Some Holiday Reads

I’m too lazy to add anything to the commentary during the Christmas season (yes I said it, Christmas!), but frankly, there are a lot of good reads out that I recommend that say much the same thing I would say, if I was twice as talented and had ten times the motivation.  But hey, I’m actually busy with family things, so here are a few reads I recommend

Confessions of a Reluctant Culture Warrior

A good analysis of the year in crazy that this past year has been as political correctness has gone absolutely bedbug crazy.  I would say we’ve hit peak PC and some sanity should return any second, but I’ve thought that for years and we’ve just gone crazier.

And speaking of politically correct nonsense…

Do the Left Thing

My first thought, “Hey a funny parody!”  My second thought, “Am I sure?”  These days, it’s hard to tell.  For example…

“Listen When I Talk To You”: How White Entitlement marred my trip to a Furgeson teach-in

Sadly, not a parody.

For a more serious look at the same mentality, try out this article by Heather MacDonald:

The Microaggression Farce

In the political corruption department:

Ecuador Family Wins Favors After Donations to Democrats

Switch the parties from Democrat to Republican, and this might be the biggest political scandal of the year.  As it is, this will probably be the only story you’ll read about this.

And of course no collection of links would be complete without one from Mark Steyn.

The Real Battle For America is over Culture, not Elections

And in that vein, I’ve been gifted a copy of Mark Steyn’s After America.  I’m sure I’ll be even gloomier for the new year.

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Cuba on Obama’s Checklist

I have a lot of conflicting thoughts on President Obama’s move to normalize relations with Cuba.  On the one hand, having no diplomatic relations with an island 90 miles from Key West seems an archaic relic of the Cold War.  The reasons for having no diplomatic relations and maintaining an economic embargo made sense when the US was engaged in a chess game with the Soviets, but those reasons are largely irrelevant now. We engage in diplomatic relations and economic trade with plenty of other despotic regimes, why not Cuba too?Raul Castro

On the other hand, Cuba is among a handful of countries that are among the worst of the worst in terms of political and economic repression of its own people.  It’s not quite North Korea, but it would like to be if it could.  It’s in the top 16 or so most repressive countries. It just doesn’t seem that it’s the type of country that we should be reaching out to. But President Obama feels differently…  It’s as if standing fast as a brutal dictatorship pays off in getting the US to say Uncle.  Not for the people of Cuba of course, but for the regime.

Cuban politicians of both parties seem none too happy about the move.  That’s surprising in that the Cuban American community seems split, mostly along an older versus younger axis, at least based on TV news reports.  But then most Cuban politicians fall within that older crowd and began their careers with the passions that were totally uncompromising where Cuba was concerned.

I think the timing of it all though, doesn’t make much sense.  We would have been in a much better bargaining position if we had waited until the Castro brothers were dead and buried.  At that point, Cuba would be more open to changes, and would be more open to the political and economic benefits of opening relations with the United States.  But with Obama, I think he just doesn’t care.  It seems that since the election, he’s decided to work off his lefty check list of things to do before leaving power.  And of course, that means ignoring Congress and doing whatever he wants to do.

Although foreign policy and diplomacy is mostly the providence of the Presidency, with Cuba there is a history of US law in the way.  The embargo is codified into law by the Helms-Burton Act, which the President can’t just wave away without Congress repealing or modifying the law.

Or maybe he can.  I dunno, we live in a new age in which the executive seems to be able to ignore laws he doesn’t like.

Other laws that regulate our relations with Cuba include the LIBERTAD Act and the Cuban Democracy Act.  Is Obama going to ignore them all?  Probably so.  He hasn’t seemed to pay any price for ignoring any other law so why not these as well?

Does the news media even care about these laws?  Not that I can tell.  In fact, based on my viewing of at least one of the network news programs, NBC, the primary impact of normalization of relations with Cuba is that American collectors will be able to purchase classic American cars and Cuban owners of those same classic American cars will be able to purchase parts for them from the US.  All illegal under US law of course, but that went unmentioned in the news reports I saw and sadly, probably not thought of as that important a consideration.

 

Some Snags in the Inevitable Decline and Death of the GOP

In the post election stupor that the Democrats find themselves in, The New Republic brought a little good news to the progressive plate; Five Charts That Show Why a Post-White America Is Already here. You don’t actually need all five graphics to see that.  This one explains it clearly enough:

The gist of it is that for children under five, whites are 51 percent of the US population.  Of course I didn’t need a New Republic graph for that.  I’ve known that for years, just based on my children’s classmates at school.  And 2011 became the first year that minority births outnumbered white births.  So the browning of America is baked in the cake, as it were.  Since I frequent political forums, I’m constantly reminded of that on a near daily basis.  Some lefty wag will start off a thread with something like, “since demographics are dooming the Republicans, what will you hate filled white men do now?”   Or some similar statement along those lines.  Like the New Republic, that inevitable day when non white “minorities” outnumber non-Hispanic whites is like a Left Wing Rapture, the start of a new rainbow era of totally left wing political control as far as the eye can see.

But not quite…

The GOP doesn’t need a total demographic flip to be on life support.  Remember, it spent most of the 20th Century as a semi permanent second party. The Democrats were the political party for decades. Of course, they were a much broader coalition then; they had everything from segregationists to fiscal conservatives, trade unionists, to communists. That’s why I don’t necessarily buy the forum leftist’s prescription that the Republicans are necessarily doomed because of demographics. The stupid party doesn’t need a massive demographic change to doom it.  It’s been doomed before.  However there are a lot of trends going on at the same time that make the future of either political party hard to predict.

Will they Democrats broaden their coalition? In the Obama era, they’ve purged most of their moderates and it’s a much more leftward party than it was just 6 years ago. Will that pay off when Obama is out of office? Would a Jim Webb centrist or a Howard Dean leftist have a better chance in a general election?

As the demographics of the country change, are people going to continue to vote in the same percentages of their racial groups as they do now?

Will Whites continue to leave the Democrats for the Republicans? I had previously posted that there has been a pretty steady trend of whites abandoning the Democratic Party for the Republicans. If something were to happen to increase that trend, a Republican Party that dominates the white vote could dominate politically for years.

Will successful Hispanics and Asians want to be locked in with the party of grievance? The identity politics left assumes all people of color (including oddly white Hispanics) will all naturally side with each other against whitey. That of course is the reason that changing the national demographics is so important to the left. But Asians and Hispanics are groups with different factions and are not all locked in to the Democrats the way Blacks are. Japanese Americans are basically indistinguishable from white people in most key indicators. Most Asian groups are on the opposite side of the affirmative action debate since they are punished, not helped by it. They’re also on the opposite side of the shopkeeper/business owner vs rioter situation. For Democrats, being the “Black” party can backfire when some of your other constituents are the people having their stores burned to the ground. I’m wondering how much that impacted the decline in Asian support for Democrats on this last election.

Indians are growing in size and influence among Asians. Who is going to wind up with their loyalties? Right now there are two, count them two, southern Republican Indian-American governors. And this is in what the political forum left regards as the unreconstructed racist south. Since Democrats are un-churched, they don’t understand how religion plays a role…well in anything. The future political Indian-American divide may be among those who are Christians flocking to the Republicans and those who have other or no religions flocking to the Democrats. We see something similar among Korean-Americans. Christian Koreans are far more likely to be Republican that Buddhists or atheists. That’s a dividing line that may be more important to future America than race, however Democrats so discount religion it might be years before they can even consider the possibility.

And like Asians, the Democratic calculus on Hispanics assumes they will want to remain poor in the party of angry grievance. Don’t they think a fair number of people want to “make it?” They want to move to the suburbs, have a white collar job, and just don’t buy that they can never do those things because evil white Republicans are keeping them down.

Contrary to liberal science, Hispanics are an ethnic group and not a racial group. So for those who assimilate, increase their incomes, and intermarry, are they expected to remain loyal to Democrats because of last names?

As you can see, I have more questions than answers on this topic, but I admit it’s more complicated than it’s usually presented.  I agree with the internet leftists that demographics are a major factor, but they are not a determinative one.  The year 2043 doesn’t necessarily mean that the United States automatically becomes the Socialist Rainbow Coalition of America.  There are still a lot of things that can happen between now and then, and we don’t even know what most of them are.