Posts Tagged African American
The three specific ways his dramatic announcement boosts his reelection prospects
Barack Obama’s surprise decision to grant work permits to as many as 800,000 illegal immigrants who are otherwise law-abiding and who came to the country as children has the potential to boost his reelection prospects in three particular ways.
One, obviously, involves Hispanic voters, who sided with Obama by a 36-point margin in 2008. He has a similar advantage over Mitt Romney today, but there are some ominous signs about enthusiasm, with Hispanics lagging behind whites and African-Americans when pollsters gauge the likelihood of a voter actually showing up in November. In , 81 percent of whites and 76 percent of African-Americans said they’ll definitely vote this fall, compared to just 66 percent for Hispanics.
The good news for Obama is that this represents an improvement over April, when only 58 percent of Latinos called themselves definite voters. But his administration’s record on immigration has attracted the of Hispanic leaders. Today’s announcement has the potential to mend those fences and boost overall enthusiasm.
It also preempts an anticipated move by Mitt Romney, who went far to the right on immigration during the GOP primaries and who is to tack toward the middle. The assumption has been that Romney would ultimately line up with a modified Dream Act proposal being drawn up by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
This was problematic for Obama, since immigration groups have been signaling their openness to Rubio’s basic framework – allow work permits, but not a path to full citizenship. So there was a potential for Rubio to roll out his plan, Romney to endorse it, and for momentum to quickly build behind it – making Obama seem like a weak leader and helping the GOP’s image with Hispanic voters. But with his action today, Obama has essentially made Rubio’s pending proposal official government policy. Obama looks like the strong leader here, and he also just blocked the path to the middle that his opponent was eying.
The final benefit for Obama is that this will bait the nativist right. Just before Obama made his announcement this afternoon, CNN had Joe Arpaio, one of the GOP’s most divisive anti-immigrant leaders, on its air. Iowa Rep. Steve King, who regularly of immigrants, is now to stop Obama’s new policy. It’s very possible that this will trigger an eruption of ugly rhetoric that will remind Hispanics why they’ve been shying away from the GOP and hurt the party’s image with all swing voters.
If there’s any political risk in this for Obama, it’s the simple fact that he’s taking an action that isn’t explicitly related to the economy, which will allow Republicans to claim – as they did during last month’s gay marriage saga – that he’s pandering to his base at the expense of creating jobs. That talking point didn’t seem to have any negative effect on Obama then, though, and it probably won’t now.
- Obama’s immigration trifecta (salon.com)
- Obama Gets Smart on Immigration (thedailybeast.com)
- Romney accuses Obama of political motivation on immigration – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Obama’s Immigration Symbolism (riehlworldview.com)
- Mr. President: U.S. Latinos Respect the Constitution, Too (pjmedia.com)
- Latino growth not fully felt at voting booth (mercurynews.com)
- Immigration reform: five Reasons Obama ordered the DREAM (thegrio.com)
- Obama administration to stop deporting DREAM Act-eligible illegal immigrants (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Obama energizes Latino vote (politico.com)
- Sources: Obama Administration To Offer Immunity To Younger Immigrants (washington.cbslocal.com)
In 2005, when Florida was considering its insane stand-your-ground-or-perhaps-chase-down-an-innocent-black-teenager-and-shoot-him law, state senator Dan Gelber was a voice of reason. Gelber, when asked what he thought of legislation that would transmogrify many a heat-packing Floridian into a juiced-up Judge Dredd, posed some questions of his own.
When you think someone “looks at your wife” the wrong way or “spills coffee on you,” should the message be “to walk away or do we tell them that you’re supposed to stand your ground and fight to the death?” According to NRA troll/super-lobbyist Marion Hammer, the supposedly smart Bush who was governor at the time (Jeb) and state senator Dennis Baxley–a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans who likes racial slurs in state songs and wants to remember The great Lost Cause on license plates–the answer was of course shoot. To kill.
But the bigger story here is the alliance of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)–a secretive, corporate-sponsored clearing house for ideas that are dopey enough to be purchased by the pound–andthe arms-dealer front groupknown as the National Rifle Association (NRA). A marriage made in Hades to pass legislation that seemingly anyone with any background in law enforcement or understanding of this nation’s history knew would lead to a predictable outcome: “racially motivated killings.”
Because, you see, this is not a bug, but a feature. Both ALEC and the NRA exist to support the whims and wants of privileged and largely white members of society, while disenfranchising, impoverishing and even allowing the Trayvon Martins of our society to be gunned down in cold blood. Racism is at their very core.
ALEC is behind a nationwide push to take voting rights away from African Americans and any other group that doesn’t largely vote for creepily religious, corporate Republicans advocating wish-list items such as a Creationist, Halliburton-constructed lunar colony or the deregulation of melamine and morphine-based infant formula.
As writer Ari Berman pointed out in a piece called “The GOP’s War On Voting,” there’s been “a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states…this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.” Who are we talking about here? “Millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly,” according to Berman, or people you might hesitate to call the “Santorum demographic.”
These very same ALECites have been (coincidentally, or course), pushing for tort reform bills in states throughout the country, which have been proven again and again to disproportionately hurt the poor and minorities while protecting corporate bottom lines. Meanwhile, “racial issues” and stereotyping have been used by ALEC to push for tort reform, the very same play on white fear that is the literal pitch of the NRA to convince anyone, no matter how unstable or criminally-inclined, to buy more guns.
Part of this pitch has used the first black President (“Communist trained!”) to inform their most ardent and paranoid members of secret plots (“massive Obama conspiracy!”) to take away their guns (the ones they can now take into National Parks and in luggage on Amtrak because of bills President Obama signed into law) Their day-to-day coded language about protecting “your way of life” or property from invading hordes has obvious connotations to anyone with a few neurons still firing.
NRA Board meetings, meanwhile, could potentially double as klaverns. There’s intellectual retch Ted Nugentwho has problems with the “Dark Continent” of Africa because no country there “truly respects freedom or the rule of law.”
Then there’s board member Wayne Anthony Ross, who awarded an art student an “’A’ for courage” for a project that included “a hooded and robed stick figure of a KKK member, bearing a cross in one hand and a flag in the other.” Perhaps most impressive, is John Sigler, who accused President Obama’s mother of traveling the world “to meet up with ‘savages’ and civilizing them in the sack! Her efforts even created a President of the United States.” These are not the exception, as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has made abundantly clear on their “Who Is The NRA Leadership” site.
Trayvon Martin is not the exception. He is the rule. The collateral damage of a quite open and obvious agenda for anyone willing to take a look.
- How The NRA Fueled Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law (thinkprogress.org)
- Where Is the Legal Justice for People of a Lesser Class, Color (strangerinapicture.us)
- Zimmerman pulled the trigger but did ALEC write the law? (preaprez.wordpress.com)
- Exposed: The Corporations Behind the Law That May Let Trayvon Martin’s Killer Go Free (the2012scenario.com)
- Opponents of ‘Stand Your Ground’ Predicted Racially Motivated Killings (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Opponents Of Florida’s 2005 ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Predicted ‘Racially Motivated Killings’ (thinkprogress.org)
- Florida shooting renews debate over ‘stand your ground’ laws – CNN (edition.cnn.com)
- Florida shooting renews debate over ‘stand your ground’ laws (cnn.com)
- Politics Kills (slog.thestranger.com)
- PAUL BEDARD: NRA warns of Obama packing Supreme Court. The National Rifle Association is already… (pjmedia.com)