Home / General / The Party of Lincoln Becomes the Party of Calhoun, An Ongoing Series

The Party of Lincoln Becomes the Party of Calhoun, An Ongoing Series


What do you know — support for vote suppression based on the vote fraud fraud is correlated with racist resentment:

Unfortunately, there is a real divide on the desirability of voter ID laws; according to the latest survey from the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication, support for voter identification is strongest among those who harbor negative opinions toward African Americans…


This link between racial resentment and support for voter identification persists even after you control for partisanship, ideology, and a range of other demographic variables. That said, there was a strong partisan division: Republicans were the most likely to hold negative attitudes toward blacks and support voter identification laws. This prevalence of racial resentment—the conjunction of anti-black feelings and traditional American moralism—among Republicans has more to do with the demographics of the party than anything else. The GOP is almost entirely white, and whites are the most likely to harbor negative opinions about African Americans.

As yet another court of law reminded us yesterday, whatever motivates vote-suppressing ID laws, it’s certainly not any actual evidence of voter impersonation fraud ever mattering, because there isn’t any.

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  • Heron

    Well knock me over with a feather. Good to see someone finally do the research to prove this point though, even if it was incredibly obvious to anyone paying attention.

    A good corollary to this study would be a similar one designed to measure the link between support for voter id and negative attitudes towards Latinos in the southwest.

    • DrDick

      Really. Who would ever have imagined that voter suppression was linked to racism and that the party which has played on the racial fears and resentments of the white working classes for the past 40 years would be full of racists? Certainly not Manju.

      • SoP

        Racial fears and resentment of high school educated and suburban whites is probably more accurate than ‘resentments of the white working class.’ In 2008, Obama did much better with whites earning under $50K than with those earning more. (47-51 vs 43-56)

        • DrDick

          The race baiting specifically targets the working classes. It is the class warfare issues (racially tinged) that draws in more affluent voters.

  • Steve LaBonne

    In other breaking news, dog bites man.

    • And the sky is blue. But it’s a measure of how successful the Republicans have been at turning the “racism is bad, mmkay” bare minimum of civic discourse into a taboo that Bouie feels the need to couch his conclusions like this:

      “This isn’t to say that Republicans are solely—or even somewhat—motivated by negative attitudes about blacks.


      You could say that I’m “playing the race card” here, but that really isn’t the case at all.”

      The Republican Party is where the very racist people are, and has been for decades. The evidence is clear and overwhelming. It doesn’t mean that everyone who votes Red is a Klan sympathizer, but no one’s making that charge except for trolls and idiots.

      At some point, Democrats/liberals/progressives/whatever have to stop preemptively defending themselves with phrases like “or even somewhat” and start calling out the party for not repudiating these kinds of sentiments.

      • Gus

        But, but Dixiecrats, and Grand Wizard Byrd!! QED.

        • Gus

          Ha, I see I was beaten to the punch.

        • “But, but Dixiecrats, and Grand Wizard Byrd!!”

          Yeah, that’s the first defense, but it’s feebler than Byrd was in his 90s. Whether you look at the Republican Party or its support organization (hello, Nation Review: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/as-racist-as-they-wanna-be.html), there’s no denying that they have a policy of looking the other way on racist sentiments. They need to be called on that, if for no other reason than it would cause CNN and FOX News to embarrass themselves worse than usual.

          • Quincy

            They do. We should “play the race card” as frequently and strenuously as possible. Republicans rely on the fiction that all racial problems disappeared in a puff of smoke in 1965 and that any discussion of race since then has been playing the race card. According to their story, once the VRA was passed, it’s been nothing but quotas and affirmative action ever since. It needs to be continuously and constantly pointed out that the Republican party has spent the past 45 years fighting tooth and nail against any measures that would help bring legal equality closer to a social reality. Nuance doesn’t work in politics. Democrats have been branded the party of taxes and big government, and they’re stuck with that brand no matter how hard (and foolishly) Obama tries to cut both. The Republicans need to be branded the party of bigotry, pure and simple. It needs to be out in the open and discussed by the media to the point where its one of the first words that comes to mind whenever the terms “Republican” or “Conservative” is used so that 15 years from now they’ll be running from the labels the way “Progressives” abandoned “Liberal.” I know this isn’t an original point, and is easier said than done, but it’s an area where I think demographics and attitudes have changed enough that we could benefit from being aggressive.

        • JosephW

          And whatever became of those Dixiecrats? Hmm. Let’s see. They formed their own party during the 1948 elections and their nominee for President was a man by the name of Strom Thurmond. I wonder what happened to him after 1948? Well, he endorsed Eisenhower in 1952 (which led the SC Dem Party to block his running as a Democrat in the 1954 Senate race–which he ended up winning as a write-in candidate). And, after winning as an “official” Democrat in 1956 (in a special election), he ran again in 1960 and 4 years into his term as a Democratic Senator, he switched to the GOP, endorsing Goldwater for President in 1964, helping to turn South Carolina into a reliable GOP vote in the Electoral College ever since (since 1964, the Dems have won the state ONCE–in 1976). And he continued to serve as a GOP Senator until he finally retired (a mere 5 1/2 months before he finally died).

          • Malaclypse

            Oh God, Manju has been invoked thrice now.

            • Didn’t you know? “That guy who disagrees with me disagrees with me” is the pinnacle of internet commentary, surpassing even “That guy who comments on this subject on this site is probably going to comment on this subject on this site.”

          • Manju

            And whatever became of those Dixiecrats?

            The vast majority stayed within the democratic party. Strom is an outlier. Byrd is the zeitgeist.

  • Malaclypse

    Republicans were the most likely to hold negative attitudes toward blacks and support voter identification laws.

    How long until Manju brings up DW-Nominate and/or ROBERT BYRD?

    • Trollie Pants McNotVeryBright

      Even the Liberal Wikipedia admits that John C Calhoun was a – DEMOCRAT


      • JosephW

        Wikipedia “liberal?” Bwahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

        Oh, now that I’ve gotten over that, here’s a bit more from that “liberal” Wikipedia article on Calhoun:

        “In 1832 . . . Calhoun had formed a political party in South Carolina explicitly known as the Nullifier Party.”


        “With his break with Jackson complete, in 1832, Calhoun ran for the Senate rather than continue as Vice President. . . . the Nullifier Party, along with other anti-Jackson politicians, formed a coalition known as the Whig Party. Calhoun sided with the Whigs until he broke with key Whig Senator Daniel Webster over slavery. . . .”

        Then, there’s this:

        “Calhoun led the pro-slavery faction in the Senate in the 1830s and 1840s . . .Whereas other Southern politicians had excused slavery as a necessary evil, in a famous speech on the Senate floor on February 6, 1837, Calhoun asserted that slavery was a “positive good.” He rooted this claim on two grounds: white supremacy and paternalism. All societies, Calhoun claimed, are ruled by an elite group which enjoys the fruits of the labor of a less-privileged group.”

        Yeah, it’s amazing how Wikipedia is so “liberal.” Then again, it’s well-known that “the truth has a liberal bias.”

        • Walt

          Just so you know, Joseph, every time someone on the Internet fails to get sarcasm, an angel has his wings ripped off.

          • Holden Pattern

            This may not act as a disincentive to the behavior you describe.

      • Malaclypse

        Wikipedia “liberal?”

        Everybody knows Wikipedia is biased.

        Calhoun had seen in his own state how the spread of slavery into the back country improved public morals by ridding the countryside of the shiftless poor whites who had once terrorized the law abiding middle class. Calhoun believed that slavery instilled in the white who remained a code of honor that blunted the disruptive potential of private gain and fostered the civic-mindedness that lay near the core of the republican creed. From such a standpoint, the expansion of slavery into the backcountry decreased the likelihood for social conflict and postponed the declension when money would become the only measure of self worth, as had happened in New England. Calhoun was thus firmly convinced that slavery was the key to the success of the American dream.

        • Clarence


        • PSP

          Wow. But, if you click throught to that most excellent storehouse of conservative knowledge, even the first sentence is jaw dropping.

          John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) was an American statesman and political theorist who first proclaimed the idea of minority rights; he had a significant impact on conservative political thought and is still studied.

          I’m guessing that South Carolina had a white minority at the time.

          • Cody

            Reading it, someone should make a graph of “Federal government’s opinion on slavery vs Calhoun’s belief in States’ Rights”

            Seriously, his whole article basically boils down to “completely pro-slavery” and everything else he did was an attempt to maintain slaves.

            • Scott Lemieux

              Calhoun was a major proponent of national power when he thought it would protect slavery. Again, the ideal contemporary Republican.

    • Manju

      Hey Malaclypse,

      If you can’t figure out that a document containing the following:

      o Deliberately miscounted votes to favor Senator Obama.
      o Deliberately counted unregistered persons as Obama votes.
      o Deliberately counted young children as Obama votes.

      …is indeed an allegation of “Voter Fraud”, then you really shouldn’t be commenting on the subject.


  • bradp

    Its all rooted in conservative paranoia about cultural change.

    • DrDick

      Its all rooted in conservative paranoia about cultural change loss of power.


  • ploeg

    It’s all very simple, really.

    1. The GOP is almost entirely white.
    2. Minorities tend to avoid voting for GOP candidates.
    3. Minorities are therefore the real racists.
    4. Racism is Unamerican.
    5. Minorities must therefore prove that they are American. By providing the microfilm, if necessary.


    • firefall

      Minorities must therefore prove that they are American. By providing the microfilm, if necessary. voting Republican

      • burritoboy

        Er, the GOP has and will intentionally drive out minorities, even those who vote for them. Ask any Arab-American, for example, who have explicitly been driven out of the GOP. If you’re an Arab-American (at least, one who is Muslim) and try to participate in your local GOP, you won’t be able to – the local Christofascists will vociferously object to your mere presence on boards or in meetings.

  • rea

    As an exercise, try working out how you would run a scheme to change the results of a state or national election by voter impersonation fraud. You’d need tens of thousands of co-conspirators, if not more.

    • ploeg

      Then contrast with how much effort is needed to run a vote suppression scheme (for example, programming a robocall that directs voters to the wrong voting places).

      • Timb

        In Indiana, the voter suppression scheme required about a hundred people: majorities in both houses, an idiot governor, a wingnut SoS who wants to be Senator, and Justice Stevens.

        Wala, votes suppressed

    • mds

      You’d need tens of thousands of co-conspirators, if not more.

      Hence, ACORN. And possibly those two Black Panthers from Philly.

      • Holden Pattern

        Probably the gunwalking program is in there too, and Agenda 21.

        • Boudleaux

          Wherein guns that ordinarily make everyone safer and more polite are now a bad thing for some reason.

          • NonyNony

            Don’t you know? It’s a conspiracy where they give guns to criminals in order to make guns look bad by their association with criminals.

          • Cody

            You obviously missed the part where guns make “everyone safer – as long as only White people have them “.

      • John

        I thought those two Black Panthers were intimidating all the numerous white people coming to vote at a housing project in North Philly.

        • Holden Pattern

          It worked! I did not go to vote at the housing project in Philadelphia.

    • Linnaeus

      Well, clearly, voting Democratic = fraudulent voting.

    • JosephW

      Not really. All you really need is one or two right-wing propagandists who have no qualms in breaking the law to prove the law’s being broken (cf James O’Keefe’s attempts to vote under fake names in a couple of different state elections just this past year). And then, a fake news network willing to broadcast these efforts as anything other than the criminal behavior they really were.

    • Kurzleg

      Right. Plus, why bother turning to voter fraud when simply increasing voter participation benefits your party? Or is increasing participation in elections fraudulent?

  • efgoldman
  • The best way to fight back is to go big – Democrats need to line up behind a universal right to vote, for all citizens over the age of 18, no exceptions, and make any policy that makes voting more difficult subject to stricter scrutiny. Our position can’t be an objection to additional barriers to the right to vote, it has to be an objection to all such barriers.

  • David M. Nieporent

    At least your summary accurately describes what the pollsters claim — that it is “correlated with racial resentment.” The American Prospect piece, which you quote, falsely claims that it correlates with “those who harbor negative opinions toward African Americans.” Trouble is, the poll didn’t ask about “opinions toward African Americans.”

    Trouble with your claim (even though it accurately reports what the pollsters claim) is that the poll didn’t ask about “racial resentment,” either. It asked about racial preferences and claims of racism. But resenting racial preferences is not “racial resentment.”

    • Hogan

      c. African Americans bring up race only when they need to make an excuse for their failure.

      Yes, that’s clearly about racial preferences.

    • rea

      People who think affirmative action is racist are themselves racists seething with racial resentment, Mr. Nieporent

      • SoP

        and people who think affirmative action has been successful are delusional

      • DrDick

        Dammit, now you are going to force him to look in the mirror and you know how traumatic that is.

        • Malaclypse

          Nah, you’ll force him to quote Teddy Bear Martin Luther King’s one speech, which was one sentence long, to prove that rea is the Real Racist.

    • Timb

      For instance, David’s constant resentment to the truth does not mean he’s opposed to it; just unaquainted with it

  • Joe

    As yet another court of law reminded us yesterday, whatever motivates vote-suppressing ID laws, it’s certainly not any actual evidence of voter impersonation fraud ever mattering, because there isn’t any.

    The USSC seems, as Pamela Karlan said on ‘partial birth’ abortions, to think actual evidence isn’t that important. Some fantasy of there being evidence, the mere appearance of it, was enough in Crawford. A limited case, but still along with a few others, adding solace to the suppression brigade.

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