Republicans: 1.2% Minority Representation

From the diaries--Chris

Boy, the talking heads on the Sunday Funnies are determined to demonize Dean's comment about the Republican Party being a  "pretty much a white, Christian party" just because he dared mention this White Elephant about their party. Never mind his point or the truth of it. How dare he say the Emperor has no clothes! The depth to which the Republican Party is naked on this issue is pointed out by William Rivers Pitt, at Truthout.  I thought Dean was correct from the start. But I didn't know he was this correct:

Of 3,643 Republicans serving in state legislatures across the country, only 44 of them are minorities, amounting to 1.2%. Texas, with a minority population of 47%, has 106 Republicans in the state legislature. There are exactly zero African Americans and exactly zero Hispanics serving in that body as Republicans. In Washington, 274 of the 535 elected Senators and Representatives are Republican. Exactly five are minorities.

Of course, there are ethnic and religious minorities within the rank and file of the GOP, but every demographic analysis of the party's makeup clearly shows the vast majority of Republicans fit exactly into the description offered by Mr. Dean. His point, by the way, was not that white Christians are bad people. His point was that, in this pluralist society made up of so much diversity, the Republican Party does not represent the true face of this country.

Let's get this straight everyone: 98.8% of the Republican Party state representation is white. Why aren't the talking heads discussing the hypocracy of this simple fact? Even more confounding to me, why aren't the Democrats backing Dean up by citing these numbers? You want minorities to doubt the Republican Party, tell them that they only have 1.2% representation in within its ranks.

It's time we stopped worrying about offending people, and told them the truth. The Emporer and his party have no clothes.

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Comments

31 Comments

Half Right
As I've said repeatedly, the mistake here is branding the GOP as white CHRISTIAN. They aren't Christian. They are hypocrites, scribes and pharisees. Calling them Christian does their work for them. We should not be doing that.

The minority part is surprising. I'm surprised the GOP broke 1%.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-06-12 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Half Right
Republicans are self identified as white Christians. How to break through the delusion that Jesus is a hateful, rednecked warmonger is an entirely different mission.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 01:50PM | 0 recs
We'll Never Break Through The Delusion By Buying
Into It
by Paul Rosenberg 2005-06-12 05:42PM | 0 recs
Coincidentally...
the right's policies have historically, been consistantly against anything that tends to help 'special interests' like women (51% of Americans), poor and middle class people (85% of Americans), 'minorities' (approaching 50% of Americans in some areas), gay people (10-15% of Americans?) or even, create a level playing field (in other words, not continuing the historic field that is tilted in their favor, corporate welfare, domination of Third World countries for cheap access to their resources, etc.

In short, anything that represents fairness, real fairness, (as opposed to cosmetic, fake, PR-managed 'fairness') threatens them..

Now that people are realizing this AND talking about it.. they are really freaking out.. *Democracy wasn't supposed to really work.. *

So they want to figure out a way to nip that in the bud..

:(

by ultraworld 2005-06-12 07:05PM | 0 recs
It's both
The majority of voters are white and Christian.  If you piss them off, they won't vote for you, and majority rules in an election.
by Geotpf 2005-06-13 08:08AM | 0 recs
So what? DEan is taking back Christianity
The Republicans and Dr. Dobson don't own Christianity and they don't own Jesus. Not only that, they don't understand Christianity or the Bible. Anybody who voted for Bush does not have the slightest clue what Christian values are.

The only way to attack the Republican "values coalition" is to point out that Republican values are not Christian and they don't even represent whites.

The only way to attack the Republican frame is to attack the Republican frame. Dean is attacking on two fronts:

(1.) Ken Mehlman is trying to pretend that the Republican party is inclusive. The M$M, and bonehead Dem consultants, has been praising his outreach to blacks and hispanics. Dean points out that the Republican party is not inclusive, no matter how much Bush speaks spanish or Ken Mehlman lies about it.

(2.) "Family Values" ala Bush are not family values. "Family Values" ala Cheney and Haliburton are not family values.

If Democrats don't want to piss off white Christians they need to help Dean make those points, not criticize him for the way he is doing it. I haven't heard a single one of Dean's critics put forward a better idea.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-13 09:40AM | 0 recs
Elvira Reyna (R-Dallas)
She's Hispanic and she's a Republican in the Texas House (101st District), but your point still stands.
by TXRNott 2005-06-12 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Elvira Reyna (R-Dallas)
And Henry Bonilla in the US Congress (R-TX). But for shit's sake: two of the minority members of the GOP US Congressional delegation are Cuban siblings, the Diaz-Balarts of South Florida. Cuban Republicans shouldn't count towards "minority membership". That leaves three minority Republicans in either House of Congress.
by risenmessiah 2005-06-12 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Elvira Reyna (R-Dallas)
I think they were already taking Henry Bonilla into account.  The quoted material in the diary said there were exactly zero Hispanic Republicans serving in the Lege.

Just curious...why should Cuban Americans not count as "minority membership" for the GOP?  Is there like 150 million Cuban Americans hiding out in Alabama or something?

by TXRNott 2005-06-12 10:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Elvira Reyna (R-Dallas)
It's a tongue and cheek reference. The Cuban community has always been Republican, for the simple fact that they were upset at Kennedy's botched attempt to overthrow Castro. The Cubans that live here generally were with the Batista regime (usually not the worst off of the lot) and are very European by even non-Latino standards. There are probably more whites in the US with non-white ancestry than there are Cubans in the US with non-white ancestry.

But that being said, I am only being half-serious. Cubans certainly deserve to be called "Latin American"...but it goes to show how useless that term is because of the wider ethnic descent found "south of the border" than in Canada or the United States. While many of them had to come here with "nothing"...they built a strong community in South Florida and many of them have "made it". Ergo, the GOP shouldn't take too much credit for "empowering Cubans" to suceed.

by risenmessiah 2005-06-12 10:58PM | 0 recs
For the record
June 5th MTP interview with Ken Mehlman:

"By a series of recent initiatives, Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. The elements of this transformation have included advocacy of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, opposition to stem cell research involving both frozen embryos and human cells in petri dishes, and the extraordinary effort to keep Terri Schiavo hooked up to a feeding tube.

Standing alone, each of these initiatives has its advocates, within the Republican Party and beyond. But the distinct elements do not stand alone. Rather they are parts of a larger package, an agenda of positions common to conservative Christians and the dominant wing of the Republican Party. ... As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around."

Russert: That's pretty strong. Republicans have become the political arm of Christian conservatives. That's John Danforth.

Howard Dean

"You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever and get home and still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well Republicans, I guess can do that. Because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
            -- Howard Dean, at the Take Back        America convention in Washington, D.C

Reporter: A [unintelligible] that it shows that in the last four years, Asian voters supporting the [unintelligible], I remember maybe two or three studies that I covered recently they show that even eight or twelve years ago, so quite many Asians they support Republicans. But now, last year it shows that quite many Asians support Democrats. Do you have any comment you want to make about this, and..

Dean: I think a lot it has to do with [unintelligible]. The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. They pretty much, they all behave the same and they all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian Party, and the Democrats have everybody you can think of in our Party.

So, as this gentleman was talking about, it's a coalition of a lot of different interest groups. The problems is that we've got to make sure it turns into a Party, which means I've got to spend time in the communities and our folks have got to spend time in the communities. I think we're more welcoming to different folks, because that's the kind of people we are. Now, but, that's not enough. We do have to deliver on things, particularly on jobs, housing, and business opportunities, and college opportunities and so forth.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: For the record
I just heard Gov. Richardson on CSPAN. (Is the video or a transcript available? It looks like you have to purchase something.) The coverage included his speech as well as his comments to reporters afterwards.

Don't take this the wrong way, but Richardson actually said "Howard Dean speaks for me" before he said Howard Dean doesn't speak for me.

In response to the initial question, Richardson said Dean was doing a terrific job organizing the grassroots and reaching out in the red states. He went on for a couple of sentences praising Dean. In response to a follow-up question about Dean's specific remark about white Christians, Richardson said "I think he was probably kidding." and only after a third prompt did Richardson make his comment that Dean didn't speak for him with that specific statement.

The media twisted Richardson's words in a major way. As cynical as I am about the media, I still can't believe what I just heard from Richardson's own mouth.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: For the record
CSPAN is replaying Gov. Richardson's speech. Watch it for yourself and be amazed at the praise Richardson gave to Howard Dean. I owe the Governor an apology and will email it this afternoon.

Damn lying media bastards!

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 03:18PM | 0 recs
Nice catch!
"But the distinct elements do not stand alone. Rather they are parts of a larger package, an agenda of positions common to conservative Christians and the dominant wing of the Republican Party."

Need to add this to my blog later!

by michael in chicago 2005-06-12 03:34PM | 0 recs
Howard Dean is not backing down
From the L.A. Times, 'We Are Here to Fight,' Dean Says:

Howard Dean said Saturday that positive responses from supporters had reinforced his determination to keep talking tough, despite suggestions from some congressional Democrats that the party chairman should tone down his rhetoric.

"People want us to fight," Dean told the national party's executive committee. "We are here to fight."

Addressing Iowa party activists later Saturday in Des Moines, he added: "We need to be blunt and clear about the things we're going to fight for. I'm tired of lying down in front of the Republican machine. We need to stand up for what we believe in."

"We can use some of your passion," Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) told Dean at the Iowa fundraiser.

At the earlier session in a downtown Washington hotel, Dean accused Republicans of trying to suppress the vote, selling access to the White House for lobbyists and being dishonest with the public.

"The reason the Republicans are in trouble is because there are so many cases where they say one thing and do something else," Dean said.

He said that President Bush's No Child Left Behind educational program cut school spending and that his environmental Clear Skies Initiative permitted more pollution.

MyDD and the rest of the "maniacal fringe" in Des Moines, Iowa are very pleased with Howard Dean:

A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee said Dean would rather sling mud than discuss serious matters.

"Dean's inflammatory rhetoric makes it clear that Democrats have no vision and would rather pander to the maniacal fringe than talk about the important issues facing our country," Tracey Schmitt said.

In his remarks, Dean made few references to the recent controversy over his remarks.

But when a Democratic National Committee member joked that the best way to get the chairman's attention was to "jump up and down," a grinning Dean fired back: "That's my job."

The crowd of Democratic activists burst into applause.

Des Moines, Iowa always has been a hotbed of maniacal fringe whackos.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 03:26PM | 0 recs
Cheney disses Dean
I just noticed aiko's diary, Maybe His Mother Loved Him:

"I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell," Cheney said in an interview to be aired Monday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes."

IOKIYAR.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Cheney disses Dean
[sound of military convoy exploding in background as more American servicemen die needlessly]

Apparently Uncle Dick didn't notice Dean won re-election to the Statehouse in Vermont four times...whereas the "Vice" President has spent almost his whole adult life in Washington DC as either a Congresswhore or as a political appointee. This sudden appearance of Cheney on TV all the time suggests to me that the Administration is getting really worried and is using him to keep the base from becoming restless.

[Scene of gas pump continuing to rise]

by risenmessiah 2005-06-12 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Cheney disses Dean
This is great for us too as his statements are normally outrageous (final throws, anyone) and his negatives are sky high. The snarling Mr. Cheney can go Cheney himself.
by michael in chicago 2005-06-12 06:08PM | 0 recs
Red Meat for the Red States
Cheney is the archetypal Prime Rib Republican. He only serves up one dish, and while he does a good job (think back to the Convention) he has so little pathos that if he overexposes himself the entire Party is going to feel that burning sensation across the country soon. Here's to more Dick on my TV screen any time.
by risenmessiah 2005-06-12 07:25PM | 0 recs
Gov. Richardson Quote
I transcribed this from CSPAN, so it is not exact, but it is an accurate quote:

"I believe Governor Dean is doing a good job. I believe he has  at tough job. I read Gov Dean's comments. On the whole he's doing a good job. Does he speak for me? Yeah, he speaks for me.  No one is error free.

Follow up: So that comment doesn't speak for you?  

"No, I'm bi-partisan."

They are playing Richardson's speech again on CSPAN.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Gov. Richardson Quote
New Hampshire Union Leader, Gov. Richardson in NH speaks of unity:

But Richardson refused to criticize Dean for a comment about Republicans last week that left some in his own party embarrassed.

Richardson said yesterday Dean's job "is not to be the spokesman for the party," but then said Dean "speaks for me as national chairman."

Richardson then clarified that Dean's anti-GOP remark did not speak for him.

"Nobody is perfect," Richardson said. "We all make mistakes. We all say stupid things sometimes."

Richardson then clarified, "I didn't say he said a stupid thing. I said all of us do stupid things, including myself."

Overall, said Richardson, Dean "is doing a good job as national chairman" because he is stressing building the Democratic Party from the bottom up, beginning at the state and local levels.

This story started out as pro-Dean:

Gov. Praises Dean's Work

Governor Praises Dean During New Hampshire Visit.

I think yahoo and the AP deliberately flipped this story into a Dean bashing story.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-12 06:49PM | 0 recs
Question about overall minority representation
I think these stats are great to bolster Dean's case, but does anyone have the numbers on how many elected democratic state legislators are minorities? No doubt it will be higher than 1.2%, but I suspect that blacks and hispanics are under represented in the Democratic Party as well. Again, this isn't to stray off message, it's just something I'm curious about.
by who threw da cat 2005-06-12 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Question about overall minority representation
I'm not sure if I'm doing this linking right, but here's a good overview, using 2003 figures, of minority legislators. It's a pdf file:

http://www.followthemoney.org/press/Reports/200505111.pdf

Another link I found but I forget where it was said that state legislatures are roughly a 50-50 split between Dems and Repubs now. The total number for all is something like 7,400, so you have a more or less equal total number for each party. Numbers are not my friend, so please feel free to redo the math, but it looks like the Dems have about 20% minority (vs. 31% in total U.S. population) and the GOP has 1.2%. There are something like 855 Democratic minority members of state leges, vs. what was their number, 44?

Yes, I think we can hold our heads up pretty high in this regard. The above link says 94% of minority legislators are Democrats, closer to 98% for African-Americans and in the mid-80s for Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans. There are some good maps and tables to illustrate plus a lot of stuff on financing.

by val 2005-06-13 01:41AM | 0 recs
How do these numbers compare
for the Dems?  If there is a siginficant difference, you have a damm good arguement and talking (beating) points for every talking head you run into.  
by NvDem 2005-06-12 07:32PM | 0 recs
Talking Head Composition
Looks pretty non-Hispanic white to me.  Maybe that is why the GOp blend is not raised as an issue by Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, Katie Couric or Rush Limbaugh.
by David Kowalski 2005-06-12 08:22PM | 0 recs
Dean
I don't think the part of Dean's comments that was offensive was the "White Christian" part.  I don't think anyone can argue that that isn't substantively true.  

I think the problem was the "they all look the same.  They all behave the same."  part.  That's where Dean's comments made me feel uncomfortable.  First, it isn't true.  There may be some generalities, but a sweeping statement like that is false.  Second, I know if this statement were made in reference to other ethnic or political groups, or made by a Republican in reference to one of our constituencies, we would have been going apeshit about it.

I don't think Dean's statements are a big problem, and I think Dems have been correct to back Howard.  But at the same time I do hope he cools it a little.

by alhill 2005-06-13 07:03AM | 0 recs
That's what I'm talking about...
That's why we have to stand behind Dean when he tells the truth.  I for one am sick and tired of hearing all the pissing and moaning from the other side about how unfair it all is.  About how I'm being unfair when I call a bigot a "bigot."  About how I'm being unfair because I call these fascists "dominionists" instead of "christians" because to call them "christians" would be an offense to Christianity.  About how I'm being unfair because I point out that if we have a public display of the 10 Cs and school prayer then we also must allow shrines to Buhdda and Vishnu;  how Muslim children must also be accommodated at school and have a place where they can spread their prayer rugs at least three times a day (the other two are early morning and evening when they're not in school).  I am sick to death of hearing how unfair it all is to point out that these fringe extremists speak for an overenfranchised minority who flagrantly cheated their way into power and now want to subvert our constitution and replace it with a fascist theocracy.  These lying hypocrites covet what Jesus was offered, but refused, and they dare call themselves "people of faith?"

MILD DIGRESSION
Here's something for you "people of faith":  I have no objection if you want to serve in public office.  However, keep your "faith" out of the public office or you can't serve. Period.  If everybody is allowed to tailor make policy and their own job responsibilities to suit their personal predelictions, then chaos will ensue.  That's why we are a government of laws, not men.  So, be a pharmacist, doctor, lawyer, butcher, baker or candlestick maker, but park your personal beliefs at home.

BUT THE MAIN POINT IS,
More than EVER now, as the GOP and their extremist cronys continue to co-opt everything that is good and turn it into shit, a truth teller like Howard Dean is needed.  These people DO hide behind their phony piety to grandstand and set themselves apart.  They ARE mostly white.  It doesn't require a degree in demographics to know that -- just look at the RNC from last summer -- even with the token minority grip and grin shots, it's still a white dominionist party that is comprising rich fuckers who don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.  Most of them live in fear of everyone else, which is why they seek to separate, divide and exclude.  They're assholes who have ruined this country.  It's about friggin time SOMEONE started telling the truth.

Oh, and I don't personally care who is offended by the truth.  It's true whether you belive it or not and whether it offends you or not.

by Marblex 2005-06-13 08:09AM | 0 recs
Take back Christianity
and take back Jesus.

If white Christians are offended by the truth about the Republican party, they need to take a look at themselves. The Republican party does not represent Christian values or family values and it's about time somebody said so.

Barak Obama and his "awesome Blue state God" should be the first one to recognize that Bush's hateful, redneck warmonger Jesus is not anywhere in the Bible. If white Christians have a problem with that, they should read it sometime.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-06-13 09:44AM | 0 recs
Reminds me of a true joke
My neice is at a public event. Some nice looking Christians in suits walk up to her, complete with Bible and literature in hand. They ask her "Have you found Jesus?"

She replies, with mock frustration, "What!?! Did you people lose him again? You evangicals types are always going off about "finding Jesus" when he's right there in that bible of yours. Why don't you read it instead of asking everyone else if they've found him? Then you might find him again instead of constantly losing him like this. Really, now I have to go find him for you! Again!"

The poor well dressed pair didn't know what to say and just stood there with the mouths open.

by michael in chicago 2005-06-13 10:25AM | 0 recs
Fundamentalists
It is not the fact they are "Christian" that is a problem - it's that they are *fundamentalist" Christian. And like "fundamentalists" of any religion, they tend to not be tolerant of other faiths. When I was young, we as Catholics were taught quite clearly that people of other faiths, even Protestant Christians, were ineligible for the "kingdom of Heaven." This is a characteristic of "fundamentalism," in many cases.

I'm glad Howard's bringing out these facts. Democrats shouldn't shrink from them. Republicans certainly never hesitate to trash Dems, and they don't usually even have the facts behind them. Let's get some backbone.

by DDenver 2005-06-13 04:16PM | 0 recs
Whiter than you think.
In South Carolina, even our black conservatives are Democrats.

Yes, Armstrong Williams is actually a Democrat. His brother is a Democratic State Senator from Florence, SC. http://www.scstatehouse.net/members/bios/1938636131.html

They may be DINO's, but they aren't Republicans.
 

by wayward 2005-06-13 05:00PM | 0 recs

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