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The Old South Returns

[ 111 ] August 14, 2014 |

Chris McDaniel may be the most known example, but the Tea Party in the South has always been about the return of the post-Civil War race baiting white South to respectable politics. Who are the real ancestors of the Tea Party?

We often think of the typical segregationist politician of yore as a genteel member of the white upper crust. But the more common mode was the fiery populist. Names like Thomas E. Watson of Georgia, “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman of South Carolina and James K. Vardaman and Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi may be obscure outside the South, but for most anyone brought up here, they loom large.

In the early 20th century, these men rose on an agrarian revolt against Big Business and government corruption. They used that energy, in turn, to disenfranchise and segregate blacks, whose loyalty to the pro-business Republican Party made them targets of these racist reformers.

Their activities spawned a second wave of Southern Democratic populists, who defied federal court orders and civil rights legislation during the 1960s, even as more moderate politicians were moving on. Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama, among others, portrayed himself as a tribune of the working class while championing segregation.

McDaniel and dozens of elected officials across the South are very much the descendants of not only Wallace and Faubus, but Tillman and Watson. So long as the government has the willpower to enforce minority voting, they will be eventually be repelled, but as the Supreme Court showed in gutting the Voting Rights Act last year, that willpower may well not be there at the court of final decision.

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  1. Todd says:

    Every time a Tea Party politician/operative is mentioned I visualize Homer Stokes from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”…grasping the broom of reform.

    • Brothers! Oh, brothers! We have all gathered here, to preserve our hallowed culture and heritage! We aim to pull evil up by the root, before it chokes out the flower of our culture and heritage! And our women, let’s not forget those ladies, y’all. Looking to us for protection! From darkies, from Jews, from papists, and from all those smart-ass folks say we come descended from monkeys!

      Change “Jews” and “papists” to “liberals” and “illegals” and that could have been spoken by almost any tea partier.

      • Hogan says:

        Global warming? Sorry, sir, that’s just scientist talk. The same people who say my grandfather was a monkey. If that’s true, why was he killed by a monkey?

        • tsam says:

          This made me laugh so hard–mostly because I’m building my own story around grandpa being killed by a monkey down in the ol’ South.

          Wow, I need help.

  2. JMP says:

    But see, because the bigots fifty years or even longer ago were Southern Democrats, that means that today the Democrat Party are the real racists!

      • JMP says:

        I expected him to be right on this topic, trying to seriously make that claim. He must be napping.

        • DrS says:

          Is now when his mom usually puts him down?

        • Manju says:

          cite [of me seriously making aforementioned claim] omitted.

          • Manny Kant says:

            You are never very clear about what you actually are claiming in those kinds of discussions.

            • Manju says:

              I find this even hard to believe.

              In general, I’m saying this right here on this thread:

              Some people forgot about those assholes being kicked the fuck out in 1968 and becoming Republicans that very day.

              Is spectacularly wrong about the folks we are talking about (Segregationist politicians).

              I’m also saying that its wrong when applied to the electorate.

              I’m also saying the Dems never actually kicked folks out like that, and to say otherwise is to whitewash racism from American History.

              The last point is normative, but I usually focus on the facts…ergo the long lists.

              • DrDick says:

                Nobody here, other than perhaps you, ever said that. Nor has anyone other than you ever focused exclusively on the politicians. What I and others have said is that owing to Democratic support of civil rights the racists were marginalized and left for the GOP during the 70s and 80s. Now if you insist on getting obsessively literalist, you may find some quote that sounds like that, but it is clearly not what was meant based on the larger context. Do I have to show you this again? There is also this.

                • Manju says:

                  Nobody here, other than perhaps you, ever said that.

                  I just quoted tsam from this thread saying; “Some people forgot about those assholes being kicked the fuck out in 1968 and becoming Republicans that very day.”

                  So somebody here did say it. I call BS like this out.

                • Manju says:

                  My statement, which you accurately quote said,“All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”. I did not say they did so in 1970 or that they did so all at once. Clearly implied in that statement is that it was a decade long process. In reality, the last of the hardliners left during the Reagan administration, lured away by his consistent race baiting. Retirement is also part of that process. As to Byrd, he continued to vote for civil rights legislation after 1968 and by 2003 earned a 100% rating from the NAACP. If you vote for civil rights, you are no longer, by definition, a hard core segregationist.
                  -Dr Dick

                  Ok, lets apply your assertion exclusively to the electorate.

                  As a proxy for “hard core segregationist”, I’ll use support for laws against interracial marriage, since that is a laggard.

                  In 1963 support outweigh opposition 62%-32%. Whites only. By 1970 it was 50-50. (Source:”Racial attitudes in America: trends and interpretations – Howard Schuman, Charlotte Steeh, Lawrence Bobo , pg 106)

                  The GSS picks up the question in 1972. So based on this from you:

                  I did not say they did so in 1970 or that they did so all at once. Clearly implied in that statement is that it was a decade long process.

                  lets go out to 1980. By then, hard liners are down to 31.3% (compared to 68.7% on the not-evil side). Whites only again. But what’s the breakdown by Political Party?

                  37.3% of White Dems support laws against interracial marriage. 31.3% for Republicans.

                  And yet you claim; “All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”

                • Manju says:

                  You can run the Interracial Marriage numbers yourself on this site:

                  http://sda.berkeley.edu/quicktables/quicksetoptions.do;jsessionid=42677736ED28706254FC279AA97A2506?reportKey=gss12%3A2

                  Hit race issues, select favor laws against interracial marriage, breakdown= political party, limit = whites only, then choose the year (i did 1980)

                  You need to know which years the GSS asked the question. You can find them here (result include all races, but that doesn’t change things much)

                • tsam says:

                  I DID say that, and I’m saying that the 1968 convention was essentially the end of the Dixiecrat wing of the party. He can make the argument that some of the segregationists hung around a little longer, but I’ve seen no evidence that those dirtbag Dixiecrats had any real influence in the party after 1968.

                  Thurmond had already changed parties by 1968. He saw the writing on the wall.

                • DrDick says:

                  I call BS like this out.
                  The only BS here is yours, as always. You do know there is a difference between intermarriage and segregation, don’t you? You also ignored my prior links show a sharp increase in Republican voting in the South beginning in the 1960s. You still do not have any idea what you are talking about.

                • Manju says:

                  You do know there is a difference between intermarriage and segregation, don’t you?

                  The specif GSS question is “Do you think there should be laws against marriages between (Negroes/Blacks/African- Americans) and whites?”

                  Since such laws constitute a form of segregation, this comprehensive data should give you pause.

                  Your belief that…

                  “All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”

                  even if applied solely to electorate, is likely to be rather dramatically wrong.

                • Manju says:

                  You do know there is a difference between intermarriage and segregation, don’t you?

                  So we’ve taken a look at the data regarding laws against interracial marriage. Lets run the numbers for this GSS question:

                  White people have a right to keep (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) out of their neighborhoods if they want to, and (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) should respect that right.

                  1980 again. Whites Only:

                  Democrats

                  AGREE STRONGLY 18.7%
                  AGREE SLIGHTLY 15.1%
                  DISAGREE SLIGHTLY 28.0%
                  DISAGREE STRONGLY 38.3%

                  Republicans

                  AGREE STRONGLY 15.5%
                  AGREE SLIGHTLY 19.2%
                  DISAGREE SLIGHTLY 26.2%
                  DISAGREE STRONGLY 45.0%

                  Your statement; “All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s” does not gibe with these facts.

                • DrDick says:

                  Intermarriage is completely irrelevant to the subject under discussion, as is pretty much everything you have thrown out to muddy the waters. The issue is and always has been which party is the party of the racists and the answer is that since 1968 it has increasingly been the Republicans. You keep trying to divert attention away from this reality, but it is all bullshit. When I or others here say the Democrats “drove the segregationists out”, that is not limited to physically evicting them, as anyone familiar with colloquial American English clearly understands. It means that they are marginalized, have no influence on policy and platforms, and are made to feel uncomfortable because of their views. At the same time, Nixon launched the “Southern Strategy” to deliberately lure the racists away from the Democratic Party. Reagan amplified that by launching his presidential campaign with a speech on states’ rights in Philadelphia, MS.

                  Despite your repeated efforts to derail this discussion and to avoid the fact that, since the late 1960s, the Democrats have been the party supporting civil rights and the Republicans have been the party opposing them, that remains the truth. In consequence, the Republicans have attracted the racists, while the Democrats have rejected them. It is why the white South is overwhelmingly Republican today and why Blacks in America have been solidly Democratic since 1968. Everything else is pure bullshit and sophistry.

                • Manju says:

                  Intermarriage is completely irrelevant to the subject under discussion,

                  The electorate’s support of laws against interracial marriage is quite relevant to question of whether or not your claim (“All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”) is true.

                  As is the question:

                  “White people have a right to keep (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) out of their neighborhoods if they want to, and (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) should respect that right.”

                  The results for this question also make your assertion rather far-fetched.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  DrDick,

                  Just out of curiosity, is pointing out that in 1980 (white) Democrats were more opposed to interracial marraige than (white) Republicans totally off base in this discussion?

                  It seems to me that there are at least two questions:

                  1) When did the Democratic party become institutionally substantively antiracist (and the Republicans institutionally racist). (And of course, I don’t think a broad party like the Democrats can be fully anti or non racist much in advance of society as a whole. We don’t want to pat ourselves too much on the backs!)

                  2) When did the Democratic membership (either in officials or in the electorate) become solidly substantially antiracist?

                  (We also should ask this with stability in mind. These things wax and wane.)

                  My feeling is that by the 1980s, the Democrats were pretty institutionally committed to antiracism. Jesse Jackson’s 1984 primary run exemplifed and probably crystalized this. (Though I’m reading a paper that suggested that 1988 saw a backlash in the black community against the Democratic leadership who, clearly, had trouble dealing with Jackson.) But then this makes the relatively high anti-inter-racial marriage numbers odd.

                • Manju says:

                  Just out of curiosity, is pointing out that in 1980 (white) Democrats were more opposed to interracial marraige than (white) Republicans totally off base in this discussion?

                  Thanks Bijan…And I just wanted to point out that I posted the GSS data for Residential Segregation.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  Manju, I really can’t say whether you’re making a sensible argument or not overall. I’m not entirely sure what your main point is wrt understanding the Democratic and Republican parties and racial ideology. This is sort of why I wanted to break out the questions into the two parts. I’d also like to know about trajectory. And, of course, the underlying causal mechanism matters. If the Dems were older in 1980 and so aged out their overt racists more slowly that would be one thing. If their support converted, that’s another. If the Republicans converted/inflamed their support that’s yet another.

                  (I have only a casual, lay knowledge of this history from having lived through some of it.)

                • Manju says:

                  I’d also like to know about trajectory.

                  The trajectory is downward for both parties.

                  In 1980, using support for laws against interracial marriage.

                  37.3% of White Dems supported
                  31.3% of White Repubs supported

                  Fast forward to 2002 (last yr question was asked):

                  11.9% for Dems
                  11.5% for Repubs

                  This is not to say that republican racism played no role in the realignment. I’d be happy to elaborate on this, and thrill everyone by wacking republicans, but there’s no way I can elevate the discourse* in the midst of some rather spectacularly wrong assertions. We need to set the facts straight first.

                  *yeah, I know how I sound here.

              • sharculese says:

                but I usually focus on the convenient facts

                fix’t

              • Sly says:

                I’m also saying the Dems never actually kicked folks out like that, and to say otherwise is to whitewash racism from American History.

                Democrats never assertively removed racist politicians, but the late 1950s saw plenty of black politicians expelled from the Republican party in the early 60s. Especially in Georgia, where black Republicans were stripped of any leadership role in the state party and prohibited from serving as delegates to the 1964 national convention in order to hand all the state’s votes to Goldwater.

                In other words, white racists are rarely kicked out of any particular place. They just naturally gravitate toward the places where black people have already been shown the door.

                • Manju says:

                  Excellent. This is the sort of comment I demand of the LGM community.

                  See how sly wacks Goldwater w/o resorting to racist and batshit insane antihistorical claims like:

                  100% of the people I’ve ever met either in real life or online who had a problem with inter-racial marriage or went into statistical detail on the ‘scientific fact’ of Negroe inferiority were conservative Republicans who despise the Democratic Party as much as you do.

                  “…in the US it really is exclusively Republican conservatives who are bigots. It’s never a Democrat. Not once. Not ever. It actually is that cut and dry.”-

                  I actually caught shit for shooting that dribble down. (take a look at the GSS data above, to see just how batshit insane this comment is)

                • tsam says:

                  Semantics, maybe.

                  Wallace got like .5% of the delegate votes in 1968. That doesn’t really say “kicked out” but it does say “we don’t want your politics here”.

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  You’re in no position to demand anything, except perhaps being crowned King of the Trolls here.

                • DrDick says:

                  You of all people here are in no position to demand anything. You might try begging our sufferance and forgiveness for having to put up with you bullshit games and misrepresentations. You have never contributed anything of value to any discussion here.

                • sibusisodan says:

                  I actually caught shit for shooting that dribble down.

                  No, no. How it’s supposed to work is this:

                  You go to a different site and say ‘man, on another site I had to correct a bunch of people who thought that the Democrats were never racist, the wackaloons’, and then everybody on that site pats you on the back for being valiant and honourable and whatnot.

                  If you tell us about the brickbats you’ve had to endure for being a Noble Truth Teller, it just makes you look silly. Because we remember that thread.

                • Manju says:

                  sibusisodan:

                  The very first comment on that thread points to the “still amazingly high opposition to legal interracial marriage in much of this country” and that the studies that reveal this would be unknown “to avid followers of conservative news sources”.

                  So I post data that these studies rely on, showing roughly even opposition to interracial marriage among dems and repubs.

                  Some LGMers proceed to display the very statistical illiteracy that repubs are being accused of. Worst example:

                  100% of the people I’ve ever met either in real life or online who had a problem with inter-racial marriage or went into statistical detail on the ‘scientific fact’ of Negroe inferiority were conservative Republicans who despise the Democratic Party as much as you do.

                  You calim, that “Random did not say ‘there are no racist democrats’.”

                  Well yes he did, I point out:

                  “…in the US it really is exclusively Republican conservatives who are bigots. It’s never a Democrat. Not once. Not ever. It actually is that cut and dry.”-Random

                  So you move the goalposts. He did say it but its merely hyperbole. How dare I call it racist.

                  Now, I don’t approve of racist hyperbole You won’t hear me saying that no Dem who filibustered the 1964cra switched parties. Even tho the claim is much closer to the truth than Randoms is, its still false.

                  But as i said then, even if one were to de-hyperbolize the statement, let say instead of 100% we go with “vast majority”, its still does not even vaguely gibe with what scholars know about the subject from the aforementioned studies.

                  (Thread in question below)

                  http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2013/12/the-real-racist

              • DrDick says:

                Bijan –

                The original issue, which Manju keeps avoiding like the plague, is your first question. He simply does not want to admit that the GOP has enthusiastically embraced racism since the late sixties, while the Democratic Party has rejected it, since that puts him on the side of the racists. That is pretty much 100% of the reason that white Southerners switched parties. You and I are in agreement about that being solidified by about 1980.

                • tsam says:

                  The Southern Strategy was a product of Republican campaign operatives, namely Lee Atwater, and has been wholeheartedly embraced by candidates since.

                  It’s plainly obvious that examples of racist Democrats can still be found today, but they don’t have the safe haven to spout their fascist bullshit in the Democratic party. They do have that in the Republican party. It’s been that way since the (Ok, maybe not kicked out) Dixiecrats were marginalized in the late 60s. That was a package deal with the antiwar platform.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  Ok, Manju, do you disagree with this? I.e., do you agree that the GOP institutionally embraced racism since the late 60s?

                  That is, of course, compatible with e.g., racist voting patterns lagging either in congress or in the electorate which, afaict, is usually the data you appeal to.

                  It would be interesting to see data about party switching both in aggregate amounts and in rationale.

                • Manju says:

                  Ok, Manju, do you disagree with this? I.e., do you agree that the GOP institutionally embraced racism since the late 60s?

                  My judgment is harsher than this. Indeed, on this very thread, I complimented Sly for bringing up the institutional racism that Goldwater engaged in (early to mid 60’s).

                  Prior to that, I would even disagree with the notion that Repubs were “the party of civil rights”. Like Norther Dems, they also colluded with Dixiecrats to maintain the regime.

                  The issues I have with DrDick (and others) are contained in his precise words. I do not strawman him. Indeed i quote him directly. In general, he’s whitewashing racism from the Dem/Liberal side.

                • DrDick says:

                  The issues I have with DrDick (and others) are contained in his precise words. I do not strawman him. Indeed i quote him directly. In general, he’s whitewashing racism from the Dem/Liberal side.

                  I am not whitewashing anything. I have always acknowledged that the Democrats were the seat of the Southern racists prior to 1968. After that, the party embraced civil rights and by the early 80s at least, it was institutionalized in the party. At the same time the GOP began actively recruiting the racists and racism is at the heart of much of Republican policy. Going back to the original thread where this all started, racism has always been a social conservative position and not a liberal one. A product of the political realignment of the parties in the 70s and 80s is that social conservatives got concentrated there and race was a major factor in the realignment. You do not get to state:

                  Well, i’m sure its more complicated than what fits in a blog comment, but just to clarify…by “this” I meant racist speech in the abstract, not Salaita’s.

                  And then pick on others for language that may be imprecise at times. Nothing you have ever produced has contradicted my points in that thread or my position here, however you might try to distort my meaning, and I do not give any slack to ignorant assholes who accuse me of being a racist.

                  May there still be some racists in the Democratic Party? Sure, but they are marginalized and have no influence on policies and platforms. Nobody rational gives a fuck about them because they do not matter. The GOP, on the other hand is a whole different affair.

                • Manju says:

                  I am not whitewashing anything

                  You said “All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”.

                  Yet, using whites who believe “White people have a right to keep (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) out of their neighborhoods” and using those who favor laws against interracial marriage as a proxy for “hard line segregationist”, it appears that hardliners were roughly evenly divided along party lines…as late as 1980.

                  Your narrative whitewashes approximately 50% of hard-line white racists out of history.

                • DrDick says:

                  Yet, using whites who believe “White people have a right to keep (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) out of their neighborhoods” and using those who favor laws against interracial marriage as a proxy for “hard line segregationist”, it appears that hardliners were roughly evenly divided along party lines…as late as 1980.

                  You have no fucking idea what you are talking about, as usual. Cherry-picking some isolated statistic(s) (with, at most, marginal connection to the issues at hand) proves absolutely nothing, which you would know if you weren’t so puerile in your thinking and analysis. The important statistics are on trends in voting and on policies advocated by the parties. That is completely unambiguous and does not fit your assumptions.

    • Republicans opposed the CRA because – Constitution
      Democrats opposed the CRA because – Racism

      Actual conservative argument found at NRO

      • Gwen says:

        All this proves is that Republicans were better at p.r. than the Dixiecrats.

      • CP says:

        What a fascinating argument. Say, let’s ask the National Review itself what it thinks of this, why don’t we?

        The central question that emerges—and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal—is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.

        National Review believes that the South’s premises are correct. If the majority wills what is socially atavistic, then to thwart the majority may be, though undemocratic, enlightened. It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority. Sometimes it becomes impossible to assert the will of a minority, in which case it must give way; and the society will regress; sometimes the numerical minority cannot prevail except by violence: then it must determine whether the prevalence of its will is worth the terrible price of violence.

        William F. Buckley, 1957. He was quite explicit in dismissing the “catalog of the rights of American citizens” that the rest of us call “the Constitution” and saying that it wasn’t the most important thing – THE most important thing was that white people were more “advanced” than black people, and it was “more important” to preserve that order of things than to bow to such quaint things as democratic elections.

        Sorry, assholes. It has only ever been about racism. It still is.

    • tsam says:

      Some people forgot about those assholes being kicked the fuck out in 1968 and becoming Republicans that very day.

    • Alvin Alpaca says:

      I think LBJ had it right when he asserted in the wake of signing civil rights legislation that “we’ve (Democrats) have lost the south forever.” Or something to that effect.

      That was the beginning of the fundamental mid 20th century change in the coalitions of political forces that shape national politics.

      • drkrick says:

        Actually, according to Bill Moyers he said “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come”. In fact, relatively few incumbent segregationists /Solid South Dems switched parties. Most of their proteges did, but it took about a generation for the legacy Dems to pass from the scene – arguably, it was the 1994 election that completed the process in the Congress.

        • Manju says:

          Most of their proteges did,

          cite?

        • Alvin Alpaca says:

          In terms of the stated affiliation of politicians, that sounds right. In terms of the voting habits of the white population of the southern states, it starts in 1968 with Nixon.

          To assume other reasons why we got Nixon x 2, a southern Carter and then RR, Bush 1, etc. leads to a Brokawian “the hippy kids went too far” take on the country, ignoring the white elephant in the room.

          • Manju says:

            In terms of the voting habits of the white population of the southern states, it starts in 1968 with Nixon

            It starts with Goldwater in 1964. Also, Wallace won the racist vote in ’68, not Nixon.

            • Alvin Alpaca says:

              I’d say that by virtue of the ass whoopin LBJ put on Goldwater in 64 that it didn’t start effectively as a sea change in national coalition politics until Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” in 68. You are correct in that Goldwater won similar states as Wallace—the hard-core crackers. In 68, while Wallace had 46 electoral votes from the South, Nixon had 66—so he clearly had a lot of cracker votes.

      • CP says:

        I always wondered how much of the backlash LBJ saw coming. Clearly, he knew he was empowering Republicans for the foreseeable future. But I wonder if he realized that it would end up specifically empowering the Goldwater/Reagan wing of the party, and that that wing would use the white backlash to take over the party, take over the nation, and shred a good deal of the Progressive Era/New Deal/Great Society’s accomplishments.

        • tsam says:

          I think that after the Civil Rights Act, he was counting on black voters to remember who helped them gain a small level of equality and representation in government. That did work, but it’s all being undone now, which needs to be our primary focus in the next few years.

  3. Shakezula says:

    but the Tea Party in the South has always been about the return of the post-Civil War race baiting white South to respectable politics.

    They’ve gone national!

    • DrDick says:

      Pretty much my thought. Also, the Old South never left, though they may have gone a bit underground until St. Ronnie the Ragunz liberated them from their PC bondage.

      • Robert M. says:

        Also, the Old South never left, though they may have gone a bit underground…

        I went to school at Clemson University, which is built on land left by John C. Calhoun to his son-in-law. The clock tower and carillon there are located in Tillman Hall–named after Ben Tillman by the Clemson Board of Trustees in 1946.

        The linked NYT article has it right, I think: Tillman and his ilk are no longer figures of national repute, but that’s less because the Old South went underground than because most of the country found it preferable not to notice.

  4. Turkle says:

    This is an interesting topic, and I don’t know a lot about it. Can anyone recommend a good 1-volume history of the period? Thanks.

  5. drkrick says:

    Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama, among others, portrayed himself as a tribune of the working class while championing segregation.

    And as many of us know, Wallace placed no particular priority in leading the charge for segregation, but found he couldn’t win a statewide election in Alabama without embracing it.

    One of the goals of the Tea Party, of course, is the whittle away at the electorate in states like Alabama until that’s true again.

  6. joe from Lowell says:

    Quiet, Erik! Don’t you know the history of the Democratic Party in the South prior to the 1970s is a deep, dark secret that we are sworn never to reveal?!?

  7. tsam says:

    I didn’t realize that a fiery populist was is also a white supremacist authoritarian shitbag. Lern sumthin new evry day, dontcha?

    • Murc says:

      I didn’t realize that a fiery populist was is also a white supremacist authoritarian shitbag.

      In the context of southern politics in the United States? Yes.

      Fiery populists who weren’t committed to white supremacy tended to have bad shit happen to them in that part of the country.

      • KmCO says:

        You beat me to it. Authoritarian populism has had a robust history in the South (and elsewhere around the globe, but that’s another discussion).

      • tsam says:

        I know–I just like my populists to be like Jim Hightower–a cowboy hat wearing Texan who speaks very plainly and is always at the defense of the common person.

        Southerners who claimed to be populists while oppressing most of the population were missing the point by a few hundred country miles.

      • rea says:

        e.g.:

        I shall not forget my duty to our senior citizens . . . so that their lives can be lived in dignity and enrichment of the golden years, nor to our sick, both mental and physical . . . and they will know we have not forsaken them. I want the farmer to feel confident that in this State government he has a partner who will work with him in raising his income and increasing his markets. And I want the laboring man to know he has a friend who is sincerely striving to better his field of endeavor.

        I want to assure every child that this State government is not afraid to invest in their future through education, so that they will not be handicapped on every threshold of their lives.

        Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever.

    • KmCO says:

      Well, there was also William Jennings Bryan.

      • witlesschum says:

        I think a lot of Bryan’s supporters in the south were Tillman types, though I’ve never heard that Bryan had much to say for or against black people. Anyone who actually knows something, please correct me.

      • tsam says:

        What a strange dude he was. The Scopes Trial is a bit of a disappointment on the record of an otherwise pretty decent guy.

        • The Dark Avenger says:

          Really, you think he was such a decent guy?

          The rest of Bryan’s career was marred by his inability to adapt to changing social circumstances and his growing disillusionment with politics. He continued campaigning for progressive reform, particularly woman suffrage, but his proclivity for moralizing led him to support many unpopular issues, such as Prohibition; additionally, Bryan argued in favor of allowing the Ku Klux Klan a voice at the Democratic national convention of 1924, which alienated his early proponents and led many to question his alliances.

          I think that also demonstrates what his views were on race were at the time.

  8. Gwen says:

    Rand Paul, who is still not a progressive, did make some noises this week about police militarization. But I am pretty sure that Justin Amash and Rand Paul (on his good days) are generally exceptional.

    Most of these guys, the tea they’s a brewin’ is mighty bitter.

  9. CP says:

    We often think of the typical segregationist politician of yore as a genteel member of the white upper crust. But the more common mode was the fiery populist.

    Huh. My stereotypical image of the Dixiecrat is somewhere in between them – the fiery populist who runs for office by railing against DamYankee carpetbaggers and robber-barons exploiting the South, and then, once in office, promptly turns around and signs a half-dozen contracts and concessions with those same DamYankee corporate thieves.

    When I think “Southern populist” (the real kind of populist) I mostly think Huey Long, who, IIRC, wasn’t precisely a crusader for civil rights but did make sure that job relief programs went to black people as well as white – leading the KKK (what was left of it) to run campaign flyers that portrayed him with his arms around black people promising them free rides. (The more things change…)

  10. politicalfootball says:

    Like others, I have trouble tracking Manju’s point in these conversations. It’s true that people are prone to making un-nuanced statements about the relative racism in the Democratic and Republican parties. So if Manju is calling for nuance and detail, that’s fine.

    But talking about institutional racism in the Republican and Democratic parties and then citing the beliefs of the white members of those parties seems inappropriate in way that is, on its face, racist. It can’t be Manju’s point that the opinions of black members of the Democratic Party are irrelevant to assessing anti-black animus among Democrats. Can it?

    There’s a set of historical facts that seem incontrovertible.

    1. Civil rights became associated with the non-Southern Democratic Party for a set of good reasons.
    2. The Republican Party pursued a Southern Strategy that was designed to take advantage of that by realigning whites with racial animus to their party.
    3. Over the long haul, it worked.

    Is Manju disputing any of these?

    • CP says:

      Here’s an even simpler question. “No one disputes that there was a huge demographic of white racist Democrats in the South as late as the mid-sixties* – so what the hell happened to it?”

      Black Southerners, during these same years of upheaval, were moving over to the Democrats and by the end of the sixties had been pretty much locked up as a Democratic vote. This, also, is not something either side disputes.

      So where the hell did those majorities come from that put Nixon and Reagan over the top, twice, in every Southern state?

      It wasn’t the black vote. We’re told that it also wasn’t the White Racists Who Used To Be Democrats. So who was it?

      Are we supposed to believe that a White, Republican, And Totally Not Racist demographic just spouted out of the ground? A demographic that for the previous hundred years had been completely unable to make any headway against the Democrats, but suddenly, overnight, had become a force so powerful that it could overcome the racist Democrats AND the newly enfranchised black Democrats?

      Are we supposed to believe that the overwhelming majority of the Democratic vote – people who, again, just a few years earlier had been so committed to white racism they were ready to vote for a third party based on nothing else – either saw the errors of their ways overnight, or just stopped voting?

      Yeah, either of these things sound so much more plausible than “the racists switched parties over civil rights.”

      (*The Deep Southern states went for a third party based on the single platform of segregation twice in just twenty years).

    • CP says:

      (Correction to above on “twice” – twice for Reagan, once for Nixon).

    • tsam says:

      Yeah–that’s the reading of history I got, and it seems to be backed by facts.

      I’m the one who made the oversimplified argument that the racist Dixiecrats got taken out with the rest of the garbage in ’68, but that fight was a long time coming. There was the New Dealer line of Northern Dems, and the segregationist line of Southern Dems, with some overlapping goals and ideologies. It was Vietnam and Bobby Kennedy that pushed the rift to critical mass, and it’s indisputable that with Wallace getting something like .5% of the vote in ’68 that those pricks were no longer welcome in policy discussions.

      I don’t think Manju is disputing these facts, however blurry the timelines and voting demographics may be. I think he/she is picking at polling data from the electorate and insinuating that this proves that Democrats are just as racist as Republicans–at least up to some point in modern times. It’s a pretty silly thing to get all cranked up over, but there is some truth to that.

      Shit–it took until 2(?) years ago for Barack Obama to get on board with marriage equality and he’s fucking mixed race for fuck’s sake!

    • The Dark Avenger says:

      He thinks the fact that many Southern Democrats in the Senate who voted against the various CRAs still held their seats afterwards in the 70s and 80s and never repented of their votes is somehow telling.

      At the same time, he is ignoring such dog whistles as Reagan beginning his campaign in Philadelphia, MS. based on “states rights”, as that doesn’t help him prove that Democrats in 1980 were almost or just as racist as their Republican counterparts.

      • politicalfootball says:

        Yeah, I’m starting to see how y’all are letting yourself be trolled on this. Manju has been talking about this forever, but when asked to characterize his/her position, nobody can come up with anything better than to say that Manju finds the little factoids he/she presents as “somehow telling.”

        So, for example, in this thread, we find that white people in the Democratic and Republican parties expressed similar attitudes on a specific racial topic in 1980. What does that say about the racial attitudes of Democrats and Republicans – in 1980 or now? It says “something telling” – that’s the most we’re getting from Manju.

        In context, it sure seems like Manju means to say something specific about Republican or Democratic attitudes – either in 1980, or maybe even now. But Manju doesn’t say that, so Manju gets to preserve the illusion of not being an idiot – and gets to accurately tell people they are wrong when they mischaracterize him/her.

        Manju? How about it? I gave a 3-part quiz in my first comment in this subthread. I’ve never seen you contradict any of those three points – but everybody here sure do seem to think you are disputing those points. Are you?

        • tsam says:

          Manju is Chuck Todd? Both sides do it?

          • politicalfootball says:

            Maybe! Who can tell?

            I think Manju fooled his/her self here:

            So I post data that these studies rely on, showing roughly even opposition to interracial marriage among dems and repubs.

            Of course, that’s not what Manju did – nor did Manju previously claim to have done this. But this was the impression that Manju was trying to convey in those previous comments – that the same percentage of racists existed (and perhaps still exist!) among Dems and Reps.

            Of course that’s obviously wrong, and if someone other than Manju accused Manju of saying that, Manju would deny it.

            No, Manju has been very clever about avoiding getting pinned down on this topic.

    • Manju says:

      But talking about institutional racism in the Republican and Democratic parties and then citing the beliefs of the white members of those parties seems inappropriate in way that is, on its face, racist. It can’t be Manju’s point that the opinions of black members of the Democratic Party are irrelevant to assessing anti-black animus among Democrats. Can it?

      I’m following the guidelines of scholars here. The is the way its done in ”Racial attitudes in America: trends and interpretations by Howard Schuman, Charlotte Steeh, and Lawrence Bobo (which I reference). You can also see John Sides running the numbers the same way here.

      Why do they do this? They are measuring white racists. A similar MO occurs when scholars measure the political affiliation/behaviour of the white working class. They aren’t saying that POC don’t count, but rather that White Supremacy is a distinct phenomena that justifies isolating Whites.

      • politicalfootball says:

        Bingo! A lot of people think you’re talking about the relative racism of the Democratic and Republican parties – even you seem to have thought that. As you point out here, you’re just talking about white people.

        So how about it: Now that we’ve established that you aren’t comparing racism in the political parties, can you go a step further and answer these three statements, true/false:

        1. Civil rights became associated with the non-Southern Democratic Party for a set of good reasons.
        2. The Republican Party pursued a Southern Strategy that was designed to take advantage of that by realigning whites with racial animus to their party.
        3. Over the long haul, it worked.

        • Manju says:

          2 is true
          As for 3, I’d dispute the degree to which it worked
          As for 1, I’d dispute the degree to which they deserve credit

          I’ll add that my views on 1 are mainstream among the civil rights community.

          My views on 3 are mainstream among political scientists who specialize in Quant-based analysis.

          I can probably back-up 1 at the drop of a hat, but 3 is a very nuanced and wonky discussion. I’ll make the argument tho if you want to hang on.

          • politicalfootball says:

            Again: Bingo! Your answers to 1, 2 and 3 are True, True and True. See, this is easy!

            (I’m with you on this 100%. I, too, would dispute the degree to which it worked and the degree to which non-Southern Democrats deserve credit.)

            So why is anybody arguing with you? I think there probably are some Democrats who sincerely believe that racism has been purged from their party. That’s obviously not the case.

            But you have to accept some culpability here, too. You were claiming to compare racism within the Republican and Democratic parties. Now that we’ve established you haven’t even been trying to do that, I hope we don’t hear this claim from you again.

          • The Dark Avenger says:

            I’ll add that my views on 1 are mainstream among the civil rights community.

            Name a few, or even one. Or is this like “top experts” at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

            You’ve even bragged here that they’re told you how on the money you are on this issue when you comment on their blogs. Otherwise

            (citation omitted)

            Same for your claim about political scientists, if you don’t have even one name to cite, I call bullshit.

            • Manju says:

              I’ll add that my views on 1 are mainstream among the civil rights community.

              Name a few, or even one.

              The two Democratic politicians given the most credit for the 1964cra are Kennedy and LBJ.

              My view is that Kennedy was largely in collaboration with his Segregationist wing (though we can never know for certain if he would’ve caved as Prez). I credit LBJ for pushing thru strong civil rights legislation. However I blame him for successfully opposing equivalent legislation when he was Senate Majority Leader just a few years earlier.

              In the past, I’ve cited John Lewis and Malcolm X to substantiate my views on Kennedy. Here’s Malcolm conveniently referencing Lewis:

              One of the Big Six leaders, John Lewis, chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, was prevented from making a very militant speech. He wanted to attack the Kennedy administration for its hypocrisy on civil rights.

              In regards to LBJ, I’ve cited the Veterans of the Southern Freedom Movement and academics Phillip Klinkner and William H. Chafe.

            • Manju says:

              Same for your claim about political scientists, if you don’t have even one name to cite, I call bullshit.

              “The conventional view is that the Southern Republican party was built upon a foundation of racial conservatism following the Democratic party’s success in passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Without denying the importance of race in the realignment, we present evidence in the next chapter suggesting that the standard view may need to altered in important ways. As we show there, the changes in the South do not contradict, but complement, our basic story. It is important to keep in mind that many of the economic and demographic changes were magnified in the South. Economic growth in that region has been torrid for the past thirty years. Real per capita income grew 130% in the South between 1959 and 1989 as against only 95% in the rest of the nation. The eight fastest growing states in the nation were all former members of the Confederacy. The gains were as unequally distributed as elsewhere. A cause and consequence of this growth has been the large migration to the south of middle and upper
              class whites who lacked the old southern enmity toward the GOP. The migrants included both George H. W. Bush and Newt Gingrich. Finally, with the exception of Texas and Florida, the South is only now beginning to feel the effects of the new waves of immigration. So even without the additional factor of race, the conditions were ripe for southern politics to reflect the same types of political alignment found in the rest of the country.”

              Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches,” by Nolan McCarty of Princeton University, Keith Poole of the University of California, San Diego, and Howard Rosenthal of New York University

              Chapter 2. Pg 31.

              • DrDick says:

                Even your source admits race is a central element of the realignment.

                Without denying the importance of race in the realignment,

                Still cherry picking and nothing that proves your points.

                • Manju says:

                  Even your source admits race is a central element of the realignment.

                  Right. As do I. I mean, I highlighted the precise sentence you reference.

                  Still cherry picking and nothing that proves your points.

                  These are careful scholars who use comprehensive data. They prove that your whitewashiong of racism out of the Democratic coalition:

                  That is pretty much 100% of the reason that white Southerners switched parties.

                  is batshit insane.

          • DrDick says:

            Cites and proof needed for everything, fuckwit. Nobody believes a word you say.

            • politicalfootball says:

              You guys are just determined to be trolled.

              Fine. Let’s do it. As Manju says, 1 is correct. It is simply indisputable that civil rights became associated with the non-Southern Democratic Party for a set of good reasons.

              But even the non-Southern Democratic Party is a mixed bag, and this is no secret from civil rights leaders. Bill Clinton – nominally a Southerner but more liked in the North – signed a bill that “ended welfare as we know it.” Absent white racism, that’s a move that couldn’t have happened.

              Civil rights leaders know this, but they still supported Clinton pretty enthusiastically. Through the entire history of the US, black leaders have made common cause with white supremacists. You might be surprised to hear that a lot of civil rights supporters were very fond of Lincoln.

              Manju, further, is entirely correct when he says that the Southern Strategy worked, and that the degree of its success can be legitimately argued by political scientists. This is a view that is not merely accepted by quant political scientists, but by anybody who has any goddamn sense.

              • DrDick says:

                I do not disagree with what you have said, though Manju very much wants to equivocate on all those points. He really feels impelled to demonstrate that the Democratic Party is just as racist as the GOP, which is frankly insane today. My problem is with this:

                I’ll add that my views on 1 are mainstream among the civil rights community.

                My views on 3 are mainstream among political scientists who specialize in Quant-based analysis.

                I can probably back-up 1 at the drop of a hat, but 3 is a very nuanced and wonky discussion. I’ll make the argument tho if you want to hang on.

                None of which is supported by any evidence.

                • politicalfootball says:

                  He really feels impelled to demonstrate that the Democratic Party is just as racist as the GOP, which is frankly insane today.

                  Again, whatever Manju has said in the past, Manju specifically agrees that he/she is not talking about the two political parties, but about white people. Here, again, is what Manju said:

                  Why do they do this? They are measuring white racists. A similar MO occurs when scholars measure the political affiliation/behaviour of the white working class. They aren’t saying that POC don’t count, but rather that White Supremacy is a distinct phenomena that justifies isolating Whites.

                  What could be more clear? How can this possibly be consistent with the idea that the parties are equally racist?

                • DrDick says:

                  However, he said this just a couple of hours earlier, which certainly sounds like this is the point he is trying to make:

                  Manju says:
                  August 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm

                  I am not whitewashing anything

                  You said “All of the hard line segregationists switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s”.

                  Yet, using whites who believe “White people have a right to keep (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) out of their neighborhoods” and using those who favor laws against interracial marriage as a proxy for “hard line segregationist”, it appears that hardliners were roughly evenly divided along party lines…as late as 1980.

                  Your narrative whitewashes approximately 50% of hard-line white racists out of history.

                  I think the biggest problem is the Manju really does not know what he is talking about.

                  On a different note, I am not sure what you meant by this:

                  Bill Clinton – nominally a Southerner but more liked in the North – signed a bill that “ended welfare as we know it.” Absent white racism, that’s a move that couldn’t have happened.

                  My reading of this at the time was this was about neoliberalism, not race.

            • Manju says:

              Cites and proof needed for everything, fuckwit. Nobody believes a word you say.

              Done.

              • DrDick says:

                Two cites of dubious relevance are not proof.

                • politicalfootball says:

                  I think we need to move to a more systematic Manju-ology to avoid repeating the same dreary arguments. Let’s number Manju’s argument types:

                  1. The “something telling” argument. (Credit tsam for the coinage.) This argument seems to tells us something about the relative racism in the Democratic and Republican parties, but it’s hard to figure out what. What does Malcolm X’s disdain for LBJ tell us about the relative merits of the GOP on matters of race? Something telling.
                  2. The contradictory argument. For example: Quoting a political scientist who doesn’t deny that Republican realignment in the South was pushed forward by racism to show that Republican realignment in the south was not a function of racism.
                  3. The openly racist argument: Saying that minority voters shouldn’t count in assessing political parties.
                  4. The nitpick: Jumping on a poorly thought-through claim of non-racism on the part of Democrats to suggest (often in “something telling” fashion) that Republicans and Democrats are roughly equally racist.

                  That’s a start. Surely this list can be edited and added to. What I’d like to do is more toward a state where we can just identify a baloney argument by number. It would save time and aggravation for everyone, I think.

                • Manju says:

                  What does Malcolm X’s disdain for LBJ tell us about the relative merits of the GOP on matters of race?

                  You asked me if “Civil rights became associated with the non-Southern Democratic Party for a set of good reasons”. I said “yes” (because Kennedy introduced the 1964cra and LBJ ushered it and it’s follow-up to passage).

                  However, I, like you, dispute the degree to which they deserve credit and said that such disputing is mainstream among the civil rights community.

                  Then I’m challenged:

                  Name a few, or even one. Or is this like “top experts” at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

                  So I cite John Lewis (March on Washington speech that was censored) and Malcolm X (the chickens coming home to roost) among others.

                  How would you have answered, if asked to substantiate your similar opinion?

  11. webnichole says:

    Manju doesn’t appear much acquainted with the southern “christian academies” movement of the seventies. The CRA of 1964 didn’t apply over much of the South until the mid-1970s as the courts hadn’t shut down the remonstrances from 1964 quite yet.

    But, there we were in the 1970s with the religious desiring to make their own academies for “christian” education which always seemed to mean ” white chritian” education so as to avoid the grave dangers of miscegenation.

    By the mid-1970s we had begun to hear of and feel the growing clout of, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson on the cable, and others who welded religion, separation and Republican politics. In a much more genteel, but readily understandable way than Lester Maddox ever dreamed.

    But, the voters. At first, 1976′, Carter. But, he wasn’t red meat enough for the bible first crowd and by 1978 had been rejected. Voila, from where did those Reagan voters derive. From the churches, the academies and the folks who by then knew they couldn’t reenslave black folk; but they surely didn’t have to be around them anymore, except at work.

  12. […] (Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns, and Money). […]

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