Friday, January 20, 2012

Southern Strategy: Alive & Kicking...

Newt's lecture to Black folks
GOP and the genesis of the Southern Strategy:

The GOP, of course, was created to resist the forward march of slavery; after the Civil War, Republicans fought heroically to make former slaves at least partially whole. But all that ended along with reconstruction following the presidential election of 1876. Rutherford Hayes, a Republican, turned his back on the fight for equality; and the party leadership essentially sanctioned segregation and Jim Crow. 

The modern Republican Party has only the most tenuous links to the party of Lincoln; it is really the party of Richard Nixon, who made a deal with the devil in the 1970s. Nixon ceded the black vote to Democrats, leaving Republicans to cater to white resentments. That decision worked well for decades; it even gave rise to the notion of a permanent Republican governing majority. But a political party can only run in a different direction than the country for so long. And America was changing, not only in its demographics—which were increasingly ethnic and “minority”—but in its attitudes, which were increasingly inclusive. source

Ken Mehlman - former Republican National Committee Chairperson - on the Southern Strategy:

In 2005, then RNC chair Ken Mehlman apologized for the so-called Southern strategy. “Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong,” said Mehlman at the national convention of the NAACP.  source

Alas, old habits die hard for the GOP. In order to resurrect his floundering campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich rediscovered the effectiveness of pandering to white fears:

Newt Gingrich looks to be winning the race-baiting competition this Republican primary season. Fueled by a new version of his well honed attacks on the safety net, Gingrich celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Monday by restating what has become a staple of his stump speeches, calling President Obama the “best food stamp president in American history.”
The remark came, this time, after debate moderator Juan Williams asked if Gingrich’s campaign-trail suggestion that poor students be given jobs as janitors might me “viewed at a minimum insulting to all Americans, but as particularly to African Americans?” “The fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barrack Obama than any president in American history,” Gingrich said before an audience that erupted into vociferous applause.
Gingrich argues that the reason so many people are on food stamps is not that the economy has thrown millions into poverty, but rather that lazy black families are getting on the dole and don’t want to work. Earlier this month, Gingrich told an audience in New Hampshire, “If the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.”
Gingrich’s attack on the food stamp program is not surprising; it’s the kind of politics that he’s been helping to perfect for over 30 years. He’s been waging the conservative counterrevolution against economic justice for a generation, using whatever Southern Strategy relics he can get his hands on. source
The exuberant embrace of this evilly shrewd strategy by working class white folks (a theme I frequently write about) is the number one hindrance to economic fairness in our country - without a doubt. Their fears, bigotry, resentment and ignorance is pimped by the powers to be on the right for the purpose of installing the draconian unfair Supply Side economics.
And to add insult to injury, after 30 years of the Supply Side economics decimating the American middle-class, the GOP conveniently blames Democrats and minorities for the economic woes of Main Street USA. Ponder the irony, a thief continues to steal your wallet for decades and all he has to say to divert your attention from his crimes is: The Nigger did it.
Wake up middle America!

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