Monday, April 29, 2013

Democrats: pay attention to the "coalition of the ascendant"

The Associated Press headline pretty much summed it up: In a first, black voter turnout rate surpasses whites.
America's blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press...
"It remains to be seen how successful Democrats are if you don't have Barack Obama at the top of the ticket," he [Whit Ayres, a GOP consultant who is advising GOP Sen. Marco Rubio] said.
This kind of analysis flies in the face of those who are predicting that if Hillary Clinton is the nominee in 2016 she'll win in a landslide because she'll be able to woo those white racists who wouldn't vote for Barack Obama back into the Democratic fold. Its true, she might be able to do that - but at what cost? It would likely mean lower voter turnout among some members of the coalition of the ascendant.
Much of this year’s Washington story is about Obama aligning the Democratic agenda with the priorities of the “coalition of the ascendant”—minorities, the millennial generation, and college-educated whites, especially women—that powered his 2008 and 2012 victories.
If Hillary Clinton or any other nominee wants to take the reigns and continue moving this country FORWARD, they should heed the words of David Simon.
America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions. The America in which it was otherwise is dying, thank god, and those who relied on entitlement and division to command power will either be obliged to accept the changes, or retreat to the gated communities from which they wish to wax nostalgic and brood on political irrelevance.

You want to lead in America? Find a way to be entirely utilitarian — to address the most problems on behalf of the most possible citizens. That works. That matters...

Regardless of what happens with his second term, Barack Obama’s great victory has already been won: We are all the other now, in some sense. Special interests? That term has no more meaning in the New America. We are all — all of us, every last American, even the whitest of white guys — special interests. And now, normal isn’t white or straight or Christian. There is no normal. That word, too, means less with every moment. And those who continue to argue for such retrograde notions as a political reality will become less germane and more ridiculous with every passing year.


  1. It is about time our ideals of equality and justice for all are met. This can't come soon enough!!!

  2. The coalition of the ascendent is the base of the Democratic party now. Any Democrat running for the party's nomination will have to structure a campaign that speaks to their concerns. That being said, much of what the CA wants in policy prescriptions is generally popular with voters overall, even racist white voters, many of whom are simply trapped in outdated attitudes.

    1. Hillary has some problems with parts of that coalition. If she wants to be the nominee, she needs to get to work ASAP mending those fences. If, instead, she spends her time wooing rich white donors, that spells trouble.

  3. If she wants to run the campaign of 2008 over again, I think you're right. I'm going to assume that she learned something from that experience. Personally I would prefer someone else as a standard bearer. That's no reflection on Hillary, whom I would gladly support as the nominee, I just think, that, to some extent, she represents the past.

    1. My feelings exactly. I'm also fairly aggravated at all the people who have moved right on from 2012 to 2016 with Hillary. Hey! What about supporting the President we have now? What about working to get his agenda going? It's seems like another way to dismiss and even disrespect President Obama.