Republican Pollster Says Republicans Need To Stop Pandering To Racism–Unlikely To Happen In The GOP

The Republican political strategy, whether it is the southern strategy or the current appeals to the fears of low-information white voters, is to pander to fears of people of other races. The New York Times has an article on race in politics which contains one significant passage. A Republican pollster for both Presidents Bush acknowledged how Republicans pander to race (emphasis mine):

Fred Steeper, a Republican pollster who advised both Presidents Bush, worries about renewed attention to racial divisions for two reasons.

One is that it could taint what he calls the Republican Party’s “legitimate argument” in favor of self-reliance and smaller government. The other is the difficulty of winning national elections if the Republicans’ hard-line on immigration continues to alienate Hispanics.

“Racism may be a part of it,” especially among working-class whites, Mr. Steeper said of the immigration stance. “The Republican Party needs to stop pandering to that.”

He added, “The Republican Party needs to throw in the towel on the immigration issue.”

Even if they were to give up on immigration, racism would still dominate Republican views. How many Republicans, with an exaggerated view of the dollar amounts, are easily upset by the prospect of minorities receiving welfare or foreigners receiving foreign aide?  With Republicans losing the support of virtually all groups other than low-information, easily scared white males, there is no Republican Party without such appeals to the widespread racism and xenophobia in their ranks.

The Nation recently reminded us of how the Southern strategy works in quoting Lee Atwater:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

As if nobody outside of the right wing doesn’t realize that the demands of the Teabaggers are largely about race.

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