New York Times liberal columnist Thomas Edsall has a particularly interesting column online published yesterday called "The Persistence of Racial Resentment."
In it, he examines the white vote in presidential and congressional elections going back to 60 years, demonstrating that other other than LBJ back in 1964, the Democrats have failed to win that demographic. That information was often used in the 80's when the party seemed hopelessly out of touch with mainstream America - it's mentioned much less often today, after having won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.
There's a lot of statistical information in the piece, but it comes down to what you've heard from many Republican political analysts - that the the party’s deepening conservatism is scaring away voters.
“We have a choice: we can become a shrinking regional party of middle-aged and older white men, or we can fight to become a national governing party,” John Weaver, a consultant to the 2008 McCain campaign, said after Obama’s re-election. Mark McKinnon, an adviser to former President George W. Bush, made a similar point: “The party needs more tolerance, more diversity and a deeper appreciation for the concerns of the middle class.”
And then there's this from Edsall: "It is not so much Latino and black voters that the Republican Party needs. To win the White House again, it must assuage the social conscience of mainstream, moderate white voters among whom an ethos of tolerance has become normal. These voters are concerned with fairness and diversity, even as they stand to the right of center. It is there that the upcoming political battles — on the gamut of issues from race to rights — will be fought."
Something to think about in light of the Hillsborough County Commission's recent rejection of a domestic partner registry, something we cover in the new issue of CL.
This line of thinking is why the GOP and the mainstream media are declaring Marco Rubio to be the potential "savior" of the Republican Party, as Time declares this week. But the Sierra Club doesn't like his answers on climate change.
The big news coming out of the St. Petersburg City Council meeting yesterday regarding the Rays is.....there's no new news.
And in a not completely unrelated development, a new poll shows Mayor Bill Foster more vulnerable than he's even been as he faces re-election later this year.