These two Obama voters are thinking: “Indefinite detention without a trial! Only in America … and Venezuela! And Cuba! Si se puede!”

President Obama was propelled to re-election on Tuesday by minorities, prompting one Fox commentator to quip that a policy that requires people with a darker skin tone to show “papers” pushed them away from Romney — even though those same voters were not scared by the current commander in chief, who signed into law the ability to bypass the request for papers and indefinitely detain anyone. Without a trial. Anywhere.

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act during his first term, which gives the commander in chief expanded powers to deal with terrorism. It’s public policy from a liberal’s worst nightmares, which would have been the perfect left hook (interspersed with plenty of shots from the right) to blunt to Mr. Obama’s fear-mongering on immigration. Romney needed to puncture the Democrats’ choke hold over the notion that they have immigrants’ best interest at heart. He didn’t and paid a price; Mr. Obama received the support of 72 percent of Hispanics, America’s fastest-growing population.

Many conservatives are scared of intellectually hitting Democrats from the left. Indeed, it is a task requiring great skill. Do it the wrong way and you wind up looking like a faux conservative like Chris Christie, who turned to Jimmy Carter price controls when he was in a bind.

It is tough to nail an opponent from the left without simultaneously undercutting conservative principles. For instance, fighting Islamic terrorism is a complicated necessity.  The enemy wears no uniform, has expanded the battlefield to any place and any location, and isn’t always supported by a state actor. But conservatives need to find a way cut through liberal double think before it sets in, and they don’t have much time. A zinger from the left flank that points out hypocrisy without side tracking the conversation is a handy option to have. President Obama won blacks by 93 percent in 2012, and if Hispanics become similarly impervious to the superiority of free markets and limited government, the nation is in great peril.

The danger for conservatives is to assume these trends will pass when Mr. Obama leaves office. In many respects, his followers are cultish. He is the Marshall Applewhite of modern American politics, and his Keynesian economics is the Hale Bop comet that will never come. It requires supporters to ignore the debt meteor that is fast approaching, but what would be worse would be if such blind allegiance transferred to the Hispanic vote. I believe we are on a cultural precipice, and if we haven’t already fallen off, we are hanging onto the edge with white-knuckled desperation.

A harbinger of things to come, if conservatives don’t act with an urgency, can be found by looking at the re-election of Jesse Jackson Jr. in Chicago. The man has been mentally incapacitated for months, holed up in various locations, including the Mayo Clinic. The Washington Post recently cited reports that he thought he was a reincarnated chariot driver, and to top it off federal investigations are looming if he recovers. (Or is the whole thing a ruse to stall the inevitable?) Regardless, Jackson Jr. won in a landslide.

If we’ve reached a point where minorities are scared of conservatives because of requests for photo identification at traffic stops, but they’re not terrified of a liberal president who already codified into law the ability to indefinitely detain them without trial, there is much work to be done.


About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.


  1. many liberals are blind and incapable of holding Obama accountable for his transgressions against civil liberties. if only MItt Romney had been elected, I’m sure he would have shut the whole thing down, like legitimate rape sperm!

    but seriously, I think the bridge between right/left is libertarian, and that’s NOT Mitt, who greased Big Government for his Olympics bailout and profited from the auto bailout while publicly bashing it.

    it’s also not Obama, but at least he has a better chance of delivering a slash-and-burn to social security than Mitt did.

    1. I’m not familiar enough with Mitt’s Olympic history to know to what extent the federal government was involved, but then again if it’s for the U.S National team … and it’s a huge international event that requires security, the federal government is going to be coughing up dough. Or, if you’re Putin’s Russia, you’re killing Muslims in the Northern Caucasus.

      I’m not sure why you’re trying to, urrm, “stick” Romney with another person’s sperm comments … but okay.

      Like I said before, you’re light years ahead of other Obama voters I’ve run across, who act as if the man is perfect. It’s creepy. I wouldn’t mind, but he was the one who painted George Bush as a warmonger, civil-rights stealing cowboy. I watch these losers like Chris Matthews (who said last night he was glad Hurricane Sandy hit), and I wonder what it’s like to be a ideological zombie. I’d feel dirty when I went to bed at night if I found myself being “thankful” for a storm that’s killed at least 85 people. But that’s just me.

  2. You really know how to sum up an issue well Doug. Conservatives have define who they are and what they stand for rather than have liberals make up the he definition for them. Unfortunately, the image minorities have of conservatives were mostly hammered in by liberals. Hence, the vile reaction to a minority if he/she is a conservative. As you know I am one of them.

    Just mention the words Republican or conservative to many minorities, and they will rattle off a series of the stereotypes that comes their mind as excuses to prevent them form listening to conservative ideas.

    Conservatives like Marco Rubio need to take the lead and continue to show that conservatives are for legal immigration, while at the same time putting forward credible solutions for illegal immigration and border security.

    1. Thanks!
      Yes, I’m a huge fan of Rubio. I wish he was going to hold onto that hair a bit longer … but oh well. Who am I to talk. 🙂

      I’m in the process now of doing some personal “research” with a good friend of mine who is a Hispanic liberal. We’ve generally avoided politics, but we’ll see if she answers a few questions I have for her. My experience to date with liberal minorities has been that they do by default go to stereotypes, and I don’t know how to really blow those up. We’ll never get the media to help us out, so it really just comes down to a lot of one-on-one time. We NEED to articulate these principles in ways that resonate with them. The answer for conservatives is not to become “liberals-lite.” Why have a cheap imitation of something when you can have the real thing?

    2. You nailed it….. hispanics will understand, and/or relate to a hispanic. Unfortunately, hispanics in Hollywood have a big following. They made it big, they’re respected & admired……. a lot of work to be done.

  3. Just wait until Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state.

    Who do you think they’ll be supporting? Just take a wild-azzed guess.

    Keep your eyes open, and your knees loose, hermano.

  4. “…[Obama], who signed into law the ability to bypass the request for papers and indefinitely detain anyone. Without a trial. Anywhere.”

    Obama should be ashamed for doing so. However, guess who was among the yay votes for the National Defense Authorization Act 2013? Two of your favorite conservative heroes: Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio gets an extra badge of shame for being Latino and voting for the bill.

    And you know why minorities, including Hispanics, won’t vote Republican? Let me introduce you to why (start at 4:13)…—america-takes-a-shower—karl-rove-s-math

    1. You’ll notice that I never really expanded on my own thoughts about NDAA, and I acknowledged that dealing with an enemy who wears no uniform, isn’t always state-sponsored, and who is willing to attack civilians … is complicated. My main reason for bringing up NDAA is to point out the selective moral outrage of the left. If they were willing to hold marches in the streets calling for Bush to be impeached (I lived in LA and DC, I saw them), then where are they now? Gone.

      Jon Stewart is a moron. He’s funny, but he’s a moron. Sarah Palin is spot-on when she talks about $16 trillion of debt. Obama spent the last few weeks talking about Big Bird and vaginas instead of the very real nuclear debt-bomb that is primed to explode in our face. He went on David Letterman and said it was “a long term problem.” And Bill O’Reilly is right that American culture has changed. It’s a “me-me-me” culture, and it’s ALL OF AMERICA — not just minorities. We have a nation of “Snookies” who are economic dunderheads. Millions of them (white, black, hispanic, green, and orange) voted for Obama. There’s much more to it than that, but if Stewart was serious he’d make some seriously funny jokes about Obama’s unwillingness to address a very “right now” problem.

  5. It is not complicated. “Indefinite detention” is the nullification of habeas corpus, and is grossly unconstitutional. Unless I missed that we are in a state of rebellion or invasion, since the Constitution only allows the suspension under those conditions. That portion of the bill is pure garbage and I have serious reservations about any statesman in any branch of government who voted for it (or refused to veto).

    After we strip away the Big Bird and Vagina talking points, we’re left with two main points:

    1. The $16 trillion debt. $5.4 trillion is new and $10.6 trillion was around when Obama assumed the presidency. Did Obama increase debt 50%? No. Congress did. In fact, Congress has voted 87 times to raise the debt ceiling. Where did that debt come from? Federal spending outpacing federal revenues, caused by a struggling national economy holding back tax revenues and a continuation of tax cuts.

    How do we get this economy back on track? Stimulus is failed Keynesian garbage you say? Paul Ryan agreed with you in 2010.

    What about 2002? Hmm.


    I would love to know how you rationalize *that* one. So excited to read it.

    2. The American culture has changed. Sure. Did you miss the part where O’Reilly said that the country no longer belongs to white people? “50% of the voting public who want stuff.” I thought it was 47%. Really? Really??? Anyone who believes that half the voters (probably the half that voted for the Blue team) are parasites to the Red team’s virtuous producers (got Rand?). That’s hogwash. I guess it makes Republicans feel better to create that narrative in their heads. Keep your hands and feet inside the bubble at all times.

    Let’s be honest, Obama sucks. Economy is crappy. Unemployment is high. Debt is skyrocketing. Recovery is too slow. He failed to deliver on a lot of promises, mainly not crossing the aisle to work with conservatives to solve issues. Even a lot of Hollywood supporters became wary of him.

    Should be a slam dunk for Mitt in ’12, right? Nope. Still loses. Why? The fact no Republican wants to admit is that their candidate sucks. Sure, he sucks a lot less than the rest of the shit show that was the Republican primary, but he still sucks. They have nobody. Rubio’s pretty young but they are trotting him out to test the waters. Ryan is likable enough. But let’s get back to Mitt. McCain beat him last time. His “trust me, details will come” economic plan was non-existent. He’s daft, stiff, and a flip flopper. He reminds me of failed candidates with similar traits: Kerry, Gore, and Dole. This guy, when asked if he follows NASCAR answers “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.” Oh, brother.

    Mitt lost for a lot of reasons, but mainly because he is a stiff, milquetoast candidate that independent and undecided voters can’t relate to. Let’s be honest, roughly 27% of American is Republican, so they’re going with Mitt. Roughly are 31% Democrat, so they are going with Obama. What about the Independents 40% (and what does that number say about our parties)? As one, I can tell you they get a lot of campaign mail.

    Mitt seemed like an odd robot whose only reason he really gives to vote for him is “I know business.” Right now, it’s no secret that the plutocrat business class isn’t very popular. We have 8% unemployment and I keep hearing about his wife’s dressage horse. Had you given me a smart, not-crazy Republican candidate who held centrist social views and traditional fiscal conservative values, who had a personality, and was somewhat relatable, I would have filled in his or her oval on the ballot.

    1. 1. Did you see where the flash edit was in Ryan’s House Floor speech? I’d “love” to see what was said in between that first edit and the clip they slid in next to it.

      2. What was in the bill? If he’s trying to make the case to the House to pass a bill that has 70% of what he wants, but 30% garbage, he STILL has to make a case. That’s what sucks about being a politician, doesn’t it? You have a very thin tightrope to walk. I’m glad that MSNBC’s Chris “I’m uncomfortable calling dead veterans heroes” Hayes dug through a decade of clips and found one — that he had to edit — to turn Ryan into a full-fledged Keynesian.

      3. This is related to my second point, but what is the makeup of Ryan’s district? It’s not really … “red.” Again, he has a very difficult task. I worked as Congressman Roskam’s intern in 2008. I got the phone calls from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from angry constituents leading up to TARP. I had to field their calls and represent the Congressman to the best of my ability. The rhetorical dance was maddening, trying to stay principled while still being empathetic to their demands. I did not put the phone down ALL DAY for an entire week, keeping a tally of who wanted him to vote for the stimulus and who didn’t, which would be used (in part) to help guide him. A Congressman has to balance his own principles with his constituents’ needs, as well as the needs of his Party AND what he needs to do for political survival. It sucks. It’s why I couldn’t work on Capitol Hill and I went to Heritage afterward.

      Paul Ryan is a good man and he does his best to stay principled in a crappy town. Come to DC for a bit and work up on the Hill and you’ll appreciate men like Ryan (a rare breed) a hell of a lot more.


      In regards to Romney and Obama, I will say this:

      President Obama said he would “fundamentally transform” the nation. Would you ever say you wanted to “fundamentally transform” your wife? You do not “fundamentally transform” things you love. I would never say that about my country. It has its problems and its flaws, but those words would never fall from my lips. Over and over again, President Obama gives glimpses into who he really is and what he really believes (It’s hard, because he generally only sticks to softball shows like ‘The View’, ‘Jimmy Fallon’, ‘David Letterman’, and women’s magazines if he can get away with it) — and when he does it is quite obvious to me that he should not be running the country.

      I’d rather vote for a “stiff” guy like Romney over a president who runs the country like he’s American Idol’s ringmaster.

    2. Independents favored Romney in this election. The real reason for the loss is single women, who took 53% of the electorate and awarded 55% of it to the fascist. Oh, you don’t like that word? See: IPAB and tell me it’s not fascism. In any event, the republican positions on abortion rights and planned parenthood lost Romney the election in my opinion — it’s simple math. Latinos are only 11% of the electorate at this point vs 53% women.

      As for that other fascism, DE, you flatter the illegal immigrant community by assuming they value America’s founding principles, when in fact their non-assimilation and our failure as a nation to articulate, promote an defend our Northern European values, guarantee that our culture will resemble Cuba/Venezuela/etc more and more, and who are we to say that they don’t want this? White Liberals born and bred right on American soil think nothing of re-electing a man who openly opposes America’s founding principles, so a non-assimilating community from former colonies of Spain is not going to get worked up about Anglo Saxon core values.

      We are losing this war, and history is perhaps merely reverting to the mean of patronage, corruption, dictators, cruel and unusual punishment/gulags, impoverishment, mass suffering and death.

      We have lived in the glorious time of Reagan, when freedom pushed into the far corners of the earth, and will likely die in the time of kings, when petty bureaucrats will pick our bones of flesh as we cry out in agony.

      Have a nice day.

    3. Sasoc, I was just talking with a Hispanic friend about just that very point. It isn’t that they don’t value the principles that made the country great, it’s that are education system is failing them. Students used to have to memorize the Declaration of Independence. They were taught about the Founding Fathers — and not just slavery, slavery, slavery.

      If we had a decent education system a lot of these problems would be moot in the long run. I worked in a high school for a couple years before graduate school, and it was appalling to see many (not all, but many) teachers fill their students’ head with mush.

      Add to that a “me, me, me” popular culture and a corrupt media, and you have one nasty stew.

  6. I actually learned more from reading books and doing research outside school than I did within the classroom. Most of I’ve learned about history, science, all sorts of topic…. that was done outside school because really, I wasn’t learning anything in the classroom. All they ever talked about in regards to the Revolutionary War was slavery, slavery, evil white men, slavery, etc. I learned more about the Constitution and the Declaration outside school because we spent more time talking about slavery than the law of the land. Mostly, my desire to learn about history and science stemmed from hearing the same old tired memes about slavery on a repeated basis.

    And indeed, we do have a “me, me, me” culture (exemplified by many people my age and my sister’s age and also the Occupy movement) that expects things just to be handed to them instead of working for it. And the media is very corrupt and did whatever they could to ensure Obama would win.

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