Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Question for Conservatives

Over the last two weeks, Republican reformers have written several critiques that have received a fair amount of attention (I thought Ross Douthat's summary was good and important), which makes it a good time for an assessment: what do you think of the Republican reaction to the 2012 elections so far?


  1. Seems like a good reaction; I'm very skeptical that a substantive ideological shift is necessary to win at the national level (especially in 2016 after Dems have been in for two terms and Republicans have a deep bench of quality candidates). 2016 might bring substantive moderation, but I'm even skeptical of that.

  2. Does anyone know a single person who voted for Nixon?

    1. I cast my first vote for Nixon in 1972 at age 21. On my very liberal University of Michigan campus, where I was a first year graduate student in mathematics, about 25% of the student body voted for Nixon, with far more Nixon supporters in the business and engineering schools than in Arts & Sciences.

    2. My grandfather voted for Nixon twice ('68 and '72; went for JFK in '60). He was sufficiently repulsed by Watergate and the party's rightward, Reaganite drift that he never voted GOP for President again.

    3. Theo, either that's a wry joke or you're from Massachusetts ;)

  3. I am very unhappy with the post-election support of some influential Republicans like Rubio, McCain and Graham for immigration reform leading to amnesty for 11 to 14 million illegal immigrants, most of them of Mexican descent. The fact is that a substantial percentage of illegal immigrants are here alone, and that once they get green cards, they will be able to petition for their wives and children to join them in the U.S. And if they become U.S. citizens, they will also be able to petition for their siblings and parents. Those migrants, in turn, can petition for their own relatives. So within 10 to 15 years, legalizing 11 million immigrants could result in 30 million new arrivals.
    There is no way an economically conservative Republican Party can win elections with such an electorate. The overwhelming majority of Hispanics support bigger government in all the polls, as is sensible from their perspective, since they benefit from affirmative action and on average earn significantly lower incomes than non-Hispanic whites and Asians.

  4. It baffles me that they think the problem is messaging and not using turnout mechanics with the sole policy change to be immigration. I live in a swing state and saw no ads about immigration. The dems pounded the GOP about only caring for the rich and Romney as an outsourcing champion. If millions of poor Latinos are legalized they will vote for the party that offers them health insurance not the party that offers low capital gains taxes.

    In 2004 and 2012 OH was the key state. OH has few immigrants but many whites whose wages have been stagnant. Dems offer them health insurance and a rise in the minimum wage and the GOP offers them nothing.

    I am not sure if the fixation on Latinos is delusional or a reflection of the wishes of wealthy donors. There is certainly a contempt for poor whites from both parties elites who want to increase legal immigration when the labor market is lousy for the low skilled.


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