Saturday, August 1, 2009

The New Southern Strategy

Matt Yglesias, on the increasing success of the Birthers in the South: "I think Republicans have basically given up on the battle of trying to win more Hispanics over to their side. Which leaves them with the medium-term objective of trying to get non-southern whites to act more like southern whites."

I generally agree, but it should be said that there are some gains that they can make with this strategy. The South is not going to be as uniformly Republican as the Northeast is uniformly Democratic (there are quite a few black voters in the South, and that will matter until the Roberts Court overturns the Voting Rights Act), but there are some seats--like those of Jim Marshall and Charlie Melancon--that could go Republican if those men (as expected) run for higher office. This is why I'm predicting that the GOP will gain a few house seats in 2010. I just think that this strategy will make it harder to win anywhere else. Even in the Repub-friendly West (aside from the coast, anyway) this birther stuff has no traction. And just wait until Obama rolls out comprehensive immigration reform right before the Midterms. I wouldn't be surprised if some long overdue tough financial regulation and immigration reform become the issues of the Midterms, and I think the Republicans will have a tough time being against the first (opposing a Financial Consumer Protection Agency as "telling you what you can buy" is very weak) and they will shoot themselves in the foot on the second. Obama has made a few mistakes so far, but the man is politically savvy. Just watch.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.