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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/8 (342 comments)

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  •  Southern Dems from the late 19th Century (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, bumiputera, David Nir

    So I just got around reading all the old live digests and I had a few questions about post regarding ideology.

    While the main concern of the piece was the ever growing conservative pull within the GOP, I was more curious to know exactly how they rated ideology for the southern Dems. The chart has them as the most liberal party from the 1870's through 1920! Was it the populism of the southern Dems that put them to the left of their northern brethren?

    Secondly I wish they broke down Republicans into their liberal, radical and conservative wings. I would have considered some Republicans of the 19th century to be the left of the Dems.

    24, gay Atari Democrat CA-41

    by lordpet8 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:37:22 AM PST

    •  In that time period (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      During that Victorian era of politics you are referring to, there were a string of Republicans from the North with Harrison, McKinley, Teddy, and Taft all being northern Republicans. During this period the Democratic Party was nearly non-existent outside of Dixie, so any and all attributes assigned to the Democrats in the post-reconstruction era can be attributed to Dixiecrats.

      •  That's not entirely true (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, bumiputera, James Allen

        The Democratic coalition from the party system after the civil war also consisted of the "white ethnic" immigrants in northern cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago etc.  This includes Catholics (Irish, later Italians), Jews, as well as other groups, basically the immigrants and non-Protestant working class.  It also involved small farmers in the west as well as miners who were getting screwed by the big banks and railroads, that's why William Jennings Bryan's campaign took on as much as it did outside the south: populism.

        NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

        by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:14:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  well the Dems managed to actually win (5+ / 0-)

        the house from 1875-1881, 1883-1889, and once more from 1891-1895.

        So there were clearly Northern Democrats that helped provide the Dem House Majority. I was just curious on how Northern Dems were considered to be to the right of Southern Dems during these periods.

        The Democratic party was based on two different wings, you had the southern dixiecrat wing, and the Northern, wet, Immigrant wing.

        24, gay Atari Democrat CA-41

        by lordpet8 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:17:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  About right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xenocrypt, lordpet8, bumiputera, MichaelNY

      It's easy to forget that Democrats enacted virtually every single progressive wish list item during Woodrow Wilson's first term, while the prior two Republican Administrations failed to implement more than a small number of them. Democrats were the party of Wm. Jennings Bryan while Republicans worshiped McKinley. And throughout that era, Republicans defended privilege and corruption while Democrats preached reform. The big-city machines were drivers of that, though it is true that there were some Theodore Bilbo types who married virulent racist rhetoric to a progressive policy agenda. Of course, only the rhetoric on race differed from what Southern conservatives of the time supported on that issue, but the domestic policies between the two were very different.

      The conflict between Southern populists and Southern conservatives persisted for quite a while actually. Even as late as the fifties, Alabama was represented in the Senate by John Sparkman and Lister Hill, both of whom were liberal on most domestic issues, though not civil rights of course. And, of course, Tennessee sent Estes Kefauver and Albert Gore to the Senate, and the former was one of the most liberal senators of his time. The civil rights battle would ultimately end all that.

      •  Hold it (0+ / 0-)

        I feel like you're giving short shrift to TR. He implemented some of the most important progressive reforms, right?

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:24:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Compared to McKinley anyone was progressive (4+ / 0-)

          And while yes, TR's administration does deserve some credit, particularly with things like the Pure Food and Drug Act, the Wilson era economic reforms were much stronger (setting aside civil rights which was a huge step backwards).  Things like the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Reserve Act, the direct election of senators, etc. etc. were all much more effective and progressive than the previous reforms.

          NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

          by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:29:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not all of TR's suggested reforms (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bumiputera

            were put into effect. He was the first to campaign for universal health care, but that was during his third, unsuccessful presidential campaign that led to the election of Wilson. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe Wilson tried to get any universal health coverage.

            Here, from Wikipedia, are some of the progressive reforms TR effectuated:

            Once President, Roosevelt worked to increase the regulatory power of the federal government. Regulation of railroads was strengthened by the Elkins Act (1903) and especially the Hepburn Act of 1906, which had the effectively favored merchants over the railroads. Under the president's leadership, the Attorney General brought forty-four suits against monopolies. Notably, J.P. Morgan's Northern Securities Company a huge railroad combination, was broken up. To raise the visibility of labor and management issues onto the federal stage, he established the new Department of Commerce and Labor.[12]
            In response to public clamor, Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, as well as the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. These laws provided for labeling of foods and drugs, inspection of livestock and mandated sanitary conditions at meatpacking plants. Congress replaced Roosevelt's proposals with a version supported by the major meatpackers who worried about the overseas markets, and did not want small unsanitary plants undercutting their domestic market.[13]
            Roosevelt was a prominent conservationist, putting the issue high on the national agenda. He worked with all the major figures of the movement, especially his chief advisor on the matter, Gifford Pinchot. Roosevelt was deeply committed to conserving natural resources, and is considered to be the nation's first conservation President. He encouraged the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902 to promote federal construction of dams to irrigate small farms and placed 230 million acres (360,000 mi² or 930,000 km²) under federal protection. Roosevelt set aside more Federal land, national parks, and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined.[16]

            Roosevelt established the United States Forest Service, signed into law the creation of five National Parks, and signed the 1906 Antiquities Act, under which he proclaimed 18 new U.S. National Monuments. He also established the first 51 Bird Reserves, four Game Preserves, and 150 National Forests, including Shoshone National Forest, the nation's first. The area of the United States that he placed under public protection totals approximately 230,000,000 acres (930,000 km2).

            Gifford Pinchot had been appointed by McKinley as chief of Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture. In 1905, his department gained control of the national forest reserves. Pinchot promoted private use (for a fee) under federal supervision. In 1907, Roosevelt designated 16 million acres (65,000 km²) of new national forests just minutes before a deadline.

            And there were more reforms that he pressed for but wasn't able to get passed:
            By 1907–08, his last two years in office, Roosevelt was increasingly distrustful of big business, despite its close ties to the Republican party in every large state. Public opinion had been shifting to the left after a series of scandals, and big business was in bad odor. Abandoning his earlier cautious approach toward big business, Roosevelt freely lambasted his conservative critics and called on Congress to enact a series of radical new laws — the Square Deal — that would regulate the economy.[23] He wanted a national incorporation law (all corporations had state charters, which varied greatly state by state), a federal income tax and inheritance tax (both targeted on the rich), limits on the use of court injunctions against labor unions during strikes (injunctions were a powerful weapon that mostly helped business), an employee liability law for industrial injuries (preempting state laws), an eight-hour law for federal employees, a postal savings system (to provide competition for local banks), and, finally, campaign reform laws.
            It looks to me like TR's agenda was a lot more radical than what Wilson got passed. How much more domestic reforms did Wilson want that he wasn't able to get passed?

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:50:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wilson passed most of what that second passage... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sawolf, MichaelNY, bumiputera

              ... described, save for, as you point out, the national incorporation law. Under Wilson, the 16th Amendment passed, for example, reestablishing the income tax. As sawolf points out, with the very significant exception of civil rights, Wilson had a very progressive domestic policy record. Though it's common to cite TR as more progressive, there isn't much evidence that's actually true. TR's platform in 1912 was somewhat more radical, but much of what he proposed was enacted during the Wilson Administration (a point that Democrats made during the 1916 campaign to appeal to progressives).

              TR's accomplishments during his actual presidency were significantly fewer, and in fact Taft pursued more antitrust cases than TR had.

              Also, while it's common to criticize Wilson's race and civil liberties records (genuine black marks), TR wasn't that much better. He was more progressive on African-American civil rights, though he did little to advance them during his presidency. But he was an arch-imperialist and swung way to the right post-1912. Had he been president during that period, the US would have entered WW1 earlier and his civil liberties restrictions would likely have outdone Wilson's.

        •  His record might be overstated (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, lordpet8

          Taft (Taft!) ended up busting more trusts than Teddy did (though that's not all of progressivism).

          28, Male, MA-07 (hometown MI-06)

          by bumiputera on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:32:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Roosevelt was progressive (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sawolf, MichaelNY, bumiputera

          But he still governed a Republican Party that was dominated by archconservatives like Henry Cabot Lodge and Nelson Aldrich. He got some things through, but he struck a bit of a middle course.

          TR was the most liberal, radical candidate on the ballot in 1912, and sometimes people let that bleed retrospectively into appraisals of his performance as president. It wasn't bad considering the times, but he was no Wilson.

          •  Exactly, and this is what I meant by (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NMLib

            Roosevelt administration and Wilson era.  These people weren't divorced from their parties even if they did have leeway on some issues.  It would have been interesting to see what Roosevelt would have done with a Democratic Congress (Wilson with a Republican Congress would have just seen regressive civil rights policies, but not much in the way of progress other than the courts).

            However, Personal values really don't mean that much in the grand scope of things if they bear no relation to the actual policy actions of the party.  This is why I hope that in the future, Bill Clinton's stock plummets among the left, as his most lasting impact is going to be Welfare Reform and helping Republicans blow up our trade deficit (which was the prime cause of the housing bubble, though not the sole cause obviously).  Not that he wasn't worlds better than what a Dole administration would have been, but Clinton is certainly no Kennedy.  Obama is our Kennedy.

            NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

            by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:11:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, save for Eugene Debs (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sawolf, MichaelNY, jncca, bumiputera

            Who got 6% of the vote that year.

      •  What about Huey P Long (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordpet8, MichaelNY

        Senator from Louisiana, and one of the most radical socialists ever to serve in Congress.

        •  One thing I wondered about him (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, JBraden

          what were his views on civil rights?  His views on "spreading the wealth around" would sharply contradict the Dixiecrat view on civil rights.

          Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

          by KingofSpades on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:36:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He was a segregationist. (0+ / 0-)

            Keeper of the DKE glossary. Priceless: worth a lot; not for sale.

            by SaoMagnifico on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:37:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  -_- Figures. The hypocrite. (0+ / 0-)

              Was there any white southern Democrat in that era (the Jim Crow era) who was pro-civil rights?  Rep. Ken Hechler marched with MLK, but he was from WV, which defected from the CSA.  Who was that Georgian Democrat who proudly voted for the Civil Rights act even though he well knew that Lestor Maddox would rain wrath down upon him?  Also, there's LBJ, of course.

              Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

              by KingofSpades on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:44:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, sure there were (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KingofSpades, MichaelNY

                Then-Speaker Sam Rayburn reluctantly supported civil rights legislation starting in the 1950s.

                Keeper of the DKE glossary. Priceless: worth a lot; not for sale.

                by SaoMagnifico on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:47:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know, I just wanted someone to list from memory (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  Yeah, Rayburn was from NE Texas, a Dixiecrat area.

                  Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

                  by KingofSpades on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:48:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and i'd imagine that (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY, bumiputera

                    Rayburn dying in 1961 and being replaced with a Massachusetts Dem sped up the process of meaningful civil rights legislation.

                    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

                    by RBH on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:06:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  McCormack wasn't that liberal either (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MichaelNY, levlg, KingofSpades

                      He was decent supporter of the vietnam war, though he did preside over the one of most liberal congressional sessions since the new deal. House Liberals grew tired of him by the end of the 1960's and he promptly retired in 1970.

                       I don't think Rayburn was that anti-civil rights either in the grand scheme of things. IIRC:  He was prepared to strip many southerners from their chairmanships/seniority over civil rights legislation nearing the end of the 1950s.

                      I want to say in the 5 speakers that followed Rayburn, Tip Oneill was the most liberal.

                      24, gay Atari Democrat CA-41

                      by lordpet8 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:19:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  if we limit that to people who got elected (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KingofSpades, MichaelNY

                probably not that many elected passed using current standards. Some Southern Dems didn't sign the manifesto but couldn't go full-integration.

                Not sure on if there was really much of a states-rights/backlash upcurrent in WV. They did elect some civil rights friendly Republicans in the 1950s.

                The border state approach to school desegregation seemed to be "Ok, we don't have many African-Americans in this area, so let's just integrate so we don't have to pay for a separate school covering a huge geographic area"... there were exceptions in MO, but in some parts of MO, integration came quick.

                The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

                by RBH on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:50:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  looking at Civil Rights act of 1964 Passage (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KingofSpades, MichaelNY

                6 or 7(there is a discrepency on wikipedia) Southern House Democrats (one was fellow texan J.J. Pickle) and 1 southern Democratic Senator (Ralph Yarborough) voted for the bill

                24, gay Atari Democrat CA-41

                by lordpet8 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:00:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  House vote (5+ / 0-)

                  It was really a regional vote. IL voted 23-1, PA 27-0, OH 22-1, and IN 10-1 in favor even though all 4 delegations were majority GOP. NY went 41-0 and NJ 15-0. WV voted 5-0 in favor so at that point it was definitely northern when it came to civil rights. OK was 3-2 in favor, suggesting that it wasn't really southern on that issue either.

                  Southerners who voted for it, all Dems:
                  Claude Pepper, FL
                  Charles Weltner, GA
                  Carl Perkins, KY (which was 6-1 against)
                  Ross Bass, TN
                  Richard Fulton, TN
                  Jack Brooks, TX
                  Albert Thomas, TX
                  Jake Pickle, TX
                  Henry Gonzalez, TX

                  http://www.govtrack.us/...

                  SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

                  by sacman701 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:15:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  A few (4+ / 0-)

                Claude Pepper, Ralph Yarborough, Lyndon Johnson, Estes Kefauver, and Albert Gore (though he chickened out in the 1964 CRA, he voted for all the other major legislation on the subject) in the Senate. In the House I'm not quite so sure--Rayburn favored voting rights at least, and probably a few people from Tennessee and Texas, I'd have to look. Those two states tended to produce most of the less-racist politicians for various reasons. I'm pretty sure all the East Tennessee Republicans voted for it.

              •  the most liberal dems from the old CSA (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, lordpet8

                off the top of my head were:

                Bob Eckhardt
                Dante Fascell
                Dick Fulton
                David Pryor
                Bill Anderson
                Sam Gibbons
                Claude Pepper
                Hale Boggs
                Henry Gonzalez
                Bill Alexander

                RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

                by demographicarmageddon on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:07:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Mentioned but (4+ / 0-)

                just to put an exclamation point on it: Ralph Yarbrough!  Didn't sign the Southern Manifesto and voted for every Civil Rights Bill between 1957-1970.

            •  Was he really? (0+ / 0-)

              Or was it just that he worked within the system to provide for both whites and blacks? I mean, would you also call FDR a segregationist? If so, then it's fair to also call Huey Long one. If not, I'd like to hear more about why you think it's fair to use that term for Huey Long.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:57:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  FDR was no segregationist (7+ / 0-)

                He mounted a real effort to unseat some of the worst racists in the Senate in 1938, which mostly failed, and he fought like hell to get Henry Wallace on the ticket in 1940 rather than a Southern segregationist successor. Part of the Truman pick too was that Truman was not racist. FDR was very conscious that this would become one of the major political issues after WWII and set things up accordingly.

                But he didn't push an anti-lynching law because he was afraid it would cost him support in the South. Most historians argue his judgment on that was wrong, but he did know an awful lot about politics.

              •  Yeah I think this is a misguided perspective (4+ / 0-)

                for example, do we want future generations to look back on the Democratic party from 1965 to a few years ago and say "Democrats were reactionary on LGBT rights, they should all be swept under the rug!"  No, of course not.  I'm not making excuses for vile policies regarding civil rights, but the politics of a two party system has to consider all issues and in that regard, FDR and Long were as left wing as you could realistically hope for yet still get elected and implement reforms.

                NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

                by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:14:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  He was much beloved in Louisiana (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, bumiputera

            by both blacks and whites, and was quite liberal on race for a Southerner.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:51:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm trying to remember some articles (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, bumiputera

      about this.  I think the Southern Dems were the most consistent advocates for lower tariffs, which was generally an economically liberal position.  

      On the other hand, just looking for a vote, I found this one from 1913 on "increasing income taxes on those in the upper bracket so that they shall be compelled to pay an equitable and proportionate share of the expenses of the government".  16 Senators voted for it, all Republicans, and mostly Midwestern or Western Republicans (Robert La Follette, George Norris).

      27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14).

      by Xenocrypt on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:27:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In reality though it wasn't exactly a progressive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumiputera, James Allen

        position.  The northern working class in particular would have been hurt by lower tariffs while southern blacks wouldn't really stand to gain from increased agricultural exports.

        In comparison, countries that successfully industrialized over a rapid period protected their infant industries while repressing agricultural rents.  These include Taiwan, Japan, South Korea.  This is in stark contrast to Latin America where even after Spanish/Portuguese control ended, development languished as all of the agricultural exports went to wealthy landowners.  The same would have happened here had the South gotten its way prior to and immediately after the civil war (when those industries were in "infancy").

        However, the taxation issue is surprising at first glance, but wealth inequality was (probably? I don't have a citation) lower in the North and West thanks to the absence of plantation farming and when inequality is lower, political power is more dispersed allowing for more players to have an interest in taxing the rich.  In the South the large agricultural interests, though representing a small slice of the population, wielded a great deal of political power.

        NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

        by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:37:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, I don't really remember (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          but my sense is that northern liberals often voted for lower tariffs as well.  For example, this vote on eliminating hemp duties was nearly party line, with Northern and Southern Democrats voting together.  And I think an article I read used "lower tarrif" votes as a proxy for overall liberalism.  Whatever the actual effects of tarrifs, lower tarrifs might still have been regarded as a liberal position at the time (like prohibition).  But I'm certainly no expert in either regard.

          27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14).

          by Xenocrypt on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:56:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a bit later than the period I was thinking (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, bumiputera

            Once domestic industry was well established and by that time it was, lowering the tariff wouldn't kill it so yes, lower tariffs were the more left-wing position.

            But I'm thinking back to the 2nd party system where the Whigs were for the tariff and Democrats were against it and the period after the initial 2nd stage industrial revolution sparked by the civil war where a lot of nascent manufacturing would have been vulnerable to British competition.  From a domestic viewpoint, a policy that encouraged the greater amount of total development and prevented rents from accruing to an aristocratic elite seems hands down the more progressive of the realistic options.

            Don't get me wrong, not everything about that development strategy was perfect, but if you compare our experience with that of Latin America and Russia (and later Africa) on the one hand and Japan (and later South Korea and Taiwan) on the other, it doesn't take a genius to see which one we were closer to and that we are a lot more developed as a result.  Especially since the baseline wasn't all that different from Latin America in the 1800s, particularly countries like Argentina.

            NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

            by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:04:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I wouldn't make assumptions about inequality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bumiputera

          outside the South. Let's remember that the Industrial Revolution led to tremendous inequality between the factory workers - who were expendable and could literally be worked to death - and the owners and managers.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:58:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not everyone worked in a factory though (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, jncca

            I know for damn sure that agricultural wealth inequality was magnitudes lower outside the South (not just the North but also the midwest and plains) thanks to things like the Homestead act and the inability to grow plantation crops.  Yes, the wealth disparity between the factory workers and owners was disgusting, but do you really think it was worse than the disparity between the Southern plantation aristocrats and sharecroppers? I doubt it was.

            I'd love to see some GINI coefficient calculations for the South and non-South over the course of the 3rd party system though, I bet a lot of people would be surprised.

            NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

            by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:17:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  that vote (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, MichaelNY

        That 1913 vote would be scored as the conservative position, just fyi, due to the left right axis on that issue at that time. It was a "fiscal responsibility" vote.

        Remember to not look at those old votes through the prism of today's politics, because it'll warp what was the actual spectrum.

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:00:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Al Smith (6+ / 0-)

      a New Yorker, strong Catholic, and anti-Prohibition Democratic candidate for President in 1928 was way too extreme for the country and lost in a landslide to Herbert Hoover, carried only the Deep South.  I'm not sure how liberal he really was but he definitely had no Southern social values, and yet the Deep South was so afraid of Republicans that they still supported him.  Just think of the South supporting someone like Anthony Weiner today, that's how crazy it was.

      •  He wasn't really that extreme (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, James Allen, bumiputera

        Ideologically, he and Hoover were nearly identical; their only major difference of opinion was on prohibition.

        Smith lost because: (1) the economy was booming (which advantaged Republicans), (2) Republicans had a structural advantage between 1896 and 1928, and (3) he was Catholic, running in a time when anti-Catholicism and nativism were extremely strong.

        Still, even with the last handicap, had Smith been the nominee in '32, he'd have probably won.  

        •  Smith would easily have won in '32 (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, sawolf, James Allen, bumiputera

          By then, nobody cared about the demon rum or papists, they just wanted relief. Smith's work all during the '20s showed him to be a believer in activist, compassionate government, a perfect fit for the times. FDR winning really set off Smith's bitterness, setting him on course to become a right-wing nut within four years.

          The Old South's tactical voting was often highly unusual. In 1924, presidential candidate William G. McAdoo collected the endorsement of the KKK even though he was a progressive, simply because he was "dry" and Protestant (unlike Smith). And yet, the South voted for Smith as the candidate in 1928. They had a strict hierarchy of hates going on back then.

        •  I'd bet their tariff positions were different (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, bumiputera

          but I can't remember for sure.  It's been quite a while since I actually took a history course and Smith isn't really important enough in the grand scope of things that I remember it from first learning it.

          That said, any Democrat would have won in 1932.  Even Huey Long.  Hell even Henry Wallace would have won.

          NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

          by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:34:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  They use party ID as a stand-in for ideology (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, sawolf, lordpet8

      What many of the previous posters have said is true, but having seen these Voteview graphs and figures before, there's a major flaw: they use party ID as stand-ins for ideology. So if you stick with the party leadership and you're a Democrat, that's automatically counted as "liberal." Likewise for Republicans.

    •  Also, re: Southern Democrats and liberalism (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, sawolf, lordpet8

      ...To answer your question, no: Southern Democrats were never the "most liberal" members of Congress. Some Southern Democrats did have a populist, anti-Wall Street streak, pushing for greater regulations, breakups of monopolies, protective tariffs, etc. But this wasn't universal - many Southern Democrats were arch laissez-faire types. And all of them were extremely racist.

      Defining "liberal" and "conservative" in the 19th C. is actually quite difficult, since the issues don't line up along contemporary lines. Republicans, for example, were generally more in favor of government interventions into the economy or social policy, and were more protective of Civil Rights. But they were also closer to big business, hostile to immigration, and in the early 20th C. pushed prohibition.

      •  Again, except for TR (0+ / 0-)

        He seems to have been highly pro-labor.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:31:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Up to a point (0+ / 0-)

          ... but not necessarily any moreso than Wilson. All the parties were fairly hostile to labor at the time except the Socialists.

          •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sawolf, sacman701

            Again, from Wikipedia:

            A national emergency was averted in 1902 when Roosevelt found a compromise to the Anthracite coal strike that threatened the heating supplies of most homes. Roosevelt forced an end to the strike when he threatened to use the United States Army to mine the coal and seize the mines. By bringing representatives of both parties together, the president was able to facilitate the negotiations and convince both the miners and the owners to accept the findings of a commission.The labor union and the owners reached an agreement after this episode: the labor union agreed to cease being the official bargainer for the workers and the workers got better pay and fewer hours.
            He wanted a national incorporation law (all corporations had state charters, which varied greatly state by state), a federal income tax and inheritance tax (both targeted on the rich), limits on the use of court injunctions against labor unions during strikes (injunctions were a powerful weapon that mostly helped business), an employee liability law for industrial injuries (preempting state laws), an eight-hour law for federal employees, a postal savings system (to provide competition for local banks), and, finally, campaign reform laws.
            Fairly hostile to labor? That might be an overstatement. It seems like he cared about laws and actions that improved conditions for laborers but was ambivalent about unions.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:10:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        It was not black and white, liberal and conservative.  For example, the conservative Republicans of the Northeast were generally much more educated, and so called "liberal" populist Democrats in the South/Midwest were very anti-intellectual, anti-science.  E.g.: William Jennings Bryan's famous defense of Creationism.

      •  Yes, I can't emphasize enough that the primary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        policy divide of our country for at least the first hundred and fifty years was the tariff.  That's what put plantation aristocrats and poor farmers in the south in the same party, and rich industrialists and their poor factory workers (who were protestant) in the same party.

        We didn't start to see the modern division of left-right truly develop into a party system until the Great Depression.

        NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

        by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:35:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Prohibition was the "liberal" position (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, bumiputera

        of the day, though, at least with a great many politicians.

        27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14).

        by Xenocrypt on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:37:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, sort of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          It wasn't universal, but many progressives embraced prohibition as part of their general program for social reform. Although even at the time it cut across both progressive and conservative lines. Many northern, Protestant conservatives (Republicans mostly) backed prohibition, and many urban progressive Democrats (many of them Catholic) opposed it.

        •  If we're going to be analyzing things on a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          left-right axis though and it seems a logical thing to do, we have to look at prohibition from a modern perspective.  Knowing what we know now, it couldn't be further from a left-wing position since it created organized crime and did nothing to treat what we now regard as a health problem instead of just a character flaw (alcoholism).

          Speaking of prohibition, I think a lot of people here would enjoy watching season 1 and 2 of Boardwalk Empire.  It looks at prohibition and also ties in the machine politics of it as well as the corruption of the Harding administration, women's voting rights, etc.

          NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

          by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:03:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  progressive yes, liberal no (0+ / 0-)

          and an example of why I hate using them interchangeably.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:06:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How were the words different in meaning then? (0+ / 0-)

            I maintain that there is no difference now, except that "liberal" was a bad word, so people who used to call themselves liberals started calling themselves "progressives."

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:10:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  meh (0+ / 0-)

              I'm too tired right now.  Progressives essentially had no problem limiting people's freedom if they thought they knew better, so of course they were pro-prohibition.  Liberals should have always been against restricting people's liberty to produce, sell, purchase, and consume alcohol, whether we're talking about engaging in manufacture, commerce, or personal behavior.

              Fwiw I identify as neither liberal nor progressive.

              ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

              by James Allen on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:27:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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