The South Is Seething.

In the budget compromise vote in Washington, DC, numbers in the House of Representatives reflected the new United States.  It’s the United States with the old South.  Those representing districts in Southern states voted about 8-1 against the compromise.  The Midwest was split, the rest of the country mostly in favor.

The ironic thing is only a decade ago, the nation’s politics and values were bending to the will of the South.  The Southern accent of politicians, country music, NASCAR and Bible talk had moved north.  Today, movement is stopped.

For much of our history, the South was sort of a country within a country.  Its values were so ingrained and seemed so backwards to the rest of the country, blood had to be shed to bring it forward.  This happened first in the Civil War and again during the civil rights campaign.

The majority of its political leadership seems to think it can reform the country’s government into something far different than it is.  On social issues, the demonization of black people has been replaced with the demonization of gays and abortion.  Its political position is such it can’t bring about the changes it wants, but it can hold back for a while what the majority of the country wants.

The old South was majority rural.  The new South has huge sophisticated urban complexes.

The North imposed its political will and values on the South before.  An urban South will make it harder to hold back the progressive thinking headed its way.



14 Responses

  1. They’re saying that Texas will be purple in two election cycles. North Carolina is smaller but maybe even closer. Virginia already is and look what happened there on MLK day. The right took advantage of the absence of a Democratic Senator who was up the road in Washington attending the inauguration to push through a mid-decade re-redistricting plan (Texas they learned this from you) by one vote. The VA Senate is 20-20 right now, projections under the new map 27-13 Republican.

    1. sea 12:58 TX, NC and Virgina stories, interesting. My friend in Dallas, who follows these blogs and discussions, said Dallas went for Obama. I heard that about NC and it makes sense, a big tech community there. Kind of ironic, isn’t it, that redistricting gave Republicans a firm grip on the House, but has moved the Party so far to the right it has trouble winning the Senate and Presidency.

      I hope it all means we keep the Bible,i. e., anti gay and anti abortion, from taking over completely.

      1. Henry

        When you have a choice between a liberal and a kind-of liberal politician, the liberal voters will vote for the liberals. The conservative voter will hold their nose and vote for the kind-of liberal. Even if the liberal is a very bad candidate, the distinct lack of choice will make the genuine liberal fare better. Romney or McCain are not conservatives (hard right). They couldn’t beat a weak liberal candidate. The premise that the Republicans have been advancing hard right candidates for this position is ficticious.

        1. Henry 6:35 We can all make up our own definitions about what is “liberal”, “kind-of-liberal”, “hard right”, “weak candidate” and so on. Your definitions will work fine for you, but I don’t think they are the definitions of the majority of the public. And, when we get to the public we are talking about people’s perceptions, which might be different than some more objective definition.

          For the sake of simplification, let’s leave out economic issues and liberatarians like Ron Paul. Dealing with just Republicans, I would say the public perceives a candidate to be “hard right” when he/she says “I believe life begins at conception and I pledge to put the power of the Federal Government behind criminalizing it. Further, gay marriage is a Biblical abomination and I will put the Federal Government behind preventing it.”

          A “moderate” Republican, I would not call this “kind-of-liberal”, would be one who said, “I don’t personally believe in abortion or gay marriage but would leave goverment out of the issues.”

          I think the public perceived both McCain and Romney to be of the former, far right, not the latter. This, even though they might not claim the former to be an accurate reflection of their positions. If their positions were the latter, certainly they did not make that clear. They honeyed up to political factions who were in the camp of the far right position. They did not say, “You are the far right are not part of my thinking.” Since they did not do this, the public assigned a far right position to them.

          Thus, I would say, besides their personality shortcomings, which in some cases are the most important variable, they were considered by the public to be “far right”.

          1. Henry

            Jon, thank you for your well thought out response, although very wrong.

            “Thus, I would say, besides their personality shortcomings,”

            Personality shortcomings? Let us look at Romney. Personality wise, a complete class act. Ran circles around Obamba in the debates, all while being very nice and deferential. In the campaign, to a fault, Romney did not engage in significant negative advertising. He even went so far as to not adequately point out the stark differences between he and Obamba, a tragic mistake. If there was a personality shortcoming, it was Obamba with his pouty, narcicism.

            More later….

          2. Henry 11:42 I’m afraid you are making the same mistake I have made, assigning your own take on a political personality and assigning it to the majority. Neither of us know, usually until an election is decided, which candidate’s personality appealed to the majority.

            I thought people would look at W Bush and think, “I don’t like that guy.” But, the majority found him “likeable”. You are seeing Obama the way I saw Bush.

            One of the most important “likeable” characteristics of a candidate is the impression the candidate likes people, “I bet he would like me, if he knew me personally.” Heidi Heitkamp exudes affection for people.

          3. Henry

            Jon: “Since they did not do this, the public assigned a far right position to them.”

            the public democrat newsmedia assigned a far right position to them

          4. Henry 2:48 Whether the public assigned a far right postion or the press did so, the two candidates allowed this to happen by not clearly distancing themselves from the positions they were assigned.

    2. It just got better in VA. The Republicans control the house, governor’s mansion and the Senate is split but the tie-breaking vote belongs to the Lt. Gov. so they’re running the show. Anyway they’re seething, Jon.

      They’ve proposed and passed out of committee (3-3 party line vote) a bill that would apportion their 13 electoral college votes by congressional district. 1 vote for the winner of each district and then instead of the state wide popular vote winner (Obama the last 2 cycles, by 6.3% and 3.9%) getting the 2 Senate votes, they’d go the the winner of the most congressional districts.

      If such a plan were in place in 2012 Romney would have received 9 electoral votes to Obama’s 4.

  2. entech

    Is this the same Obama that is wrecking the market according to so many of Jon’s opponents.
    Picked up this lead from an Australian paper,

    also had an interesting description of Obama – from the right wing viewpoint a rabid socialist, from a left viewpoint a sweet talking sell out. The more centrist of his supporters see him as a great and greatly under-appreciated progressive leader (from John Cassidy. The New Yorker).

    Same sought of thing everywhere, if you are on side a person can do no wrong, other side they can do no right. Truth and reality get lost along the way.

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