Thursday, February 14, 2008

Forgetfulness About History

Ricky Santorum today on the history of the Republican party and why John McCain is apparently a problem:

"The Republican Party was founded as the antislavery party. It was, thus, a regional party. After the Civil War, the North and Upper Midwest were Republican, the South and Southwest Democratic. With the exception of the solidly Democratic Catholic vote in the Northeast, the North was virtually a one-party region right up to the Great Depression.

All that changed after the 1960s. The Democratic Party embraced the '60s Cultural Revolution, with its hostility to the military and traditional values. The GOP pursued Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy to court Southern conservatives away from the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party became the party of George McGovern and Ted Kennedy. After some stiff resistance, the Republican Party became the party of Ronald Reagan. The upshot today: If you are a conservative, you are a Republican; if you're a liberal, you're a Democrat."

Now, what exactly was that Southern Strategy and isn't there something missing in Ricky's history lesson? I think I have found it. The Democratic Party's embrace of the "60s Cultural Revolution" included an embrace of the civil rights movement and led the GOP to pursue a racist strategy to to court white Southern conservatives away from the Democratic Party. A query for 2008 --- Will the current incarnation of the GOP employ a Southern Strategy against Barak Obama, if the Democratic Party (and this seems likely at the moment) nominates a multiracial (not that all of us are not multiracial) person of color -- a person of African descent -- to be its Presidential candidate? Will such a Southern Strategy be successful in 2008?

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