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The Coming Coalition Indeed


If John O’Sullivan and Jonah Goldberg have anything to say about it, Republicans are certainly about the turn the corner in attracting non-whites:

“I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans. Restore the overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity, which we used to have, which we knew how to bring about and which in the last 20 or 30 years very largely as a result of the democrats wanting to emphasize ethnicity rather than American-ness. We have lost that and frankly one of the reasons we have not regained it and doing very badly at the moment is because the Republicans have neither had the imagination nor the courage to think how they could appeal to these other ethnic groups as Americans and craft an appeal that won them over. They have got to do that.”

If we only crush racial and ethnic identity (and of course forget I said the words “make them think of themselves,” Asians and Hispanics will rush to be Republicans! I recommend doing this by all of us uniting in a race war on black people!!

Sounds like there’s not much difference between this O’Sullivan and his namesake.


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  • Brandon

    I always laugh a little whenever I see “AEI scholar”

    • greylocks

      It has become an oxymoron. Or maybe just a moron.

      • John

        Oxy-moron? You mean Rush Limbaugh?

  • MAJeff

    When can we do away with those infernal St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and get the Irish to think of themselves as American?

    • After that episode of The Sopranos, I’m ready to do away with Columbus Day altogether. Wish they’d have done it before that episode aired, actually.

      • Bill Murray

        South Dakota has gotten rid of Columbus Day. It’s now Native American Day. We’ve come some way since the time when 3 or more native americans crossing the Missouri River could be declared a war party and shot. Sadly that law only went away in the 1970s

        • Halloween Jack

          Holy shit, really? I’m imagining a bad scene involving a family in a station wagon and a state trooper on speed and the state government’s counsel saying, “Well, technically…”

    • When can we do away with those infernal St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and get the Irish to think of themselves as American?

      I’m sick and tired of this “Judeo-Christian” nonsense. What are we, Middle Eastern types? It’s even got a hyphen.

      USA! USA!

    • USA! USA!

      St. Patrick’s Day as practiced in the US is at least a strictly American invention. In Ireland, until very recently the day involved attending mass and maybe a Gaelic games final. It was Americans who added the parades, drunkenness and feats of douchebaggery.

      • Pestilence

        Although to be fair, the Irish had drunkenness and feats of douchebaggery as a normal feature of life, rather than just St Paddy’s Day, for a long time.

      • Halloween Jack

        You should try telling that to a couple of British comic book writers, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis, who have both railed against it in the past.

  • And this is why it’s actually possible that the GOP might actually be on its way to extinction. Holy fuck.

  • What it means to be an American, according to Goldberg:

    1) Hate anything browner than you.

    2) Hate anything with bigger boobs than you.

    3) See 1 or 2.

    • ploeg

      2) is kind of a small group. Goldberg is about as big of a boob as they come.

    • JKTHs

      Corollary to 2): Unless they’re man boobs.

      • JKTHs

        Er, not corollary. Addendum. Whatever

        • Marek


    • gratuitous

      I was gonna say: the “American identity” to which Messrs. Sullivan and Goldberg refer undoubtedly means that “the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians,” will have to call themselves “Wetbacks” and “Slants” in order to adopt the proper “identity” and not one of those ersatz identities that isn’t truly “American.”

      • Chet Manly

        Nah. In the 21st century people with an “American identity” never say things like “Wetbacks” or “Slants” if there are any minorities present.

        So once they finally get an American identity “the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians” can just stick with non-racist terms because there will be minorities around wherever they are.

  • One wonders what would make them they’re not Americans in the first place. As though a group said Obama hadn’t made a broad coalition because it didn’t contain enough white people.

  • They already think of themselves as Americans. They just wonder why Republicans insist they shouldn’t be treated the way they treat white people. Hence, they’re Democrats.

    • greylocks

      the way they treat rich white people


  • Hogan

    Yes, if recent immigrants are overly focused on race and ethnicity it’s all the fault of Democrats like that Kenyan usurper who doesn’t know how to be American.

    • greylocks

      There’s a special place in hell for people who post tiny-fied URLs without saying where they link to.

  • Sly

    Kill the Indian Latino, Save the Man.

  • rea

    Just when we’re concluding that the Democrats can’t possibly regain control of the House in ’14, along come John O’Sullivan and Jonah Goldberg to show us the way . . .

  • NBarnes

    There is no sign, in that passage, that O’Sullivan has even considered the role that the GOP’s policy platform might play in appealing or driving away the groups he’s discussing. It seems to go without saying that the GOP’s policy preferences aren’t the problem and that the solution to their electoral failures is to re-jigger their rhetorical strategies.

    I suppose that I’m not really surprised by this; one of the biggest taboos in the modern GOP is to consider the possibility that their policy preferences are unpopular. And double taboo to consider that they may be flatly at odds with their stated goals and values. Once you’ve elimated policy from the realm of acceptable conversation, all that’s left is trying to figure out how to ‘make them think of themselves’ as GOP voters rather than Democratic ones.

    • greylocks

      Basically, their rhetorical strategy is to downplay what they can and lie about the rest.

      But they’re not even good at that, as the quoted article shows.

      They can’t help themselves. Sooner or later, it just pops out of them, as with the rape philosophers.

    • Linnaeus

      Good point. I’ve often heard it said, for example, that Latino voters are “really” conservative, but just don’t like the Republicans’ stances on immigration, etc. At the same time, I’ve seen recent polling (on Up With Chris, I think) that showed that Latinos generally prefer Democratic policies on the whole.

      • People say that because they’re Catholic. Of course, the argument that Catholicism automatically implies social conservatism must be made implicitly because it is laughed at when made explicitly–white Catholics ignore most of what the Holy See says, why shouldn’t Latinos take on this trait when acculturating? Indeed, since most Latinos back gay marriage, they seem to have done so.

        It’s Black voters who have the hidden conservative streak, since large chunks of them attend conservative denominations, and that’s a meaningful choice for Protestants. But Republicans have come up with nothing better than to say that Democrats used to be really racist, while obviously still racebaiting themselves. I’d love to see a response to that noting that Democrats used to be racist like Strom Thurmond, who then became a Republican.

        • Hogan

          I’d love to see a response to that noting that Democrats used to be racist like Strom Thurmond, who then became a Republican.

          Have you met my friend Manju? Because I think you’re about to.

    • Sly

      The re-jiggering of rhetorical strategies to attract new voters is nothing new for the conservative movement. Their plan to tell members of racial and ethnic minority groups that they aren’t real Americans isn’t actually new either. Conservatives have been doing that since forever. It’s only been the last 30 years or so that conservatives figured out that saying as much in public was not a winning proposition.

      What O’Sullivan and Goldberg are arguing is that it was wrong for conservatives to stop saying this when what they really needed to do was just be more polite in saying it. How do we remain relevant in a society wherein ethnic and cultural heterogeneity is increasing? Remain steadfast and resolute in our preference for ethnic and cultural homogeneity, with us as the model of American identity, but just be more courteous about it.

      I haven’t read much from Goldberg or O’Sullivan in particular, but I’m familiar enough with conservative orthodoxy on matters of race and political identity to the extent that the argument their advancing strikes me as a whole new level of stupidity.

      • greylocks


        They don’t get that the very argument itself is the problem, not the way they phrase it.

        And they never will get it.

  • Linnaeus

    It’s like 1907 all over again.

  • Steve

    Obviously it’s the GOP who doesn’t think of minorities as Americans.

    • Hogan

      Yeah, but that’s the minorities’ fault. They don’t think of themselves the right way; how can Republicans do it if they won’t?

      • Anonymous

        “If you would just stop being so unamerican you would totally vote for us” that’s a compelling pitch right there.

    • Brandon

      Only racist libs see race. Conservatives are color-blind!

    • greylocks

      Hell, they don’t think rich white liberals are Americans.

      Minorities don’t have a chance.

  • FDChief

    “Restore the overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity…”

    Giving the Gilded Age policies they espouse a pass – these idiots seem to have forgotten or are ignoring that this “American identity” was a white Protestant middle-class identity that was utterly inaccessible to the various dusky heathens (aka “darkies”, “beaners”, “guineas”, “redskins” in the language of the White People that owned that “identity”) and poor people they now suddenly realize want to vote Republican like they want a case of the Black Syph.

    I have no words to describe this weapons-grade stupidity.

    • Linnaeus

      Another good point that I was about to make myself. Goldberg and O’Sullivan don’t acknowledge how the “American identity” was defined historically and who that identity excluded.

      • greylocks

        At one point, it excluded the Jews and the Irish.

        I honestly don’t know if Goldberg is Jewish or how Irish O’Sullivan really is, but assuming some degree of Jewish or Irish heritage on their part, one might think they’d be aware that the quite severe barriers to the Jews and Irish being fully accepted as “Americans” were erected by white “Anglos” (many of whom were actually Welsh and Scots).

        But I guess not.

  • This is all too common. It’s not that Goldberg and O’Sullivan are asking questions–that requires some level of humility. They’re merely reassuring themselves. Just as soon as we are able to implant our cultural identity onto the other races, they’ll come running to us, you’ll see…

    • Cheap Wino

      I was thinking the same thing. It all sounds so reasonable, if you’re a self-centered egomaniac like Jonah. Everybody else is creeped out and slowly edges away heading towards saner ideas.

    • Halloween Jack

      Baby steps. Jonah’s admission that the GOP lacks courage and imagination is the closest he’s ever come, or ever will come, to self-criticism.

  • DrDick

    I can see now how that argument is going to be a real winner for the GOP.

    • They need to hire the entire NRO staff on as campaign consultants.

      • CD

        I was about to say, thank Moloch for Jonah Goldberg. Please Republicans, pay more attention to these conservative intellectuals.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, which is why as a liberal this argument really pisses me off.

      • Pestilence

        Really? It terrifies me, betokening the coming Permanent Conservative Majority

  • witless chum

    I’d swear that insulting people’s patriotism and general American-ness is not a normal first step to appealing to them in American politics.

    • sharculese

      It’s the PUA approach to politics.

      First comes the negging, then kino (with heavy focus on the female reproductive organs and maybe a vigilante shooting or two) then we start to escalate, and blammo, Republicans are raking in alpha votes from HB10s.

      This stuff is science.

      • swearyanthony

        I want to touch this comment on the arm and shoulder while buying it a drink.

  • So their message is, “Welcome to the real world of Virginia, Macaca,” except they’re going to try to be serious.

    That will be fun to watch.

  • S_noe

    I just want to applaud Mr. Loomis for using the word “namesake” incorrectly, according to pedants, but intuitively.

    I’m totally serious – the correct usage makes no sense in this day and age, and the sooner we fix this through overwhelming counter-usage, the better.

    Again, I’m not nit-picking, but applauding. There is no earthly reason to have a handy, catchy, Anglo-Saxon-sounding word for “person named after you” and none for “person you’re named after.” The latter has much more utility, and nobody knows what the fuck an eponym is – plus it’s weird to use it for people.

    Let’s get focused on what matters here, people, and make this happen! (Okay, that was sarcasm, but self-directed, so don’t shoot me.)

  • herr doktor bimler

    Sounds they have peddling the idea that “American” = “Republican” for so long that they believe their own con.

  • Malaclypse
    • Hogan

      But not quite, because we won’t sell it to you people.

  • The eternal curse of the “Hyphenated American.”

    • Once they are deflowered, the hyphen ceases to matter.

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