Sunday, November 09, 2008

Can You Guess Which State Was The Most Reactionary In This Year's Elections? Hint: Think Rodgers and Hammerstein


The backward and bigoted states in the thrall of Mormon theocracy-- Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming-- all voted overwhelmingly for McCain, respectively 63%, 61% and 65%. Many of the most backward, most poorly educated and bigoted of the old slave-holding states,-- Alabama (61%), Louisiana (59%) and Arkansas (59%)-- also went overwhelmingly for McCain. And then there's ole meth-cookin', whacky Alaska (62%), its own crazy world. But the state least connected to the American mainstream and most politically isolated on Tuesday was poor, sad, reactionary Oklahoma, which gave almost 66% of it's vote, the most of any state, to McCain. While analysts are working on a post-mortem, or autopsy, on McCain's no longer twitching campaign, Oklahomans must be wondering what's wrong with the rest of America.
“The party in the Northeast is all but extinct; the party on the West Coast is all but extinct... there has to be a message and a vision that is compelling to people in order for them to come back and to give consideration to the Republican Party again.”

Not in Oklahoma, where McCain won every single one of the state's 77 counties. Not only nearly a million of them marched out and vote for a man overwhelmingly rejected by the "real" America-- almost double the number who voted for President-elect Obama-- Oklahoma also voted to re-elect the most reviled and universally disliked member of the U.S. Senate, James Inhofe, someone whose world view-- and voting record-- would be more appropriate for the Dark Ages than for a modern society. Inhofe's blatant Know Nothing stance earned him 57% of the vote against a forward-thinking and progressive young Democratic state senator, Andrew Rice. He is the butt of late night comedians but an object of admiration for the country's most reactionary state. And while across "real" America, voters turned Republicans out of one state house after another, the GOP captured both houses of the state legislature in Oklahoma-- for the first time in the state's history.

And where did McCain do best of all? Obviously in Little Dixie, the least educated, most backward, most superstitious part of the state, an area represented by Oklahoma's sole Democratic member of Congress, far right corporate shill Dan Boren.
McCain pulled in 70 percent of the vote to Obama's 30 percent in five Little Dixie counties: McCurtain, Choctaw, Latimer, Pushmataha and LeFlore. Bush got 56 percent in those counties in 2004.

That region is where Sen. James M. Inhofe (R), who easily won reelection this year, said his "guns, God and gays" strategy was born, in 1994 at a cafe in Hugo. That strategy emphasizes protecting Second Amendment rights to own guns, stressing his Christianity and opposing expansion of rights for gay people.

State Democratic Chairman Ivan Holmes said race was "probably a factor" in some rural areas after folks became frightened by false information that Obama "was a Muslim who would take away their guns."

"People really believed that. It reminded me of when I was a youngster. I was brought up in the Baptist Church, and I was taught that if John Kennedy was elected president, the pope would be running the government," Holmes said.

Many Oklahomans, long brainwashed into believing that McCain wasn't conservative enough, were comforted by his choice of a running mate, Sarah Palin. She's just like they are. "Oklahoma voters loved Palin," and they respected McCain as a former prisoner of war, said Keith Gaddie, University of Oklahoma political science professor.

None of the Republican members of Congress-- all off-the-cliff extremists-- got less than two-thirds of the votes in their districts. Oklahoma-- even worse than the Mormons!
Brand new state! Brand new state, gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters,
Pasture fer the cattle, Spinach and Temayters!
Flowers on the prarie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen'y of air and plen'y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope.
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say--Yeeow! A-yip-i-o-ee ay!
We're only sayin' You're doin' fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma--O.K.

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At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of this is in the least surprising. I've been maintaining to a group of European friends in the UK, Sweden, and Germany, that the US not only has many major sub-cultures, but the essential split is between urban and rural. And if you look at the maps of states they show plenty of rural counties that voted Republican, and urban counties voting Democratic.

So it doesn't surprise me that Oklahoma, much of the Deep South, or the Mormon Federation would vote as they did. In fact, I sincerely think the Mormons would be a lot happier if they split off into a separate nation, where they wouldn't constantly feel the pinch at federal laws they despite. And where the rest of us wouldn't feel the irritation that comes from the powerful and wealthy LDS church pouring funds into ballot propositions and races in other states.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Leon1234 said...

Great site! I would love to speak to you sometime..

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Celestite said...

The cure for this is education. These people who wallow in ignorance and fear also home school their kids or tie the hands of the local schools to maintain the status quo.
Not surprising that the GOP is generally against any sort of improvement in education in this country. An educated population is harder to stampede with fear.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger tech98 said...

Sarah Palin. She's just like they are.

Bigoted, pig-ignorant and proudly determined to stay that way.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger The Local Crank said...

Oklahoma is the worst of the Deep South and the Militia West. Sadly, the racist attitudes extent even to many of the Indian groups. I have encountered some of the most virulent, openly racist Obama-bashing on a Cherokee chat group I frequent, though in fairness most of the other folks on there were suitably appalled by those attitudes.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Oilfieldguy said...

Please, I'm dying over here. I live in Oklahoma, have for all my life, and ridicule does not help. It is very hard to get out a progressive message with the headwinds of the Gaylord family (owners of The Oklahoman and hard rightwing fanatics) Fox news and Rush on the am dial. Our message just gets drowned out and ridiculed. We need solutions.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

And Andrew Rice looked like that solution. And, to be fair, it looks like he's done a great deal of party-building for the future. No state turns around in one cycle. You guys just have to keep fighting and working hard for it.

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust me when I say many Oklahomans are deeply ashamed of how Tuesday came out, and that the likes of Inhofe, Kern, and their allies don't represent all of us.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger sleezak said...

I live in Tulsa and while I knew McCain would win, I didn't think it would be by such a large margin. This is extremely embarrassing to me. I had hopes we could at least get rid of Inhofe, but even that failed.

I do what I can to spread the progressive message here. Talk about an uphill battle. I wish all the GLBT people in California that were voted into second-class citizen status would move here and help me change things, but I can understand if you don't want to. Oklahoma has nothing to offer but cheap gas and housing.

At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is embarrasing. Oklahoma has some of the most outspoken and undercover racists in this state. I've lived here my whole life, as a black woman it is hard to get ahead because of the bigotry and racism. Makes me just want to move somewhere else.


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