The myths and realities of the Southern Strategy

Let’s recite the myth together. Richard Nixon, on the campaign trail in 1968, visits a Southern state and is shocked by the enthusiastic reception he receives. His campaign team scrambles to build a strategy that will tap into Southerner’s rage over the Civil Rights Acts of 1964-65. That cynical strategy evolves into a grand, successful scheme to flip the “solid South” and make the GOP competitive there.

Untangling myth from history in the story of the South’s great political switch is challenging. Participants in that history have little incentive to be candid. Many competing factors were in play and we always struggle to avoid conflating institutional and individual actions in our history. Truth is buried deep beneath layers of self-interested distortion and complexity.

Adding difficulty to the effort, Nixon’s political aides did in fact construct and attempt to implement a Southern Strategy. Their efforts are well documented. They even adopted the term itself.

What makes the Southern Strategy a myth is that it confuses correlation with causation. What makes it dangerous is the way it whitewashes the forces behind our current political dysfunction.

The Southern Strategy was not a successful Republican initiative. It was a delayed reaction by Republican operatives to events they neither precipitated nor fully understood. Republicans did not trigger the flight of the Dixiecrats, they were buried by it. That is the unacknowledged reality of the Great Dixiecrat Migration which continues to haunt our politics in the present.

Racist Southern Democrats began their ugly break from the Democratic Party twenty years prior to the Southern Strategy. Their move was sparked by Truman’s desegregation of the military and it was led by Senator Strom Thurmond. The history of the South’s switch from one-party rule under Democrats to one-party rule under Republicans starts in 1948 with Thurmond’s third-party campaign for the White House and ends in 2014 when the Southern states returned to full one-party control.

Republicans first tried to exploit this split in 1964. Titled “Operation Dixie,” Goldwater experienced some success in his effort to win Electoral votes in the South. That effort had little impact farther down the ballot.

Party switching started with a trickle in the early ‘60’s, led by Thurmond himself, but it remained a top-down phenomenon for another twenty years. Established Democratic Party figures already in office that possessed a standing pipeline of money and infrastructure led the break one by one. Those coming up through the ranks remained largely loyal and solidly Democratic. Party switching was a privilege of those who were already in power.

In 1989, a young Democratic State Legislator named Rick Perry switched to the GOP to run for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. He was riding a fresh wave that would gain momentum over the next few years reaching much deeper into the Dixiecrat ranks. These younger politicians were taking advantage of a new political cover and institutional groundwork created by religious fundamentalists.

While Mainline Protestants North and South had lined up fairly consistently in favor of Civil Rights, Southern evangelicals, especially the powerful Southern Baptist congregations, had been solid defenders of segregation. Within a decade after their decisive failure to protect Jim Crow they had emerged from their defeat under a new brand.

The Moral Majority and other groups mobilized initially to block the desegregation of religious schools but very quickly adapted their rhetoric behind an officially race-neutral “culture war.” Starting in the late ‘70’s they were the first to begin organizing precinct-level activism inside the Republican Party in the South.

Before the fundamentalists began to mobilize inside the GOP, the grassroots structure of the party in the South was practically empty. By the mid-80’s, the party had been able to elect Senators and even a few Governors in Southern states, but the absence of ‘feet on the street’ made it nearly impossible to compete for most state and local positions. The Southern Strategy assembled by Nixon’s strategists did nothing to fill that gap.

Local party officials, where there were any, were mostly business figures, a few Taft Republicans and Birchers, and a collection of migrants with Northern Republican roots. The party was commercially oriented, anti-union, and quietly sympathetic to Civil Rights in a manner similar to Republicans elsewhere. Fundamentalist activism in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s began to change the character of the party and led to clashes with the so-called Republican “establishment.”

By the early ‘90’s those clashes reached a crescendo as the new religious wing took over major grassroots Republican organizations. In Houston the fight was particularly ugly and prolonged, lasting half the decade. Fundamentalist extremists eventually assumed full control of the party there and began to impose religious restrictions and a newly rigorous discipline on party chairs. That pattern continues there today.

Dixiecrats’ migration to the GOP was boosted by the 1994 wave election in a way that defined the party’s future direction. National factors in ’94 created a massive Republican bloc-vote in places where the party had never before been competitive, giving rise to the Stockman Effect. Named for the outlandish Republican Congressman Steve Stockman, the Stockman Effect, far more than the Southern Strategy, explains what happened to the Republican Party over the course of the Dixiecrat Migration.

Most state and local offices on the ballot across the South in the 1994 Republican primary had been uncontested. Almost no one who was serious about public service as a judge or commissioner or sometimes even a Congressman would bother seeking the Republican nomination. Republican ballot positions were often filled by whatever local oddballs and perennial candidates happened to sign up.

In November 1994 those oddballs were swept into office.

Some of them remained in office a long time. Many of them like Congressman Steve Stockman, were so transparently dysfunctional that they were quickly swept back out. Very few of them went away.

Cloaked in the minimal legitimacy gained by their period in office they went on to influential roles in the party structure. Stockman’s wife became a national GOP delegate. Stockman himself would return to Congress a few years later. He would have remained there, making an idiot of himself in the manner of a Louie Gohmert or Steve King but for his bizarre decision to challenge John Cornyn for Texas’ Senate seat.

’94 was a signal year in the South’s pivot from one-party white Democratic rule to one-party white Republican rule. George W. Bush became Texas’ Governor. It was the last election in which Texas Republicans would lose a statewide office. Between 1994 and 2002 the switch in Texas was complete. The last southern state (apart from Virginia) would be in Republican hands by 2014.

In a moment of unusual candor, Nixon and Reagan political operative Lee Atwater explained the Southern Strategy to reporters in 1981. His comments have become the accepted standard of how Republicans allegedly drew Southern Democrats into the party and continued the fight against Civil Rights using new rhetoric:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

Atwater’s statements are electric, but as an explanation of what drew the Dixiecrats into the GOP they are entirely misleading. It’s not that Republicans learned to couch their language and conceal their racist motives. What happened was that Southern segregationists found new language and a largely empty Republican political structure through which to express it.

You would be hard-pressed to find a Republican figure anywhere in the country in 1954 who engaged in the kind of race-baiting Atwater described. The evolution he outlines did in fact occur, but it was the Dixiecrats fleeing the Democratic Party, not traditional Republicans, who brought that legacy and underwent that transformation.

There’s hubris in characterizing Republicans as having “courted” Southern voters into a new alliance. In reality, late 20th century Republicans hoping to shape an appeal in the South were foolishly trying to ride an avalanche. What’s left of the Republican Party as it once existed is buried somewhere beneath tons of noxious debris as the active racism of Jim Crow’s defenders has become the quiet racism of the culture wars.

Our myths of the Southern Strategy are dangerous for the way they obscure the Republican Party’s central problem – its new, unintended role as the vehicle of white supremacy in the 21st century. History denied is history repeated. Republicans will not shake this burden without first confronting it.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Civil Rights, Neo-Confederate, Race, Religious Right
382 comments on “The myths and realities of the Southern Strategy
  1. Turtles Run says:

    Mark your calendars. On April 14th the League of the South will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Lincoln.

    The League of the South looks to the present and future. However, from time to time we do look back at our past.
    This 14th of April will mark the 150th anniversary of John Wilkes Booth’s execution of the tyrant Abraham Lincoln. The League will, in some form or fashion, celebrate this event. We remember Booth’s diary entry: “Our country owed all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment.” A century and a half after the fact, The League of the South thanks Mr. Booth for his service to the South and to humanity

    Stay tuned . . .
    Michael Hill

    I wonder if we will know someone there?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/02/12/the-league-of-the-south-honors-john-wilkes-booth/

    • texan5142 says:

      Do you mean this someone?

      UnreconstructedRebel • 12 hours ago
      It can be debated whether killing Lincoln in 1865 was beneficial or not, considering that the war was lost. Perhaps it would have been better if he had been shot in 1861, possibly avoiding the roughly one million American lives lost in his war. Better still if the South had won and put Lincoln and the rest of his war criminals on trial, anticipating Nuremberg by 80 years. That may have sent a message to Europe that those who wage wars of aggression and commit war crimes against non-combatants would be brought to justice.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Maybe two people?

      • rightonrush says:

        “The League of the South” Just another name for “Storm Front”.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        These hateful clowns remind of neo – Nazis in post war Germany. Who are outlawed by the way. Apparently for good reason.

        Turtles, I’m sure our (former) resident neo Confederate will be in attendance. Now that he is aware of it. 😉

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Turtles, I’m surprised Ice-T didn’t file a legal injunction against publishing any and all of his images from the movie as a detriment to his career. 😉

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Sorry wrong thread and I don’t know why it double posted. I swear I only clicked once and normally I am prevented from double posting identical comments previously anyway.

    • vikinghou says:

      Where do you find this stuff? One of the negative effects of the Internet is that it has enabled deranged people with crazy ideas to find each other and organize. Of course, there are probably people online who think I’m deranged, so I guess it goes both ways.

      • 1mime says:

        What’s amazing is that there are organizations like this out there. Thank god for the internet as a way of bringing these nut groups into the light of day.

        As for being deranged – I’m all in if thinking these people are nuts. Thankfully, Turtle keeps me laughing and my hostility at bay (-:

      • Turtles Run says:

        I aim to please. Does this mean people want the Van Damme GIF again?????

      • 1mime says:

        Turtles – You’re doing fine job all by yourself ! We deal in a lot of heavy thoughts on this blog so it’s nice to have you throw a curve ball every now and then so we don’t take ourselves too seriously! (-: It’s a nice group of people and everyone works hard to contribute meaningful info….even if some consider us “intellectual lightweights”!

        BTW, Lifer, you topped 360 posts with this blog…don’t know what your record is but this sure speaks well for the quality of your research and topic selection.

      • texan5142 says:

        Had to do it Turtles.

      • 1mime says:

        Uh oh, got a little Van Damme competition going (-: Doesn’t that guy ever get tired? Whew!
        He sure can dance, tho!

      • Turtles Run says:

        For you Law & Order fans

        See if you recognize this actor (same movie as my previous Van Damme clip)

        Oh and to partially stay on topic.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Thank goodness there was some kung fu in that clip!

      • vikinghou says:

        The KKK in the Jesus Saves picture is just chilling. Sadly, as discussed by Lifer, this mentality is still prevalent nowadays. It’s just not as vividly portrayed.

    • flypusher says:

      “The League of the South thanks Mr. Booth for his service to the South and to humanity.”

      Some service. Lincoln had the best chance of reigning in the “stick it to the South” faction of the GOP during Reconstruction. So much of the lingering bitterness is from the botching of the aftermath.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Fly

        There are a lot of failures associated with Reconstruction beyond ““stick it to the South”.

        – Blacks and Union supporters in the south were abandoned by the north
        – Blacks should have been given land to work to increase their economic potential.
        – Blacks were allowed to become disenfranchised from the political system

        I do not claim to know that much about that period of time but it seems the north abandoned the freedmen to the devices of the southern whites that wanted a return to the status quo.

      • flypusher says:

        TR, the election of 1876 played a role in the freedmen being abandoned by the Feds. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before- the GOP candidate (Hayes) lost the popular vote to the Dem (Tilden), and there was a dispute over the FL results and those electoral votes. The GOP ends up getting those votes and Reconstruction ends not too long afterwards (Federal troops pulled out of the South). There’s a big difference in the # of Black members of Congress before and after.

      • 1mime says:

        Why is it that when there is an election dispute, Florida always seems to be in the middle of it. Otherwise, Fly, the Reconstruction period is one that deserves a blog post all its own.

    • way2gosassy says:

      I wish we had a time machine so we could send these rabid fools back to the time they prefer to live in knowing that nothing they say here will ever have an impact on what happened then.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Unfortunately since there is no time machine in existence these fools want to drag the 1800’s to today.

  2. RightonRush says:

    I file this under “Shitt you can’t make up”

    “REPUBLICAN” OFFERS SEXIST COMMENTARY … DIRECTED AT SOUTH CAROLINA’S ONLY FEMALE SENATOR

    || By FITSNEWS || A discussion over a pending criminal domestic violence (CDV) bill took a bizarre turn this week when S.C. Senator Thomas Corbin – a “Republican” from Travelers Rest, S.C. – offered some bizarrely sexist commentary on the role of women in the political process.

    Corbin’s comments – made at a legislative dinner held in downtown Columbia, S.C. – were reportedly directed at S.C. Senator Katrina Shealy, the only female member of the 46-person State Senate.

    Read more at http://www.fitsnews.com/2015/02/11/sc-senator-women-lesser-cut-meat/#hjXeczpiLlJLIQA3.99

  3. 1mime says:

    Apologies Lifer for OT post, but the fracus over passage of the Homeland Security Funding Bill is heating up, and it’s topical. Politico did a good analysis of where things are, but The Hill is reporting that there is Republican pressure to gut the filibuster and pass the HS bill as amended (striking down Obama’s executive actions on immigration) with 51 votes. Lots of concern as to who will get blamed for shutting down Homeland Security. Governing ain’t fun, is it?

    Politico: http://www.salon.com/2015/02/12/republicans_in_disarray_gop_cant_quite_decide_whos_to_blame_for_a_govt_shutdown/?source=newsletter

    The Hill: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/232635-house-conservatives-push-mcconnell-to-gut-filibuster

    • lomamonster says:

      Only the GOP would gut the nation’s security apparatus out of pure spite. The sick lot of fools that are indeed “The Punishment Party” will soon reap their just reward as the entire citizenry calls for drumming them out of political existence.
      The GOP simply cannot be permitted to hold this nation hostage for its petty political gain anymore, and everyone knows that now is the time to unleash our best intellect to save us all from impending chaos and re-establish our leadership in the world.

      • lomamonster says:

        Furthermore, we could perhaps launch our own Super-Pac to fund Homeland Security out of citizen donations while teaching those clowns a lesson never to be forgotten. We have the money and the power as a nation to bypass Congress anytime that we want to!

      • lomamonster says:

        The National Emergency Super-PAC would state it quite nicely, eh?

    • way2gosassy says:

      A very funny thing happened on the way to the forum….Boehner accused Democrats of being obstructionists and the party of “no”.

      As for calls from the Tea Party faction to gut the filibuster, well that is just so much bluster. McConnell isn’t stupid. The Democrats could have done that at anytime in the first six years but they didn’t. Reid only used the nuclear option to advance appointments that had been languishing for far longer in the Obama administration than have ever happened in any Presidency.

      • johngalt says:

        Gutting the filibuster at this point is a cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face maneuver at this point, because it accomplishes nothing. With a Democrat in the White House, anything they pass over a potential filibuster will be vetoed. The very small positive PR (if it’s even positive) of framing Obama as the obstructionist, vetoing the hard work of Congress, is far outweighed by the negatives of dismantling long political tradition for the sole purpose of throwing red meat to your most extreme supporters.

        Given that it is reckless, politically damaging, and purposeless, I expect the Senate GOP to do it soon.

      • vikinghou says:

        Gutting the filibuster may give them some short term advantage, but when the Democrats regain control of the Senate, payback will be a b•tch.

      • 1mime says:

        I hope you’re right, Sassy, but the wingnut faction of the Repub is the tail wagging the dog and I wouldn’t put ANYTHING past them. Reid has his faults but he reluctantly, wisely used the filibuster only as you noted, for appointees as gov’t wasn’t able to function. If the GOP cave on this filibuster – which they sadly could – we are in for some real trouble in D.C.

        Homeland Security funding should never have been coupled with amendments of any kind. There should be some sacrosanct areas of the budget that all parties respect. I still don’t see Dems getting blamed for this if the GOP decides to go this route. Of course, I’m still hoping calmer heads will prevail.

        More of the same. The Tea Party faction has got to be managed better by the GOP leadership.

        Lifer – what can be done?

    • flypusher says:

      Hey GOP Congress members, if you really want to act in a meaningful manner on your disapproval of Obama’s executive action on immigration, how about you DRAFT SOME LEGISLATION on the matter??? Of course, this will involve actual work, as opposed to the playing chicken strartegy.

      (Granted, “meaningful manner” is a really huge assumption here.)

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, AMEN TO THAT! Governing is the operative word. Repubs have gotten so used to their obstructionist role that they just can’t down-shift. What a crock!

        JG – “Given that it is reckless, politically damaging, and purposeless, I expect the Senate GOP to do it soon.” You skewered ’em! Wonderful. You are an inspiration in pithy humor.

    • RobA says:

      Funnily enough, if I understand Senate procedures properly, I don’t think they can Gut it.

      The Speaker can’t unilaterally decide, he has to put any procedural changes to a vote, which the Dems can filibuster as well.

      in practice, procedural changes can only be passed like any other law….with a but if compromise from both sides.

      • johngalt says:

        No, RobA, they could gut the filibuster. Through a quirk in the Senate’s rules, cloture rules (the one that says you need 60 votes to bring a matter to a vote and makes the filibuster possible) apply to important things, like the appointment of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wyoming, but cloture does NOT apply to procedural changes in Senate rules. So 51 votes would be sufficient to change the cloture rules so that a filibuster is not possible for a minority party.

      • 1mime says:

        The mood in America is squarely focused on terrorism.

        https://us-mg205.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.partner=sbc&.rand=c5ud99tvnesuh#mail

        If the GOP persists in playing this game, it will go badly for them. As JG points out, this procedure is possible. I believe the President does still have the power of the veto, which he will use. Republicans will be seen clearly as caring more about making a political statement than protecting the people of America.

        Again, if Repubs really want to address the President’s immigration actions, DO it through legislative action as Fly or Righton (can’t remember) stated. This is all about putting Pres. Obama in a box and about pandering to their base.

        THIS IS WHAT GOVERNING IS ALL ABOUT. Show us you can govern, Republicans!

    • 1mime says:

      Re: The Homeland Security bill etc. I am critical of many things Republican. In this Politico report, I can see that GOP leadership is really trying to corral the fringe. I might still not agree with what action the leadership will take, but at least they’re trying to take control away from the fringe. Read it and you’ll see that the number 28 has special significance to the business of governing.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/house-gop-leadership-115162.html?ml=po

  4. way2gosassy says:

    Doesn’t appear that Scott Walker’s trip to London was anymore successful than Chris Christy’s or Romney’s. Those pesky Brits ask the damnedest questions.

    http://news.yahoo.com/walker-meets-british-finance-minister-london-161638355.html;_ylt=A0SO8y4aKt1ULEMA5Y1XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–

    • 1mime says:

      Walker did exactly what his handlers want him to do – Say as little as possible so as to not give anyone any ammunition to attack him. Don’t dismiss him, Sassy. He’s definitely not someone I admire, but he is a player in conservative circles. It’s too early in the process to know but I suspect he is going to be in the final group of contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination.

  5. Turtles Run says:

    In 2009 some of you may remember that the right wing had a fit over a report what they believed was the DHS targeting “conservatives” and military veterans over possible terror threats. he pressure was so bad that the group dedicated to investigating possible “lone wolf” attacks was disbanded.

    A report has been written concerning the rise of lone wolf attacks in this nation. It seems to be an interesting read and I will spend this weekend going through it. For those interested.

    http://www.splcenter.org/lone-wolf

    • dowripple says:

      I had no idea there were that many domestic terror incidents, and the “Leaderless Resistance” section is just chilling.

      I found this interesting from the “Wounded Minds” section:

      “What happens then, when a person collecting wounds decides to follow through with their plans?

      What we do know is that from ideation, they go to the next step, which is to isolate themselves, and when they begin to isolate themselves, both psychologically and physically, that’s when they became very dangerous. Because now they’re not getting a balance of ideas and thoughts. Now, they’re fulfilling themselves and their beliefs, and so they’re repetitively thinking about the same thing. Or they’re hanging out with a group that feeds that.”

      Among other things, this makes me wonder how much living in a city may prevent someone who collects wounds from “isolating”, because it’s hard not to interact with other people (and sometimes ideas just “sink” in). When I picture an ultra right-wing lone-wolf, they are almost always in a bunker deep in the woods. However, I could totally see it happening in poor urban areas too, as I often associate Muslim terrorists (also extreme right-wing in my opinion) with. In both cases there are fewer “different” ideas being introduced.

      JMHO, but I think there is also a link here to Lifer’s previous blog entry about why poor whites seem to vote against their interest. I think that may also apply to poor Muslim men in other countries (where there is no real way to move up, rate of illiteracy is high, etc.). You have this pool of disenfranchised people (poor whites, poor Muslims, etc.) that weren’t always the bottom rung of the ladder, and desperately want to do something about it. Then put them into a system closed off to new ideas, and ka-blaamo!

      And there are probably a bunch of correlations between the two violent groups. For example: urbanization might be to American racist groups as globalization is to fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. The further back a group/lone wolf is from the middle class, the more violent the reaction, etc.

      Sorry about my incoherent rant, it sounded better in my head. Thanks for the link turtles, and have a great V-Day weekend!

  6. texan5142 says:

    Good interview but long. This is how journalist or should I say journalism is supposed to be done.

    • 1mime says:

      Interesting article, Fly. If the writer is correct that the Tea Party is the “true” representative of the “true” conservative positions, they’re going to have trouble with that. A thorn in the side, a governing irritant/obstruction, yes. They may serve to remind Conservatives of core principles, but their methodology and messaging isn’t resonating with the average American. Republicans swept the 2014 elections. Voters are now seeing that governing isn’t so easy and that obstruction isn’t governing.

      • flypusher says:

        It’s always easier to be the minority/opposition party. In that position you can get away with doing the bare minimum, i.e., just bitching about the party in power. When you have the majority, it’s put up or shut up time.

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking of “put up or shut up time”, I’m going to enjoy watching GOP leadership deal with the Homeland Security bill mess they’ve created. If they think for ONE minute (and there are some in the Republican Party who are betting that way)….that Republicans will win on holding Homeland Security hostage…I’ve got a bridge in China to sell ya.

        Americans got their fill when Cruz pulled his stunt on the budget. Leadership should know if he is involved that (1) he doesn’t care if there are consequences for the party, and (2) his base is crazy enough to support him. Of course, if the GOP leadership were thinking first of what was best for America, there would be no amendments to that department’s budget. If they want to attack Pres. Obama’s immigration actions, they should do so directly.

        Well, we are officially 45 days into the new GOP governing cycle. How’s that working out for ya?

      • RobA says:

        Fact is, the Republican party as a whole is on the wrong end of every major trend in America right now.

        America is becoming more secular, less white, and more liberal.

        The Tea Party as a subset of the GOP is going even MORE against the tide.

        The TP will only hasten the moderation of the GOP. After the GOP gets trounced in the next few elections, the establishment is going to have to realize the strategy of pandering to the TP is not working.

        Sane, intelligent, rational people see the the shrill cries of the TP for what it is: the death throes of the formerly privileged class (white, patriochal religious folks) realizing they’re losing their stranglehold on power.

      • BigWilly says:

        I can remember hanging out with my friend Flick when we were about 9 or 10 during the pre African-American days. The handful of black Elkhartans lived on the other side of town. We virtually never saw a black person until we were in Junior High. So it was nothing for us to casually riff on all of the colorful terms that we knew describing black folk.

        There was nothing sinister about it because we connected the words with nothing. The occasional black that we did see was more of a curiosity than anything else.

        Life hasn’t really changed that much in some ways. We found the statement on the bag of pods “beans selected by hand” to be absurdly hilarious today. What would you expect from accountants? The thought of 1 bean good, 2 bean good, 3 bean questionable, 4th bean bad…is this a pattern?

        I’ve long heard that conservatives, by definition, are behind the times. I think this is incorrect. Conservatives are the little dog nipping at the fools’ heel trying to prevent him from blithely walking off of a cliff.

      • 1mime says:

        Oh, Willy! If you think Conservatives are “nipping at (Dems) heels to keep them from going off the cliff”, you are hopeful. There isn’t a cliff high enough for Democrats to go off of.

        I have stated many times in posts that I support a strong two-party system. My choice is the Democratic Party because the party’s goals are most similar to mine. As I responded to JG, I want prudent, responsible, sustainable fiscal management. But I don’t want it at the expense of the social values that are important to me.

        Democracy depends upon a checks and balance between its branches. That is a very good thing but there are some who are doing their best to screw it up more out of personal political gain than what is best for America. How else would you categorize the irresponsible actions by Republicans that have shut down government, threaten our homeland security? (To name just two.)

        No, I want a Jack Kemp kind of Republican working across the aisle. I want good government, not conservative or liberal government. You don’t get there by denigrating millions of Hispanics, women and working men and women. You get there by compromise that works for the majority without forgetting to respect the minority – whoever they are. There are Republicans in office who I really like even if I don’t agree with all their positions or actions. Undoubtedly, they are moderates.

      • 1mime says:

        Big Willy, another point. I have no doubt that you and many others have used terms to describe Black people that had no derogatory intent. But, when an elected offical uses a term in a public setting that he knows full well is offensive to the Black community, it’s intentional and it’s demeaning. That’s a whole lot different than what you experienced and did as a young man.

      • BigWilly says:

        I’m pretty sure that, as nice warm and fuzzy as Jack Kemp might be from a retrospective perspective, he was most assuredly not a moderate. The ability to moderate, or modulate if you like, does not unmake a conservative.

        The blogging process has helped me to modulate my tones better. I can see what is genuinely repugnant whether it’s my writing or someone else. Maybe it’s time to move on.

        I’ve been doing this for 7 years here and at the chron. It’s like eternal open mike night here. I’m getting a bit tired of it.

      • Crogged says:

        BW, I hope you don’t, but understand if you do. I agree with you that Jack Kemp was no moderate, but I don’t need or want ‘moderates’. What ideas come from ‘moderation’ or from ‘balance’? Are there ‘good’, ‘bad’ and ‘moderate’ ideas? I get tired of the entirety of the open mike night, but somebody probably heard Bill Hicks for the first time at an open mike. Our Congress probably suffers from too much moderation, decorum, rules of order to be willfully suspended in order to keep ‘moderation’ as the rule. Go nuts, go improv, never say ‘no’ and see where it finally becomes ridiculous.

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged – Allow me to define “moderate” as I understand its application in politics. When I speak of a polititician as being moderate, what that means to me is that he/she is open to ideas other than their own, and will engage meaningfully with others to find common ground. It has nothing to do with diminishing their strong opinions, only that they agree to have a conversation/discussion that is civil, fact based, and focused on solutions.

        The reason I believe moderates are important and real to the political process is because this how things get done, i.e., compromise. Having been in government on a small scale, I can tell you it works. Would you agree that we need a little “getting things done” in Congress? Lifer mentioned Kay Bailey Hutchinson – a real lady and someone who would listen while holding her own. I voted for her because she was an effective member of Congress and she worked across the aisle – despite the fact that she was a Republican and I, a Democrat.

        Point is, very little is getting done and it’s hurting the American people and America’s economic recovery. If Republicans are threatened with being primaried or whatever other threats they receive when they work with Democrats, the political process is severely weakened. This has to change.

        So, count me a fan of moderates (in both parties) who are open to ideas, willing to listen and to compromise for the common good. Forget the extremists, they’re too busy pandering and obstructing. We all know who they are. Surely, America can do better.

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged and BW, Jack kemp when compared with today’s far right conservatives looks moderate to me. At least Kemp would work across the aisles. How many Republicans are able to do that today without facing primary threats? Surely, there should be some issues of importance that the two parties can find enough agreement that bills can get passed without all the threats, grandstanding and hyperbole.

        Big Willy, I, too, hope you’ll sign in when the spirit moves you. Since I’m relatively new to the process, I thought it was an open mike…..that was the point. If I am misunderstanding the blog format, please let me know.

      • Crogged says:

        That time of my life was a little, ……’foggy’ and my politics were inflexibly extreme as I moved away from my fundamentalist upbringing to near anarchy. Now, I’m inexorably anarchic because I can’t make heads or tails out of what people call ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’. Too hip for the square and too square for the hip.

    • Crogged says:

      1mime I think we are extremely agreeing. Sure, give me the pragmatic decision, but first must come the idea and invariably, the idea is terrible, communist, ‘we’ve never done it this way’ or ‘there’s no problem!”. As our former governor just said, “Hey, the poor people in Texas don’t really want health insurance because they haven’t burned my house down!”

      Some of our own political structures and beliefs, such as the Social Security Act, started out as ‘communism’ and the usual rants of ‘losing my freedom to beggar myself!’.

      I was part of the backlash against the time that Mr. Kemp and others said, “Well maybe creating a federal agency every time we run up against a historical trend isn’t always the best idea.”

      What lunacy, he wants to throw us back to the Gilded Age! Robber barons! No workplace protections! Somebody has to protect me and we can’t have that!

      I have always enjoyed this quote, from poor, misunderstood Friedrich Hyek. What does it mean, how far does one go when pondering that the animating force of the American ideal wasn’t just ‘freedom’ but included ‘equality’. It was a reaction against royalty, inherited authority. Prices rule markets, can we make the market work?

      “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance, where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks, the case for the state helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. There are many points of detail where those wishing to preserve the competitive system and those wishing to supersede it by something different will disagree on the details of such schemes; and it is possible under the name of social insurance to introduce measures which tend to make competition more or less ineffective. But there is no incompatibility in principle between the state providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom.”

      • 1mime says:

        I understand, Crogg, and agree that originality and creativity should be part of the process even as the governmental process makes it damn difficult. I sure hope the American people are watching but I am probably too optimistic in this regard.

        “Freedom and Equality” – how can one ever not include the other? I know there is frustration and disagreement among commentators to Lifer’s blog about Pres. Obama’s effectiveness, but given the hand he was dealt (economy) and the incredible obstruction he has faced/continues to face, it’s a wonder he and the Democratics have been able to function at all. Yet, somehow, they made progress. Now that Repubs are driving the car, I am real curious to see IF they can govern. Sorry, Lifer and all conservatives on the blog, but this is one seriously mean bunch of people.

        Be careful what you ask for, America.

        FYI: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/12807180166408089/

  7. 1mime says:

    Lifer, didn’t know if you saw the H. Chronicle today, but a Democratic Representative from Austin officially suggested eliminating Confederates Day in Texas. Here’s the link:

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Lawmaker-seeks-to-eliminate-state-Confederate-6073928.php

    • goplifer says:

      I hope it gains traction. Similar effort just failed in Arkansas. The committee hearings were unintentionally (and grimly) hilarious.

      http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/lee-stands-bid-end-arkansass-dual-leemlk-holiday-rep-called-colored

      • 1mime says:

        They just can’t stop living in the past, can they?

      • flypusher says:

        I get that once upon a time, the words “colored” and “Negro” in reference to Black people were socially acceptable. I get that they still persist in the names of long standing organizations (like the NAACP). But seriously, what rock are you living under if you can’t grok that there has been a change in the language. If you’ve been paying even a little attention you should know that.

      • 1mime says:

        Ah, but they do know what the term “colored” means and are using it intentionally to slyly (they think) be insulting. And conservatives wonder why Black people vote Democrat?

      • texan5142 says:

        Talk about being out of touch.

      • johngalt says:

        Did you notice the comments for the online article. Our old friend Sternn was busily trying to explain how the Civil War was about State’s Rights, taxation without representation (?) and an aggressive North bent on stealing the wealth of the South (??) rather than slavery. Ah, old times.

      • Crogged says:

        FP you aren’t looking to communicate to those who know that and still maintain your superiority. “I meant no disrespect to you” means ” I want to tell my voters that your preference for naming isn’t respected by us”. It needs to be called out more often, “Thanks Mr. Redneck, you may return to 1953 now.”

        It’s a tragedy in the South that you can’t get many white people to say about the Civil War, “It’s a shame all those people had to die for such a fucking idiotic evil thing, glad we’re past that”.

      • flypusher says:

        ‘ It needs to be called out more often, “Thanks Mr. Redneck, you may return to 1953 now.” ‘

        I figure that my phrasing would be the diplomatic first response to such speech, but if they refused to take the hint, your phrasing (more blunt and truthful) is then in play.

      • Crogged says:

        I said “Mr”, isn’t that diplomatic?

  8. 1mime says:

    OT, What next?

    http://thehill.com/regulation/legislation/232255-states-rising-up-against-washington

    “State legislators around the country have introduced more than 200 bills aiming to nullify regulations and laws coming out of Washington, D.C., as they look to rein in the federal government.states suing the federal government

    In Virginia, conservatives are pushing for states to invoke Article 5 of the Constitution and hold a “convention of states” to restrict the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.

    The group Citizens for Self-Government is leading the charge, and three states — Alaska, Georgia and Florida — have already passed resolutions calling for the convention.

    Another 26 states are considering legislation this year, according to the group’s president, Mark Meckler. It would take 34 states to call a convention…We’ll have [Article 5] applications pending in 41 states within the next few weeks,” he said. “The goal is to hold a convention in 2016.”

    “… former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) announced he is joining the Convention of States Project as a senior adviser. “

    • Anse says:

      It’s really preposterous. Congress IS a “convention of states” for crying out loud. God people are stupid. It’s like when people say we need a revolution. Well, what do we do when the revolution is over? Do we get rid of the voters we have and get new voters? What do we do when the same damned voters go to the polls after the revolution? Are they going to suddenly get right with god and vote differently?

      If Congress can’t work together, I don’t see how any “convention of states” is going to accomplish a damned thing.

      • Crogged says:

        Exactly Anse–Coburn said this, ‘“Our Founders anticipated the federal government might get out of control at some point, and they gave us a Constitutional mechanism to rein it in……..”

        Who knows about what they ‘anticipated’, but we have a Constitutional ‘mechanism’ called ‘voting’.

    • way2gosassy says:

      Want to know what’s next? Here is what hit the local news here yesterday but I could only find it in print form here.

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/11/1363866/-Tenn-State-Rep-Introduces-Bill-to-Make-Bible-Official-State-Book-Essay

    • vikinghou says:

      They should be careful what they wish for. It’s easy to envision the process getting totally out of control. Apparently the main goal is to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget. But we know there would be attempts to accomplish other things, no matter how outlandish. I might be for it if there was a motion to repeal Citizens United, but that’s asking too much.

      • Crogged says:

        And when do we require a balanced budget?
        Never.
        Ever.

      • vikinghou says:

        Especially if there’s a war. Do you think we could have fought WW2 on a balanced budget? These people are delusional. And if a Republican ever wins the Presidency again, the balanced budget issue will miraculously disappear. Republicans only worry about the budget when a Democrat is in the White House.

  9. 1mime says:

    I knew there would be damage control. The Jeb Bush tech hire who was caught making slurs, has resigned.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ethan-czahor-resigns-jeb-bush-pac

    • GG says:

      When are these morons going to realize that everything they Facebook or tweet about is going to come back and bite them in the ass? This stuff is out there forever now.

  10. GG says:

    Conservatives….such a nice, compassionate bunch. Blogger calls Kayla Mueller a ‘Jew-Hating, Anti-Israel B**ch’.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/conservatives-kayla-mueller-israel

    • 1mime says:

      Appalling, GG. The list of fanatical conservatives is getting longer and louder and more disgusting. I feel for Kayla Mueller’s family. Kayla was a sweet person, an American, and it was her right to be doing what she wanted to even if it was a danger to herself. How dare this blogger pillory her death!

    • way2gosassy says:

      Well they do have the right to free speech and I will defend their right to do so with my last breath, however, they are also free to receive the consequences of that free speech. I hope it comes in the form of a hellfire missile!

    • texan5142 says:

      That thing called Debbie Schlussel is one demented hateful glob of carbon based matter.

    • 1mime says:

      GG, that is incredibly sad. I wonder what coverage this will get. They are all so ready to jump on all Muslims. How very sad.

    • objv says:

      GG: Debbie Schussel does not represent the feeling of conservatives on Kayla Mueller’s death. The news of her death was awful and appalling.

      Part of the explanation for Schlussel’s feelings may be that she is Jewish and has spent her career trying expose Palestinians. Mueller’s solidarity with Palestnians must have engendered strong emotions.

      By way of history, Schlussel is …

      “The granddaughter of immigrant Holocaust survivors, Schlussel’s mother was born in the former Nazi concentration of Bergen Belsen in Germany.”

      http://www.debbieschlussel.com/bio/

      Despite her background, I consider Schlussel’s comments were hateful and inappropriate. They do not represent what other conservatives think.

      • 1mime says:

        Don’t you see, Objv, all these people who spout vitriol in the name of conservatism collectively DO speak for the Republican Party. Conservatives own them and their hate-filled messaging….or, maybe, They own the Republican Party. Which is it going to be, Republicans? In the absence of any obvious, concerted effort by the GOP to counter the vile messages being sent by these conservatives, what should we believe? That “this is not really the view of ‘most’ conservatives?” Or, that the horrible comments about Kayla’s death sprang from her family’s Holocaust experience and deep antipathy for Palestinians and is therefore forgivable even if reprehensible? Ms. Schlussel is just one more out of line right wing conservative.

        I’m tired of hearing the excuses for conservative extremism. If moderate Republicans can’t control their party’s membership, this is what you get. The Party has denigrated the office of the President, obstructed the business of this nation in order to further its own political goals, even as it’s hurt our working families. Where is the honesty? Integrity? If this is what GOP governing will be like, I sure am proud to be a Democrat, with all our warts. When the WSJ gets on the Republican party’s butt for failing to control their members And screwing up the legislative process, you know there’s a serious problem – even though I really believe the message being sent was: “Don’t screw this up, Boehner, McConnell. We have big plans for 2016.”

        We subscribed to the WSJ for over 40 years – until it was sold to Rupert Murdoch and became just a well-written extension of Fox News. It, like the Republican Party, used to be one fine newspaper.

        Nope, no passes, no excuses for Ms. Debbie. I wouldn’t wish that kind of hatefulness on anyone.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well, what a surprise (heavy sarcasm), OV supports and excuses a hateful wingnut while disingenuously qualifying that she doesn’t.

        Yeah ok her family survived the Holocaust. So did a lot of other Jews and other nationalities. I don’t see too many of them hypocritically spew hate for another ethnicity.

        And lookee here, unapologetically advocating genocide against an entire religion she dislikes. Now what does that remind us of?

        “After the killing of Osama bin Laden, Schlussel wrote on her blog “1 down, 1.8 billion to go”, referring to the world’s Muslim population.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debbie_Schlussel

        In addition, she has a vitriolic and irrational hatred for homosexuals. You know, another segment of German society and humankind that Hitler and the Nazis attempted to exterminate in addition to Jews.

        Besides lacking compassion, basic human decency, and apparently ability to process basic logic and reasoning, she is totally devoid of the ability for understanding irony.

        And despite your feebly inaccurate claim that she doesn’t represent “represent what other conservatives think”, she has been quoted by Rush Limbaugh, published in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and NY Post and appeared on his Fox News, in addition to being published in right wing mouthpieces as Breitbart and the Washington Times. Suuuure she doesn’t.

        No “explanation” whatsoever OV to any rational person, except for the likes of you, not surprisingly.

      • objv says:

        mIme, Schussel does not speak for conservatives collectively. Neither dos she speak for Jewish people. She speaks for herself. I do not know of anyone else besides her who is not utterly appalled at this young woman’ death. I thought I made myself clear by characterizing her speech as hateful.

        Do you own everything fellow Democrats say? Are you in total agreement with everything Texan says? Can GG state that you and she have the exact same opinions?

        Are you responsible here?

        “March 2011: Racist SEIU supporters in Denver, Colo., taunt gay black tea party activist and entrepreneur Leland Robinson, who criticized teachers unions at a Capitol rally, by calling him “son,” telling him to “get behind that fence where you belong,” and jeering, “Do you have any children? That you claim?”

        http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2012/12/12/malkin-there-will-be-blood-union-violence-in-the-age-of-obama/

        If you read the article above, you’ll find multiple examples of foul language and even violence by union members. Do you own that? Shouldn’t people ultimately be responsible for their own words and actions?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        OV you must have some pathological hatred for horses to repeatedly bludgeon them at every opportunity.

      • objv says:

        Sorry, bubba, does your head hurt?

      • objv says:

        bubba, I also want to make it clear that I did not call you a schmuck. I wrote, “Don’t be a schmuck.” There is a difference. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, I was very careful to speak in the third person – there was not one comment directed at you personally. I understood that Ms. Schlussel’s views were not your own. You’re a better person than that. My point was, there are so many incidents of hateful speech by the right wing the Party has a responsibility to act, and, they’re not.

        And, yes, to the extent that I am a Democrat, I feel I do share responsibility as a member of the party. It pains me deeply when someone or something is done in the name of the Party that is hateful. All I can do is make my feelings known to someone in a position of authority. How much good it does, is another matter, but I try to stand up for the best ideals of the Democratic Party.

        As for the incidents in Denver and Michigan. Those are abhorrent and wrong. And, when I agree or disagree with other commentators on this blog, I usually speak up. Surely you’ve noticed this. I’m not always right, but I speak up.

        The point is, the Republican Party is losing control of the far right. They do own that and they need to address it or your party will die. I am not alone in thinking this. I’ve tried to express my support for moderate, rational Republicans because they are important reminders of how good the Republican Party can be.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Excuse and deflect OV that seems to be your best defense against the indefensible.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        February 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm
        “bubba, I also want to make it clear that I did not call you a schmuck. I wrote, ‘Don’t be a schmuck.’ There is a difference.”

        Only in YOUR pathetic little word.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Correction, “world”.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, what Schlussel wrote WAS indefensible. I agree. Where I disagree is that Schlussel represents conservative thought on the death of Kayla Mueller.

        Schlussel, is a pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian advocate. She has built her career on that. 99.9% of conservatives would not agree with what she wrote about Kayla. If you think this is incorect, please prove me wrong.

      • objv says:

        Bubba, Schussel has not exclusively been on conservative media. Besides numerous writing articles for various conservative and liberal papers …

        “Schlussel is a frequent guest on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” CBS’ “Early Show,” FOX News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity & Colmes,” “FOX News Live,” “Beyond the News,” and “Judith Regan Tonight,” Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “Buchanan & Press,” “The Abrams Report with Dan Abrams,” “Scarborough Country,” and “MSNBC Live,” CNN’s “Crossfire,” “Talk Back Live” and “Weekend Wrap,” C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” FOX Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” and the Nationally Syndicated “America’s Black Forum”

        This is from her website. I regularly watch both Fox and CNN (MSNBC at my parents’ house) and I don’t remember ever seeing her.

      • objv says:

        bubba, I guess this means I will not be getting any Valentne wshes from you. 😦

        Don’t worry about mistyped words. I understand. I’m having problems with my keyboard. I may have worn it out. Time to buy a new laptop. 🙂

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So now you speak for 99.9% of conservatives OV? Who’s painting the broad brush now?

        And you are either calling Schlussel a liar or yourself uninformed. Which is it?

        She said she appeared on Fox. You said you never saw her on it.

        Not sure what your point is other than to discredit either Schlussel or yourself or both.

      • way2gosassy says:

        OV one needs only to enter “conservatives comments over kayla mueller” in your search engine to find that in fact many conservatives agree with her.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, I stand by what I said. 99.9% of conservatives would condemn what Schussel wrote. It’s true that there are a few people filled with hate, but they are not in any way representative of conservatives. I went ahead and did a search. The articles all focused on Schussel.

        “FLAGSTAFF — Students in the campus ministry group at Northern Arizona University have set up a temporary memorial outside their meeting house, honoring Kayla Mueller where she regularly worshiped during college.

        Friends and supporters have gradually stopped by to leave bouquets of flowers or write notes about their memories and admiration. At night, a large peace sign arranged out of rocks and LED lights illuminates the display.

        Amy Ron, a spiritual mentor for students in United Christian Ministry, said they expect a large turnout for a 6:30 p.m. candlelight vigil on Saturday. She said the university has ordered 3,000 candles and expects groups from around the state to come pay their respects”

        For more:
        http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/02/12/vigil-for-kayla-mueller-planned-at-nau-saturday/23291965/?hootPostID=d612859c3a0beb685ddadda318151c34

        This is how almost all conservatives feel. Someone like Schussel who is blinded by her anti-Palestinian worldview is not the typical conservative.

      • objv says:

        bubba, Saying that I did not see her on Fox or CNN (or MSNBC at my parents’) does not mean she never appeared thee. What I was trying to say was that she must not have been on any of those venues often or I would have seen her at some point.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, After looking over the websites and reading what was in them, I find little except the furor over Schussel’s comments. Where exactly do you find the conservative hate?

      • way2gosassy says:

        That sure was some fine cherry picking you did there OV can’t you admit that Brietbart and others including some journalists who write for major conservative publications were as equally complicit in this character assassination? Where are all those conservatives that are repudiating this abomination?

      • objv says:

        Sassy, You’re going to have to provide me with some links.

        I looked on the Breitbart site and this is what I found:

        http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/07/p-r-stunt-jordan-denies-isis-claim-of-american-hostages-death/

        Where’s the hate and nasty comments?

        I’ve got company coming and I have to time for online scavenger hunts. If you have found anything on Breitbat or any other major source of conservative news, please provide a link to what was said. I’ll try to return after my company leaves.

      • objv says:

        http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/06/american-isis-hostage-kayla-jean-mueller-dedicated-her-life-to-those-in-need/

        Still haven’t found anything derogatory on Breibart, I should be cleaning ….

        Where Sassey, where?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Where OV? Right under your nose and willfully blindered eyes. Not surprisingly.

        Just a sampling of the most recent consecutive comments from the LAST of your links alone:

        1stAmenMeansNothingWOthe2nd • 7 days ago
        should have tried helping her fellow americans instead of a bunch of savages.

        NO SYMPATHY

        VinceFontaine 1stAmenMeansNothingWOthe2nd • 7 days ago
        I am going to go off the reservation with this one too. How is allowing yourself to be exploited and murdered by a bunch of animals helping anyone? How about thinking about your family and your friends? Did you help them?

        Dotcoman VinceFontaine • 6 days ago
        So, basically she was just yet another chubby neohippie brainwashed rube and willing tool of the Marxist church of the perpetually bleeding heart.

        Completely useless waste of a life.

        MattMusson VinceFontaine • 6 days ago
        I guess she could not find any needy people in this country to minister to.

        Sanderd_Son MattMusson • 6 days ago
        She was also letting some dumb diaper head “boyfriend” bang her like the outhouse door. He probably sold her into white slavery as an ISIS comfort woman. I guess that is “helping” people.

        AND OV, I didn’t even have to wade through the comments to select the “best” hateful ones.

        I repeat, these were ALL of the MOST RECENT CONSECUTIVE comments.

        Soooooo, you speak for 99.9% of conservatives, eh OV?

        Another poor dead innocent brutalized equine thanks to OV’s singularly obtuse and obsessively factually challenged and illogical right wing apologist proclivities.

  11. Chris D. says:

    “Republicans will not shake this burden without first confronting it.”

    As a Midwesterner whose lived and watched the rise of the GOP in the South for nearly two decades, I can assure you there will be no confronting it. You will simply have to wait for them to die.

  12. bubbabobcat says:

    And speaking of Brownback, he continues to double down on his hateful wingnut stupidity and has rolled back anti discrimination laws covering gays and transgenders. Implemented by his Democratic predecessor Kathleen Sebelius of course.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/us/kansas-governor-rescinds-order-protecting-gay-state-workers.html?mabReward=R2&action=click&contentCollection=Pro%20Football&region=Footer&module=Recommendation&src=recg&pgtype=article

    And I’m absolutely sure God smiles upon his hate. What the HELL is wrong with these wingnuts?

    If it weren’t for Sassy’s and Greg Aydt’s instances of rays of hope for Republicans, I would just give up on Republicans as a lost cause for just basic intelligence and sanity, much less basic human decency.

    • Turtles Run says:

      His reasoning is that the state legislature should pass these laws. Has he asked the legislature to do so? Why couldn’t such executive action remained in place till the legislation passes and he signs it into law? Who the heck does he really think he is kidding?

    • 1mime says:

      You know what I wonder? WHY is it even necessary to have a state law prohibiting hiring discrimination? Isn’t this a basic Constitutional right? Why isn’t this being appealed to SCOTUS?

    • Greg Aydt says:

      Just posted this before reading your comment — you may not agree with everything I have to say regarding the private sector, but we will certainly agree on the public sector aspect. http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/354933.php

  13. unarmedandunafraid says:

    Lifer, Since it came up in the comments, I hope this isn’t too off topic.

    I did a quick look at your previous posts and didn’t find anything that addressed unions. I get a feeling from your comments here you don’t like unions.

    Maybe we will see a post or two about unions now that they have become THE topic in your state. I would be interested in reading your opinion on whether unions contributed to the growth of the middle class in the US. And whether the subsequent demise of the two are linked.

    It seems to me that with the fall of unions, pushback on minimum wage, the loss of manufacturing to other countries, etc, maybe the years after the war were an anomaly.

    I believe since we are in a different era, solutions to problems that worked previously, may not work today.

    But, the problems still have to solved. If not, I know I won’t be a Lord, I”ll be a peasant. And I hate cabbage.

  14. way2gosassy says:

    If moderate Republicans can’t change the party to it’s more sane core from the inside out it would seem that some are willing to do so from the outside in.

    “Tim Johnson excoriation of the Republican Party was complete. His announcement sounded like that of a Liberal Democrat. His main reason for leaving the Republican Party was because of their refusal to accept the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). However he also went on to excoriate his former party for their lack of infrastructure spending, education spending, passage of laws to bring pay equity to women, and more. It was as if he was paraphrasing the President.”

    “Jason Thigpen

    A few weeks ago Texas Republican Judge Carlo R. Key decided to leave the Republicans Party. He pulled no punches when he left. He left with a stinging indictment of the party. He said,

    Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake; I have not left the Republican Party. It left me. I cannot tolerate a Republican Party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin, or their economic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that would provide healthcare to millions of people throughout our country. .. I would hope that more people of principle will follow me.”

    Rep. Garner of Montana hasn’t left the party yet be ain’t happy.

    “The Koch brothers have made stopping Medicaid expansion under Obamacare a top priority for their state efforts. It worked last week in Tennessee. Their allies did it in Wyoming, too. But not all states are as receptive to their interference. Take Montana, where a Koch road-show against Medicaid expansion was greeted by some well-informed and angry Montanans.

    Seems that Americans for Prosperity has been having “Healthcare Town Hall” meetings around the state, trying to relive the glory days of August recess 2009 when they terrorized politicians and citizens alike with stories about death panels and the evils of affordable health insurance. They decided to have one in Kalispell targeting Rep. Frank Garner, a Republican who has refused to sign their pledge to vote against Medicaid expansion. They did, though, without inviting Garner to appear as well.

    Garner, who made the eight-hour round trip from Helena to attend the meeting, took umbrage with the postcards and said the group never told him about the meeting, which he learned about from a reporter on the House floor at the Capitol. […]

    Garner’s mere presence had a chilling effect on the AFP presentation, which was frequently derailed by laughter, booing and shouting from audience members who overwhelmingly expressed support for Garner. […]

    “I promised the people here when I ran that I would listen to you and not out-of-town special interests,” Garner said to raucous applause. “If every time they want me to sign a pledge card and I don’t do it they are going to rent a room and have a meeting, then this is going to get real expensive. Cause I’m not signing the pledge card.” […]

    Any sense of order the meeting maintained at the beginning broke down toward its end, with audience members shouting questions and accusations, interrupting [AFP State Director Zach] Lahn and defending Garner.

    “You have pissed me off,” one man told Lahn. “Character assassination does not go down well in Montana. If he has to take a pledge then I want it to be the Pledge of Allegiance, because they don’t represent you, they represent me.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/09/1363374/-Koch-group-gets-hostile-reception-in-Montana-over-Medicaid-expansion?detail=email

    • 1mime says:

      Great post, Sassy. I keep hoping that more members of the GOP will stop making excuses and stop ducking responsibility to the American people. By not maintaining order in the ranks, they have allowed the fringe to hijack the business of the nation and the wealthy to “puppetier” both candidates and legislation. It is up to Boehner and McConnell and the saner elements of GOP leadership to put the wingnuts in a corner and put them on the committee to check for gum under the desks.

      Further, Citizens United has unleashed people with vast wealth – Kochs, etc – allowing them to use their money and influence to control not just the Republican Party but the social fabric of America. Forget one man one vote when two people announce they are going to commit $900 million dollars to seat their hand-chosen candidates. They may be a more difficult problem for the GOP to solve IF THEY EVEN WANT TO. Republicans have done a pretty good job of letting someone else do the heavy lifting including SCOTUS – which is the most egegious thing of all. The bastion of the American justice system has been blatantly co-opted. Gone is any semblance of non-political decision making making a mockery of the appeals process.

      Be careful what you ask for. The GOP let this gang of thrones into the tent. Now they need to man up and deal with them.

  15. Greg Aydt says:

    You cite an incident from Harris County as a sign of what goes on in the GOP here — but you might want to consider the rest of the story.

    Chris Busby did get treated disgracefully by the faction that controlled the Vacancy Committee. However, a few months later he filed nominating paperwork for that position and was elected by those in the precinct. He now sits on the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee along with every other precinct chair.

    But that was not the only outcome. A great many Republican activists were outraged by the conduct of the committee and their rejection of Chris. This outrage was channeled into the movement that resulted in Jared Woodfill’s defeat as County Chairman and replaced by Paul Simpson. Of the five members who voted to reject Chris, only one remains on the committee. The rest were rejected by their senatorial district caucuses after the 2014 primary and were replaced with new members. Woodfill’s hand-picked representative on the committee lost his position on the committee when Simpson appointed one of the critics of the committee’s conduct — me. In the months since we have approved a record number of applicants for precinct chair positions (we’ve filled around 10% of the vacant positions in six months with more to come at the next executive committee meeting) with a diverse group of individuals both in terms of demographics and ideology.

    • way2gosassy says:

      Hi Greg, I believe this must be what you are referencing,

      http://blog.chron.com/bigjolly/2013/05/harris-county-republican-party-chair-jared-woodfill-supports-gay-bashing-vacancy-committee/

      This blog post gives a few more details about his situation. I am glad it has worked out for him.

    • goplifer says:

      That’s really good to hear. Also read that Gary Polland is under investigation and might face an indictment. Since we have you here, did Terry Lowry or Steven Hotze lose any of their influence when Woodfill was replaced?

      http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2011/11/the-lowry-tax/

    • 1mime says:

      Good news, Greg. We will be watching to see what changes diversity will bring about.

    • 1mime says:

      Another thing, Greg. I’m glad you are following Lifer’s blog. As you no doubt have noticed, the level of frustration with the Republican Party is high. The people who post here are diverse in every respect, are widely read, smart and care about our country. I wish you well in your position and hope you will find some take-aways that will be reflected in a change in direction of the Republican Party. If it can’t happen from the top down, maybe it can begin at the bottom and work its way up.

      • johngalt says:

        It’s a nice thought, 1mime, but based on the last two weeks worth of his blog posts, I doubt Mr. Aydt is part of the solution.

      • 1mime says:

        That’s too bad, JG. Hope dies hard. I hate to think that Chris D might be correct….”You will simply have to wait for them to die.”

      • Crogged says:

        Yup, found the blog and JG is right.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, thank you JG, again. Here’s a link to Greg’s FB page. I won’t look to him for leadership in the Republican Party.

        https://www.facebook.com/rhymes.right

      • johngalt says:

        It was the blog that had me shaking my head: http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu

        But, in all seriousness, if he wants to participate here in these discussions, then I will listen and respond accordingly.

      • 1mime says:

        You do your homework, JG, and I thank you for that. I’d have more respect for the man if he hadn’t tried to paint such a glowing portrait of himself and how “diverse” he was. But, we are forewarned.

      • Crogged says:

        “Given Obama’s attack on Christians and Christianity last week, one has to wonder to what degree his profession that he is a follower of Christ was a lie to garner votes. Will Barry be feeling heat over this lie — not just during the final two years of his term, but when he stands before the judgement seat?”

        Disrespect of the man and the office? Check
        Unsubstantiated judgment of character? Check
        Unbridled hubris? Check

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Thanks JG and Tex. Lesson learned. His latest Facebook post ascribes century old Southern Democrat lynching of Blacks to modern Democrats.

        Presumably he posted here more to air personal internal intra-party grievances that only conveniently corrects an injustice as a effect that he misrepresented as an ethical virtue. Which he lacks entirely.

        Should have known a wingnut yet again resorts to subterfuge. Must be a buddy of Trollbart the Sockpuppet Supreme.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Wow, Mr. Aydt you sound like a great guy. Let me welcome you.

      • 1mime says:

        Turtle, you’re the best!

      • Greg Aydt says:

        Well, johngalt, sorry you don’t like my views on matters. I’m curious what you object to.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        Looks like texan5124 found a highly partisan blog piece from about a decade back that tried to use me as a weapon against a candidate for office I supported. He — and a candidate he worked for — sought to make my blog an issue in a couple of races in the area. I responded to him here:
        http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/201282.php

        And I responded to the candidate here:
        http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/203593.php

        Would I have written every single one of those quoted statements today? Probably not — but I still find little objectionable in them when I look at them in context. And I have to admit that the first of those two responses is angry and intemperate — but in my defense, I was angry over having spent the previous several days having to defend my ownership of my rights to my own family photograph which he misrepresented as his own copyrighted work AND having had to speak with both my principal and my district superintendent (and getting a lawyer involved) after they received phone calls from the blogger and/or his buddies seeking to have me fired for daring to express political views they opposed.

      • johngalt says:

        Well, Greg, since you asked…

        Your Facebook page today repeated a bizarre canard laying the blame for lynchings at the feet of the modern Democratic party. It was, of course, the blame of Southern white Christians, the very people who have today joined the GOP in massive numbers. This demographic identified with the Democrats 100 years ago because it was the Republican party that emancipated the slaves and occupied the South during Reconstruction. If you have lived in 1915 Houston there is absolutely no chance you would not be a Democrat.

        On your blog, I read through a week or two worth of entries. There was not a single positive idea expressed. Everything you post is vitriolic loathing of anything even remotely to do with the federal government or Democrats. Beyond the simple disrespect of referring to the twice-elected President as “Barry,” much of it is just frothing at the mouth for no purpose than whipping yourself and people who think exactly like you into a frenzy. Yes, Obama lies. No, that is not different than every other politician in the history of humankind.

        Forgive me for basing my opinions on the last few weeks of blog posts, as I had never heard of you before today, but you seem to make not the least attempt to craft a logical argument about why your policy positions or political philosophies are superior to those you scorn. You wonder why you’ve lost the last two Presidential elections? Americans do not vote for fear mongering and pessimism for President. That, plus some fake indignation and I fear all-too-real jingoism, is all you’ve got. Why would I vote for that?

        You can dismiss me, as you do others, as some wide-eyed liberal. I am not. I was a Republican and have voted for many Republicans at all levels from President to City Council. I used to subscribe to the WSJ and National Review, both of which have become very disappointing I think we need to reform entitlement spending, taxes, and government regulation. I also think that we cannot grow as an economy without spending on education, research and investment. I cannot countenance the willful ignorance on science displayed by GOP politicians. I despise the politics of no, when it exists in the utter absence of any realistic alternative policies to propose. Worse, when policies (like anti-Sharia laws) are put forth ostensibly to solve non-existent problems but really exist to chum the waters for supporters. None of the things I’ve listed as “turn-offs” need to be a part of a modern conservative party, yet they seem to be all today’s GOP has.

        I long for a day, as does our blog host Chris, when the GOP could be a party of real ideas and real solutions, with a consistent philosophy of governing. Based on my admittedly brief read of your blog, you don’t appear to be working for this future.

      • 1mime says:

        Wonderful rebuttal, JG. I wish you had been able to incorporate the attack on women and immigrants, but you certainly expressed much of what many of us on Lifer’s blog think about contemporary conservatives.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        crogged — apparently you missed what Axelrod had to say about Obama’s apparent lies. And since Obama had made it clear that his alleged opposition was based upon his faith, it is not unreasonable to ask if the statements about faith were wall lies. I don’t presume to know what his eternal future is — I just wonder.

        Oh, and by the way — how do I disrespect the office? I’ll concede that I have grown to have little respect for the man.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        Odd, JG — your initial attack on me was devoid of any ideas at all. That you then see fit to attack me for posting that which you deem to be devoid of ideas is really quite amusing.

        But to answer your question, I’ve not been blogging as much recently because of involvement with other things — the Vacancy Committee, efforts to get that pay-to-play resolution spread around the state, and efforts to promote some real reform of the Texas GOP platform along the lines found here:
        http://txgoplatform.blogspot.com/

        I’ve also been teaching a full load of classes during the day at my high school and a college class at night. I’ve been involved in the process of selecting the new textbooks my district will be using for the next decade or so for the three classes I teach. Given my wife has a number of medical issues that have left her partially disabled and in need of a wheelchair, I’ve been running her to the myriad doctors she sees. I’ve made sure that we still get to the theater twice a month and even have gone to hear a couple of our favorite local country artists perform at local clubs. Oh, yeah — I’ve also taken an active role in the life of my local church (not Baptist, and a part of a rather liberal denomination). Oh, yeah — there was also that bout with stomach flu that lingered for a couple of weeks. So long-form philosophical pieces have been low on my priority list of late.

        In other words, my priorities have been elsewhere, and I have written about what I’ve chosen to write about when I’ve had the time and the inclination to do so.

      • 1mime says:

        Greg, the genie is out of the bottle. The scariest thing you’ve said is that you are teaching high school and college students AND selecting textbooks….which, in TX, we know is how history gets re-written.

        Sounds like you have a full life. Be assured, you are not the only person in the blogsphere dealing with a family disability. Only thing, some of us are don’t even get to go the the theater twice a month, or twice a year, or…ever, so, forgive me if I don’t empathize with you sufficiently. Your views are clearly laid out on your FB page and in your blog, however much or little time you spend on them, and they’re hateful.

        I’m done with you.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        BTW, JG — I’ve actually had some lively debates elsewhere online about the sharia law tribunal here in Texas. I’ve been defending it — and noting that any law that bans them necessarily bans Catholic marriage tribunals and Jewish rabbinical courts as well.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        I think Turtle Runs does the best job of showing how commenters here respond to dissenting opinions. You know, with real or implied violence. So much easier than actually engaging.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        Well, 1mime, I’ve come to the conclusion that you aren’t worth engaging with further, so that’s fine with me.

      • johngalt says:

        I certainly understand having priorities other than blown, Greg, but it is what you have chosen to write about that is telling. A picture captioned “YOU LIE”, Hillary’s “Brian Williams problem”, musing about the “Democrats playing toady for the dictator.” Do you really believe Obama has been acting like a dictator? Because the relative ineffectiveness of his administration is not quite how I picture a dictator acting. You seem concerned that anyone who doesn’t like how this country is being run should “divest themselves of their US citizenship and depart our shores.” Of course, you don’t sound like you like how this country is being run, either.

        There are quite a few explanations for why I’m not a fan of this extremist iteration of the GOP in my previous post. I was not intending for it to be a manifesto of political ideas, but if you’d like to pick a subject, I’ll be happy to provide you with some ideas to address those problems. But, make it a real problem and not whether Obama lied about X, Y, or Z, or how we should stop ISIS from invading across our southern border.

      • johngalt says:

        Should have been, “priorities other than blogging…”

      • Crogged says:

        So ineffective he won a second election, but I’m just tweaking JG a little bit.

        Greg, you disrespect the office of the President (and the man) when you refer to the office holder by a first name, especially when the moniker isn’t his given name. I was frustrated with the prior President, but resisted calling him the stupid names the Left gave him.

        And from what Mr. Axelrod said about Mr. Obama’s position, I think it is a stretch to call the entire incident a ‘lie’ and then wonder how God will treat the incident on judgment day.

        Additionally as a social studies teacher I wonder why in your blog post regarding the Federal Reserve you didn’t state the two mandates for the Federal Reserve, nor did you even pay lip service to the reasons the national bank is kept isolated from the actions of the legislature?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Greg Aydt says:

        I think Turtle Runs does the best job of showing how commenters here respond to dissenting opinions. You know, with real or implied violence. So much easier than actually engaging.

        ++++++++++++

        My comments are my comments and belong to no one else. Dissenting voices are always welcome here but those that simply post comments to whip up hysteria are treated (at least by me) with the lack of respect they deserve.

        Feel free to prove me wrong and contribute ideas based on reality versus the tripe you seem to normally post. I may not agree with you but I would look forward to reading some actual conservative ideas versus far right spittle covered vitriol.

      • johngalt says:

        Yes, Obama won a second term, by beating a deeply flawed opponent. Largely these flaws were of Romney’s own making as part of the preposterous nomination/primary process. If the GOP has been obstructionist and extremist over the last few years, then Obama is their perfect foil as he often seems more interested in playing political games than governing.

      • 1mime says:

        JG, I don’t disagree with you about Obama’s shortcomings – or Romney’s. What I do believe is that Romney made the decision to co-op positions rather than stand on his “possible” core beliefs, which was a mistake and sent a clear signal as to his moral compass. Still, given the choice, I think Obama is a deeper thinker and has a better moral center….lots of political mistakes, but a better human being. He supports social issues that I care deeply about. It’s unfortunate for Democrats that he was so naive in his belief that he could get Republican cooperation. That set back the Democratic agenda and he lost a lot of points for that. It is unfair and a mistake, in my view, to call his tenure ineffective without acknowleging the orchestrated obstruction perpetrated by Republicans. That they did so at great cost to the needs of the people of America during a most difficult economic time is inexcusable. That they treat (present tense) the office of the President of the United States with such open insolence is inexcusable. Surely, that behavior is not debatable.

        I applaud the President’s steadfastness in support of diplomacy and hope he is able to maintain discipline in this regard. And, there is no “if” about the games and gaffes Republicans have committed over the past six years. They own those and it denigrates the conservative platform.

        Like you, I believe in entitlement reform (wise, sustainable and bi-partisan); tax reform (as long as it is balanced and fair – don’t lower taxes AND keep loopholes); and definitely believe we need to invest in education and infrastructure. Social rights will be an ongoing debate, as it should, but diversity and inclusiveness move America forward. Women’s rights as I’ve stated are important to me as are minority rights including better treatment of workers. There’s so much more that we can discuss if you are interested. I welcome that opportunity and hope we can find common ground in the process.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Mr Aydt, “I think Turtle Runs does the best job of showing how commenters here respond to dissenting opinions. You know, with real or implied violence. So much easier than actually engaging.” Then you double down with this “Well, 1mime, I’ve come to the conclusion that you aren’t worth engaging with further, so that’s fine with me.” Your engagement or lack thereof seems to be totally predicated on whether or not the commenter agrees with your position. Mime is one of the most reasonable commenters here and your comment to her is insulting but typical. Your stated views and those of your ilk have done more to divide this Nation than anything President Obama ( yes, that is the proper salutation for a sitting President) has done or not done. As for Turtles Run, again one of the most reasonable posters on this sight. As a matter of fact most people here are rarely anything but reasonable but because none of us are infallible we can be pushed beyond our limits. Sir, your views are beyond reprehensible and if anyone here is “not worth engaging further” it would be you.

      • Crogged says:

        And he also won despite economic fundamentals which had been generally fatal to prior reelection campaigns. The economic premises of many of the Republican party, and despite the Tea Party, put it in the position of calling for decapitation, rather than aspirin, when dealing with macro economic headaches.

        http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n04/simon-wren-lewis/the-austerity-con

    • 1mime says:

      Well, Chris. I spoke too soon in my naive hope that you offer the ray of sunshine you presented on your post. After reading JG’s post, I looked you up. You make the list, buddy. I won’t be counting on you to lead by example. Your idea of diversity makes me sick.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Ain’t that the truth Mime! Lesson learned here, I will look further into anyone who tries to sell me a bill of goods!

      • texan5142 says:

        NAME: Greg
        AGE: 50-ish
        SEX: Male
        MARITAL STATUS: Married
        OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
        LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
        DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

        Please tell me you keep this hateful crap away from the social studies students.

      • Crogged says:

        We would get more useful comments from his dog.

      • way2gosassy says:

        This is one unmitigated piece of excrement to be sure. Can you say Partayyy, Tea Party that is.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Not 100% sure this is him, but if it is maybe we should ask how he managed to devalue his property by nearly 70,000.00 dollars.

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, was there a link that was supposed to attach to your comment about devalued property?

      • texan5142 says:

        If it is the link that I looked up, it is not correct. I checked the property with the county data base and it is wrong

      • 1mime says:

        Chris, my apology. Meant Greg. Posted too fast. I’ve got to slow down.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        Way2gosassy — Tea Party? Me? Not hardly. Indeed, I’m intermittently on the enemies list of the local TP group.

      • Greg Aydt says:

        It might surprise you, Texan5142, that for many years my students had no idea of what my politics were. It was only after a profile of me appeared in the Houston Chronicle last year that the cat got out of the bag.

        As for editorializing in the classroom — I teach things quite straight up.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Yes there was supposed to be a link Mime but I didn’t post it as I said I wasn’t 100% sure it was him, still not sure but I’m still looking.

  16. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Since we’re talking about the south, here’s a sobering entry. And Texas plays a key role.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/us/history-of-lynchings-in-the-south-documents-nearly-4000-names.html?_r=0

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Of interest to my rhetoric-obsessed self, I wonder how the group’s use of ‘terror’ and ‘terror lynchings’ will resonate with the rest of Americans,many who seem to think all terrorism starts in the Middle East — and just a few decades ago.

      It’s as if they’ve finally found a term that will make people in denial understand what happened.

      Interestingly, ‘use of organized terror by lynch mobs’ is used by the Texas State Handbook:

      http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jgl01

      I predict backlash. And more denial of the that was then, this is now variety.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        “Terror” is a wholly appropriate descriptor Bobo as the article notes:

        “Among Professor Beck’s findings were that the number of lynchings did not rise or fall in proportion to the number of state-sanctioned executions, underscoring what Mr. Stevenson said was a crucial point: that these brutal deaths were not about administering popular justice, but terrorizing a community.”

      • 1mime says:

        In my ongoing effort to find a non-partisan news radio news source, I frequentlly turn to NPR. Today Diane Rehm interviewed Congressman John Lewis. The occasion was the release of his book, March 2, which chronicled the Freedom Riders experience. The interview was wide-ranging and illustrates how much influence Martin Luther King had on the Civil Rights Movement. It was most interesting and I’ve attached a link if you care to listen to it. Of great interest to me was the statement that 47 states do not include the Civil Rights Movement in their teaching. That blew me away, but, after all we’ve learned from Lifer and eachother, not surprising. Making history what you want it to be instead of what it was is a deep dis-service to the men and women who shaped the events.

        http://thedianerehmshow.org/?s=congressman+john+lewis

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        mime, I heard part of the Lewis interview. I was particularly moved by his story of the guy in his 80s who came to Washington to apologize for beating Lewis decades earlier. Lewis accepted his apology. The guy cried, his adult son, and Lewis cried. They hugged.

    • dowripple says:

      It is mind boggling that anti-lynching legislation was considered too “progressive” for so long. “State’s Rights” was a common argument against proposed federal laws. Funny how some things don’t change.

      Another parallel for you, the youtube vids of terrorist killings and these post cards from hell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States#Photographic_records_and_postcards

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        There’s a harrowing story somewhere in the NPR archives about a guy who almost got lynched in Indiana. Which I think was the last state to ‘host’ a lynching. In the interview…well, you just need to hear it.

      • 1mime says:

        Downripple – You mention “States Rights” being argued during that period of history when lynchings were occurring. As I referenced above, there is an organized push by a group “Citizens for Self-Government” that would allow states to challenge federal authority by using a concept called “Convention of States”. It’s already happening on a variety of issues.

        What comes around, goes around, doesn’t it?

      • dowripple says:

        Wow Bobo, I found it. I also found this: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4701576

        (and in memory of Cap, “it was the Democrats that fought the anti-lynching bills!”)

        Yeah mime, stuff like that makes me wonder if we are in the early stages of a new Idiocracy.

      • 1mime says:

        Thank goodness history exists to tell the truth. I noticed the article indicated anti-lynching legislation was filibustered or threatened to be filibustered…by Southern Senators numerous times. There you go, Lifer. more documentation of the southern strategy. Democrats past history with slavery is despicable, yet it was the Democrats who finally fought for equal opportunities for Blacks. Atonement? It’s really sad that prejudice and bigotry still exist.. I’m guessing most of the lynchings were done by males but their wives and families had to know what was happening. Everyone looked the other way. As a people, Blacks have suffered so much and continue to have to fight for their rights as well as their lives.

  17. 1mime says:

    I thought the group might be interested in reading excerpts from the Wall Street Journal who is taking the GOP to task for how poorly it is managing its caucus and the attendant consequences. I’m sure Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would be the first to sympathize (-:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/09/1363426/-WSJ-to-the-GOP-This-is-no-way-to-run-a-Congressional-majority?detail=email

    • RightonRush says:

      It’s more than unbelievable GG, it’s F’ng unbelievable. Have a miscarriage and go to jail! Just how low has America fallen with the dumbarse religious conservative heathen.

      • texan5142 says:

        It will get worse before it gets better I am afraid. Our political system is infested with religious zealots that need to be purged. Case in point,

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/meet-alabama-chief-justic_b_6646030.html

        “Are laws themselves superseded by God?” I asked him in that interview on my radio program in 2011. “I think you’re correct in saying that,” he answered. “This is a Christian nation by the fact that 90% of the churches in America are Christian churches and it’s certainly founded upon Christian principles. The supreme law of the land is the Constitution of the United States which recognizes many of those principles. Our freedom to believe what we want comes from God. When it comes from God, no man or no court, can take it away. That’s a God-given right under the Declaration of Independence, which is law itself.”

      • rightonrush says:

        Like my granddaughters say, “the Right Wing gets more cra-cra everyday granddad”.

    • Turtles Run says:

      People this is what happens when you do not treat every election as vital. You allow the crazies to gain control and pass laws like this one.

      When women are jailed for miscarriages do not try to tell me there is no “War on Women”. The people of Indiana should be ashamed, especially those that do not vote.

    • rightonrush says:

      Freshman Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) on Monday announced that he hired former Senate staffer Katy Talento, who claims that some forms of birth control cause abortion.

      Talento, who will serve as a legislative director for Tillis, wrote in The Federalist that “chemical birth control causes abortions” and can lead to miscarriages.

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/tillis-staffer-birth-control-abortion

  18. BigWilly says:

    You had to have the degree to get the job and once you got it you realized that the degree was unnecessary in order for you to the job.

    You had to have the degree to get the job that you knew didn’t require you to have the knowledge in order to do it, but you went to the wrong school so you weren’t qualified anyway.

    You got the license to perform the work that you could do just as easily without it, but it was necessary because the people that hired you don’t have a clue as to what you are doing. It might as well be magic.

    He had it coming. If you pass out on the railroad tracks you deserve to die. If a bully slams your head into a locker, you deserved it. You shouldn’t have gotten in his way.

    The old man that sat up in bed at exactly the wrong moment and was hit by a random bullet from a targeted drive by deserved to die. He shouldn’t have sat up.

    Elvis Presley destroyed western culture.

    Elvis would be a Republican if he were alive today. Therefore the Republican Party has destroyed western culture.

    Tupelo’s not bad this time of year, I hear.

    Have any of you ever wondered why the Southerners love football so much?

  19. bubbabobcat says:

    Very, very disappointing Bruce Rauner. As Sassy noted below, same old tired Republican playbook, second verse, same as the first. Must be die hard Herman’s Hermits fans.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/us/illinois-governor-bruce-rauner-acts-to-curb-power-of-public-sector-unions.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    And as 1mime noted, with extensive wage stagnation for the average worker for decades and the wage disparity between a private corporation’sexecutives and its rank and file workers by a magnitude factor of THOUSANDS, the solution is to emasculate an organization that represents a worker’s economic interest and provides collective leverage for wage and benefit negotiations?

    I don’t know how better to gut the union’s effectiveness than to parasitically siphon their influence by financially eviscerating them in allowing freeloaders to benefit from the union negotiations without paying into the union at all.

    Right wingers don’t like freeloaders except when it doesn’t fit their nonexistent demonized caricature depiction of a “lazy minority welfare cheat”.

    And I don’t see anything but the usual tired old failed right wing Repub “magic beans” fairy tale governing from Rauner so far.

    Next up: revival of failed Reaganesque “trickle down” voodoo economics of cutting taxes and increasing spending that ol’ Dutch and Sam Brownback demonstrated so “successfully”.

    • Turtles Run says:

      “Forced union dues are a critical cog in the corrupt bargain that is crushing taxpayers,” Mr. Rauner said. “An employee who is forced to pay unfair share dues is being forced to fund political activity with which they disagree. That is a clear violation of First Amendment rights — and something that, as governor, I am duty bound to correct.”

      There are two blatant lies in this comment.

      1. These non-union dues paying members are benefiting from the efforts of union leadership. They are charged the amount calculated to provide that benefit.

      2. Union dues cannot be used for political activities by law.

      This is another naked attempt to strip employees of their rights and swing the pendulum of power more in favor of employers (the state in this case).

      Employers utilize lawyers and political clout to protect their interests and the GOP has no issue with this, but if employees try to utilize these same methods well apparently there is a constitutional crisis that needs to be corrected.

      I know GOPlifer is no fan of unions and it will be interesting to get his perspective.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m sure both management and labor have legitimate issues concerning the workplace. I come from the management side of the equation but we always felt that the success of our business was dependent not only upon good management, but also upon the quality and consistency of our workforce. Our experience was positive but it was dynamic, meaning we had to work at not only keeping our customers happy, but treating our employees fairly.

        I was struck by the Houston Chronicle article in Monday’s paper (“Unions Say Strike Can Energize Workforce) by the unions’ efforts to train workers in skill areas needed by local business. “… the robust economy has seen thousands join unions and has helped apprenticeship programs stage an impressive comeback. Unions have seen a surge of young people joining training programs to learn electrical, plumbing, welding and other construction crafts to fill the thousands of job openings along the Texas Gulf Coast.”

        This effort by unions to actually train people to acquire skills to fill actual jobs should be lauded by business. Make unions a meaningful partner. Build trust and open communication of respective needs by giving unions access to decision-making that impacts their work conditions. No one loses when people reach across the aisle. I am not so naive as to think there are not selfish interests on both sides or that the process will be smooth or always fruitful. But, just as Americans want members of Congress to work together for the common good of our nation, we should also expect the people who make the engine of our economy run – management and labor – to do the same.

        Another interesting statistic was this: “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported the number of workers in TX who belonged to unons last year was 543,000, up from 518,000 in 2013…union membership was unchanged at 4.8%….Nationally, the union membership rate is 11.1%…”

        The article was enlightening and I have appended a link in case you’d like to read it.

        http://www.expressnews.com/business/local/article/Unions-say-strike-can-energize-workforce-6071733.php

    • texan5142 says:

      This Rauner guy is a real piece of shit.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-creamer/meet-il-governor-bruce-ra_b_6652068.html

      “Much like Romney, Rauner made his money as an investor and speculator. After he bought many of those businesses, he bled them of cash.

      His companies moved over 4,000 jobs abroad.

      One of Rauner’s companies, Trans Healthcare Inc., owned over 200 nursing homes. The firm had judgments issued against it for over $2 billion for patient neglect. Rather than fix the problems and pay the claims, Rauner’s investment firm sold Trans Healthcare to a company that then declared bankruptcy and dodged paying the claims of the abused residents.”

      “Rauner brazenly claims that state employees’ average wage of $64,000 per year is simply too high. This from a man who makes $64,000 in two and a half hours.

      To justify his claims, Rauner argues that many state employees make more than their counterparts in the private sector or surrounding states. For instance, he claims that Illinois state highway workers make $49,000 per year, which he says is more than the $36,000 average paid to state highway workers in five neighboring states.

      That’s right, a guy who last year made $25,000 an hour speculating and flying around on a corporate jet, is furious that someone who works 40 hours a week pouring concrete, laying hot asphalt and fixing potholes — serious physical work — makes as much all year as he does in two hours.”

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, is Rauner really a different kind of conservative?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Mime, I think Rauner is just what he is. The kind of politician who is as clueless as to what is important to the people he represents as he could care less about how these policies adversely affect the working people of that state.

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, you know my position In support of unions and fairness for working people. Unions came about for a reason and it wasn’t because their members were provided reasonable wages and a good work environment. However, Lifer has pointed out a real problem in state budgets that are stretched to the hilt trying to balance legal benefit requirements with other basic state needs within a limited budget framework. There’s plenty of blame to go around: those who make unreasonable demands and those who approve them, waste/abuse in the budget. The questions are: what is “unreasonable? Reasonable? Necessary? Mandatory?” It’s complicated.

        I think labor has been short-changed in the wage category for decades – not all labor, not all workplaces, not all states, but generally we know wages are stagnant and the income divide is huge. Business has asked for this fight precisely because they haven’t been fair in rewarding workers. Labor has fought back in the only way they have left: unions and at the ballot box. In many states, the only people listening to the concerns of labor have been unions. They may meet at the bargaining table but too often that’s too late in the process. In IL, Lifer pointed out that the state budget has so little flexibility that other basic needs are going unmet or dramatically underfunded. This is the rule rather than the exception in most states. Elected officials, Gov. Rauner included, have a fiduciary responsibility to uphold state law related to benefit payments, to provide for basic state needs, to live within available taxpayer revenues, and, to not unfairly burden taxpayers – (which members of the union are as well). It’s not an easy job. Callous, irresponsible leadership exacerbates the problem as do unreasonable unions.

        What’s often lacking is meaningful involvement of the parties who are impacted at an early stage in the budget drafting process. The myriad responsibilities elected officials face when drafting a budget are daunting. It is their responsibility to educate and involve union members and members of the public. I don’t know if Gov. Rauner made this effort. What I do know is that trouble is guaranteed when people feel something is being taken away from them – somethey they earned or were promised and they don’t understand why.

        This challenge will grow new legs as Congress begins its scrutiny of the long term cost of social security, medicare and/or medicaid, VA benefits, etc. Get ready and hope that both parties can put aside their differences to responsibly protect these programs.

    • Crogged says:

      Rather than untangling a Gordian knot of large organizations competing against each other in the never ending game of “I protect you better”, what if we had an economic bill of rights for the individual. A minimum income that would kick in when you began your career or if the economics of your industry left you behind. A floor medical bill of rights for the individual, which could always be supplemented. A simple tax structure to support the army necessary to defend the insurance company set up to protect you economically and medically? A government more concerned with the rights of the living, rather than inherited rights of privilege or of collectives of citizens and massed capital? We can soften the risks of life and not take freedom away, if we dare.

      • 1mime says:

        Aides to Presidential aspirants should be held to a higher standard. I can’t imagine Jeb Bush taking the political chance that this man’s slurs won’t tarnish his campaign. If he keeps him, that will tell us something more about Jeb.

        Imagine if someone on Hillary’s campaign or Obama’s staff were caught posting similar comments. The right would be up in arms.

        Hypocrisy is never pretty.

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged – America’s Economic Bill of Rights exists and is vulnerable.

        Minimum wage – welfare; worker’s comp; food stamps; re-training programs – subject to “less is more” philosophy

        Health Care – Affordable Care Act; Medicare; Medicaid, Veteran’s Administration; disability –
        subject to “cuts/elimination; voucherization”

        Military – armed services – subject to – understaffed VA; lack of mental services; accessibility

        Rights of the Living – Social Security; affordable higher education w/lower rates – subject to Chained C.P.I.; tuition hikes – interest rates ballooning

        There is a fundamental problem in America where the social safety net is concerned. Most people who are poor or in poor health, or aging and unable to work, or disabled aren’t part of the decision-making process except for their vote. There is no “union” for these people. There is only government. Reasonable people understand the importance of these programs and should be able to work together to resolve funding and benefits so that the programs will be sustainable for the long haul. It simply isn’t a priority because most of the people who are making laws aren’t impacted by these laws. That’s the problem and the solution.

    • johngalt says:

      So Rauner is a rich guy who got that way through legal means that demonstrated some disregard for other people, then went into politics where he is demonstrating some disregard for the people who did not vote for him. Not exactly headline news.

      Illinois is a fiscal basket case that has so over-promised and under-funded its public employee pensions that it now needs to devote a third of its budget to this (its bond rating is the lowest of any state and is the same as Botswana). While all governments are prone to this, because generous pensions buy the support (and good labor relationships) of public employees while passing the pain onto some future politicians, Illinois has been particularly bad thanks to a cozy, shall we say, relationship between the Democratic politicians and the unions that fund their campaigns. Rauner was basically elected to confront this problem, which means he has to confront the public sector unions. Given this, his rhetoric is not particularly surprising.

      • 1mime says:

        JG – What I’d like to know (and, admittedly don’t) about Rauner is what effort he has made to work with the unions. Seriously, I’d like to know if he tried to reach out first before he took the other route. If he did and was rebuffed, then unions are at fault. If he didn’t, then he lacks the necessary leadership skills to not only manage the problem but will not be re-elected.

      • BigWilly says:

        That’s where Gov. Walker got it wrong, and got lucky. As I understand it the union may have been willing to negotiate, but the Gov. acted unilaterally thus precipitating his recall.

        Not only did he beat the recall, but in the process he became a “Hero” to the likes of Texas Sprinkle.

        He basically kicked them in the nuts and got credit for “Standing Up to Union Thuggery.”

        The real problem is that the private sector sucks so bad that those working in the it envy the public sector and therefore are easy dupes because of it. You know what I’m saying?

        Years ago people would choose between public and private sector employment based on benefits and pensions vs higher levels of pay. Not so much anymore.

      • texan5142 says:

        Yep! and he did not touch the police unions.

    • goplifer says:

      Public employee unions own Illinois. Whatever you may think about the value of organized labor as a way to protect the common man, it is a complete crock in Illinois. Public employee unions allow college-educated, white bureaucrats to aggregate their political power.

      These are people who are already well-connected, already well-represented, and already INSIDE government. Every local government entity is mandated, by law, to reach a labor contract with them. Every new public employee is mandated by law to join and contribute. The organizations themselves are technically representative, but in fact controlled from top to bottom by a small cadre of well-connected people.

      The public employee unions managed to force through the legislature in the late 90’s and early aughts a collection of pension benefits that no sane person thought the state could ever actually afford. Now the state cannot get out from under those obligations.

      We are forced to issue new taxes that will go straight to pensions, not a penny for schools, roads, social welfare or anything else the state needs. Billions of dollars funneled straight to condos in Florida. There is no institution remotely like this outside the big northern states. Not even California faces organized labor institutions with this kind of deep influence. The situation has gotten so bad that a Republican was able to win the Governor’s race in Illinois.

      Bruce Rauner has taken the supposedly bold step of removing the mandate that all new employees cough up their hard-earned cash to help those unions influence government. That’s it.

      Do you doubt how politically powerful these institutions are? Look how much bile is being spewed over that one largely insignificant step. I feel like writing the man a check.

      • texan5142 says:

        Is he going after all unions, or like Walker, will he leave the police union alone?

      • rightonrush says:

        I admit to knowing jack all about the modern unions. However, when there is a mine disaster because of some jack-ass mine owner violation of safety issues I see red. The Unions have always served a purpose for the “common man”. Now I suppose it’s up to each person as to who the “common man” is anymore. JMHO but it seems like the Republican Party is all for the corporations screwing over the middle class while the Unions are the scapegoats. Just look at the Koch boys. http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/politics/2015/01/23/koch-brothers-american-recovery-policy-forum/22222551/ IMO Mr. Rauner is proving to be just another GOP stooge.

      • 1mime says:

        Thanks for the explanation, Lifer. You live there and know the good, the bad and the ugly. I guess what you’re saying is there was no question of Rauner working with the unions, that the only choice he had was to take executive action in a narrow area? (Funny, executive actions when done by Republicans are lauded; when done by Obama, ….not so much (-:)

        I’ve lived in 3 southern states. Two of them, LA and TX have huge pension issues and both have kicked the can down the road so far I don’t know how they are going to fix the problem. It does become a tax issue, just as having millions of people without health insurance ultimately impacts personal taxes. One way or another, someone pays.

        I really believe unions (public and private) serve a valid purpose but I also think they have to be responsible. If Rauner is not re-elected, it won’t impact him financially, but the opportunity to bring rational thinking to affordable state benefits will be lost – for a long time. This is the same problem at the federal level with our social safety net programs…sustainability. Somehow, people have to come together to solve the problem or we’ll be looking at a Grecian economic model. I say this with a firm interest in improving wages for working people and reducing the income divide, so keep that in mind.

    • 1mime says:

      I just listened to Larry Trumpka (AFL-CIO) on CNBC respond to the executive action by Gov. Rauner. One of the points he made that I thought important was this: Unemployment in IL is over 11% and he wondered if the Gov’s efforts might focus more effectively on creating jobs rather than going after unions. The state has serious problems and will require some tough love on all parts. Perhaps IL could look into this program highlighted in the Atlantic Magazine on retraining long-term unemployed.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/02/a-better-way-to-help-the-long-term-unemployed/385298/

  20. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Not exactly a Southern Strategy, but still a strategy of alienating the “other” in order to herd the flock.

    Jeb Bush, showing signs of social media savviness mixed with social media idiocy, announced the hiring of a Chief Technology Officer. For a party that struggles reaching young folks and figuring out how the inter-tubes work, bringing on the co-founder of Hipster.com, Etan Czahor seems like a slam dunk.

    Sadly, Bush (or more accurately, Bush’s people) and Czahor seem to not realize one of the most important components of the inter-tubes – what you put on the web stays on the web forever.

    So, Czahor has been busy today going back through his history to delete a whole slew of enlightening and hilarious tweets:

    – When I burp in the gym I feel like it’s my way of saying, “sorry guys, but I’m not gay”

    – Most people don’t know that Halloween is german for “night that girls with low self-esteem dress like sluts”

    – New study confirms old belief: college female art majors are sluts, science majors are also sluts but uglier

    – Golds gym in san Francisco has a wide selection of free weights, machines, and men who undress you with their eyes while you work out

    – I know Lindsey Lohan is supposed to die soon, but I’d sure like to sleep with her before that happens

    I get that people are stupid on social media. Heck, most of us here have said some stupid stuff from time to time, but no one is going to be asking me to be Hillary’s Chief Technology Officer. At least go through your history to delete things before you are announced for the job, not after.

    Did no one on Bush’s team bother to do a search of this guy’s twitter feed?
    Did they do a search, laugh at the jokes, and hire the guy anyway?
    Did they do a search, not laugh at the jokes, but bring the guy on anyway because he’s the least bad tech guy that is willing to work on a GOP campaign?

    • way2gosassy says:

      I think it is a matter of “second verse, same as the first”. If I’m not mistaken didn’t Rand Paul hire an aide that was a neo-confederate?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m a little less bent out of shape about a random “aide” doing something stupid. I have a hunch that for a major political campaign, there are hundreds if not thousands of “aides” spread across the country.

        No one is going to catch all of those nutballs. It is fun to mock and laugh at folks when they get caught, but I doubt any campaign can fully vet all the folks who would qualify as “aides”.

        For a sitting congressperson, they should probably do a better job, at least for their closest aides, but I have a hunch a normal congressperson probably has a few dozen people who would at least pretend to have the title of an “aide”.

        Sure, someone should probably dig into the background of every 25 year old eager to work in congress (the desire to work in congress, might alone qualify as a mental issue), but I doubt folks have the resources or energy for that.

        Bush brought in a Chief Technology Officer, not just a low-level aide. Heck, a good Chief Technology Officer probably should suggest, “hey guys, maybe we need to go search our social media footprint for things that will bite us in the ass”. So far, the evidence does not suggest that Bush’s guy is a good Chief Technology Officer.

      • way2gosassy says:

        HH I think the title of social media director would merit the distinction of being a pay grade or so above lowly aide in charge of some two person campaign office.

        http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/07/rand-paul-defends-embarrassed-aide-with-neo-confederate-past/

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I do agree…Sassy

      • 1mime says:

        Aides to Presidential aspirants should be held to a higher standard. I can’t imagine Jeb Bush taking the political chance that this man’s slurs won’t tarnish his campaign. If he keeps him, that will tell us something more about Jeb.

        Imagine if someone on Hillary’s campaign or Obama’s staff were caught posting similar comments. The right would be up in arms.

        Hypocrisy is never pretty.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Exactly Sassy.

      I’m guessing the right has never been a big fan of George Santayana.

      To their entertainingly recurrent detriment.

      Great find Houston.

  21. Griffin says:

    “Republicans will not shake this burden without first confronting it.”

    This is almost impossible to do however, everytime I’ve tried to bring up the “Southern Strategy” or the flight of the Dixiecrats to a hardliner Republican I discover that it’s as if they’ve built an entire alternate history to deny what happened with misleading half-truths and bad politics thrown around so loosely it’s insane anyone could actually believe it. The story (and “evidence”) in this Alternate History Timeline as created by socially conservative pundits is this:

    1. Lincoln freed the slaves and Democrats supported slavery and founded the KKK (True), which means the GOP is more supportive of black rights and the Democrats are racist (Erm, no)
    2. As mentioned, most slavers and later segregationalists were Democrats whereas Republicans were tepidly suppportive of civil rights (True, depending on where and when you were) meaning that liberals were racists the whole time (Nope) and conservatives were supporterts of civil right! (Northern business conservatives yes, otherwise among social conservatives, nooooo)
    3. Dixiecrats only left for the GOP because of issues with states right and liberty (when they say that they don’t seem to realize how racist they sound).

    Anytime I’ve tried to engage with A Republican on the history of the GOP this is what happens. Most of the myth seems to revolve around: Republicans = Always the same and Democrats = Always the same (despite the electoral maps for them being reversed). Basically the more important question of actual ideology is conveniently switched out for a kind of paternal hyper-partisanship, as far as I can tell. If you want them to deal with getting rid of the Dixiecrats you should demonstrate that racist southern Democrats were largely made up of mostly social conservatives (such as Richard Russell) alongside some of the even crazier “white populists” (such as John Rankin), or else they’ll just try to pin it all on “liberals” and ignore the issue. George Wallace’s 1964 speech “The Civil Rights Movement Fraud, Sham and Hoax,” is a pretty good place to start with that, a lot of the sections of his speech sound like run-of-the-mill far-right punditry even today.

    • johngalt says:

      Griffin, you’re on the right track but you can’t bring yourself quite to the shamelessly myopic level of the most ardent hardline Southern Republican. Fortunately, we had one or two of those around these parts for a while. They’ve taken their ball and gone to wherever it is they go, but I learned a few things. Let me take a crack at it.
      1. You’ve got this one right.
      2. Slave owners, Klansmen, segregationists, and lynch mobs were all Democrats. Every one of them. Even today, Democrats treat minorities as less than human because they believe they are no able to succeed in the world without special set-asides and quotas. Republicans, on the other hand, freed the slaves and have always, since the dawn of time, have believed in the inherent equality of all men. Whereas Democrats of old oppressed minorities with a jackboot on their necks, today’s Democrats have metaphorically enslaved blacks with low expectations and a patronizing welfare state.
      3. There are no such thing as Dixiecrat. At best, perhaps a handful – three maybe? – of Southern Democrats abandoned the party for good. Old racist Democrats died out and were replaced entirely with god-fearing Republicans, often living in exactly the same houses. Rick Perry has always been a Republican, there was just a clerical error on his voter registration for 20 or so years.

      Sternn, wherever you are, I hope I’ve captured your version of history as you see it through those rose colored glasses.

      • objv says:

        JG, You forgot # 4. Abortion equals slavery.

        Unfortunately, Tuttabella left with Cap. I find myself having to deal with you guys alone.

        Y’all better treat me nice!

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, Would you mind explaining your comment: #4 abortion = slavery?

      • johngalt says:

        Good one! How could I have forgotten that?

      • johngalt says:

        1mime, in the curious worldview of a commenter named CaptSternn, both abortion and slavery demean human life, treating people like chattel to be owned and discarded at will. Democrats who used to support slavery now use pro-abortion policies as the outlet for this callous disregard of human life. If one wants to get particularly histrionic, black women tend to have more abortions than other races on a per capita basis, so Democrats continue to devalue black lives.

        I know that this ignores the entire 20th Century of American political history and curiously equates human bondage with women’s reproductive rights, but that is the argument that has been made here in the past.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, JG, thanks for explaining the reference between slavery and abortion. You and I agree that both abortion and slavery can demean life. Where we disagree is your extrapolation that “Democrats who used to support slavery now use pro-abortion policies as the outlet for this callous disregard of human life.”

        Let me begin by expressing respect for the choice of anyone who is pro-life. I hope they will also respect my right to be pro-choice. Pro-choice does not automatically equate with being “pro-abortion”, which should be rare, safe and legal as is constitutionally determined. It is a horrible choice to have to make and that’s as it should be. Since you are not a Democrat and I am both a Democrat and a female, I may have a different view than you do about Democrats transferring a pro-slavery position to a pro-abortion stance.

        First, slavery has always been wrong in my view. One cannot “own” another human being whether it’s a worker, child, spouse or sibling. The fact that slavery happened (and still exists) is extraordinarily sad. Second, I believe women (and their husband if married) should have the right to decide if and when they wish to have children which implies a right to utilize contraception. Women carry a baby for 9 months and go through labor to deliver. (When you guys are ready to take that on, let me know and we’ll talk.) In my view, this ought to earn women an extra point or two in the “choice” factor. This also means that abortion in the event of rape, incest, or danger to mother’s life should be the choice of the female and her spouse or family if appropriate.

        Sorry to get off point but your statement linking Democrats, slavery and abortion bothered me.

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, I hope we all treat you well even when we disagree. You fight for your beliefs and that’s your right. Divisiveness occurs when people don’t respect oneanother. Civility is important.

      • objv says:

        Thanks, mime! You lead by example. I hope you realize that JG was just being sarcastic and reflecting the views of a person who used to comment here. Those are not his own views. You’ll find that Homer may also say some surprising things. You’ll get used to their humor. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Sorry if I misread you, JG. I need to be a better understudy before posting.

  22. Manhattan says:

    Lifer, do you think Pat Buchanan might have played a role in the Southern Strategy as well? I think sometimes he helped create the identity politics of today’s Republican Party. He thinks the Southern Strategy was a good idea but reaching out to minorities would destroy the party. I’ve heard that before from some conservatives but it’s told as if Republicans were to sacrifice Republican principles and become Democrats

    • goplifer says:

      Buchanan doesn’t seem to have been much of a factor in helping build Nixon’s campaign strategy in the South in 68 & 72, though he certainly favored a much more open embrace of segregationists.

      He’s an interesting case. Buchanan comes from a very different place ideologically than old Southern racists. He’s a hyper-conservative Catholic, part of an intellectual movement that admired the Spanish and Portuguese fascist regimes. His racism happens to line up more or less with the opinions of segregationists, but he gets there from a different route. That same fascist/authoritarian ideology is why he admires Putin so much.

      Buchanan, along with Brent Bozell, Sr. who ghost-wrote Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative, sit in a long tradition of northern very-extreme conservatives. They sympathized with the South, but were too distant from Southern culture in other ways to be able to reach out effectively.

      The single biggest impact on Nixon’s approach to the Southern states came from Kevin Phillips who wrote The Emerging Republican Majority in 1969 after working for the campaign in 68. Phillips left the party in the 90’s.

      • Manhattan says:

        The reason I asked is because when I hear things from Buchanan in regards to demographics and Republicans, he seems to think when whites die as a group so will the Republican Party like some of these people would rather see the party die before it changes (I’ve heard it from some Democrats too who don’t want a diverse GOP because it would ruin Democratic domination of politics).

        Pat also kind of thinks like a Religious Right person in the fact of the US being a Christian nation, but yet the types of Christians who say that (at least the ones I’ve seen) tend to be very anti-Catholic and anything that isn’t Christian Fundamentalism. He also seems to be a Nazi sympathizer too especially with his he talked President Reagan into visiting a cemetery for the SS during the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II and the way he talks about Hitler.

        I didn’t know Kevin Phillips left the party in the 90’s, I guess he realized he unleashed Pandora’s box?

        Thanks for the facts, I’m learning something new every time you post.

  23. flypusher says:

    This relates more to the previous thread, but since this is the current, active one:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102409161

    So now Ron Paul is weighing in, invoking the slippery slope between requiring vaccinations and total gov’t control of health care decisions. You want to know where to draw the line, Paul? Here, I’ll draw it for you- you use peer reviewed science to establish what actually benefits public health. Herd immunity as conferred by vaccination? On the yes side of the line. Your paranoid ranting about mandating diet choices to lower infectious disease risks? Solidly on the no side, unless you can back it with some data. You cannot have the benefits of a society AND 100% unrestricted inidividual liberty. If liberty comes into conflict with public health, liberty is going to have to give.

  24. objv says:

    Threats, violence, arson and the destruction of property. Was this the KKK in 1914 or the Ironworkers Union in 2014?

    “9. If the threat or implementation of a picket line did not force the contactor to accede to the defendants’ demands, defendants and their associates would assault employees of the non-union contractor and destroy property belonging to the non-union contractor and its employees. These actions included assaulting non-union employees with baseball bats, slashing the tires of vehicles, smashing vehicles with crow bars, cutting and changing the locks on construction sites, filling the locks with superglue, damaging construction equipment, stealing construction materials, and otherwise sabotaging the construction site.
    10. If the acts of violence and destruction of property did not force non-union contractors to hire members of the Ironworkers Local 401, defendants and their associates would commit arson and significantly damage the construction equipment and the property under construction. These actions included setting fire to the construction site and the equipment being used, using an acetylene torch owned, provided, and maintained by the Ironworkers Local 401 to cut through the steel support columns of the building under construction, and using a sledgehammer to destroy or damage anchor bolts. The purpose of the arson and other sabotage was not only to force the contactor to hire members of the Ironworkers Local 401, but also to send a message to other contractors that hiring non-union ironworkers would bring severe consequences.
    11. The defendants and their associates created “goon” squads composed of several members and associates who could be relied upon to commit assaults, arsons, and destruction of property against non-union contractors in an attempt to force them to hire unwanted, unnecessary, and superfluous union labor. The members of the Ironworkers Local 401 colloquially referred to this criminal activity as “night work.” One such “goon” squad referred to themselves as the “T.H.U.G.’s” an acronym which stood for “The Helpful Union Guys.” The Ironworkers Local 401 outfitted one “goon” squad with an acetylene torch, gas, and oxygen tanks to commit the arsons. The “goon” squads typically employed counter-surveillance techniques to avoid being detected by law enforcement. The members of these “goon” squads understood that they would be rewarded by the Ironworkers Local 401 for committing these criminal acts by receiving preferential treatment on job assignments and by being appointed to positions of authority within the union.
    12. The defendants and their associates employed these means in order to force contractors to hire unwanted, unnecessary, and superfluous union labor. Members of the Ironworkers Local 401 who were hired in this manner often performed little or no actual work. Members of the Ironworkers Local 401 occasionally bragged about being paid for not performing work and complained when the extorted contractors required the members to perform actual work or to work a full day. The contractors’ purpose in paying the union ironworkers was merely to prevent further acts of sabotage as described above.
    13. The defendants and their associates employed similar tactics when members of other local unions, especially the carpenters’ union, performed what the defendants and their associates deemed to be ironworking tasks. The ironworkers union and the carpenters union have a long-standing dispute over whether certain construction tasks should be performed by ironworkers or carpenters. When the Ironworkers Local 401 determined that another union was performing what they deemed to be ironworking tasks, the defendants and their associates would prevent other unions from unloading ironworking materials, assaulted and conspired to assault workers from other unions performing ironworking tasks, and destroyed equipment being used by other unions to perform ironworking tasks, all in an attempt to extort property consisting of the other union employees’ jobs and wages by the wrongful use of violence.
    14. In order to effectuate its purposes, the defendants and their associates used the Enterprise’s considerable political influence with the state and local government to assist them its efforts against the non-union contractors. Despite occasional disputes over work being performed, the defendants and their associates also coordinated its picketing activities with other building trade unions to maximize its effectiveness against non-union contractors.”

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/FBI-Racketeering-Bust-245978371.html
    (Contains link to the above legal document.)

    Why do Democrats condone dirty and violent tactics and continue to support unions? In my own experience, I’ve had a family member threatened,and another family member lied about and sued. When I worked, the union at the hospital told the LPNs that they could not come in – even for emergency surgeries. The hospital had to hire and train more RNs who were not members of a union so they could scrub in in case of a strike.

    • johngalt says:

      Well, since this was investigated by Obama’s FBI and prosecuted by a U.S. Attorney that he appointed, I’m not sure why you think this is being condoned by Democrats. You were quick to defend Southern Baptists as individual and independent congregations that should not be tarred with the same brush of discrimination, but seem to be suggesting that the actions of one, now-indicted, union (or your personal experience) are indicative of all union activities.

      • objv says:

        JG and mime, I’m painting with a broad brush specifically to point out the hypocrisy of some (not you two) of making blanket assertions about Republicans (particularly fellow Baptists!) that live in the South. I knew I would get a reaction.

        I have a brother who is a union member and have a father who used to belong to a union before he retired. Another brother was a manager at a company that had union workers. He had to cross the picket line during strikes – and yes, he was threatened and harassed.

        My own experience with unions was in Ohio, and I heard plenty about union practices in Texas and New Jersey.Perhaps I am a bit down on unions because the vast majority of what I have heard from family members is so negative.

        While the union members in Philly were prosecuted, both of you know unions heavily support Democrats and legislation favorable to unions is proposed by the Democrats they help elect.

        Just Google unions, violence and intimidation. Your eyes will be opened.

      • 1mime says:

        …”both of you know unions heavily support Democrats and legislation favorable to unions is proposed by the Democrats they help elect.” You think members of the KKK don’t support Republicans? Influence laws? Support the NRA in its blatant disregard for rational background checks (in all sales venues)? I could make a long list but I don’t think I need to for this group of well informed commentors.

        What is really sad is that real wages haven’t increased in 30 years. What few benefits blue collar workers have were won by unions – things we all benefit from: 40 hr work week, vacation; overtime pay; health benefits, etc. Unions perform a necessary function to protect workers from management that has all too often neglected or abused them. NOT ALL Managers, lest I be misquoted or misunderstood. If you read the reasons for the current steelworkers strike, you might be more empathetic to their concerns even if you disagree with their strike.

        We were small business owners. We employed many workers over the years. We treated them fairly. Many businesses do just as we did, sadly, many don’t. Hence, unions – a checks and balance over unfair and dangerous business practices. Try telling the families who lost members in the Dupont chemical discharge that unions aren’t necessary.

        Would that they weren’t. Would that there were no active klansmen. Would that preachers taught love and tolerance versus hate and intolerance. It’s a big world and we all have to live in it. I’m sorry your family’s experience with unions was poor. There are many others who have no other group to back them up. Certainly not the Republican Party, and probably not the Democratic Party to the degree deserved.

      • johngalt says:

        Unions have often used illegal and/or unsavory practices, largely to enforce closed shops and picket lines. They have occasionally been taken to court for it. Companies have often used illegal and/or unsavory practices when it comes to employee compensation and treatment. They have occasionally been taken to court for it.

        Unions have hitched their political wagons to the Democrats and expect support in exchange for their campaign contributions. Businesses have, by and large, hitched their wagons to the Republicans and expect support in exchange for their campaign contributions.

        I’m not a union member or a Democrat, so I’m not going to apologize for either one beyond saying that most organizations (of any sort) get started for a reason (Google “company town”) and their actions often do not match those good intentions. Besides, unions have largely made themselves irrelevant. Just 6.6% of private sector employees belong to one, a 100 year low. The public sector is another story, but I don’t recall seeing too many stories of teachers bashing heads to maintain picket lines.

      • way2gosassy says:

        As usual you only present the side that fits your very narrow world view OV and your “personal” experience through someone’s story other than your own. Violence by companies against unions is no less insidious. My father was an organizer for the iron and steel workers when I was a kid. Our home was shot at several times so my mother would put us to bed in the bathtub. Police would not even take a report so many of these incidents were never recorded. Beyond that you could read this and open your eyes!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-union_violence

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So in other words, OV admits to being a troll. Again.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, I have my own experience with a union while working at a large, teaching hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. I was hired as a RN and taught immediately how to scrub in, set up, and hand the doctor his instruments. Usually, RNs are the ones who work as circulating nurses, but the union at the hospital had just gone on strike and the LPNs weren’t allowed to come in for emergencies.

        As a result, the hospital had to hire more RNs (who were not union workers) and teach the existing RNs how to scrub in and handle the work usually done by the LPNs. Unfortunately, this meant that no more LPNs were hired for any positions in surgery since the hospital had to have a functioning team on call at all times for necessary surgeries and emergencies.

        Sassy, if you had a child that had been in an accident and been rushed to the hospital, wouldn’t you expect a full surgical team ready to take care of her? In this case, the union did not care that lives could be put in jeopardy

        As far as my other family members, I know they are honest and would have no reason to lie to me..

      • objv says:

        bubba, I adore you. You are like a breath of fresh air in a stale smelling refrigerator. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Very even-handed response, JG. Thank you for that. That’s why I like this blog – because of the quality of the commentary regardless of different points of view.

        Objv – In reading your post about your hospital’s decision to not hire any more LPNs (I assume the strike eventually ended?) – that was management’s decision, right? If I had been an RN in that hospital, I would have had some questions for management about why more aides and/or RNs weren’t later hired to share the work load. Too often, profits drive staffing decisions – and labor issues become an excuse rather than a reason to not add people or provide benefits. Today, productivity is at peak levels while wages have been stagnant for almost thirty years. The income divide and stagnation of wages is well documented. So I ask, when is it a “good” time to reward labor for their contributions to corporate bottom lines? Surely, at some point in the past 30 years, business could have reached out to increase wages for lower tier workers just as they reward management-level positions.

        Unfortunately, many workers don’t have the option to walk away from a job that is making unreasonable (and sometimes dangerous) demands upon them. Their educational levels, family and economic situations don’t give them many options. Unions have been a resource for them in the absence of management. I believe unions are an important tool for labor and for management when they are both properly focused. There is never an excuse for violence or extortion but that saw cuts two ways.

      • johngalt says:

        I don’t know where in Ohio you worked, but here in Houston when a hospital is slammed their ER goes on “divert” status and emergencies are taken elsewhere, so the patients are not harmed by a lack of personnel. Of course, that requires there to be nearby hospitals that are fully staffed so if you were somewhere rural that would be a problem. Regardless, I’d agree that if the union refused to staff the hospital on a skeleton crew to manage emergencies, they were being irresponsible at best.

      • objv says:

        JG and mime, I neglected to make it clear that I was hired after the strike was over, and I’m not sure if the hospital ever successfully transitioned to an all RN OR since I quit in order to get married and move out of state. Yes, it was a long, long time ago!

        I worked at a large teaching hospital inside Cleveland There was another hospital close by but I’m not sure if the other hospital could have been able to handle all the people that would have been diverted to their ER or OR. All I know is that the hospital (called Cleveland Metro at the time) did not want to be in same situation and was willing to hire RN’s who would be paid much more than LPNs who had union benefits.

        I decide to Google my old workplace for fun:
        http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/oh/metro-health-medical-center-6410655

    • 1mime says:

      “Why do Democrats condone dirty and violent tactics and continue to support unions?” Because, just as All Southern Baptists aren’t racist; All unions aren’t bad. Some are. And, how can you make the statement that Democrats condone dirty and violent tactics…..That’s a rather broad statement, Objv. There are bad people in both parties, in churches, in government, in the military establishment, in office, Objv. The sad thing is when bad people somehow get re-elected (like sweet old Judge Moore above). What does that say about the people who vote for him? Twice!

      I believe there is a place for unions in America but I also believe they need to be responsible – just like the Southern Baptist Churches, just like Democrats and Republilcans. When they aren’t, they are flat-out wrong.

      As you have intoned many times in your posts….don’t paint with such a broad brush.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Very well said Mime!

      • objv says:

        Yes, mime, well said!

        I do believe that there is a place for unions. They also need to be responsible – and so do other organizations.

        In addition, unions have a complicated history of racism. Should they come clean with their past and apologize for acts of discrimination toward blacks? Should Lifer do a piece on them?

        There’s much information about past discrimination on the web. Here’s one short link about something written in 1947.

        http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/793328?sid=21105823646713&uid=4&uid=2

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, Objv! Yes, unions should come clean! But, really, a 1947 citation about union mistreatment of Negroes? I don’t doubt some unions have done bad things to achieve their goals and that is never acceptable. But neither are black lynchings, voter suppression, or corporations exposing workers to dangerous work situations acceptable. I’d like to think America is moving in a positive direction in its treatment of labor, but it hasn’t always been because business thought it was the “right” thing to do. Just like wage increases haven’t happened when corporations were highly profitable and decided to either buy back stock, expand, or raise dividends. All of us who are invested in the market are grateful for shared business profits, but, on a human level, it shouldn’t be at the expense of fair labor compensation.

        Lifer has chosen to focus on the hypocrisy and bigotry of many Southern Baptist preachers and members (not all!) for recent posts. For me, the merits of striking for fair wages and work conditions seems a lot more honest than proselytizing against those whose lifestyles offend their religious beliefs. And, too often, those who cast stones are also with sin.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yes, OV some unions (apparently in 1947 as your best, most recent relevant example) were discriminatory. That union should apologize for their past indecent discriminatory actions.

        Happy now? Still doesn’t change anything that Chris noted about the beginnings of the Southern Baptists rooted in racism nor the behavior of the preponderance of Southern Baptists throughout history up to current days as Chris and everyone else here has easily found and noted. Interesting that of your “much information about past discrimination on the web” purportedly perpetrated by unions, you seized on a study from 68 years ago. Of a single union. And to conflate (to borrow flowery weak phraseology from another pathetic poseur) that single union’s half century old documentation of discrimination with the documented institutionalized basis of a religion’s consistent virulent and heinous acts of racism, well it doesn’t surprise me you lack a decent sense of perspective as you flail randomly for a lucky scattershot hit on a rational point. Keep trying.

        And keep grasping that straw and strawman. And you must have a lifetime supply of homemade glue by now OV.

      • way2gosassy says:

        But then we have this OV from your time frame,

        http://www.pbs.org/itvs/fightfields/cesarchavez1.html

      • objv says:

        Bingo. Gold stars for mime, bubba and Sassy. I’m glad we agree. One cannot make judgments about past actions of certain groups and automatically assume that the current members of that group have the same leanings.

        Some Southern Baptists renounced racism even when racism was prevalent in the South,

        In Texan’s RawStory account, it was briefly mentioned that Baylor’s president was part of an anti-lynching movement.

        “Some Waco residents condemned the lynching, including local ministers and leaders of Baylor University.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_of_Jesse_Washington#CITEREFWood2009

        The past is more nuanced than we assume. Note the different experiences with unions Sassy and I have had.

        Although union racism seems to be a thing of the past, illegal acts by some unions are still in the news. Note the prosecution of the Philly union members took place in 2014,

        My family only had one car while I lived at home. If my mom needed the car she would have to pick up my dad after work. I’d go with her sometimes. At quitting time, workers would stream out of the building. I only saw white men leave the building. If the union pushing for minority hiring, I saw no sign of it.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well OV thank you for continuing to provide “proof” of your assertions. We can count this as straw and strawman #2 you have grasped for. So now, you are broadening your criteria from “Threats, violence, arson and the destruction of property” as you first initiated with to now a verrrrry loosely defined “intimidation”:

        “He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly “outed” him, and slipped through his front door.”

        Yes OV, absolutely “horrific” and comparable to “threats, violence, arson and the destruction of property” and of course voter suppression, usurpation of basic Constitutional rights available to White people, and of course outright racist violence. Yes OV, this is absolutely comparable to racial discrimination and REAL intimidation say like a cross burning?

        At least your source is now only 5 years old rather than 68.

        However, this is an opinion piece from personal experience (and not impartial reporting) of a senior writer at Fortune magazine online. You know, that unbiased champion of workers’ rights and bane of all corporate America. Suuuuuure.

        Nice try. Awaiting strike, I mean straw #3….

      • objv says:

        bubba, don’t be a schmuck.

        Why is it wrong for me to have a link to something written in 1947 when many here are referring to incidents that happened even earlier? I could only reference one link in my comment. There are many more.

        http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2010/1/cj30n1-4.pdf

        So you don’t think the mob that showed up at the bank executive’s wasn’t intimidating? The following events are not in question:

        “Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom.”

        My first link (from 2014) contained charges being brought against union thugs. These charges included non-union workers being beaten with baseball bats and their cars damaged with crowbars.

        If you don’t think these actions are despicable, you are living in an alternative universe.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well OV, you should be wary of hurling epithets when residing in glass abodes. You do realize that your source is a hyperpartisan far right anti union screed (the CATO Institute. Duh.) that even dregs up non sequiturs as more racially backwards than US South African union racial bias from 1911 that has no bearing whatsoever with US unions or history? And despite that, your own source acknowledges the evolution of blatant and heinous racial discrimination in unions to its near non existence in modern days? He just partisanly ascribes no credit to the union internal efforts and rather to “natural economic evolution” which is about the only when convenient evolution wingnuts believe in.

        You also realize that JG already responded and neutered your histrionic whine regarding the violent union intimidation PROSECUTED by the Obama Administration? Yet as is your won’t, you continue to insist on willfully and ignorantly bludgeoning that poor long expired equine carcass YET AGAIN.

        And speaking of “schmucks”, you do understand that no one here does NOT acknowledge rampant institutionalized racism in all corners of our country’s history (including unions), except YOU? In blind irrational defense of your beloved Southern Baptists, southern history, southern…whatever.

        Again YOU are the only one insisting Southern Baptists “aren’t bad” historically and currently as Chris and anyone with a brain who can Google intelligently brings up one instance after another of CURRENT racist and hateful Southern Baptists. Um Judge Roy Moore anyone? Why just yesterday even.

        And your dredging up false equivalent examples that no one else denies or disputes to somehow (in your mind only) absolve the CURRENT racism of your beloved sacred cows…

        Well, call me a “schmuck” all you want OV, but I’ll let your irrational, illogical and fact challenged rants speak for themselves as to who the real one is. Especially when your fellow willful wingnut idiots are no longer blindly reinforcing each other’s whackjob ignorance by spamming this blog with the nonsense that you posted and John Galt parodied. By posting it verbatim. That’s about as bad as it gets.

  25. Anse says:

    There is so much about this country’s history that was and is driven by race politics. It’s the single biggest driving force of domestic policy since the very beginning of this nation’s founding. It caused a civil war, it has driven party platforms and even the alignment of state boundaries; I did not know until recently that the little strip of Oklahoma above the Texas Panhandle was given up by the Texas legislature to avoid having even one square inch of the state be subject to anti-slavery policies. Amazing. It’s natural that we’re talking about this, because it has taken up so much political energy for so long anyway.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      A sidebar to Anse’s point about the racism inherent in our country and the conduct of the Civil War. I have never been a student of the intricacies of the Civil War or the military tactics and campaigns but a repeat marathon of Ken Burns’ PBS Civil War documentary this weekend opened my eyes to what could have been.

      Union General George McClellan nearly lost the war and whether intentionally or not is in debate but what is not is the debacle he created. Reminds me of the modern era tactical mistakes, particularly George W. Bush’s Administration’s inability/unwillingness/incompetence in allowing a cornered bin Laden to escape Tora Bora in November 2001. If we had captured or killed bin Laden then, that would have ended the war in Afghanistan in a month and eliminated one of the significant false pretexts for starting the simultaneous unnecessary war in Iraq (9-11 link).

      McClellan can be charitably described as “conflicted” on his allegiances or an overly cautious coward during the Civil War, but from what I can see and read of his treasonously insubordinate actions during and after the war, it is not too far a reach to call him a traitor to the Union and the country and possibly a Confederate double agent mole. He could have ended the war years earlier at Antietam in 1862 and saved countless tens of thousands of lives killed and maimed when he had Robert E. Lee vanquished. Instead he halted his attack and allowed Lee to retreat and regroup later rather than destroying Lee’s Army decisively and ending the South’s ability to wage large scale martial warfare permanently.

      And the smoking gun post script proof of his treachery is his running against Lincoln for President in 1864 as a pro-slavery Democrat.

      Sad, very sad.

      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/a-terminal-case-of-the-slows/

  26. texan5142 says:

    Chris Farley lives!….. in a van down by the river.

  27. way2gosassy says:

    I found a very interesting article, or rather a blog posting, on this same subject. It is well written and annotated by a Liberal. It was quite surprising that there is so much agreement between he and Chris. This posting came out in August of 2014. You can read the article here

    http://weeklysift.com/2014/08/11/not-a-tea-party-a-confederate-party/

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Some great points in the article Sassy. Reminds me of a PBS “American Experience” episode I watched recently on the rise and popularity of the North Carolina KKK.

      The gist of the point the show forwarded was that poor Whites in the South were unempowered and had nothing in common with the affluent aristocratic Southern Whites who utterly disdained them and only regarded them barely higher than Blacks.

      The poor Whites in turn, to ensure some measure of empowerment and assuage their insecurities and emasculation at the hand of their fellow disdainful Whites, pursued confirmation that they were “better” and better off than someone, anyone and thus discriminated against Blacks with such vitriol, blatantly biased laws, and of course, copious amounts of deadly violence to keep the Blacks “in their place” despite national (Northern) laws declaring equality and equal rights for all (men).

    • 1mime says:

      Sassy, Fasciinating read. Thanks for the link. It will be an interesting blog to read in tandem with Lifer’s. As you noted, lots of similar conclusions. How sad for the South and for our country.

  28. bubbabobcat says:

    “Republicans did not trigger the flight of the Dixiecrats, they were buried by it.”

    But Chris they did actively and vigorously courted the racist defections. After the fact or otherwise. And were quite successful at it no matter whether they were the diabolically racist architects or racists who were bumbling Forrest Gump type of historical witnesses caught in the ebb tide. Either way, it (courting racist Southern Democrats) was instrumental in Nixon’s successful bid for the Presidency. Twice.

    “When President Lyndon B. Johnson championed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, some Republican strategists saw a potential bonanza in the South. They thought their party could reap the votes of white people uneasy with Democrats, or downright hostile to them, for advancing the cause of black people.

    Mr. Thurmond became a Republican and campaigned for his new party’s presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, in 1964. Goldwater was beaten overwhelmingly by Johnson, but he did carry five states in the Deep South. He had campaigned in part on “states’ rights,” and he had voted against civil rights legislation, facts not lost on vote-counters in either party.

    Four years later, Mr. Thurmond helped hold much of the region for Nixon by reassuring Southerners that, as president, he would not be too aggressive on civil rights issues. George C. Wallace of Alabama won five states in the Deep South, but Nixon’s strength elsewhere in the region was crucial to his narrow victory over Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/us/02dent.html

    And as a side note, the architect of Nixon’s Southern Strategy, Harry Dent, was a Southern Baptist.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Or Perhaps Ronald Reagan (or his speechwriter) was the original architect of the racist Southern Strategy pre-Nixon? Ole Ronnie proudly declared his defection from the Democratic party to Republican and in his stump speech for Goldwater’s failed 1964 Presidential campaign, touched on all the racist code words: “welfare stare”, “lazy” undeserving welfare queens scamming the “socialist” systems produced by a “bloated” big centralized Federal government, anti Great Society social programs, anti “urban renewal”, anti public housing, advocating for “states’ rights”, private property owners’ rights, lower (and non progressive) taxes, etc.

      http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/reference/timechoosing.html

      I’m not surprised in the least.

  29. goplifer says:

    Interesting developments in Alabama pertinent to the Southern Baptist vs. other Baptist subject.

    Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, a Southern Baptist, issued an order tonight in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on a case affecting the legality of same-sex marriage in Alabama (it is now a constitutional right there). He is defying the US Supreme Court by trying to block all state officials from issuing marriage certificates or recognizing gay marriages.

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/alabama_chief_justice_roy_moor_4.html?hootPostID=ee7b753b2b5656ea8414189fee153a9e

    Meanwhile, a Baptist (not Southern Baptist) minister in Huntsville, AL promises to start officiating gay weddings this week.

    So one (Southern) Baptist is standing in the “schoolhouse door” while another (not-Southern) Baptist is waiting at the altar.

    http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/02/baptist_minister_explains_why.html

    She (yes, she) referenced this obstructionist effort in her statement:

    However, in the spirit of Governor Wallace standing in the school house door, the probate judges in Madison and surrounding counties have announced they no longer will perform any marriage ceremonies.

    “This means that same sex couples, many of whom have no pastor because they have not been welcome in their own churches, would have had nowhere to turn had it not been for the good people who have organized “Wedding Week”.”

    Oh, it will be fun to watch that one play out.

  30. johngalt says:

    We’ve been bashing Baptists in the last few posts and, frankly, the history of the Southern Baptists deserves a little bashing, but I read today an example of a congregation that deserves praise. Unfortunately, it was part of the obituary of longtime North Carolina coach Dean Smith who even this diehard Duke fan can say was one of the best men to ever be a part of college basketball. He was also a lifelong Baptist and a member of the Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill. “At the urging of his pastor, he recruited blacks to his team, and in 1967 made Charlie Scott the first black scholarship athlete at North Carolina and one of the first in the South…’He was willing to take controversial stands on a number of things as a member of our church — being against the death penalty, affirming gays and lesbians, protesting nuclear proliferation,’ said Robert Seymour, the former pastor at Binkley Baptist Church. ‘He was one who has been willing to speak out on issues that many might hesitate to take a stand on'” (from ESPN’s obit). In 1967, he took Charlie Scott to his church for a Sunday service on his recruiting visit.

    It is hard to imagine a black teenager sitting in the pews of an SBC congregation in North Carolina in the late ’60s, but that must have been an unusual congregation. Alas, it was ejected from the SBC in 1992 for licensing a gay man as a minister.

    • 1mime says:

      Wonderful story, JG. It’s easy to paint with a broad brush so it’s especially timely to learn more about the life of this fine man and a good church. Alas, as you indicated, it fell under the scalpal of the SBC despite its good works. I’m sure Scott’s church continued right along and is still serving its congregation well.

    • goplifer says:

      Very similar story to University Baptist in Austin.

  31. objv says:

    Lifer, I think your suppositions would only make sense for Texas if the population makeup had stayed the same.

    The population in 1850 was 212,592. The population today hovers around 27 million. The population in 1960 when you said party affiliation was changing, was still under 10 million.

    It has taken more than original native Texans giving birth to explain such high population growth.

    Mommy, where do Texans come from?

    … “17 percent were born outside the U.S. – that’s the highest it’s been since 1900.”

    “Meanwhile, in 2012, 6 percent of Texans were born in the Midwest, while 5 percent were born in the West and another 5 percent were born in the South; just 3 percent were born in the Northeast.”

    http://keranews.org/post/where-do-texans-come-oklahoma-mexico-vietnam

    While I agree that there was certainly prejudice against African Americans in the past; pasty, white folks like me are no longer in the majority. Why is it that you think present day Republicans in Texas are so prone to racism when so many Republicans have no connection to the old South?

    • objv says:

      Ten reasons why so many people are moving to Texas. (Note that wanting to be in a state with other white supremacists did not make the list.)

      http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22649624

    • 1mime says:

      Well, Objv, I guess I just won’t ever make it into the 1% group (I was born in the South (-:)

      I’m curious as to your answer to your question as to why contemporary TX Republicans are so prone to racism having been born elsewhere?

      • objv says:

        Mime, Please give some examples of recent Republican racism. Are your Republican siblings racist because they are white and from the South? Texas Republicans are not automatically racist whether they were born in Texas or elsewhere.

        I was born in Ohio – a swing state. My parents are liberal, my sister and I are staunchly conservative, two of my brothers are nominally Republican and one brother votes the Democratic ticket. My husband is from California.

        I grew up in an area which was heavily industrial and union. Unfortunately, good jobs dried up and people often had to either settle for a lower paying job or move. Most of my friends left for other states (usually in the South and Texas) after they graduated from college.

        Believe me, none of the people I knew moved because they wanted to live in a more racist state. The biggest draw was almost always work. Reasonably priced homes and low taxes were a added bonus..

        A young couple I knew from Ohio chose to move Houston in the last few years because they wanted to live in a diverse place. They checked out different cities’ demographics and Houston seemed to be a place where they could fit in and raise a family. They are a mixed race couple and they made friends quickly. It was a good move for them and they are very happy living in Texas.

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, “Why is it that you think present day Republicans in Texas are so prone to racism when so many Republicans have no connection to the old South?”

        We agree that Texas Republicans are not automatically racist. In fact, I would say that it helps Texas to have people moving in from other areas. The politics of Texas is pretty hard-lined from what I see and hear. Though I am not nearly as experienced as GopLifer in Texas politics, I do bring a keen eye and strong interest to my observations. Mostly, it’s a matter of tone. How people bristle when you bring up immigration, or health care, or welfare. If I were directly involved in the political machinery, I might have a better answer for you.

        As for my three younger Republican siblings who live in LA, they experienced desegregation of our public school system but they all went on to acquire advanced degrees in the medical field. I can’t explain why they are Republicans to the three older being Democrat, but I haven’t given up on them (-: None of them can abide Jindal, though, so maybe there’s hope for them yet!

        Jobs and cost of living will always be motivators as well they should for most people. There’s no issue with that. I did note in looking at the census quick facts that Hispanics/Latino (alone) population is double that of the USA and white (alone) is two-thirds the U.S. average. Here’s that link if you’re interested. (Just plug in Texas and select “set”)

        http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045214/48,00

      • way2gosassy says:

        From the Dallas Morning News “South Texas businessman Chris Mapp, 53, told this editorial board that ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land, referred to such people as “wetbacks,” and called the president a “socialist son of a bitch.”

        In other news there is this, “Sarah Slamen — a party official from Fort Bend County — made the remark while discussing the comments of two-term La Marque City Council member Connie Trube, who is under fire after an audio of her calling for removal of “those blacks off the school board” was leaked to the public.

        Dyson began the segment, which featured a graphic that read “Stand by Your Hate,” by asserting: “The reality is that racism is alive and well in Texas” since the state’s Republican chapter has called for the repeal of the Voting Rights Act because the GOP leaders “believe protections against racial discrimination and voting” are no longer needed.

        He then played the recording of Trube describing a member of a local school board:

        She really turned black. I mean, she used to be sociable with everyone and had a level head, and then she got on the school board with the rest of the blacks, and they all just ganged up, and that’s why the school system has gone to hell.

        It’s not gonna get any better until you get those blacks off the school board.

        “City officials launched an investigation” being conducted by an outside legal firm and “formally censured” Trube, but she only “doubled down,” Dyson continued, quoting her as saying: “What is on the tape is nothing more than me stating my honest opinion, and I don’t back down from that. I never denied what was on the tape.”
        – See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/randy-hall/2014/06/14/racists-more-out-and-proud-texas-democratic-guest-tells-msnbc#sthash.G8VkVls2.dpuf

      • way2gosassy says:

        By the way OV if you need more there is a ton of this stuff out there and I would be most happy to oblige. You’re welcome.

    • goplifer says:

      Now we have an explanation for why Rick Perry became a Republican. He moved to Texas?

      • objv says:

        Chris, I cannot pretend to see into Rick Perry’s heart. 🙂 Are you saying that he became a Republican because he was was a white supremacist with racism simmering beneath the nice hair?

      • goplifer says:

        His heart is his own business. His record, on the other hand, is a public matter. The Man from Niggerhead Ranch is a modern Dixiecrat by every conceivable definition. He is the natural heir to Thurmond in our time.

      • objv says:

        Rick Perry may be a Texas native, but as you can see from my previous links, many people do move to Texas.

        This set of maps illustrates what has been happening in the South since 1975.

        http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2008/12/17/u-s-migration-flows/

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, the maps and data links you’ve posted aren’t very current. The oil and gas industry has been a tremendous draw for Texas except when it wasn’t. Witness the mid-eighties when the bottom fell out of the industry and people left in droves to find work elsewhere. To its credit, Texas has diversified and is a much more stable economy even though the oil and gas industry is still the main driver of jobs – directly or indirectly.

        The sheer square footage of Texas when factored into its employment statistics would be more interesting to me. Big state – lotsa room for people to live. It will also be interesting to see these same employment stats if the price of oil and gas remain suppressed. The Houston Chronicle is filled with daily reports of lay-offs. It’s a natural cycle that energy seems to go through every so often but, it’s painful for expendable employees.

        Like Sassy, someday I will leave Texas to seek a place that offers a more inclusive environment where my liberal views will be welcomed as opposed to tolerated.

      • objv says:

        Mime, here is a newer link:

        http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/29/real_estate/affordable-housing-growth/index.html

        I hope that layoffs will be short-term. I moved to Texas in the late 80s and I can remember those tough days.

      • 1mime says:

        Obvj, thanks for the more recent data link. I never suggested Texas wasn’t a big population draw, only that its economy is heavily dependent upon oil and gas and that is a very cyclical industry. Historically speaking, Texas has certainly been the place to be for the jobs market.

      • way2gosassy says:

        If you want to move to Tennessee I could use some help with that “liberal viewpoint” Mime. ; )

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, never thought about giving TN a look, but I’d certainly be your liberal buddy. I don’t know if TN would be ready for a Sassy/Mime duo, but it would be interesting! From the tenor of your posts, we share common values. Can’t do anything just yet as my husband’s health keeps us locked in to our current homestead, but I’m definitely outta here when I am able to leave.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Mime, moving here was the best health decision we ever made! Tennessee is a very Red state but there seems to be something breaking in the Republican stranglehold.

      • 1mime says:

        The “man from Niggerhead Ranch”….(Rick Perry). It will be interesting to see how this plays in Perry’s presidential campaign. That he didn’t personally put it up and it’s been there forever is his reason for not taking it down. What a principled stand.

        I hope someone has a copy of the sign in their file, ready and waiting. What a “tell”.

  32. RightonRush says:

    Oy Vey, I have such a hang over but wanted to post this sorta OT article. I thought of our buddy Turtles when I read it. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mormon-podcaster-john-dehlin-bracing-excommunication-n301066

    • 1mime says:

      Hang in there RR, at least you don’t have to go to work tomorrow!

      Living in the south we are more accustomed to racism as it is directed at Blacks and Hispanics. There is a bigger world out there, obviously. Once again, in the name of religion…..

    • way2gosassy says:

      If you were in Deer Park Texas I would buy you a Hangover Special from Frank’s!

      I hope they don’t have spies hanging out here or our dear friend could be in trouble.

    • 1mime says:

      If bullies can’t find anyone else to pick on, there’s always Indian….children. Sadly, racism, bullying, ostracism – is a societal problem that extends far beyond the South.

      http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/native-american-school-children-taunted-slurs-sprayed-beer-south-dakota-hockey

    • Turtles Run says:

      Thanks RoR. I am very familiar with this person and the controversy surrounding him.

      As some of you may have realized I am somewhat of a liberal in my beliefs. I support SSM and other LGBT rights. Now most everyone in my ward (assigned congregation) knows my beliefs and for the most part either accept it and try not to discuss politics with me and I do the same with them. The only person I have been really open with my beliefs with is my Bishop. We are pretty good friends and we both support LGBT rights.

      I have a real issue with the church excommunicating people over their beliefs. I believe that only by challenging our beliefs will we grow. But if people that believe like me and Mr. Dehlin want to change the church we have to do it from within. Getting kicked out does nothing to help us drag the church to the 21st century.

  33. Dan Cooper says:

    Brilliantly assembled. I thank you.

  34. Bobo Aamerigo says:

    In your post, you use these phrases:

    emerged from their defeat under a new brand.

    adapted their rhetoric

    learned to couch their language

    found new language

    hoping to shape an appeal

    Those things don’t happen accidentally. People who practice the nature of persuasive speech as professions — marketers, advertising folk, political strategists — work hard to find concepts that their audiences are pre-disposed to snap to, even if they are unaware of their predispositions, and even if those predispositions are never spoken out loud.

    At about the time Republican operatives like Atwater and Ailes were in college, there was interest in and research to determine the role rhetoric played in the Holocaust.

    Concepts that received a lot of play included values, and how values can’t be subjected to logic.

    Another is the concept called adherence, as in audiences adhere to a speaker who uses value statements in order to persuade, i.e., to win votes.

    I know, all this sounds ridiculously academic. But I think some Republican strategists have this stuff down cold.

    Early rhetoricians argued about who should be able to use rhetoric, that’s how powerful they thought it was.

    They said rhetoricians had to be ethical, had to have a strong ethical foundation in order to use the power of persuasive speech.

    The Republicans have drawn to them the illogical, values-oriented voters and completely abandoned ethics.

    What else accounts for their attempts to restrict voters, especially minority voters, from the polls? To ignore the violation that is rape to suggest there might be something beautiful about it? (I can barely write that. How could that jackass Republican say it?)

    I think Republican strategists were right in there with the moral majority and other religious groups, tweaking their messages, helping them position themselves as God’s children, while the Ds stood flat-footed.

    Southern strategy? I don’t know. But they definitely had a strategy and may be reaping what they sowed as spotlights falls on the wacky, even despicable, people they’ve elected.

    • flypusher says:

      The guaranteed way to push my cynicism button? Start bloviating about “family values”. There’s a concept that badly needs rebranding, tainted as it is by all of the hypocrites who invoked it.

    • 1mime says:

      Good reasoning, Bobo. You nailed it. Talking, walking, like a duck…..

      Here’s a link to a Tea Party email I received today which I believe is on point to our topic. And, NO, I am NOT a Tea Party fan or member. I do make an attempt to know what they are thinking, however, so I don’t unsubscribe unless they get so “out there” that I choose to shut them out of my world.

      http://teapartybulletin.com/liberals-talk-dont-think-youre-listening-will-shock/

      • flypusher says:

        They really do need to take the beams out of their eyes. Go lurk on Freeperville, and you’ll read stuff with just as much venom. The Ferguson incident brought out the dregs of humanity from both extremes to post online.

        I freely admit, I have nothing but contempt for people like young earth creationists. But if they keep their ignorance among themselves, I’ll be content to ignore them.

      • 1mime says:

        That’s what’s different now, Fly. They are no longer content to stay within their own belief system. They want their world for everyone – and, that includes you and me. We can try to ignore it, but it’s getting more difficult when their values become laws, rules, practice and our state and federal budgets. That’s the danger. I, too, am willing to “live and let live” as long as I am accorded the same treatment. That ain’t what’s happening here anymore.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Wow! Talk about tolerance……
        Thanks for the link Mime

    • goplifer says:

      The past always looks like a straight line, but of course it isn’t. There are a lot of different futures that could have emerged from that decade when the segregationists were dazed and defeated. For a long time it looked like the Republican Party was going to look like Jack Kemp and Pete Wilson and George Pataki and William Weld.

      It looked like James Baker and Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Sam Nunn and Lindsey Graham (the original version, not the Tea Party retrofit) were the future of the GOP in the South.

      Yes, Lee Atwater was out there and yes, he was working hard along with others to figure out how to make a new home for Jim Crow’s defenders inside the GOP. His efforts were not successful, so to speak, he was just lined up in the right spot. Not even Atwater himself could have seen this coming. He would be a RiNO today.

      I think it’s a mistake to read an insidious plan into the way this all played out.

      • 1mime says:

        “I think it’s a mistake to read an insidious plan into the way this all played out.”

        Agreed. And, I realize this post is a history lesson, but unless I’m missing the point, there was a juncture where the Bakers, Kemps, Hutchisons, et al were the leaders of the Republican Party. (And, boy, do we need them today!) Whether by happenschance (Atwater) or purpose (Criswell), the dial shifted. A calculated decision was made to link up with the monolithic South along with all of their values and beliefs and move away from the center. The Republican Party has to accept responsibility for taking that fork in the road with all its baggage, Lifer, while trying to survive changing social and demography in our country. I hope that the GOP will find the leadership it must have to make the changes it must do to not only survive, but thrive. Our country needs a strong two-party system to ensure the proper checks and balance system a true Democracy requires.

      • goplifer says:

        Honestly, I don’t think that decision was ever consciously made by the Republican leadership. Even today you can occasionally hear John Boehner express surprise and bewilderment about the behavior of his caucus.

        In my personal experience I had many conversations with local GOP leadership in Houston in the 90’s who were utterly convinced that they were living through a brief ‘spasm’ of delirium that would pass. They believed that the new crop of religious fundies and other hyper-conservatives coming over with the Dixiecrats were going to settle down and open up new opportunities for traditional Republicans.

        There are very few old world Republicans who recognize what has happened to them. Just look at the Dewhurst-Cruz and Dewhurst-Patrick races over the past couple of years. These folks have been clubbed over the head with an oar. They are struggling to grasp what they have unleashed.

      • briandrush says:

        One has to wonder how the Democrats, who were saddled with these guys once upon a time, managed to come up with FDR. But if they could do that when the Neo-Confederates were stronger, I imagine the GOP can overcome the hurdles now that they’re circling the drain (the N-Cs, not the GOP — although that could easily happen, too).

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        “The only true facts are the ones you choose to believe.” That’s a tenet of values-based rhetorical strategies.

        It is profoundly cynical yet abstract enough it be difficult to challenge by people who believe there is indeed some factual information in existence.

        The job of strategists is to create strategies for the organizations they serve.

        I have no idea if Republicans within religious and party organizations saw their activities as serving a more global purpose, a southern strategy.

        The thing about your party and its communication strategies is, you don’t have to believe in a southern strategy if you choose not to.

        How cool is that!

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, You know so much more than I do about things politic, and I deeply respect your knowledge and experience. All I can offer is my limited but sincere viewpoint.

        I believe that there are Republicans who are genuinely surprised at how their party’s center has been hijacked and regret the change. But I am not going to give them a pass for not taking charge of their party and restoring rational leadership. It is not just the wingnut group within Republican ranks who are drafting and signing onto and voting for extreme legislation. When they vote lock-step with party extremists, what is the public supposed to think?

        Chase that with the appalling disrespect by Republicans to the office of the President of the United States for over six years. Even though I thought George W. Bush was a very limited President, as a Democrat I never would have said or done the things I have witnessed Republicans directing at President Obama. Like it or not, he is the duly elected President of the United States. I respect the office – whoever occupies it. As recently as the Netanyahu invite, we have a House Speaker playing cutsie. I mean, how petty, how disrespectful can it get? When the world views leaders within America routinely demeaning our President, it isn’t a stretch to imagine a Netanyahu feeling impervious to criticism for his breach of protocol. Then there was the clapping during the SOTU address when the President indicated he would not be running again for office….not as bad as “you lie” but you’d think Republicans would have learned something from that experience. Do conservatives think the public is not hearing these things, or, that they don’t care?

        So, yeah, I’m not very happy with the state of the GOP these days. It used to be a fine party. And, I feel for the few moderate Republicans serving in office and I wish them well. They’ve got a really tough job. But, the big question is “who” is running the Republican Party these days and what do they want? Big money may be the ultimate “be careful what you ask for” albatross.

        Being surprised has become an excuse for not taking taking charge. If the GOP establlishment wants to minimize the radical elements within their party, they are doing a poor job of it.

  35. flypusher says:

    An interesting bit of trivia that I didn’t know from the wiki page on Atwater:

    “In 1989, Atwater became a member of the historically black Howard University Board of Trustees. The university gained national attention when students rose up in protest against Atwater’s appointment. Student activists disrupted Howard’s 122nd anniversary celebrations and eventually occupied the university’s administration building. Within days, both Atwater and Howard President James E. Cheek resigned.”

    So somebody thought putting him on the board was a good idea?

  36. flypusher says:

    The first notion appearing in my head bridges this post and the last one- a memory of Trent Lott’s gaffe about how the country would have been so much better off if Thurmond had been elected in ’48. Now while his motive looked to be saying something nice about the old dude on his birthday, the ignorance of that statement was so off the charts that I think he deserved every bit of the firestorm he got. What if, indeed. Is there anyone here whose skin doesn’t crawl at the thought of Thurmond in the White House?

    Riding the avalanche is less sleazy than starting the avalanche, but either way the end result is very bad.

  37. briandrush says:

    Oh, one other thing, just pure history. If you look at the presidential elections from 1948 on, you can see an interesting pattern. In 1948, many Southern states voted against Truman, but not for a Republican yet. In 1964, Southerners voted for Goldwater, but my theory about that is that they knew Goldwater couldn’t win, so it was purely a protest vote against Johnson. The fact that the south went for Wallace instead of Nixon four years later confirms this to me. The 1972 election is an anomaly like any huge blowout. 1976 stayed pretty much to the pre-Depression pattern, with Carter winning a narrow victory by winning the South and a few states outside it. The big shift to the Republicans didn’t really begin until the 1980s, and it’s only become complete recently.

  38. briandrush says:

    An excellent run-down as usual. I’ll add only that characterizing the racism in the party as where the party has always been coming from cynically serves the political purposes of two groups: Democrats, and the new elite in the GOP. Democrats obviously want their base to think of the Republicans as white supremacists (which is real hubris, considering that it was their party, not yours, that pandered to the white supremacists from the Civil War until it began to change in the 1940s). The new GOP elite gains legitimacy and a false connection to the party’s traditions.

    Anyone who studies political history knows that racism not only isn’t what the Republican Party has always stood for, but that in its origins and traditions it’s what the GOP has always stood AGAINST. Who freed the slaves? Republicans. Who tried to implement full civil rights after the Civil War (unsuccessfully, alas)? Republicans. Who stood behind and enforced the desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education? Republicans. (Mostly President Eisenhower.) Which party voted more heavily for the 1964 Civil Rights Act? Republicans. (Only because Southern Democrats voted against it, but the numbers stand.)

    However much national Republican politicians like Nixon might have been dazzled and tempted by the lure of white Southern votes abandoned by the Democrats who once owned them, you have described the change as exactly what it was: a hostile takeover.

    As you’ve also observed, there are still old-style Republicans in local positions in blue states. If there’s a cure, it lies with them. And also with the demographic change that is putting an end to that subculture, slowly but surely.

    • stephen says:

      “old-style Republicans in local positions in blue states. If there’s a cure, it lies with them.”

      Which is why I think the lifer moved up north. But I would not give up on the Southern States that are border states to Mexico and the Caribbean. They have plenty of old fashion Northern Republicans in them that abhor the current direction of the party. Both myself and wife have deep roots in the south. But living in a multi-culture area most of our adult lives has made to us Dixiecrat politics disgusting. My children are turned off by the current GOP and the party has lost them. My grandson’s best friend is a cousin who is mixed like the President and he never will cotton to racial politics and white supremacy. Culturally the South is being changed and the soil will be eventually more fertile for a business supporting, social moderate pragmatic problem solving party like the Historic GOP.

    • 1mime says:

      History tells the truth (when it’s allowed to be printed in textbooks (-: ). Democrats do have an ugly past where racism is concerned. Thankfully, the Party has moved on and apparently passed the torch to conservatives. Republican’s history in this area is being muddied today because the current message and party platform effectively cancels out their finer historical record. I’m not quite as willing to accept the purity of Republican motives way back when, but the history speaks for itself. The tables have turned and that’s what matters now.

      As a Democrat, I can’t do anything about the ugliness that was; I can only stand against the injustices of today. The fact that many conservatives (of all brands) have embraced the tenets of the white supremacy movement (which individually they deny, of course) and are cultivating those in the Southern voting block who believe this, is still “riding the wave” of racism – regardless of protestations to the contrary. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck….. Obviously, there are many conservatives who aren’t racists. My challenge to them is to get their Party straightened out. It’s hurting our country.

      Closet racism used to be common, especially in the strong white middle class that emerged from WWII. Blacks may have won the right to sit at the counter and in our public schools, but not in our homes. “Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner”, indeed! Now that it has become “politically acceptable – if not outright required for election, we are seeing the less cautious, less experienced as well as the more calculated, experienced pols openly announce their narrow world views. It ought to alarm us as much as it disgusts us. We should never forget the lesson of Hitler’s manifest of white supremacy and his concerted effort to kill those who tainted the gene pool. Today we use private schools, country clubs, suburbs, and income inequality to effectively order society. More subtle, of course, but, effective.

      I may be alone in thinking that American Exceptionalism, borne with a noble premise, is morphing into an elitism that other world people resent and suspect. Individually and collectively, America has some soul-searching to do. I am grateful that our younger generation seems to be more inclusive. We can thank integration of our public schools for that.

    • 1mime says:

      Brian – “Anyone who studies political history knows that racism not only isn’t what the Republican Party has always stood for, …..it’s what the GOP has always stood against”.

      Do you not see that what the GOP is standing for now is something radically different? Isn’t this part of the current problem? History has been written and can’t be undone. What can change are peoples’ values and beliefs. In my view, the GOP has some real soul searching to do in this area. Are all Conservatives racist? No. Are all Democrats not racist? No. But, look at what is going on around you. If you think the GOP is still following a value system in opposition to racism, how do you explain current events? What was, isn’t anymore.

      • briandrush says:

        Yes, I do realize the party has changed. That was rather my point. Please reexamine the comment you replied to, and you’ll see that the reply wasn’t pertinent.

      • 1mime says:

        If that was your intent, it was a little too subtle for me to grasp. I’m glad we agree that what was, isn’t – anymore.

  39. way2gosassy says:

    “Party’s central problem – its new, unintended role as the vehicle of white supremacy in the 21st century. History denied is history repeated. Republicans will not shake this burden without first confronting it.”

    With very few exceptions, Chris, I just don’t see this happening in our lifetimes. Every now and then we get a small glimpse of common sense, compassion and a will to do the right thing for the right reason only to find those brave enough to try being ostracized by their own colleagues for doing so.

    • vikinghou says:

      sassy,

      Like you I doubt that the GOP will confront this situation on their own. However, the inexorable demographic changes in this country will eventually force the issue. As the relative population of whites continues to decline, and the nation continues to urbanize, the usefulness of gerrymandering and voter suppression will wane.

      • 1mime says:

        As the minority overtakes the white majority in sufficient numbers to impact social and political change, Republicans better hope that they will be treated more kindly than they treated the minority. Elephants aren’t the only animal with long memories. In the meantime, much damage can and is still being done.

      • Firebug2006 says:

        I’m not sure we will have to wait for racial demographics to overtake the GOP. I think the youth demographic is going to get us there sooner rather than later. And I think the Dems realize this potential and are already exploiting it.

      • 1mime says:

        Firebug – I’d rather think that Dems would recruit rather than exploit America’s youth, but I know what you mean. FYI, read an article today about Jeb Bush’ plan to focus on the melinneals by bringing his 31 year old son on the campaign trail. Social issues have been the big draw for this age group and I don’t see the current crop of Republicans being able to broaden their views enough to attract them, Bush included, and still get elected, but, we’ll see.

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