Monday, September 21, 2015

A zero sum game for the GOP: The House or the Presidency

Here's an interesting take on the horrible showing of GOP presidential candidates (from truthdig.com). The GOP is faced with a problem and appears to have made a decision, consciously or not.

Ben Carson’s and Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims over the weekend again showed the GOP as the party of exclusion, not inclusion (though to be fair Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Chris Christie had the intestinal fortitude to denounce those comments, unlike the rest of the GOP field). Muslim-Americans only come to a few million voters, though in swing states such as Ohio, Michigan and Florida they are a large enough community such that they could be the margin of victory. They used to be divided, probably voting Republican slightly more than Democratic, but after George W. Bush’s ‘War on Terror’, they migrated in droves to the Democratic Party.

Still, they are not that consequential in and of themselves. It is rather the message the GOP is sending out to Americans that matters. And that message looks discriminatory and full of Christian rage.

Here is the problem.

If the GOP gave up its championing of the angry white man, it might lose congressional races. Its leaders [have] a choice to make, and they have decided that the presidency isn’t that important to them. They’d rather have the House.

And that is all they will have if they don’t start being nicer to key demographic groups. But this is a zero-sum game, where being nice to minorities will anger the angry white men. You can only have one of these groups. And you can’t win with only the latter.

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