Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How the GOP will change after Trump


How much will the Republican Party change after the Trumpocalypse? Zero. Nada. None at all.

Leaders at every level have signaled that white nationalism is now acceptable in the Party of Lincoln. From Paul Ryan to Scott Walker to Marco Rubio, senior figures have confirmed that tax cuts are a higher priority on the Republican agenda than basic human rights and civil liberties.

No one can unring that bell.

Many Republicans fantasize that after Trump’s defeat the party will execute a miraculous “pivot,” restoring sanity and regaining some semblance of relevance. Unfortunately, our embrace of racist groups will dictate the party’s short, grim future. A change of direction is impossible because all of the party’s feedback mechanisms have been systematically dismantled.

The Politics of Crazy has eroded the social capital institutions that once blunted the influence of dumb ideas and daffy candidates. A conservative entertainment complex has destroyed any means by which Republican voters might confront dissonant information. Whatever organizational structure the party once enjoyed has been replaced by a vampire squid of grift, a matrix of interconnected cons funneling contributions down a bottomless hole.

Very few of the people who built this mess have any stake in the outcome. If RNC Chairman Reince Priebus fails to retain his position next year, he’ll leave the worst job on the planet to quadruple his income (at least) with a fat position on K street. For Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the rest of the conservative entertainment complex, the show will go on without pausing to apologize. The same people who bought tickets to see Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s America will fork over more cash for next year’s low-budget sequel. Nobody pays for getting it wrong.

With the party stripped of feedback mechanisms, Trump’s defeat will do nothing to interrupt the GOP’s decline. The kind of people who think climate change is a hoax aren’t going to reconsider their life choices just because some guy lost an election.The Reagan coalition is dead, but the remaining members can’t smell the corpse. They don’t understand why their rhetoric falls flat. They have no idea why younger voters have rejected them. They can’t comprehend why their policies are failing in the places that have adopted them. Most of all, they refuse to rethink the positions and rhetoric that have driven non-white voters from the party.

After November, Republican leadership will pretend that Trump was some kind of anomaly, an act of God like a hurricane or earthquake. There will be so-called “reforms.” Fresh slogans will be spray-painted over the same flaming dumpster. Smiling, cooperative, “well-spoken” black people will be paraded on stage at Republican events all over the country. No effort to soften the party’s tone will change the fact that 70% of Republican primary voters supported either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in 2016. Those voters aren’t going to get smarter overnight. They aren’t going to reflect on their choices. And they aren’t going away.

Absent a fundamental reconstruction of the party it will never again nominate a competitive candidate for President. That reconstruction isn’t coming anytime soon, because there are no forces in the party capable of delivering it.

What does this mean for the party’s future?

The party’s shift toward a more open white nationalism is a terminal event that will play out across the next four years. Big losses in 2016 will probably be tempered somewhat by a fleeting recovery in 2018. Forces that boost Republicans in off-year races remain at work, though they continue to weaken. A few wins in 2018 will not be enough to staunch the bleeding.

By 2020 the demographic forces that have driven the party out of contention nationally will be impossible to ignore. That will be the first election in which a significant number of millennials have hit the real voting age – 35 – the age at which people start to participate reliably in politics. In the next Presidential election millennials will be nearly 40% of eligible voters. Beyond 2020 they will completely dominate our politics.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Joseph Hunter: The Case for Jeb Bush

After months of Hamlet-like vacillation, John Ellis (Jeb) Bush decides to join the 2016 Presidential race. The leader among all of the declared and undeclared Republican presidential candidates, Bush offers something most of the candidates do not–executive experience running a state that the GOP must win in order to win the 2016 election. Still though, many Republicans remain skeptical of Mr. Bush, some flatly refusing to vote for “another Bush.” Here are 3 reasons why Republicans should keep an open mind about the Jeb Bush candidacy.

Reason One: Jeb Bush Joins the Race Enjoying Advantages the Other Candidates Envy

Martin O’Malley, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson share a common first hurdle to a successful White House bid–earning widespread name recognition. For some candidates, their relative obscurity serves them well: Senator Marco Rubio, for example, can define himself on his own terms. Martin O’Malley, on the other hand, struggles to get any attention at all. For Jeb Bush, name recognition cuts both ways: on the one hand, Bush enjoys the benefits of belonging to a respected political family that Americans feel as if they know. After all, the only Republicans to win the White House since Ronald Reagan were Bushes. Still, though,Jeb must make the case that he is his own man, worthy of the job on his own merits, not just because of his last name. That task represents an opportunity similar to Senator Rubio’s.  Being from such a successful political family brings with it two more important advantages–networking and money. Leading up to his announcement, Bush has been cobbling together an enviable campaign team of big names like Danny Diaz, Heather Larrison, and Alex Lundry. Many of these people worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and worked for George W. Bush as well. Heather Larrison leads Bush’s dynamic fundraising team that has been greatly outpacing his rivals’. Mr. Rubio, also from Florida, has been struggling to build his fundraising base upon Florida donors, because Bush’s influence in the state is deeper and wider-reaching. In fact, whichever candidate performs worse in Florida’s winner take all primary will likely end his White House bid immediately thereafter.  Name recognition, deep political networks and strong fundraising abilities are important aspects to running a winning campaign. 

Reason Two: America Values Individual Accomplishment More than Bloodlines

By far, the most braindead “argument” against a Jeb Bush presidential run (and in fairness, against Hillary Clinton as well) is “Not Another Bush.” This reticence to support Mr. Bush purely based on his last name indicates immaturity and irrational thinking. For those of us who have siblings, would it be fair to say that knowing one of you is the same as knowing the other? Do you think the same as your siblings on all matters? Do you think the same as your father on all matters? Most matters? Most bothersome about the “Not Another Bush” line, is that it runs contrary to America’s greatest ideal, that which sets us apart from our European kin: America values the individual more than the bloodline. And we should continue to do so. Betraying that idea betrays the notion that anyone can “make it” in America if he or she just works hard and plays by the rules. By this standard, Jeb Bush has earned his right to be taken seriously along with the other candidates because he governed Florida successfully and conservatively. At present, he appears to be an upstanding man with a good family (all families face challenges, of course). He holds his own policy positions that may vary from his brother and father, and still fall within the conservative spectrum. On these elements should he be judged, not on his family lineage.  

Reason Three: Jeb Bush Falls within the GOP Mainstream

The 2016 GOP candidate will surely need the support from the broadest coalitions of the conservative movement. He or she will need to speak most of all to social conservatives, economic conservatives, and defense-minded conservatives. On the issues most important to these constituencies, Jeb Bush falls within the mainstream. Unlike George Pataki, Bush holds a consistent record opposing abortion. Unlike Mike Huckabee, Bush does not need to defend himself against allegations of reliance on federal funds during his governorship. Unlike Rand Paul, Bush speaks clearly about reinstating a forward-leaning foreign policy.  Furthermore, for Bush’s conservative bona fides, he strikes a moderate tone–an important ingredient for any GOP candidate to win the general election. Without a doubt, Mr. Bush faces a list of challenges and formidable candidates in his 2016 bid. While he leads the pack in most polls, his lead wanes–most notably, in Florida. Still, though, Bush represents a serious candidate in whom Republicans can take pride. A welcome addition to the large field of candidates, Jeb Bush deserves serious consideration in his own right.

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About the Author: Joseph Hunter is a conservative writer from Chicago who blogs at Black and Red. You can follow him on twitter @blkandred.

Cleo Brown: The Conservative Case for “Housing First”


According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), homelessness is defined as “people who are living in a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelter, in transitional housing, or are existing in an institution where they temporarily reside for up to ninety days; or people who have lost their primary night-time residence, which may include a motel or a hotel.”

Similarly, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, defines homelessness as “the condition of people without a regular dwelling-people who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing, or lack “fixed, regular and adequate night-time residence. The term ‘homeless’ may also include people whose primary night-time residence is in a homeless shelter, a warming center, a domestic violence shelter, a vehicle, cardboard boxes, a tent,” etc. The United Nations defines homelessness as “rooflessness.” This includes people “living in the streets without shelter”; and “persons with no place of usual residence…including dwellings, shelters, and institutions for the homeless or other living quarters.”

As of 2005, there were at least 100 million homeless people world-wide. There are currently, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, between 2.3 and 3.5 million people experiencing homelessness in the U.S.A. And, according to a 2008 study by HUD, in January of 2007, 671, 888 people experienced homelessness. The study concluded that about 58 percent lived in shelters and transitional housing while the other 42 percent were unsheltered. In 2010, another group, AHAR (Annual Homeless Assessment Report) found that 1,593,150 individuals were homelessness, of which 85 percent were single and 75-80 percent were male.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Why Rand Paul’s presidential bid should matter to black America


It is official.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is running for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.  But why should black America care?
Pay close attention to his views on mass incarceration and the war on drugs, which could move the Republican Party forward on criminal justice reform and possibly attract blacks, younger voters and other Democratic base voters. But don’t lose sight of the senator’s past statements against civil rights, which sound a lot like the same ol’ GOP story.  And that story, brought to you by the tea party, has not been very friendly to black people these days.
“I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government,” Paul said on his campaign website.
Source: The Grio. Read full article.