Monday, December 31, 2007

A DWT reader offers an interesting discussion of the contrast between Democrats and Republicans in what they're willing to do to gain and hold power


I was delighted to find this comment added to the comments discussing my recent post about the late Harry Dent, the Nixon-era political operative who more than anyone else masterminded and oversaw the Republican "Southern strategy," and his late-in-life acknowledgment, after years of heated denials, that of course that strategy was based on racial animosity. Our anonymous commenter has such interesting things to say about the power dynamics of Repubs vs. Dems that I didn't way any DWT readers to miss them.--Ken

The Republicans' Southern Stategy has ALWAYS been based on white fear/resentment toward blacks. It is the basic glue of Southern Republicans. I have lived in the South and worked for Republican and Democratic politicians my entire career. Nothing has really changed. It is the unspoken but understood undercurrent of Southern politics which I often refer to as the "they are not with me" rule. They don't have to say it, everyone just knows. Go ask some white male redneck with a pickup and gunrack and he will tell you very clearly why he is a die-hard Republican despite not having health insurance, a job with benefits, a mobile home he can barely afford, etc. How many black faces do you see at NASCAR?

The thing that MIGHT change this year, is that the average voter outside the hard-core South is more threatened by Bush and his henchmen than Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, assorted rappers and carjackers all put together. Quite an accomplishment, really. Good job, Georgie boy.

The funniest thing I saw in this story about Dent, Thurman and the whole sorry bunch was the discussion about Nixon's Supreme Court nominees. Suffice it to say that one of his nominees (who didn't make it) proved to be of the Larry Craig School of Bathroom Etiquette. It was pretty funny watching this unfold, since the R's were scared to death he would be confirmed and then pull a Larry Craig/Mark Foley on them. Didn't happen, since the D's, as usual, did the right thing and stopped it before the sorry mess destroyed a man and his family (not that his family was unaware of all this).

I remember sitting in a meeting listening to the rather unsavory details, thinking that the D's should let it go and let the R's twist in the wind when everything hit the proverbial fan (or men's restroom in this case). The D's fundamental problem boils down to the following. The R's only care about retaining power at all costs and would never let a man's reputation stand in their way. The D's just don't think that way and always throw in the equation some bleeding heart comments about doing the decent and honorable thing. This is why the R's continually kick their butts. It's unfortunate, but that is the reality of the situation. Have the D's learned their lesson yet? We shall see.

The stakes have gotten much higher. Let's hope the D's have finally grown some balls.

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At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. But...

Let's hope the D's have finally grown some balls.

I haven't seen any sign of that yet. The only Dem calling for impeachment is Kucinich, and you know where he is in the polls (largely thanks to our corporate media, but also to your average American sheep).

Yeah, we can hope. But I've been hoping for that since 1968.

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is just an ignorant bunch of Southern stereotypical spin. I was born in Birmingham in 1948 and have spent my entire life down south except for 6 years in the Navy and 6 years with AT&T in New Jersey. Your statement that “Nothing has really changed” is simply not true. It is true that after the 1964 Civil Rights Act past many Southern Democrats left to become Republicans. However, since the vast majority of Republicans ALSO voted for the Civil Rights Act the reason many Southerners left the Democrat Party were more for economic reasons and because of Democratic Party liberal leanings in other areas. Southern Democrats were ALWAYS conservative. An interesting tidbit; George Wallace was elected to his last term as Governor of Alabama in 1983 mainly due to his high number of Black votes!

Desegregation in the South did cause a lot of fear and resentment, but the North had its own problems. Because of the court battles in the South, desecration was achieved to a much greater extent than in the North. School busing in Atlanta did not require the National Guard like it did in Boston!

By the way, there is nobody at the gates turning back blacks at NASCAR tracks. If you have been to a NASCAR track recently (as I have been) you saw many more black in attendance. A NASCAR weekend at Talladega to see a Truck race and a Cup race will set a couple back in excess of $400 and that assumes you can drive from home for the two days of racing! You don’t see your stereotypical “red-neck” in a rusted out 1973 Ford F-150’s with a gun-rack at these races anymore. In fact, you have to look hard to find the “red-neck” in a rusted out 1973 Ford F-150 with a gun-rack. There are still a few around but they are dwindling in numbers. Heck most of us now have indoor plumbing!

Unlike you and the average voter outside the South; we Southerners KNOW that George Bush is NOT running for office nor are any of his “henchmen”.

“The R's only care about retaining power at all costs and would never let a man's reputation stand in their way. The D's just don't think that way and always throw in the equation some bleeding heart comments about doing the decent and honorable thing.” That paragraph is the most incredible “spin” I have seen in ages. MOST Republicans have the decency to resign when they get in trouble while most Democrats remain in office or get re-elected after being indicted. One Democrat felon got re-elect! Want me not name names to back up my position? I will if need be.

Just more lies and distortions about Republicans and in this case Southern Republicans. You guys are so into this hate game!

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think we have just delivered the south to the Republican party for a long time to come"- Lyndon Baines Johnson, upon signing the 1964 Civil rights act. He even knew that many Republican Senators would vote FOR the legislation and many Dems would LEAVE the party. Still, he did the right thing. At the time, there were such things as moderate and even liberal Republicans. They were soon gone and American politcs changed, particularly the party of Lincoln.
Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act and carried only 5 states, all in the deep south. No surprise.
In 1968, Nixon put together his Southern Strategy.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan kicked off his campaign in Philadelphia, MS., the scene of the murder of three civil rights workers, James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner who ended up being plowed into an earthen dam.
In 1983, a slightly kinder and gentler George Wallace again won the governorship of Alabama, receiving significant numbers of votes from blacks who pragmatically chose Wallace over a far-right extremist Repug named Elmor Folmer who would have given the old Wallace a run for the money and won back in the day. Folmor ended up working for Daddy Bush as his state chair in both 1988 and 1992.
More recently, in 2002, Trent Lott made his feelings known at a CCC (think KKK) tribute to an avowed racist with a secret case of jungle fever named Strom.
In 2002, Senate Repugs rebelled against renewel of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Not surprising given their constant disenfranchisement efforts in elections (see Florida, Ohio, etc.).
When Katrina came, Sonny Bush wasted no time going to pay his respects to Trent Lott's destroyed home in Pascagoula, MS but had to be SHAMED by a whole world into paying a visit to New Orleans.
Old feelings die hard, but they can die. Michigan once had the largest chapter of the KKK in the country. A cross was once burned in the park in my home town in New Jersey. Indiana was once run by the KKK, until a very prominent politician went down for raping, murdering and mutilating a young woman. He took a lot of people with him. Boston once needed the National Guard to open the schools. Now, they are one of our more Liberal cities. But, in the South, politicians still base their campaigns on things like racial animosity and other rights issues. They know thier audience just as Reagan did in 1980. They know their audience or they wouldn't do it, just like they no longer do it in the North. Dear South, join the rest of us in the great American experiment in democracy. The Civil War is over, no matter how many times you re-enact it on the weekends.

At 3:49 AM, Blogger merlallen said...

Your first comment is unreadalble on all threads.
And maybe blacks are smart enough to know that driving fast in circles is not a "sport".

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can quote examples from the past all you want too. It speaks only to the past. Go back a little further and see that a Republican president freed the Slaves! That means noting today. I can quote from the past also. George Wallace won the Michigan Primary, so what?

What you say about the South is simply not true. The South is much more integrated than the north. I assume you know that the the term "white flight" described northern whites fleeing to the suburbs. Also large numbers of black who fled the South during the Civil Rights unrest came back after they experience worse bigotry in the big northerntowns!

You just don't know what you are talking about.

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

al baby, I believe that if you actually read all of my comment, you will see that I made reference to the "party of Lincoln", so, I don't really have to go back and look into it. I also mentioned Michigan. In addition, I gave some very recent references. READ. Comprehend. The party of Lincoln has been usurped by people Lincoln would want little to do with. They have more in common with Booth than Lincoln.
White flight. Yep. it exists. Everywhere. So does black flight and asian flight. Most people, regardless of race, eventually want to get out of the bigger cities and they are. I'm sorry that some people are under the impression that everyone that leaves a city is leaving because of people of a certain race. The media helps foster this impression and politicians of a certain kind play on it. Also, we should consider the policies of the last four Presidents, especially the current pretend president. Their policies are turning the cities into places just for the very well to do, at the least. For instance, in New York, there has been quite an exodus from Manhattan into Queens, New Jersey and even Pennsylvania. People of all races are looking for better schools, more room and room at a better price. It isn't flight. It's called being "priced out".
When people like Trent Lott and Jeb Bush change their ways and what they say, the perception of the south will evolve. I believe it will happen. I believe in evolution. As an example, things are evolving in North Carolina, as the influx of retiriing northerners into that state increases. More yankee agression, I suppose.


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