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The writer, Chris Ladd, is an Illinois Republican originally hailing from Texas. He penned this eerily accurate (for a Republican, that is) prediction back in mid-September for the Houston Chronicle. In it, he nails the essence of today's GOP in pointing out that its Presidential candidate has a real chance to win only those states which:

A) Failed to outlaw slavery prior to the Civil War, or
B) Have no major metropolitan areas, or
C) are Ohio, if the voter suppression campaign works

I came across Ladd's article in a comment he posted in response to a related and excellent article at Washington Monthly by Mainer Colin Woodard, who describes the virtual disappearance of the GOP from its former stronghold in the northern regions of the U.S.:

Both of these articles discuss the impact of the GOP's transformation into a party that now has its philosophical and cultural roots in the Confederate South, and both describe the negative national consequences for the GOP of this transformation.

This shift of the GOP from a party originally defined by Northerns roots and opposition to slavery to one now based in the South that is frequently openly hostile to minorities of every description began in earnest in 1968, with Richard Nixon's adoption of the so-called Southern Strategy. Today, the modern GOP has its communications handled by Fox News, which blares a relentless barrage of propaganda that is nakedly contemptuous of those Americans who live in urban areas, who are well-educated and believe in the power and value of science, who support labor unions, and who are not homophobic Evangelical Christians who believe that slavery wasn't really all that bad and that women should be forced to carry rape pregnancies to term. As the recent elections show, this face of today's Republican Party is exceedingly unpopular in wide swaths of the country. What's tremendously ironic is that the man who devised the media strategy for selling Nixon's Southern Strategy way back in 1968 is the same man whose propaganda machine has succeeded in branding today's GOP as the party of choice for ignorant halfwits more at home in the 19th century than the 21st: Roger Ailes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  he is wrong in his analysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, Empower Ink, Bob Love

    Phoenix is 14th in population among Metropolitan Statistical Areas

    Indianapolis is 35th

    Salt Lake City is 48th

    Indiana never had slavery, since it came from the Northwest territory where slavey had been banned even before the Constitution

    AZ and UT were not states until the 20th Century, and thus could not ban slavery

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:00:56 AM PST

    •  Indiana was a Jim Crow state. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, Oracle2021
      •  and it had a very active KKK chapter in 20s (0+ / 0-)

        but that was not how he defined things

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:43:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  some asterisks... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love

      each of those states/cities are not as far from the analysis as it might seem.

      Indiana ... Southern Indiana, was a hotbed of KKK activity in the 1920s... it apparently... (along with Southern Ohio and even southern Illinois) is more like the South in outlook even though they were non slave and part of the Union in the Civil War. And that southern-souled section in Indiana offsets Indianapolis (and the Gary area too)

      Arizona is almost like a spiritual extension of the South in its own way... and has attracted many with the mind-set of the South including retirees from "Northern" states.... So the growth of Phoenix into a large metro area is a more recent and conservative South tinged place... or as much as it can be considering the Latino and minority population.

      Utah... well, Mormonism... they banned Black people from their faith until something like 40 years ago... and Salt Lake while more "Liberal" than the rest of the state is still a company town influenced by the LDS church in a way that no other major city is influenced by any single religion or denomination in any other city.

      And the major metropolitan areas can be divided into ones that grew rapidly more recently as opposed to ones that have been at the top of the list for a very long time. And further, what is the writer's criterion for "major metropolitan area"? much below Phoenix in size and the metropolitan areas of smaller cities hardly compare to the really big ones... which I take to mean perhaps larger than 2.5 million for the metro area... or even as little as a million... the Western and Midwestern Red states just do not have big metro areas... other than Utah and Arizona which are special exceptions that don't invalidate the thrust of the 2 general points. (the third point being more specific... the Ohio thing)

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:12:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't disagree on history of Indiana (0+ / 0-)

        but that was NOT part of his framing, which is why I objected.  He defined it as part of the old confederacy, as not having abolished slavery, or as not having a major metropolitan area.  It fails on all three of those  criteria

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:44:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      Utah got statehood in 1896.

      •  which means (0+ / 0-)

        1.  it was not part of the confederacy

        2.  it could not abolish slavery before the civil war

        3.  but it still has a major metropolitan area

        in other words, it fails all three of the criteria offered

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:45:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The analysis is spot on (0+ / 0-)

      **Phoenix is 14th in population among Metropolitan Statistical Areas*

      Arizona was a slave territory prior to the war, along with Nevada and Utah as a result of the 1850 Compromise.  slavery was only outlawed in the Utah territory during the Civil War (1862).  The Mormon Church tolerated slavery (though not without opposition) until it was outlawed.

      *Indianapolis is 35th, Salt Lake City is 48th**

      Correct.  Indiana and Utah have no major metropolitan areas.  "Major" may be a soft metric, but Indianapolis has fewer than a million people and it is the only city of any significant size in the state.

      The analysis is pretty consistent.

  •  Something I've been wondering (4+ / 0-)

      How does Obama do so well in Iowa, and so poorly in Kansas and Nebraska, two states about as similar culturally and demographically to Iowa as can be?

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:10:08 AM PST

    •  Good Question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

      by RoIn on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:23:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Geography, Des Moines and primary exposure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they follow the actual content of parties and candidates a bit more just because of the intense attention they get early on in the primaries... more direct contact etc. so they are apparently more politically aware and informed than a lot of states... (reality and facts liberal bias etc.)

      and geographically the northern area nestled under Minnesota and the Eastern area Bordering Wisconsin and Illinois are a whole lot bluer than the western more rural parts... and overall it is just not southern enough... they are more like the North central/great lakes states and more likely to get more people moving across or down from them than from the south or less populated states to the immediate west... and then the central area has the biggest city, Des Moines and it and the metro area there goes blue too... more than enough enough to balance out the red....

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:27:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, the transformation began with the Gold- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes, a2nite

    water nomination in '64.

     Although the man himself wouldn't make a very good contemporary conservative Rethug (e.g., on the Religious Right & reproductive rights), his nomination was an act of war ag the liberal Rep establishment in the Northeast, the upper Mid-west & CA.  (Chief Justice Warren had been a liberal R CA gov.).

     Despite his "Southern strategy" in elections,   Nixon actually governed mostly as a stealth liberal, especially regarding domestic economic policy.  (I viscerally loathed the man, but fair is fair -- is there a better liberal tax policy than the EITC, aka negative income tax?).  But "poor little Ronnie" basically began an extended Night of the Long Knives within the Rethug party, so that now there are no even semi-rational R.'s left.  Hell, even David Frum voted for Romney.  On the basis of what? Supply-side (aka trickle-down) economics?  Jaysus wept!

  •  Houston, DFW, San Antonio are major metro areas. (0+ / 0-)

    As are Phoenix, Atlanta, St Louis, Louisville, and Kansas City.

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