Daily Beast Pundit: Today’s GOP ‘Far More Openly and Aggressively Anti-Black’ Than Reagan-Era Party

Even by the standards of Democratic presidential nominees, Barack Obama did exceptionally well among black voters, winning 95 percent in 2008 and 93 percent in 2012. The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky thinks that Hillary Clinton, assuming she’s nominated, will come close to those numbers in 2016, partly on her merits and partly because black people understand that today’s Republican party doesn’t have much use for them.

“When I was young,” wrote the 54-year-old Tomasky in a Friday column, “I thought Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party was bad on race, and it was, but the GOP is a far more openly and aggressively anti-black-people party today. Back then, there were still a fair number of moderate Republicans in the House and Senate who voted for civil rights measures…Republicans in Congress even reauthorized the [Voting Rights Act] when Dubya was president! Those days are long, long gone. Maybe not forever, but certainly for the foreseeable future.”

From Tomasky’s piece, headlined “Will Hillary Be Our 3rd Black President?” (bolding added):

Here’s one story I predict you’re going to read (should you choose to) about 367 times over the next 17 months: that Hillary Clinton isn’t going to do as well or maybe even nearly as well [as Obama did] among African-American voters…

It will be a key element in the “Hillary’s in Trouble” meme that’s going to dominate the coverage of her campaign in the mainstream media. But is there any truth to it?

Yes, a little. Clinton and John Podesta and her other strategists are acknowledging as much with the big speech she gave [last Thursday] laying the lumber into Republicans about voting rights and recent GOP voter-suppression schemes…[T]hat she chose to make that speech about this topic…demonstrates clearly enough that Clinton is concerned about getting out the black vote…

…The standard media line…will be that Obama skewed things by being black and all, and that if you go back to 2004 and recall that George W. Bush got 16 percent of the black vote in Ohio, that was somehow a more “normal” state of affairs, because there were two white candidates.

…If you go back to 1964…the Democratic nominee averages…88 percent [of the black vote]. The Republican averages 10 percent…

…Are the Obama-era numbers an aberration, or are they more like a new normal? The near-universal assumption among journalists is aberration. But here’s the case for why they might be something closer to the new normal…

The first is the much-discussed demographic change. The white vote over the last three presidential elections has gone from 77 percent (2004) to 74 percent (2008) to 72 percent (2012)…One comprehensive statistical model predicts that the white vote will just keep dropping, down maybe to 70 percent in 2016…

But second and more important, it’s about the Republican Party of then versus now. When Gerald Ford was getting 15 percent of the black vote in 1976, his party wasn’t carrying out a jihad to make sure as few black people could vote as possible or uncorking champagne when the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act. Or, for that matter, trying to make sure as few working poor people as possible could have access to health insurance.

When I was young I thought Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party was bad on race, and it was, but the GOP is a far more openly and aggressively anti-black-people party today. Back then, there were still a fair number of moderate Republicans in the House and Senate who voted for civil rights measures…Republicans in Congress even reauthorized the VRA when Dubya was president! Those days are long, long gone. Maybe not forever, but certainly for the foreseeable future.

Clinton will have to work it. And she is…But her competition—unless they nominate Rand Paul, which seems increasingly unlikely—is making it easier for her. She probably won’t duplicate Obama’s numbers, but if someone wants to bet you that her black-vote totals will be closer to John Kerry’s than to Obama’s, that’s a bet I’d advise you to take in [a] heartbeat.

Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Race Issues Racism The Daily Beast Michael Tomasky Hillary Clinton Barack Obama


Sponsored Links