Tag: blue states

Yeah, Right

So the United States has resumed its wild, impetuous stab at having a functioning government. After this latest farce, internet sites are alive with comments along the lines of the following:

“We need to kick out every member of Congress and start fresh.”

I know we live in a country where nearly half the citizens people can’t name the vice president, but I find it hard to believe anybody is so ignorant of the political process that he or she thinks voting out all 535 members of Congress is a realistic option.

capitol

We’ll start with the fact that elections are staggered (hence the term “midterm election”). As such, I doubt anybody’s rage is going to last another five years or so, which is how long it would take to excise all the offending congressmen and women. And we’ll add on the stat that while most people hate Congress, they tend to like their own reps, so we will likely see most of these supposedly toxic incumbents return.

This idea is even less practical and more insane than the delusional belief, which I’ve written about before, that we can easily deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

In the interest of saving time, here are some other political ideas I’ve heard recently that appear just as likely to happen.

“We need to separate into two different countries. Red states and blue states.” (I’m pretty sure we fought a war about this, and the outcome was rather conclusive. We appear to be stuck with one another for the foreseeable future.)

“We need a task force of really smart leaders who will come up with bipartisan solutions to our problems.” (That’s what Congress is supposed to be.)

“We need to mandate IQ tests to make sure people are smart enough to vote.” (Anyone who thinks an IQ test accurately measures political acumen probably doesn’t have a very high IQ.)

“We need to confiscate every gun in America that’s not in the hands of the police or military.” (It amazes me how liberals think that Second Amendment advocates—many of whom are paranoid and all of whom are armed—will somehow go along with this idea.)

“We need to use Jurassic Park-type technology to reanimate the Founding Fathers so they can tell us their original intent regarding the Constitution.” (OK, I made this one up, but wouldn’t that be cool?)


No Recounts Are Necessary

The dancing in the streets has subsided since Tuesday. Of course, I remain stunned that we had dancing in the streets at all. Seriously, does anyone remember this kind of orgiastic response over election results? Before this, the standard imagery was supporters in ballrooms laughing and waving signs, but now we see impromptu parades and ecstatic outbursts on street corners and strangers hugging each other in every city in the world. But maybe it just overwhelms in comparison with recent history, because the last two elections provoked either muffled wailing or smug insinuations that God had spoken.

Among last week’s celebrants were Hispanics. Anyone tuning in to more than twelve minutes of television coverage heard how the Latino vote was key to Obama’s win. We even got more air time and credit than the fabled youth vote.

The facts are that Hispanics favored Obama by more than two to one over McCain (67 percent to 31 percent, according to MSNBC). Looking at it another way, Latino voters accounted for 11 percent of Obama’s vote and 6 percent of McCain’s total.

In addition to crunching the raw numbers, MSNBC ran an analysis under the particularly ominous headline “What if there were no Latino voters?” (Indeed, many Republicans are probably muttering that exact phrase).

The analysis found that the Hispanic vote was the difference in New Mexico and Indiana, which means that in a Latino-free world, Obama would have still won the electoral vote but in less decisive fashion. However, being the swing group in two states is pretty cool, and Hispanics continue to exert their prominence in places such as California and Texas.

More interesting still is the fact that the biggest percentage increases in Latino voters happened in Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada – all battleground states and all now freshly blue. As the GOP well knows, those states are getting more Hispanic, and those Hispanics are getting more Democratic, especially the younger generation.

Speaking of younger Latinos, they helped Florida become Obama country this year. Our new president won 57 percent of the Hispanic vote in that state, which is astonishing when one considers that the large Cuban American population there has been, in the past, so hardcore Republican that they make Rupert Murdoch look like a gay vegan folksinger in comparison.

Perhaps second- and third-generation Cuban Americans are tired of hearing how voting for the GOP is the only way to stick it to Fidel. They either don’t believe it (Castro is hanging on to power with his last, frenzied breaths and will only be removed through a natural death) or they simply have more pressing concerns, like job losses and collapsing education systems and shoddy health care and a thousand other American issues that have nothing to do with the unresolved, dusty battles of their grandparents.

One final bit of intriguing news comes courtesy of the Pew Hispanic Center. They found that 8 percent of this year’s voters were of the brown-skinned variety. Truthfully, this could have been better, considering that we make up about 14 percent of the population.

Regardless, it’s clear that Latinos, like just about every other demographic except for white evangelicals, were caught up in Obama frenzy this year. The long-term implications for Republicans look grim, as we get younger, more numerous, and more liberal.

And now that we have our first minority president, isn’t it just a matter of time before someone whose last name ends in Z takes the oath of office? It may be years away, but it’s coming.


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