The NY Times runs a conta-narrative piece arguing that maybe Democrats don't want to fully abandon white voters:
SAN DIEGO — PRESIDENT OBAMA’S executive order eliminating the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants is good policy. It is the right thing to do. But it is a dangerous move for theDemocratic Party.
Yes, immigration is an important issue for most Latinos and Asian-Americans. And yes, 63 percent of Latinos and 66 percent of Asian- Americans voted for Democratic candidates for Congress in the midterms. The executive order could solidify and expand that support for years to come.
But Latinos and Asian-Americans made up only 11 percent of the electorate. Even if immigration were the only issue driving their vote — and it most certainly was not — it could have shifted the national partisan balance of power by only a few percentage points.
Whites, meanwhile, accounted for 75 percent of the electorate. Far more than any other group, whites will decide the fate of the parties in the years to come. Unfortunately for the Democratic Party, the data suggest that immigration very much matters for whites.
Yes but throw in women, gays, and the college-educated guilt stricken and maybe they can get to fifty percent.
Immigrants are moving to almost every corner of the nation. They usually look different from the white majority. And, irrespective of the facts, the dominant narrative maintains that immigrants rely heavily on public services like welfare, education and health care, that immigrants take jobs from native-born workers and lower their wages, and that immigration is leading to cultural decline.
I'll score that as two out of three. The evidence on wages convinced even Paul Krugman that waving in unskilled workers from aborad does not exactly boost the wages of the native unskilled. That's why on even numbered days the Dems fret about immigration and on odd-numbered days they fret about stagnant working class and middle class wages - please synchronize your calendars.
And speaking of the Earnsest Prof, we know without looking he supports Obama's latest immigration move, so let's cut to his current rationalization:
That’s not to say that I, or most progressives, support open borders. You can see one important reason right there in the Baldizzi apartment: the photo of F.D.R. on the wall. The New Deal made America a vastly better place, yet it probably wouldn’t have been possible without the immigration restrictions that went into effect after World War I. For one thing, absent those restrictions, there would have been many claims, justified or not, about people flocking to America to take advantage of welfare programs.
Most progressives support greater border security? Uh huh. That is why they line up to vote for expanded Unicorn Patrols. Real attempts at security, on the other hand, are routinely derided as a waste of effort. My fave from that genre is Gov. Bill Richardson's classic "if you’re going to build a 12-foot wall, you know what’s going to happen? A lot of 13-foot ladders. This is a terrible symbol of America."
OK, back to the original theme. I'll accept at face value the hope that our undocumented friends from the South are not net consumers of government services (And don't vex me with data! I'm trying to feel the love here.) However, the third claim - immigration is leading to cultural decline - when rephrased, seems irrefutable. Is immigration leading to cultural change? Hands up if you say no... I don't see any hands.
Now, change doesn't have to be a bad thing. To pick a trivial example, I think salsa has it all over ketchup. But, just making connections at random here, if upwardly mobile white girls feel threatened and harassed on the mean streets of the Big Apple, wait until those streets look more like any Central or South American metropolis.
Well, this Times contributor notwithstanding, sticking it to the oppressive white patriarchy has been the Democratic Party project for years, with Obama as their crowning achievement.
It always worked when I was a kid. For Tinkerbell, anyway.
ERRATA: Recent problematic metaphors include Sen. McConnell announcing that Obama's executive action on immigration will be "like waving a red flag in front of a bull". Umm, matadors do that because bulls are stupid and predictable, and the red flag is a useful distraction prior to going in for the kill.
McConnell has a good feel for his caucus so this metaphor may be apt. Or maybe McConnell is bullish on America.
Many people have understandably blamed low turnout for the Democratic Party’s misfortune on Nov. 4, but some have gone a step further.
They argue that turnout was so low because of voter suppression, particularly laws requiring voters to present photo identification. They assert that these laws disenfranchised enough voters to decide several elections, even a Kansas governor’s contest where a Republican won by four percentage points.
Voter ID laws might well be a cynical, anti-democratic attempt to disenfranchise voters to help Republicans, as Democrats claim. But that doesn’t mean that voter ID laws are an effective way to steal elections. They just don’t make a difference in anything but the closest contests, when anything and everything matters.
Weird. At a time when their readership has been buffetted by a brutal election one might expect the Times to be offering some comfort food.
Oh, well. Maybe the editors plan to let their reporters drop by for a quick visit in Realityville now that the last election is past. There is plenty of time to get us Ready For Hillarity!
Josh Marshall contemplates one possible outcome of Obama's heralded executive action on immigration and concludes it helps the Democrats:
If there are 5 million people who are affected by this order, the number of people who either have family ties to these individuals or affective relationships with them is much larger. I don't know if it's 15 million or 20 million or 40 million. But it's a lot more than 5 million people who will feel acutely the fate of these people hanging in the balance with the 2016 election. And advocates on both sides of the immigration divide, deporters and pro-immigrant activists will press the issue throughout the 2016 cycle. The 5 million affected can't vote and won't be able to for years. But many family members, friends, community members and employers can.
Yes, these people have been waiting for years to be able to come out of the shadows. But it's one thing to wait and another to come out of the shadows and then be forced to retreat into the darkness, with a perhaps heightened risk of deportation and family separation.
It all adds up to an intense and likely toxic campaign fracas in which a lot of people will have a unique and intense motivation to vote. That will apply to people on both sides of course. But the anti-immigration voters vote consistently almost every cycle. And as intense as your animus is toward undocumented immigrants, it's hard for it to compare to the motivation of voters who directly know someone who will be affected. And that latter group has far more 'drop-off' or occasional voters.
Sure, whatever. But a much greater potential impact will occur if, implausible as it might seem to some, the hateful nativists are right and de facto amnesties don't take place in a vacuum.
Maybe, just maybe, the news that Democrats are done with deporting anyone will reach Central America, sort of the way similar news reached that area last spring. If in 2015 and 2016 the Texas and California borders look like they did in 2014 with people eager to get into the US and collect their 'permiso' then it is likely that the Democrats will have electoral problems come November 2016.
Of course, if the Democrats are right and we can grant a huge unconditional amnesty without attracting a new surge of illegals, well, good for all of us.
Forget the Gruber tapes! Now the Times is replaying Obama comments on unilateral immigration reform from the early years when he was hiding behind Congressional inaction:
For Obama, Executive Order on Immigration Would Be a Turnabout
WASHINGTON — President Obama is poised to ignore stark warnings that executive action on immigration would amount to “violating our laws” and would be “very difficult to defend legally.”
Those warnings came not from Republican lawmakers but from Mr. Obama himself.
For years, he has waved aside the demands of Latino activists and Democratic allies who begged him to act on his own, and he insisted publicly that a decision to shield millions of immigrants from deportation without an act of Congress would amount to nothing less than the dictates of a king, not a president.
They run a number of telling quotes biut not this one - "If you like your Constitution, you can keep it".
I know what you are thinking (unless you work for the Times) - the Democrats have a seriousproblem with the bitter-clingers of the white working class, so where is Leonhardt going with this?
A defining feature of Republican economic policy for decades has been its benefits for the well off. The stated goals of that policy have been to shrink government and lift economic growth, but the main method has been cutting taxes much more for high-income families than others. At the same time, the party has opposed an expansion of health insurance for low- and middle-income families, increases in the minimum wage and college financial aid and extensions of jobless benefits.
The country’s voting patterns largely reflect these stances, despite all the talk about the conservative white working class or affluent liberal elites. Democrats handily won voters with family incomes below $50,000 in this year’s midterm elections, and Republicans handily won those with incomes above $100,000. The same has been true in nearly every national election for the last two decades.
Oh, please. Blacks and our friends from south of the border are disproportionately found in the lower income groups. What Leonhardt is viewing as an economic bloc may actually be a racial bloc.
Here is some exit poll data from 2012, with Obama on the ticket:
Democrats strategists viewed those numbers as deeply problematic, and they didn't improve in 2014, if college/non-college is accepted as a marker for working class:
White non-college grads were 36% of the electorate, just as in 2012, but this time they went for Republicans by 64-34, up from 61-36. And this is the group the Republicans need to woo?
So maybe Leonhardt is going to talk up ways for Republicans to boost their appeal to blacks, Hispanics or Asiana? Hardly:
A new Republican economic approach could still revolve around cutting taxes, but the cuts would no longer be focused on the affluent. “I would expect to see a marriage of sorts between shrinking government and helping the middle class,” said Michael R. Strain of the American Enterprise Institute. Specifically, several conservatives, including Conn Carroll ofTownhall.com and Timothy P. Carney of The Washington Examiner, have called for a cut in the payroll tax, which helps pay for Medicare and Social Security. Though it receives less attention, 63 percent of taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes.
Policies aside, there is no question that the Republican candidates in 2016 will claim to be allies of the middle class. Mark Hemingway, of The Weekly Standard, wrote last week on Twitter that he worried about nominating Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney, because neither would easily be able “to run *hard* against Hillary the elitist.” Republicans with more of a middle-class image include Mr. Rubio and three Midwestern governors: John Kasich of Ohio, Mike Pence of Indiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
Weird. One wonders whether the Times ought to pay up a bit and get their reporters access to the exit poll crosstabs, which would definitively answer whether there is a black/white divide among the voters earning less than $50,000 per year. Using the college/high school marker, there seems to be a race-based division, a problem Dems have struggled with for years.
The NY Times responds to this week's Bad News Friday News Dump from the administration:
Cost of Coverage Under Affordable Care Act to Increase in 2015
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans.
The data became available just hours before the health insurance marketplace was to open to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.
An analysis of the data by The New York Times suggests that although consumers will often be able to find new health plans with prices comparable to those they now pay, the situation varies greatly from state to state and even among counties in the same state.
And the administration had a suggestion for those who find their Thanksgivings are not fully occupied with family, shopping and football:
“Consumers should shop around,” said Marilyn B. Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the federal insurance exchange serving three dozen states. “With new options available this year, they’re likely to find a better deal.” She asserted that the data showed that “the Affordable Care Act is working.”
That can be a new, fun family holiday tradition - comparing doctors, networks, deductibles and coverage options!
The new data means that many of the seven million people who have bought insurance through federal and state exchanges will have to change to different health plans if they want to avoid paying more — an inconvenience for consumers just becoming accustomed to their coverage.
A new Gallup Poll suggests that seven in 10 Americans with insurance bought through the exchanges rate the coverage and the care as excellent or good, and most were planning to keep it.
In employer-sponsored health plans, employees tend to stay with the same insurer from year to year. But for consumers in the public insurance exchanges, that will often be a mistake, experts said.
If you like your health plan you can reminisce about it.
Although it seems utterly contrary to their customary agenda the NY Times has a story on Big Money in Politics - Immigration Division:
The Big Money Behind the Push for an Immigration Overhaul
The calls started shortly after President Obama’s news conference on the day after the midterm elections. He had said he would go ahead with action on immigration before year’s end, in spite of warnings from Republicans that he could wreck relations with the new Congress they will control. White House officials were calling immigrant advocates to talk strategy and shore up their support.
The officials wanted to reassure them, several activists said, that the president, after delaying twice this year, was ready to take the kind of broad measures they had demanded to shield immigrants here illegally from deportation.
The White House calls — and the president’s decision itself — reflected the clout the immigrant movement has built up in recent years, as it grew from a cluster of scattered Washington lobbying groups into a national force.
A vital part of that expansion has involved money: major donations from some of the nation’s wealthiest liberal foundations, including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations of the financier George Soros, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the last decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
And lest you wonder, yes, they hope to buy (or at least rent) our democracy:
“The good news was that the funders really got the idea of building up a movement that could press for change at all levels,” Mr. Sharry said. “We were really talking about a movement that could win the grand prize, legislation that puts 11 million people on a path to citizenship.”
Critics are, well, critical:
Some opponents accuse the foundations of blatant partisanship.
“The whole apparatus has become the handmaiden of the Democratic Party,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, which opposes legalization for undocumented immigrants. “These foundations fund activist organizations designed to create ethnic identity enclaves and politically control them for partisan purposes.”
Left unmentioned - there is lot of Silicon Valley money pushing for an expanded H-1B visa program. It's trickier to accomplish that by Executive action alone. And the legislative path is difficult because the Democrats want to hold the tech visas hostage to broader reform; oveer to Slate:
Separately, there is now broad bipartisan support for high-skilled visas, including a new class of visa for startup founders. For years, Democrats have held back high-skilled-only reform because they believe the country will only get one shot at immigration.
The NY Times notes that Obama might have a political motivation for his new carbon deal with China. However, they include a comic bit of wishful thinking in the lead:
In Climate Deal With China, Obama May Set 2016 Theme
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s landmark agreement with China to cut greenhouse gas pollution is a bet by the president and Democrats that on the issue of climate change, American voters are far ahead of Washington’s warring factions and that the environment will be a winning cause in the 2016 presidential campaign.
A variety of polls show that a majority of American voters now believe that climate change is occurring, are worried about it, and support candidates who back policies to stop it. In particular, polls show that majorities of Hispanics, young people and unmarried women — the voters who were central to Mr. Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012 — support candidates who back climate change policy.
A 2014 poll by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, meanwhile, found that majorities of women, minorities and young people support candidates who strongly endorse climate action. That poll found that 65 percent of Hispanics, 53 percent of blacks and 53 percent of unmarried women support candidates who back climate change action.
The Hispanic panic now extends to climate change? Please. This has been pushed for years and remains on a par with the news that Red Sox Nation cheered Johnny Damon when he was a useful idiot and stopped cheering when he donned the hated pinstripes. Let's cut to the LA Times from 2010:
Latinos, Asians more worried about environment than whites, poll finds
California's Latino and Asian voters are significantly more concerned about core environmental issues, including global warming, air pollution and contamination of soil and water, than white voters, according to the latest Los Angeles Times/USC poll.
"Latinos and Asians are far more likely to be registered as Democrats than whites, and Democrats hold these views more closely," said Peyton Craighill, who supervised the poll.
Pretty complicated analysis. As to the depth of that commitment, this National Resources Defense Council advocacy poll from Jan 2014 was revealing. The flavor of the early questions was that Something Must Be Done (by someone else)! For example, (Q. 15), 78% agreed we needed "strong government action" to limit climate change (Support for "weak government action" and "wishy-washy government action" was untested. I guess people favor the strong horse). But the tone changed when the questions hit closer to home:
75% want to hold their cost to $10/month or less, which amount to $120 per year. And since the typical electric bill is per household rather than per person, we can make a comparison to this CBO working paper from Nov 2012 titled "Offsetting a Carbon Tax’s Costs on Low-Income Households":
For example, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that a policy that set a price of $28 per metric ton on CO2 emissions (roughly $103 per ton of carbon) would impose a cost of $425 dollars per year on the average household in the lowest income quintile and a cost of $1,380 per year on the average household in the highest income quintile (see Figure 1; note that those annual costs were measured based on the size of the economy in 2010).
Hmm. $425 is well above the $120 price tag acceptable to 75% of the respondents. So basically, limiting climate change is very important to these respondents as long as someone else pays for it. And Democrats are certainly working on ways to make that happen by way of yet another Federal subsidy program. Good to know.
The Times is leading with the observation that partisan Democrats root, root root for the home team, especially as long as it doesn't cost them anything. Yeah, that will give Republicans pause.
EFRRATA: This seems like a good opportunity to introduce my new diet plan. YOU will cut out sugar, sweets, treats, carbs, and beer and limit your alcohol to one drink per day or less. I won't change a thing. But together, and on average, I believe we will lose a lot of weight - let's go!
John Kerry on the China-US climate agreement. I probably ought to read it eventually, but I am busy now and can wait a bit to learn how Kerry (and Obama!) afre geniuses who have been right about everything.
Breitbart reporter Joel Pollak got over-excited when he searched the NY Times archives and dioscovered that a Loretta Lynch had worked on the Clinton campaign back in 1992. That is obviously the name of Obama's new nominee for Attorney General, and it was off to the races. Oops.
Hindsifht being twenty-twenty, let me pile on with a pro tip - Google can be your friend. Or for you Microsoft buffs, Bing it on!
A Google search on "Loretta Lynch" Clinton 1992 -Obama -Breitbart currently kicks back this bio of "Loretta Lynch" as the second result. A similar search on Bing gets that page as the first hit. And the first Google hit includes a news story and photo of her smiling (and non-black) face.
Both sources mention she worked on the 1992 Clinton campaign and is a Yale law school alum, which would certainly foster another Clinton connection. That doesn't mean there weren't two Loretta Lynchs working on the 1992 Clinton effort, but it might have given one pause. Or not. Darn. I hate these own-goals. Still, it could have been worse.
Obama delivers the old standby for his parties mid-term failures - it is the messaging, not the policies. Here he goes:
"...we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can understand. And I think that we haven’t always been successful at that”.
Ooops, my bad - that was Sooo 2010. Here he goes again, with his quadrennial whinging to 60 Minutes:
WASHINGTON — Just days after his party was routed in the midterm elections, President Obama said that he and his White House team had not succeeded in effectively selling the benefits of his policies to the American people, calling it a “failure of politics” that he must change in the final two years of his presidency.
“It’s not enough just to build a better mousetrap,” Mr. Obama said in an interview that was taped Friday at the White House and broadcast Sunday on the 60th anniversary of CBS’s “Face the Nation” program. “People don’t automatically come beating to your door. We’ve got to sell it. We’ve got to reach out to the other side and, where possible, persuade.”
Just offhand, I don't think Obama's opposition to the Keystone pipeline can be scored as a better mousetrap misunderstood by an ignorant public. On the other hand, I suppose winning "Lie of the Year" for 2013 with 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it' could be offered as an example of poor messaging. Or outright lying about an unpopular feature of an Obama policy.
Well. Problems in ObamaWorld are always the fault of the bitter-clingers in flyover country who simply fail to grasp Obama's genius. Sometimes they are diseased, other times they aren't paying attention, but some day (he hopes) they will see his light.