John Derbyshire: Strong Horse, Weak Horse. Guess Which One Is The GOP
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Earlier: Immigration, Not White Suburbs, Turning VA Blue. GOP Still Can Win With Sailer Strategy—But Ultimately Needs An Immigration Moratorium

We had elections this week for various kinds of state and local positions. The results were mixed, pluses and minuses, but it looked to me like mostly minuses. On the plus side:

  • voters in Washington State rejected a measure to legalize Affirmative Action.

Specifically, a yes vote would:

allow Affirmative Action policies by the state of Washington in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting as long as such policies do not constitute preferential treatment (as defined) and do not use quotas.

Washington Referendum 88, Vote on I-1000 Affirmative Action Measure (2019)C

Of course the entire point of Affirmative Action is to give preferential treatment to favored groups, and quotas are the only way you can do so without risking legal trouble. Everybody understands this, but everyone has to pretend not to. Thanks to the voters of Washington State—well, 52 percent of them—for giving a good kick in the shins to the whole dishonest sham.

  • Voters in Tucson, Arizona voted down an Initiative that would have made Tucson a “Sanctuary City”—or Treason Town, as prefers to call them.

This initiative was in reaction to the famous law passed in 2010 by the state legislature, and signed by then-governor Jan Brewer, right, giving state law enforcement powers to help enforce federal immigration laws. Kritarchs of course struck down most of the law, but left it OK for officers to check a suspect's immigration status. The idea of the Initiative: to kill that last surviving portion of the 2010 law—to finish the job the kritarchs left un-finished. Instead, voters killed the initiative, leaving the law standing.

This wasn't a 50-50 decision either; more than 70 percent of Tucson voters said no to the sanctuary city idea. [Tucson voters soundly reject 'sanctuary city' initiative, KGUN, November 6, 2019]

Well done, Tucson! Sanctuary much!

  • Texans voted by nearly 75 percent to 25 for an amendment raising that simple majority of legislators to two-thirds, while still requiring also a majority of voters.

Texas is one of just seven states without a personal income tax. (Pop quiz: How many of the other six can you name?) The Texas state constitution says there can only be a state income tax if it's approved by a majority of legislators and a majority of voters in referendum. So with the state constitution thus amended, now it's even harder than it was before to get an income tax passed in Texas.

But nationwide most of the news was bad for President Trump and his party.

  • In Virginia, Democrats now control both houses of the state legislature for the first time in 26 years.
  • Republican losses in Pennsylvania inspired the Philadelphia Inquirer report to descriptives like "blue wave" and "catastrophic." [The blue wave crashed down on Pennsylvania again, as voters from Philly to Delaware County turned left, by Julia Terruso, November 6, 2019]
  • The GOP candidate for governor of Kentucky lost, in spite of Trump having staged a big rally in his support on Monday night. He only lost by a whisker — less than half of one percent — but still … Kentucky!

There's a pattern though, if you look for it. So at any rate says Daniel Horowitz over at Conservative Review. I'll let him explain:

On critical issues, especially on issues like immigration and crime, Republicans are not as emphatically to the right as Democrats are to the left …

How else do you explain, on the one hand, Republican issues winning overwhelmingly in urban and very Hispanic Tucson, but on the other hand, GOP candidates losing tremendous ground in suburbs, even in red states like Mississippi?...

Voters in no way support the extreme agenda of the Democratic Party, certainly not those living in suburban neighborhoods in the south. But the Republican Party is a terrible vehicle for promoting a bold contrast.

Tucson voters DEFEAT sanctuary initiative with over 70% of the vote, November 6, 2019

I'd chop that last sentence down from eleven words to five: "The Republican Party is terrible."

I think Daniel Horowitz has caught on to an important truth there. As the great political analyst Osama bin Laden once said: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse."

The Democratic Party is the strong horse here. Their ideas are wrong-headed, frequently crazy, but they pursue political victory with vigor and conviction.

The Republicans are the weak horse. They have much more sensible ideas, but they are hobbled by their globalist business donors, and they half-believe the cant out of media and the academy that national sovereignty, demographic stability, and realism about sex and race are immoral.

Democrats are bold and loud, Republicans are timid and apologetic. Strong horse, weak horse.


John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.


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