Thursday, July 15, 2010

Southern Strategist Sarah Palin Denies the Southern Strategy

Bob Cesca, a contributor to the Huffington Post, has written about Sarah Palin and the Southern Strategy:
During her honeymoon speech at the Republican National Convention in 2008, Sarah Palin echoed a jab at Barack Obama that had been lurking around in Republican circles for most of that year. ...

... I'm referring here to the emphasis on President Obama's service as an urban community organizer. Clearly, this was a Southern Strategy-style racial dog whistle -- a way of underscoring the president's ethnicity, his race and his association with scary inner-city black people.

It's worth mentioning again the Lee Atwater quote regarding the functional language of the Southern Strategy. Suffice to say, Atwater made it perfectly clear that Republican political tactics included (and still do) exploiting race -- winning white votes by demonizing blacks. And the way to play this game in the modern age was to use code language. Dog whistles, because overt racial language would too easily "back fire."

At the time, Atwater suggested the exploitation of issues like tax cuts or states rights with the implication that the Republican Party supported the preservation of white dominance. (Not surprisingly, tax cuts and states rights dominate the 2010 political discourse.) And the demagoguing of issues like welfare, affirmative action or Medicaid would underscore, to predisposed white voters, the fallacious notion of lazy black freeloaders horking white jobs and white tax dollars and not contributing anything to society other than crime. ...

... Sarah Palin is and was a Southern Strategist.

So it's with considerable hilarity that I read her latest Facebook remarks in which she insisted there isn't a racial component to the various tea party groups.
"I am saddened by the NAACP's claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America's Constitutional rights are somehow 'racists,'" Palin wrote in a Facebook note.
... [T]he NAACP was specifically referencing the obviously racist elements of the tea party, whether it's the tea party's use of Southern Strategy dog whistles to rally white support, or the very overt displays of racism, beginning with the screechy Curious George-wielding freaks outside the Palin rallies during the campaign, or the Birthers, whose whole thing is about race, or the (often misspelled) signs at tea party rallies with the president Photoshopped to look like a witch doctor.

The NAACP, with its resolution this week, wasn't even going as far as I am here in suggesting the tea party is built upon Southern Strategy politics. The members were merely requesting that the tea party denounce the racially-motivated characters within its ranks. I don't think that's such a big deal. But Sarah Palin evidently believes that the people who shouted racial epithets at Congressman Lewis are "patriotic Americans" and "somehow" not racists, when, in fact, they clearly are. These are the people the NAACP asked to be denounced. Why would Sarah Palin have a problem with that? ...

... Remarkably, and despite volumes of documented evidence, including a candid admission by the chairman of the RNC, we constantly hear Sarah Palin, and many other Republicans for that matter, claiming that the Southern Strategy doesn't exist as a central component of the party. The far-right (and not-so-far-right) totally denies the existence of the Southern Strategy in the face of cold, hard historical fact while also embracing its tactics and language.
Another RNC Chief, Ken Mehlman, said that the Southern Strategy was wrong, in 2005. Mike Allen of the Washington Post wrote:
It was called "the southern strategy," started under Richard M. Nixon in 1968, and described Republican efforts to use race as a wedge issue -- on matters such as desegregation and busing -- to appeal to white southern voters.

Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, this morning will tell the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee that it was "wrong."

"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."
Didn't Republicans get the memo? Sarah?

Wikipedia has a Southern Strategy entry.

Some additional background information about the NAACP's resolution and Sarah Palin's reaction to it was covered in my post, here.


Joie Vouet said...

Sarah Palin may know it as the "Real America" strategy.

lil said...

or the "Common Sense" or "Demon Socialist" strategies

Anonymous said...

Politics can be about deciding which arguments to have.

Why would Sarah Palin want to argue about the makeup of the tea party? She isn't getting any traction by attacking NAACP's resolution, in the wider arena.

Is she is playing to her base? Don't they struggle with their racism?

Anonymous said...

Gryph posted with pictures showing the racism

Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it, Sarah

Joie Vouet said...

Anonymous, thanks ... Gryphen's I think we hit a nerve. Sarah Palin's latest Facebook post refutes racism within Teabagger movement. Well tries to anyway.

Floyd M. Orr said...

Excellent post! Of course The Southern Strategy is tantamount to SP's success. My ears were burning from the dog whistles as soon as she opened her mouth at the RNC!

Joie Vouet said...

Floyd, thanks. Here is a clickable link to Why She's Dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Sarah's Facebook note could be read as a memo to her clan. At one point she admits the resolution isn't aimed at all tea partiers, so she uses the note to say in effect, we - if the shoe fits wear it - shouldn't be doing these racist things..knock it off.

But it is a very good question why she never condemned the racists at her campaign rallies, and why doesn't she condemn the bad tea party elements?

Is she saying it is alright to be a racist, just don't be an overt racist? There has always been racism, but it wasn't until she ran in '08 that they came out of the closet at her rallies.

tallimat said...

Perfect piece. Wonderful title.

And I had forgotten about that "Why She's Dangerous" piece.

It is important to remind and/or teach our children and young adults around us, about how the Southern Stragety played a role in the make up of American politics.

Again, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Vanity Fair's Tea Party for One

After reading Sarah's "I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow racists," Henry Rollins imagines, "The tears are just welling up in her eyes, I just know it. It’s like she gets up every morning, puts a dry-cleaner bag over her head, and hits the treadmill for an hour. Certainly, none of the T.P.’s (Tea Partiers) are racists! Not even the ones with the swastika signs or President-Obama-with-a-bone-in-his-nose signs. The ones with the President-Obama-as-tyrant-signs and we-want-our-country-back signs, the ones with the tea bags tied to their faces, etc., are just patriotic Americans. Nothing to see here, just move along, thank you!"

tallimat said...

I will also add that Scarah can't comprehend what the Southern Stragety was/is about.

wakeUpAmerica said...

I think that all of you posting here need to refudiate your remarks and apologize to the Tundra Turd. Right now!

Anonymous said...

I love how she wants Obama to refudiate the comments given by the NAACP, but she refuses to do the same with the MORE than obvious racists remarks and signs of the tea-partiers. I guess what's good for the goose, is NOT good for the gander in her book.