Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Tea Party will re-elect Barack Obama in 2012?

And here's why:

If Barack Obama is somehow able to win reelection, the Tea Party should be on his list for a thank you note. President Obama’s prospects for reelection are decidedly mixed, but better than we’d expect given all else in the environment.

The economy is terrible, unemployment is high, and President Obama’s approval rating is extremely low. Normally, this bodes badly for a president seeking reelection, although in this case, Obama’s approval rating is still much higher than the ratings for Congress or the Republican Party. The Tea Party deserves some of the credit.

At least two Tea Party achievements are now helping the president: By invigorating the Republican Party’s base and helping it make huge gains in the 2010 elections, activists have been able to pressure members of Congress to work on their agenda....an agenda that isn’t very popular with the rest of the country.

The Republican Party in Congress is now comprised of people elected with Tea Party support, others who fear being challenged in primaries by Tea Partiers. The House passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s model budget, which would slash both taxes and government and turn Medicare into a voucher program. Policy merits (or de-merits) aside, it’s awful politics. Republicans turned the debt ceiling debate into a debacle, and are now blocking an extension of the reduced payroll tax on working Americans to protect low rates on–really–millionaires.

Tea Party enthusiasts are still disappointed. Others are scared. And the Republicans need a presidential candidate to beat Barack Obama. Without discussing intelligence and integrity at this point, candidates for the Republican nomination have created the weakest field of hopefuls in my opinion in either party for generations.

The party out of power wants to nominate a presidential candidate who can win elections, and has demonstrated that ability in the past, preferably by winning big elections. Practically, this means governors and senators, preferably from large and/or swing states. Among the top tier of candidates, only Mitt Romney (Massachusetts) and........ Rick Perry (Texas), yes Rick Perry qualify on this front, and Governor Perry has disappointed as a campaigner so you can almost stick a fork in him. Ex-Governor & Ex--U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman (Utah) have generated minimal support, but he out of all the GOP candidates is the most well-positioned to take on President Obama & win because he doesn't come off as a scary, or a loon or too hardcore for voters who are independent/moderate.

Meanwhile, the rest of the field has included Herman Cain, a radio host who could have surprised political pols had not been for the various women who came out against him who alleged he had either sexual harassed them or affairs with them, former Senator Rick Santorum, who had been at the bottom of the barrel has found new life in a new polls showing him surging with the Iowa Caucuses only 5 days away, & two sitting members of the House, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul), and a former Speaker of the House Newton "Newt" Gingrich who was forced to resign in disgrace by his own party more than a decade ago & someone who I said could give Obama a run for his money if he somehow makes it to the general election.

The Tea Party mobilization within the Republican Party scared off or silenced many establishment Republicans, and nourished several weak and improbable candidates. It has also moved the entire debate far to the right, with candidates trying to cultivate the enthusiasm demonstrated by Tea Partiers.

Because he started organizing and fundraising early, and because he has been willing to pander to the Tea Party, Governor Romney has survived all of this, but left little space and money for anyone else from the party establishment. Romney has been unable to increase his support, and thus far, no one else has been able to topple him.

While journalists and political junkies may fantasize about the excitement of a brokered convention, it’s likely that one of the candidates still in the field will win the nomination through the primary process. If it’s Governor Romney, he will be a less than inspiring choice for the Tea Partiers and some evangelicals at the Republican base, but he will have made enough pandering statements to them to fill the ads of his Democratic opponents.

Any of the other Republican candidates would be substantially weaker in a general election. Either way, the Tea Party has had the perverse effect of helping the electoral prospects of its prime target.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Peach State's "Affirmative Action" Racial Redistricting

Racial Gerrymandering is no longer needed if you ask me. I'm a strong believer that majority-minority districts are no longer needed because blacks have made vast improvements in American society. The strides blacks have made in American society are greater than any other minority group in this country. But I will admit that black had the furthest to go & blacks still occupy a lower socioeconomic position in society, but chooses to focus on the improvements blacks have made.

Those arguing for majority-minority districts believe that because of continued racism whites will not vote for black candidates, which is not true. Look at former Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder as examples of Black(Moderate) candidates who won contest in their perspective states.

Now those candidates with drastically liberal views, be if they're black or white, will rarely be elected to office in the south. Blacks constitute an ideological minority and this explains their inability to be elected in the south. When blacks are elected in the south it is often because they are conservative.

One thing is certain, that the creation of majority-minority districts unfairly stigmatizes black voters. It gives the perception that blacks are relegated to a position of helplessness in our society. They can get no where in society unless they are given special favors. Further, underlying the creation of majority-minority districts is the premise that race is the most important factor when choosing representatives. Creating districts categorizes people in terms of race that is a dangerous practice. The entire goal of the civil rights movement was to stop viewing people in terms of race and to start viewing people in terms of individuals and the majority-minority districting system does just that.

Despite the fact that blacks are in general more liberal on some issues, majority-minority districts are not necessary for blacks to win elections. Those supporting racial gerrymandering commonly believe that 65 percent of a district must be black to ensure a black representative will be elected. However, a number of blacks have been elected in districts in which less that 50 percent of the districts’ population was black. (Sanford Bishop, Floyd Griffin, State Senate in 1992, Michael Thurmond, State House in 1986)

Also interests are not linked to race. In other words, a white person can represent the interest of blacks just as a black can represent the interests of whites. This is because interests can not be identified solely on the basis of race. Substantive representation is more important that descriptive representation. Descriptive representation has no bearing on substantive representation. there is no guarantee that a black official will support the same policies as most blacks do. Gerrymandering is becoming an ineffective method of ensuring minority representation. When majority-minority districts are created, first a pocket of blacks must be target. We are running out of areas to target and create majority-minority districts. 10 years from now, we can expect severe limitations on what can be achieved by relying on the creation of black districts to ensure the election of black politicians.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice approved the new maps redrawn by Georgia Republicans & as a result the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus has threatened to fight the DOJ over the "Affirmative Action" Racial Gerrymandering Maps.

How to best draw representational lines raises a fundamental philosophical and practical issue for African-Americans--the problem of duality. The problem takes many forms: integration versus separation, inclusion versus communal obligation, and as we can see in the reapportionment battle, direct representation by blacks versus black influence over mostly white officeholders. Strong arguments can be made on both sides. 10 years ago, Many African-American political leaders, including many members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, felt that having direct representation is more important than preserving or "saving" white Democratic seats. So they, along with the-then minority Republicans came together to create more black districts, which in effect hung white rural democrats out to dry. As a result of those actions, you now have a democratic legislature that is 98% Black. Now they're saying the new maps discriminate against African Americans. Black Dems suck as Rep Tyrone Brooks (R-Atlanta) who led the effort to maximize black representation now have to lay in the bed they made themselves.

"Affirmative Action Racial Gerrymandering," as I call it, creates more division within the state and may not be in the best long-term self-interest of the African-American community. Drawing districts--whether they be school districts, city or county council districts, legislative districts, or U.S. House districts--with a first priority of maximizing the number of majority-minority districts re segregates communities, causes representatives to see issues mainly in terms of black and white, divides communities into multiple districts so that they lose a clear single voice devoted to them, and has a general negative impact on race relations. Creating majority African American districts tends to pack districts with African-American voters so that representatives from neighboring nearly all-white districts pay little attention to the needs of blacks.

Concentrating black voters in districts to elect black representatives dilute support among other representatives for bills favored by blacks. Spreading black voters across more districts resulted in the election of representatives who were more sensitive to black interests. Its a waste of time & effort for democrats to go to court over the maps. Just Let it be! With 63 democrats in the house, 20 in the senate, this map will force democrats to compete in areas that they had written off in the past. The "Big Tent Party" now has to live up to that monikor & re-open it arms for conservative-minded democrats in its ranks. If not, then they better get comfortable being in the wilderness for the next 10, 20, 30 years.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We'll Be Back After New Year's 2012

Peanut Politics will be back roaring & ready to go in January 2012. Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!!
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat