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Friday, January 30, 2009

The "Can't You See That Man Is a Ni--" House vote
Posted by Jill | 4:15 AM
Michael Lind argues that the House vote by Republicans and Southern Blue Dog Democrats against the stimulus package was less about ideology or any sense of fsical responsibility than it was yet another example of the South still fighting the Civil War:
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.

If Lind is right, and I suspect he is, then Barack Obama is in for one hell of a rough ride for the next four years. Because if the South is still bound and determined to fight the Civil War, and the talking heads of the media are going to put the entire onus of "bipartisanship" on a president whose very existence in his post is an affront to everything the Dixiecrats and Republifederate Party believe in, this bunch has already shown ever since Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for the Presidency in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site of the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964, that they're not having any of it.

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Blogger Bob said...
I don't know how Repug leadership strong-armed total obedience on that vote, because I can't believe every Repug wanted to vote against it. It was a vote that could come back to haunt Repug reps from outside the South.

Blogger prin said...
Clearly you had your own hate agenda going when you wrote this. The "N" word was buried in July of '07. Let's leave it there, shall we? Over the weekend I will be writing a post in defense of my region of the country and how we came to be such a national whipping boy. Normally, I love to read what you write and have, on occasion, quoted and linked back to you, because generally I agree with what you write. Today, however, I want to delete you from my subscriptions. You can always tell when writers are lacking meat for their material...the fangs come out and the south bashing begins. I know you will say Mr. Lind, whom you quoted, is a southerner. I say to that...read my post on Monday and get a friggin' grip.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh, my! I fear the lady doth protest too much (not you prin!) I, too, shall be back once I have collected my wits about me and can respond without falling into Anglo Saxon expletives and character assassination, the latter unnecessary since obviously the character here was still born!

Suffice it now to say that as a leftwing liberal myself, I do believe that hate speech wherever it surfaces should be countered.

Blogger Jill said...
OK, let me get a few things straight here, since more than one person seems to think I was using the "N" word to describe the current president.

1) The point of Michael Lind's article, which is why I linked to it, is that the Republicans have become essentially nothing more than the Confederacy party. And perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the people still battling to fly the confederate flag are probably not exactly thrilled to have a black president. And perhaps they don't want him to succeed.

2) I do not use the "N" word to describe black people. The title of this piece is a reference to this scene from Blazing Saddles. If you've seen that movie, you know that it treads on some fairly dangerous, even inflammatory, territory in order to make a point against racism. It is not a movie that could be made today, alas, for all that it uses satire to make its anti-racism point.

God knows the north hasn't got a stellar record where race is concerned either. But at least we're not still fighting the Civil War. I'm encouraged by the fact that there are only six or seven reliably red states left in the country, but those states are largely still fighting a war that ended in 1865. I will admit that the headline is inflammatory, and perhaps unwise to have used without explaining to what it refers. I hate to say "I apologize if anyone was offended", so I'll say "I apologize for using this as a headline rather than being explicit about its cultural reference and how such sentiments are not mine.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Perhaps the N.. your referring to is "reNeger" as one who goes back on their word? It appears BO is practicing politics as usual, filling a bill that's supposed to be about economic stimulus with pet social-democrat projects. That's why it was opposed.