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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

CPowellThis past Sunday, former secretary of state Colin Powell warned fellow Republicans that their most recent efforts to restrict voting rights will “backfire” on the party.

After blasting North Carolina’s newest voting law at a CEO forum on Thursday, Colin appeared on Face the Nation to explain how the voting restrictions being pushed by several states – including Texas, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Mississippi – will hurt, not help, the GOP.

“The country is becoming more diverse,” Powell explained. “Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans are going to constitute a majority in a generation. You say you want to reach out, you say you want to have a new message, you say you want to see if you can bring some of these voters to the Republican side. This is not the way to do it.”

The former secretary of state, who served under former president George W. Bush, makes a great, but not-so-new point; Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election served (or should have served) as a wakeup call for the Republican Party. The nation’s demographics have changed, and minority voters – including the youth – now represent a large percentage of the voting population.

As former Bush campaign advisor Mark McKinnon said just days before the election, “The GOP cannot expect to win the presidency in the future by simply relying on running up big numbers with white voters.”

That message was lost on Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, however.

In 2010 and 2011, Republican lawmakers in several states began drafting new election laws in hopes of making it more difficult for Democrats to vote.

According to a Washington Post article published a year before the 2012 election, Republicans in several states had “curbed early voting, rolled back voting rights for ex-felons, and passed stricter voter ID laws.” The theory was that the carefully designed measures would “keep young people and minorities away from the polls” — groups that tend to vote Democratic.

Just a few months before the election, federal courts ruled that a Texas voter ID law, pushed by Republicans, “disenfranchised Latino and black voters.”

Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson warned Texas Republicans that the “demographic shift is already here.”

He added that the laws would not stop disenfranchised groups from showing up to the polls, but they will give the voters the “impression that the GOP is working against their interests,” and this would eventually become a “long-term problem” for the Republican Party.

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  • clarenceswinney

    Cokie Roberts on TV yesterday–”President Obama believes in Big government.”.
    Reagan increased spending by 80%–Bush II by 90% and Obama by 11.5% in first term.

    • Dominick Vila

      You are right. Unfortunately, most GOP claims have more to do with the need to create perceptions designed to demonize the opposition rather than facts, and they have been getting away with it or years.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      The other thing Republicans like to collectively forget is Ronald Reagan presided over the largest tax increase in any president’s administration.

      • ThomasBonsell

        What the GOP will not admit is that tax increase was intended for the working class to subsidize the leisure class.

        It works this way. In 1981 Reagan got the conservative House and GOP Senate to slash taxes across the board, but mostly for the wealthy. When deficits stated to skyrocket, he got Congress to rescind some of those cuts in 1982 but not on the wealthy. In 1983 he got massive tax increases on the working class with the payroll tax. That started producing massive surpluses in Social Security and Medicare accounts. Those surpluses by law must go to the Treasury to buy debt instruments. So the workers of the nation are paying payroll taxes to replace income taxes not paid by the wealthy and debt continues to pile up relentlessly; even in the years Bill Clinton was producing budget surpluses.

  • Dominick Vila

    What surprises me the most about the Republican efforts to disenfranchise millions of Americans by making it as difficult as possible to vote is not their obscene behavior and their decision to undermine one of our most cherished rights, but the indifference of mainstream Americans. Hopefully people will wake up and take action before it is too late.

  • Wayneo

    The GOP uses a different definition of “voter fraud” than the rest of the world. For them voter fraud means voting democratic.

    • idamag

      Judging from the actual numbers of voter fraud, you have that right.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Sorry, General. The current “Republican Leadership” believe they lost the last election cycle because they did not run “Conservative enough candidates”. That because their people did not stake out enough of a Conservative platform, the people did not vote for them. The real chuckle is the areas where the Republicans ran the most conservative candidates in “competitive races” they lost resoundingly because those policies were such anathema to most people that even those who normally do not vote showed up to vote against them.

    • Dominick Vila

      I agree with you. I have several neighbors, friends, and a very close relative who think exactly the way you suggested. They are convinced that the reasons for their losses in 2012 are (1) Democrats cheated, and (2) their candidates were not conservative enough! Obviously, they never offer proof of voting fraud, and are not bothered by the fact that the reason so many Tea Party zealots were defeated had a lot more to do with their bizarre claims and the absence of ideas than lack of conservatism. Something else that is sorely missing from the issue of conservative values is that the values embraced by the likes of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ike, and even Reagan who did not hesitate to protect what he called the Safety Net, are anathema to what the GOP is proposing today. Alas, those gentlemen would be considered RINOs in today’s GOP if they were around. Can you imagine what would happen to a Republican who dared propose equality, who championed the need to protect our environment, who proposed modernizing our infrastructure, and who unabashedly supported our safety net?

  • Erin Argast

    The GOP is still bent on committing suicide. Let them.