The near-term future of the Republican Party

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The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Martin Blank » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:26 am

The Republican Party is in the midst of an identity crisis. There's such a need to find someone "pure" that the party is likely to sink itself in the next election. A handful of candidates see this (Jeb Bush on some issues, Rand Paul on others), but they're seen as traitors by a significant portion, maybe even the majority, of the base that actually votes in primaries.

Some examples of potentially lethal positions by candidates that have widespread support overall and significant support within registered Republican voters:
  • Amnesty of some sort is now widely supported by the electorate, including many (even a majority, according to some polls) Republicans.
  • Gay marriage continues to gain support (strong overall minority in the Republican Party, and 61% of young Republicans). Even Dick Cheney quietly supports gay marriage.
  • Some level of increased gun control (90%+ of all Americans support universal background checks).
Yet these things are largely railed against by current candidates.

Republicans love to look back at their heritage and claim especially Lincoln and Reagan, but they overlook that these two men also held views that are anathema to the current platform. Most recently in the modern era, Reagan was strongly in favor of gun control, backed the 1986 immigration amnesty, accepted increases in social spending to get his increased military spending, and implemented mandatory emergency room treatment.

That doesn't begin to touch on presidents like Eisenhower (called for stronger unions and raising the minimum wage, then at the modern equivalent of $8.59 an hour) or Teddy Roosevelt (renowned trust buster, backer of unions, creator of the first national parks, called for wider health insurance).

Such positions would see them all--Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan--pilloried in a modern election run. Too many people are trying to hold on to a fiction of the Republican past. That has to change and the party has to accept new (or at least a range of) views, or Republicans' chances in 2016 for the White House--and even control of Congress--is going to be very questionable.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Deacon » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:06 pm

I think part of he problem is that the Democrats seem to have made peace with themselves as a big-tent party. In a two-party system, say whatever it takes to get people to vote for your party, essentially base populism, and just live with the contradictions and consistencies. There will be plenty of time to make back room deals later.

While at the same time, Republicans have mostly abandoned all principle and decided to pursue the hardcore fundamentalists in their ranks, especially the obnoxiously vocal religious base. Most of it seems to revolve around controlling people who aren't hurting you and trying to keep all immigrants out. Continually condemning people who were born gay and allowing them equal marriage rights continues to gall them, and rather than admit that the lumbering immigration bureaucracy needs significant reforms they'll insist against it so hard that actual amnesty--a terrible idea--might end up coming down the pike as a reaction.

It's frustrating that third parties are shut out of the election debates. I would love to get some good moderate Libertarians involved, as I think if most Republicans were to do a gut check, they would realize that many of the idealized memories they have of past Republican heroes were really those with a strong libertarian bent--not all, and not all the way through, but still.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by NorthernComfort » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:31 pm

I agree that the 2-party system is to blame. Democrats have slowly built up a base of minority support amid changing demographics. Republicans have tried to identify and master new core bases: Dixiecrats, Evangelicals, Rural Middle-Class, Libertarians, and most importantly, Super Wealthy Donors. All of them have talking points specially crafted for them, but in the end they don't mix, and what comes out is a cacophony of pandering with zero principle behind it. Democrats are essentially getting this winner-takes-all by just having a cohesive message, even if all they're saying is "Big government is good, Republicans are bad." And the GOP is foolish enough to validate half their message. And the other side of the 2-party coin is that most people are disgusted with politics and simply vote the lesser of two evils. With the GOP fucking up literally everything they've touched over the last twenty years, it's easier to just cast a vote for typical cronyism.

GOP needs to decide what their guiding principles are and hew to them closely. But they can't just kick a few of their focus groups out and call it a day. Let's say they kicked out Evangelicals, and essentially refuted that line of political thought. It would win over a few centrist Democrats, perhaps, but they would lose far more votes in net aggregate. What they need to do is skate where the puck is heading- they need to embrace the larger demographic shift happening in this country, reject the old Dixiecrat talking points of Law & Order and anti-Immigration (most of the country can see straight through this charade), and try to compete with Democrats over the new base.

But that won't happen when one hand waves to the poor and welcomes minorities and the other hand writes voter registration laws that target them in several indirect ways. This is one of the biggest problems the GOP faces, and they are literally doing it to themselves. To win better election chances in the short-term, they are going to damn themselves in the long-term. Everybody knows what voter registration laws are about, and it's straight out of the Dixiecrat playbook.

And pandering to the 1% is a really dumb plan. Sure, you get some cash money in the campaign warchest, but you piss off the majority of the country! Brilliant! Again, this is the result of short-term thinking that is already backfiring against them.

The GOP also attracts a lot of snake oil salesmen and charlatans, and for proof of that let's just look at the Presidential candidates for 2016... half of them are fully aware they have zero chance of getting elected, zero credentials, but that they can get book deals and TV contracts and build a crappy pundit career out of the GOP's stinking corpse. What a shitshow.

tl;dr GOP is a mess of conflicting ideas and charlatans with little intelligence at the top.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Deacon » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:25 pm

NorthernComfort wrote:Everybody knows what voter registration laws are about
Yes, the "round up loitering minorities and bus them to the polls in case they happen to be registered" crowd has done a spectacular job of messaging that voter fraud isn't a problem, and requiring an ID that shows you are who you say you are--and if you don't have one we'll give you one for free--is racist. That spin is super frustrating, because it's wrong. In Texas, I can walk into an election office with the postcard style registration card of whoever and vote as that person. Then keep coming through the line over and over with as many people's cards as I want, living or dead. And that's just the lightweight stuff. If eliminating voter fraud means fewer fraudulent votes are cast from one demographic or another, that's fine, the chips are supposed to fall where they may.

I realize it's not as specific to presidential elections, but at what point are we going to stop gerrymandering? Ever?
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by NorthernComfort » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:37 pm

It would be lovely to end gerrymandering.

And you are the only person I have ever encountered who hasn't seen through the bullshit behind the new onslaught of Republican-initiated voter registration laws. Literally the only person with such gullibility... but hey, that bullshit is going to fuck the GOP over in the long-term. Don't say you didn't hear it from me first.

I'll say it once again- the GOP has to adapt to this country changing or they are going to dig their own grave. It's no mystery why these voter ID laws are popping up in GOP states. Can you connect the dots?
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Deacon » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:15 pm

They're mostly popping up in border states, I think you mean. What's interesting is that voter eligibility hasn't changed, nor have there been any new hurdles to register. All the same people eligible to vote before are eligible after. The only requirement is that if you claim to be someone in order to vote for them, you must show some sort of ID to confirm you're that person. That's it.

And it's easy to say you're superior because you can "see through" it all for what it really is. But no one has yet sufficiently explained the theory, much less provided any actual evidence. The closest I've found is the argument that voter fraud probably isn't a big deal, so don't worry about it. Few legitimate voters are devoid of all identification, and the handful that have somehow avoided ever having any ID at all are offered free ones available for the asking. There really seems to be nothing to argue against. Compliance is nearly universal out of the gate, and whatever exceptions remain are easily fulfilled for free.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by NorthernComfort » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:32 pm

DoJ, re: Texas voter ID laws. source
Thus, we conclude that the total number of registered voters who lack a driver's license or personal identification card issued by DPS could range from 603,892 to 795,955. The disparity between the percentages of Hispanics and non-Hispanics who lack these forms of identification ranges from 46.5 to 120.0 percent. That is, according to the state's own data, a Hispanic registered voter is at least 46.5 percent, and potentially 120.0 percent, more likely than a non-Hispanic registered voter to lack this identification. Even using the data most favorable to the state, Hispanics disproportionately lack either a driver's license or a personal identification card issued by DPS, and that disparity is statistically significant.
An applicant for an election identification certificate will be required to provide two pieces of secondary identification, or one piece of secondary identification and two supporting documents. If a voter does not posess any of these documents, the least expensive option will be to spend $22 on a copy of the voter's birth certificate. There is a statistically significant correlation between the Hispanic population percentage of a county and the percentage of a county's population that lives below the poverty line. The legislature tabled amendments that would have prohibited states from charging for any underlying documents needed to obtain an acceptable form of photographic identification
Even after submitting data that show over 600,000 registered voters do not have either a driver's license or personal identification card issued by DPS - and that a disproportiante share of those registered voters are Hispanic - the state has faild to propose, much less adopt, any program for individuals who have to travel significant distance to a DPS office, who have limited access to transportation, or who are unable to get to a DPS office during their hours of operation.
Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the submitting authority has the burden of showing that a submitted change has neither a discriminatory purpose nor a discriminatory effect. Georgia v. United States, 411 U.S. 526 (1973); 28 C.F.R 51.52. In light of the considerations discussed above, I cannot conclude that your burden has been sustained in this instance.
2 incidents of voter impersonation in Texas over a 10 year period.
18 incidents of any kind of voter fraud over that 10 year period.
600,000-800,000 registered voters who have a hurdle to voting, hitting Hispanics mostly.
Legislation brought forward by Republicans.
In a state that is turning blue thanks to changing demographics.

... if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

I'm not saying I'm superior because I can see through it. Everybody can see through it. It's fucking obvious. If you honestly don't see it, well, sorry. But this is what the GOP is stooping to. This is the future of the party in a nutshell. A flimsy excuse and voter disenfranchisement. Whatever- Texas will be blue within a couple decades either way, and instead of the GOP preparing for the future, they're actively burning bridges. Sleep tight!
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by The Cid » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:07 pm

It's nothing new from me but it will always, always, always make me sad that so many people talk about political parties in the same language I use to talk about my favorite sports teams. Because when I'm talking about sports, I know that the "us vs. them" lens through which I watch the games is not productive in real life where things matter.

That some people look on Republicans, the vast majority of whom are voters in violation of nothing (and with more in common with Democrats than issues on which the two are apart), as a group easily-defined and stereotyped just makes me worry we can't actually fix anything with the system we have.

Likewise, you have your Republicans who want their party to win every election. Which, pretty much if one party rules all that's unchecked power. Well, those Republicans (or some of my neighbors who would like the Democratic Party to win all elections for the rest of time) had better be confident that they're right. About everything. And that the other guys are wrong. About everything. Because listening to people talk about it, we've gone past negotiation and past working together.

And I don't know how it gets better. I don't know how people stop letting their party have power over their opinions. I don't know if we can, as a general voting public, think for ourselves anymore. Obviously we can, but as a collective?
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by NorthernComfort » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:09 pm

Join me as an Independent. The water is great, and you get to hate on absolutely everybody!

But I agree. On some issues I am very far right, and on others I am very far left. I am never going to be able to support either party. My only hope is that over my lifetime enough people feel as I do and I will find authentic politicians who represent my views. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Cyberliger777 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:17 am

So many talking points, where to begin?
Martin Blank wrote:Republicans love to look back at their heritage and claim especially Lincoln and Reagan, but they overlook that these two men also held views that are anathema to the current platform.
One of the reason I think that most people refer to them as the GOP and not republicans anymore. They have left the ideas the party had in the past behind and become a new party with the same name.

On the issue of voter registration, I do believe having an id should be mandatory for voting. At the same time, we should enact law to mandate help to all citizens so they can all have id for free or at a cost that is reasonable.
NorthernComfort wrote:Join me as an Independent. The water is great, and you get to hate on absolutely everybody!

But I agree. On some issues I am very far right, and on others I am very far left. I am never going to be able to support either party. My only hope is that over my lifetime enough people feel as I do and I will find authentic politicians who represent my views. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath.
I am already in the pool with you. And while this is not on topic at all, we need to change the system of how we elect our representatives. The first past the post system we us if partially to blame for all of the problems in our two parties. Now if only we could elect enough senators on both side that would actually put into law a new system that would take away the power from the political parties and put it back in the citizens hands.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Deacon » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:49 pm

Wow, so Eric Holder's DOJ under Obama found a way to spin it so that Hispanic voters are literally 120% more likely to have no ID whatsoever, not even a birth certificate. Yet those people somehow successfully managed to successfully register to vote. And they theorize that someone out there who's managed to successfully register to vote with no ID and no birth certificate also lives in the middle of nowhere, where it's unreasonably burdensome for them to even show up once to get an ID. How everyone else living there gets their driver's license remains a mystery--acquiring an ID being the overwhelmingly predominant time to register to vote since you're there already and claiming to live at a particular address. And they throw stats out there but conveniently leave out how many people in their hypothetical scenario they theorize would be effected. Is it one person? Twenty five?

Even more galling, they pretend to have a handle on voter impersonation when there is no requirement to show you are the person you're voting for, swinging for the fences with a claim of 2 people over 10 years? Hell, more people than that join suicide cults over 10 years. They could've at least invented a slightly more realistic number, more in line with all the social security and Medicare and welfare fraud out there. And I wonder what they have to say about laws requiring you to present ID when requested by a police officer, when there apparently untold millions in Texas alone with no ID whatsoever and nearly three quarters of a million of them somehow being registered voters.

But because you're so much more enlightened, you swallow whole without question the Democrat story. Awesome. Just make sure, since you hate the Democrats just as much, that you don't apply the same kind of cynicism to their transparent attempts to game the system wherever possible--legally or otherwise--to find some way to muster up hundreds of thousands of totally legit Democrat voters in their pocket who apparently live a hermit's life on their own off the grid in the middle of nowhere with no ID and no birth certificate, so they can try to paint the state blue for Hillary and other future Democratic presidential hopefuls.

PS You don't get to use that Republicans supported the legislation as proof that it's racist and then say Republicans must be racist because they supported racist legislation. That some sort of unholy union of begging the question and circular logic.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Martin Blank » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:14 pm

I support the idea of voter ID, but I also believe that voter fraud is virtually non-existent. Most races aren't close enough to be affected by it anyway.

If you're going to have voter ID laws, though, you have to enable those who cannot afford it or for medical reasons cannot make the trip to get their IDs handled. Free documentation (though that can only be required within a state, not by one state of another) for the poor is a good start, but it needs more. Registrar employees, law enforcement, notaries, or officers of the court could visit homes of those who cannot make it, though some mechanism to avoid people who request it out of sheer laziness would be needed. It would cost more, but preserving rights is sometimes expensive.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by NorthernComfort » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:40 am

Since voter fraud is virtually non-existent, what is the key reasoning for these voter ID laws?

Time is finite. Many people living in poverty simply don't have time to get their paperwork in order or take time off work to get the ID or even get to a polling station. Election day should be a federal holiday, and if you're eligible to vote, you should be able to vote. End of story.
Deacon wrote:PS You don't get to use that Republicans supported the legislation as proof that it's racist and then say Republicans must be racist because they supported racist legislation. That some sort of unholy union of begging the question and circular logic.
... where did I say either of those two straw men? Please provide citations next time you try to put words in my mouth.
Even more galling, they pretend to have a handle on voter impersonation when there is no requirement to show you are the person you're voting for, swinging for the fences with a claim of 2 people over 10 years? Hell, more people than that join suicide cults over 10 years. They could've at least invented a slightly more realistic number, more in line with all the social security and Medicare and welfare fraud out there
Well, on one hand we have the number 2, which is the number of voter impersonation convictions in Texas from 2003-2013, and which was presented to the Supreme Court last year. On the other hand, we have your speculation that it's a a larger number in line with different crimes with different incentives. Which to choose?

Please bring facts and citations, not idle speculation. All this hot air just makes me sleepy.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by Deacon » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:15 am

I can't on my own prove that voter fraud is on a less laughably nonexistent scale any more than your or the DOJ can prove that it isn't. There's no possible way to know for certain just how pervasive it is, other than anecdotal stories about which I am aware, which don't serve as proof anyway. Because the only requirement is to show up with a voter registration card, there's absolutely no way to know how deep this basic version of voter fraud goes. The fact that there have been only 2 convictions in 10 years ought not to fill you with confidence that the massive amount--and much more difficult to pull off--fraud going on with every other government system is somehow not occurring here, but should instead serve to illustrate to you how it's nearly impossible to understand how much it may or may not have occurred.

In your list of damning evidence that this is racist legislation targeted at disenfranchising perfectly legitimate and valid hispanic voters, you include the bulleted item: "Legislation brought forward by Republicans." While you can certainly make the claim that Republicans think they may benefit from combating voter fraud, you cannot use that as proof that Republicans are racist or that the requirement is racist because Republican support it (or both, whatever you were intending to communicate there).

I do find it interesting that the concern seems to be for hermit undocumented hispanics, disregarding the quite large population of impoverished white people all over the state of Texas. If the concern is truly about poverty, not voting demographics, then I'm not sure why you wouldn't be equally concerned about the ability of rural trailer trash to get a free ID and vote.

Though personally, I'm not convinced that the concern is really about some handful of undocumented hermit hispanics hiding out off the grid suddenly being disenfranchised. And I'm not sure I buy the argument that if even one of these shadow hispanics has more difficulty staying under the radar and still getting to vote, that it's a condemnation of the whole concept. I think the hypothetical exception cases dreamed up by those who feel they would be hurt if voter fraud were ended is the flimsiest of smokescreens. There is a very, very small handful of people who could happen to fall in that tiny intersection of all those circles in the Venn diagram, the ones who would fall in the perfect storm of valid voters who are undocumented, invalid, impoverished, immobile hispanics living in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: The near-term future of the Republican Party

Post by NorthernComfort » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:44 am

I can't on my own prove that voter fraud is on a less laughably nonexistent scale any more than your or the DOJ can prove that it isn’t.
Texas, 2003-2013, 20 million votes cast, 2 voter impersonation convictions. ~0.00000005%
That's laughably nonexistent, and you have provided exactly zero data to refute this.
In your list of damning evidence that this is racist legislation targeted at disenfranchising perfectly legitimate and valid hispanic voters, you include the bulleted item: "Legislation brought forward by Republicans.”
And yet you accuse me of circular logic?! Show me where I said this was racist legislation, or take it back.

And there have been times in my life where I didn't have valid ID and wasn't able to get one due to lack of documents at hand. So the penalty for my hectic youth should be being denied the right to vote? I'd love to see somebody say that to my face.
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