Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Republicans comparing 2014 midterms to 1966...think about that

Yesterday I was taken back a bit when I saw this tweet from conservative pundit Robert Costa.

To get an idea of what Rumsfeld is celebrating here, lets take a look at some of the history leading up to the 1966 midterms.

The Civil Rights Movement in this country began with the death of Emmett Till in 1955 and the Montgomery Bus Boycott that was launched that same year. It all culminated with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Along the way, thousands of black people were killed and/or injured. Most well-known are the Montgomery Church bombing in 1963, the assassination of Medgar Evers the same year, the killing of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner in 1964, the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 and of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. Events like Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama took place in 1965.

Those are the events that formed the lead-up to the election Rumsfeld is referring to. Certainly protests of the Vietnam War were occurring as well. But they didn't reach their peak until the late 60's/early 70's.

It has been reported that when President Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he told an advisor that the Democrats had lost the south for a generation. It was the midterm elections of 1966 that began that process. Republicans gained 3 Senate seats and 47 House seats. The next presidential election in 1968 looked like this (yellow states went for George Wallace).

To sum it all up - the midterm election of 1966 was the beginning of the end of the Second Reconstruction. The backlash against Civil Rights gains was the fodder for what Republicans eventually launched as a Southern Strategy

That Rumsfeld sees a similarity with the midterm results of 2014 is telling. Just so you know, he's not the only one.


  1. Are you saying this is the beginning of the end of the third reconstruction?

    1. I'm saying that's what Rumsfeld and other R's are hoping.

      Its up to us whether their wish comes true.

    2. PS - This is why I get so upset when some Dems (including BooMan) talk about the need to appeal to southern whites. It comes off sounding like a "Southern Strategy II" - with dismissals of the need to stand up for voting rights, immigration reform, and the need to fight policy brutality, stand your ground, and stop-and-frisk profiling.

  2. I recently drew some parallels between President Obama's Year of Action and Reconstruction. Just as corrupt members of Lincoln's Republican Party joined with the Southern aristocracy to end Reconstruction, we need to be vigilant about supporting Democrats who stand up for the President and his vision of change. Many Democrats that lost this year were Clintonites who ran on opposing President Obama. I believe that was the underlying theme of this midterm more so than a "referendum" on the President, who was sidelined from the beginning.