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Nov 17, 2006 8:10 pm

Triumphant Democrats II

According to a recent voter analysis published in the New York Times, Democrats have many reasons to rejoice. Not only did they recently win control of Congress and thousands of offices on the state and local level, the data suggest a trend that may make them the dominant political force for quite some time. Although the Right tasted some victories on the gay marriage issue and Affirmative Action, Democrats appear to be appealing increasingly to the people who will control elections in the future.

Eighty-nine percent of the African-American vote went for the Democrats. Blacks are apparently continuing to vote for government favors and preferences. Moreover, there is evidence, such as the nearly 70% out of wedlock birth rate, suggesting that many blacks feel more comfortable with the flexible moral directions espoused by Democrats. (Read Juan Williams on what he calls “the culture of failure.”) African-American political and intellectual leaders are virtually unanimous in backing the Democratic Party, and there is probably nothing the GOP can do to reverse this position. Has the veneration of Martin Luther King, Jr. or the presence of Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Clarence Thomas in the highest ranks of government impressed anyone in the black community?

Eighty-eight percent of Jewish voters came out for the Democrats. While their numbers are small, their influence, of course, is considerable. Unwavering support for Israel by the GOP has made no dent in this historic commitment to the Left.

Seventy-five percent of the “gay, lesbian, or bisexual” vote went to Democrats. We may expect to see more sympathetic legislation by Democratic judges and legislators, challenging the traditional family and a whole range of historic moral principles. There is no way most conservatives could accommodate this minority to win their votes. (Which is one of several reasons why Rudy Giuliani will have difficulty securing the presidential nomination in 2008.)

Seventy percent of Hispanics voted for Democrats. Their numbers are growing at such a rate, of course, that they may dominate the politics of several states in the future. Despite President Bush’s highly sympathetic attitude toward Hispanics, Republicans are correctly associated with efforts to quell illegal immigration. As Hispanics become more prosperous, they may move toward the GOP, but that is mere speculation. Fifty two percent of people of all colors with annual incomes between $75,000 and $99,999 went for the Democrats, and the wealthy (over $100,000) split almost evenly between the parties.

Sixty-one percent of young people, ages 18 to 29, voted Democratic. (They were highly influential in securing Democratic gains in Wisconsin.) While the Left would contend that this reflects higher educational attainment, it also surely reflects the leftist indoctrination experienced in the classroom from kindergarten through graduate school. The GOP will face hard times in the future if it fails to demand more objectivity and balance from teachers and professors. Young people also live in a media world, and the line coming through the loudest is invariably compatible with Democratic politics and morals. True, people often become more conservative and sensible as they grow older, have families, and assume mortgages, but 54% of voters ages 30 to 59 went for the Democrats in this election, and 52% of seniors followed suit.

Fifty-six percent of Catholics voted for Democrats. So much for the fervent appeals of orthodox clergy to honor life from conception and those who support it.

The booming West Coast (56%), the powerful and influential East Coast (64%) and the Midwest (53%) voted Democratic. In California, the Republican governor won reelection only by creating a coalition with Democrats, which is another way of saying that his GOP principles are negotiable.

In Wisconsin, which barely went for Kerry in 2004 and has been called a “purple” state, Democrats won the race for Senator and Governor, took over the State Senate, and made large gains in the Assembly. A one-sided media in the major population areas of the state surely had an impact. The influential Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has virtually abandoned any pretence of objectivity, attacking President Bush and the GOP with an intensity that is almost amusing.

At least for the near future, Democrats appear to be in excellent shape. Owning the nation’s schools, the major media, and the minorities makes a huge difference, and population trends are highly encouraging. Still, with victory they are now forced to be something more than obstructionists, and their policies may not prove as popular as the public anticipates.

In any case, Republicans must regroup, reexamine their economic, political, military, and moral principles, and develop strategies for a comeback. It will not be easy. The prospect of a Clinton-Obama ticket grows larger. And perhaps that in itself will provide the impetus to come together and go to work.

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Sean M. Samis - 11/17/2006

As a fellow Wisconsinite, I'd like to start by noting that Thomas C. Reeves does not speak even for most of us, certainly not for me.

It is interesting to note that as Reeves goes through his demographic groups, explaining why they voted for democrats, it's usually because of some corrupt or evil reason.

Blacks vote for "government favors and preferences; and from comfort with "flexible moral directions".

Of course, when wealthy conservatives vote for tax cuts and their own preferences, comfortable with their own moral flexibility, that's not bad?

The Jewish vote for Democrats came, says Reeves, in spite of "unwavering support for Israel by the GOP." Perhaps there are things more important to Jews, such as, oh, say, their traditional concern for taking care of the less fortunate, something the GOP unwaveringly disparages.

The "gay, lesbian, or bisexual" vote inspires challenges to "the traditional family" and "a whole range of historic moral principles". I can only guess that personal liberty, keeping the government out of private life, and religious freedom are not part of what Reeves considers traditional, historic moral principles.

Hispanics may have gone Democrat this time, but Reeves hopes that "As Hispanics become more prosperous, they may move toward the GOP, but that is mere speculation" Indeed, his speculation is probably based on the hope that as they become more prosperous, they too will leave behind the Christian ethic of caring for those less fortunate. Greed is a reliable force.

The loss of the youth vote Reeves attributes to, "... at least in part the leftist indoctrination experienced in the classroom from kindergarten through graduate school. The GOP will face hard times in the future if it fails to demand more objectivity and balance from teachers and professors." Objectivity meaning, I suppose, leaving out consideration about how Conservative politicians are selling our children's future. We Baby-Boomers have spent all the wealth that their parents amassed, and now are spending our children's (and grand-children's!!) wealth too. When we were children, good public schools were a matter of Civic pride, now that we're old their just a burden. I have two sons, they are bright and they know that the Republicans are out to rob them. We Baby-boomers (who are mostly conservatives) are the first generation in American history to leave our children WORSE OFF than they were. I am so ashamed of us.

Catholic voters of course betrayed the "fervent appeals of orthodox clergy to honor life from conception"; actually I think Reeves meant to say "honor life from conception to birth". As far as the GOP is concern, once your born, you're on your own. I do not know Reeves' religious affiliation, but Catholicism is far, far more complex than "Abortion: Bad!"

The Governor of California, by cooperating with Democrats shows to Reeves that "his GOP principles are negotiable." Good. Jesus wasn't a Republican either--nor a Democrat. The principles that matter are not related to partisanship.

Reeves laments, "The influential Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has virtually abandoned any pretence of objectivity, attacking President Bush and the GOP with an intensity that is almost amusing." This is an example of a hooker calling a jalopy "used". If objectivity were a crime, Reeves could not be convicted. I read the MJS daily, it is a middle of the road paper; as fair and balanced as can be hoped for in an age where fairness and balance are "longed-for" but not actually wanted.

I am quite certain the Democrats will eventually screw up their new opportunity, but I have hopes. I was glad to see the Republicans take over the Wisconsin Legislature in the '90s, the Democrats had become arrogant. Their Republican successors got to the same place in record time. I am glad to see the Democrats return.

We need two viable parties to have any hope of good government. If you want to be safe from thieves, sometimes all you can do is hire another thief.

Perhaps the Republican Party took a spanking at the polls because their "principles" are too self-serving and unAmerican to be palatable for long. This is not a criticism of Conservatism, it is a criticism of partisanship; a sin of both parties.

As we used to say in the Navy, this time it was the Republican's turn in the barrel. If you need me to explain that, then you really don't want to know.

sean s.