Skip to comments.ZOT! A Troll's Sophomoric Strategy
Posted on 02/04/2006 12:24:57 AM PST by elputoEdited on 02/04/2006 5:46:17 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
What is the Southern Strategy?
On Thursday, July 14, 2005, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman spoke before the NAACP National Convention. One of the things he said was:
"Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican Chairman to tell you we were wrong.".
The racial polarization he spoke of is called the Southern Strategy. It is not in use by some Republicans as Chairman Ken Mehlman would have you believe. It is an official strategy of the Republican Party. Read on
Excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy
In the election of 1968, Richard Nixon saw the cracks in the solid south as an opportunity to tap into a group of voters that had heretofore been beyond the reach of the Republican Party. The United States was undergoing a very turbulent period in 1968. The founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and most influential member of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968. His death was followed by race riots. Martin Luther Kings policy of non-violence was being challenged by more radical blacks and by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. There were protests, often violent, against the Vietnam War. The drug subculture was causing alarm in many sectors. Nixon, with the aid of Harry Dent and then South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who had switched to the Republican Party in 1964, ran on a campaign of states' rights and "law and order". Many liberals accused him of pandering to racist Southern whites, especially with regards to his "states' rights" stand.
As a result every state that had been in the Confederacy, except Texas, voted for either Nixon or Southern Democrat George Wallace, despite a strong tradition of supporting Democrats. Meanwhile, Nixon parlayed a wide perception as a moderate into wins in other states, taking a solid majority in the Electoral College. That is why the election of 1968 is sometimes cited as a realigning election.
Evolution of the Southern Strategy
As civil rights grew more accepted throughout the nation, basing a general election strategy on appeals to "states' rights" as a naked play against civil rights laws would have resulted in a national backlash. In addition, the idea of "states' rights" gained a broader meaning than simply a reference to civil rights laws, eventually encompassing federalism and a general aversion to national intervention in the culture wars. Nevertheless, in 1980, when Ronald Reagan initiated his general election campaign after accepting the Republican Party nomination, he did so with a speech in which he stated his support of states' rights. He did so at a county fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which was also known as the place where three civil rights advocates were murdered in 1964. Reagan went on to make a speech praising Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and states' rights advocate, at Stone Mountain, Georgia, site of the founding of the modern Klan. A prominent Klan leader endorsed Reagan, but he disavowed the endorsement and moved to neutralize any negative publicity by securing the support of noted Southern civil rights activists Hosea Williams and Ralph David Abernathy.
Bob Herbert reported in the October 6, 2005 edition of the New York Times of a 1981 interview with Lee Atwater in which he explains the GOP's Southern Strategy: "You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Libs are liars , libs are liars, libs are liars! By 1968 you can't say ' Libs are liars ' - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now that you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is that blacks get hurt worse than whites.
"And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Libs are liars, libs are liars.' "
Charges of racism have been lodged in subsequent Republican races for the House and Senate in the South. The Willie Horton commercials used by supporters of George H.W. Bush in the election of 1988 was claimed to be racist. Other examples include the 1990 re-election campaign of Jesse Helms, which attacked his opponent's alleged support of "racial quotas." Many ardent Democratic Party supporters claim that support for federalism in the Republican Party platform is, and always has been, nothing but a code word for racism, a charge Republicans consistently deny. Such allegations typically peak after a racially charged controversy involving Republicans, such as Senator Trent Lott's supportive remarks at Thurmond's hundredth birthday celebration.
Leaving aside all questions of race, the Republicans have continued to modify the Southern strategy, and to use it not only within the South, but also in conservative areas of the Midwest and other regions. As racism became less politically palatable as a lone motivator, it was augmented by divisions based on other cultural issues like abortion, school prayer, or funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. These cultural differences are emphasized rather than economic issues including tariffs, federal job spending, and so on (with the single exception of taxes). They play on perceived and actual cultural differences between the conservative and liberal parts of the nation. the South is seen as more religious and traditional than, say, New England. An example of this new iteration of the Southern strategy can be seen in this quote from Pat Buchanan, a famously conservative political pundit, in which he denounces John Kerry (the 2004 Democratic contender for President) as: ...a Massachusetts liberal who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, backs civil unions for homosexuals, voted to defend the infanticide known as partial-birth abortion and wants to raise the federal income taxes that George Bush lowered.
The strategy can be seen in the phrase "Massachusetts liberal", emphasizing Kerry's alleged cultural alienness to the South, and in the emphasis on cultural, rather than economic, issues. A 2004 book by Thomas Frank, entitled What's the Matter with Kansas?, revolves around the rise of cultural issues as a Republican strategy.
Does the Republican Party use the racist Southern Strategy today?
Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman would almost certainly say no.
However, President Bush has refused every invitation from the NAACP to speak at their yearly conventions. If the Southern Strategy is no longer is use, why would Bush do this?
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the NAACP and the People for the American Way co-produced a study called The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression in America Today. It is available at both the www.naacp.org and www.pfaw.org websites.
Here are just a very, very few examples of Race-Based Targeting from that study:
# Most recently, controversy has erupted over the use in the Orlando area of armed, plainclothes officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to question elderly black voters in their homes. The incidents were part of a state investigation of voting irregularities in the city's March 2003 mayoral election. Critics have charged that the tactics used by the FDLE have intimidated black voters, which could suppress their turnout in this years elections. Six members of Congress recently called on Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate potential civil rights violations in the matter.
# This year in Florida, the state ordered the implementation of a potential felon purge list to remove voters from the rolls, in a disturbing echo of the infamous 2000 purge, which removed thousands of eligible voters, primarily African-Americans, from the rolls. The state abandoned the plan after news media investigations revealed that the 2004 list also included thousands of people who were eligible to vote, and heavily targeted African-Americans while virtually ignoring Hispanic voters.
# This summer, Michigan state Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election. African Americans comprise 83% of Detroits population.
# In South Dakotas June 2004 primary, Native American voters were prevented from voting after they were challenged to provide photo IDs, which they were not required to present under state or federal law.
# In Kentucky in July 2004, Black Republican officials joined to ask their State GOP party chairman to renounce plans to place vote challengers in African-American precincts during the coming elections.
# Earlier this year in Texas, a local district attorney claimed that students at a majority black college were not eligible to vote in the county where the school is located. It happened in Waller County the same county where 26 years earlier, a federal court order was required to prevent discrimination against the students.
# In 2003 in Philadelphia, voters in African American areas were systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards, driving a fleet of some 300 sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia.
# In 2002 in Louisiana, flyers were distributed in African American communities telling voters they could go to the polls on Tuesday, December 10th three days after a Senate runoff election was actually held.
# In 1998 in South Carolina, a state representative mailed 3,000 brochures to African American neighborhoods, claiming that law enforcement agents would be working the election, and warning voters that this election is not worth going to jail.
Also, consider the following article from BBC reporter, Greg Palast KERRY WON OHIO JUST COUNT THE BALLOTS AT THE BACK OF THE BUS In These Times Friday, November 12, 2004 www.gregpalast.com
Most voters in Ohio chose Kerry. Here's how the votes vanished.
By Greg Palast
This February, Ken Blackwell, Ohio's Secretary of State, told his State Senate President, "The possibility of a close election with punch cards as the states primary voting device invites a Florida-like calamity." Blackwell, co-chair of Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, wasn't warning his fellow Republican of disaster, but boasting of an opportunity to bring in Ohio for Team Bush no matter what the voters wanted. And most voters in Ohio wanted JFK, not GWB. But their choice won't count because their votes won't be counted.
The ballots that add up to a majority for John Kerry in Ohio -- and in New Mexico -- are locked up in two Republican hidey-holes: "spoiled" ballots and "provisional" ballots.
OHIO SPOILED ROTTEN American democracy has a dark little secret. In a typical presidential election, two million ballots are simply chucked in the garbage, marked "spoiled" and not counted. A dive into the electoral dumpster reveals something special about these votes left to rot. In a careful county-by-county, precinct-by-precinct analysis of the Florida 2000 race, the US Civil Rights Commission discovered that 54% of the votes in the spoilage bin were cast by African-Americans. And Florida, Heaven help us, is typical. Nationwide, the number of Black votes "disappeared" into the spoiled pile is approximately one million. The other million in the no-count pit come mainly from Hispanic, Native-American and poor white precincts, a decidedly Democratic demographic.
Ohio Republicans, simultaneously in charge of both the Bush-Cheney get-out-the-vote drive and the state's vote-counting rules, doggedly and systematically insured the spoilage pile would be as high as the White House.
Vote spoilage comes in two flavors. There are "overvotes" -- too many punches in the cards, and "undervotes." Here we find the hanging, dimpled and "pregnant" chads created by old, dysfunctional punch card machines, in which the bit of paper covering the hole doesn't fall out, but hangs on. Machines can't read these, but we humans, who know a hole when we see one, have no problem reading these cards if allowed to. This is how Katherine Harris defeated Al Gore, by halting the hand count of the spoiled punch cards not, as is generally believed, by halting a "recount."
Whose chads are left hanging? In Florida in 2000 federal investigators determined that Black voters' ballots spoiled 900% more often than white voters, mainly due to punch card error. Ohio Republicans found those racial odds quite attractive. The state was the only one of fifty to refuse to eliminate or fix these vote-eating machines, even in the face of a lawsuit by the ACLU.
Apparently, the Ohio Republicans like what the ACLU found. The civil rights group's expert testimony concluded that Ohio's cussed insistence on forcing 73% of its electorate to use punch card machines had an "overwhelming" racial bias, voiding votes mostly in Black precincts. Blackwell doesn't disagree; and he hopes to fix the machinery sometime after George Bush's next inauguration. In the meantime, the state's Attorney General Jim Petro, a Republican, strategically postponed the trial date of the ACLU case until after the election.
Fixing a punch card machine is cheap and easy. If Ohio simply placed a card-reading machine in each polling station, as Michigan did this year, voters could have checked to ensure their vote would tally. If not, they would have gotten another card. Blackwell knows that. He also knows that if those reading machines had been installed, almost all the 93,000 spoiled votes, overwhelmingly Democratic, would have closed the gap on George Bush's lead of 136,000 votes.
JIM CROW'S PROVISIONAL BALLOT
Add to the spoiled ballots a second group of uncounted votes, the 'provisional' ballots, and -- voila! -- the White House would have turned Democrat blue.
But that won't happen because of the peculiar way provisional ballots are counted or, more often, not counted. Introduced by federal law in 2002, the provisional ballot was designed especially for voters of color. Proposed by the Congressional Black Caucus to save the rights of those wrongly scrubbed from voter rolls, it was, in Republican-controlled swing states, twisted into a back-of-the-bus ballot unlikely to be tallied.
Unlike the real thing, these ballots are counted only by the whimsy and rules of a state's top elections official; and in Ohio, that gives a virtually ballot veto to Bush-Cheney campaign co-chair, Blackwell.
Mr. Blackwell has a few rules to make sure a large proportion of provisional ballots won't be counted. For the first time in memory, the Secretary of State has banned counting ballots cast in the "wrong" precinct, though all neighborhoods share the same President.
Over 155,000 Ohio voters were shunted to these second-class ballots. The election-shifting bulge in provisional ballots (more than 3% of the electorate) was the direct result of the national Republican strategy that targeted African-American precincts for mass challenges on election day.
This is the first time in four decades that a political party has systematically barred -- in this case successfully -- hundreds of thousands of Black voters from access to the voting booth. While investigating for BBC Television, we obtained three dozen of the Republican Party's confidential "caging" lists, their title for spreadsheets listing names and addresses of voters they intended to block on any pretext.
We found that every single address of the thousands on these Republican hit lists was located in Black-majority precincts. You might find that nasty and racist. It may also be a crime.
Before 1965, Jim Crow laws in the Deep South did not bar Blacks from voting. Rather, the segregationist game was played by applying minor technical voting requirements only to African-Americans. That year, Congress voted to make profiling and impeding minority voters, even with a legal pretext, a criminal offence under the Voting Rights Act.
But that didn't stop the Republicans of '04. Their legally questionable mass challenge to Black voters is not some low-level dirty tricks operation of local party hacks. Emails we obtained show the lists were copied directly to the Republican National Committee's chief of research and to the director of a state campaign.
Many challenges center on changes of address. On one Republican caging list, 50 addresses changed from Jacksonville to overseas, African-American soldiers shipped Over There.
You don't have to guess the preferences registered on the provisional ballots. Republicans went on a challenging rampage, while Democrats pledged to hold to the tradition of letting voters vote.
Blackwell has said he will count all the "valid" provisional ballots. However, his rigid regulations, like the new guess-your-precinct rule, are rigged to knock out enough voters to keep Bush's skinny lead alive. Other pre-election maneuvers by Republican officials -- late and improbably large purges of voter rolls, rejection of registrations -- maximized the use of provisional ballots which will never be counted. For example, a voter wrongly tagged an ineligible "felon" voter (and there's plenty in that category, mostly African-Americans), will lose their ballot even though they are wrongly identified.
KERRY BLACKS OUT It was heartening that, during his campaign, John Kerry broke the political omerta that seems to prohibit public mention of the color of votes not counted in America. "Don't tell us that in the strongest democracy on earth a million disenfranchised African Americans is the best we can do." The Senator promised the NAACP convention, "This November, we're going to make sure that every single vote is counted."
But this week, Kerry became the first presidential candidate in history to break a campaign promise after losing an election. The Senator waited less than 24 hours to abandon more than a quarter million Ohio voters still waiting for their provisional and chad-spoiled ballots to be counted.
While disappointing, I can understand the cold calculus against taking the fight to the end. To count the ballots, Kerry's lawyers would, first, have to demand a hand reading of the punch cards. Blackwell, armed with the Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore diktat, would undoubtedly pull a "Kate Harris" by halting or restricting a hand count. Most daunting, Kerry's team would also, as one state attorney general pointed out to me, have to litigate each and every rejected provisional ballot in court. This would entail locating up to a hundred thousand voters to testify to their right to the vote, with Blackwell challenging each with a holster full of regulations from the old Jim Crow handbook.
Given the odds and the cost to his political career, Kerry bent, not to the will of the people, but to the will to power of the Ohio Republican machine.
We have yet to total here the votes lost in missing absentee ballots, in eyebrow-raising touch screen tallies, in purges of legal voters from registries and other games played in swing states. But why dwell on these things? Our betters in the political and media elite have told us to get over it, move on.
To the victors go the spoils of electoral class war. As Ohio's politically ambitious Secretary of State brags on his own website, "Last time I checked, Katherine Harris wasn't in a soup line, she's in Congress."
NEW MEXICO GOES KERRY - BUT WHO'S COUNTING?
Why single out Ohio? So it also went in New Mexico where ballots of Hispanic voters (two-to-one Kerry supporters) spoil at a rate five times that of white voters. Add in the astounding 13,000 provisional ballots in the Enchanted State -- handed out "like candy" to Hispanic, not white, voters according to a director of the Catholic Church's get-out-the-vote drive -- and Kerry wins New Mexico. Just count up the votes but that won't happen.
Investigative reporter Greg Palast is author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Penguin 2004).
Oliver Shykles and Matthew Pascarella of GregPalast.com contributed to this article.
Or consider the following remarks by Jimmy Carter at American University, September 19, 2005 Well, I would say that in the year 2000 theres no doubt in my mind that Al Gore was elected president. He received the most votes nationwide and in my opinion he also received the most votes in Florida. and the decision was made by a 5-4 vote on a bipartisan basis by the US Supreme Court. I would in 2000 there was a failure. The year 2004 is hard to grade. I dont have any detailed information as to what went wrong in Ohio. if Ohio had gone one way or the other it would have changed the outcome of the election. And the other thing that I know about Ohio was that theres general consensus, that the secretary of state of Ohio, who was responsible for the administration of elections was highly partisan in his public approach and perhaps even in his private administration but I dont know about that.
Do we know what happened in Ohio?
To this day, the highly partisan secretary of state of Ohio has not allowed a recounting or investigation of the vote.
If everything in the Ohio voting process was legitimate and above-board, there would be no reason to prevent an investigation. So what can have happened other than foul play? The same foul play that was committed in the state of Florida in the 2000 election?
It would appear that the Republican Party has conspired to disqualify 1 million Black votes nationwide in both the 2000 and the 2004 elections. That would mean that the Southern Strategy is not only still in use, but also in use at a far more extensive level than in previous elections. It would also mean that the Republican Party has broken some serious laws
However, I make my own guesses and, now, you must make yours.
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Hello el puto.
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Al Gore was behind the Willie Horton attacks on Dukakis.
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