Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Not So New South

Many of my Southern acquaintances like to claim that the South has been transformed since the bad old days of lynchings and juries freeing KKK murderers etc back in the 50's, 60's and 70's. These "It's a New South" claims have some evidence in support when you look at urbanization and industrialization in some pockets of the South. But then we get news stories like these:

The Republican Governor of Virginia recently declared April to be "Confederate History Month." His declaration praised the "sacrifices" of Confederate troops but made no mention at all slavery. I'm sure he doesn't have Fort Pillow or Andersonville in mind either.

Then we have Congressman Broun (R-GA) who made reference to the "War of Yankee Agression" in his critical remarks about health insurance reform. What's next beating Senator Feingold (D- WI) into a coma on the floor of the Senate over his vote in favor of health care reform?
What does this have to do with the price of eggs you may ask? Well, I think it shows that the Republicans are "doubling down" on Nixon's Southern Strategy. It means they are not serious about amending their rhetoric or positions to be more broadly competive on a regular basis outside the narrow demographic of White rural, and Southern voters.


The Law Talking Guy said...

These antics are part of why the Republican brand name remains weak in 2010, too weak to do enormous damage to the Democratic majorities. A fired-up GOP base will make inroads, but you need independents to have a "wave," particularly today when self-identified independents are an ever-larger segment of the electorate.

This behavior also makes it harder for younger people or people of color to identify with the GOP, which demographic problems are a continuing structural source of GOP weakness going forward. For people under about age 45, the identification with the Party of Obama is much, much stronger than with the GOP. For people under 30, it's seismic. I mean, how old and white do you have to be to think "Tea Party" sounds rebellious?

Raised By Republicans said...

I think this schtick will play in some very specific, geographically concentrated demographics. But as you point out, LTG, this is a minority demographic and it is shrinking.

It might yield some victories over marginal Democrats in the South or in predominantly rural districts but it's a horrible long term strategy.

If we continue the black-jack analogy, they are doubling down on a pair of 5's.