Memo to My People

Latino interest in voting has dropped off precipitously:

poll released Tuesday found that even though Latinos strongly back Democrats over Republicans, 65 percent to 22 percent, in the Congressional elections just four weeks away, only 51 percent of Latino registered voters said they would absolutely go to the polls, compared with 70 percent of all registered voters.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Kos’ take on this:

Remember, the issue here isn’t even that immigration reform didn’t happen. It’s that Democrats didn’t even fight for it. Obviously, Harry Reid loves to whine about 60 votes, but why not have a vote anyway, and wave the GOP “no” votes in the face of Latino voters this campaign season? Make their hostility to reform and brown people a cornerstone of their campaigns.

Maybe Democrats could get a few more Latino votes if they followed Kos’ prescription, but no political party is going to take a minority with a one-election attention span seriously.  Minority power comes from having credible elected officials who convince the majority of the importance of the minority’s interests.  It’s hard work and it’s going to take more than an election or two.  Latinos need to find a few Congressional districts that have a large Latino minorities, mobilize them, and challenge a white guy with a credible Latino candidate.  Elect more mayors, city councilmen and state legislators.   In other words, follow the same boring road that every other minority group takes.

I have no doubt that we’ll find a home in the Democratic party, but Latinos need to make a home there on their terms, so their influence will go beyond a one-election marriage of convenience.

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135 replies
  1. 1
    Mark says:

    This.

    It’s the same deal as Andrew Sullivan and his b.s. “the Democrats are worse than the Republicans on gay rights.”

    Every advance in gay rights has come from Democrats taking a stand, and yet in 2008, the percentage of gay people voting R went up. So they never wanted Obama, and then *of course* he didn’t deliver fast enough for them. And of course even though John McCain filibustered DADT repeal, McCain would have brought about change had he been president because Obama just doesn’t care about the issue.

    At least Latinos supported HCR (88%). So the term one-issue voters is a little inaccurate. But if you’re going to sit the election out because you didn’t get what you wanted despite it not being clear to the country what you want, well, I can see why the Democrats aren’t rushing to make your dreams happen.

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    Its a complicated dance, this dance of the interest groups. From a national perspective I don’t think its the case to say that it is actual membership in a group which makes congress sit up and take notice. By the time the Irish were getting themselves elected as congressmen were they really specifically fighting for Irish rights? Hell, we’ve got Raul Grijalva and he’s a hell of a good congressman but what is his influence, really? If he lacks influence its not because he’s latino but because he’s a progressive and progressive’s lack influence because there aren’t enough of them. How many latino majority districts would we have to have before latino interests were really respected? Can anyone wait that long?

    The latino community put the fear of god into the Republicans with those huge demonstrations a few years ago. That took place on a national level. The thing is that those demonstrations and signs of resolve have to take place at key moments, psychological turning points on key legislation very high up the chain of command. That’s going to coincide with national races and not get any traction locally.

    I guess what I’m arguing is that its a mistake to drop the ball on the issue which unites a large group–its a mistake for the national dems and for the group itself–legislation in this country happens in a kind of tidal way. The party that owes you has to deliver, but it can’t necessarily deliver immiediatly, and needs to stay in power through another cycle or two. Grassroots, local organizing is important and certainly seizing congressional seats is important but those votes are as or more important at the Senatorial and Presidential level.

    aimai

  3. 3
    ChrisWWW says:

    Latinos have been on the side of Democrats since at least the 2006 mid-term elections. How many more years should Latinos allow the Democrats to ignore them before their interests are taken seriously?

  4. 4
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Here’s the thing. I can understand the frustrations of the group, though. Being a member of multiple minorities, I know I am not the base, and I know that many of my personal issues are not considered that important to the DNC. That said, Republicans are fucking nuts, and they are worse on all the issues about which I care. Therefore, there is no option other than to be a Democrat and work for change within the party. The GOP is a lost cause right now. Fuck ’em.

    @ChrisWWW: That’s fairly recent in comparison to other minority groups.

    ETA: I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t expect the Dems to rush to address issues that are important to me, but once in awhile, I get tired of being shunted aside.

  5. 5
    El Cid says:

    Readers should follow the link to the actual poll, not just the NYT treatment.

    When it comes to opinions of President Barack Obama, a greater share of Latino registered voters approve of his job performance than do all U.S. registered voters — 63% versus 47%. Yet when asked about the effect of his administration’s policies on Hispanics, Latino registered voters are divided. More than half (51%) say his policies have had no effect on Latinos, while one-in-four (26%) say they have been helpful to Latinos and 13% say they have been harmful.
    __
    The new survey also reveals that the Democratic Party continues to hold a large advantage in party identification among Latino registered voters. More than six-in-ten (62%) Latino registered voters say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while one-quarter (25%) say the same for the Republican Party-a Democratic advantage of 37 percentage points.
    __
    Democrats are seen as the party that has more concern for Hispanics. Nearly half (47%) of Latino registered voters say this about the Democratic Party-down from 55% in 2008, but similar to the share on this question expressed by Latinos for much of the past decade. In contrast, very few see the Republican Party as more concerned about Latinos than the Democratic Party-just 6% of all Latino registered voters and 18% of Republican Latino registered voters say this.
    __
    When Arizona enacted an unauthorized immigrant enforcement bill earlier this year, the immigration policy debate reignited across the country. Even so, the new survey shows that immigration does not rank as a top voting issue for Hispanics. Rather, they rank education, jobs and health care as their top three issues of concern for this year’s congressional campaign. Immigration ranks as the fifth most important issue for Latino registered voters and as the fourth most important issue for all Latinos.

    That’s an interesting figure up there.

    Just 18% of Latino registered Republican voters say that Republicans are more concerned about Latinos. Now, it isn’t necessarily the case that the others who weren’t in that 18% (and who had an opinion) think that’s bad — it could be that they don’t think such concern is relevant.

  6. 6
    rafflesinc says:

    Make elections easier with, say, an app like iVote, instead of making people wait in line during the work day for hours. Apparently during the 2008 election, people felt pride at seeing hundreds of people line up around the block to vote for Obama. Actually they shouldn’t have needed to wait at all.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    The trick is going from an interest group to a core constituency. When you’re part of the core, you no longer have to argue about setting the agenda– because you’re the one who sets it.

    But to get there, as mistermix says, you have to make that commitment, personally (and financially)– one-night stands (or even two-night stands) can be fun, but won’t pay the bills.

  8. 8
    aimai says:

    El Cid’s point reminds us that polls on questions like “who is more concerned” are really very weird and place specific, while “Latino” is a totally global term. I mean if you were to ask the old line Miami Cuban if the Republicans care about *them* you’d get a resounding “yes!” and that would be quite accurate. They have a long history of being catered to by the Republican party, and they have the numbers and the money and the history to elect their own people to congress. If you ask them, generically, if they think the Republican party is good for/concerned about “latinos” in general they ought rightly to answer “no.” I’m not much of a poll and poll top line reader but I’d be interested to know the regional and ethnic breakdown of the poll. “Latino” is way to global a term.

    aimai

  9. 9
    Paris says:

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Dems didn’t get credit for losing a vote on DADT. You only get credit for successes.

  10. 10
    SBJules says:

    I think Meg Whitman has united CA latinos. Not for her, of course. And it wasn’t just her fired maid. I don’t think they’ll be voting Republican this time and I do think they will vote!

  11. 11
    angler says:

    What a strategy session that must be for the voting block in question, “listen up loyal followers! You need to vote the Demo ticket for a decade to show good faith. Then they’ll do their part. Hey, where is everybody going?!?”

    As for the build a base, challenge a white guy strategy: see Loretta Sanchez overthrowing B1 Bob Dornan in deep red Orange County, California over a decade ago and others like it.

    In the deck chair shuffle that is the progressive online run up to the election. these posts read as if millions of occasional voting Democrats, Hispanics in this case, are plugged into the debate and give a damn about the perfect-good-enemy debate about Obama’s first two years. Give them something to vote for and maybe you’ll get them to the polls. Give them a take your medicine and wait message and . . . well, no harm as they aren’t listening anyway.

  12. 12
    Joshua says:

    Surely voter supression has to be a factor in this. I’ve only lived in my new district for a short time, but I keep hearing horror stories about how the sheriff’s department sets up roadblocks and the like in minority communities on election day to discourage turnout. I know if I had to risk being harassed by cops and potentially detained to pull a lever, I’d probably think twice about it, too.

  13. 13
    Face says:

    I didn’t think Latinos were allowed to vote.

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    @Face: they’re not. They have their gay aborted Muslim socia1ist lover do it for them.

  15. 15
    El Cid says:

    Props to two NYT columns today.

    First, David Leonhardt on how HCR is bringing to light a lot of status quo problems — for example, the McDonald’s insurance with a $2K cap.

    Good quote:

    In a memo to federal regulators, McDonald’s executives argued that their version of health insurance “positively impacts” the almost 30,000 workers who are covered. And that’s true. A plan with a $2,000 or $10,000 cap can cover some modest health problems and is better than being uninsured.
    __
    But should the litmus test for American health care really be better than nothing?

    The conservative response to that question should be, “Why does it have to be better than nothing? That is the soshullist view!”

    And as much as I hate to say, MoDo, on attending one of these weird money-sucking fetish meetings in which notable political and other figures tell you inane lessons on how to succeed & grow rich. One of the rare occasions in which her cattiness serves well.

    After the audience was wooed to sign up for more sure-fire money-making classes and DVDs, Colin Powell came out to a rain of red and blue streamers.
    __
    He was the most charming speaker, confessing that he coped with being out of the limelight by driving a Corvette, at 73, around suburban Washington.
    __
    His advice? Be nice to the little people, the ones who clean your office and park your car. Write thank you notes on 4-by-6-inch cards. “I write with a fountain pen,” he said. “Never a Sharpie. Never a ballpoint pen.”
    __
    Then came another sales pitch from a guy who said he went from being a homeless drug dealer to the “world’s No. 1 Internet wealth entrepreneur” with a $2.4 million estate in Texas. He offered a course at an airport Marriott valued at $11,226.90 for a bargain $29…
    __
    …I came away with one important new insight about getting rich quick: An easy way to do it is to dole out fortune-cookie maxims at get-rich-quick seminars.

    Sure, all these points have been made before, but such useless get-rich-through-character-motivation-while-paying-us-more-and-more-for-more-seminars schemes keep going, so worth repeated criticism.

    [P.S. I love how the ‘internet entrepreneur’ ex-drug dealer valued his seminar specifically at $11,266.90. Must be more real if it’s to the odd dollar and decimal point. Maybe it should have ended with 0.93.]

  16. 16

    The Hispanic community isn’t getting out the vote because they got repeatedly blocked by Rahm Emanuel on immigration reform:

    http://www.irishcentral.com/st.....06217.html

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-0.....PM:OPINION

    Maybe with Rahm gone, Obama can undo some of the damage he left. Maybe.

  17. 17
    Dork says:

    He was the most charming speaker, confessing that he coped with being out of the limelight by driving a Corvette, at 73, around suburban Washington.

    That seems to be really fast to be driving around busy suburban roads.

  18. 18
    cleek says:

    @Paris:

    Dems didn’t get credit for losing a vote on DADT.

    1. let’s be honest here: there wasn’t a vote on DADT. there was a vote on a much larger bill which contained DADT, and there was a bunch of parliamentary pissypants nonsense from both sides, and the vote failed, DADT along with everything else. maybe the inclusion of DADT was the reason the vote failed, maybe not. but either way we didn’t get a simple “vote on DADT”.

    2. speak for yourself. though it was a half-assed attempt, it was still an attempt. and nobody should expect an attempt of any kind – half-assed or not – from the GOP. so, i give the Dems credit for that much.

  19. 19
    Mr Furious says:

    I think there’s every chance that the way the debate would have been framed and demagogued by the media and the Right, that the Democrats might have lost at least one white vote for every Latino they motivated to GOTV.

    That’s not a disagreement with Kos or excuse for Reid’s cowardice, just my best guess based on the way things go.

    I DO think that the Democrats should have made more principled stands on votes they knew they were short on because it would be helpful politically in many cases, and I think it’s the best way to move the conversation in some cases.

  20. 20
    Zifnab says:

    The bottom line here is that the Senate has been an absolute disaster. We need an LBJ leading the Senate, not a Neville Chamberlain.

    You can wax on about “one-election marriages” but who wants to be in a marriage where you feel like you’re getting absolutely no love on major issues?

    If Obama and the Dems want to keep winning the Latino base, they can’t just quietly fight for a handful of reasonable improvements. They have to be very noisy and very repetitive in their support for minority and immigrant rights. And they have to go toe-to-toe with the bigots.

    Part of this is the media game, and Democratic Leadership has yet to learn how to battle particularly effectively in the modern media market. But that hurdle absolutely has to be overcome if the Dems want to keep the Latino base coming back to them.

  21. 21
    JWL says:

    “..no political party is going to take a minority with a one-election attention span seriously. Minority power comes from having credible elected officials who convince the majority of the importance of the minority’s interests”.

    By “no political party”, I assume you’re (simply simon) referring to one of the two major parties. Right? Republican and democratic?

    So what do you mean by a “one election attention span”? That hispanics are politically fickle? I can assure you, in California that is not the case. Pete Wilson’s jihad 20 years ago against brown people went a long, long way in turning this state from red to blue.

    It didn’t take much “convincing”, either.

    “Credible elected [hispanic] officials”? As opposed to whom? Caucasian elected officials? White politicians, whose bona fides are assumed to be that of “the majority”?

    Wise up.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @Mr Furious: The difficult part about immigration reform is that it can easily be killed by emotional appeals to both the right and the left. Bigotry and xenophobia for the Republican base, and fears of job loss and income stagnation for the Democratic base. This is not a situation where liberals, let alone Democrats as a whole, are in agreement. My problem with Markos’s interpretation of the polling data is that he refuses to acknowledge that a large chunk of voters who say they want immigration reform want this “reform” to consist of mass deportations and a walling off of the border.

    Creating an immigration reform bill that is reasonably popular with the voting public will be a very tiny needle to thread.

  24. 24
    FlipYrWhig says:

    It’s that Democrats didn’t even fight for it.

    Perhaps even more tiring than the fact that Democrats didn’t fight for things is this irritating theory that Democrats benefit from fighting for things. On balance, they don’t. That’s why they don’t do it. When they fight for things, they get hammered by the people who oppose those things, and they also get hammered by the people who support those things but want to see the style or the passion be set to a different level. Consequently, you have to give them a reason to stick out their necks on something “controversial.” All of their political instincts tell them not to do it. That’s why the only ones who _do_ do it (1) are secure in their seats, or (2) have a sense of conscience or justice that goes beyond their desire to be reelected.

  25. 25
    Tom W. says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    Correction, blocked by the Obama Administration – it’s insane to suggest that Barack Obama is such a weak chief executive that he bows to a chief of staff. I hate that argument – it’s both unfair to President Obama and lets him off the hook when his administration does things you don’t like.

    Listen, Markos is 100% right – there’s a vicious chill out there against Latinos in this country, led by the hatred in Arizona but sweeping all the way to Patchogue, LI where Marcelo Lucero was murdered because he was a Spanish-speaking immigrant. The Democratic party, including the President and the feckless Harry Reid, simply has not done enough while the right bashes away on this issue over and over and over again.

    The great man who said this:

    For all the noise and anger that too often surrounds the immigration debate, America has nothing to fear from today’s immigrants. They have come here for the same reason that families have always come here–for the hope that in America, they could build a better life for themselves and their families. Like the waves of immigrants that came before them and the Hispanic Americans whose families have been here for generations, the recent arrival of Latino immigrants will only enrich our country.

    …must act and lead more forcefully so the Joe Arpaio’s of this world are banished from the public commons.

  26. 26
    taylormattd says:

    no it’s not. Markos’ bullshit is no more accurate than the screamers at FDL who insist everyone is unenthusiastic due to the health care bill not being progressive enough.

    If folks will recall, times are very tough economically, especially for those who aren’t rich.

    It’s so annoying how on a daily basis, those in the left blogosphere project their own specific annoyances with the Democratic party onto Americans at large.

  27. 27
    Uloborus says:

    Do we know what their previous likelihood to vote was? Whether this has gone up or down? How much? I don’t see that in the poll.

    Also, this is an odd election year. The argument the Latino community should be looking at is a variation on the argument the rest of us should be looking at. The Democrats are having a hard time doing enough for them. The Republicans want to deport them even if they’re legal American citizens born in this country.

    The reason the senate is not getting things done is because the Republicans have gone completely batshit insane and want this country to burn to the ground so they can say ‘I told you so’. That’s not even much of an exaggeration at this point. They want to invade Iran, slash the support system, remove what regulation there is on industries that have caused catastrophes by being underregulated, enact draconian laws against minorities, increase the income gap as much as possible, and that’s the ‘reasonable conservatives’. The Tea Partiers favor such things as removing the education system entirely.

    This isn’t an election about enthusiasm. It’s an election about horror.

    There’s a strong irony here in that the Republicans have pushed that meme so hard they’ve become the thing they were warning against.

  28. 28
    Stefan says:

    Maybe Democrats could get a few more Latino votes if they followed Kos’ prescription, but no political party is going to take a minority with a one-election attention span seriously.

    Absolutely. This is how we Irish got ahead in America — from the second we got off the boat, we were met by fellow Irishmen who signed us up with the party. Once we won elections, we were able to build a patronage network and get civil service jobs in the police and fire departments, etc. You couldn’t ignore the Irish vote in the cities, and so the Irish used that to move into the middle class. Money and influence followed votes. If the Latinos can’t see that…well, it’s their loss.

  29. 29
    Stefan says:

    By the time the Irish were getting themselves elected as congressmen were they really specifically fighting for Irish rights?

    Pretty much, yes. Not in the explicit sense of “Irish rights” but in the sense that they were securing influence for their Irish friends and family.

  30. 30
    John S. says:

    @angler:

    That’s a fine example you have there in Loretta Sanchez. Isn’t she the former Republican who flipped Democrat out of political expediency and recently got caught making horrifically racist statements about the Vietnamese people in her district?

    Yup, a fine example you have there.

  31. 31
    The Raven says:

    no political party is going to take a minority with a one-election attention span seriously.

    Those hot-blooded Latins, so easily distracted.

    “All politics is local” in time as well as space; politicians win–or lose–election by election. Kos is a very good political tactician, and if the Dems wanted to win, they could do worse than to follow his advice. But both parties are busy working out internal conflicts. Voters? Who cares about voters?

    Croak!

  32. 32
    Steve says:

    @John S.: I think “horrifically racist statements” is a tad overwrought.

  33. 33
    Tractarian says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think Kos’s point is that there should be a lot more Dem legislators who “have a sense of conscience or justice that goes beyond their desire to be reelected.”

    That said, Kos’s point doesn’t hold. After all, the whole point of a filibuster is to prevent a vote taking place on the actual bill. If Reid could get an up-or-down vote on immigration reform, or DADT, or any of the others, he would do it in a second. But he can’t, and that’s why the GOP’s obstructionism has worked so well.

  34. 34
    El Tiburon says:

    True enough Mistermix, good take.

    Forgive the analogy, but Latinos need to go Teabagger in that they need to (truly) grassroots themselves into the Democratic party as you suggest and work themselves upward and outward.

    Perhaps the messaging should be that it is okay to be disillusioned with the Democratic party right now, but at least they don’t openly advocate for putting you in concentration camps.

  35. 35
    lol says:

    Here’s a fun fact: As a percentage, fewer Hispanics voted in 2006 than in 1994.

    Another one: Fewer blacks voted in 2006 than in 2002.

    Did they stay home because they were disappointed with Dean’s 50 state strategy? Fuck if I know. This shit makes no sense.

    Knock yourself out guys, see if you can divine the pattern of disappointment.

  36. 36
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Kos is right. Jack these fuckers up and they’ll vote. I’m not even sure what the hell mistermix is trying to say. Every marriage starts with passion and ya go from there.

  37. 37
    TJ says:

    “Vote for us or you’re all big losers” doesn’t seem to be a good slogan.

  38. 38
    lol says:

    @John S.:

    Sanchez is a Blue Dog so that she can say she’s a fiscal conservative to voters back home. She always makes a lot of noise about spending but at the end of the day, she’s an extremely reliable Democratic vote.

    All that said, she has a Biden-esque history of… foot in mouth type remarks and actions. You might remember she was the Rep who planned to host a Democratic fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion during the 2000 DNC Convention.

  39. 39
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    With Ted out of the way, perhaps the best strategy is for the Democratic establishment to compel the leadership of La Raza into total political submission by forcing them into Patch’s green Ford Mustang, and then threatening to give him the keys.

  40. 40
    Redshift says:

    @Uloborus:

    Do we know what their previous likelihood to vote was? Whether this has gone up or down? How much? I don’t see that in the poll.

    Exactly. Just because the Times writes an attention-grabbing article on the poll doesn’t mean it’s not an outlier, or necessarily worthy of major navel-gazing. Frankly, what I’m seeing here is everyone taking it as evidence to support what they already believed.

  41. 41
    Uloborus says:

    @TJ:
    How about ‘Vote for us or you’ll lose big’?

    The Republicans, aided *very* strongly by the media, have done their damnedest to depress Democratic enthusiasm for their candidates.

    But by doing so they’ve created tremendous fear of the Republicans being elected. Conway could be a chimpanzee with a taste for man flesh and I’d go to the polls and vote to keep Rand Paul out of office.

  42. 42
    stuckinred says:

    @John S.: AIRSICK ARVN
    TUNE – ‘« DRUNKEN SAILOR”
    What’ya gonna’ do with an Airsick ARVN (3Times)
    Early in the mornin’, early in the mornin’
    Throwin’ up his rice’n’water
    Early in the mornin’
    Way hay and up she rises
    Filial’ up his helmet liner
    Repeat first

  43. 43
    Kerry Reid says:

    @ChrisWWW:
    Ask the African Americans. I believe ending jim crow took a bit longer than four years.

  44. 44
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Zifnab:

    We need an LBJ leading the Senate, not a Neville Chamberlain.

    I’m gonna so steal this quote.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    but Latinos need to make a home there on their terms

    exactly, Latinos, progressives, young urban singles…. whatever constituencies are bailing after 18 months. It’s not about making elected pols love you, or you needing them. It’s about making them fear you, about making them understand they need you.
    @The Raven:

    “All politics is local” in time as well as space; politicians win—or lose—election by election.

    I’d say “election after election”. It took the Xian Right forty years to take over the GOP

  46. 46
    Shade Tail says:

    I’m getting the impression that many of you didn’t bother to actually read mistermix’s post. He quite clearly did not write, “Just keep voting!” Instead, he quite clearly wrote, “Get seriously involved, run for office, become an actual leader, and get some real clout that you can use to push the democrats in the direction you want!”

    Come on, people, **reading comprehension**. It’s a good thing, give it a shot.

  47. 47
    James E. Powell says:

    I’d be wary of making any broad inferences about the voters labeled Latino. That includes a rather diverse population that does not vote as a bloc.

    I doubt whether action on immigration would have fired up any Latinos who care about the issue. What has happened in Arizona, and the Republicans in other states who have announced plans to follow Arizona, should make it pretty clear to any immigration-attentive Latino voters that the Republicans consider them to be enemies of America. And, too, the Obama administration pretty much threw in the towel in the Southwest states by taking Arizona to court.

    I am not trying to tell Latino voters who are concerned about immigration what to do. But if I were such a person, I’d be spending my money making sure that Raul Grijalva gets re-elected. He’s a good man, he’s a leader against the pitchforks and torches in Arizona, and he is a progressive voice.

  48. 48
    BTD says:

    Didn’t know you were Latino MisterMix.

    But you are wrong with your “one election” thesis. Latinos have been voting Dem for a pretty long while.

  49. 49
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I’m not sure why the Republicans think they can address this by becoming stupider and angrier, but you can bet that’s what they’re going to try.

  50. 50
    paradox says:

    I would like a better explanation as to why there is little sympathy for Markos’ position.

    As I understand it, Obama promised immigration action in the first year and flopped it. “Penned ’em,” as Jane Hamsher would say.

    I’m a Hispanic who can’t speak Spanish, my immigrant El Salvadoran father wouldn’t speak it, what the fuck was I supposed to do? Anyway, it’s not one of my core issues but it still concerns me greatly, I want progress on the issue and damn it all I want that vast demographic locked in.

    Politically, why not deliver for all those folks? Stiff them and fucked you will be, duh.

    Why no sympathy? I’m listening.

  51. 51
    BTD says:

    @paradox:

    Another one? You guys keep this under your hat well.

    Anyway, Mister Mix FTR, Latinos vote for Clinton over Bush 41 by 61-25 in the 1992 election, and so on.

  52. 52
    srv says:

    Moderates as emopants:

    The fast growth in the number of independent voters — a broad category that includes some voters who tend to identify more with one major party than the other, as well as a lot of Americans who are skeptical of both — has been making American politics more volatile. According to a Pew Center poll completed a few weeks ago, the Republican advantage at the moment is mostly grounded in the party’s 13-point lead among independents, which is about the same margin by which those voters supported Democratic candidates in 2006 and Mr. Obama in 2008.

    In other words, independent voters have tended to side with whichever party can legitimately claim not to be in charge at the moment, and ideology does not have a whole lot to do with it.

    This tends to make strategists in both parties insane, since they spend most of their time trying to draw out the contrasts between the two parties; it seems to them that the least the voters could do is pick a side and stick with i

  53. 53
    Nick says:

    @ChrisWWW:

    Latinos have been on the side of Democrats since at least the 2006 mid-term elections. How many more years should Latinos allow the Democrats to ignore them before their interests are taken seriously?

    Yeah, it’s too bad the Democrats didn’t think of putting something like the DREAM Act up for a vote, even if the Republicans filibuster it, because I’m sure Latinos would back them if they did.

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    BTW, those likely voter numbers are pretty normal for Latinos. They’ve *always* turned out in lower numbers than non-Latinos. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem or shouldn’t change, but the numbers look pretty normal to me. They certainly haven’t ‘dropped off precipitously’.

    Everyone needs to remember that the voting baseline is old, white people. Everyone else comes in below them. Latinos are younger than the general population by a lot, so they have the age trends working against them as well.

    If Latino turnout matched the general population it would be fairer to say that ‘turnout shot up precipitously’. Let’s try and achieve that, okay?

  55. 55
    kwAwk says:

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Kos’ take on this:

    I couldn’t have more sympathy for Kos’ take on this.

    Sometimes fighting and losing would have made the Dems look more committed and tough. Looks like they care or something.

    So of these things Dems ran on in the past 4 years, if you can’t get them done with a congress at 60/40, when are you going to get them done?

  56. 56
    Dennis SGMM says:

    It seems odd to me that Latinos, or progressives, or any other group must earn the right to have their issues considered by the Democratic party while corporations simply buy their way to the head of the line.

  57. 57
    Nick says:

    @kwAwk:

    Sometimes fighting and losing would have made the Dems look more committed and tough. Looks like they care or something.

    how many times do I have to say this is bullshit. Did allowing the Republicans to kill the 9/11 bill make them look committed and tough? NO, it made them look petty and disorganized. Did allowing the Republicans to filibuster unemployment make them look committed and tough? Did allowing the Republicans to filibuster DADT, DREAM Act, make them look committed and tough?

    No, they got bitched out for not being able to pass shit. Jon Stewart said they all suck and people here threatened to give money to the Republicans,

  58. 58
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Nick:
    This. This. And this.

    Thanks.

  59. 59
    lol says:

    @kwAwk:

    How much credit did Dems get for putting DADT Repeal and DREAM up for a vote and failing to pass it?

    Zero.

    So stop with this “We’d be happy if Dems would just *try*” bullshit because you won’t and you aren’t.

  60. 60
    Nick says:

    @James E. Powell:

    I am not trying to tell Latino voters who are concerned about immigration what to do. But if I were such a person, I’d be spending my money making sure that Raul Grijalva gets re-elected. He’s a good man, he’s a leader against the pitchforks and torches in Arizona, and he is a progressive voice.

    If Latinos aren’t crawling over broken glass to get the polls in Arizona, where Democrats from Teddy Goddard to Rodney Glassman to the President himself have taken on the state’s draconian immigration law, then that sorta debunks kos’ point that immigration is why Latinos aren’t showing up.

  61. 61
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Corporations have earned it exactly the way mistermix described: They funded candidates in multiple elections that challenged the sitting person. And now they have reaped their hard work.

    They just should not have been allowed to.

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Nick: @lol: Thank you.

  63. 63
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Nick:

    Not being snarky but, are you saying that if the Dems can’t win then they shouldn’t even try? “We’re not going to do anything because the Republicans won’t let us!” isn’t exactly inspiring.

  64. 64
    NR says:

    For people who like to whine about the “professional left” and the Jane Hamshers of the world, you need to realize that there are actual, real-world groups of voters who the Democrats have royally pissed off. The Democratic party is starting to lose some of its core constituencies. They’ve pissed off progressives, gays (the gAyTMs are closing), unions, and now latinos. The Democrats need every single one of those groups to win, but Obama and the current Democratic leaders seem to think they are entitled to those votes, so they don’t even have to fight for the issues that are important to them.

    The biggest danger now is that it looks like after they lose big in November, they’re going to blame the very people that they’ve disappointed and pissed off, instead of looking in the mirror and trying to fix the problem.

  65. 65
    martha says:

    @Nick: I agree–especially in AZ. If they don’t get out in that state this year to make a statement against the Rs and their policies there, then they’re never going to. I don’t care how many immigration ponies they get from an imaginary Congress that we know won’t exist in our lifetimes.

  66. 66
    Chyron HR says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Not being snarky but, are you saying that if the Dems can’t win then they shouldn’t even try?

    I thought that’s what the anti-Democratic Party left was saying. “Who cares if they introduced a bill to repeal DADT, it didn’t pass so it’s the same as doing nothing,” right?

  67. 67
    Mark says:

    only 51 percent of Latino registered voters said they would absolutely go to the polls, compared with 70 percent of all registered voters.

    Wait a second…who in their right mind believes that 51% of LRVs will go to the polls, let alone 70% of all RVs?

    This stuff makes me believe that virtually ALL the polling in this cycle is suspect.

  68. 68
    Nick says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Not being snarky but, are you saying that if the Dems can’t win then they shouldn’t even try? “We’re not going to do anything because the Republicans won’t let us!” isn’t exactly inspiring.

    Well “We tried to do it, but Republicans won’t let us!” doesn’t seem to be inspiring people to, so, yeah, for the sake of the way our media and moderates react to stuff, yeah, they shouldn’t try. Failing at something will only be spun as “disorganized, radical, unable to govern,” the “base” is upset because they didn’t find some magic way to pass it and moderates think “well if you can’t get something passed, that means it was probably something radical,” better off just doing what little you can.
    I’d have some sympathy for your idea if you would ACTUALLY give them credit for trying when they do, but none of you do.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dennis SGMM: That doesn’t seem “odd” to me at all. It seems wrong and unfair, but not odd.

    @Tractarian:

    I think Kos’s point is that there should be a lot more Dem legislators who “have a sense of conscience or justice that goes beyond their desire to be reelected.”

    Well, sure, there _should_, but you kind of have to build up that force first before you start presuming it’s going to win a lot of fights.

    That’s the point of many of my comments here. Just because we have a Democratic majority doesn’t necessarily mean we have a liberal/progressive/decent/tolerant majority. So many of the people with gripes about lost opportunity and slow progress IMHO aren’t taking into account that there’s a _large_ group of Democrats who either are fundamentally anti-liberal on an ideological basis or vote in anti-liberal ways because they see it as a reelection necessity. You have to give those people an incentive to move in the direction we want to move, when inertia leads them to stay put.

    Saying that pushing harder for immigration reform will be good for Democratic prospects… sure, it might buoy Latinos, but what if it convulsed the already-cranky white lower-to-middle-class voters? You can say, fuck ’em, I don’t want bigots in my party anyway, but, sad to say, without bigots you’re probably not going to have a majority. That’s a cold and heartless calculation, but it’s a rational one…

    …which is why you need to be _really, really certain_ that serving the interests of Latinos, or gays and lesbians, or African Americans, or Muslim Americans _is worth doing_ even if it harms the prospects of your reelection. I’m a liberal so I like the idea of politicians catering to liberals. But I also know that there aren’t many liberals and “catering to liberals” is the type of thing that can cost a guy his seat in Congress. Of course that sucks. But I think that while it’s nice to think of politics working on the basis of conscience and justice, we have to bear in mind that it also works, probably much more often, on the basis of professional politicians’ sheer self-interest. Until we can prove beyond any doubt that it is in the self-interest of Democratic politicians to do things that please us, this is about the best we’re going to do.

  70. 70
    Nick says:

    @NR:

    you need to realize that there are actual, real-world groups of voters who the Democrats have royally pissed off.

    yeah, conservatives.

    The biggest danger now is that it looks like after they lose big in November, they’re going to blame the very people that they’ve disappointed and pissed off, instead of looking in the mirror and trying to fix the problem.

    Because it will be their fault. If gays, unions and latinos think Democrats didn’t at least try to deliver for them in the past two years, they deserve to be slapped around. I’m so tired of this shit.

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    Latinos, like pretty much every demographic group in America, are more concerned with jobs and the economy than anything else, including immigration reform.

    This, however, is NOT how it is being framed in the MSM. It’s that Latinos hate Dems and Obama.

    Someone should tell Latinos that if they want anyone in the media to take them seriously, they need to do what African Americans have done. Vote for no one but Dems in numbers upward of 85% every single election. Otherwise, both parties (the biggest slaves to the CW) will never take them seriously as a group.

    YMMV.

  72. 72
    martha says:

    Sorry mistermix, I used an evil double hyphen and broke the margins…that’s what I get for multitasking…

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    Being in ground zero for the war on Hispanics (Arizona), I would venture to say that more than a few of them are probably afraid to go to the polls.

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    The Democratic party is starting to lose some of its core constituencies. They’ve pissed off progressives, gays (the gAyTMs are closing), unions, and now latinos.

    Polling suggests otherwise. Some important members of those groups have been loudly discontented, yes, but the media and the alt-media have been _very quick_ to seize upon the dissidents and treat them as typical and representative. They probably aren’t.

  75. 75
    lol says:

    @NR:

    It’s too bad none of what you’ve said is supported by actual polling or fundraising numbers.

    Blogs aren’t the real world.

  76. 76
    Shade Tail says:

    @Nick @ #67:

    Well “We tried to do it, but Republicans won’t let us!” doesn’t seem to be inspiring people to, so, yeah, for the sake of the way our media and moderates react to stuff, yeah, they shouldn’t try. Failing at something will only be spun as “disorganized, radical, unable to govern,” the “base” is upset because they didn’t find some magic way to pass it and moderates think “well if you can’t get something passed, that means it was probably something radical,” better off just doing what little you can. I’d have some sympathy for your idea if you would ACTUALLY give them credit for trying when they do, but none of you do.

    While I understand this perspective, it is over-simplified. To a very large extent, it gets spun that way because the Democratic party allow it to. If they did their own spinning and blatantly beat the GOP over the head with their votes against American interests, you’d probably see the tide shift quite a bit.

    Forcing the other side to take unpopular votes and then defend it has been a successful tactic for a long time. It isn’t that it doesn’t work, it’s that the Democratic party is, in a very real sense, not even trying it.

  77. 77
    Uloborus says:

    @srv:
    Bear in mind, independents haven’t changed their views. The people identifying themselves as independents have changed. Large portions of the Tea Partiers describe themselves as ‘independents’. Moderate swing voters =/= ‘independents’.

    @Martin:
    So these numbers are normal? Thank you. So, no matter what elected Democrats or the Latino voting block should or should not do, there is no actual drop in Latino support based on failure to pass immigration reform.

    @FlipYrWhig:
    And this point may be the most salient of all.

    Simply put, the media and their political narratives are universally full of shit.

    They are not grounded in fact and any numbers they quote are taken out of context to deceive you and support some narrative that media person likes.

  78. 78
    Brachiator says:

    Maybe Democrats could get a few more Latino votes if they followed Kos’ prescription, but no political party is going to take a minority with a one-election attention span seriously.

    I don’t think a “one-election attention span” is an issue. It may be, as one poster noted, that there may be a considerable number of younger Latino voters, and younger voters might be more apathetic.

    Still, in the light of increased hostility toward Latinos popping up in various states, one might think that Latino voters would be less concerned about whether Democrats disappointed them and more concerned about flexing their voting muscles.

  79. 79
    Nick says:

    @Shade Tail:

    Forcing the other side to take unpopular votes and then defend it has been a successful tactic for a long time. It isn’t that it doesn’t work, it’s that the Democratic party is, in a very real sense, not even trying it.

    Except they ARE trying it and have been forcing them to defend it. Swing State Project regularly shows ads running in swing district where Democrats are doing this. Did anyone see Tarryl Clark’s ad against Bachmann? What about Halvorson’s ad in IL-11? Carnahan has been pretty good at slamming Blunt on his voting record. IT ISN’T WORKING and that’s not the Democratic Party’s fault, that’s the MEDIA’s fault.

    Why are the Democrats being blamed for the faults of the corporate-owned media?

  80. 80
    El Tiburon says:

    @Nick:

    Did allowing the Republicans to filibuster unemployment make them look committed and tough? Did allowing the Republicans to filibuster DADT, DREAM Act, make them look committed and tough?

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    What’s the problem here? The Republicans are fighting against programs MOST Americans want.

    Fighting and losing for programs MOST Americans WANT is a bit different, don’t you think?

    What the Republicans are doing make them look like what they are: protectors of the powerful and wealthy. Most Americans see this.

    Unfortunately, by the Democrats not doing shit is allowing the same brush to be applied to them.

    Look, we loved Rocky because that little Italian Stallion stood up and gave the establishment the best fight he could. Losing is not the problem here. Refusing to fight is the problem.

    ADRIANNNNNNEEEE!!!!

  81. 81
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nick:

    If gays, unions and latinos think Democrats didn’t at least try to deliver for them in the past two years, they deserve to be slapped around.

    I wouldn’t go that far. There are indeed many Democrats who didn’t try to deliver for them, because they don’t like them very much. There are other Democrats who did try, and those efforts got jacked up by the others. That’s why it’s IMHO dopey to say that “Democrats” or “Obama” didn’t even try, or didn’t try hard enough, or whatever. The problem is _some_ Democrats. Go to work on them. Make them see the light.

    If your neighbor keeps bringing his dog over to your yard and never picks up the shit, even after you talk to him, first nicely and then aggravatedly, do you blame “your neighbors”? Do you say that you can’t understand why the whole neighborhood lets their dogs shit in your yard? Or do you blame that one douchebag and throw the shit back at him?

  82. 82
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dennis SGMM: I didn’t see him say that. But if he’s implying anything in this direction its that the Dems shouldn’t try because their base isn’t going to give them credit for it anyway. But luckily, at least the person in the White House is a grown up and is trying to do stuff even if he isn’t getting credit.

  83. 83
    Nick says:

    @El Tiburon: Is this snark? I seriously can’t tell.

  84. 84
    Uloborus says:

    @El Tiburon:
    You have completely missed his point here. He means that the Democrats did exactly what you’re saying they should have – they tried to pass legislation. It didn’t pass, because right now it’s damn hard to get anything passed. They fought.

    And it’s earned them bupkis in gratitude.

  85. 85
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Nick:
    Thank you for your studied reply. I don’t have to try to give the Dems credit when they do something that I consider to be right, that’s a given for me. I also give them props for trying – even when they fail. I just become disheartened at the notion of having to settle for incremental progress when my country is in many ways bleeding to death. When looking at either political party I find myself asking, “Is this all there is?”

  86. 86
    NR says:

    @lol:

    It’s too bad none of what you’ve said is supported by actual polling or fundraising numbers.

    Um, hello? Can you read? It’s right there at the top of this post:

    A poll released Tuesday found that even though Latinos strongly back Democrats over Republicans, 65 percent to 22 percent, in the Congressional elections just four weeks away, only 51 percent of Latino registered voters said they would absolutely go to the polls, compared with 70 percent of all registered voters.

    But just go on thinking everything is fine and dandy.

  87. 87
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    There are indeed many Democrats who didn’t try to deliver for them, because they don’t like them very much.

    I could understand gays not wanting to show up for, say, Bobby Bright (though I don’t understand why they would live in Alabama to begin with), but I don’t understand them not showing up for someone like Betsy Markey who fought for the Matthew Shepard Act in a district populated by evangelicals that was previously represented by a bigot.

    Look, I don’t like the way my congressman left Muslims out to dry when they were being persecuted this summer, while his opponent fanned the flames of xenophobia, but I’ll happily vote for him against because he’s Anthony Fucking Weiner.

  88. 88
    El Tiburon says:

    @Nick:

    Is this snark?

    Absolutely not, unless I am reading you wrong, basically what you are saying is that if the Democrats were to fight for something, like repeal of DADT or the DREAM act, etc and were to lose, they would look disorganized and shat upon by John Stewart.

    If this is the gist of your argument, then I call bollocks on it and I disagree.

    If this is not the gist of your argument, then never mind.

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Fighting and losing for programs MOST Americans WANT is a bit different, don’t you think?

    You mean massive tax hikes and governmental overreach? What’s that? They’re not those things, they’re good programs that people do support? Well, that’s what happens to good ideas most Americans want, like health care reform, which was tarred and smeared in all kinds of crazy dumbass ways by the time it all got through. Most Americans want things until (1) they’re told the cost, (2) they’re told they’re icky liberal ideas that make the USA into a socia1ist nightmare. Then they stop wanting them. If people in rural Tennessee balk at paying for firefighting services because they’re just too costly, I don’t share your confidence that “programs most Americans want” stay that way after being run through the muck by Fox News and Republicans.

    Professional Democratic politicians may be ignorant, but they’re not stupid. If supporting what we consider good policy was an electoral winner, they’d probably do it, don’t you think? So the reasons they don’t do it as often as we’d like boil down to (1) they’ve been bought off, or, (2) they don’t think they’re electoral winners. If the answer is (1), there’s no hope. If the answer is (2), then we need to find a way to impress upon them that the policies we favor are the ticket to victory. And that’s hard to do, because most evidence suggests the opposite, which is that in many districts the winning electoral position is to oppose the policies _we_ like.

  90. 90
    kwAwk says:

    @lol:

    Hmmm… I give them credit for trying and I think a lot of the people who voted for this get credit for it, but I don’t seem to remember a great push out of the White House to get these things passed.

    We’ll see what happens in January, if the new Congress takes heed and eliminates the filibuster.

  91. 91
    Uloborus says:

    @El Tiburon:
    The gist of his argument is that they already did and they already were.

    @NR:
    He’s saying that these numbers do not mean what they sound like they mean. As Martin said above, they’re actually completely typical Latino voting numbers.

  92. 92
    NR says:

    @Nick:

    Because it will be their fault. If gays, unions and latinos think Democrats didn’t at least try to deliver for them in the past two years, they deserve to be slapped around. I’m so tired of this shit.

    Oh, poor baby! You’re tired of people complaining about the utter and abject failure of the Democrats to deliver for the people who elected them. Well, sorry, but that doesn’t compare to the people who are tired of being discriminated against and voted for Democrats because they promised to put a stop to it, only to see those same Democrats that they elected shrug their shoulders and say “We don’t have 60 votes in the Senate, so whatyagonnado?” (To say nothing of the fact that the Democrats did have 60 votes in the Senate for a time, and all they used it for was to pass a bill that delivers in a big way for big insurance companies and big Pharma).

    Actions have consequences. The Democrats’ failure to deliver for their core constituencies is going to have consequences in November. You don’t like it, tough shit.

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: That statement doesn’t say anything about trends. If Latinos in previous years _also_ strongly backed Democrats and _also_ didn’t turn out to the polls, then there’s been no change, and nothing to explain.

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kwAwk:

    I give them credit for trying and I think a lot of the people who voted for this get credit for it, but I don’t seem to remember a great push out of the White House to get these things passed.

    So it’s not that they need to fight for things, it’s that they need to fight for things with panache?

  95. 95
    Nick says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I just become disheartened at the notion of having to settle for incremental progress when my country is in many ways bleeding to death.

    Welcome to democracy. Our nation was purposely set up for progress to be incremental because our founding fathers feared rapid change.
    Maybe the chickens have come home to roost, but this is how we’ve always worked.

  96. 96
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @geg6:

    Latinos, like pretty much every demographic group in America, are more concerned with jobs and the economy than anything else,

    That’s the bedrock underlying every political argument. A majority may support the public option, the Dream Act, the repeal of DADT, but they don’t actually care about them.

  97. 97
    Nick says:

    @NR:

    You’re tired of people complaining about the utter and abject failure of the Democrats to deliver for the people who elected them.

    Yes, because they HAVE NOT failed to deliver for them nor have they failed to try, to say so would be a bold face lie.

  98. 98
    GregB says:

    I never knew Presidenten’ would be so hard. I have been workin’ all mornin’ on a Face Book post. Ask Todd, it’s hard postin’ on the FB.

    -Sarah Palin

  99. 99
    Nick says:

    @kwAwk:

    I give them credit for trying and I think a lot of the people who voted for this get credit for it, but I don’t seem to remember a great push out of the White House to get these things passed.

    No, certainly President Obama didn’t give a big speech on immigration reform last summer, nor did he travel the country arguing for his tax plan that Congress didn’t even bother to move on.

  100. 100
    lol says:

    @NR:

    In 2006, only 32% of eligible Hispanics turned out to vote compared to 48% of the public overall. Did Obama disappoint them that year too?

  101. 101
    Uloborus says:

    @Nick:
    Here bloody here.

  102. 102
    Steve says:

    @geg6:

    Someone should tell Latinos that if they want anyone in the media to take them seriously, they need to do what African Americans have done. Vote for no one but Dems in numbers upward of 85% every single election. Otherwise, both parties (the biggest slaves to the CW) will never take them seriously as a group.

    Actually, historically blacks got quite a bit when they were perceived as a swing constituency. The 85+% support Democrats receive currently is an effect rather than a cause.

  103. 103
    El Tiburon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    (1) they’re told the cost, (2) they’re told they’re icky liberal ideas that make the USA into a socia1ist nightmare. Then they stop wanting them.

    Disagree. I believe most polls show most Americans are willing for a slight tax increase for a public option. I think polling also reveals that when Americans are explained the truth behind certain bills, even if it involves increased spending, they are still for them. Furthermore, although a plurality of Americans don’t self-identify as liberals, they favor liberal/progressive policies.

    If supporting what we consider good policy was an electoral winner, they’d probably do it, don’t you think?

    No. No I don’t. I think the reason Democrats are possibly going to lose one chamber is because they are not supporting good policy that would be an electoral winner. Have you not been paying attention?

    Furthermore, your argument that the ONLY policy that should be supported is that in which is better for re-election is the goddamn problem here.

    We have accepted that it is okay for politicians to sell their souls for votes. Hence you have scum like McCain – who will probably win while having no principles, while Feingold may lose for having principles and standing behind them.

    I’ll take a losing Feingold any day over a winning McCain.

  104. 104
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Nick, I just want to say that you deserve a drink for your efforts in this thread.

  105. 105
    Uloborus says:

    @Sentient Puddle:
    I agree. I am beginning to understand the true meaning of the term ‘poutrage’: The state of people being so focused on complaining that they no longer care about the facts of the case. Any facts counter to their own narrative of failure are either utterly ignored or are spun beyond recognition to dismiss them. Context in particular gets the axe first.

    Thank you, Nick. I do enjoy the people who try to put anything in perspective and remember what actually happened.

  106. 106
    Nick says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    I just want to say that you deserve a drink for your efforts in this thread

    Happy Hour commences in 51 1/2 hours.

  107. 107
    El Tiburon says:

    @Nick:

    Yes, because they HAVE NOT failed to deliver for them nor have they failed to try, to say so would be a bold face lie.

    This particular shade of gray is a bit more nuanced than this.

    Many Democrats have given it the old College try against a steamroller of obstruction, no doubt. And on many counts they have delivered.

    But why is it the incomes for the top earners continues to grow while the middle-class and poor continue to sink further?

  108. 108
    Brachiator says:

    @NR:

    Actions have consequences. The Democrats’ failure to deliver for their core constituencies is going to have consequences in November. You don’t like it, tough shit.

    I can understand cultivating and voting for candidates who will deliver for you. I don’t understand sitting back and letting politicians who are actively hostile to your interests gain advantage. How is this anything but even tougher shit?

  109. 109
    Allan says:

    Re: your link to Kos.

    The day Kos posted his “Losing Latinos” Gallup also released the latest weekly summary of Presidential approval ratings. The President’s approval rating among Hispanics had improved from 49% the week before to 61%.

  110. 110
    Nick says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But why is it the incomes for the top earners continues to grow while the middle-class and poor continue to sink further?

    Because the entire economic structure of the economy is broken and is not something that’s going to be fixed in two, or probably even, four years.

    Part of that is our own damn fault for consistently supporting candidates, namely Republicans, who cause that because of mosques and abortions.

    But to say that the Democrats haven’t even attempted to fix that problem is just plain wrong. The President himself has spent the better part of the last two months advocated what is perhaps the best policy to stunt that income disparity…ending Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. You would think he’d get a little credit for it, but no.

  111. 111
    El Tiburon says:

    @Allan:

    The President’s approval rating among Hispanics had improved from 49% the week before to 61%.

    Oh, in that case every comment in this thread is not moot and should be redacted.

    Wolverines!

  112. 112
    Uloborus says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Well, the basic arguing point of the thread is moot because there’s been no drop in Latino support. The numbers quoted in the article are completely typical.

    Any subarguments are separate, like claims that the Democrats are not earning support because they’re not fighting for legislation. In the cited cases the Democrats are in fact fighting for this legislation.

    But overall, arguing why the Democrats are losing Latino support IS moot, because they’re not losing Latino support.

  113. 113
    Nick says:

    @Allan:

    The President’s approval rating among Hispanics had improved from 49% the week before to 61%.

    I think there were some polls that showed the unlikely voters were Democrats who approved of both Obama and Congress.

  114. 114
    El Tiburon says:

    I am not necessarily blaming the Democrats per se, but this is what it is.

    “Obscene Tax Breaks Survive Again”
    http://www.rollingstone.com/po.....3905/83512

    TARP Report: Banks Got Money Quickly, Homeowners Not So Much
    http://news.firedoglake.com/20.....rp-report/

  115. 115
    eemom says:

    The Kos argument seems to assume that all Latinos are single issue voters.

  116. 116
    Brachiator says:

    @Uloborus:

    Well, the basic arguing point of the thread is moot because there’s been no drop in Latino support. The numbers quoted in the article are completely typical.

    But this is not a typical election cycle.

    So the question remains, why haven’t Latino voters responded to increased anti-Latino sentiment?

  117. 117
    Allan says:

    @El Tiburon: Do you always draw retarded conclusions based on the introduction of new data points into the conversation?

  118. 118
    El Tiburon says:

    @Uloborus:
    I erred in writing “not moot”.

    I think many of us are arguing past each other. I certainly don’t mean to intimate that the Dems are doing nothing, quite the contrary.

    But I don’t think we should be okay with a half an effort or 3/4 an effort. I think our jobs as citizens who are involved is to continually push and push our elected leaders. These people are not our hometown football squad; they are elected to do a job every single day to the best of their ability. And if they do it 99% of the time, I think we still call them out that 1%.

    And we don’t just do this to bitch for bitching’s sake, but this is what the political process is all about.

  119. 119
    Nick says:

    @El Tiburon: When you twist the truth enough, it eventually breaks.

  120. 120
    Nick says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But I don’t think we should be okay with a half an effort or 3/4 an effort. I think our jobs as citizens who are involved is to continually push and push our elected leaders.

    you don’t do that by sitting home on Election Day.

  121. 121
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I think the reason Democrats are possibly going to lose one chamber is because they are not supporting good policy that would be an electoral winner. Have you not been paying attention?

    I have been paying attention. I think you are utterly wrong, because good policy is not NECESSARILY an electoral winner, especially for the quivering, gelatinous masses that pass for conservative and “moderate” Democrats. They clearly, by their actions, do not believe that something like the public option is a winner. Otherwise they’d, you know, support it.

    They’re not blithering idiots. They do things people like. They all know that people don’t like fingerpointing — not metaphorically, literally: that’s why all politicians point with their fingers pulled in — so they make sure not to do it. If they thought people liked the public option or whatever, they’d vote for it. If you show them polls where the public option shows well, they will say, “Sure, that’s for now, but after the Republicans talk about how it’s a huge tax increase, even if that’s a blatant lie, they won’t like it anymore, and then I’ll lose!” Or they determine that voting for the public option makes some people really happy, slightly more people really mad, and a big mass in the middle just kind of “meh,” so it’s not worth it to stir up the hornet’s nest because there’s so little reward in it.

    Furthermore, your argument that the ONLY policy that should be supported is that in which is better for re-election is the goddamn problem here.

    You’re misusing the word “should,” IMHO. I think politicians SHOULD support all kinds of wonderful things, from gay rights to immigrant rights to solar power to high-speed rail. I also have an inkling about WHY THEY DON’T. The reason is because they’re basically utilitarians who want to do the thing that wins them the most votes. To persuade them to follow a different course than that rather simple and straightforward one is an unbelievably tall order. You either have to figure out a way to create a liberal-conscience nanobot that replicates in their brains; or you have to show them that making better policy is an electoral winner; or you have to show them that making better policy _isn’t_ an electoral loser, by giving them better ways to counterpunch.

  122. 122
    El Tiburon says:

    @Nick:

    When you twist the truth enough, it eventually breaks.

    I can only assume this is directed at Dayden at FDL and that you are either assuming this is happening, or you have read through his post and dissected it and found this to be so.

    And is the claim now anything from FDL is not to be trusted?

  123. 123
    Aet says:

    Unclosed tags ftw!

  124. 124
    Nick says:

    @El Tiburon:

    And is the claim now anything from FDL is not to be trusted?

    Now?!? I’ve been making that claim since there were four Kennedy children alive.

  125. 125
    Nick says:

    @Brachiator:

    why haven’t Latino voters responded to increased anti-Latino sentiment?

    has anyone actually polled the Arizona Immigration Law among Latinos? I wouldn’t be shocked to see a third or more in support of it.

  126. 126
    ruemara says:

    I’ve heard that Obama gets blasted in the spanish language news broadcasts for enforcing immigration law, deportation and for not fast tracking a path to legal citizenship. As of yet, those who keep complaining about his lack of follow through in the above areas have yet to tell me what a president is supposed to do that’s legal and what they want. It’s become clear that some very stupid mouthpieces are saying nonsense in spanish that would be fucking illegal, like the president should suspend deportations of illegal workers and issue some sort of blanket citizenship to illegals. Can you just imagine how that could ever go down? Whatever, man. Just keep voting catholic and republican, that’s worked out real well.

  127. 127
    Adam Lang says:

    Minority power comes from having credible elected officials who convince the majority of the importance of the minority’s interests.

    Inquiring minds want to know: is this how you see the world-as-is, and agree that it could be better but believe that it won’t, people being what they are? Or is this how you see representative government as working, as designed?

    Because if you think this through to its logical conclusion, you end up with the following aphorism: if a minority group isn’t big enough and wealthy enough and popular enough to get its representatives into positions of political power, it doesn’t deserve to be represented.

    Which in turn means that the poor, by definition, don’t deserve to have any representation in Congress. And also that groups like homosexuals, who 50 years ago had no rights at all (effectively speaking) and were quite unpopular, could only get representation in Congress by lying about who they were for long enough to get elected.

    I don’t want to live in a country like that.

  128. 128
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Adam Lang: Yep, it’s the old ‘chicken and egg’ debate. It’s even funnier when they pull out the old ‘Republicans are worse!’ thing to try and scare you into voting.

    If you believe Obama’s a good guy, he’s gonna veto anything bad that comes down the pike. The Republicans will NOT get 60 votes or anything close in the Senate, so the only way they could override a veto would be for those same Democrats who we’re supposed to hold our nose and vote for jump ship with them. So why get terribly worked up for them?

    Of course, I’ll still be voting in the forlorn hope that Don Manzullo will get beat, but it’s hard to tell people to muster enthusiasm for a political party that votes against it’s stated principles a good 20% of the time.

  129. 129
    Brachiator says:

    @Nick:
    RE: why haven’t Latino voters responded to increased anti-Latino sentiment?

    has anyone actually polled the Arizona Immigration Law among Latinos? I wouldn’t be shocked to see a third or more in support of it.

    They have been polled. This still leaves a 2/3 pool to come out to vote.

    @ruemara:

    I’ve heard that Obama gets blasted in the spanish language news broadcasts for enforcing immigration law, deportation and for not fast tracking a path to legal citizenship.

    I have not particularly seen this in the Spanish language media in the Los Angeles area.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So are they talking about the actual TARP program, or once again are they using “TARP” as shorthand for “every Obama economic move I don’t like”?

    IIRC, actual TARP had jack shit to do with homeowners and was all about propping up the banks. Oh, and it was signed by Bush, not Obama, so there’s that, too.

    Seriously, this conflation of TARP with the stimulus and the auto bailout and fin reg is driving me up the fucking wall. Talk about buying into your right-wing memes.

  131. 131
    PatrickG says:

    Argh! From the footnote on the FIRST non-title page of the damn report itself:

    In recent midterm elections, Latinos have voted at lower rates than white non-Hispanics and black non-Hispanics. In 2006,
    one-third (32%) of Latino eligible voters (ages 18 or older and a U.S. citizen) said they voted. In comparison, more than
    half of white non-Hispanic eligible voters and more than four-in-ten (41%) black non-Hispanic voters said they voted
    (Lopez and Minushkin 2008a).

    So the poll found that an existing trend continues to exist.

    Anyway, I should probably post this on a site that is taking this as a sign of doom (DOOM!) for Democrats because people who stayed home and didn’t vote in recent elections are going to … stay home and not vote.

    In related news, if 70% of respondents said they were definitely going to vote, I would guess almost half of them are flat out liars, so it’s hard to take their responses seriously anyway. Quick google hit:

    http://elections.gmu.edu/ tells me that:

    In 2006 (midterm election), voter turnout was 40%.
    In 2002 (midterm election), voter turnout was 39.5%.
    In 2008, with highest voter turnout in 30 years, the turnout was 61%.

    I don’t have any studies in front of me documenting the rate at which people lie to pollsters, and how this breaks down over demographic groups, so maybe this is a very stable factor that can be accounted for. Anyway, back to doing something useful.

  132. 132
    PatrickG says:

    I should clarify I’m not trying to make any substantive comments about the actual election or the importance/reasons behind voting patterns of various groups. All I’m trying to say is that the fact that a lot of people habitually don’t vote in midterm elections isn’t really breaking news.

    So I get irritated by people making comments like “the Latino enthusiasm gap will hurt Democrats this election”.. because you know, it’s not a gap, it’s a repeated phenomenon. And again, I don’t know why I’m posting this here, because this isn’t where I read that!

  133. 133
    Nick says:

    @ruemara:

    I’ve heard that Obama gets blasted in the spanish language news broadcasts for enforcing immigration law, deportation and for not fast tracking a path to legal citizenship

    I have to second what was said. I listen to spanish-media and read Spanish papers here in NYC (part of my job) and don’t see or hear it at all.

  134. 134
    Nick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Seriously, this conflation of TARP with the stimulus and the auto bailout and fin reg is driving me up the fucking wall.

    For me it ranks up there just under “make them read the phone book”

  135. 135
    Nick says:

    @Adam Lang:

    I don’t want to live in a country like that.

    Well, you do.

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