Archive for Sunday, December 2, 2012

Editorial: Leadership Gap

A slate of U.S. House committee chairs made up entirely of white men indicates Republicans have a ways to go to become a more inclusive party.

December 2, 2012


In the wake of the recent presidential election that showed a wide disparity in candidate preferences among female and minority voters, many Republican leaders expressed the need to increase the diversity of their party.

News out of Washington last week indicates that such a transition may take some time.

As the majority party in the U.S. House, Republicans get to assign the chairmen of all the House committees. On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced the names of those chairmen. All were white men; no women or minorities made the cut.

Only one committee currently is chaired by a woman — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida — but she is stepping down as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee because of term limits set by party rules. Two lower-tier committees — the Ethics Committee and House Administration — still are awaiting chairs but neither committee has any women or minority members.

Part of the problem is that committee chairs typically are chosen based on their seniority on committees and Republican women and minorities simply aren’t at the top of the seniority ladder. That’s not surprising given that only 20 Republican women and fewer than 10 minorities will be serving in the House next year. By comparison, Democrats will have 61 women in the House and, for the first time in history, women and minority members will make up a majority the House Democratic Caucus.

The House numbers, along with statistics from the recent presidential race, point to a trend the GOP should carefully examine. Based on exit polls examined by the Pew Research Center, President Obama drew 55 percent of the women’s vote compared with 44 percent for Mitt Romney. Obama also drew a whopping 93 percent of the black vote and 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, compared with 6 percent and 27 percent, respectively, for Romney. Those numbers are particularly important because of the fact that combined minorities are expected to make up a majority of the U.S. population by 2050, according to Pew projections.

Certainly, women and minorities shouldn’t be appointed to chair committees if they lack the necessary qualifications or experience, but the fact that the Republican leadership of the House could identify no women or minority representatives to fill any of the chairs shows how much work the party has to do to broaden its gender and racial base.


Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

Gee, Larry, and Boehner's committee leadership choices aren't? Get real.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

It kind of gets to me that there are Congressional members on the House Science committee that believe the world was created 6,000 years ago.
Some of them won't be there in the coming year, having lost their respective re-elections. Among them, Todd Akin, who actually believed you "couldn't get pregnant if you were legitimately (sic) raped".

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

Congress has far more problems than republicans being racist.

They have failed the majority of the USA population that being the 99%. The 99% was the motor behind everything that had anything to do with the economy. Why did congress allow that to be nearly destroyed?

Why did congress provide a tax code that protects profits on USA goods made abroad in essence encouraging outsourcing of USA jobs by the millions. Congress needs to explain their logic that USA blue and white collars do not need jobs. and the USA economy

Congress needs to explain their logic that the USA economy does not need millions upon millions of blue and white collars working in the USA. Where did these conclusions come from? Corporate America was never going broke instead making tons of profits.

How did blue and white collar workers lose these millions upon millions of jobs?

--- 1. Mergers = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 2. Hostile Takeovers = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 3. Leveraged Buyouts = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 4. Free Trade Agreements = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 5. Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan home loan scandal which killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs. = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 6. Bush/Cheney Home Loan scandal killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs = industry and jobs lost to other countries

All of above ultimately translate into millions upon millions upon millions of blue and white collar USA job losses in some cases to dictatorships. Big time layoffs are the end result. These jobs go abroad with tax codes that prevent taxation on profits made abroad from USA big name corporations.

There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone. Why did congress participate in killing the USA economy and millions upon millions of blue and white collar jobs?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

President Obama and the USA Congress,

What are you going to do? This country cannot wait another fours years for the republican party to cooperate. The democratic party cannot wait another fours years for republicans to stop being obstacles to new USA industry that cannot be outsourced and millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 6 months ago

I suspect that Dolph Simons and his staff have many different points of view, and he allows many different points of view to be shown and discussed.

The real problem is many of the people in the comments who are one sided, including yourself. You operate via a phony name, observant, but you call the owner of the paper by his first name. Why don't you include his full name, as is only respectful, and YOUR full name, instead of voicing your opinion behind a pseudonym.

And by the way, my real name is Lawrence Morgan, and I use my real name for blogs on well commons and reader's blogs.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 6 months ago

They should have borrowed Mitt's binders.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

Doesn't sound like The GOP has learned a thing from all that has happened recently. The saying goes"Those who do not remember History are Doomed to Repeat it." The GOP is headed for Political Irrelevance if not out right extinction. It is obvious the Country is moving in a different direction. Change and Adapt or get left behind. That is Evolution. Too bad some Deny its existence. We are watching the results of it as we speak.

Briseis 5 years, 6 months ago

The following are a few basic historical facts that every American should know.

Fact: The Republican Party was founded primarily to oppose slavery, and Republicans eventually abolished slavery. The Democratic Party fought them and tried to maintain and expand slavery.

Why is this indisputable fact so rarely mentioned? PBS documentaries about slavery and the Civil War barely mention it, for example. One can certainly argue that the parties have changed dramatically in 150 years, but that does not change the historical fact that it was the Democrats who supported slavery and the Republicans who opposed it. And that indisputable fact should not be airbrushed out for fear that it will tarnish the modern Democratic Party.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

Quite a role reversal there. The Republicans(who "Freed" the Slaves) are now a party who is bent on reducing or denying rights to women, Members of the LGBT Community, Members of any other Political Party and the minorities they Freed (Blacks were not the only Slaves, but they were the Largest Group in Slavery) as well as more recent minorities(Immigrants). My, How times have changed in 150+ years.

Briseis 5 years, 6 months ago

here DT. Let me help you get positioned.

From a purely cynical political perspective, the Democratic strategy of black dependence has been extremely effective. African Americans routinely vote well over 90 percent Democratic for fear that Republicans will cut their government benefits and welfare programs. And what is the result? Before LBJ's Great Society welfare programs, the black illegitimacy rate was as low as 23 percent, but now it has more than tripled to 72 percent.

Most major American city governments have been run by liberal Democrats for decades, and most of those cities have large black sections that are essentially dysfunctional anarchies. Cities like Detroit are overrun by gangs and drug dealers, with burned out homes on every block in some areas. The land values are so low due to crime, blight, and lack of economic opportunity that condemned homes are not even worth rebuilding. Who wants to build a home in an urban war zone? Yet they keep electing liberal Democrats -- and blaming "racist" Republicans for their problems!

Washington DC is another city that has been dominated by liberal Democrats for decades. It spends more per capita on students than almost any other city in the world, yet it has some of the worst academic achievement anywhere and is a drug-infested hellhole. Barack Obama would not dream of sending his own precious daughters to the DC public schools, of course -- but he assures us that those schools are good enough for everyone else. In fact, Obama was instrumental in killing a popular and effective school voucher program in DC, effectively killing hopes for many poor black families trapped in those dysfunctional public schools. His allegiance to the teachers unions apparently trumps his concern for poor black families.

A strong argument could also be made that Democratic support for perpetual affirmative action is racist. It is, after all, the antithesis of Martin Luther King's vision of a color-blind society. Not only is it "reverse racism," but it is based on the premise that African Americans are incapable of competing in the free market on a level playing field. In other words, it is based on the notion of white supremacy, albeit "benevolent" white supremacy rather than the openly hostile white supremacy of the pre-1960s Democratic Party.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, But my"Position "is just fine. I am a Conservative Democrat who is here to remind you that Not all Dems are "Liberals" just Like not all Reps are Tea Party. Your argument is too one sided for me. You Blame Barack Obama and 'Liberal Democrats" for EVERYTHING.This is not true. Both parties have been wrong on some issues and right on others. No one is an Angel in Politics.This election DEMANDED that BOTH sides work TOGETHER for the GOOD of ALL citizens. I sense a lot of anger on your part. Not sure where that is coming from, but it is not good for you or anyone.The Republican Strategy of keeping its constituency in fear of Minorities is well documented and effective. Don't fall for it.

Briseis 5 years, 6 months ago

here to remind you that Not all Dems are "Liberals" just Like not all Reps are Tea Party. Your argument is too one sided for me. You Blame Barack Obama and 'Liberal Democrats" for EVERYTHING.

Liberals are in all stripes and colors DT. The article does not indicate that because it was written before the scientific Harvard study that identifies a different type of people.

Both parties have been wrong on some issues and right on others.

Yes. Both parties have Liberals. Getting it yet?.....

There are Liberals in all cultures of humans. All stripes and colors.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes I get it.But I am not angry at them for being liberals. Conservatives need Liberals and vice versa. Yin And Yang. One cannot be without the other. No reason to do any thing other than accept that fact. Anger gets you no where. When both compromise, WE get some where.

Briseis 5 years, 6 months ago

Compromise like Obamacare was? Yin and Yang is a Liberal term.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

Yin and Yang is a Universal term understood by everyone. A truth is a truth. Labeling it as conservative or liberal is irrelevant. No argument that The Affordable Health Care Plan is not perfect. What comes out of Washington, Lately,Is?Takes two to Tango. Both Parties MUST compromise. Obamacare, as you call it, has room for improvement, but it was put forth because there was no compromise offered when there could have been. There is still time for compromise. It is no wonder no one wants to compromise when the biggest part of that word is Promise.

Briseis 5 years, 6 months ago

Both Parties MUST compromise ----you mean Obamacare was?

btw in his second debate he said he like that name for it...

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

Now you are Just"trolling". End of Discussion.

Briseis 5 years, 6 months ago

Typical response by folks that cannot dispute facts.

I would never accuse you of trolling. Maybe of being a Liberal, but never trolling.


Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

"Both parties Must compromise---you mean Obamacare was?" This proves you did not read my previous Post.The Affordable Care Act was pushed through without Republican support.True. Why? The Republican Leader Mitch McConnel said it all when he vowed to make Obama a one term president.Things would have been much different had the Reps in the House compromised. The Affordable Care Act would most definitely look different than it does now IF Reps had compromised.

Mike Wasikowski 5 years, 6 months ago

Fact: Thanks to Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon deliberately appealing to many residents of Southern states in the 1964 and 1968 elections, the Republican Party is now the party that actively courts the votes of racists using racially divisive tactics and outright anti-minority policies.

Richard Crank 5 years, 6 months ago

"... such a transition may take some time."

I suspect that any such "transition" (given we're talking here about the current Republican party) will take centuries ... or -- more likely -- never happen at all.

It's a nice (if rare) attempt at a progressive stance, though, Mr. Simons.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Republicans will have give in on abortion to broaden it's base of women, and I'm not sure that will ever happen. To garner less affluent voters, they will have to increase taxes and spend more on social programs. To a tiny degree they might do that, but not enough to make any new friends.

I'm not sure the republicans need to change. They have lost the last two presidential elections to a charismatic man running a good campaign, but the democrats aren't always so blessed. The have failed with Kerry, Gore and Carter in my voting lifetime. Two wins don't make a dynasty.

The pendulum, it swings.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

So is your new posting MO to lob as many insults as you can at the local newspaper before you get disappeared again?

George Lippencott 5 years, 6 months ago

The word is seniority. If you have it you get to be a chair.. Recent arrivals need not apply.

The Democrats are unlikely to serve as chairmen in a Republican House. They do have leaderships positions for their caucus. They appointed exactly the same parentage of women to those senior positions as they have women in the House. They're not moving the ball.very fast either. Is that worth a comment?

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 6 months ago

For me, the issue is not so much the racial or gender makeup, it is the fact that these old white men are so bad at their jobs.

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