their opponents are not characterizing them as street thugs and welfare pimps.

  2. Anyways, bigots always have some exceptions they can point to to show they’re not bigots. Doesn’t mean anything.

  3. Republican racism is real, but too often it’s just an excuse for blue-state Democrats to throw up their hands in despair. “They’re so racist they don’t understand what their own interests are.” Ad nauseam.

    Thomas Frank’s “What’s the Matter with Kansas” was “loved” by every Democrat most of whom misunderstood its central point, which was not that red staters were too stupid to see their own economic interests, but that the Democrats had stopped actually representing those, making do with a nostalgic lip-service to those ideas.

    So you’re up on the latest GOP “gaffe” and racial atrocity because you watch Rachel Maddow every night? What are you doing about it? I think most MSNBC viewers are medicating themselves with the feeling of superiority these shows supply, while using racism as a crutch as to why nothing can be done.

  4. I knew out and out racists back in the day who loved OJ Simpson–before he got into some trouble in the mid-1990s. Racism is irrational, and sometimes the exceptions are just that and do not disprove the larger racism. We are also forgetting Obama has a strange name and the word “Hussein” as his middle name. That adds the Islamophobia and “fer’ner” aspect. That’s how such largely white folks just “know” Obama is a “socialist” for example….

  5. You forgot that historically, the Presidents’ party loses seats in the midterm elections.

    You forgot that the GOP had a ran a couple of openly gay candidates. Boehner campaigned for one. They’re realizing that they’ve become a white ethnic religious (southern) regional party (bankrolled by the one percent.)

    I fear it will be too little to late.

    But it’s possible America will move past the culture and ethnic wars and the only issues will be foreign policy and economics. We’ll be more like Northern Europe.

    But it is still true that older white voters turn out for mid terms while other don’t (they have nothing to do but watch Fox News).

    It is true that the Democrats held the vulnerable seats in red states (but they lost in two states that went for Obama: Iowa and Colorado.)

  6. I don’t think voters in SC and UT voted to try and prove anything to anybody else. It’s not a very public act. And sure, racists always love sports heroes, but choosing one as your representative is different, I think. As for the ‘always lose seats in the midterms,’ the question remains why did people not vote for Dems, other than the fact that they didn’t vote for Dems (or anybody).

  7. I think all the reasons that have been mentioned have some validity. Just add, the economy is still crappy, so that means people are less likely to come out at vote for incumbents.

    Damn, the Dems really kicks ass in my state, though…

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