|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
On Wednesday, January 28, 2009, President Barack Obama’s $819 billion stimulus plan passed the House of Representatives, despite the solid opposition of the Confederates.
By the Confederates I mean the Republican Party and their allies among Southern conservative Democrats. The battle in Washington is not between liberals and conservatives; it is between the Union and the South.
The Republican Party that voted unanimously against the stimulus bill is, in essence, the party of the former Confederacy. In the House of Representatives, there is not a single Republican representative from New England. In the U.S. Senate, there is not a single Republican from the Pacific Coast.
The Republican congressional delegation is disproportionately Southern. Half of the four congressional leaders of the Republican Party are Southerners: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Virginia). (Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl is from Arizona and House Minority Leader John Boehner is a relic of the dying Midwestern wing of the GOP). The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mike Duncan, is from Kentucky. Half of the candidates for the RNC chairmanship are Southerners: Duncan himself, Katon Dawson, chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, and Chip Saltsman, former chairman of the Republican Party of Tennessee. (The other three are Michael Steele of Maryland, Ken Blackwell of Ohio and, Saul Anuzis of Michigan.) If you think most GOP spokesmen on TV seem to speak with a drawl, you’re not imagining things.
In addition, a majority of the 11 House Democrats who voted against the stimulus bill are Southerners or from states that border the South: Bobby Bright and Parker Griffith, both of Alabama; Gene Taylor, of Mississippi; Heath Shuler, of North Carolina; Jim Cooper, of Tennessee; Allen Boyd, Jr., of Florida; Frank M. Kratovil, of Maryland; and Brad Ellsworth, of Indiana. (The other three are Walt Minnick of Idaho, John Peterson and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania.) Congressman Boyd, a prominent Blue Dog Democrat, was the only Democrat to support President Bush’s bill to partly privatize Social Security, which he co-sponsored. Appropriately, his 2nd Congressional District in the Florida Panhandle near Georgia and Alabama includes Dixie and Calhoun counties.
Do you see a pattern here?
The vote about the stimulus package was not about economics. It was about nullification. It was the bipartisan Confederacy sending a message to the rest of America, stricken by the greatest crisis since the Depression. That message? DROP DEAD.
Those who think that the Democrats could have won over more Republicans by making more concessions do not understand the neo-Confederate/Dixiecrat mentality. There was no one to bargain with on the other side. The Republiconfederate “alternative”—a joke of a bill consisting almost entirely of tax cuts—would not be taken seriously by any mainstream conservative economist. It was pure provocation.