-May 20, 2013-
3:00 -- The head of the IRS's labor union met with President Obama the day before the IRS launched its targeted program of Tea Party groups. Surely, it's just a coincidence.
4:00 -- Is Obama a flake? Here's an analysis that supports the conclusion that he is.
5:00 -- Shariah law in North Carolina - is it needed or are Republican lawmakers just scaremongering?
-May 21, 2013-
3:00 -- The Asheville TEA Party protests outisde the local IRS offices. Plus, french fries & curly fries.
4:00 -- French fries, curly fries, drive-ins, and radio frequency waves. Plus, if you had to pick a species of infestation, what would it be?
5:00 -- Pete's battles flies in his apartment. Plus, trivia!
-May 22, 2013-
4:00 -- The folks from Mountain Xpress drop by to chat about the latest edition on news stands today.
-May 23, 2013-
-May 24, 2013-
As the electoral dust settles and Republicans discuss what went wrong and how to improve their appeal, the analysis on the Left has been focusing on how the American electorate is changing - to the benefit of Democrats.
It's a narrative that the Obama campaign has capitalized on through its target marketing efforts, if not explicitly articulated.
Leftie talking head and author John Heileman at NY Magazine talks about how different the crowds look at the competing campaigns' Election Night parties:
Here was the Obama coalition in all its rainbow glory: black and white, yellow and brown, and still strikingly youthful. A tableau, in other words, at radical variance with the crowds at the Romney events I'd attended over the weekend and for months before, which were among the most homogenously ultra-Caucasian of any I've ever encountered for a major-party nominee in twenty years in this business.
This is a common attack that the Left uses against the GOP. While the crowds are, indeed, more monochromatic at Romney events, the underlying and unspoken allegation is that the message of the GOP is only appealing to whites BECAUSE they are white. Somehow we are to believe that the idea of limited government intervention in our lives is something inherently attractive to only one race of people.
To this point, Heileman lays bare the Obama camp's strategy:
... Chicago's plan [was] to focus laser-like on four key voting blocs: African-Americans, Hispanics, college-educated white women, and voters of all ethnicities aged 18-29. At bottom, their theory of the case was that, despite the fragility of the recovery and the doubts that many voters had about Obama's capacity to put America firmly back on the road to prosperity, the deft and aggressive exploitation of coalition politics (along with the ruthless disqualification of Romney as a credible occupant of the Oval Office) could secure the president a second term. That in 2012, in other words, demographics would trump economics.
But is it really "demographics?" Heileman comes dangerously close (for a Leftist, at least) to identifying the strategy for what it is. He calls it the "aggressive exploitation of coalition politics." I think that's just a nice way of saying "identity politics."
The website Dictionary.com defines identity politics as "political activity or movements based on or catering to the cultural, ethnic gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize a group identity.
Stanley Fish at the NY Times had this definition:
You’re practicing identity politics when you vote for or against someone because of his or her skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other marker that leads you to say yes or no independently of a candidate’s ideas or policies.
The President began targeting these groups since 2008, with messages that would appeal speifically to the members of the groups. Then the campaign wrote off the rest of the electorate.
Blacks - A longtime reliable voting bloc for Democrats, African-Americans continued to turnout for the first black president. If the day ever comes when blacks don't vote 90% for Democrats, the party is going to be some serious trouble. It might never win another national election. It's also unclear if this voting bloc will continue to turnout at 2008 and 2012 lelevs if the nominee is white.
Latinos - The President decided just months before the election to not enforce US law by deporting certain illegal immigrants (the so-called "Dreamers," who are kids who were brought to the US at a young age and have been raised here ever since). The issuance of the Executive Order convinced enough Hispanics that Obama really will do something about immigration reform (even though he hasn't for his first term).
College kids - The President promised that student loans would be cheaper because the interest rates on government loans would be kept artificially low - at least until the market forces kick in. You can fool the voters but you cannot fool the marketplace. But who cares? The crash on that will come after Obama's re-election.
College-educated white women - The "War on Women" and the Lily Ledbetter Act. Need I say any more?
The question for the GOP is whether it will engage in this type of micro-targeting in 2016. (Some might call it pandering.)
But one of the biggest lessons learned in this election: The Republican Party, once again, failed to turn out its voters - despite lots of loud talk and chest-thumping by GOP officials and surrogates.
In 2016, the faithful will be hard-pressed to believe that Republican Get Out The Vote efforts will be any better.