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“GOP Will Sink Or Swim With The White Nativist Vote”: Doesn’t Matter What Rubio Or Cruz Campaigns Plan For This Election

This morning Greg Sargent did a good job of laying out the different electoral strategies of the Rubio and Cruz campaigns.

Marco Rubio has sought to project an optimistic, inclusive aura that seems designed not just to unite Republicans but also to appeal (at least on the margins) to Latinos and millennials. By contrast, while Cruz says publicly that he wants to win over Reagan “Democrats,” the more plausible interpretation of his approach is that it’s built around the idea that the electorate is hopelessly polarized and that maximizing conservative and GOP [white] base turnout is the route to victory.

The only thing I’d add is that, with his increasingly extremists statements during the primary, Rubio is likely going for what Eric Fehrnstrom described as Romney’s “etch-a-sketch” strategy: hoping that voters will wipe the slate clean when it comes time for the general election.

On the other hand, the Cruz strategy reminds me of something Adam Serwer wrote way back in 2011 in the lead-up to the 2012 election.

The Republican Party had a choice after 2008. They could continue to rely on a dwindling but still decisive share of the white vote to prevail, or they could try to bring more minorities into the party. While I’m not entirely sure how much of the decision was made by party leaders and how much is merely the unprecedented influence of Fox News, but whether it’s pseudo scandals of the past two years, from birtherism to the NBPP [New Black Panther Party] case, the GOP’s nationwide rush to ban sharia and institute draconian immigration laws, or characterizing nearly every administration policy as reparations, the conservative fixations of Obama’s first term indicate that the GOP will end up relying at least in part on inflaming white racial resentment to close the gap.

Sounds positively prophetic right now, doesn’t it?

Of course, the Republicans lost the 2012 presidential election and immediately performed their infamous “autopsy,” which found that they needed to do a better job of reaching out to women and people of color. We all know how that’s been going.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter what the Rubio or Cruz campaigns plan for this election. Back in the 1970’s the Republican Party decided to go with a Southern Strategy and built their electoral base on a platform of white resentment. Since then, they have only reinforced that with everything from Reagan’s “welfare queens” to Bush’s Willie Horton ad. At this point, they can’t abandon that base with any plausible effort to make their party attractive to people of color. The GOP will sink or swim with the white nativist vote.

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Post, December 10, 2015

December 12, 2015 Posted by | GOP, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“So Much Unpaid, Unrewarded Labor”: Why Women Should Get The Rest Of The Year Off

As of October 11, the average American woman who works full time, year-round started working for free.

That’s because she makes just 78 percent of what a man makes. If a man’s pay lasts the whole year long, hers doesn’t even make it to Halloween.

Women of color have been putting in even more time. Black women have been working for free since August 21. Hispanic women have been doing so since July 16.

Even if we take into account things like the fact that women tend to go into different industries and occupations, stay in the labor force for less time (often thanks to raising children), and are less likely to be in a union, women should still walk away from work beginning Black Friday and not come back until New Years Day.

The fact that women’s work comes so heavily discounted has inspired unions in Denmark for the last five years to call on Danish women to take the rest of the year off after they reach that point—and they have just a 17 cent pay gap, one of the world’s smallest. “It’s a way to remove the gender pay gap in a split second,” Lise Johansen, who heads the campaign for the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, told Bloomberg News. “Go to a tropical island for the rest of the year!”

Women aren’t just working for free when they leave their houses, of course. They’re working for free every day of the year when they go home and raise children, cook meals, and clean house. They devote far more time to this than men: they spend a half hour more on child care, housework, cooking, and household management each day compared to men. That’s double the time men spend on child care.

That time may not be rewarded, but it still has a value. Take the effort women put in caring for elderly parents, which they are far more likely to do compared to men. If all the informal elderly caregiving by family and friends were instead replaced by someone paid to do it, the total would be $522 billion a year. That’s a half trillion dollar gift (mostly) women give to society.

So maybe they should get even more time off than just what the gender wage gap allows, since they’re putting in so much unpaid, unrewarded labor. Given that they do seven hours more housework each week, or fifteen extra days a year, and eight hours more child care a week, or seventeen days a year, let’s call it even if they get another month tacked on to their early vacations. Being generous, that means women could have thrown in the towel when we reached the end of October.

What would happen if American women stopped working inside and outside the home for two months out of the year? It’s all obviously relegated to the world of thought experiments. Even in Denmark, where three-quarters of the workforce belongs to a union, women won’t actually heed the mostly joking call to stay away from work, and here in the United States union power is far lower.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and when it comes to the wage gap, these are increasingly desperate times. The gap was closing quickly and steadily between the 1960s and 1990s and continued to shrink in the 2000s, but over the last decade, it’s only budged by 1.7 percentage points. At this rate, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates it won’t close until 2058. While President Obama has issued executive orders related to equal pay and Democrats in Congress have proposed bills like the Paycheck Fairness Act, none of these measures will close the gap on their own. In the meantime, the pay gap contributes to more women living in poverty, relying on government benefits, and facing economic instability in their retirement years.

Maybe what’s needed is for this issue to jump from a talking point to a day of action. Perhaps if the country witnessed what it would be like for half the population to refuse to type a word, ring up a purchase, pick up a wrench, or to wipe a booger or a counter, women’s value would be brought into sharp focus. Then we might see some aggressive action to correct for the discrimination that still suppresses women’s wages. Until then, women should at least slack off as much as they can for the remainder of the year.

 

By: Bryce Covert, The Nation, November 13, 2014

November 16, 2014 Posted by | Economic Inequality, Gender Gap, Wages | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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