Sunday, January 27, 2013

Conservatives offend brown people, progressives ignore them

Its pretty easy these days to point out the racism on the right. Between the election/re-election of Barack Hussein Obama and the changing demographics, those folks have put down the dog whistles and picked up the fog horns.

Racism tends to look a little different on the left side of the political isle. But today I found a pretty good example of how it plays out. That's a link to an article on the front page of Daily Kos. The author pulls up lots of statistics in an attempt to make the point that recent elections demonstrate that Democrats can now appeal to their liberal base and win.

What's interesting is that nowhere in the entire article does the author attempt to define "base." It is taken for granted (as is shown in the comments) that he means those who dominate the discussion on Daily Kos - white highly educated upper income progressives.

People like that always ignore statistics like the one where President Obama only got 39% of the white vote in 2012. Conversely, he got 93% of the African American vote, 71% of the Latino vote and 73% of the Asian vote. You wanna re-think that idea about who represents the "base" of the Democratic Party?

The author points out that more and more voters are embracing the label of "liberal." And that is the sole basis for his belief that Democrats can now run on appealing to the liberal base and eschew their attempts to win over moderate voters.

To demonstrate, he uses statistics from suburban and urban counties in Wisconsin.
Consider the difference in the bases for the Democrats and the GOP. In the "WOW" counties that ring Milwaukee (Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington), turnout increased a total of 6.3 percent. Those three counties, which totalled 378,000 voters in 2012, are the home base for Wisconsin Republicans, and have given the GOP their margin of victory in their occasional statewide wins in the state.

Dane County [which he's already defined as a "base" county], meanwhile, saw its turnout increase a total of 10.9 percent in the past eight years. For the first time in a presidential election this year, Dane County crept over 300,000 votes cast in a presidential election.
What he never mentions is that the demographics of Madison (in Dane County) have gone from 15% to 25% people of color during that same time period, with the majority of those increases coming from African Americans and Asians.

Its probably true that more people on the left are getting comfortable with thinking of themselves as "liberals." But to assume that is the major reason for our recent victories without once even mentioning the obviously changing demographics represents more than ignorance. It is white-centric. Even in the thralls of overt racism, the Republicans are recognizing that reality.

6 comments:

  1. Why would you expect anything else from DKos authors? They have never known who the 'base' is, so why do you think they suddenly get who really comprises the base? They are just as far removed from the reality of politics and demographics in the US as the GOP. The lefty white guys tend not to get it--ever.

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  2. I hope the guy that wrote that diary never advises a campaign. He doesn't really get politics. I get the impression that he doesn't talk to people outside of his circle.

    Vic78

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  3. So...If I'm a white...progressive...I must be...an intellectual...with a high income? It couldn't be that.. I'm smart enough to vote in my best interest? So Am I not brown enough to be progressive since only 39% of my demographic aren't hopelessly deluded by Fox News? Can't you see that this is using the right's "divide and conquer" strategy of defining demons? Who gets to define Obama's base? The daily Kos? Smartypants here? I think Hilary would say "what difference does it make at this point if America voted for PBO because he is the only candidate who is sane, or because the brown People love him best? We have to figure out how it happened and make sure it keeps happening or we are all doomed!"
    Please people, argue with the people who are not on your side.

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    1. I agree that we need to figure out how it happened and make sure it keeps happening. The guy that wrote the DK article is missing a big part of the obvious answer to that question.

      If including people of color in that assessment means you feel relegated to a demographic that is hopelessly deluded by Fox News - you're reading into things I didn't say.

      My suggestion would be that you contemplate a both/and approach rather than either/or.

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  4. I am black and from Milwaukee which is not a Republican stronghold. Waukesha is and it's also in Waukesha county (http://www.waukeshacounty.gov/). Wisconsin is not a liberal utopia, don't believe me try living here while black. I never joined Daily Kos because of their no it all condescending racist demeanor. I know a lot of them think we're not politically active or smart, they'd be wrong on that score. Milwaukee is the reason Tammy Baldwin won, we are the biggest county in the state we also have the most poc(people of color). Scott walker and his cronies are trying to gerrymander Milwaukee county. They want to relegate our aldermen to part time sound familiar. I believe the they're following Detroit's example. We're going to fight it every step of the way and lord help us if we lose. Alec has it's tentacles in every piece of legislation Walker signs.

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    1. I don't know what happened to my comment please excuse the spaces. lol

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