Archive for September 8th, 2012

Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief

Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief.

Of course, if this were true, George W. Bush would not have ever been able to destroy our economy.

But let us not go down that rabbit hole, since we are told by peeved Republicans that we may not blame Bush for what he really did, because it never happened and if it did, it was Obama’s fault.

Justice Johnson took her case to federal court, to ask that her full tenure on the Supreme Court be reaffirmed. No word on whether or not Jindal is requiring her long form birth certificate yet, but double checking the worthiness of black people is always in the cards when those in power are trying to keep their racial discrimination under wraps. It turns out that the federal court agreed that her time served met the state’s constitutional requirements.

If you’ve read your history or even this article, you already know what Jindal’s argument was in his appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of the federal court’s ruling.

Say it with me: State’s rights! “The issue on appeal is not who should serve as the next Chief Justice, but whether the Louisiana Supreme Court should be prohibited by a federal court from interpreting the state’s constitution.”

That’s right, because remember, it was the federal court who ordered them to have a minority on the court in the first place. But who needs the feds telling bigots what to do? Way back in the good old days of the Civil War (where no doubt, Republicans aim to take us again), arguments for “state’s rights” were code for legislating racial discrimination. And nothing much has changed these days.

And it was a federal court that sided with Justice Johnson just six days ago:

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan ruled that Johnson had the seniority to succeed Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball when she retires early next year.

Morgan validated Johnson’s service as counting toward having the longest tenure. Republicans will claim this is not about racism, and yet they have given no valid reason for fighting Johnson’s seniority other than her being forced upon them due to their racial discrimination, and given the reality that they were forced to have her on their court in the first place, it’s getting really hard to avoid the elephant in the room.

Even the mainstream media isn’t avoiding it, noting things like “Morgan sided with Johnson’s bid to become the state’s first black chief justice” and Reuters noting that Jindal is fighting the ruling that would “allow a black state supreme court justice to become the court’s next chief justice”, while noting not only Jindal’s racial make up, but the all white court. Clearly, the racial make up of the players is an issue.

They’re just not coming out and saying that yes, Bobby Jindal is engaging in racism and discrimination. And why? Yes, why would you suppose that Bobby Jindal would care who makes up the courts that will decide on things like whether or not Republican voter ID laws are fair and if their redistricting is fair? Heavens, we can’t have actual representatives of the people making decisions like that.

The Republican thinking goes something like this:

Have we seen Justice Johnson’s long, long form birth certificate? It’s not that we’re racists, it’s just that we don’t believe she’s qualified to do the job because her time serving the court is not as good as the white guy who served less time. It doesn’t count, see? She’s gonna have to prove through many, many courts that she is valid. And in reality, we really, really don’t want to be ruled by black people, because they will not agree with being suppressed by our laws, and that would be a real drag. Things work out so much better when the feds stay out of our business, and let us run things like we want to. Y’all might think black people have rights, but down here, we know how to keep ‘em in their place.

And their place is most assuredly not in the White House or as Chief Justice.

Southern strategy? We’re not racists! We love the coloreds. We just don’t want them in charge of anything. Especially after Barack Obama humiliated the white boys with his competency in cleaning up after their mess and then had the audacity to own it, taking even remote, proxy credit for making the decision to get bin Laden. We draw the line at letting the coloreds take credit for their work. They have to know their place. But it’s not about race; it’s about state’s rights to impose racial discrimination. Get it?
PHP Freelancer
Related Posts

Spiritual Hurricanes and an Aura of Unreality Surround GOP Convention
Bryan Fischer Says Sikh Temple Shooter a Liberal Because He’s a Nazi
Louisiana School Voucher Decision Banishes Children to the Bronze Age
Colbert Nails it: ‘None of the Above’ is a Better Choice Than Romney for Republicans
Scott Walker Gets Smacked Down by the Constitution and Told to Implement Obamacare
In Louisiana School, Loch Ness Monster Disproves Evolution
Fair and Balanced Hypocrisy: Fox Supports Birthers Until They Target Jindal and Rubio

Posted by Sarah Jones on September 8th, 2012. Filed under Bobby Jindal,Commentary,Featured News,Race,Republican Party,Sarah Jones. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
10 Responses to Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief


How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate

How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate.

I became an atheist because of the hatred generally associated with the Republican Party and their love of God. A party based upon: homophobia, xenophobia, racism, oppression as well as violence seems to be the norm, regardless of sex or age.

A story written by reporter Sarah Jones titled-What Do You Do With a 16-Year-Old Who Calls for the Assassination of Obama? Is proof positive that the conservative party is not the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Ricard Nixon or arguably, Ronald Reagan. It has morphed into some evil entity that even Richard Nixon would shudder at.

@Alyssa_Douglas: Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP #DieYouPieceOfShit

Alyssa Douglas, a 16-year-old girl was questioned by the Secret Service and most likely, not be charged for making a threat, seemed to have a hatred for a man she knows nothing about, except what is spewed from Fox News or other conservative media. Her photo shows a happy-go-lucky girl who probably typed what she wrote as a naive and gullible teen. But her actions are leading to her eventual path everyone fears to follow… prison.

Many wondered why would she tweet:

@Alyssa_Douglas: Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP #DieYouPieceOfShit

Maybe because no one taught her that a threat against the president is a federal offense:

18 USC § 871 – Threats against President and successors to the Presidency

USC › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 41 › § 871

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(b) The terms “President-elect” and “Vice President-elect” as used in this section shall mean such persons as are the apparent successful candidates for the offices of President and Vice President, respectively, as ascertained from the results of the general elections held to determine the electors of President and Vice President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 1 and 2. The phrase “other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President” as used in this section shall mean the person next in the order of succession to act as President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 19 and 20.

I knew from elementary school that making a threat against the president is a federal offense. I knew I was abiding by the law when I said that George W. Bush must be hanged at the Hague. The threat was no threat because the comment of punishment was the result of a fair and impartial jury and the hanging is the punishment portion of the fair and impartial hearing.

Yet what is the progenitor of the Republican Party or the neo-conservative hate movement and when did it first reared its ugly head? Arguably since WWII. And it began with George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush.

How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power…

The Republican Party of the 20th century aligned itself with the right winged Christian hate groups, Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and other far right fringe groups that in the past, the Republicans abhorred. As the party grew, the continual hatred grew in leaps and bounds and problems ensued.

Hate groups like God Hates F@gs are the norm and not the exception. Other norms within the Republican party are:

American Border Patrol/American Patrol

American Family Association

American Third Position
White Nationalist

Aryan Nations

Blood & Honour
Racist Skinhead

Brotherhood of Klans
Ku Klux Klan

And other extremist groups aligning themselves with the Republican Party mainly because:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Now is Mitch McConnell racist? Not necessarily, but his goal to get Obama out of office, not because he’s black, but because Obama is a Democrat, and the Republicans want control of the House, Senate, White House and the SCOTUS. But in order to get the Democratic Party out, they will delve into the above-mentioned extremists and play with fire, in order to win.

So when Douglas, a 16-year-old white girl writes her garbage, it just incites the base and where ever the chips fall, McConnell and his band of idiots will only try to take the power away from the people and ultimately, throw people like Douglas and the other right winged extremists under the bus…oh and blame Obama and the Democratic Party.

So be aware of your surrounding, know your enemies and vote Democratic.
PHP Freelancer
Related Posts

Two Pictures Shatter the Mainstream Media Myth of an ‘Obama Enthusiasm Gap’
Romney Cannot Talk About Ideas He Does Not Have
Ask Osama bin Laden is he is better off now than he was four years ago
Obama Unleashes a Barrage of Truth and Honesty that Leaves Republicans Defenseless
How God Got Back Into the Democratic Platform
Blame the Media for Not Reporting Just How Much Republicans Hate America
2012 is Already the Best Democratic Convention in Many Years

Posted by Tim From LA on September 8th, 2012. Filed under Featured News,Tim In LA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
3 Responses to How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate

Ken Reply

September 8th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I became an atheist because the religion doesn’t make sense – not because some of them are hateful. There are also a lot of loving religious people (they just aren’t making a lot of obnoxious noise so are not noticed).

Olmert Dave Reply

September 8th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

When you have talk radio hosts saying, what if I said I want to k— Obama, and get away with it cuz he says “what if” what else can a person expect? This host is leaving and retiring so maybe his influence over these people who believe everything he says and do not hear the ” What If ” will get over this blind hate! Not likely, but hopefully.

Sally Reply

September 8th, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I hope they make an example of this girl. She is sixteen and knows better. And so should her parents, from whom she has learned well. As the song says, “You’ve got to be carefully taught.” And she learned ehr lessons well. Obama is evil. He’s destroying America because he hates white people. He is a closet Muslim, commie, Stalinist, fascist, China lover, Israel hater angry black man. It doesn’t matter to them that every one of those is untrue. After all, they heard Hannity clain last night that the Democratic Convention was dull and boring. Funny, anyone who watched it saw dozens of speakers give the speeches of their lives, with facts, fore, and conviction. I guess the GOP is so used to defending their boring lying sleazyball candidates, they no longer recognize facts. It is a shame that Palin threw gasoline on this fire and somehow permission was granted to hate and hate big. Wish death on elected officials. Buy elections, or cheat with machines if you can’t win on class and ideas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Email *

of a maximum 2000 characters remaining.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

Our Latest on Facebook
Public Service Advertisement
Senior Companions - Make Independence a Reality. Click here to learn more.
Subscribe By RSS and Email
Subscribe in a reader

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Recent Posts

How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate
11,000 Show Up for Obama in Florida While Romney Draws Hundreds in Virginia
Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief
POTUS Marks the 11th Anniversary of 9/11 with Proclamation for National Day of Prayer and Remembrance
Two Pictures Shatter the Mainstream Media Myth of an ‘Obama Enthusiasm Gap’

Recent Comments

Anthony Belvedere on 11,000 Show Up for Obama in Florida While Romney Draws Hundreds in Virginia
Gary Vaughn on With Hope as His Weapon President Obama Completely Destroys Mitt Romney
ibwilliamwsi on 11,000 Show Up for Obama in Florida While Romney Draws Hundreds in Virginia
debracaballero on What Do You Do With a 16-Year-Old Who Calls for the Assassination of Obama?
ibwilliamwsi on 11,000 Show Up for Obama in Florida While Romney Draws Hundreds in Virginia

Public Service Advertisement
Foster Grandparents - Share Today. Shape Tomorrow. Click here to learn more.

K E N N E D Y Kennedy insightfully says "Reducing the debt is not a positive thing unless it's done equitably taking into account all issues and we can't be the world's leading country unless our whole population is highly educated and our environment can be sustained. Any other growth model is hollow and meaningless."

Survive Disasters

37 things you should hoard...
Political Websites We make campaign websites easy!
Accept online contributions, manage volunteers & more.


Buy a Blogad! Solar Chargers
Solar Panels
iPod Touch Solar Charger
Product Reviews & Tips


Advertise here for as little as $40 a week
blog advertising is good for you

How Many Jobs Are Needed to Keep Up with Population Growth? | The Economic Populist

How Many Jobs Are Needed to Keep Up with Population Growth? | The Economic Populist.

The press quotes all sorts of figures for the number of monthly job gains needed to keep up with population growth. We see numbers like 80,000, 100,000, 125,000 and 175,000 thrown around like statistical snow as the number of jobs needed each month just to keep up. What’s the right one? How many jobs are needed each month just to keep up with population growth?

The actual monthly amount can be calculated and the Atlanta Fed even did us a huge favor by publishing an interactive monthly jobs calculator so you can go check for yourself. This month shows we need 104,116 payroll jobs to maintain the same unemployment rate of 8.1% with all of the other same terrible conditions the state of employment is in.

That’s the key, the current terrible conditions the state of employment is in today. One of the reasons the number of jobs to keep up with population growth is so low is due to so many having dropped out of the labor force. If we had more people being counted as needing a job, the number of jobs to keep up with population growth would be much higher.

To explain this, we need to go to BLS school and learn some labor concepts. The employment universe comes from the civilian noninstitutional population. These are people in the United States, aged 16 and over, who aren’t in the military, infirmed or locked up somewhere.


The above pie chart shows how the civilian nonstitutional population is divided up into two classifications, either you’re in the civilian labor force, or you’re not. The employment statistics come from the civilian labor force. Those who are classified as not in the labor force are not counted, and thus not considered as needing a job or mattering when their numbers swell.


The civilian labor force is then divided up into two categories, either you have a job or you don’t. In the unemployed category, you have to be actively looking to be considered as part of the civilian labor force. The above pie chart shows the breakdown, using the August 2012 statistics.

The civilian noninstitutional population grows every month and for 2011, the average was 0.059% per month. For the last 12 months, the average was 0.128% per month, so the population growth varies, but there is a huge problem. The woe is the Census puts their annual benchmark adjustments in the month of January only. The benchmark adjustments are not annually smoothed or averaged in on a month to month basis. This makes the monthly population percentage growth more difficult to estimate, for we have a fudge factor plopped in between the December and January estimates. We can see the annual benchmarks, or fudge factor, in the below graph showing the monthly change in civilian noninstitutional population.

Civilian population change

What we can do is ignore the months of January and take the average growth rate for the last year, bypassing the benchmark weirdness month. Doing this gives a monthly growth rate of 0.0762% for noninstitutional civilian population and thus we smooth away those benchmarks to get a much more realistic average population growth rate.

If the fact that the benchmark adjustments are not evenly distributed across the monthly change in noninstitutional civilian population isn’t enough to throw a monkey wrench into figuring out how many jobs we need each month just to keep up, we have an additional problem. There are people who really are not in the labor force and these percentages change. The population is getting older, we have more retirees and unfortunately we put people in prison more than any other industrialized nation. Then, other people are not part of the labor force because they have been unemployed so long they are no longer counted. In other words, we cannot say that all of the growth of those not in the labor force is due to people dropping off of the unemployed statistical radar. That said, clearly many are. Where we can see this most is in the labor participation rate. The labor participation rate is the ratio of the civilian labor force to those not in the labor force. The below graph shows we are at record lows in the ratio of those as part of the labor force to those who are not.

If we take the labor participation rate at the start of the great recession, 66%, we get a whole other number of jobs needed each month to keep up with population growth. If we keep the same rate of unemployment, 8.1%, we would need 545,551 jobs per month and it would take an entire year to get to the same August rate of unemployment, 8.1%.

This is because by increasing the labor participation rate 2.5%, we took 6,089,150 people not counted and added them to the labor force statistics and of course, they would enter in as unemployed. The unemployment rate is the ratio of those in the civilian labor force who do not have a job against those who who do.

We can also estimate the number of jobs needed each month, just to maintain, by rough numbers. If we assume a smoothed noninstitutional civilian population growth rate of 0.076% per month, then next month’s population growth would be 185,617 additional people ages 16 and over and not locked up somewhere. If we then assume the labor participation rate of this new growth would be 68.0% and not the actual, artificially low 63.5%, we would get an additional 126,920 jobs needed to keep up with this population growth.

This is much more realistic for new population growth is probably going to enter the labor force looking for a job. The BLS counts illegal immigrants, green card holders and foreign guest workers in their statistics and most of the population growth is due to immigration. These people either already have a job upon entering the country, or are going to want one fast. Bottom line, yes Virginia, increased immigration does affect labor markets, all else being static. I do believe to say our economic growth and thus labor demand is static at the moment is not an understatement.

Check out the Atlanta Federal Reserve jobs calculator. It’s Economic Populist approved, we checked their arithmetic and assumptions.

If this is not enough to convince you, we suggest reading this article, this or this one for more background.

Finally our favorite and never reported BLS statistic amplifies the terrible situation for labor in this country. The BLS surveys people considered not part of the labor force and asks if they want a job right now. Below is a graph of the people who said yes and watch how this figure swells.

For August 2012, those not counted in the labor force but report they actually want and need a job increased by 403,000 in a month. That, folks, should have you horrified. Literally we have desperate and destitute people falling through the statistical crevasse, into the abyss where they can only shout out from the numerical darkness, yes I want a job!
BLS Employment Report Shows 96,000 Jobs and an Unemployment Rate of 8.1% for August 2012 ›

Add new comment
4849 reads
Share this

Syndicate content

Unhappy Anniversary: Republicans Have Blocked The American Jobs Act For One Year

Unhappy Anniversary: Republicans Have Blocked The American Jobs Act For One Year.

aldron on Sep 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

On September 8, 2011 — one year ago tomorrow — President Obama laid out a series of policy proposals known collectively as the American Jobs Act. The plan included stimulus spending in the form of immediate infrastructure investments, tax credits for working Americans and employers to encourage consumer spending and job growth, and efforts to shore up state and local budgets to prevent further layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public safety officials.

The American Jobs Act never became law, however, because Republicans opposed it from the start, blasting it as another form of “failed stimulus” that wouldn’t help the economy. (They ignored the fact that the first “failed stimulus,” the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, wasn’t a failure at all.) One month later, the GOP blocked the bill in the Senate, preventing the creation of more than a million jobs and the added growth that multiple economists predicted would occur if the bill passed:

–Moody’s Analytics estimated the American Jobs Act would create 1.9 million jobs and add two percent to gross domestic product.

–The Economic Policy Institute estimated it would create 2.6 million jobs and

Key Element of Arizona Immigration Law Survives Ruling –

Key Element of Arizona Immigration Law Survives Ruling –

TUCSON — A decision by a federal judge on Wednesday paved the way for the most controversial section of Arizona’s sweeping immigration legislation, requiring the authorities to verify the status of people who they suspect are in the country illegally, to finally take effect.
Enlarge This Image
Charles Dharapak/Associated Press

Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona at the United States Supreme Court in April during judicial debate over Arizona’s immigration law. A federal judge Wednesday let stand a key provision of the law.

Arizona: Judge Upholds Immigration Law (September 6, 2012)
Times Topic: Arizona Immigration Law (SB 1070)

National Twitter Logo.
Connect With Us on Twitter

Follow @NYTNational for breaking news and headlines.

Twitter List: Reporters and Editors

In denying a request by a coalition of civil rights groups to bar the provision, commonly referred to as “show me your papers,” Judge Susan Bolton of United States District Court in Phoenix adopted the same wait-and-see approach suggested by the Supreme Court in June, saying that the measure could be challenged “as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”

The decision, though, does not end the legal battles that have enmeshed the measure and other portions of the law for more than two years, challenging their validity and constitutionality all the way to the Supreme Court.

For law enforcement agencies that had taken a more benign approach to immigration enforcement, it poses a quandary, forcing them to balance conflicting obligations of going after illegal immigrants while keeping them on their side.

“All this does is amplify a problem that already existed,” which is establishing trust among people already reluctant to cooperate with the authorities, Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik of Pima County said in an interview from his office here.

Hoping to validate concerns raised by the Supreme Court in its ruling, the civil rights groups presented several examples to bolster the argument that traffic stops and detentions would inevitably grow longer as a result of efforts by law enforcement officers to verify a person’s immigration status. The groups also used statements made by some state legislators — who spoke of illegal immigrants and Mexicans or, more generally, Hispanics, as one and the same — to prove that the immigration bill they passed was inherently discriminatory, a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause.

Judge Bolton dismissed the first contention and seemed to have ignored their other claim. She made no mention of it in her order, which ran 12 pages and quoted extensively from the Supreme Court’s ruling, as well as lower courts’ rulings on similar immigration laws challenged in other states.

She did, however, give the plaintiffs one measure of victory by ordering the state to stop enforcing an aspect of its immigration law that makes it a crime to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. She employed the same rationale used by the courts in Alabama and Georgia to block similar provisions, arguing that states cannot impose rules in areas already regulated by federal immigration laws.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s staff was still weighing Thursday whether to appeal the order, but the governor still hailed Judge Bolton’s ruling, saying that it put the state “one step closer to implementing the core provision” of its immigration law.

Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, which is part of the civil rights coalition, said the judge “really missed an opportunity” to prevent the types of abuses she and others have claimed are already happening in places like Maricopa County, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies have been vigorously using other state laws to go after illegal immigrants.

Judge Bolton’s order, Ms. Wang added, “puts the burden of defending constitutional rights on the victims of abuse by police and sheriff’s offices in Arizona.” Carlos Garcia, executive director of Puente, an advocacy group in Phoenix, said the ruling “will only expand the human rights crisis in Arizona” and the police will no longer be able to “protect and serve” Latinos, “only racially profile them.”

Sheriff Dupnik said his deputies were trained to “use common sense and good judgment” before they stop, detain or question a suspect. “This law,” he went on, “makes it no different.”

Lawsuits by the Justice Department and a similar roster of civil rights organizations that appeared before Judge Bolton were already challenging Sheriff Arpaio’s methods and intentions, saying they were intended to single out Latinos for enforcement actions.

In 2010, Judge Bolton issued a preliminary injunction against the show-me-your-papers provision. The injunction is still in place, though on Wednesday she gave the department and the State of Arizona 10 days to formally request its dismissal.

Arizona’s SB1070 ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Provision Likely to Go Into Effect – COLORLINES

Arizona’s SB1070 ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Provision Likely to Go Into Effect – COLORLINES.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton virtually cleared the way for Arizona to start questioning suspected undocumented immigrants they come in contact with. Bolton gave the U.S. Department of Justice and Arizona 10-days to work out the wording of the order that will officially lift a 2-year-old injunction that prevented officers from checking a person’s immigration status.

“The district court was correct in blocking Arizona’s harboring statute, which criminalized many everyday interactions with unauthorized immigrants. Unfortunately, the district court’s ruling let the “show me your papers” law stand, despite significant new evidence that it was passed with a discriminatory motive and will result in illegal detentions,” said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project “The ruling puts an enormous burden on the countless Arizona residents who will be victims of racial profiling and illegal detentions because of this law. We remain committed to fighting what is left of SB 1070 and defending the rights of all Arizonans to be free from this unjust law.”

Supporters of SB 1070, including Gov. Jan Brewer, cheered the ruling.

“After more than two years of legal challenges, it is time that Section 2B of SB 1070 take effect,” Brewer said in a statement. “Given today’s ruling, along with the federal court’s suggestion that it intends in the very near future to formally lift the existing injunction, it is clear the day of implementation is fast approaching.”

There is some good news to come out of all this. Judge Bolton issued an injunction against a statute that makes it a crime to harbor people suspected of being undocumented immigrants.

Marco Rubio v Julian Castro: the battle for 50 million Hispanic votes | The Raw Story

Marco Rubio v Julian Castro: the battle for 50 million Hispanic votes | The Raw Story.

Democrat mayor and Republican senator symbolise the divide between left and right in the Hispanic demographic

Both of them have a Spanish-sounding surname. Both have a moving story of poor parents coming to America for a better life. And both recently spoke to the American people from a primetime slot at their party’s national convention.

But San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and Florida senator Marco Rubio are far from being on the same side. Instead they symbolise the almighty battle for the Hispanic vote between Republicans and Democrats in the 2012 election.

Each has been selected as a sort of party champion, sallying forth to do battle for the support of America’s 50  million Latinos, whose votes could decide whether former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney wins the Oval Office or President Barack Obama secures a second term.

The contest has pitted two of the youngest rising stars in American politics against each other. Castro is just 37, yet already has a major national profile, prompting comparisons with Obama’s own path to the White House. Meanwhile Rubio, 41, is a Tea Party favourite often touted as a future Republican leader who was even widely rumoured to have been considered for Romney’s vice-presidential shortlist this year.

Both men are the children of immigrants – from Mexico and Cuba respectively – and both gave widely praised speeches that wowed their fans. Yet, mirroring the many splits in American Hispanics’ own communities, that is where the similarities end. Rubio is a darling of the right wing of the Republican party and beats the drum for slashing government spending. He is staunchly anti-abortion and has said that gay marriage goes against his Christian faith.

Castro, meanwhile, has served as the grand marshal in his city’s gay rights parade, praises the role of government in society and is the child of a leftist civil rights-campaigning single mother. Each man therefore represents a radically different vision of what his party thinks will appeal to Hispanic voters. “Both parties need to show that they are open and attractive to Hispanic voters, but they are not at all a unified bloc,” said Professor Scott McLean, a political scientist at Quinnipiac University.

So far it is a battle that Castro and the Democrats have been winning. In 2008, Latino voters went for Obama by almost 70% and current polling – though showing a drop in support – still has the Democrat ahead of Romney by 63% to 28%. In the recent Charlotte party convention, Castro was given the all-important keynote address – the first Hispanic to fill that spot – but other Latino party bigwigs were given prominence too. Much was made of Obama’s appointment of the first Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court, and the president was also lauded for recent moves to lift the threat of deportation from millions of young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children.

It is that thorny issue of illegal immigration that is the Democrats’ real strength. Though Obama is hardly liberal on the issue, the Republican party has moved far to the right, embracing controversial measures against illegal immigration in states such as Arizona. Yet one study has estimated that some 9.5 million people – the vast majority of them likely to be Latino – live in “mixed” households where at least one person is illegal. In such homes, harsh Republican rhetoric on immigration is always going to be offputting.

“That is the wedge issue that keeps Latinos from the Republican party,” said Professor Gabriel Sanchez, an expert in Latino politics at the University of New Mexico.

Yet Republican strategists believe they have an ace up their sleeves in the party’s embrace of conservative social values that are often shared by many Hispanics, who are often deeply Roman Catholic and family-oriented. Rubio and other leading Republicans, such as Texan Senate candidate Ted Cruz and New Mexico governor Susana Martinez, frequently tout their social values. But it has not been a winner overall, because Latino social conservatism often goes hand-in-hand with a belief in government welfare programmes as a way out of poverty for a demographic often much poorer than its white equivalent. This is especially true as the economic aftershocks of the Great Recession are still being felt while Republicans tout massive cuts to healthcare, education grants and food stamps.

“Who cares about two guys getting married when you want a job?” said Professor Stephen Nuno, a political scientist at Northern Arizona University. “In the end, a voter is not going to forget Republican hostility and that the party wants to deport their uncle.”

Many experts believe the Republican party faces disaster in the future as Hispanics became an ever more vital part of the electorate. In 2008, some 10.2 million voted, a whopping 25% increase on 2004 (in the early 1990s, only 2% of the electorate was Hispanic). It is a number certain to leap again in 2012.

Recent surveys have shown that Hispanics represent more than half of all US population growth over the past decade. Due to a youthful population profile, they already represent one in four Americans under the age of 18. “The numbers are compelling,” said Sanchez.

So, too, is the geography. One of the fastest areas of Latino population growth is the Republican heartland of the south. If the Republican party does not in some way attract Hispanics, it will face a withering of support even in the reddest of red states. The battle is already on for Texas – a solidly Republican state that is home to both Castro and Cruz. It is noticeable that Texas’s Republican governor, Rick Perry, is already softer on aspects of illegal immigration policy than the Republican mainstream. But if the Republicans are to compete nationally as the voice of Hispanics, if Marco Rubio is to best Julian Castro on the national stage, then the Republican party itself will have to change. “It has to. But I don’t see that that is going to happen for a very long time,” said Nuno.

© Guardian News and Media 2012

[Photo credit:CREATISTA /]
Share this story >>
Share on facebookShare on redditShare on diggShare on twitterShare on farkShare on stumbleupon6