Sunday, November 11, 2012

The path to citizenship will be crooked for Republicans

A few more thoughts on the election and then I'll let it go:

Immigration.  The Republicans are in trouble on immigration and citizenship no matter what they do.  No change and they imitate the California Republican Party in relevance.  Much of their elite seems to realize this and want to compromise, but the Democrats should put them through a wringer and demand everything the Ds think should happen:  a reasonable pathway to citizenship for immigrants who have been here for a reasonable amount of time.  The 1987 amnesty applied to people who had been in the country for over five years, setting them on a path to citizenship seven years after being legalized.  Personally I'd lengthen the first period and shorten the second one, but it's a reasonable model for the future.

If the Rs refuse to pass something like this through Congress, then beat them up over it in 2014 while also getting the best compromise possible.  If the Rs do pass something substantial, then they still lose, because those legalized citizens will be Democratic voters for a generation and a fraction.  The Rs painted themselves into this corner, it'll be a long time to get out.  The white vote share of the presidential electorate is declining 2 points every four years, probably translating into a one-percent gain each cycle for the Democratic candidate.

Denialists lost seats.  In under-reported news, four out of five Congressional Representatives dubbed the "Flat Earth Five" by the League of Conservation Voters for denying climate reality lost their seats, and eleven of twelve generally anti-environment candidates also got beat.  These people were specially targeted and I've been looking for more specifics; the League needs to update their website (a little update here).  This is a nice bit of karmic payback for 2010, when most of the eight Republicans who voted to do something about climate lost their seats to primary challengers.

Citizens United redistributed income.  Some billionaires redistributed a few percent of this year's income to the somewhat-less wealthy without causing too much harm at the federal level in this election.  I'm not quite as sure they were harmless at the state and local level this cycle, and even the dumbest of rich people may learn to spend their unlimited campaign money more effectively in the future, again most likely by targeting it at the state and local level.  Watch out for next time.

Overturning Citizens United.  Obama will probably nominate 2-3 justices over the next four years.  Ginsburg, age 79 and with previous cancer bouts, should have retired a year or two ago but took a huge risk hanging on.   Hopefully she'll do the right thing, and Breyer, age 74, might do the same.  The conservatives' ages are 76 (Scalia), 76 (Kennedy), 64 (Thomas), 62 (Alito) and 57 (Roberts).  They'll do their best to last out four years, but might not have a choice.

Bahrain Silence = Climate Silence.  Juan Cole had an interesting post about continuing repression in Bahrain against the Shiite majority.  Too bad that Romney wasn't asked to compare his relative activism over Syria, which I liked, to the situation in Bahrain.  Maybe the Republican talking heads on the Sunday shows could still get asked - this is the worst situation of the US looking the other way, for somewhat obvious military reasons.

Hanging up my local politics crystal ball.  My water district had three elections, and I called all three wrong.  It doesn't make the results bad - I'm actually thrilled that our funding measure that needed two-thirds' support under California law received 72.65% support, and it includes $24 million that helps prepare for sea level rise along San Francisco Bay.  Staff's first draft had $5 million for this; I can (and will) take credit for much of the increased funding.

UPDATE:  forgot to add my plea to reduce the Senate filibuster bottleneck, along with the actually-still-alive hope that Harry Reid might do it.

UPDATE 2:  with actuarial tables and my trusty calculator, I get a 79% chance of four-year survival for each of Scalia and Kennedy, 93% for Thomas, 94% for Alito, and 96% for Roberts, leaving a 52% chance that all five will survive four years.  Their health probably makes this an underestimate, but severe disability might also get one or two of them to leave if they really couldn't serve.


David B. Benson said...

Republicans are in demographic trouble. A party of rich old white men is a permanent minority party, methinks.

Anonymous said...

Well color me stoopid, that is why they call me "Hey Stoopid".

Ah, the ever increasing rapidly growing numbers of native "Hispanic Americans", has been showing the effect at the US polls, since 1990.

US Census data :-

Interestingly, by 2035 onwards, starting with Texas, the former home of the birthers and bigots of the first decade of the 21st century, known as the "Good Ol'Boys" will be in, total minority. Given that data, local and state government, will be swamped by distant descendants, of one "Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón".

After, that successful takeover, West of the Mississippi . One or more of his relatives, will take aim to capture the Whitehouse. Oh, the irony!

Population Demographics, the true enemy of the mononeuron Republican Tea Pot Party, born in the first decade, in the 21st century. Only, in reality to die, two decades later, as a political nobody. Thus the Republicans, have two choices, follow the lead of the Democrats in 1968. The alternative ending, is not a pretty one, as head in posterior Tod Akin, well knows.

Real numbers in the real world, have a liberal bias.

Such is life, you either move with the times, or lose it all! ;)

John said...

Even if " Obama will probably nominate 2-3 justices over the next four years," there will still be no possible change in the political outcome of the decisions of SCOTUS Inc. unless 2 of those replacements are from the Nazi faction of the court.

I couldn't agree more about Ginsburg tempting fate by not retiring prior to the recent election to insure that Obama would be the president to replace her. She will definitely be replaced in Obama's second term.

It's not so obvious from there.

"Fat Tony" Scalia will have to be carried feet-first from the bench if a Dem is president. Your "might not have a choice" link suggests a male 76-year old like Scalia has 10 "probable" years of life remaining that drops to a non-threatening 7.9 for an 80-year old. (At which point we get Jeb Bush and Cruz, allowing Scalia to retire and inducing the more-than single- neuron types to commit mass suicide?)

The question is: how much longer is life sustained by the knowledge that one possesses obvious power, like that of Kennedy?

Do the Dems have any religious folks who perform the prayers for the demise of one's adversaries?

John Puma

Anonymous said...

A BBC news reporter interviewed a Colombian shopkeeper (from New York I think) on the morning after the election. IIRC, when asked who he'd voted for he said Obama. And the gist of what he said in reply to a question about what it would take for the Latino vote to swing towards the Republicans was...

Well, you would think I'm natural Republican material: very religious, family centred and in business. But they just want to get rid of us.

Of course, one interviewee's personal story cannot be extrapolated out to ~75-80% of the demographic. But I have the feeling it was a "nut meet shell" moment.

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Probably the last word:

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

While I agree that Scalia will never voluntarily retire under a Dem president, I would urge all concerned citizens to forward to Mrs. Scalia all the recipes they can for dishes like Spaghetti Corbonara (extra butter, bacon, cream and cheese) they can lay their hands on. If we can muster some cases to stir the apoplexy of the esteemed justice, perhaps Obama will still be able to replace him.

Brian said...

John, A-ray: I added an update. Looks like 48% chance that one of the conservative five will die in the next four years.

I agree that all of them will attempt to stay past a disability, but if he really and truly couldn't go to Court, even Scalia would feel obligated to resign.

Anonymous said...

It is rumoured that the Chief Justice John Roberts is not in the best of health. He might surprise us all, like he did last summer, and be the first of the Conservative 5 to retire.

Chance for Obama to nominate the first woman Chief Justice?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

Ronald Reagan granted amnesty for several million illegal aliens in the 1980s and the Republican party has more elected hispanic politicians than the democrats.

I wonder along with changing the filibuster rules, Harry Reid will allow the Republicans to add amendments to bills.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

And despite Obama raising more money than Romney, as I predicted, you still think Citizens United has to be overturned.


I mean the double standard is overwhelming Brian. If you have such a problem with it, demand union dues be cancelled or demand they don't send them to the democrat party.

dhogaza said...


We can tell people how they can't spend it. Direct bribery of elected officials, for instance, is still illegal, despite Citizen's United.

dhogaza said...

Lumpy claims the Republicans have more elected hispanic politicians than democrats.

That appears to be false ...

' there are currently no Latino Democratic governors. In general, Latinos are dramatically underrepresented among the ranks of U.S. governors: In total, there are two.'

OK, 2 Repub latino guvs, no dems. But Lumpy's claim is much broader ...

'There are also only two Latinos currently serving in the Senate - Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bob Menendez, of New Jersey.'

It's tied in the Senate ...

' Of the 435 members of the House of Representatives there are 24 Hispanics: 17 Democrats and seven Republicans.'

17 Dems, 7 Republicans ... hmmm not supportive of Lumpy's claim. Now for the money:

'"We have a lot more legislators and mayors and Congress members that are women, that are Latino, that are Asian, that are African-American," [DEMOCRAT] Villaraigosa told Todd, responding to his question. "We have a much broader tent, a much broader representation of every walk of life, people from, you know, every ethnicity and race and sex."

"They may have more governors," he added. "But we have a much broader field when you look at all of the elected officials."'

Oops ...

Republicans elected a tiny number of hispanics to higher office while not recruiting hispanics in large number to serve in the house and local and state government (other than governors) is *exactly* what is meant when people speak of ...


Rattus Norvegicus said...

It looks like Lundgren will go down. Bera currently leads by 1700+ votes, but counting has not finished yet.

Lundgren was one of the LCV targeted Reps.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.


fine, if we can tell people how they can't spend their money then union dues should be eliminated. My personal opinion is that people should be able to donate as much money as they want. Obama spent more than $100 million than Romney. And it doesn't even matter because your side controls the media. There are still liberals writing into my local paper proudly declaring their vote wasn't bought. Hahaha, the joke is on you guys, your vote was bought for a higher price than what Romney was asking.


Lumpus is till in a snit from the Chicago authorities refusing to accept his Hawaiian birth certificate when he went to register as a dead voter.

Brian said...

It would be fantastic if Lungren got knocked out. Maybe the Rs who secretly believe in science might take notice.

Anonymous said...

During the election I gave quite a few small campaign contributions of $25 here and $50 there. Sure felt good to win so many elections, beating out the billionaire fossil fuel Koch Brothers. I contributed to the League of Conservation Voters, to several key Senate races (Warren, Donnelly) and to some of the Climate "heros" (Islee). The only one that hurt to lose--we did not get rid of Bachman. Maybe the rich denialist will get smarter, but I think that climate and environmental voters will be much more numerous and better organized next time.

John said...

If Obama spent merely "$100 more than Romney," then more was spent against Obama than Romney when the anonymous, KKKarl-type money (some $300 million - reported) is taken into account.

(Note to KKKarl, do NOT take any trips in private planes!)

Perhaps the "liberal media" fantasy should officially be included among reich-wing issues of complete denial.

John Puma

Anonymous said...

"Hahaha, the joke is on you guys, your vote was bought for a higher price than what Romney was asking."

Notwithstanding the issue of who spent how much to buy your votes (How much!!) , why does it matter who spent how much to buy your votes?

If both parties were "buying" your votes, that would make them both equally corrupt, wouldn't it?

Then again, I suppose you might have to spend more to counter the distortions and lies that are promoted by the other side, mightn't you?

Hmm... I wonder if there might be a case?

Cymraeg llygoden

J Bowers said...

Lumpus -- "Ronald Reagan granted amnesty for several million illegal aliens in the 1980s and...."

Obama's more to the right than Reagan. Guess who probably voted for the wrong guy last week.

Jeffrey Davis said...

A friend of ours from Guatemala (currently a citizen of the US) says that Republicans are crazy if they think that there's only one issue (immigration reform) for Hispanics.