Certain ants occasionally demonstrate a phenomenon which people have called “a death circle.” What happens is that they lose the trail, and end up circling endlessly until they perish. Here’s what it looks like, along with the explanation:
When viewing this, I was reminded of the Republican Party these days. Endlessly circling, blindly following a trail that leads to nowhere.
After the 2012 election many Republicans were shocked that they’d lost. The figures and the messaging they saw said that they would win, while in reality it wasn’t close.
Citing Kael, one of the most prominent Republicans in the George W. Bush era complained: “We have become what the left was in the ’70s — insular.”
In this reassuring conservative pocket universe, Rasmussen polls are gospel, the Benghazi controversy is worse than Watergate, “Fair and Balanced” isn’t just marketing and Dick Morris is a political seer.
Even this past weekend, days after a convincing Obama win, it wasn’t hard to find fringes of the right who are convinced he did so only because of mass voter fraud and mysteriously missing military ballots. Like a political version of “Thelma and Louise,” some far-right conservatives are in such denial that they’d just as soon keep on driving off the cliff than face up to a reality they’d rather not confront.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cilliza points out that they won the white vote by 20%. The problem? It wasn’t enough. The white vote only accounted for 72% of the overall voters on election day. The President took 39% of the white voters, along with almost 90% of black voter, and over 70% of both Hispanic and Asian voters. As Cilliza points out in a following article, the Republican’s problem – now and in the future – can be summed up with one chart:
Why in the future? Here’s what the country’s demographics are projected to be in 2050:
The minority groups that carried President Obama to victory yesterday by giving him 80% of their votes are on track to become a majority of the nation’s population by 2050, according to projections by the Pew Research Center. They currently make up 37% of the population, and they cast a record 28% of the votes in the 2012 presidential election, according to the election exit polls.
By 2050, the Hispanic share of the U.S. population could be as high as 29%, up from 17% now. The black proportion of the population is projected to rise slightly to 13%, while the Asian share is projected to increase to 9% from its current 5%. Non-Hispanic whites, 63% of the current population, will decrease to half or slightly less than half of the population by 2050
That has a number of “thinking Republicans” worried:
Some younger conservatives worry that the effects of cocoonism are just as evident after the race as before — and not only in the disbelief that Obama won. The knee-jerk reaction by some on the right to Romney’s poor performance with Hispanics has been to simply say that all will be well with the party if they pass an immigration bill and elevate Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
But to many next-generation Republicans, this smacks of tokenism and is more than a tad patronizing.
“They just want to put a sombrero on the Republican elephant,” said one Latino GOP operative, who didn’t want to be identified discussing such a sensitive topic.
It’s the first week of the 113th Congress, and one House member is already trying to stop children born in the United States to undocumented parents — whom he calls “anchor babies” — from gaining citizenship.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an outspoken hardliner on immigration, introduced a bill on Thursday that would “clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.” The Supreme Court has consistently held that anyone born in the United States, regardless of their parents’ immigration status, should receive citizenship under the 14th Amendment.
King disagrees, as do 13 co-sponsors on the bill, including Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.).
Yes, he’s trying to pass a bill that not only unconstitutionally blocks birthright citizenship (see: US v Wong Kim Ark 1898), let’s be realistic, it’s not targeting any “illegal white immigrants.” Which is one more way they continue to alienate a growing voter population. While some in the party are seriously trying to change the party to attract a more diverse membership, the problem is that they continue to follow the “entertainment conservatives,” who pander to the worst parts of human nature, and in the end, the Republican Party becomes more and more a party of “angry white males” who are a decreasing part of the population.
Like the ants, they’re blindly following a trail to nowhere. The Republicans are in an extinction spiral, and whether they can find a new path to break out of it is something that looks ever more unlikely.