Monday, December 10, 2012

White man: "whaddaya mean, we?"

"Epistemic closure" is by now a tired, not say clunky, phrase. But how else do describe this dead-end thinking, relayed in today's Playbook?
‘Political consultants in Washington are panicking about Hispanics, and their solution is to grant amnesty,’ said a conservative GOP lawmaker … ‘They’re afraid Hispanics hate Republicans, so they want more of them? It doesn’t pass the laugh test. … [M]embers are right to be worried about getting primaried.’ …
The unlaughable strategy, then, is to keep Hispanics out -- and by extension, to work overtime to keep the voting population as white as possible.

As a Democrat, I might from a purely adversarial standpoint cheer such thinking on, as it's a recipe for electoral suicide.  But in our two party system, one party's buy-in to this kind of thinking is a danger to democracy itself. The GOP's Jeb Bushes recognize this, and they're going to have to fight it out with the base, and the right-wing entertainment complex.

I have long suspected that we're in a race: will electoral pressures push the GOP back toward the center, or will the GOP, taking power before that happens, cripple our democracy with corporate (and billionaire) cash, voter suppression, union-busting, and tax and spending measures that  accelerate the erosion of the middle class and further rig our economy in favor of the 1%?  This election bought us a little breathing room and increased the odds that the GOP will respond to electoral pressure.  I for one would like to reach a day where I might consider voting for a Republican.

BTW, with regard to the choice that was before us in this last election, I think that Obama's convention speech was seriously underrated.  Here's how he framed the choice:
If you turn away now – if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible … well, change will not happen.  If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health-care choices that women should make for themselves.

Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen.  Only you have the power to move us forward.

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