Harold Meyerson on The South and Its Effect on The GOP

Recently I offered a piece about the Southern GOP as the leading element of the Republican Party and how that limits the party's popularity outside the South. In today's Washington Post Harold Meyerson's column describes his take on that same issue. It's well argued and I won't condense it here. However, this quote gives you some sense of his point of view...

For four decades, it's been the Democrats who've had a Southern problem... couldn't elect any senators, then any House members, then any dogcatchers. They still can't, but the Southern problem, it turns out, is really the Republicans'. They've become too Southern...

Comments

Thanks, George.

Good insights here.

George, I am so glad you are joining us here

your insights and articles add so much to the Democratic discussions. Thank you!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

I don't agree with him completely.

But, his take on Wal-Mart was interesting.

So: A Southern low-wage labor system is cruising along until it seeks to expand outside its region and meets fierce opposition from higher-paid workers in the North. Does that suggest any earlier episode in American history?

I remember in 1988 my parents car broke down up in Rocky Mount. I drove down from PA to swap cars with them while theirs was fixed. We were sitting around the gas station and my Dad was asking the guy what folks did for a living. He mentioned a new mill had come into the area with good pay and people were doing well and really happy. My Dad asked what they paid and the guy said "Some folks are getting $5.75 an hour." To which my dad busted out laughing, not on purpose...at least I don't think so, but because no one in our poor, starved corner of Pennsyltucky would work for $5.75 an hour except high school kids; heck I was making $6.75 washing dishes at the college cafeteria at the time. Which leads to another quote from the article...

Indeed, scratch the surface of some of our current hot-button issues and you find age-old regional conflicts. Wal-Mart's practice, for instance, of offering low wages and no benefits to its employees begins in the rural South, where it's no deviation from the norm. Only when Wal-Mart expands this practice to the metropolises of the North and West, threatening the living standards of unionized retail workers, does it encounter roadblocks, usually statutory, to its entry into new markets.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

how does that compare?

Higher wages does not necessarily mean higher wages. If I earn 10 bucks and hour and live in NYC then I am going to end up making less money than someone in North Carolina making 7 bucks an hour when you include taxes, food costs, housing costs etc.

I would be curious what the differences in standard of living are and how that compares.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

How Does That Compare?

Fortunately for us Steve Sailer has calculated how the various states compare in terms of their relative standard of living. What Steve did was create "...a table of the monetary standard of living by state, as calculated by median income for a family of four divided by the Accra's cost of living index."

Minnesota and Illinois, two Democratic States, rank at the top, but Hawaii and California, also two Democratic States, rank at the bottom. Frankly the difference between red states and blue states turns out to be something of a wash. People in blue states tend to make more, but they also live in states where the cost of living is higher.

By the way, North Carolina ranks very near the average.

Of course, all that your "standard of living" measures is what you are able to buy with a given amount of money in a particular place. What it can't measure is everything that is unquantifiable. How important to you is great weather? How important to you are great schools? Answer yes to the first question and you'll wind up in Florida. Answer yes to the second question and you'll probably wind up in Massachusetts.

I'm 56 years old. I moved to North Carolina five years ago. The previous twenty-five years I spent as a resident of Chicago's north shore and before that Wisconsin, Utah and California. I live in Moore County. My Congressman is Howard Coble, my State Sen

Average

I hear lots of elected officials benchmarking against other states with an emphasis on keeping NC in the middle of the pack . . . that is, average.

I don't understand this. Average sucks. Why not go for excellence?

Carolina First.

I think that would be my motto if I ever ran for state-wide office, and in every debate I would frame it that way.

"My opponent is happy to settle for 36th in education and 45th in infant mortality. I'm not. I won't be happy until we make Carolina First."

If you think about it, we have the world's leading banking center, we have one of the top 5 biotech centers in the world, we have more coastline than just about any Eastern state (the outer banks really increases the coastline), we have great agricultural land, we have incredible mountains, and we are leaders in education.

Yet, our state seemingly sucks at everything.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Democratic Wave in Congress

Related to this same issue... the radicalization of the Republican Party along a Southern model, and the growing allergy to the GOP in areas of the Midwest and Northeast... is this article on the Democratic wave in Congress.

According to Zachery Goldfarb, who wrote the article...

...The decline in moderates has had a greater impact on Republicans than Democrats. According to Poole's calculations, almost half of House Republicans were moderates 30 years ago, compared to well under 10 percent today. The professors argue that the decline of moderates in Congress has increased polarization...An important factor in the Democrats' victory in the midterm election was that independent and moderate voters abandoned the GOP in droves. Since the 2002 midterms, support for the Republican Party has declined seven percentage points among moderates and nine percentage points among independents, according to exit polls.

I'm 56 years old. I moved to North Carolina five years ago. The previous twenty-five years I spent as a resident of Chicago's north shore and before that Wisconsin, Utah and California. I live in Moore County. My Congressman is Howard Coble, my State Sen

A National Party No More?

I may be getting close to beating this subject to death, but I ran across another excellent article on the GOP becoming a predominantly Southern Party. That article was in, of all places, "The Financial Express" of India. Actually the excellence of this reporting was intimidating. If the Indian reader is getting analysis at this level on what has to be an arcane subject in a place as far away as Calcutta, then imagine how much better informed they are than the average American. I'd encourage you to read the entire article, but here's a snippet...

"The only place where the national tide had little impact was in the South. The Democrats made a few inroads in the periphery — winning a Senate seat in Virginia and House seats in North Carolina, Florida and Texas. But deep southern states such as Georgia and Mississippi remained unchanged. Exit polls showed that only 36% of white voters in the South voted for Democratic House candidates; it was 58% in the north-east."

I'm 56 years old. I moved to North Carolina five years ago. The previous twenty-five years I spent as a resident of Chicago's north shore and before that Wisconsin, Utah and California. I live in Moore County. My Congressman is Howard Coble, my State Sen