Immigration, Blah Blah Blah
Pramila Jayapal writes in a piece headlined “Why don’t Republicans want to win?” that polls show Republicans stand to lose key House seats and national elections if they fail to pass some kind of immigration reform. Here’s a key line though: “…he’s [Speaker John Boehner] been more Hamlet than hero — hemming and hawing while his caucus goes to war with itself over whether reform is to be or not to be. Something is rotten indeed.” That brings us to a more interesting point, as in what if Republicans do pass some kind of reform? Will it be enough? Will Hispanic voters forgive and forget Rep. Steve King‘s “calves the size of cantaloupes” comment just because the GOP passes immigrant-friendly laws it really, really hates just to win votes? We’ve been over the GOP-must-do-this-to-be-relevant arguments so much it’s almost a trope. It’d be nice if opinion writers start thinking a little deeper on the issue and stop giving us generic columns with well trod ideas.
Bet you hadn’t heard, but WaPo was sold this week…
#BREAKING—Rich Man Buys Newspaper
In case you stopped navel-gazing this week and missed the news, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought WaPo. Few people outside of journalism and even less of those outside Washington care about this, unless they happen to hold some WPO stock (it jumped on the news). Story number 4,538,234 on this comes from Richard L. Brandt, who, like everyone else, is asking the same question that no one can really answer—namely, what in the hell is Bezos doing? Brandt is more of an expert than most on this, as he wrote a book about Amazon and Bezos, but then admits he’s never been granted access to Bezos or Amazon for any kind of interview. So while the questions might be interesting to ponder for some (will this be good?, or will this be bad?—statistically speaking the answer to one of those questions will be yes), it’s time to move on and wait for actionable information instead of the myriad speculation we’ve been so far treated to this week. Point being, if you’re asking questions about what WaPo’s sale means in the long term—the answer is “we don’t know.” That requires 0 column inches to explain.
Wanted: Conservative, young, tech-savvy
Erik Telford has some tips on what Republicans can do to bridge the digital divide that contributed to two presidential campaign loses, tracing the roots of digital activism all the way back to Sen. John McCain in 2000. His ideas are that the GOP needs to recruit the talent to build digital tools, and recruit tech-savvy ground troops comfortable using them. Again, like Jayapal’s immigration piece, this is kind of a shallow, obvious perspective. Telford’s suggestions boil down to this: recruit more youngin’s. Seriously, if you’re talking about the tech savvy data-wranglers who can innovate in the digital arena, you’re probably not looking at a 55-year-old IBM exec. So, the bigger question becomes not what the GOP needs, but if what the GOP needs exists. The talent is out there, but are they the kind of people that want to help Republicans? Generally, the young don’t vote GOP and Silicon Valley is in California. In San Francisco. Hardly a bastion of conservatism. The existential threat to the GOP is not that they’ve dropped the ball on things like digital activism, it’s that they’re the GOP.