Southern Man Don’t Need Him Around, Anyhow

Let’s face it, there’s a lot left to do. Climate change, the economy, immigration reform, two wars we shouldn’t be fighting – you know the drill. And let’s face another fact: as long as the GOP and conservatives have any political power, nothing will get done. They will block any reforms and enact laws that drag us back to the Jim Crow past they love so well. We are effectively ruled by sociopaths.

Conservatives exist to question, and undo, any sort of progress.  Abortion finally legal?  Not so fast, lefty. Segregation ended?  Not according to Rand Paul and other bigots. Evolution and climate change proved real? Not according to the GOP. And the gold standard, attacking  immigrants, immediately using their new House majority to target women, children, gays, and unions, and on and on.

Let’s not fool ourselves about these people. Recall that for his first major campaign speech in 1980, Ronald Reagan went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the civil rights workers were slaughtered.  But did he talk about civil rights?  Nope – he talked about states’ rights, and that’s dog whistle for “Democrats will give black people all your money so vote for me.” So if anybody tells you how great Reagan was, that he would be appalled by the today’s right, remind them of that fact. If Reagan were running today he’d go full Pawlenty,

Back in the mid 60s, none other than Rod Serling warned the right what would happen if they invited Birchers, racists, and other psychopaths into the GOP.

What Mr. Ryskind  [a wingnut apologist of the day] seems constitutionally unable to understand is that there is a vast difference between the criticism of a man or a party, and the setting up of criteria or patriotism which equates differences of opinion with disloyalty.

We have need in the country for an enlightened, watchful and articulate opposition. We have no need for semi-secret societies who are absolutist, dictatorial, and would substitute for a rule of law and reason an indiscriminate assault on the institutions of this republic that should and must be held sacrosanct.

“[The far right cannot] discount the fact that sitting in their parlor is the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazi Party, every racist group in the United States and not a few of some Fascist orders that have scrambled their way up from the sewers to a position of new respectability.”

And what has happened?  Precisely what Serling predicted – the GOP is now composed chiefly of sociopaths, racist Teabaggers, and the rich, and it will soon be run by the worst of the worst.

As driftglass reminds us: the right cannot win elections with only Thurston Howell III and his ilk.  This is why Nixon used the Southern Strategy, why Reagan spoke in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and why, today, the GOP lashes out at people of color, the poor, women, children, and immigrants.  The rabid Republican base demands it.

Conservatives in the South and elsewhere would love nothing more than to return to the days of Jim Crow. Conservatives would stop the government doing anything save making war if they could. Fundamentalist Christians would institute a theocracy given the chance. Face it – these people want to strip everyone except white males of their most basic rights.

And no, it’s not OK to say, well, that’s one idea.  Certain things have either been decided or are obvious.  It’s better when people of color and women can’t be discriminated against. It’s better when the government protects the quality of our food, water, air, and medicines. It’s better when the government provides safety nets for the poor, the aged, and children.

To be blunt: conservatism, the GOP, the Tea Party, and all the conservative politicians in office must be taken out politically if the nation, and the world, is to survive. Let’s not worry about who replaces them – that’s another campaign.

But how to do this, you ask? What would cause voters in Red States to vote out the sociopaths and Teabaggers they sent to Congress and various state houses?

Embarrassment.

The Southern men, especially.

George Allen lost his Senate seats because even rednecks in Virginia were embarrassed by what he said. That Senate race provides a blueprint for what needs to be done nationwide. Behold:

Ominous music and voice: “Is Virginia Foxx the best North Carolina can do?” Then run the clip of her saying that the Republican alternative to the health care bill is “pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government .”

Show a couple photos of her looking stupid. “Is this the kind of representation North Carolina needs? Does this state deserve to be embarrassed by someone who doesn’t know the basic facts about a bill before Congress? Do you think we can do better?” Fade.

Boehner? Easy:

Ominous music and voice: “John Boehner makes $223,500 as Speaker of the House, a federal job. Buy John Boehner doesn’t care about other federal workers:

Boehner: ‘Over the last two years, since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs, uh, and uh, if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it.'”

Run photos of Boehner on golf course: “John Boehner is wrong – he’s counting temporary census jobs in those 200,000. And if John Boehner doesn’t care about the federal workers living in his district, does he care about you? Can you take that chance? John Boehner – he doesn’t care whether you lose your job or not – just as long as he keeps his.” Fade.

Was that so hard?

Let’s do another one.

Ominous music and voice: “Really Oklahoma, should we be represented by a climate-change denier? The best science shows that climate change is real.

Inhofe: ‘It’s not whether or not we’re going through a global warming period. We were, we’re not now.’

James Mountain Inhofe is not telling the truth. Statistics show that this decade is the hottest since the records started, in 1850, and 2009 was the hottest year ever. Oklahomans should be embarrassed to have a senator who denies what everyone else knows.  James Inhofe – endangering the future of your children and grandchildren by preventing action on climate change.”

These are crude examples, but ads like them would work to embarrass voters in the South (and Texas and Arizona and all the other batshit states). And we must hit the GOP every day, day after day, And investigate them just like Scaife investigated Clinton – find all the Vitters, Larry Craigs, Gingriches, and drive them from office.

Are these tactics fair?  We’re through being fair. Are they necessary? Absolutely.  We have to shine the light bright enough to where these cockroaches scurry for the shadows.

The Democrats won’t do this – they are too invested and believe that they can reason with the lunatics in the GOP. We have to swing a big fucking stick, and it’s going to cost money.  So Arianna?  George Soros? Streisand? Clooney? Anybody?

Help us.

20 comments:

12:30 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

You assume that the people living in those places are A) rational and B) capable of shame. I’ve lived in Oklahoma, and I can tell you that ad would change no one’s mind there. Their economy–the people with the big money and the rig workers, truckers, local businesses, etc–are way too dependent on the fossil fuel industry to allow themselves to admit climate change is real. The handful of Oklahoma liberals already know this but are so outnumbered by the stupid and greedy that they can’t effectively change anything. It’s too fucking depressing for words.

12:39 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@Mistress Cynica:
You are correct most of them are unreachable, but that’s their problem. You gotta try. Sometimes strange things happen.

One of the things I’ve learned about politics is that you got to show you can fight. Being a statesman works once the election is over, not during a campaign. You have to appeal to the emotional side of humanity and you want to vote for a politician who will fight for what is right. Despite my loathing of GOPers they figured out some of it out. If the Demrats combine policy AND some spine they can win.

12:48 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@Mistress Cynica: I’m talkking about targeting the so-called centrists, the independents. The 26% who think W was a great president are lost, I’ll agree.

1:14 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@blogenfreude: I guess what I’m trying to say is that the 26% you cite is a national average. In places like TX, OK, and other red enclaves, it’s more like 70%. Honestly, our only hope is that they secede. The one thing that sets the Southern Man off more than anything else is any intimation that “you think you’re better’n me.” They may know, deep down, that they’re wrong, that these people are idiots, but they will never, ever, ever admit it.

1:42 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@Mistress Cynica: Exhibit A, which proves your point, is last year’s reelection of Rick Perry. Bill White ran a close-to-perfect campaign doing what Bloggie suggests. He was a late 50s white man, successful bidness-man, much liked former mayor of Houston, minimal Dem in-fighting, lots of money in his war chest, a logical and well-reasoned campaign saying things like “Aren’t y’all at least a little embarrassed by Governor Good Hair and his talk of secession and his crony grease-palming rule?” and had a well-organized GOTV effort, signs, commercials, billboards everywhere (and I was encouraged to see Bill White signs in areas of Texas where there hasn’t been a sign for a Dem since LBJ), and meanwhile Perry didn’t run any ads, didn’t do any GOTV, showed up for I believe only one debate, and continued to use dog whistle phrases and talk about lady-bits and the gheys and he WON. And while he didn’t well, he did frighteningly well in relatively Dem enclaves like Austin and San Antonio.

@blogenfreude: I wish you were right, but I agree with what Cynica said, you are assuming that these voters in these deep red states (a) care about logic or reason, and (b) have any shame. Take it someone who lived in one of those states for more than 20 years, the answer to both of those points is no, they don’t. The “macaca” thing killed Allen not because southern white men were embarrassed, but because of northern Virginia.

1:47 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@blogenfreude: I’m afraid I think this far too mild, blog. In certain places this would make people want to vote Republican. I don’t disagree with you. I find it all the more remarkable that anything at all gets done in this country given the drag they put on the rest of us. They’ve been with us since the country’s founding. I say give ’em Mississippi and the hell with em.

2:02 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

You know, I’ve thought, and others have stated, that a lot of these problems (especially in the South) will be solved when the older generations of teabaggers die off and leave their Rascals and Jazzy’s to the Goodwill. I’ve come to expect that no, these problems will not die off. After meeting my peers in Georgia (I’m 30) and people younger than me, there are still these attitudes that prevail among them. That’s what they’ve been taught and that’s what they’ve come to believe. I hate to play the “at least we’re not [INSERT OTHER SOUTHERN STATE] game,” and this shit happens everywhere down here, but I honestly think there are several tiers of abject racism, anti-unionism, etc., and stupidity in the South.

Many whites outside of urban areas and college towns in Georgia are lost causes. I work at a very liberal public university in the city, but I go to graduate school in the burbs. And you can tell the difference in the type of students and the people who have really never left home or if they have, live only one county over in the northern Atlanta Gingrichland suburbs, believing what mommy and daddy taught them while going to the Baptist Student Fellowship or Campus Crusade for Christ at night.

I thank the baby Jeebus everyday that I decided to move into the city proper, represented by a lesbian in the statehouse and John Lewis in the U.S. House, rather than remain in Phil Gingrey’s congressional district.

The political power divide among Republicans and Democrats is sharp: there are no remaining rural white Democrats in Georgia General Assembly; they have all bailed to the Republican Party because that’s where the power is — and the Republican Party has near supermajorities in each house. The Democrats in the legislature are only urban whites (like Jason Carter, Jimmy’s grandson) or African-Americans or Latinos.

The only hope for the South is that minorities completely outnumber white people, and that minorities outvote white people. I don’t like stereotyping all whites, but the percentage of loyal GOPers among white people in Georgia is very high, and many of them would never consider voting for anyone with a D behind their names in their lives, even if their lives depended on it and their interests were best served by Democrats.

2:02 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011
2:08 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

Weighing in here as a Hoosier, God help me. I grew up in Wabash, Indiana, and by the time I left Wabash in 1960 to go to college in Massachusetts, I could hardly wait to get out of Indiana. I was very tired of being thought peculiar because I liked to read. When the parents of one of my high school friends found out that I “believed” in evolution, they opined that I “read too many books.” After college I (later we: my husband and our son and I) stayed on in Massachusetts until 1974. That year we moved to Bloomington, Indiana. My husband wrote to some college friends of ours that Bloomington was the West Berlin of Indiana. He was right about it then and it’s even truer now. The Bush/Cheney hegemony, it seems to me, has dragged not only this state but the whole country clear back to the mid-1950s. I was absolutely amazed (and thrilled to the marrow) that Indiana went for Obama in 2008. But the backlash has been fierce. Not many of the voters are deep thinkers, and a lot of them vote Republican the way they root for their favorite sports teams. They have failed to notice that the lunatics are running the asylum, that it’s lemmings who are leading the charge against THE THREAT.

2:38 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@lynnlightfoot:

We could only be so lucky if the Rethugs wanted to drag everybody back to the 1950s. At least then we’d have greatly reduced wealth disparity and a more unionized workforce.

No, they’re hell-bent on dragging the country back to the *18*50s, to the age of robber barons, slavery and suffrage for white males only.

3:33 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@SanFranLefty: I would say that this
will work better in Ohio than in Texas, better in Virginia than, say, Alabama. But it will work – I am talking about sustained attacks, day after day – I want those fuckers on the back foot 24/7. They’ll make mistakes, and that’ll make them vulnerable.

Noticed this – if it’s a Dem dirty trick as stated, should we do this sort of stuff?

3:34 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@al2o3cr: I believe the actual intention is to pull this nation back to the 1150s when the nobility held absolute authority over the serfs. Every day another of the legal protections that restrict the powerful from abusing the weak is being weakened or eliminated somewhere.

4:00 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@al2o3cr:
Does that include the sociopaths?

4:30 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

My conservative (ha!) estimate is that roughly 35% of the US population is clinically insane (actual numbers may vary by location), as demonstrated by a complete lack of reason or foresight, an inability to associate cause with effect, a total lack of empathy, hostility towards the well-being of others, and self-contradictory and illogical thought processes. It’s how they can watch dumFux Nooz and accept some of the worst propaganda in human history as perfectly reasonable.

These are the same people that will be screaming their final “Heil Bushes” as they’re dragged off to the Koch Brothers Old Fashioned Soylent Green rendering plant to be processed into food for the $Richies$ when the pickles run out, which as we all know, will be Obamar’s fault somehow.

Better to try to figure out a way to survive in our society despite them, because given the choice they will always “push the button on their own destruction” by voting for people just like them, or at least who will tell them what they want to hear.

4:43 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@¡Andrew!: Dept of The Good Die Young: Go see the Phil Ochs biopic.

5:16 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@¡Andrew!: I posted recently the estimate was as high as 50% and the illness is probably caused by some substance being inhaled or consumed. I was not suggesting we were being poisoned by some conspiracy.
These campaigns just might work if there are alternative candidates. It seems the best political minds (leaders) in Texas are dead, or making money.

On a recent local news show, here in Dallas one of the commentators remarked the Democrats in Texas who are running for office are increasingly black or Hispanic. Republicans made certain in 2000 to redistrict the state and thus marginalizing Democrats and minorities.
It will take decades to undo the damage, if it can be undo at all.

5:22 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

Some lefty organization needs to check out every elected office in this country to determine where we can launch recalls. I’d stand on a corner gathering signatures. Sure, I’m in Manhattan, but I’d go to Peter King’s district and stand there w/ a clipboard.

5:54 pm • Friday • March 11, 2011

@blogenfreude:

Given that an equivalent Republican mailer would be using “unmarried” as code for “GAY GAY GAY GAY”, I’d say the bit you linked is pretty tame to just knock her for “a suspect commitment to family values”. Live by the sword, die by the sword, y’know?

7:31 pm • Sunday • March 25, 2012

Late to the party here, but I just wanted to say…yes, please South: do secede. I’d happily move to New York or San Francisco or some other Godless liberal place.

Great post, B. We ought to collaborate and do those damned ads of yours, pop them up on YouTube and plaster the links everywhere. Did you know I can do different accents, including south-in-the-mouth? Well now you do.

9:44 pm • Sunday • March 25, 2012

@litbrit: 12 months and 2 weeks isn’t *that* late to the party, sugar.

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