Some Republicans have been disgraceful losers in the American presidential race. From Carl Rove denying the obvious on Fox “News”, to 400 students in a racially motivated riot, to Donald Trump calling for revolution, a march on Washington and other nonsense.
Amongst the noise, one standout was rabid partisan Bill O’Reilly, lamenting the demise of “the white establishment”, and repeating Romney’s lines that Obama voters just want handouts. Here he is live on Fox:
Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly said tonight that if President Barack Obama wins re-election, it’s because the demographics of the country have changed and “it’s not a traditional America anymore.”
“The white establishment is now the minority,” O’Reilly said. “And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”
Bitterness, prejudice, and a healthy dose of racism, quickly picked up by supremacist groups like Stormfront (not linking to them).
Take away the prejudice and bile, however, and O’Reilly is correct about some of the facts. Obama’s support was down amongst white males. He was elected by the the Black vote, the Latino vote, the young vote, the female vote, and by a high turnout. The Latino vote seems to have been particularly decisive:
Poll: Latino Vote Devastated GOP Even Worse Than Exits Showed
Mitt Romney lost Latinos by unprecedented margins — even worse than the initial exit polls showed — according to a study by Latino Decisions.
An election eve poll of 5,600 voters across all 50 states by the group, which has researched the Latino vote throughout the campaign, concluded Obama won by an eye-popping 75-23 margin. Their research concluded that CNN’s exit poll estimate of 71 percent of Latinos breaking to Obama likely undercounted their support, although they agreed with the assessment that turnout equaled 10 percent of the electorate.
“For the first time in US history, the Latino vote can plausibly claim to be nationally decisive,” Stanford University university professor Gary Segura, who conducted the study, told reporters.
According to Segura, the Latino vote provided Obama with 5.4 percent of his margin over Romney, well more than his overall lead in the popular vote. Had Romney managed even 35 percent of the Latino vote, he said, the results may have flipped nationally. …
“This poll makes clear what we’ve known for a long time: the Latino giant is wide awake, cranky, and its taking names,” Eliseo Medina, Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU, told reporters Wednesday on a conference call discussing the results.
Is the Latino vote now the deciding factor in American politics? Will an all white ticket win the presidential election ever again? If race becomes a dominant factor in politics the Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. Here’s Mark Karlin on Truthout’s election blog:
It Was a Race About Race
Let’s face it, while exit polls voters identified the most important issue in the 2012 presidential contest as the economy, the number one unspoken issue was race.
For four years, a significant percentage of the US population has used every code word and threat to defile Obama — the son of a white mother and black father — as a foreigner in his own land. As fellow journalist William Rivers Pitt wrote earlier today on the Truthout Election 2012 blog, “The Republican Party has made it a matter of survival to convince people, who are in every other way probably very good and decent types, that half the country, indeed their own neighbors, are swarming with The Enemy, and that Enemy does not deserve basic American rights like voting.” …
Race wasn’t mentioned in the debates – heck poverty was ignored. Race wasn’t on the ballot. However, race was very much part of the coded appeal to white voters by the Romney campaign and many Republican candidates. Race matters. More than nearly 150 years after the Civil War, we are still a nation struggling with a legacy of emotional feelings of racial superiority and entitlement.
A nation divided by race remains a nation divided. We can settle our economic problems, but our racial friction and discord have continued as the lamentable subtext of our political discourse since the founding of the United States. It must be confronted frontally.
Speaking for myself I would not for one moment mourn the passing of “the White establishment” in America. It is well past time for a broader and better grounded perspective in politics. We live in interesting times.