First post at Forbes

While plans are underway for a successor to the GOPLifer blog, I have also started to post some material to a new blog at Forbes. The inaugural piece looks at selected down-ballot races this fall for guidance into the power of the Blue Wall.

The GOP’s long demographic decline seems to have created a Democratic “Blue Wall” in Presidential Elections. States behind that wall may now hold enough Electoral College votes that, until the GOP is fundamentally reorganized to include urban and minority voters, every subsequent race for the White House will be decided in the Democratic primaries.

Election results this November could have offered some clarity, but Donald Trump’s bizarre campaign clouds the data. Thanks to Trump, results in the race for the White House will not offer much insight on the Blue Wall. It may possible to get clues from down-ballot races. These less prominent contests stand out for the insights they might offer.

Interested in your thoughts on these races. Going forward I’ll probably be posted at Forbes about once every week or two. In the meantime, work on is underway. There might be some changes in this corner of the Internet by Thanksgiving. We’ll see.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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91 comments on “First post at Forbes
  1. tmerritt15 says:

    Chris (AKA Lifer) and others,

    I have been thinking about your Forbes Post and the implications for the Blue Wall. First let me congratulate you on blogging in Forbes. It will increase your profile considerably.

    The races you selected to watch particularly the local races are interesting. I will watch them carefully. The results could be insightful. My comments on the individual races follow:

    1. Kelly Ayotte, NH: Ayotte and Collins in Maine are the last of the old NE Republicans. I had hoped that she would be an exception to the GOP dogma of “NO!” and would be willing to cross the party aisle. But that has not been the case, whether because of party pressure or her own beliefs, is an open question. Regardless, NH has been influenced a lot by the Boston Metropolitan Area. This is in line with your contention that the major dynamics shaping the US are originating in the Metro areas. If Ayotte loses, your contention that NH is in the Blue Wall is essentially correct.

    2. CO State Senate, District 19: I have been watching CO for years. As the West has urbanized, the old GOP dominance has faded. This again is a reflection of the fact that the major dynamics and wealth generation in the US emanates from the urban areas. That first happened in the West Coast states of CA, OR and WA. In all three of those states the urban areas have been growing rapidly while the rural areas are shrinking in importance. The national press tends to focus on the increasing Hispanic population. While that is a factor, I think the increasing urbanization, probably has had more of an influence. More recently the urbanization is impacting the inland states of NV, CO and AZ. The old agricultural, ranching, and mining interests are fading. This race should be a good test of how far the Blue Wall has extended in the West.

    3. McCrory, NC: With the urban areas of Charlotte and the Research Triangle in the Raleigh-Durham area gradually dominating NC, it has become a true bellwether state. I believe that the urbanization is slowly but steadily overwhelming the old rural dynamics. It appears that McCrory’s victory in 2012 was a throwback to the old rural dominance. It is kind of surprising to me that would be true in a presidential election. But as you indicated, he muted the cultural issues and the Tea Party. But even though Obama won overall, the turnout in NC may have been low. I do not know. If he loses, his loss will be a good indication that the 2012 election was an outlier and that NC is following the path of VA.

    4. GA state House, District 80: As you mention the major influence in GA in recent years has been the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. Atlanta has shifted from being a.relatively stagnant and stable city to a dynamic metropolitan area. As you say this should be a good indication of the strength of the Blue Wall in GA.

    All my comments emphasize, the increasing importance of urbanization. The urban areas simply have different concerns than the rural areas. The GOP has been failing to address those concerns, so they have lost influence in the metropolitan areas. With the wealth generation occurring in the metropolitan areas and the younger people accordingly locating in those areas, it is not surprising that the metropolitan areas are growing rapidly in population and political importance. Gerrymandering, voter suppression and cultural issues have been used by the GOP for years, to delay the shift that is now occurring. To me the urbanization has been particularly striking, as I grew up in a rural area of Eastern WA but have lived in the area that is now part of the Seattle Combined Metropolitan Statistical Area since 1959.

    I enjoy your insightful, clear writing.

    • 1mime says:

      One additional observation about CO and some of the other states on Chris’ list – “youth”…CO not only has one of the best educated populations in America, but it attracts younger residents, as do many of the bustling urban centers you mentioned…..The Triangle in NC, Atlanta, Boston…I don’t think it overstates the facts to say that our young and younger people are not willing to put up with the BS that the Republican Party has been doling out….Tea Party excepted and even they are wearing their welcome out.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Mime, the youth factor is definitely important. That is the reason the Millennial Generation is going to have a big impact on American Politics. It is the biggest generation in American History, even eclipsing the Boomers. They are locating in the Metro areas because of the dynamics, that is where the wealth is being generated, the cultural values are in alignment with their values, etc. I did mention the youth factor in the last substantive paragraph. Believe me, I see the youth factor every day, in Seattle, with Amazon, Microsoft and the tech sector. Not only Amazon, but many other companies are locating in Seattle proper. some are splitting the difference by locating in the close in suburbs Many of the young people do not have automobiles, but rely on other modes of transportation.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, you did, TMerritt. Hopefully, our young people will save us from ourselves.

    • tmerritt15 says:

      As an aside, I might mention that even the small town near which the farm which my Dad owned is located, is being heavily impacted by the the tech sector. It is now a major server farm center. The Public Utility District for the county in which it is located own’s three major hydroelectric dams on the mid-Columbia River and can supply electricity very inexpensively.

  2. 1mime says:

    Way off topic but the data was so amazing in its increasing frequency that I had to share. Fracking definitely is exacting a cost.

  3. unarmedandunafraid says:

    A couple of thoughts.

    First, I’m starting to wonder if two parties are necessary? After all, we had a mix of all kinds of conservatives and all kinds of liberals within both parties before the Southern Strategy. There were intra-party differences. Could we have a Center/Center party that consisted of those that want to govern? And create alliances or fight off far left or far right groups?

    Second, I wonder if we know how to have rational discussions of policy now? Is that our first objective, to remind us all that it’s about governance, not winning for the sake of winning? To relearn how to govern?

    • Griffin says:

      The system is designed for two parties because it runs off first past the post and requires massive organization to win states in a country as large as the US. If you had more than two parties someone could win a majority with less than 40% of the vote, so we could end up with a nutty President who won because of vote-splitting, like Paul LePage did in Maine.

      • Creigh says:

        Griffin, I don’t think two parties precludes nuttiness, and unarmed’s reference to factions within parties explains why.

  4. RobA says:

    This could be an interesting story developing:

    Short version, this guy is doing Trumps big “black outreach” interview sham that Trump only agreed too because unbeknownst to everyone else (but probably suspected by many) the pastor agreed to forward exact questions to Trump. Some patriot at Trumps camp leaked the doc, which totally humiliated the pastor, make him look like an Uncle Tom. In the black community, I can’t imagine being outed as a rich white man’s pawn would be particularly well received.

    So now he says he wrote new questions, and he won’t let anyone see them. He could be lying, but I don’t think so. After all, he has to live in the church community long after Trumps gone. So from Trumps perspective, they must be sweating bullets right now. There’s a reason they needed scripted questions: Trump has no idea how to actually talk about the black community unless he’s scripted word for word. To send him out there with all new questions has to be terrifying.

    And they can’t very well cancel the interview, the optics would be horrible.

    Quite the pickle Mr Trump funds himself in.

    • Exercise in futility. Trump’s imagine has long been ingrained in the African-American community and this just adds fuel to an already smoldering dumpster fire. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. Not a single soul who’s heard of this story can listen to those questions and not think, somewhere in the back of their mind, that Trump got a hold of them and isn’t being honest.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Although Trump is polling extremely poorly with African Americans, he has not focused much conversation there way, so I’m a little surprised he is doing as poorly as he is. Aside from the whole not wanting to rent to Black folks thing, which hasn’t received much attention, discussions about African Americans has not been on his radar screen.

        Here comes the butt…but there is almost no way Hillary gets the volume of African American votes that Obama got. Ultimately, I don’t think she’ll match his percentage of the vote either, but Black voter turnout is highly unlikely to be as high as it was in 2008 and 2012.

      • 1mime says:

        Normally, I’d agree with you that having a Black candidate will be a draw that even the Clintons can’t match. But, we’ll have to see if Trump sticks his foot in it again.

        Formdib: The “taco truck on every corner” meme is catching on…Friends of ours in CO reported that today they are having lunch at a “taco truck” in front of the Dem headquarters in Denver….Such fun!

      • RobA says:

        I think that Trump is unique, in that it’s very likely that most black voters had already made up their mind about Trump long before he ran. I’m talking about his brother stuff from years ago, and the Central Park 5 stuff from decades ago.

        Trump certainly hasn’t helped with his actual campaign, and undoubtedly made it worse. But I think Trumps issues with black voters started long before he actually started running for president. That would explain why hes doing even worse with black voters then he is with hispanic voters, even though his campaign has been more directly ugly to Hispanics then it has been to blacks.

      • RobA says:

        *brother stuff = birther stuff.

        Also, the not renting to blacks thing.

        In many ways, Trumps “brand” to African Americans has formed for years before Trump actually ran for office, due to his unique celebrity and history with African Americans.

        You can’t erase that kind of history, ESPECIALLY when you’ve been running the most explicitly racist and xenophobic campaign in history, with a few comments about “what do you have to lose?!”

        If anything in the history of politics has ever been “baked in” it’s how blacks feel about Donald Trump.

      • RobA says:

        Also, insofar as Trump has any policies to “help” the black community, they generally hinge on tougher policing.

        Um….in a community that in massive numbers sees police brutality as one of the primary issues facing them, it’s not that hard to see why this outreach is failing.

        The policies are wrong, the tone is wrong, and the messenger is definitely wrong.

      • 1mime says:

        The backlash the minister is receiving for hosting Trump in an interview is strong. Black people have been taking the “measure” of White people for centuries. It’s how they survived slavery, Jim Crow, and integration. They suffer no fools and the few who think their stature is elevated by virtue of hosting an interview of men like Trump, are going to pay a price. That is not to say that there aren’t real Black Republicans, but there aren’t many and there is a reason for that.

  5. Kenneth Devaney says:

    Hi Chris,
    Congratulations! regardless of how you proceed with this blog I think posting on Forbes is a very exciting development. I have not checked there regularly but will now.

  6. tmerritt15 says:

    A little news that might brighten the day a little for you pessimists out there. Yesterday the Clinton campaign announced that it had raised $143 M in August, $62 M for her campaign and $81 m for the DNC and state parties. This info comes from a Seatle Times article this morning. The article came from the AP. There are similar articles on CNN and USA Today:

    Note that Robby Mook said that a large GOTV operation is planned.

    You will recall that I have written that HRC intends to support the local and state parties and that the “50 State Strategy” is back She made a statement to that effect 2-3 months ago and I have noticed that appears to be the case. This is a major indication that was not just campaign hype.

    Aside from the fact that I live in a “blue” state, I am fairly confident that 2018 will not be the disaster that some are predicting. To be sure the Democrats will lose some ground, but it will not be like 2010 or 2014. I feel that way primarily for the following reasons:
    1. The DNC intends to increase the focus on the state and local levels.
    2. The first significant effects of the demographic wave (including off-year minority voting) will start kicking in around 2018.
    3. HRC will be able to do a fairly good job of governing, despite GOP obstructionism.
    4. There is a good possibility that a real immigration reform will get passed during the next Congress. A major effort will be made to do that.

    An election in 2018 in which the D’s largely fend off the GOP’s attack, will set the stage for a really good election in 2020, partly due the problems the GOP will likely have in 2020, as Chris has written earlier.

    • 1mime says:


      In the Friedman piece, he commments about the need for the partisanship to “stop”, appealing to a higher calling for our nation from the winning party. I am honestly so thoroughly disgusted with the Republican Party’s doubling down that it is obvious to me that it won’t happen if Repubs aren’t crushed. Whether that happens or not time will tell.

      To the extent that Clinton has adopted Howard Dean’s 50 state plan (I hope she has him deeply involved….Dems need his blunt honesty and clarity of vision..), maybe Dems are the party who are learning from history, and not the Republicans….Again, 67 days is a lifetime in politics so we’ll all gnash our teeth for the next two months as we watch this debacle unfurl.

    • pedneuro says:

      I am not pessimist. I am just frustrated and disgusted at the MSM for dragging this so-called scandal along, just because Clinton won’t give them a press conference.

    • tmerritt15 says:

      Another thought that I’ve had. During the primaries, you will recall that Sanders was thinking he would do really well in CA, but that HRC did not seem fazed. The final tally had HRC winning by, I think, 17%. I might be wrong but it was a significant double digit number. At that time, I realized that HRC had a good polling operation. I connected that to WA, which is a caucus state. She did not put in a lot of effort here, but her local operation made a strong effort to get as many people to the caucus as possible and sent out absentee ballots, which I used, since I was out of town on the caucus date. But when the meaningless primary was held, HRC actually won by a significant amount. There was some effort to remind people to vote in the primary. In many ways, WA and CA are similar and I had the thought that there was a reason that HRC was confident in CA. That turned out to be the case.

      • 1mime says:

        There hasn’t been much said about Bernie Sanders since the Dem convention, but I expected him to play a more supportive role for Clinton, but he’s largely been out of sight. Is this by his choice or the Cintin campaign?

      • pedneuro says:

        That’s a good reminder. Do you mean to say that we do not need to worry much about the general too since Clinton campaign seems to know what they are doing?

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Two good questions.

        1. Mime, I have no idea. He did campaign for her in either Vermont or New Hampshire.

        2. Pedneuro, I do not want to give anyone the idea that we do not need to be concerned about the election. But HRC’s campaign staff does seem to know what they are doing. If you have noticed there was not much news from the HRC campaign in August. Partly for that reason, the polls have narrowed. Now we know, why. The campaign probably thought raising the money was more important than slipping in the polls a bit. On the other hand there has been a lot of ground work laid. There are strong indications that she intends to compete aggressively in UT and GA. Campaign offices have been opened in both states. There are are indications that AZ might be targeted as well. I see announcements in the HRC campaign email I get and sometimes in KOS. I just scan a lot of that stuff and delete it; I only look at stuff in which I might be interested. From my perspective, I do not think things are as gloomy as one might think. I kind of expect that after Labor Day the HRC campaign will be a lot more active and I know that she is preparing aggressively for the first debate. I think the debates will be very important. From what I’ve read, the idea is to crush T in the first debate, by making his personality deficiencies very clear, rather than focusing primarily on the dull, boring policy issues. Of course,being a wonk, I’d like the policy issues, but that would not be good TV.

      • 1mime says:

        I watched T’s entire speech in AZ on immigration. He delivered it very well. Clear, concise, on message. He used the teleprompter to great advantage. H’s big challenge, IMO, with T is to keep him from deflecting. He has mastered this technique and she is used to being treated in a traditional debate format. H e will interrupt, he will avoid answering, he will be nasty. I am sure that H is nervous though prepared. T, OTOH, has such a yuge ego that he won’t prepare or will prepare, but he will be evasive if he thinks he’s not doing well. All of the moderators are courteous, quality professionals but none of them have dealt with someone like Trump. He will not follow the rules…or, he may decide to look “presidential” as he was in Mexico….one never knows and this it is difficult to prepare.

    • If you believe that 2010 and 2014 were, at least in part, an outlet of rebellion for those largely white voters who felt shell shocked by the first African-American president, it’s true that we won’t have that same dynamic in 2018. Hard to tell how Republicans will try and capitalize on the first female president, but I’m confident they’ll try their very best.

      As I and others have been saying though, it’s the battle for the Senate in those mid-terms and nothing else. Even if Dems are fortunate enough to retake the House this November, there is precisely 0% chance they would hold it past ’18. Whether or not they hold the upper chamber depends entirely on how well they do this year. If they get upwards of 8+ seats, they’ll hold on. If it’s only six or seven, it’s going to be tight.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Regarding the House, I really have no hope the Ds will take the House, as much as I’d like to see that happen. However, I do hope that the Ds will be able to narrow the majority somewhat. Every bit helps and will lay a foundation for 2018 and 2020. In regards to the Senate, I think that the Ds will be successful this year. By how much, I do not really have an expectation at this point. I posted earlier that I have become less optimistic recently. As you say if they get 8+ seats they should be able to hold the Senate in 2018, but 6 or 7, it is dicey. Below that the Ds probably can’t hold it in 2018. The more seats they have the easier governance will be, and more can get done. That in turn makes. 2018 easier. Let us hope, keep our fingers crossed and do all we can, volunteer as you are able, contribute money, if you can I am doing all that I really think 2018 and 2020 will be very important.

    • That’s the big question in November. Fundamentally, polls are predicated on the past and making guess work based on who they believe will turn out. In a normal election, there would be no real reason to question that methodology and you could be reasonably confident in the average.

      Trump’s antagonizing of Hispanic voters; college-educated whites turning against Trump or just not turning out at all; an unprecedented disparity in ground operations and GOTV efforts. It’s a perfect political storm that polls alone likely can’t fully appreciate.

  7. RobA says:

    So for those wondering what the “alt right” is like, here’s an example of what a truly shitty person looks like, ppl whose fingerprints are all over everything the Donald Trump “movement”. This is the force behind Trumpism (Not Milo himself, just the overall attitude of the alt right). This guy is an editor at Breitbart, and the face of the movement.

    Breitbart is the company Steve Bannon ran until 2 weeks ago (Trumps campaign CEO)

  8. Griffin says:

    Lifer explained why the Dems will probably win the Senate here.

    • 1mime says:

      Chris Ladd: ” Democrats should pick up somewhere between seven and twelve seats.”

      I think Dems will be very fortunate to pick up 4 seats. I’m sticking with that prediction, but thanks for the re-post. I’d forgotten about that…Somehow, August 3rd seems so very long ago in this campaign.

      Might I attach a little tidbit that illustrates that for all the criticism HRC has received over fees for speeches, it appears that Jeb! has enhanced his portfolio as well…There is soooo much hypocrisy floating out there it is nauseating.

  9. pedneuro says:

    OT again (probably). But it looks like the email controversy is flaring up again, and the flames being fanned by the ever willing media. Look for the race to be almost tied again next week?

    • RobA says:

      The media wants a horserace. Better for ratings. Shitty for the country

    • tmerritt15 says:

      Thanks Mime,

      I used to subscribe to the New Yorker. I may have to reconsider. A series on Trump in a major media outlet such as the New Yorker is long overdue.

      Pedneuro, I actually think the media situation is worse than them wanting a horse race. I think many of the media outlets are intimidated by Trump – they are scared of him pulling their credentials.

      • 1mime says:

        All the while Clinton is criticized for not giving press conferences….Trump is scoring one free media event after another. She has given over 330 interviews, but has stayed away from the press conference format. I wonder why? Could the Hillary witch hunts that have played out in the media for decades have anything to do with this?

      • 1mime says:

        You should be able to read 10 free articles monthly if you want to follow this one series; however, it is a fine journal as is the Atlantic, which I subscribed to this past year. I simply lack the time to read as much as I would like so I have had to cut back somewhere….It becomes a waste of money if all you read are the 2-3 links that are automatically sent out. I enjoy a more thorough reading of news but just can’t work it all in. I subscribed to a WSJ promotion in an effort to broaden my awareness of other points of view but the reporting is so one-sided, even though it is at least well written, that I will not extend.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s food for thought. Be sure to read “The High Choice Paradox”. Selective reading is contributing to our political polarization. The expansion of digital for news has implications for narrowing of information.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Mime, once again we have similar thoughts regarding HRC. My partner and I have been discussing this. I read an excellent article in VOX this morning, regarding “Hillary Clinton Reporting Rules”. A link follows:

      • 1mime says:

        “…the media can definitely weigh down — and even destroy — a candidate. The emphasis on a candidate’s flaws — real or perceived — comes at the cost of the candidate’s ability to focus his or her message and at the cost of negative attention to the other candidates. This is a problem for Clinton, and it seems unlikely to go away.”

        Politics can be so intoxicating that people will endure great scrutiny and criticism as part of the inevitability of seeking office. The article makes valid points about how Hillary contributes to her media frenzy but also does a good job of documenting how the media treat both Clintons differently than other candidates. Good article. I guess we should all thank Hillary for being in the race given the opponent she has…and, he, likewise. I don’t seek perfection in candidates, but I do seek competence and trustworthiness. She has the first covered but has been careless at best with the second. Still, I try to put myself in her shoes: How would I come across to our nation if every word, every email, every dollar earned, every comment I ever made were up for scrutiny? As decent as I try to be, I would probably have much to apologize for.

  10. pbasch says:

    Here’s my worry – I think a Presidential election is a job interview and hiring process, but it seems a LOT of voters see it as picking a TV show they want to watch. They want to be excited, flattered, entertained. And because of the Dunning-Krueger Effect, they see no reason why they themselves, and someone just like them, couldn’t be President. How hard could it be, right?

  11. Griffin says:

    Nice article it looks certain Republicans are going to lose the Senate and a good chunk of governorships but what of the House? Could the combination of the “Blue Wall” with the Trump campaign cause the GOP to lose the House or is there almost no way they could lose it this year?

    Also about Maine that governor is continuing to destory Republican credibility in the state. Apparently he has now declared he will no longer talk to reporters.

    • 1mime says:

      No. Dems will NOT overtake the House and they will be lucky to win the Senate. IMO.

      As for LePage, I know of at least one Maine legislator who is looking forward to never hearing from him again. Ever. I was kind of hoping LePage meant it when he said he might resign.

      • Griffin says:

        Dems have the Senate in the bag, IMO. A year ago it looked like GOP had a certain hold on the House (though they’re expected to lose some seats) but this series of recent events may have made it remotely possible for the GOP to lose their majority, or even just maintain a very slim majority.

      • 1mime says:

        Griffin, it’s “possible” but not “in the bag”. Which seats are you flat out certain the Dems will win other than IL?

      • 1mime says:

        November 8th is both a lot of time and not much time. Here’s the NYT perspective on the Senate races….Lots of opinions out there but too many variables to celebrate.

      • @1mime: Luck has nothing to do with it. IL and WI (a state Feingold has been leading by an average of ten points) are both long gone. Neither NH’s Ayotte nor PA’s Toomey have led in any poll since the end of July. Widespread disgust with Trump will keep some Republicans home and the disparity between the respective ground games will push both Democratic challengers over the top.

        And even if you grant Republicans somehow pulling a rabbit out of their hat and winning one of those four, Bayh in Indiana was a godsend to Dems. Up by seven points in the latest poll, the man’s political acumen is such that he’s never lost a statewide race. That he chose to get in says a lot about what he believes his chances are in November.

        There’s your majority right there.

      • 1mime says:

        Hey, Mr. 75 push ups, I said they could take 4…but so much is happening out there to roil the water….

        538 – August 13: “Democrats now lead in enough states to take back the Senate — so long as Clinton holds on to her large lead. If the favorites in the polls win, the Democrats would flip and pick up the seats in Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Republicans would pick up Nevada and hold onto Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Of course, many of these races are close, and there’s plenty of time before Election Day. The fight for the Senate isn’t over by a long shot. Republicans and Trump — or Republicans without Trump — could rebound.”

        It is now Sept. 2. Clinton’s 10 pt lead is now 4 pts nationally…I know, state polls are stronger for her and they are more reliable…yeah, yeah….67 days to elections, and early voting is starting. My goodness but I will be happy when this election is O.V.E.R. (I think?)

        The cautionary note reiterated by Friedman is that Republicans have every intention of making Clinton’s life miserable. Deja vu all over again….Are there no statesmen/women left?

  12. 1mime says:

    Chris, When I continue to read reports about how minority voting rights are being manipulated, and when I read articles about conservative “media” in general, I wonder why a person as nice as yourself bothers. These people are never never going to change. What they are doing is hurting other people in order to advance their agenda and themselves. I honestly don’t see any desire or evidence that the Republican Party has any interest in being competitive on any other basis other than dirty tricks. Frankly, I don’t know how you hung in there so long.

    • 1mime says:

      In a continuation of my rant on Republicans, appealing to minorities, especially Black minorities on the basis of anything but total honesty (does the Republican party even know what this is anymore?), is duplicitous when on the other hand, the party is actively, egregiously suppressing their voting rights. “Reaching out” to Black people to expand the Republican base essentially is a classic case of “bait and switch” – IOW, we want your votes when it’s to our advantage, but we don’t want you and your problems or your cultural differences. It is obvious and despicable. Is winning all that matters to Republicans?

      Here’s an example of the kind of appeal Republicans pitch to Black people that depends upon denigrating the Democrats in order to further expand their base.

      Read more:

      Knowing that these kinds of tactics have been going on for a very, very long time, how can any good person be involved with this party? Donald Trump may present the nadir of the GOP, but he is simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Politics is a rough process. It is mean and hard. But there has to be a point at which decent people say, “enough”.

  13. formdib says:

    Every now and then something in politics makes me want to organize a political demonstration, but here’s one that’s fun:

    “Taco Trucks on Every Corner”

    While creating the usual parlay of sarcastic hashtags, in all honesty, this is probably the best invitation for the most fun political demonstration you could have nationwide.

    Organize a traveling tour of taco trucks that cover every corner visited city centers from now until election day, all with signs that say “Hillary Clinton: a Chicken in Every Pot, A Taco Truck on Every Corner!”, all profits toward her campaign.

    Go all out. Mariachis, Dia de los Muertos skull candies, horchata, salsa dancing. May be stereotypical but that’s just to start. Actual cultural information booths accompanied.

    But also voter registration booths, information, GOTV and community outreach volunteer sign-up,

    Homeboy is practically begging the US to celebrate Mexican culture coast to coast with that one.

  14. Ken Rhodes says:

    General question about this blog, for anybody who knows:

    My screen displays the comments in reverse chronological order, which I hate. Is there a selectable option for sort order?

    • 1mime says:

      Yep, it’s called “click and drag” (-;

      I don’t know, Ken….but I simply drop down in my inbox to the oldest post…Would like to know if there’s a setting for it, however.

  15. Archetrix says:

    It feels like my home state of Wisconsin, which used to vote reliably blue, is getting wobbly and pink-tinged. They have a fiercely effective GOP spearheaded by Scott Walker, Reince Priebus, and Paul Ryan, as well as booming right-wing talk radio that energizes the white suburbs around Milwaukee. Wisconsin didn’t vote for Trump in the primary, it was a Cruz win.

  16. Armchair Philosopher says:

    Congratulations Chris. This gig is quite the recognition of your talents and insight. I can’t wait to see the comments. While I’m sure Forbes’ comments section won’t be moderated as well as this one, it will be neat to see what perspectives this broader exposure will bring.

  17. Mime,

    You mentioned gerrymandering. Here is a Washington Post article explaining exactly how the Republicans went after the black vote in North Carolina. The Republicans asked specifically for statistics about black voters so they could craft a bill suppressing their voting ability! Unless Democrats control at least one part of state governments, this could and will happen more often.

    And unless Hillary can get a few moderate/progressive Supremes on the Court, the Supreme Court, the right wing members, have shown they think this is perfectly OK to do. After all the 4 Republican Supremes voted just a day or 2 ago to allow the Voter ID laws in North carolina to go into effect. Only Scalia’s death stopped this from happening by allowing a tie to prevail!

    • 1mime says:

      Yes, I have been following NC for a while now, and you are correct. This is why down ballot local and state elections are so important. Winning the presidency doesn’t protect against state level abuses. A divided legislature helps check that abuse but only those areas that the majority impacts. Senate and House have different legislative functions just as they do at the national level.

      Really, the best solution is for people of both parties to govern through consensus, meaning that ram-rodding legislation through should be rare. That is how a democracy should function but we are a long way from that happening. Republicans are playing chess right now with their appropriations schedule, as this article points out…timing, riders, issues…all just before the November elections…It will be interesting to see this play out and if Repubs can spin it to their advantage. Democrats aren’t terribly good at articulating their positions to the public at large. They will “have to” this time. Note how carefully Republicans are calendaring and structuring these bills.

  18. objv says:

    Congratulations Lifer!

  19. 1mime says:

    I’d like to offer an observation about reorganization of voting districts, as gerrymandering has evidently been a double-edged sword for conservatives (for which I am so very sorry…)

    In your Forbes pieces, why not explore more innovative (and, dare I suggest “fair”) ways to design voter districts? Several states are presently employing independent, non-partisan commissions to design districts. What about a total revamp of the process? Why couldn’t large districts be computer designed to have a reasonable mix and candidates (for the House) run “at large”? Similarly, why not register all American born citizens at birth for voting rights? And, while we’re discarding many relics of the past, why not offer mail in and computer ballots for all registered voters while dispensing with polling sites in favor of drop offs at local clerk’s offices?

    If the idea here is to “improve” voting access and not simply to “expand” Republican or Democratic probability based upon arbitrarily determined districts, why not overhaul the whole process?

    Now, I realize that Forbes is a conservative journal, and I hope you are not bound by any constraints in your political posts, which if this is so, will truly offer you a different forum to advance your balanced ideas. Use it for good, Lifer. Help improve the democratic process for our country, not just advance conservative reformation.

    • vikinghou says:

      Since, as you say, Forbes is a conservative journal, I’m particularly interested in the comments section over there!

      • 1mime says:

        No disrespect to Lifer, whose posts are very special, but I, too, enjoy reading the comments to broaden my awareness of how others think.

    • tmerritt15 says:

      Mime and Chris,

      There are some good thoughts here. You may be interested to know that both WA & OR are totally vote by mail. CA now has a large component of vote by mail. One of the difficulties with WA is that the ballot has to be postmarked on election day. That leads to a situation where we typically need to wait for several days in a close race before we know who actually won. That has not lead to any problems however, even with a very close gubernatorial race several years ago, that actually required two recounts. With the mail system we actually do have paper ballots that can be manually counted.

      On redistricting, WA uses a bi-partisan commission, which follows guidelines included in the statute. This has led the commission to make deals to protect incumbents and has resulted in other anomalies. We have had a minor amount of gerrymandering as a result. I personally would prefer a non-partisan commission. I have reviewed the CA redistricting system and it seems to be fair, but have not really studied it.

      As I’ve mentioned, WA also uses a top two primary system. From my experience that has worked well, but I know KOS hates the top two aspect. We went to the top two system to avoid excessive partisanship. We do have two congressional districts, where both major party candidates on the November ballot will be of the same party. Again with several years of experience, that seems to working OK. In 2012, that was the case in an Eastern WA district, and the voters ended up selecting a moderately conservative Republican over a TEA party candidate. They have the same two candidates, this election.

      Also has proposed use of a system where a state might be divided into several districts, which might have common interests, i.e an urban district and a rural district. Each district would have multiple representatives, with multiple winners, based proportionally on the party vote. For example WA might have two districts, an urban one representing the dense urban area I call Pugetopolis and the rest of the state. Other approaches might be considered.

      These are some thoughts, I’ve had based on some experience.

      • 1mime says:

        If we “neophytes” can come up with some ideas, the professionals ought to have a bushel of them. The system we have is not working democratically anymore. Instead of acting as a “check” on polarized politics, it is aiding and abetting it. I’m all for constructive changes that will make the process work for all of us, not just some of us. Thanks for your thoughts, TMerritt.

  20. 1mime says:

    Minor correction: “It may (be) possible….

  21. vikinghou says:

    A very nice article. Are there many comments yet on the Forbes side? I can’t see them unless I sign up, which I’m not inclined to do. It’s great that your profile is climbing. Pretty soon you may become a household name!

    • rightonrush says:

      I signed up, figured a few ads and a few more pieces of junk e-mail was worth the support for Chris. Chris says what I think but much more eloquently & with fewer cuss words.

  22. 1mime says:

    Lifer, will your Forbes pieces be posted at some point on your new blog site? I assume Forbes is paywalled? I am cutting back on the number of sites I’m willing to pay to view. Don’t have the time to read them all and not getting my money’s worth as a result.

    • RobA says:

      I see no correlation between paid sites and quality content Mime. To the contrary, most of the best articles/sites I read are free content sites.

      Case in point, this blog.

      • 1mime says:

        There are any number of sites with excellent content that are pay-walled especially if one wishes to read broadly. Many benefit from those who subscribe that post these articles on the GOPlifer site. Ones that paywall that I enjoy are: New Yorker, WSJ, NYT, WaPo, Boston Globe (thank you MassDem), The Atlantic. You might get 10 free articles/month from “some” but that’s it.

        What other sites do you recommend that offer “free” content?

      • formdib says:

        “You might get 10 free articles/month from “some” but that’s it.”

        Open up a Private / Incognito window in your browser. On a Mac, in Chrome it’s CMD-Shift-N and in Firefox it’s CMD-Shift-P. It’ll be some variation of that in any browser and for Windows, you just have to check under ‘File’ > ‘New’ > ‘Private’ or ‘Incognito Window’.

        What these windows do is let you browse without cookies, so that your browsing history is not saved. This has various effects like preventing autofill on passwords, removing your browsing history, and reducing tracking on your online activity by websites and servers (NOT, I repeat, NOT by Internet providers and the evil Illuminati Prism New World Order NSA government, i.e., don’t expect it as a panacea to hide illegal activity or think that it can’t be proven you’ve been to a website).

        More relevant, it makes sites like Washington Post think that it’s your first visit every time you open up a new Private / Incognito window, so no more “You have used your monthly allotted free articles.”

    • rightonrush says:

      You don’t have to pay Mime.

      • 1mime says:

        I found out after I dug around a bit, thanks Righton….I noted Chris had 182 followers already! Good for you, Chris. BTW, do we refer to you as simply Chris and drop the “Lifer” handle?

      • rightonrush says:

        Mime, my BatShitCrazy avatar is appearing on Forbes. Do ya think I should clean it up a bit, don’t want to embarrass Chris.

      • 1mime says:

        Nah, let’s tweak the conservatives a bit and let ’em know we’re watching them!

  23. Martin says:

    All the ads are really terrible on Forbes and they do not accept ad blockers. Your post is great though.

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