Women, African Americans, gays, retirees, students, Jan Schakowsky, Republicans, redistricting, alienate, minimum wage, protests, minorities, blacks

What Happened to Jan Schakowsky’s GOP’S Politics of Subtraction

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Jan Featured at the podium addressing crowd with Obama image in foreground

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Jan Schakowsky shows compassion towards a young black voter

In August of 2013 a very confident Jan Schakowsky  spoke out against the Republicans  stating that they had it all wrong that somehow they were miscalculating the numbers  because they continued to alienate all those who were different than them and  that they need the support people unlike themselves if they are to have any hope of winning. She saw it as as elemental.

It is the peculiar thing about the Republican game plan that seems like they shoot themselves in the foot. They are very clear that they like only themselves  and you if they’re on top. As long as they are in control and can determine that their interests are served first then they can bear a smile for you and life goes on. It seems that they are intent on alienating every sector of society outside of themselves.

In 2013 it seemed that their support base was beginning to shrink. They had created safe districts, ones made up of homogeneous conservative constituents who appreciate their uncompromising and dismissive attitude toward those who disagree. This was done so strategically to assure that their candidates of choice would win leaving out any minority that could potentially prevent their choice candidate from winning.

At that point they had managed to be equal opportunity offenders, turning of voters in all walks of life, regardless of age, religion, race, or sexual orientation. Many of those voters surely live in their districts. Those whom they offended  includes:

WOMEN: Women who are not only the majority of the population, but the majority of voters in most jurisdictions. Women heard about Todd “Women’s bodies have a way of discerning legitimate rape” Akin and Richard “Pregnancy from rape is God’s will” Mourdock. Women and plenty of men too punished them and they lost their elections. But far worse than stupid remarks are the laws passed particularly at the state level by Republicans that defund Planned Parenthood, restrict access to contraceptives (birth control for God’s sake!), make abortions illegal after 6 weeks before a woman even knows she’s pregnant, force women to have invasive procedures that are unnecessary and possibly harmful, allow doctors to lie to their patients about fetal abnormalities, make criminals out of doctors, put arbitrary requirements on clinics in order to force them to close, and on and on. During the first six months of this year alone, more than two dozen anti-choice bills have become law in 15 states. These laws say to women, we don’t trust you to make your own decisions as if a grown woman is an adolescent child unable to manage her self, her body  or her life.

But it’s not just women’s bodies that the Republicans don’t understand or care about. It’s her economic well-being. They don’t support equal pay for equal work, or increasing access to quality child care, or expanding the child tax credit, or ending discrimination against pregnant workers, to name a few. It’s no wonder there is a gender gap on election day. As far as I know, redistricting didn’t eliminate fed up women. Subtract lots of women from the Republican column. So what happened in this recent midterm elections If all this is true what happened to the women across the country? Did they lose faith in the democratic system? Mia Love from Utah  became the first black woman ever to join the GOP caucus in the House.

 

LATINOS: Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King was so insulting that Speaker John Boehner found it necessary to condemn King’s words not once but twice. Referring to the “Dreamers” who came to the United States as undocumented immigrant children, King said, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

So Steve King is thinks he’s a badass! Only problem with Republican loud mouth  Steve King is  that just a few weeks earlier, that same Steve King offered an amendment on the House floor that called for the deportation of all of those young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. And you know it passed with majority of the Republicans, including majority Whip Eric Cantor, voting for it.

The conclusion was the math is really quite simple. Fact–70 percent of Latinos voted Democratic in the last election, and the Latino population continues to grow. If the Republicans don’t get right on immigration, they will never elect a Republican President for generations, and states like Texas will turn solid blue.

Subtract Latinos.

IMMIGRANTS: While 70 percent of Latinos were voting for Obama, 73 percent of Asians did the same. Broad coalitions of immigrant groups are banding together in support of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. If the Republicans appear to be standing in the way — which they are right now — they will lose these ethnic voters for generations to come. So what heck happened across the board?

Subtract immigrants

AFRICAN-AMERICANS: In a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court with all the Republican appointees voting together, a major portion of the Voting Rights Act was overturned. It was barely hours later when states that had been covered by Section 4, the overturned section, including Texas and North Carolina, began changing their laws to make it harder to vote. These laws requiring photo IDs, limiting voter registration drives and voting hours disproportionately affect minorities, low-income people, students and senior citizens.

Add to this the Trayvon Martin decision, the persistent demonization of the poor, mass incarceration of young black men, the failure to pass a jobs bill, slashing of education and job training and nutrition programs, and African-Americans are in no mood to vote Republican any time soon so we thought.

Forget about attracting African-Americans is what makes sense but something terribly wrong happened.  Mia created a deficit in two categories, female and black. Most alarming was the turncoat black in Chicago, who supported Republican Rauner.

GLBT: Despite the dramatic sea change in public opinion regarding the rights of gay Americans, most House Republicans have resolutely remained stuck in the homophobic past. The Supreme Court ruling was applauded from coast to coast, and in state after state, where legal, same-sex couples are getting married. Democrats were nearly unanimous in their outspoken support for this decision, while most Republicans were notably silent. Some Republicans just couldn’t help themselves though. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, said he thought the Supreme Court’s decision went “against the laws of nature and nature’s God.”

Guess what Republicans? There are gay people living in your district.  White males voted Republican regardless because they will continue to live their lives above means.

Subtract gay voters.  It didn’t happen. White males gay or not voted Republican regardless because they will continue to live their lives above means.

SENIOR CITIZENS:  It is true that Republicans won seniors in the last three elections, but, later polls, the momentum was going the other way now. It no longer matters where they live, you won’t find many seniors who support Republicans touching with their Medicare, as in ending it as they know it, and turning their health care entirely back to private insurance companies. Same goes for Social Security.  Just to know, seniors think these are hard-earned benefits.

Keep it up, and GOP can subtract  senior voters. If they didn’t who did?

BUSINESS: I know Republicans think the business community is their natural constituency. But take a deeper look and you will find considerable unrest. Many business leaders have joined the growing coalition that favors immigration reform. From low-skilled to the highest tech immigrant workers, businesses want to hire them without breaking the law. They have been directly pressing Republicans to stop obstructing and start supporting comprehensive reform.

Look again and you will be hard pressed to find supporters of a government shut-down or another debt ceiling debacle among mainstream business leaders. Rather, you will find dismay at the prospect of yet another destabilizing economic showdown, more self-inflicted wounds, and politically suicidal moves on the part of intransigent Republicans. Bill Dunkelberg, Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, said, “the pall of uncertainty over economic policy continues to depress investment spending and growth.”

Keep acting crazy, Republicans, and your business base will look elsewhere.

THE MILLENNIALS: College students in Texas weren’t appreciative of the questionable policy to allow a gun license to be used as an ID for the purpose of voting, but not a student ID. Students nowhere are happy about the enormous debt they are forced to incur when they pursue a college education. Ask Republican Virginia Foxx, and she’ll spell it out for you. “It is not the role of the Congress to make college affordable and accessible.”

Today’s young people are the most progressive in generations. They are more engaged in their communities, much more tolerant and open to new ideas. We have witnessed their leadership on the immigration issue, education, and now on environmental issues as well. The Republicans continue to be climate change deniers at their peril. The Republicans continue to demean “tree huggers” and attack each and every effort to regulate against green house gases. They accuse the EPA of being a job killer and vote against clean energy funding, despite the fact that good 21st century jobs depend on clean energy technologies.

Subtract young voters. I believe they stayed true to form.

PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: In August 2013 before the  recess, John Boehner called a vote to repeal Obamacare. That made it an even 40 times the Republicans voted for repeal. But since then Obamacare has gone on to become a reality as of March 2014. And it’s making a major difference in the lives of millions. I would hope that those people voted Democratic but we don’t know. We can only hope that they will not allow the Republicans destroy the difference Obamacare has begun.

Subtract the millions of people with pre-existing conditions.

WORKERS:

Underpaid workers nationwide are, demanding $15 per hour and a union to represent them. Obama supports a minimum wage increase. T. The Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour in many states . If lucky enough to work full time and never miss a day, those workers make a grand total of $15,080 over a year — clearly not enough to live on anywhere in the country.

Republicans demonize those workers as “takers” because they have to turn to government programs for food assistance and health care. But it’s low-wage employers who depend on taxpayers to subsidize their employees because they refuse to pay a decent wage. It’s those rich companies and their CEO’s who are the real “takers.” And guess what they were voted in.

Republicans have been working non-stop since the early 1970′s to destroy unions, an effort that has successfully brought private sector union membership down to 6.6 percent of the workforce. It is no accident that wages stagnated as workers lost the power to collectively bargain for better pay and working conditions. That was the plan.

Conventional wisdom says that low-income people don’t vote in large percentages, and there is evidence to bear that out. But something new is happening. The working poor and middle class workers are organizing and fighting for fair wages and a better life for their children. They are in a voting mood. And they showed up to voice YES for increased minimum wage

Subtract workers who won’t take it anymore. I believe that the workers voted for their interests and voted Democratic.

So if you add up all the voters that the Republicans have done their best to reject, according to Jan Schakowsky, Republicans should have fallen in 2014. So a little food for thought. If real life is stranger than fiction and “SCANDAL,” is strange then who know what happened. In Chicago we know that 3000 Election judges received bogus robotic calls mis directing them away from their assigned polling places and causing many voters to lose their opportunity to vote for governor. The Democratic incumbent lost.

 

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