The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Southern Strategy and Gingrich: Win in South Carolina!

Illustration source reveal at end of this article

A headline capture from a Facebook feed.

BREAKING: Mitt Romney loses the South Carolina primary after enjoying a nearly 20-point lead over Newt Gingrich in the state.

I am amazed there is even a story a circumscribed premise the headline sentence.  Did we witness a candidate win a primary in the heart of the GOP South?  Did we not hear the audacious Juan Williams (A black man) 'dare' bring-up matters on Gingrich's  'southern strategy' at one of this week's debates?  Did we not  have John, CNN, King, throw Gingrich a softball question that even I could have hit a 'grand-slam' base clearing home run?  I mean really to start a debate with a question about a GOP candidate's promiscuous past?   King really should hide his face in shame, but then what would one expect from a conservative CNN commentator. King knew exactly what he was doing and he accomplished his mission with the skill of an agenda driven conservative. And, he did so in a superior manner than any of the 'bobbing-heads' evening show personalities over at Fox News.

So, two conservative members of the media provide a 'rhetoric' platform for Gingrich who is clearly playing the race card in a region of the country where it, unfortunately, still works.  Alas, the "southern strategy" lives! IT'S ALIVE! Alive as surely as did Dr. Frankenstein bring his monster to life (only to be eventually killed by his subject).

The "southern strategy," how did it come about?  A brief probe revealed it roots in the Nixon quest for the Oval Office, through Reagan's capture of 1980s federal governance to the Karl Rovian success with George W. Bush.  As you read the last sentence did you notice anything that made you wonder a bit about the ultimate outcome of the "southern strategy"?

During the heated confrontations over the Civil Rights and Voting rights Acts, the dismantling of Jim Crowe and the after of LBJ's Great Society, people such as Harry S. Dent, Sr. leveraged regional resentment and hatred into a formidable (regionalpolitical force.  

George Tames/The New York Times
Harry Dent in 1969 with President Richard M. Nixon, back turned, and Representative George Bush.
Harry S. Dent was to Richard Nixon what Lee Atwater become for Ronald Reagan.  Both men are the "Fathers of the "Southern  Strategy": A political force comparable to some aspects of Hitlerian strategies for Germany in the mid to late 1930s. 

The "political force" lives today. The 2012 GOP campaign has shown a willingness of Santorum, Gingrich and a segment of Ron Paul's supporters (not Paul per se), to use the strategy. The problem is, 1968 was a Jurassic Era compared to today's availability of information, instant access to information,  and an ability to share said information.

While the 'southern strategy' may have roots that pre-date Lee Atwater's "coming to Washington D.C.," those roots withered to almost nil until Atwater resuscitated its vile and deceitful tenets.

A bit of history on Mr. Atwater from WIKI....

(Many links are for point of reference. The theme of this piece can be gleaned without clicking each link. But, you understanding of the southern strategy could be enhanced view taking the time to "link-up".)

Lee Atwater


From Wikipedia 
Harvey LeRoy "Lee" Atwater (February 27, 1951 – March 29, 1991) was an American political consultant and strategist to the Republican Party. He was an advisor of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and Chairman of the Republican National Committee.Political career Atwater rose during the 1970s and the 1980 election in the South Carolina Republican party, working on the campaigns of Governor Carroll Campbell and Senator Strom Thurmond. During his years in South Carolina, Atwater became well known for running hard-edged campaigns based on emotional wedge issues. [Strum Thurmond..the story starts to take shape]1980 election (A series of article excerpts)......Atwater's aggressive tactics were first demonstrated during the 1980 congressional campaigns. He was a campaign consultant to Republican incumbent Floyd Spence in his campaign for Congress against Democratic nominee Tom Turnipseed. Atwater's tactics in that campaign included push polling in the form of fake surveys by "independent pollsters" to inform white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP. He also sent out last-minute letters from Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) telling voters that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and communists. At a press briefing, Atwater planted a "reporter" who rose and said, "We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment." Atwater later told the reporters off the record that Turnipseed "got hooked up to jumper cables"– a reference to electroconvulsive therapy that Turnipseed underwent as a teenager.[4]
.......After the 1980 election, Atwater went to Washington and became an aide in the Ronald Reagan administration, working under political director Ed Rollins. In 1984, Rollins managed Reagan's re-election campaign, and Atwater

Atwater on the Southern Strategy

As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to political scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of this interview was printed in Lamis' book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater's name revealed. Bob Herbert reported on the interview in the 6 October 2005 edition of the New York Times. Atwater talked about the GOP's Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan's version of it:
Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

Questioner: But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — 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 "Nigger, nigger."[6][7]
The essence of GOP  "CODE".
1988 election

Atwater's most noteworthy campaign was the 1988 presidential election, where he served as campaign manager for Republican nominee George H.W. Bush. A particularly aggressive media program included a television advertisement produced by Floyd Brown comparing Bush and Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis on crime: The Willie Horton ad campaign. 
Two points to keep this credible. Al Gore first brought-up the Horton story against Dukakis in the 198 campaignAdditionally, Horton was a hardened criminal, but I believe  Atwater had other options to portray Dukakis as weak on crime. He chose Horton and black on white crime (including Horton's rape of a female victim who was white).

A quick review of how the "Gunslinger hired-gun" ends his career: with apology.

RNC Chairman

After the election, Atwater was named chairman of the Republican National Committee. 
Shortly after Atwater took over the RNC, Jim Wright, a Democrat, was forced to resign as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and was succeeded by Tom Foley. On the day Foley officially became speaker, the RNC began circulating a memo to Republican Congressmen and state party chairmen called "Tom Foley: Out of the Liberal Closet." The memo compared Foley's voting record with that of openly gay Congressman Barney Frank, with a subtle implication that Foley was himself gay. It had been crafted by RNC communications director Mark Goodin and House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich. In fact, Gingrich had been trying to get several reporters to print it.[9] The memo was harshly condemned on both sides of the aisle. Republican Senate leader Bob Dole, for instance, said in a speech on the Senate floor, "This is not politics. This is garbage."
Atwater initially defended the memo, calling it "no big deal" and "factually accurate". However, a few days later, he claimed he hadn't approved the memo.[9] Under pressure from Bush, Atwater fired Goodin, replacing him with B. Jay Cooper.
Atwater developed the modern-day southern strategy as effectively as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Tenet, 'played'  Collin Powell and the world towards the invasion of Iraq. 

The following is a revealing look at the GOP Southern Strategy and how it works. 

South Carolina dirty tricks and race baiting 2008

NOW, A PBS production (Video linked....Unable to locate HTML Embed.)

While Newt Gingrich does not have a Lee Atwater or Karl Rove shaping and rolling-out his campaign, Gingrich knows how to play the southern psyche.

Like Lee Atwater, Gingrich is no 'racist'. I posit he may not even be a moderate bigot. He differs greatly from the Pauls and the horde of avowed and closet racist who support his candidacy (Of course, along with Ron Paul's unknowing or uncaring sycophants who chose not to dig deep).

No, Atwater played the political game to the 'max'. He leveraged the psyche of a region of the country and molded campaigns to effectively tape into the psyche deeply embedded in the region.

If you need hard evidence Atwater was an opportunist vs. a bigot, take a read.

 Personal life
R&B music 
Atwater was also a musician. He briefly played backup guitar for Percy Sledge during the 1960s and frequently played with bluesmen such as B.B. King. Atwater recorded an album with King and others on Curb Records in 1990 titled Red Hot & Blue.[12] He once sat in with Paul Shaffer and his band on Late Night with David Letterman. 
As a teenager in Columbia, South Carolina, Atwater played guitar in a rock band, The Upsetters Revue. Even at the height of his political power he would often play concerts in clubs and church basements, solo or with B.B. King, in the Washington, D.C. area. He released an album called Red, Hot And Blue on Curb Records, featuring Carla ThomasIsaac HayesSam MooreChuck Jackson, and B.B. King, who got co-billing with Atwater.[12] Robert Hilburn wrote about the album in the April 5, 1990 issue of the Los Angeles Times: "The most entertaining thing about this ensemble salute to spicy Memphis-style '50s and '60s R&B is the way it lets you surprise your friends. Play a selection such as 'Knock on Wood' or 'Bad Boy' for someone without identifying the singer, then watch their eyes bulge when you reveal that it's the controversial national chairman of the Republican Party… Lee Atwater."
Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum know the power of 'playing the race-card' for GOP audiences. The audiences seem to love any slam, or criticism that is cloaked in innuendo about "black", :"Hispanic, Gay". "lesbian".  I wrote "the audience loves" it; No the audience goes  orgasmic.  

The Southern Strategy will be tested as the GOP moves through the lowly levels of its current campaignDespite dispensing of the  more notable "whack jobs," the rhetoric and lack of substance coupled with hidden agendas are growing old and worn.  

But, it is the GOP. Tthe GOP is the party of the South and sparsely populated states. If the GOP did not have the Southern Strategy, how could they hope to appeal to large southern voting blocks.

The "left-over" 2012 candidates are embarrassing for  the United States as a nation.  Gingrich's and Santorum's deploying the southern strategy speaks for itself.  Both candidates know  there are more whites on welfare (receiving food stamps) than blacks.  Gingrich knows  millions of young African-American males grow to adulthood with full ability and interest in working to earn a living and an education beyond high school. But, such  knowledge must remain closeted, as the candidates move through the GOP primaries. For Gingrich and Santorum it is so much easier to preach and receive the resultant tithes (via votes) from those ho soak-up the race-baiting like a stinky sponge. 

The woman said, "....put Juan Williams in his place"! 

 I suppose "his place" is where the woman expects black people occupy forever. She is too dense to realize that Newt Gingrich relished the Williams's question as he relished the 'infidelityquestion from John King.  

Gingrich also knows his claim that Obama has put more people on food stamps than any other president is fodder for the non-informed. With employment from 2007/2008 eventually peaking at 10%, how could the number of recipients have been lower than previous years?  I will wager, there are far more people white people receiving food stamps than black people. That is in the context of Gingrich "Speak".

Yet, Gingrich plays the 'southern strategy', race baits, and sits back while the hoards of supporter seethe in their 'southern psyches".

Have you seen the breakdown of people who are on Food Stamps?

Here it is:

The racial breakdown of food stamp recipients is as follows:

Ethnicity and Food Stamps
41% white
36% African-American
18% Hispanic
3% Asian
2% Native American
1% unknown race or ethnicity 

Ah, you say but look at the ethnic groups make up the total US population.  Of course, but then Newt and Santorum are not making the per capita differentiations 
which do not bode as well in a sound-bite.  They use the words 'food stmps' as code for feeding their craving minions.

Dr. Frankenstein was undone by the monster he unleashed on the world. He was taken-out by his own creation.  It will be interesting to see how the the GOP candidates proceed with the southern strategy2012 edition. If people take a moment to evaluate the effectiveness of presidents who used the strategy to win the Oval Office voters would suffer a skin-rippling case of aversion.

See the epitome of the southern strategy. 

"I report, you decide".

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