An Update on The Southern Strategy

Remember the new conservative coalition that was to provide a "permanent Republican majority?" Today that pipe dream is mostly associated with Karl Rove, but originally it was envisioned by Richard Nixon as the fruit of his Southern Strategy.

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Thursday Evening Thread

I didn't think it would ever come to this, but after spending six weeks on the netroots poll, two weeks dealing with media from Yearly Kos, spending the last twenty-four hours dealing with the whole TNR thing, and working on a few other netroots-centric projects, I'm actually a little tired of meta-talk about the progressive netroots right now. Of course, I say that now, but in a few hours I'll probably be boring my friends to death with netroots talk again. Anyway, here are some other topics I'd rather think about right now:
  • GQ has a lengthy interview with Senator Feingold. I guess he's stylish enough to be in GQ. I was once actually sent an email form a reporter in GQ, and I admit the thought crossed my mind that they wanted to profile me because I was the most fashionable blogger, or something along those lines. Turns out it had nothing to do with that. Oh well.

  • Tom Schaller writes about his run-in with Mudcat Saunders at Yearly Kos. For those who weren't there, apparently that panel was one of the highlights of the conference. For what it is worth, even as a staunch fifty-state strategy supporter, I am firmly in Tom's camp on the whole "southern strategy:" issue. Short-term, the majority of our pickups in Congress on a way to a majority are just not going to come form the south. Of course, that that doesn't mean we shouldn't be building the party there--we absolutely should. We just have to understand that is part of a longer-term strategy.

  • New Zogby polls on Senate and Governors races. The info is amusing, and actually a little hopeful, but I can't get too excited about polls conducted in this fashion until they prove to be at least somewhat accurate.

  • Mystery Pollster has two great posts on the political views of people in the army. Check out Part One and Part Two.

  • In light of recent events, I'd like to quote from Toby Zeigler:[TOBY ZIEGLER, ADDRESSING STAFF]

    There's an old saying: "Those who speak, don't know; and those who know, don't speak." I don't know if that's true or not, but I know that by and large the press doesn't care who really knows what as long as they've got a quote.

    Last Friday, we had our Week Ahead meeting in the Roosevelt Room. Some of you were there, most of you weren't, but I'm talking to all of you now.

    Bruno Gianelli and I were leading a discussion about whether or not the President should stop in Kansas on his way back from the West Coast, and I remarked that the Vice President is polling better than the President right now in the Plains states... and that if the President is re-elected, it's gonna be on the Vice President's coattails. That remark made its way to a White House reporter.

    We're a group. [chuckles cheerlessly] We're a team. From the President and Leo on through, we're a team...We win together, we lose together, we celebrate and we mourn together. And defeats are softened and victories sweetened because we did them together.

    And if you don't like this team... then, there's the door. It's great to be in the know. It's great to have the scoop, to have the skinny, to be able to go to a reporter and say, "I know something you don't know." And so the press becomes your constituents and you sell out the team.

    So, an item will appear in the paper tomorrow, and it'll be embarrassing to me and embarrassing to the President. I'm not gonna have a witch hunt. I'm not gonna huff and puff. I'm not gonna take anyone's head off. I'm simply gonna say this: you're my guys. And I'm yours... and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you.
We are all in this new movement together folks. I may be only 32, but I waited my whole life for a real progressive movement to come along in this country. Now we have it, and we are making some real waves. We will win and lose together. I have your backs because you have mine, and because I've seen energy in the netroots that I know will lead to the changes in America we all desire. We can do this. We just hve to stay together.

This is an open thread.

Rebels and Friends

Crossposted at Corrente.

I was at this panel at Kosvegas. It was brutal. There's nothing uglier to me than progressives who can't get along, and it's totally true, people were shouting and I worried for a moment there would be blows.

There are two issues that trouble me. The first is that I agree with Mudcat's assertion that it's ethically and morally incorrect to just pack up and ditch progressives and liberals in the South. I have many liberal Southern friends, and I can't want for them to be condemned for life in some kind of modern Gilead. I really respected Dean for pointing out that poor black lesbians like me have more in common with NASCAR dads than they do with elites like Bush. But it's hard work to make that argument stick, and I not familiar enough with Southern culture and regional politics to say how it should be done.

The second issue is one of resources. Plain and simple, the Democrats have less with which they must do more. The fact that the Republicans basically control most of the media means the Democrats are not just fighting right wing campaigns, but also an +8 year history of pro-Republican propaganda in the form of "news" permeating all aspects of our media. I hear it's even worse in the South, in the sense that the Republican party hardly has to spend any of that slush money to get local papers to support Bush and his policies. So the idea of that the Democrats are just wasting their money on ads in the South resonates with me.

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GOP: First Religious Party

(Cross posted on

Kevin Phillips, author of American Dynasty, among other books, has recently published American Theocracy, which takes a close look at the relationship between the Republican Party and the religious fundamentalists right in America. Kevin Phillips goes even further than merely describing the relationship, however. In fact, he suggests that the Republican Party is now the first religious party in American history and that it is this phenomenon that has influenced the Bush Administration's total lack of a policy apparatus — essentially, the Bush White House has given up on formulating a governing policy and, in stead, has catered to the demands of this extremely influential constituency within the Republican Party by using the White House as a political tool to consolidate control over this religious constituency. Now, Kevin Phillips is not some media pundit writing about the Republican Party from the outside, as he's been an inside player within the Republican Party when he was a member of Nixon's White House team. It was during that time, in the early to mid 1970s, that Kevin Phillips began to observe the inroads that the religious fundamentalist right was making within the Republican Party — just around the time that Nixon was launching its Southern Strategy to courtship Southern Whites unhappy with the progress of the Civil Rights movement. Now, of course, the Republican Party is apologizing for its use of race as a wedge issue to courtship the bigot vote in the South; never mind that they continue to use race and other social wedge issues to divide the public, and to attract the bigoted and close minded elements to the Republican Party come election day.

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