Front page
Archive
Silflay Hraka?


Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

Email
bigwig AT nc.rr.com

Friends of Hraka
InstaPundit
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
ColdFury
Oceanguy
Fragments from Floyd
VodkaPundit
Allah
The Feces Flinging Monkey
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Sperari
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
ErosBlog
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Rantburg
AMCGLTD
WeckUpToThees!
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
Wizbang!
Bogieblog
ObscuroRant
RocketJones
The Greatest Jeneration
Ravenwolf
Ipse Dixit
TarHeelPundit
Blog On the Run
blogatron
Redwood Dragon
Notables
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
IMAO
Zonitics.com
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
HokiePundit
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
dcthornton.blog
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
IsraPundit
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Dustbury.com
tonecluster
Bo Cowgill
mtpolitics.net
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Hoplites
Jimspot
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Testify!
Northwest Notes
pseudorandom
The Blog from the Core
Ain'tNoBadDude
CroMagnon
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
Pdawwg
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Mercurial
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Foolsblog
Sasha Castel
Dodgeblogium
Susskins Central Dispatch
DoggerelPundit
Josh Heit
Attaboy
Aaron's Rantblog
MojoMark
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
Velociblog
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
DaGoddess
Single Southern Guy
Caerdroia
GrahamLester.Com
Jay Solo's Verbosity
TacJammer
Snooze Button Dreams
Horologium
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
Aimless
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Moxie.nu
Eccentricity
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
MonkeyWatch
Geekward Ho
Argghhh!!!
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
Fringe
The Biomes Blog
illinigirl
See What You Share
Truthprobe
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Consternations
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
ambivablog
Soccerdad
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
kschlenker.com
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Wizblog
tweedler
Pajama Pundits
BabyTrollBlog
Cadmusings
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

September 02, 2004

The Modern Dixiecrat Closes The Sale

This started off as a comment to Woundwort's post below. As tends to happen with me, what was initially a comment turned into an essay.

As the speaker lineup for the first four days of the convention has shown, George Bush has pretty much solidified his primary base of support, so now the Republican Party is trying to wrap up its secondary base of support, the Reagan Democrats, a group whose support has been critical in the last few national elections. A large chunk of Reagan Democrats is found in the South. Who better to woo them than a Southern Democratic senator?

Zell's speech was aimed squarely at moderate and conservative Southern Democrats, many of whom can be described as "uncomfortable," at the very least, with the current Democratic party and its Northern, okay, Yankee, nominee. As such, I think he hit the target early and often. Take a look at the themes in his speech.

Family--closest of all to the Southern heart, the constant star of the Southern mythos. He opened and closed his speech with references to it: Since I last stood in this spot, a whole new generation of the Miller Family has been born: Four great grandchildren.

Along with all the other members of our close-knit family, they are my and Shirley's most precious possessions.

And I know that's how you feel about your family also. Like you, I think of their future, the promises and the perils they will face.
...
The man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family.

This election will change forever the course of history, and that's not any history. It's our family's history.

Sacrifice in service of a greater cause In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee.

And there is no better example of someone repealing their "private plans" than this good man. He gave Roosevelt the critical support he needed for a peacetime draft, an unpopular idea at the time.

And he made it clear that he would rather lose the election than make national security a partisan campaign issue.

Shortly before Wilkie died, he told a friend, that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here lies a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving freedom," he would prefer the latter.

Support For the Military, always highest in the South: Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander in Chief.
....
And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.
...
It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.

No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.

Nostalgia for the "Good Democrats" and their ideals, from the days of the Solid South: President Roosevelt, in his speech that summer, told America "all private plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed by an overriding public danger."
...
It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city.

Xenophobia: Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations.

Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending.
...
John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security.

Religion, with some more of the Family theme thrown in for spice: I am moved by the respect he shows the first lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America.

I can identify with someone who has lived that line in "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see," and I like the fact that he's the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning.

From what I've seen, Zell's speech played well with the Reagan Democrat crowd, and totally pissed off urban liberals--who weren't going to vote for Bush anyway. They think what they saw up at the podium last night was a reincarnation of the 1992 Patrick Buchanan, when in actuality the man who Zell was channeling was the 1982 George Wallace, one of the few southern politicians to ever manage the neat trick of creating a soft spot for himself in the hearts of both blacks and whites.

Andrew Sullivan notes the George Wallace style as well, but his interpretation founders on his lack of familiarity with the parts of the country that lie below the Mason-Dixon Line.

His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric. As an immigrant to this country and as someone who has been to many Southern states and enjoyed astonishing hospitality and warmth and sophistication, I long dismissed some of the Northern stereotypes about the South. But Miller did his best to revive them. The man's speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude.

What we have here is a failure to communicate--a purposeful one. Miller was no more speaking to Andrew Sullivan than he was to E.T. Nor was he speaking to Atrios (crazy bitter bullshit) , Kos (scare night), or anyone at the DU, all of whom had the expected reaction to his speech. He was speaking to the NASCAR Dads and their spouses--a group that abandons the Democrats in droves whenever a man named Clinton doesn't run, because the Democrats no longer speak their language. Zell Miller, who like most of the Southern Reagan Democrats is a post-racial modern Dixiecrat rather than a "classic*" one, does, and he closed the deal with them last night. A little spiel, some fervent emotion on the subjects of family, religion and betrayal and that was that. Barring perhaps Florida and a calamity between now and November, Zell Miller has locked up the South for Bush.

*A "classic Dixiecrat speech" would have made a lot more mention of race, all of it negative, than did Zell's, which didn't touch on that subject at all.

Postscript: Michael Barone detected a different dead politician in last night's Miller speech. (lvi)

Posted by Bigwig at September 2, 2004 10:47 AM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

I don't understand how Woundwart didn't get it. I grew up in NYC and I got it.

To the best of my knowledge, that speech played pretty well with anyone holding traditional values, Democrat or Republican, North or South (though I agree it will most affect Southern Reagan Democrats).

Hell, Ed Koch seems to get it.

Posted by: Greg at September 2, 2004 07:32 PM

I don't know about Andrew Sullivan. He usually comes across as very bright, but sometimes it's just so obvious that he doesn't understand what it means to be American at all.

He seems pretty much at home with the Euro-wannabe Northeastern intellectual crowd (up to a point, where he differs from that crowd is where I like him) but he seems to consider the rest of America to be some kind of subhumans.

Posted by: Greg at September 2, 2004 07:38 PM
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.









Remember personal info?