Friday, May 18, 2012

Don't Appeal; Suppress!

When Patrick J. Buchanan was unceremoniously dumped from MSNBC several months ago, he was not amused.    He has been, understandably, waiting anxiously for the opportunity to spring an "I told you so" moment on the network.

That time has arrived.     He explains   

Among the more controversial chapters in "Suicide of a Superpower," my book published last fall, was the one titled, "The End of White America."

It dealt with the demographic decline of the white majority and what it portends for education, the U.S. economy, politics and national unity.

That book and chapter proved the proximate cause of my departure from MSNBC, where the network president declared that subjects such as these are inappropriate for "the national dialogue."

Apparently, the mainstream media are reassessing that.

For, in rare unanimity, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today all led yesterday with the same story.

"Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S.," blared the Times headline. "Minority Babies Majority in U.S.," echoed the Post. "Minorities Are Now a Majority of Births," proclaimed USA Today.

The USA Today story continued, "The nation's growing diversity has huge implications for education, economics and politics."

Buchanan argues as many liberal/progressive bloggers and mainstream journalists have argued, that these demographic trends spell almost inevitable doom for the GOP.      He maintains

The Democratic base is growing inexorably, while the Republican base is shriveling.

Already, California, Illinois and New York are lost. The GOP has not carried any of the three in five presidential elections. When Texas -- where whites are a minority and a declining share of the population -- tips, how does the GOP put together an electoral majority?

Western states like Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, which Republican nominees like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan swept almost every time they ran, are becoming problematic for the party.

Fret not, Pat.    Your party is one step ahead of you.     The Huffington Post's Janell Ross notes 

Less than two months after a Florida effort to identify and purge ineligible voters from the state's rolls began, opponents say it seems likely to disqualify a disproportionate share of eligible Latino voters.

About 180,000 people -- a group roughly equal to the population of Tallahassee, Fla. -- are at risk of being purged from the state's voter rolls because they have been identified as possible noncitizens, the Miami Herald reported. Looking at a smaller sample of 2,600 suspect voters initially identified by the state, the newspaper found about 59 percent to be Latino. Hispanic voters constitute just 13 percent of the state's electorate, according to federal data.

Florida often grabs national attention because it's home to 11.3 million voters and wields 29 Electoral College votes. But Republican secretaries of state elsewhere, including Colorado and New Mexico, have also launched aggressive efforts to identify noncitizens on their voter rolls. Critics contend that many of these purges have relied on questionable methods and allow public officials to make inaccurate claims about the number of ineligible people who have actually obtained and used voting credentials.

The purges have significant legal and political resonance. Black and Latino voters have historically seen their right to vote restricted by law and by practice, making an amendment to the U.S. Constitution and, a century later, the 1965 Voting Rights Act necessary. Some states and counties, including five in Florida, remain subject to detailed federal oversight of their electoral systems.

Voters of color are also more likely to be registered Democrats. So voter roll purges that call into question the eligibility of large numbers of minority voters are generally thought to be helpful to Republican candidates.

The growing Hispanic population of Florida is now less than half of Cuban descent, with only 540,000 of 1.5 million Latino voters being Cuban-American.      That community itself is no longer overwhelmingly Republican, with the individuals born in the U.S.A. far more amenable to voting Democratic than those born in Cuba.    The ranks of Puerto Ricans, more likely to vote Democratic than Republican even in Florida, are growing in the state.    In 2000, Barack Obama captured 57% of Florida's Hispanic vote, no longer reliably Republican with the growth of the Puerto Rican population and attrition of Cuban-Americans born on the island.

It's not as if Republican Secretaries of State are virgins at purging voter rolls of likely Democrats.    Why, even a presidential election can be won by doing so and, not coincidentally, it has been done in Florida. reminds us

Prior to the 2000 election, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and Governor Jeb Bush hired Database Technologies to purge voters whose names mathced or were similar to those of ex-felons, which resulted in the removal of 82,389 voters from the rolls. An investigation by Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho revealed that 95% of those purged in his county were, in fact, legally entitled to vote. Greg Palast of the BBC found that more than half those wrongly purged were African-Americans, even though African-Americans represent only about 11% of the electorate and that the purge list contained almost no Hispanics, notwithstanding Florida’s sizable Hispanic population. (In Florida, Hispanics largely vote Republican, and African Americans vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

Buchanan concludes by asking "But how does the GOP appeal to them (Hispanic voters)?" The Repub Party may not need to "appeal" to Hispanic voters.    Keeping Hispanics from voting may be more important, as Republicans work overtime suppressing the votes of elderly people, college students, and minorities.

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