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Friday, November 16, 2012

Mitt's apology tour to his donors and the future of the Nixon coalition

by John MacBeath Watkins

Mitt Romney claimed President Obama had gone on an 'apology tour,' apologizing for America.

Now, he's in a position of apologizing to his donors (owners?) for wasting their money.

And he's blowing it.

Worse, having blamed the voters for not choosing him because they wanted "free stuff," a reminder of the famous takers versus makers frame he used before the election talking to donors in the infamous "47%" video, he's back to talking to donors this way, apparently not realizing that some of them might be disgruntled and tape it.


Thing is, no Republican looking to the future wants the party wearing this come 2016, even if it's what their donor/owner class believes. And it's easy to attack Romney. He's a loser, and he never represented any wing of the party.

And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, thought by many to have presidential ambitions of his own, was quick to pounce.
“I think that’s absolutely wrong,” Jindal said later Wednesday at a news conference in Las Vegas at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association. “We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent.“
But of course, dividing America and going after 53 percent has been the Republican strategy since Nixon brought the Southern strategy to the party following the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Consider a 1972 Pat Buchanan memo to Nixon:
"In conclusion, this is a potential throw of the dice that could bring the media on our heads, and cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half."
 If Jindal is right, the formula that has brought the Republican Party so much success for the past 44 years is wearing thin, and they need a new playbook, which Jindal hasn't proposed. But perhaps he's not willing to go that far in following the implications of his own thought.

More on the fraying Republican coalition here:

http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2012/10/romney-and-weakness-of-nixons-electoral.html

And as the maps on that post make clear, President Obama has twice won without needing the electoral college votes of the former Confederate states -- essentially, the McGovern coalition is now bigger than the Nixon coalition. If that proves to be a durable coalition for Democrats (something I'm less certain of then some) the Southern strategy could consign the old Nixon coalition to make the Republicans a regional party. People like Jindal need to give this problem more than lip service.

“We should do what is within our power to have a black nominated for Number Two, at least at the Democratic National Convention.” Such gambits, he added, could “cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/26/080526fa_fact_packer#ixzz2CRVR09gr
Nixon was coldly mixing and pouring volatile passions. Although he was careful to renounce the extreme fringe of Birchites and racists, his means to power eventually became the end. Buchanan gave me a copy of a seven-page confidential memorandum—“A little raw for today,” he warned—that he had written for Nixon in 1971, under the heading “Dividing the Democrats.” Drawn up with an acute understanding of the fragilities and fault lines in “the Old Roosevelt Coalition,” it recommended that the White House “exacerbate the ideological division” between the Old and New Left by praising Democrats who supported any of Nixon’s policies; highlight “the elitism and quasi-anti-Americanism of the National Democratic Party”; nominate for the Supreme Court a Southern strict constructionist who would divide Democrats regionally; use abortion and parochial-school aid to deepen the split between Catholics and social liberals; elicit white working-class support with tax relief and denunciations of welfare. Finally, the memo recommended exploiting racial tensions among Democrats. “Bumper stickers calling for black Presidential and especially Vice-Presidential candidates should be spread out in the ghettoes of the country,” Buchanan wrote. “We should do what is within our power to have a black nominated for Number Two, at least at the Democratic National Convention.” Such gambits, he added, could “cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/26/080526fa_fact_packer#ixzz2CRV597Oo
Nixon was coldly mixing and pouring volatile passions. Although he was careful to renounce the extreme fringe of Birchites and racists, his means to power eventually became the end. Buchanan gave me a copy of a seven-page confidential memorandum—“A little raw for today,” he warned—that he had written for Nixon in 1971, under the heading “Dividing the Democrats.” Drawn up with an acute understanding of the fragilities and fault lines in “the Old Roosevelt Coalition,” it recommended that the White House “exacerbate the ideological division” between the Old and New Left by praising Democrats who supported any of Nixon’s policies; highlight “the elitism and quasi-anti-Americanism of the National Democratic Party”; nominate for the Supreme Court a Southern strict constructionist who would divide Democrats regionally; use abortion and parochial-school aid to deepen the split between Catholics and social liberals; elicit white working-class support with tax relief and denunciations of welfare. Finally, the memo recommended exploiting racial tensions among Democrats. “Bumper stickers calling for black Presidential and especially Vice-Presidential candidates should be spread out in the ghettoes of the country,” Buchanan wrote. “We should do what is within our power to have a black nominated for Number Two, at least at the Democratic National Convention.” Such gambits, he added, could “cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/26/080526fa_fact_packer#ixzz2CRV597Oo
Nixon was coldly mixing and pouring volatile passions. Although he was careful to renounce the extreme fringe of Birchites and racists, his means to power eventually became the end. Buchanan gave me a copy of a seven-page confidential memorandum—“A little raw for today,” he warned—that he had written for Nixon in 1971, under the heading “Dividing the Democrats.” Drawn up with an acute understanding of the fragilities and fault lines in “the Old Roosevelt Coalition,” it recommended that the White House “exacerbate the ideological division” between the Old and New Left by praising Democrats who supported any of Nixon’s policies; highlight “the elitism and quasi-anti-Americanism of the National Democratic Party”; nominate for the Supreme Court a Southern strict constructionist who would divide Democrats regionally; use abortion and parochial-school aid to deepen the split between Catholics and social liberals; elicit white working-class support with tax relief and denunciations of welfare. Finally, the memo recommended exploiting racial tensions among Democrats. “Bumper stickers calling for black Presidential and especially Vice-Presidential candidates should be spread out in the ghettoes of the country,” Buchanan wrote. “We should do what is within our power to have a black nominated for Number Two, at least at the Democratic National Convention.” Such gambits, he added, could “cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/26/080526fa_fact_packer#ixzz2CRV597Oo

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