June 29, 2013

Good point

Ross Douthat writes in his New York Times column:
Democrats Get a Gift From the Roberts Court 
... First, Republicans faced an unexpected (though in hindsight, predictable) undertow of their own, as many conservative-leaning, working-class white voters looked at what Mitt Romney had to offer and simply stayed home.
Second, instead of declining as expected after the history-making election of 2008, African-American turnout may have actually risen again in 2012. When the Census Bureau released its turnout analysis last month, it showed blacks voting at higher rates than whites for the first time in the history of the survey. 
If you believe Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.’s more overheated liberal critics, last week’s Supreme Court decision invalidating a portion of the Voting Rights Act is designed to make sure African-American turnout never hits these highs again. ...
If so, though, the Roberts Court may have actually handed the Democratic Party a political gift. 
How so? Well, to begin with, voter identification laws do not belong to the same moral or legal universe as Jim Crow. Their public purpose, as a curb to fraud, is potentially legitimate rather than nakedly discriminatory, and their effects are relatively limited. As Roberts’s majority opinion noted, the voter registration gap between whites and blacks in George Wallace’s segregationist Alabama was 50 percentage points. When my colleague Nate Silver looked at studies assessing the impact of voter ID laws, he estimated that they tend to reduce turnout by around 2 percent — and that reduction crosses racial lines, rather than affecting African-Americans exclusively. 
A 2 percent dip is still enough to influence a close election. But voter ID laws don’t take effect in a vacuum: as they’re debated, passed and contested in court, they shape voter preferences and influence voter enthusiasm in ways that might well outstrip their direct influence on turnout. They inspire registration drives and education efforts; they help activists fund-raise and organize; they raise the specter of past injustices; they reinforce a narrative that their architects are indifferent or hostile to minorities. 
This, I suspect, is part of the story of why African-American turnout didn’t fall off as expected between 2008 and 2012. By trying to restrict the franchise on the margins, Republican state legislators handed Democrats a powerful tool for mobilization and persuasion, and motivated voters who might otherwise have lost some of their enthusiasm after the euphoria of “Yes We Can” gave way to the reality of a stagnant, high-unemployment economy. 
So a lengthy battle over voting rules and voting rights seems almost precision-designed to help the Obama-era Democratic majority endure once President Obama has left the Oval Office.

Good point, if I say so myself.

Also of interest is my June 2, 2013 VDARE article.


Anonymous said...

In the short run, yes. In the long run, people get tired of these things. Note also that that passing out street money is an expensive undertaking. How long can the Dems keep this up?

MattW said...

I'd like to see a breakdown of the last few elections. Romney got a few more votes than McCain, and Obama got over 3 million fewer votes in 2012. I'm not sure that adds up with what Douthat is saying.

Anonymous said...

Yea, the Republicans are trying to take away your right to vote for the Black Moses is a lot more potent than the Republicans are trying to take away your right to vote for Gavin Newsome or whomever.

I'm not even sure there is going to be a short term problem for Republicans. Obama is gone.

candid_observer said...

Douhat wants to make a big stinking deal out of the effect of voter registration laws on motivating voters. But what does he base this on? The continued high turnout of blacks in 2012.

For God's sake, they were still voting for their own, who was in serious jeopardy otherwise of losing his position. What further explanation is needed?

Never explain the same thing in two ways, when one is enough.

Columns like this make me go crazy.

Anonymous said...

I am stongly in favor of voter identification. Fair is fair.

Steve Sailer said...

C'mon, guys, you're missing the point.

Anonymous said...

Steve the point is IRS plus goons plus throw away White votes plus Obama voters voting three times equals President asterisk. Obama as legit as Mcgwire or Sosa.

Whiskey on Nook so you know its me.

Automatic_Wing said...

Was black turnout noticeably higher in states where voter ID laws were on the ballot? I think most of it boils down to this.

Jeff W. said...

Ross Douthat doesn't know what he is talking about. I live in Ohio and I got to see the Democrats' vote turnout machine firsthand.

They had an army of people doing voter registration. The registration workers had everybody's phone numbers. They had all the phone numbers of all the Obamaphones. Now I know what the Obamaphones were for.

We had "early voting" going here for a month and a half before the election. The Democrats' phone banks were working the black neighborhoods day after day. They had every phone number of every black person. They had every Obamaphone number.

They had white vans going day and night, picking up voters, and taking them back home. Now I know what early voting is for. It gives the Democrats' machine enough time to get ALL their voters to the polls.

They also pushed hard for vote-by-mail. They preferred to pick up and deliver voters, however, rather than rely on a voter's assertion that he had filled out and mailed the mail-in ballot.

They used pressure tactics over the phone: "You are the only one on your street who hasn't voted" and "If you don't vote, we'll tell your neighbors."

The Obama campaign ran an unparalleled registration and vote turnout drive. They turned out the vote with money and skill. They did not need any issue such as voter ID. All they needed was identity politics, and that exists in the black community independent of any transitory issues.

I was surprised that the black turnout wasn't higher. I also believe that many thousands of illegal aliens registered and voted in Ohio.

Steve Sailer said...

You're still missing the point of my post.

Anonymous said...

Steve, it must be frustrating for you when we miss the point of your post! but, sometimes we read them for the entertainment, other times for the insight -- & for the former, point-grasping is not always required, dude!
-- panjoomby

Anonymous said...

The Democratic Party strategists laugh at the Republican tools who predictably snap and grasp at every offering. It makes the Republicans look foolish and makes for gay mockery throughout the day. But there will come a time when the gloves come off and the double-talk is set aside. Who will be standing when the smoke clears?

Neil Templeton

Anonymous said...

"... First, Republicans faced an unexpected (though in hindsight, predictable) undertow of their own, as many conservative-leaning, working-class white voters looked at what Mitt Romney had to offer and simply stayed home."

"A 2 percent dip is still enough to influence a close election."

Getting warmer?

Steve Sailer said...

"Also of interest is my June 2, 2013 VDARE article."

Hepp said...

I second what the first commentator said. When you enact a new restriction, people might be shocked and upset. But after a little while, voter ID laws would come to be expected.

Anonymous said...

If the Republicans were smart they would not just dust off their 1960's voter control tricks (which as Douthat notes really just serve to fire up the liberal indignation machine) but think long term about how to discourage low IQ voters from from actually wanting to vote - as opposed to denying them the opportunity.

Adding various procedures which are well documented and explained (and so seem natural to the higher IQ people who care about voting rights) but create hassles for dumb, disorganized people would make voting and registration irritating enough they stop bothering. These should be applied evenly across all precincts, as opposed to transparently only in ghetto precincts so they look fair - but knowing a higher share of ghetto people will find them annoying enough not to follow through, and the electorate is subtly reshaped.

Ed said...

I've read arguments on liberal sites that the drop of three million votes in Obama's totals between 2008 and 2012 was due to voter suppression efforts.

I don't buy it. First, I don't think you can steal an election from the party holding the White House (I hold the same opinion about 2000). Second, the economy was sufficient reason in the drop in Obama's vote. I actually think voters wanted to fire Obama, but held off because over the bailout of the 1%, the chief candidate to replace him was as bad or worse. So the election result was muddled.

Jill said...

Apparently Obama supports Voter I.D. requirements:

"As President Obama and his family continue their tour of Africa, the White House put out a Fact Sheet entitled "U.S. Support for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa." One of the first items highlighted by the White House is a $53 million program in Kenya that helps young people "obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration."

Anonymous said...

Douthat still reading you closely. Well done.

Rrrrrroger said...

If I were a conservative writer I'd be sure I never read anything by Steve Sailer. I'd feel better that in my own mind I knew that posts like this weren't really correct, no matter what the circumstantial evidence said.

Anonymous said...

Here's how it works in NYC:
The blacks (Acorn or whatever it's called now) run the polling places. And I am talking four hundred pounders in muumuus, and skinny shuckin shtreet hustlers. Once the day is done all the people who didn't show up magically vote Dem. How else do you think they get those 95% black voter turnouts? It's not like they are motivated folk.

Sheik Yerbouti

Anonymous said...

" First, Republicans faced an unexpected (though in hindsight, predictable) undertow of their own, as many conservative-leaning, working-class white voters looked at what Mitt Romney had to offer and simply stayed home."

Anyone for whom that was unexpected is a straight up idiot and should never be heard from again.

(Un?)Fortunately, the includes the whole the Republican Party.

"We built that!"


Anonymous said...

Portions of the VRA have been overturned, presaging a swift return to Jim Crow--better pass amnesty and let illegals vote!

Sailer's Point said...

It's more important to Sailer that Douhat echoed his point than whether it's actually a good point or not.

David said...

The Voting Rights Act never made sense to begin with. Jefferson said democracy depends on an educated populace. What could be more American than requiring voters to be educated, for example?

Madison said the people who own the country ought to run it. If you can't show you have skin in the game even to the extent of having two lousy dollars in your back pocket, should you have a right to determine national policy? In any event, charging a fee to vote is more rational than paying people to vote, as is done now.