The GOP can’t win a bidding war for black votes


Michael Brendan Dougherty:

The GOP must try to win over African-Americans
It’s time to ditch the color-blind idealism and find the black interests conservatives can serve

For the good of their party and for the good of the republic, Republicans must genuinely reach out to and successfully attract black voters.


But none of those will matter if the GOP and its conservative wing don’t make another more crucial revision to their rhetoric and ideology. Conservatives in the GOP like to assail identity politics and tout their own ideology as one of color blindness. Sometimes this is stupidly marketed to black voters as a selling point for Republicans. “We don’t categorize you by race,” brags a Republican. The black audience hears: “We don’t take the most salient part of your American political identity seriously.”

Color blindness as an ideology may be well-intentioned, a gesture toward fairness and egalitarianism. But it is the kind of feel-goodery that only people privileged and racially unconscious enough to feel like a “default American” can manage to believe.

I’ve argued elsewhere that the experience of enslavement stripped African-Americans of their religions, their ethnicities, their languages, and their nationality. Therefore, African-Americans more than any other group have had their identity shaped by the history and politics of the United States: Slavery, emancipation, apartheid in the form of Jim Crow, industrialization, and the civil rights movement.

Anyone who would claim to represent black interests in our politics must be acutely conscious of history, not just anxious about some pure American ideal. In American history, “black freedom” has always been a separate project from the capital-F “Freedom” in which conservatives believe our republic was conceived. In a country that has historically made the color of a black man’s skin the most important fact that determines the expanse of his political rights and his social place, it is insulting to say, “From now on, our social compact depends on pretending your skin color doesn’t matter.” In fact, it does matter to him, hour to hour, street by street, every night out, in nearly every social encounter. It matters in the voting booth, too.

Lectures about anti-slavery Republicanism in the 1860s are fine, but the way to win black voters now is to actually be solicitous of their interests today. Where do they align with a center-right coalition? Conservatives are wise to rethink the tough-on-crime policies that imprison so many nonviolent offenders, depriving communities of their young men and black families of their fathers. They should take things like Mike Lee’s middle-class-family-friendly tax code revision and push them further so that they help poorer Americans form families too. Republicans might consider the reform of social programs that promise resources to African-Americans only so long as they do acrobatics through administrative hoops. Find a libertarian angle against that racially tinged paternalism. Most important, go out and consult black voters, constantly and respectfully.

Why do this? First because it’s just the right thing to do; black Americans deserve more competition for their vote than they are getting. Secondly, in the America that is being shaped by a new great wave of immigration, black Americans stand to lose even their precarious place in the American polity, to be kicked down to the bottom of an even more racially stratified society. Conservatism provides a natural vocabulary and political direction for communities that feel like they are losing their place. Thirdly, the GOP desperately needs to win votes in cities where the party is practically absent. And improving its margin among blacks in the South will do a lot to keep those states solidly red. Reaching out to the nation’s most-churched group, and one that is desperate for more political representation, just makes sense for the center-right party in America. Fourth, because politics in mass democracies can turn toward tribalism, a GOP that is increasingly white, elderly, and losing will just become an uglier, more resentful, and unpleasant coalition.

Shorter version: The Republicans should be more like the Democrats.

Here’s the problem: The GOP can’t win a bidding war for black votes.

The Democrats have spent decades building their brand loyalty with blacks and other minorities. They have done it with government programs and government spending. Now we are $17 TRILLION in debt and the black community is worse off than ever. What is the GOP gonna offer them? More stuff?

The GOP isn’t mostly white because they exclude blacks and other minorities. The Democrats have convinced non-whites that the GOP is horribly racist. That situation won’t change anytime soon.

Sometimes you get to be in the catbird’s seat. Other times you have to wander in the wilderness. The Republicans need to focus on basic principles.

The current Democratic party is an example of what happens when you sacrifice principles to win elections.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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124 Responses to The GOP can’t win a bidding war for black votes

  1. The Klown says:

    It is 3:30 in the morning and I’m going to bed. If there are any typos or omissions I’ll fix them when I wake up.

  2. Lulu says:

    I guess the Republicans didn’t learn anything from Hill and Bill. They spent decades working with African Americans and earning their votes. The first black guy to show up got their vote instead. Why bother to court them as they will abandon you on the first pretense based upon another candidate’s skin color. Most Republicans and even Democrats know this now. This kind of talky-talk by Dougherty is all for show. They gave up their hard earned political power for a symbol and a big fat lot of nothing.

    • swanspirit says:

      They not only abandoned the Clintons , they vilified them , back stabbed them , and then crucified them on the cross of racism anytime it suited . Now, they will turn Black Republicans “white “, for all intents and purposes ,and call them racists too . Someone hasn’t been paying attention .
      I think , the vilification , and use of the race card on Hill and Bill , is what really utterly finished me as far as the Democrats were concerned , and not too long into the primaries . And that was a long time ago . It was so disgusting , it was vile . And the democrats have not only not ceased in their vileness., they saw how well it worked, and have expanded on it ever since.

      • Constance says:

        Well don’t forget the Democrat sexism against Hillary and Palin and really any woman candidate. It was off the wall crazy. I have never seen anything like it and that has put me off Democrats possibly forever. Democrats saw how well sexism worked in 2008 and they are doubling down on it.

        • Constance says:

          of course when you bring it up to the Dems who call you for money they have no idea what you are talking about. Democrat sexisim?? Hhhuuuuh?

          • leslie says:

            They also can’t recognize the race card when you play it back for them. Race? Sexism? Not here…. Stand on the train platform here in Chicago when candidates are trying to get your votes and talk to them about race and sex. Never heard of it. Not in the Democrat Party.

      • Erica says:

        Ditto. It finished me too. And it’s a bit galling when dems talk about it being Hillary’s turn now. Now that Obama had his chance that is. Talk about the back of the bus. Hillary worked for decades and it counted for nothing. And I fully expect them to gouge her if she runs–once you’ve discredited, vilified, and trounced someone, it’s hard to walk that back. And like you said, they’ve expanded and they’ve refined their techniques.

  3. taw46 says:

    I have a question for the twitter experts. Someone is impersonating me, using same account name ( a combo of letters and numbers, so not by chance). Also, copied my avatar. I reported to Twitter, they are not doing anything. Should I just close out that account and open a new one? I don’t tweet much, just opened to follow people. Would be a pain in the ass to recreate, though.

    And why do they clone accounts, just because they can? Thanks for your advice.

  4. votermom says:

    • elliesmom says:

      So what exactly does it mean to be “salaried”,then? That your hourly wage is presented to you in a lump sum number because you’re smart enough to figure how much per hour that is on your own? Are the manufacturing companies that make time clocks Obama donors?

      • votermom says:


        • elliesmom says:

          If the problem is that companies are making jobs that should be hourly exempt instead, I think the laws are already in place to stop that. If the plan is to change the definition of what it means to be exempt, a lot of people are going to be distressed by the unintended consequences. Many companies have different benefit structures for exempt and non-exempt employees. A few hours of overtime pay could cost you sick time, education reimbursement benefits, vacation time, and company bonuses. It also downgrades your job classification when you look for new work inside and outside the company. Most people in white collar jobs work hard to become exempt even if it means a loss of overtime.

          • wmcb says:

            Of course. But they are the smartest people in the room, and never thought of all that. Or have decreed it doesn’t matter.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Gird your loins ’cause your boss is about to cut your hours to avoid this. Every time someone dicks around with compensation/benefits, small business will find a way around the “law”. My old boss wouldn’t hire full time workers to avoid paying bennies and overtime. WTG ‘bam !

        • Somebody says:

          This is one area where I agree with Obama and I think he’s doing the right thing, if what he’s doing is undoing what Bush did. Bush changed the overtime rules and companies have absolutely abused it. I know many, many people including my own children that got screwed by the changes Bush made to the overtime rules. Lots of people suddenly went from a 40 hour work week to a 50 or 60 hour work week sometimes more for the same money.
          The tech industry is a major violator, burn them and turn them is their motto. Bush’s changes to the overtime rules put that burn them, turn them policy on steroids. Why do you think a lot of big companies have “campuses” now with all these amenities? Because their employees practically live at work.
          Major retail did the same thing, everybody is some kind of management, lots of assistant managers. That way you work them longer hours and avoid hiring additional employees because hey you don’t have to worry about overtime. I know a major retailer, fortune 50 company that changed their work week immmediately after the Bush rule change. This fortune 50 company “promoted” a lot of employees and then made the rule that every “manager” had to work a 53 hour work week minimum. If the employees refused their “promotion” they were fired. Then within 3 months the minimum work week became 57 and it’s now 60, all of those additional hours without additional pay. Trust me if one retailer is doing it I’d be willing to bet they’re all doing it. Hell the small business my daughter worked at during college did it, she went from cashier to “administrative assistant”.
          If businesses were reasonable and didn’t abuse the overtime rule changes Bush made then I might feel differently, but I know TONS of people that were affected by the Bush rule changes. I don’t think I’m unique or that Florida is that unique of a business climate that we’re some kind of isolated area. In fact my daughter is now in North Carolina with a large corporation and guess what?? 95% of the employees work much longer than 40 hours with no overtime and it is expected of them. So I’m 99 and 9/10ths sure that most businesses have abused those overtime changes Bush made.

          • Lulu says:

            I agree that there is abuse. But the contracts for work will turn into cost plus. Those who pay the bill with howl when they see it. It will make many types of work very expensive which in turn will be outsourced. I’m thinking engineering, etc. They will drop the hourly rate lower to comply and add in a bonus or commission or something which will also be lower. Businesses won’t loose money even with this. Lowered compensation is the Obama administration game. Just look at what Obamacare does to compensation packages.

          • Somebody says:

            Perhaps you’re right, but Bush lowered the overtime salary threshold to basically a little over $23,000 a year. There aren’t many people in “executive”, “administrative” or “management” positions earning $23,000 a year and those rule changes have been very, very abused by many businesses large and small. In the link VM put up apparently they’re looking at changing the threshold to somewhere between $44,000 and $52,000 per year. Prior to the Bush change the threshold was $46,000 so I just don’t see this as some horrible sinister thing Obama is considering.
            The Bush changes have been a boon to businesses and their bottom line, so yes it will ripple through and the stock market definitely won’t like it. It could lead to more outsourcing, but maybe not. I think lowering the threshold allowed many businesses to load more and more work onto their employees without compensation and because they could do that I think it added to unemployment. It was like a vicious cycle employees didn’t dare complain about additional work and hours because the economy was shaky and unemployment was high, but part of what was adding to unemployment was the fact that they did more for less.
            This is basically putting things back to how they were 7 or 8 years ago. It very well may squeeze the bottom line of businesses but if there is a little more hiring or people start getting a little more in their paycheck how much of that might be made up in additional profits???

          • votermom says:

            I just don’t see this as some horrible sinister thing Obama is considering

            It’s the NYT reporting on an Obama edict pre-implementation.
            I have no doubt that the actual implementation will somehow have a huge bad effect.
            Just like we are all now saving $2500 on healthcare.

          • Somebody says:

            BTW I have MAJOR, MAJOR heartburn with the changes made during the Bush administration….MAJOR! I watched my son go from a 40 hour work week to ungodly hours for the same pay. I felt he was enslaved to his job, but he was young had just started a family and the economy went tits up so he was afraid to even think about changing jobs. Plus he didn’t have time to look for another job. He did eventually get a raise as he took on more and more responsibility, but if you divided his salary by the hours he was working he was still losing money. He was THRILLED if he had only a 12 hour day, in his mind he got off early. Most of his work days were between 13 and 14 hours, occasionally he’d work 16 hours. I’m not counting the middle of the night phone calls in his hours, those were freebies, but he got plenty of them as he was on call 24/7.

            He’s since changed jobs and now really has a 40 hour work week, he gets comp time if he has to work extra which is rare. Oh and he’s actually allowed to take said comp time AND his vacation time he earns. He earned vacation at his other job, but there simply wasn’t ever a good time for him to take it… was never approved so he lost his vacation time every year. We called it his part of his phantom benefits. My son is a changed man since he changed jobs and we are very happy for that. He’s in the tech industry btw, computer engineer.

            My brother was in a similar situation, but he reached a point where he decided he’d rather put in all those hours for himself instead of somebody else. It was a good move for him and he’s doing very well, very well indeed. I could recount a ton of stories of people I know that were directly impacted by the previous changes, including most of my neighbors, many family members and friends. Each and every one of them dedicated employees to their respective companies……..OK two of my neighbors not so much, but hey that’s life right?

          • Somebody says:

            OK votermom you have a point with the $2,500 a year savings we’re all enjoying!!

            You’re correct it is the NYT reporting. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the actual changes are. IF they are what is being reported which is basically going back to how it was I don’t have a problem with that and I find myself agreeing with and in support of Obama on this one. Now I’m going to go take a long, hot shower, I feel the need to cleanse myself!!!

          • votermom says:

            Personally I don’t think salary cut-offs or even minimum wage should be a federal decision at all. Cost of living varies so much from state to state & region to region.
            If the govt really needs to get involved, it should be at the State level.

          • 49erDweet says:

            Companies are like wild animals. You work with them at your peril. When you begin trusting them too much they turn on you and bite off your head. It’s their nature. Any government thinking it can regulate their behavior is smokin’ dope.

          • 49erDweet says:

            Companies are not in business to provide jobs. Employees are a necessary means they use to make money. If no profit, no jobs. It ain’t rocket science.

        • leslie says:

          He still won’t pay his employees equal pay for their work. the women are still underpaid. And you know what? The government doesn’t have to follow the rulz they make. I work for the state, and they fine private businesses (the ones they feel like penalizing) for whatever policy they want, but do not apply the rulz to state gov’t departments. True story.

        • foxyladi14 says:

          Well there goes my overtime. 😯

  5. elliesmom says:

    Anything and everything is racist. It’s racist against Chihuahuas to suggest the part of Snoopy belongs to a beagle. The Republicans need to focus on getting everybody back to work, kids to schools their parents choose, and the country safe for people who would like to walk down their own street. No matter what the color of our skin,, all people worth pandering to want that. There will never be enough free stuff for people who vote for free stuff. Offer someone the opportunity to be self-reliant and not everyone will take you up on it regardless of skin color. But the people we want to support will. I believe the idea of disregarding race is the way ahead because making everything about race hasn’t done much for anyone- most of all the people it’s supposed to help. There’s that definition of insanity thing.

  6. piper says:

    Just came back from Tampa and the few times I watched tv was filled with Sink’s ads (at least 2 to 1) about Jolly throwing Grandma off the cliff by reducing her SS and medical care. The Tampa newspaper endorsed Sink, and even with BillyBob Clinton campaigning for her, she lost in a Democrat area by 2 percent.. Maybe she would have won if the Dems hadn’t paid for Libertarian Lucas Overby to run who received 4.8 percent of the votes.

  7. helenk3 says:

    Blacks that have accomplished something with their lives like Dr Carson, Col West, Condi Rice get trashed by other blacks. They do not fit the victim profile and OMG they are not democrats. It would be a waste of time for the republicans to target only blacks to recruit. Targeting people who want to succeed no matter what color skin would make more sense. The demographics of this country are changing. The republicans need to keep up with the changes

  8. helenk3 says:

    feminists strike again.
    I always thought Dads were as important as Mom in child rearing. guess not

  9. votermom says:

    Building exploded in East Harlem this morning.

  10. votermom says:

    My burning question of the day

  11. The Klown says:

    For those of you back east who are still looking at snow on the ground, the weekend forecast for central and southern California is sunny and warm, with temps in the 80’s.

  12. The Klown says:

    It’s Not Porn . . .


    • 49erDweet says:

      Oh, that’s different.

      • Lulu says:

        Horndog Box Office. I remember when it came on the cable system in the apartment complex I lived in I think in 1975. It was free and pretty bad. I remember having to lie that I didn’t get it so people would not show up uninvited to watch horndog movies.

  13. Somebody says:

    I don’t know if any of you saw this, but I thought it was very good. It’s about amnesty.

  14. The Klown says:
  15. wmcb says:

    You’re dead on myiq. The GOP is not going to be able to win as the party of “very slightly less in your business, less free stuff, and very slightly less pandering to identity groups.”

    They are going to have to be the party of “Get the damn govt’s nose OUT of your business, make some jobs, liberty and equality.”

  16. wmcb says:

  17. elliesmom says:

    I love this. A ratings system for college courses

    G: General Students – All students are admitted. This course tells students exactly what they want to hear.

    PG: Professorial Guidance Suggested – This course reinforces campus orthodoxy but in ways that students might not entirely expect. It is suggested that students consult with professors before enrolling.

    PG-17-21: Professors Strongly Cautioned – Some material in this course may be inappropriate for those who have suffered frustration, disappointment, rudeness, rejection, or any sort of limitation on their ability to bend the world to their will.

    R: Restricted – This course may directly call into question students’ opinions through hard-hitting analytical and empirical argumentation. Permission is required from the campus diversity coordinator and sexual health advisor.

    NF&S: No freshmen and sophomores are admitted under any circumstances. No junior or senior is admitted without the consent of the professor, approval of the campus diversity coordinator and sexual health advisor, and a note from the student’s parents. Without regard for the shock or revulsion normal students are likely to experience, this course vigorously puts forward reasons and evidence in support of ideas that directly oppose the conventional wisdom.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter

  18. wmcb says:

    Stuff like this makes me sick. I am all for going after and prosecuting rapists. But the viciousness with which modern feminists want to paint all sexual behavior by men as potential rape is just disgusting. No, her word is not better than his word. And you don’t protect the rights of women by stripping rights from men.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Well the menfolk sure carry those “rapey things” all the time, maybe they should just get concealed weapon permits ? 😉

      • wmcb says:

        Seriously, if they get their way, a young man on campus can get hauled before a kangaroo campus “court” with completely unconstitutional rules of “proof”, and have his fucking life and education ruined. This is nuts.

  19. helenk3 says:

    just wondering, since backtrack has been in the whitehouse have there been any weeks when he was not fundraising or on vacation?

  20. wmcb says:

    Read the article in the link. The Progs aren’t even hiding it anymore. Forget executive presidency, they are all for lawlessness in general, so long as it’s “for the cause”. This really is their worldview.

  21. DeniseVB says:

    Still no sign of the missing plane ? They have spy sattelites that can read the headlines of the newspaper in my driveway, but no can find not a trace of this plane ? Weird.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Re: the Malaysian Airlines mystery. Several floating objects recovered from the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam were determined to not be debris from the aircraft. Authorities are now looking closer at the Indian Ocean after taking more seriously a local military radar tracking report from that day that the plane turned hard left and flew to a lower altitude at about the time its transponder signal disappeared. And they are also putting more credence to a claim the plane was observed by an individual later at a low altitude flying westward across the Malaysian Strait. from Malaysia toward Northern Sumatra.
      Speculation. With it’s known fuel load it would probably have been been possible for the presumed undamaged aircraft to continue flying as far as Sri Lanka, parts of southern India or maybe the Maldives Islands, but not much further. Or it could have flown down the west coast of Sumatra and circled around toward Indonesia. The thing is if the goal were to steal the plane for any reason, it would need to land safely enough so that once refueled it could take off again and fly normally. The number of airports and landing strips in those locations long enough to accommodate a plane that size is limited, and almost all are under some type of government control. Barring a huge multi-national plot, that makes a hijack for theft scenario less likely.

  22. The Klown says:



    H.R. 4138 – Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law (ENFORCE the Law) Act of 2014
    (Rep. Gowdy, R-South Carolina, and 11 cosponsors)

    The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4138 because it violates the separation of powers by purporting to permit the Congress to challenge in court the exercise by the President of one of his core constitutional functions – taking care that Federal laws are faithfully executed.

    Congress ordinarily has the power to define the bounds of the Executive Branch’s enforcement authority under particular statutes, and persons who claim to be harmed by the Executive Branch’s actions may challenge them as inconsistent with the governing statute. But the power the bill purports to assign to Congress to sue the President over whether he has properly discharged his constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed exceeds constitutional limitations. Congress may not assign such power to itself, nor may it assign to the courts the task of resolving such generalized political disputes.

    If the President were presented with H.R. 4138, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

    If I wasn’t so busy with spring cleaning I would write a rant about this.

  23. helenk3 says:

    you gotta love the brits

  24. helenk3 says:

    groundwork being done to charge lois lerner.
    this is one lady I really do want behind bars for a long time

  25. swanspirit says:

    Completely and utterly OT and somewhat tangential . Someone on my Facebook posted a rant from an ER Nurse that was published in “the best of Craigslist ” . Having just discovered the best of Craigslist , I have been reading some of the posts that made it . For some inexplicable reason ,this one cracked me up.

    2 Dozen Free Goats
    I have 2 dozen goats I need to get rid of. I had no idea raising goats would be this hard. These little bastards keep eating all my wife’s flowers and climbing on our goddamn cars. Nobody told me they were such good climbers. The first person to get these damn goats out of here can have them.

  26. The Klown says:

    I’m strolling thru the upscale grocery store in shorts and sandals (and a shirt) when one of the straps on my right sandal comes loose from the sole. So there I was looking all suave and debonaire with my sandal flapping with every step I took.

  27. helenk3 says:

    Jan Brewer announced she will not run for governor again.

    maybe a Scott Walker – Jan Brewer ticket?

    both have executive experience, both have turned their states around fiscally.
    Jan Brewer has experience with protecting the border. neither has the DC taint

  28. DeniseVB says:


  29. The Klown says:


  30. The Klown says:
  31. The Klown says:
  32. DeniseVB says:

  33. 49erDweet says:

    The cat’s out of the bag! The #banbossy campaign is a deliberate precursor to Hil’s 2016 campaign.

  34. 49erDweet says:

    Anyone with spare time who wants to help search for the missing plane should check out this site:
    I’ve already found two fishing boats that weren’t lost.

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