This weekend in the New York Times, Karen L. Cox said what I suspect a lot of lefties in the South would like the rest of y’all to hear:
To my chagrin, liberals living outside the South deny our existence, lump us all together by using rhetoric about the Confederacy and heap pity on us with a little condescension thrown in for good measure. They also seem to be unaware of nuance.
The fact is, liberals everywhere live among people who don’t share their views. Are you listening Wisconsin, Arizona, Indiana and, yes, New York? Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond are long dead. Michele Bachmann, Scott Walker and other Tea Party darlings are alive and well, and they aren’t all whistling Dixie.
If the Democrats are going to be a true majority party, they will need to build a coalition in all 50 states. So rather than see the South as a lost cause (pun intended), the Democratic Party and liberals north and west of us should put a lid on their regional biases and encourage the change that is possible here.
I have seen the kind of reaction Cox is talking about from non-Southerners on this blog – when North Carolina voters backed a ban on marriage equality, for example, or more recently when Oklahoma placed the 10 Commandments in carved, misspelled glory on the state capitol grounds. Lefties outside the South seem to think very little of suggesting the red states just get out. For kicks, I spent some time this weekend subtracting ballots for Barack Obama in the red states from the president’s margin of victory in the national popular vote.
You could do this any number of ways, but if you take out just Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, my own Mississippi and Georgia, the president loses the popular vote. Georgia alone added 1,761,761 votes for Obama. And yes, I realize those same states contributed enough red votes to keep the election close. But every blue ballot represents a natural ally for lefties outside the South, not votes to be thrown out.
What’s more, progressives in conservative states are making a new and quite game go of it. On Friday, Rachel played tape of Georgia’s state Senate majority leader holding a meeting about UN/Obama mind control. That tape exists because a group of Georgia progressives managed to video the proceedings and then alert the world. After embarrassing Georgia Republicans one too many times, the mind-control senate majority leader didn’t run for his leadership position again, and Republicans replaced him with someone Democrats consider easier to deal with. Look for more of this tactic by Better Georgia. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“We’re modernizing politics in Georgia. A lot of people who are in politics right now are using Old World political techniques,” [executive director Bryan] Long said. His group has placed an emphasis on recording Republican public officials as they speak their private minds.
The aggressive tactic may make many of you uncomfortable. Long said it is essential if voters are to realize that many Republican elected officials have “values that most Georgians don’t believe and don’t accept.”
And consider this: Better Georgia worked on their project with James Carter, the same Georgia Democrat who brought the world Mitt Romney’s 47 percent remarks and a heap of documents about Bain Capitol. Carter’s state didn’t go the way he wanted, but the rest of you who vote blue could stand to consider how different this election would have been without him, and how different future elections might go if progressives get strong enough to flip states like Texas and Georgia, and what you might learn from them instead of scribbling them off your map.