9/13/09

Modern Republicanism: Bigotry and the Base

I've pointed out to my friends at Lucianne.com many many times. The so called "base" of the Republican Party is nothing more than some rich people that don't want to pay their taxes confederated with a group of malcontents that feel the Federal Government has "imposed" on them or somehow constricted their personal liberty. These grievances go back at least as far as the Civil War, but really even further. Many are rooted in racism, and the so called "issues" they represent as political grievance thinly veiled aversions to the notions of Liberalism involving civic tolerance and the embrace of diversity. They didn't want to give up their slaves. Then they didn't want to let women vote. Then they didn't want blacks sitting at their lunch counters or in the front of the bus or be integrated into their schools. The Federal Government was the "evil" champion of all these social changes, finally taking up the cause for what was truly "right and just" despite those who held the reigns of power in their little fiefdoms..... "State's Rights" was and is the battle cry. Anything involving the Federal Government is "evil". What I am saying is that the base of the Republican Party is cobbled together from ideologies steeped in greed and bigotry, and the ugly face of racism is never far from the surface. Maureen Dowd of the New York times did a nice article expressing this idea after the unfortunate outburst by a backward Republican politician from South Carolina. There are those that embrace his backwardness, and they truly are the modern "base" of the Republican Party.

Boy, Oh, Boy
Published: September 12, 2009

New York Times

The normally nonchalant Barack Obama looked nonplussed, as Nancy Pelosi glowered behind.

Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!

The outburst was unexpected from a milquetoast Republican backbencher from South Carolina who had attracted little media attention. Now it has made him an overnight right-wing hero, inspiring “You lie!” bumper stickers and T-shirts.

The congressman, we learned, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol and denounced as a “smear” the true claim of a black woman that she was the daughter of Strom Thurmond, the ’48 segregationist candidate for president. Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.

I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race.

I tended to agree with some Obama advisers that Democratic presidents typically have provoked a frothing response from paranoids — from Father Coughlin against F.D.R. to Joe McCarthy against Truman to the John Birchers against J.F.K. and the vast right-wing conspiracy against Bill Clinton.

But Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

“A lot of these outbursts have to do with delegitimizing him as a president,” said Congressman Jim Clyburn, a senior member of the South Carolina delegation. Clyburn, the man who called out Bill Clinton on his racially tinged attacks on Obama in the primary, pushed Pelosi to pursue a formal resolution chastising Wilson.

“In South Carolina politics, I learned that the olive branch works very seldom,” he said. “You have to come at these things from a position of strength. My father used to say, ‘Son, always remember that silence gives consent.’ ”

Barry Obama of the post-’60s Hawaiian ’hood did not live through the major racial struggles in American history. Maybe he had a problem relating to his white basketball coach or catching a cab in New York, but he never got beaten up for being black.

Now he’s at the center of a period of racial turbulence sparked by his ascension. Even if he and the coterie of white male advisers around him don’t choose to openly acknowledge it, this president is the ultimate civil rights figure — a black man whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by a loco fringe.

For two centuries, the South has feared a takeover by blacks or the feds. In Obama, they have both.

The state that fired the first shot of the Civil War has now given us this: Senator Jim DeMint exhorted conservatives to “break” the president by upending his health care plan. Rusty DePass, a G.O.P. activist, said that a gorilla that escaped from a zoo was “just one of Michelle’s ancestors.” Lovelorn Mark Sanford tried to refuse the president’s stimulus money. And now Joe Wilson.

“A good many people in South Carolina really reject the notion that we’re part of the union,” said Don Fowler, the former Democratic Party chief who teaches politics at the University of South Carolina. He observed that when slavery was destroyed by outside forces and segregation was undone by civil rights leaders and Congress, it bred xenophobia.

“We have a lot of people who really think that the world’s against us,” Fowler said, “so when things don’t happen the way we like them to, we blame outsiders.” He said a state legislator not long ago tried to pass a bill to nullify any federal legislation with which South Carolinians didn’t agree. Shades of John C. Calhoun!

It may be President Obama’s very air of elegance and erudition that raises hackles in some. “My father used to say to me, ‘Boy, don’t get above your raising,’ ” Fowler said. “Some people are prejudiced anyway, and then they look at his education and mannerisms and get more angry at him.”

Clyburn had a warning for Obama advisers who want to forgive Wilson, ignore the ignorant outbursts and move on: “They’re going to have to develop ways in this White House to deal with things and not let them fester out there. Otherwise, they’ll see numbers moving in the wrong direction.

28 comments:

Strawberry Girl said...

Hi, I like the part that says that silence is an agreement... so true.

Ghost Dansing said...

Thanks for dropping by Strawberry Girl. I'm glad you liked the article.

TechnoBabe said...

"..steeped in greed and bigotry" pretty much describes it doesn't it?
And getting bolder and more desperate and dangerous.
I so appreciate your comments and links on my blog. I look forward to your visits.

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks for dropping by TechnoBabe.... always nice seeing you; and yes, it does sum it up.

TechnoBabe said...

Ghost Dansing, you are the video librarian, can you go to this site and see if you have any videos for her? I thought of you right away.

http://everyoneneedstherapy.blogspot.com/2009/09/humble-request.html

therapydoc said...

Boy, as much as I'd love to agree, the whole generalizing thing bothers me.

What a great writer she is, no?

Ghost Dansing said...

i suspect you've seen enough evidence to "want to agree". the generalization is not as general as you might believe. i think we are talking about 20-25% of the overall population that the Republican Party has wickered together as its "base". the threads and needles of racism and resentment are there and have historical roots. the Republicans have simply leveraged that to create a political force capable of obstruction and possibly violent destruction.

for a glimpse of what i'm talking about historically, research the Dixiecrats and then take a look at where they migrated (Strom Thurmond, segregationist Presidential candidate 1948) when they lost their bid to take over the Democratic Party.

also research the Republican "Southern Strategy" beginning with statements by Lee Atwater.

Daisy said...

Hey there, Ghost. Good article. Joe Wilson is a disgrace and a moronic ass in my humble opinion.

Happy weekend to you. :)

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks for dropping by Daisy.... i think so too....

Jack Jodell said...

Great post, Ghost Dansing! I stopped by after reading your post on Utah Savage. I would say you and I are kindred spirits regarding the Neanderthal Republicans.

Great tunes on this site! What is the title and group name for no. 1, something about "Here Comes Mary"? Thanks!

Ghost Dansing said...

hi Jack.... it's the Raveonettes.... one of my favorite groups. Utah and i both dislike the Republican Party a lot.... just about everything about it, actually. i don't have to make up much.... they are pretty awful....

Wine and Words said...

Uh, well it certainly generalized me in very unflattering and untrue ways. I think my nosehairs are singed. But you don't know me, so it really is of no consequence.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I loved the Cohen song. "Let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone....Dance me to the curtains our kisses have outworn." Haunting melody. Gorgeous lyrics and sentiment. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Ghost Dansing! They are FABULOUS! I love their haunting melody and guitar arrangements, plus I've always been a fan of dark, somber lyric. I'm ordering "Pretty In Black" today!

BTW, if you like seeing Repubs getting bashed, I usually do it 2-3 times each week at http://jackjodell.blogspot.com/. Stop pn by some time! :)

Mariana Soffer said...

Very interesting, although I do not understand much about EEUU politics, I think it is interesting, I like your way to talk about the subject and I certainly agree with the first comment, silence is agreement. We should not forget about it

Congrats and keep fighting for what you think is right and real

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I feel so badly that I have not been here to visit you sooner. Well, that is actually a lie...I have been here, but felt too inadequate and under-informed to comment on much. I am enjoying the music so much I might just keep writing this comment for awhile. I must say I do love it here - the colors, the music, the commentary - it's all good! I'm coming back soon...okay?

K.Lawson Gilbert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K.Lawson Gilbert said...

...er...that was me Ghost. I was keeping time to the music with my fingers and well, I don't know what happened - my comment just showed up twice.

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks for dropping by KLG.... it's here anytime you like. you're always welcome. i'll do the same over at yours.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Thank you. Is it alright if I put you on my blogroll?

Ghost Dansing said...

i'd be honored of course.....

TRUTH 101 said...

I know I'm late to this conversation but I'm with you GD. I've been saying all along the real base of the republican party is bigots, homophobes and idiots. I felt the "owners" of the party were the rich that bankrolled the ads and messages that pandered to the base.

Ghost Dansing said...

yes Truth.... that pretty much sums up the rump "base" of the Republican Party. the Republican intelligentsia wrap their crap in a lot of Milton Friedman, Austrian School economic crap, but in the final analysis, they're just a bunch of rich folks that don't want to pay taxes.

Oso said...

Ghost Dansing,I dropped by after viewing Superman's Song.

Very good explanation of why the Repubs,are the Repubs we've come to know and love.
Maureen Dowd's article was good too.
thanks

Ghost Dansing said...

yeah Oso... i think i nailed 'em on this one....

W.E. NEWCOMB said...

Another Liberal coward with a blog.
Liberal cowards come in all shapes and sizes but there is one consistent theme that runs through each and every one of them.

Consider for example, Ted Kennedy. What a gutless wonder. Way before he murdered Mary Jo but after he was expelled from Harvard for cheating not once but twice, he joined the Army. Hmm, one would think, maybe this guy might grow up and become a man in the Army. Cowboy the hell up and grow a sack. But they'd be wrong. He gets his Daddy, Joe Sr., the same guy would would one day buy the 1960 election for JFK, to buy him a cushy job in Paris. That's Paris, France, thus avoiding any possibility of finding himself in the shooting war then currently underway in Korea. And after being discharged as a "mediocre" soldier, Daddy Joe buys Teddy a Senate seat for life. There Teddy was able to attack women at will with the possibility of NO punishment. You see, when you're a liberal coward, you use your influence to cushion the bumps in your life. For example, Teddy takes a woman named Mary Jo for a one way ride over the Chappaquiddick Bridge and tries to play submarine with the SS Oldsmobile. Now here a life choice was offered to Teddy. He COULD have fought to free Mary Jo even at the risk of his own life. Had he suceeded, he would have been a hero. Had he suceeded in freeing her but died in the effort, he would have been admitted to the hall of American heroes and enshrined therein. Even if he panicked but swam to shore, called the cops, and assisted, America would have understood and sympathized. But what did he choose? Swim for shore. Call Daddy. Find a hotel. Sober up. Coward. But was this the extent of his cowardice? Why No. He and another scummy Senator, the corrupt Chris Dodd enjoyed a "waitress" sandwich or two on the taxpayer's dime. Perhaps the worst example of his liberal cowardice was buying off everyone connected with the rape of a woman by his nephew.

Is this a liberal trait?

Next at bat is the former liberal hero, William Jefferson Clinton. We all know the background of BJ Bubba. From his rape of Juanita Broaddrick to his sexual predation on a chubby intern, the fault of which was the VRWC (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) according to Hillary, the liberal coward stayed true to his/their trait. This time however, rabid liberals rushed to BJ Bubba's defense. Head of the defenders has to be the obnoxious and butt ugly Carville. Rumor has it, that his momma took Carville to the zoo and the zookeeper said, "Thanks for bringing him back," but the Gunny cannot confirm it. But as the Gunny stated, liberal cowards come in all shapes and sizes (and apparently degrees of ugliness as well) and Ol Carville stated on CNN's Cease Fire, oops, Cross Fire, "Did he lie about it? Sure. If I did something that stupid, I´d lie about it too." Nothing like taking a moral stance right ? , "I mean, all of us knew he was a snake when we voted for him." Wow. That sure settled the matter. Libs ( You, Truth101, Mr. Tao.) 3 Morality 0.

Ghost Dansing said...

wow, you're the best bully ever! thanks for dropping by!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

:)

Infidel753 said...

Don't forget religious fundamentalism. That seems to be the dominant factor nowadays (for the "base", not the moneyed-interest element). If you really want to get them riled up, bring up gay marriage or abortion.

Newcomb displays what seems to be the standard strategy of the generic conservatroll these days: Don't address the posting, change the subject.