Ye Olde Blogge has been saying for years that the GQP has become an anti-democratic party whose goal is to create an authoritarian-style single-party pseudo-democratic minority-rule government. They see the entire purpose of government as existing to transfer the nation’s wealth to the 1% as quickly as possible while the rest of us live in Cancer Alley, drink Flint water, pay for Texas utilities, and die quickly and quietly when we can no longer contribute to the 1% more than we cost.
GQP Electoral Advanatages
In the past, the plan was to elect a Repube president, wreck the economy with massive unneeded unwanted unnecessary tax cuts, and then let a Dem president rebuild the economy. It was a 16-year cycle. Eight years for the Repubes to scorch the earth; eight years for the Dems to build us back again. I guess the 1% got sick of that, or Putin saw his opening or both. At any rate, the party elites and their funders decided to eliminate the voters from the equation. If they could just guarantee that they would win elections without ever needing a majority, then they’d have Gingrich’s permanent majority. They set about doing just that. They realized four things:
- The structural advantages that the Senate and the Electoral College could give them. All they had to do is position themselves to benefit from them consistently.
- If they could pack the federal judiciary with radically conservative young judges, they could rely on them for favorable rulings even if they did defy the Constitution and that courts all the way to the Supreme Court would uphold them.
- They could gerrymander their way to a permanent majority in the House of Representatives.
- They could suppress the votes of likely Dem voters and rely on their traditional core base of consistent older conservative Christian white voters to win.
They realized the root of all of it was winning state legislatures and governorships, and the key to doing that was to reassure their voting base that whatever happened, whatever the government did, Blacks, Browns, minorities, women, immigrants, and liberals would get the worst of it. As long as their voters could go to bed every night knowing that Black folk had it worser than they did, they could tolerate the misery that Repube governments everywhere forced them to live in. Ain’t that right, Bobby Jindal, Sam Brownback, Paul LePage, Scott Walker, and oh so many more that have just run their states into the ground.
The GQP set about winning state governments in the 1990’s, and we’re seeing Gingrich’s vision bear fruit today. Our democracy hangs like a big beautiful shiny red apple from a slowly decaying stem on the tree of government. Eventually, it will drop from the tree to bruise and rot on the ground until finally being ground under the boot heel of fascism and forgotten. We’ve got one shot to pluck that apple from that tree and preserve it for the coming winter. And, each and every election will be our last chance to save our democracy as long as Repubes have a chance of winning majorities in any governing body from the presidency to school boards.
Many of the progressive and liberal talking heads have been talking about how the ding-dang-dumb Repubes are not only suppressing Black, Brown, and urban voters, they’re suppressing their own voters the big dummies. And, it is true. They are going to end up suppressing their own voters, so let’s think that through, though.
The Republican Electorate
The Repube electorate looks something like this nowadays:
- Traditional Repube voters: older white wealthier conservative voters. Repubes never had a lot of voters, it is true. When Ye Olde Blogge was a youngin, they were known as the party of the rich because they favored small government and low taxes. Jokes on everyone who ever believed that. You’d have to back to Herbert Hoover to find a Repube president who didn’t preside over an expanding federal government, raising taxes, and exploding deficits, right Ronnie? But, still that was their go to demographic.
- The new Repube voters: racist white Southerners of every economic strata and age. When Ye Olde Blogge was in uni and not long after, a funny thing was happening. The Repube voting base expanded. The Southern strategy delivered the South to the GQP. All those racist white Southerners started voting for them.
- The MAGA voters: the first-time or seldom white racist voter. This was the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s one strange trick that no one could believe and that doctors didn’t want you to know about. He brought in people who hadn’t voted before. They tended to be poorer educated and make less money than the other two types of Repube voter.
The Traditional Republican Voter
One of the few advantages that Repubes used to have in the pre-Permanent Majority days is that their core base of older, whiter, wealthier, conservater voters would turn out consistently for every election no matter how obscure or awkwardly scheduled. So, they may not have won very many of the presidential elections or majorities in Congress from ’32 to ’68, but they won lots of off year elections, special elections, and obscure elections for judges, sheriffs, and other state and local offices.
The traditional Repube voter was a high information highly engaged voter. By contrast, the traditional Dem voter was less engaged and tended to turn out in big numbers in presidential elections and occasionally voted for down-ballot candidates, too.
As it turns out, high-information voters share certain qualities. They are likely to vote in most elections, more likely to vote their issues and not exclusively by party, and less vulnerable to cheap propaganda tricks and hot-button emotional issues. Nowadays with our politics being as divided and partisan as it is, many traditional Repube voters will continue to vote Repube.
The MAGA Voter
In 2018, Dems won big! Many people attributed it to a backlash against Trump and his divisive politics and him not being on the ballot. The backlash drove anti-Trump voters to the polls to make sure they voted and their anti-Trump voice was heard and counted. And, the lack of Trump being there meant that the low-propensity new Repube voter that put Trump just barely over the top stayed home.
In 2020, the anti-Trump pissed off voters turned out in force again, just like in 2018, but Trump was on the ballot, so many of those first-time voters of 2016 turned into irregular seldom voters to vote again and he added even more first-time low-propensity voters! So, did the Dems, which all added up to (a) Trump barely losing, (b) the Repubes taking 12 seats in the House, and (c) holding on to most of their Senate seats and barely losing control of the Senate.
In 2022, the Repubes are figuring it this way. Their voter suppression legislation will suppress the vote of those irregular low-information Trump voters. They didn’t turn out in 2018 and are unlikely to turn out in 2022, anyway. Their traditional voters vote no matter what. They will find a way to vote. They will work their way around whatever impediments are placed in their way and cast their ballot.
The fight turns into getting the Repube voters that often vote, the ones brought on board by the Southern strategy that like the racism that they are being fed and enjoy knowing that their local, state, and federal policies are hurting Black, Brown, minorities, immigrants, and women first and worst even though it hurts them, too. The Repubes are gambling that these folks are going to be so enthused by the chance to vote against Defund the Police, Build Back Better, socialism, Green New Deal policies that will be placing PoC at the front of the line ahead of them that they will outnumber the Dem voters.
They are gambling that Stacey Abrams won’t be able to turn out Georgia a second time. Remember, the second time is in some ways harder than the first time. There is a reason that there are few dynasties and repeats in sports. These voter suppression laws that the Repubes are advancing in state houses across the country are designed specifically to stop Abrams in Georgia and anyone wanting to imitate her in other states.
That’s going to be the deciding factor in 2022. Will the Dems be able to pull a Stacey Abrams in multiple states across the country and thwart the Repube voter suppression laws or will the Repubes be able to suppress enough votes so that their traditional angry white voter base can carry the day?
The truth is, I don’t know. Tradition has it that the party in the White House loses seats in the Congress in the off-election. The undercounted census has shifted House seats to the Repubes and away from the Dems. After 911, the Repubes gained seats the Congress in the year two, and in the year ten after the economic debacle of ’08, the Dems limited losses. Could something similar happen here after the #COVID19 pandemic and concomment economic collapse and the 6 January Insurrection? Like all things Trump related, we’re in uncharted territory and we’ll have to see. All I know is that if our democracy is to survive, we have to circumvent the GQP voter suppression effort and get our folks to the polls.
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“Gaming the Vote. Keith Knight, pen, ink ©2018. “This BINGO is no fun for the millions of US citizens targeted by state-sanctioned disenfranchisement. Reflecting the Republican lust for power, voter suppression is thriving. The 2013 Supreme Court” by veritatem is licensed under CC BY 2.0