Thursday, November 06, 2008

the regional party of the South

Reading these botched predictions and thinking about a conversation I had the other day, it occurs to me that the central reason the Republicans seem so out of touch is because they assumed there were always enough conservatives to win every election. The Democrats make a play for every demographic, to both their benefit and detriment, but that's a very different strategy than the Republican one. If you're not a social conservative, an economic conservative, or a foreign policy neoconservative, the Republicans are not interested in your vote, and will use you as a bogeyman to scare conservatives to the polls. The problem is those groups the Republicans have spent the last 30 years willfully antagonizing-- atheists/agnostics, feminists, liberals, immigrants, gays, religious non-Judaeo-Christians-- are among the fastest growing demographics in the country. Meanwhile, George W. Bush and the Christian Right made Republicanism uncool to a whole generation of Americans just now becoming politically aware, while congressional Republicans chased Hispanics and college-educated whites into the waiting arms of the Democratic Party. And yes, Americans are becoming slightly more liberal.

That's why it's so deathly important for Karl Rove and the rest to keep repeating "America is still a center-right country." They have to convince themselves, because the alternative is too scary.

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