Thursday, July 25, 2013

A "southern strategy" for the 21st century

No one can deny that the the Republican Party is in disarray these days. We recently saw a group of Senators challenge Sen. McConnell's leadership by breaking a filibuster on Obama administration nominees. A bipartisan group of Senators passed comprehensive immigration reform - including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers and the Republican establishment/grassroots is split down the middle on whether to support it in the House. Sen. Rand Paul has chosen to support Sen. Enzi in the primary challenge coming from Liz Cheney and Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have joined Sen. Gillibrand in her fight against military sexual assaults - which Bill Kristol called a "pseudo-crisis."

And yet folks like Greenwald and Serwer are feigning surprise that yesterday the vote on the Amash Amendment in the House was bipartisan. Either they haven't been paying attention or their surprise is disingenuous.

In case you didn't notice, there is a theme that runs through my litany describing the disarray up above...and his name is Rand Paul. That's the same Rand Paul too many liberals decided to stand with in his ridiculous filibuster and who's father Edward Snowden voted for in 2012.

No one doubts that Rand Paul is in the early stages of a campaign to run for president in 2016. His only hope for success given the sad state of affairs in the Republican Party is that he can develop a coalition of tea partiers and lefty emos (ie, white people) to challenge the national dominance of the Democratic Party. Today's article by Greenwald (linked above) is nothing short of a clarion call for just that.
To say that there is a major sea change underway - not just in terms of surveillance policy but broader issues of secrecy, trust in national security institutions, and civil liberties - is to state the obvious. But perhaps the most significant and enduring change will be the erosion of the trite, tired prism of partisan simplicity through which American politics has been understood over the last decade. What one sees in this debate is not Democrat v. Republican or left v. right. One sees authoritarianism v. individualism, fealty to The National Security State v. a belief in the need to constrain and check it, insider Washington loyalty v. outsider independence...

The sooner the myth of "intractable partisan warfare" is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood.
Basically he's saying that the partisan battle against the lunatic caucus in the Republican Party needs to end and we should join forces with those who support "individualism" (ie, libertarianism). We all know who swells the ranks of the anti-establishment wing of the Republican Party. Digby over at Hullabaloo put it more bluntly when it comes to the looming battle over a budget deal.
The way to stop this is to get enough Democrats in the House to join with the Tea Partiers so they cannot get a majority. It's got to be done.
As the beast that is the white male patriarchy in this country is dying, these folks are suggesting that we throw them a lifeline and join their cause. Remember...these are the same people who are attacking things like voting rights and women's rights and immigration reform.

Now I'm no supporter of the "National Security State" - or, more broadly, the military industrial complex. But I happen to believe President Obama when he says he wants to end perpetual war and have a rational conversation about surveillance. The folks who don't believe him have always assumed he's a liar - regardless of what he actually does. And so they prefer to join forces with folks who have a history with southern secessionists and yet tell whoppers like this:
During a visit to Iowa, the junior Kentucky senator and 2016 contender told Yahoo! News that he's going to continue to do his part to lure blacks and Hispanics to a Republican Party that has been plagued by an inability to win over minority voters.

“I’m not easily dissuaded, so it’s not something that makes me shrink away, it makes me come out even stronger to say that I don’t think there’s anyone in Congress who has a stronger belief in minority rights than I do,” Paul said.
Only a blind white privileged person could possibly swallow that one. He's not reaching out to blacks and Hispanics (who know better), he's trying to assuage the discomfort white emos might feel in their support of him.

Make no mistake about it...this is a re-invention of a 21st century southern strategy aimed at the idea of forming a national coalition of white male libertarians during a time when the rights of women and people of color are on the line. There is not one iota of doubt in my mind about where I stand on that one. And its not with Rand.


  1. "The way to stop this is to get enough Democrats in the House to join with the Tea Partiers so they cannot get a majority. It's got to be done."

    And then Digby wonders why her traffic is dropping like a lead balloon.

    They consider themselves politically savvy but they in reality are stunningly naive to the point of useful idiot territory. And just like the white male patriarchy their time is coming to an end.

    1. Most of the emo's persuaded themselves that Obama was a ultra-left wing candidate, who would "of course" consult with them on what to do and would act like something they saw in a movie or televisions show. They never bothered to actually read anything he'd written, listen to what he was saying, or to understand actual ... government ... so they were of course "bitterly disappointed."

      Add in the fact that they can't seem to grasp the racist assumptions behind their illusions, and it's not surprising that they'd be running towards someone like the Pauls, while blithely waving aside any irritating facts like the Paul's blatantly racist associations and writings.

    2. Ask anybody who has tried to implement their ideas how did that turn out? No wonder they want to connect up with the tea party. Two groups with not a clue between them.

  2. Only a blind white privileged person could possibly swallow that one. He's not reaching out to blacks and Hispanics (who know better), he's trying to assuage the discomfort white emos might feel in their support of him.


    you nailed this one to the wall.


    Paul is a phony.

    A racist, grifting phony who'd have no problem with my Black Ass still drinking from Colored Water Fountains....

    I am very clear about who Paul is.

  3. Yep, I saw this coming from a few miles away.

    But, there's the problem. The only people who would find Paul appealing are white males. At least in the '60s, the Southern Strategy worked on white women, too.

    Although I don't think this will go anywhere, it's still good to be mindful of way Paul is trying to do.

  4. Greenwald gets away with being a "civil rights hero" by defining the term as narrowly as Rand Paul.

    He is dismissive of attacks on women's reproductive health.

    He deflected the consequences of Citizens United.

    He has yet to write one word about restoring Sec. 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court just gutted.

    None of these thing are important civil rights issues for Greenwald. When he says "civil rights," he exclusively means the "civil rights" of Anwar Al-Awlaki, which he elevates above THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

    And his desire to defund the NSA is exactly like Ron Paul's quest to disestablish the Federal Reserve. Same fight, different agency.


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