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by Christopher Chantrill
January 02, 2009 at 5:50 pm
YOU GOTTA give President-elect Obama credit. He managed to get the voters to think that the Democrats are a center-right party. Thats some achievement. And voters think that the Republican Party is a hard-right party. Thats according to a poll by Target Point Consulting discussed Wednesday by Stephen Moore.
[S]ays [pollster Alex] Lundry. "Democrats are seen as a center-right party, while Republicans are seen as dominated by the right."
I know what you are thinking. If only. Heck, if the Democrats truly were center-right we could give up on the limping, wounded GOP and join the parade. Liberals could desert the Democrats and create a Huffington-Kos Party, and the rest of us could live happily ever after.
Still, the key base of the Republican Party shrank in 2008. White males were for Bush by 24 points in 2004 and that gap closed to 16 points in 2008. You can see why. White males are instinctively center-right, and when Obama came through as the candidate most likely to give Americans a tax cut, well...
What about white women? McCain won them 53 to 46 percent, according to David Paul Kuhn in Politico, probably because of Sarah Palin.
Here are the spreads, updated from a variety of polls, using Jay Costs data from 1996-2004.
|Republican Margin of Victory/Defeat:|
Selected Demographic Groups
So what does it all mean? It means that, just as Karl Rove knew in 2000 and 2004, the future lies with the Hispanics.
And the future also lies with defining the Republican Party as center right, which is what it really is, and defining the Democratic Party as center left. Which is what it really is.
And one more thing. The Republican Party is the party of tax cuts. Really.
UPDATE: Pollster Alex Lundry emails to say he was misquoted. Voters think that the Dems are a center-LEFT party, after all. What a pity! I thought there was strategic opening here. So the only opportunity is to move the voters towards thinking that the GOP is really a mushy center-right party instead of the Democrats favorite image of a party dominated by racist, sexist rich-bitch homophobes.|
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
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