I’ve been saying this for over a decade, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious with each passing year: The Republican Party, no matter what they do or how they position themselves, are basically toast after the 2012 election. Long predicted demographic trends that doom the GOP as a national majority party by 2016, are here NOW. And there is really nothing much they can do about it at this point.
Unless, of course, in November they take the White House, the Senate, hold on to the House and then ram thorough laws revoking the voting rights of anybody save for old white people who watch Fox News. If not, they’re fucked. and I mean fucked fucked. They know it, too.
There’s a not-so-silent subtext that comes through loud and clear in virtually all of the Republican messaging this year: “We’re desperate. Help us cement a wealthy Caucasian oligarchy in place before it’s too late and our way of life is finished!”
Well, good luck with that, assholes, as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains:
What are the three demographic groups whose electoral impact is growing fastest? Hispanics, women and young people. Who are Republicans pissing off the most? Latinos, women, and young people.
It’s almost as if the GOP can’t help itself.
Start with Hispanic voters, whose electoral heft keeps growing as they comprise an ever-larger portion of the electorate. Hispanics now favor President Obama over Romney by more than two to one, according to a recent Pew poll.
The movement of Hispanics into the Democratic camp has been going on for decades. What are Republicans doing to woo them back? Replicating California Republican Governor Pete Wilson’s disastrous support almost twenty years ago for Proposition 187 – which would have screened out undocumented immigrants from public schools, health care, and other social services, and required law-enforcement officials to report any “suspected” illegals. (Wilson, you may remember, lost that year’s election, and California’s Republican Party has never recovered.)
The Arizona law now before the Supreme Court – sponsored by Republicans in the state and copied by Republican legislators and governors in several others – would authorize police to stop anyone looking Hispanic and demand proof of citizenship. It’s nativism disguised as law enforcement.
Romney is trying to distance himself from that law, but it’s not working. That may be because he dubbed it a “model law” during February’s Republican primary debate in Arizona, and because its author (former state senator Russell Pearce, who was ousted in a special election last November largely by angry Hispanic voters) says he’s working closely with Romney advisers.
Hispanics are also reacting to Romney’s attack just a few months ago on GOP rival Texas Governor Rick Perry for supporting in-state tuition at the University of Texas for children of undocumented immigrants. And to Romney’s advocacy of what he calls “self-deportation” – making life so difficult for undocumented immigrants and their families that they choose to leave.
As if all this weren’t enough, the GOP has been pushing voter ID laws all over America, whose obvious aim is to intimidate Hispanic voters so they won’t come to the polls. But they may have the opposite effect – emboldening the vast majority of ethnic Hispanics, who are American citizens, to vote in even greater numbers and lend even more support to Obama and other Democrats.
And that’s just some of the ways the Republicans have gotten into hot water with Hispanic voters. Reich goes on to catalog more of the ridiculous missteps the GOP has made in recent memory when it comes to women and young voters. He concludes with a rhetorical question that he bluntly answers:
How can a political party be so dumb as to piss off Hispanics, women, and young people? Because the core of its base is middle-aged white men – and it doesn’t seem to know how to satisfy its base without at the same time turning off everyone who’s not white, male and middle-aged.
That’s it, in a nutshell, isn’t it? What a shitty balancing act to be forced into, but they did it to themselves. The key demographic, the slice of America that the GOP depends on the most is aging white people, especially older men, the same folks who still subscribe to newspapers and listen to talk radio. A demographic that is literally dying off.
Where will all the new Republicans come from to replace the old farts that are croaking in ever increasing numbers with each passing day/week/month/year? (I’d like to see some kind of time-lapse Koyaanisqatsi-esque visual treatment of that human erosion, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t that be emotionally satisfying? I sure think it would be!)
So if you find yourself wondering why the overweening message coming from the GOP is so apocalyptic and why the rhetoric has turned so toxic in recent years, wonder no more, this election does indeed represent an apocalyptic turning point for the GOP. On a conscious level, they have to know this, but on a subconscious level, it also goes some way towards explaining the barely concealed racist and nativist undercurrents to the GOP message this year. This is a national election they can’t afford to lose, but fully expect that they will lose, just the same, so the language becomes more and more shrill and fantasies of forged birth certificates (or impeachment) become the last threads they can grasp at.
It’s pathetic, but I have no sympathy for them. The far-right in America is a lost cause, but luckily for the rest of us, one that’s clinging by its fingernails, demographically speaking.
Like I said, this time, they’re fucked fucked. Sit back and witness the real-time implosion of the Grand Old Party in 2012. It’s been a long time coming, but that long predicted future is now.
Read: The GOP’s Death Wish: Why Republicans Can’t Stop Pissing Off Hispanics, Women, and Young People
The future of the Republican Party