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View Diary: What is Sparksmania? (190 comments)

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  •  Alabama was never the solidly conservative state (7+ / 0-)

    that, say, South Carolina was/is. Back before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Alabama Democrats were closer in voting to Northern Democrats than were Democrats from anywhere else in the South.

    Oscar Underwood was House and Senate Democratic leader (and a strong opponent of the KKK) for many years. The Bankheads were also very nationally oriented (William Bankhead was Speaker of the House). Although Hugo Black started out as a member of the KKK, on other issues, he was more of a national Democrat (and he did vote for Brown v. Board of Education). J. Lister Hill was quite moderate and was well known for his fighting for the public health. John Sparkman was accepted enough by national Democrats to be House Majority Whip and later, the Dem nominee for Vice President in 1952. Henry Steagall was instrumental in the passage of the Glass-Steagall banking reform act and the Wagner-Steagall housing act. John McDuffie served as the House Minority and Majority Whip. Carl Elliott was considered liberal enough to be appointed to pack the rules committee in the early 1960's. Robert Jones was a TVA liberal.

    George Wallace and the civil rights act of 1964 (5 of the 8 Alabama Democrats in the House lost their seats that year even though they'd all voted against it), and later guys like Roy Moore and social conservatism hurt Democrats in Alabama as well.

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 05:06:50 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes and No (3+ / 0-)

      As far as I've read, Northern Alabama, that is north of Birmingham was heavily blue collar with strong labor unions.  They generally voted liberal on economic issues, and didn't really race bait.  Rural southern Alabama was hardcore Dixiecrat, and were anti-union.  Montgomery and Mobile were also very conservative.   The Black Belt counties had the among the most wingnut legislators in the country.    

      •  In the 1950's Alabama had 9 seats. The 3 Southern (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruinKid, DC Scott, chicago jeff

        most-seats were held by solid Dixiecrats, the 3 northern-most seats were held by pretty good Democrats, and the 3 central seats (which included the black belt) were in-between.

        But in 1960, not one Alabama Democrat had a party unity-score below 54, and other than three Southern Alabama Dems, none had a score below 67 (the two TVA Democrats, Elliott and Jones, had scores above 80).

        In comparison, in 1960, Arkansas, with 6 seats at the time (also a generally more liberal Southern Dem state; that and Bill Clinton is why Democrats still dominate Arkansas) had two Dems above 80 [Wilbur Mills and James Trimble) and one at 70, but 3 below 67 and two below 54.

        Florida had 1 above 80 (Dante Fascell), 3 more above 67, 1 at 65, and 2 below 45 (also had a Republican by then representing St. Petersburg).

        Georgia [10 seats] had 2 above 67, one at 63, and the other 7 had 56 or less.

        Louisiana had one [Hale Boggs] above 67, 2 above 54, and 5 below 54, including 3 at 45 or below.

        Missisippi had 1 above 67, and 5 below 54, including 4 below 42.

        North Carolina had 0 above 67, with 4 above 57 and the rest below.

        South Carolina had 0 above 60.

        Tennessee had 1 above 90, 3 more above 67, 1 at 63, 1 at 56 and 1 at 33.

        Texas had 7 above 80 [including Jack Brooks and Wright Patman; Rayburn didn't vote since he was speaker], 6 more above 67, and all but 2 of the others above 54.

        Virginia had 1 above 80 (representing Appalachia), with only 1 other above 60, and 6 below 50.

        So all of Alabama was generally as or more liberal than most of the rest of the South (certainly the deep South).

        Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

        by DemocraticLuntz on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 05:50:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A simple explanation (4+ / 0-)

        Map of Appalachia

        Notice how Appalachia extends into northern Alabama. If you've ever driven through there, you'll notice how hilly it is, and how few sites there are that look suitable for, say, a cotton plantation. As I understand it, cotton production was concentrated in the black belt, south of the Appalachian region, where today the principal crop seems to be wingnuts.

        I'm terribly fond of this map of Appalachia. It's a blunt reminder of our nations largest forgotten region. Over 20 million people live in Appalachia, almost 10% of the population of the US. Despite the fact that much of Appalachia is located in "southern" states, Appalachia is not really the south, and cannot be understood by pretending that it's part of the south.

        Molly Ivins wanted WHO for President? But WHY?

        by Positronicus on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 06:01:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Appalachia... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Positronicus, dynaco

          That long, forgotten region is currently sending quite a few Ds to Congress - Space and Wilson in OH, Carney, Murtha and Altmire in PA, Byrd, Rockefeller, Rahall and Mollohan in WV, Shuler in NC, Lincoln Davis in TN, Ben Chandler in KY, and Rick Boucher in VA. I am extremely impressed with Commissioner Sparks, and I hope he'll join that list!

    •  Thinking of forming a Roy Moore for Pres (3+ / 0-)

      committee.

      Splitting the vote in the south could be worthwhile.

      •  RoyMoore4Prez will work, shhhhhhhh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DC Scott

        Keep this under wraps.  Heres how it would work.

        1. Find out how many names we need for a petition, and how much the filing fee is.
        1. It would be GREAT if GA, MS and TN were in on the deal, so he would be on those ballots too.
        1. Stay quiet about it, carry the Sparks AND the Moore petitions on the same clipboards.  I could get 500 sigs. in the heavy Ch. of God Arab area.  College student could enjoy the political ploy.
        1. File at the very last moment, petitions and fees, Moore would think (esp. if other states are in on the deal) that he has an adoring base.
        1. Let him fly like a beagle.  Hee hee.  Our own Perot.......

        Let's start thinking "All Star Cabinet", cuz the swamp is full of gators...

        by Theghostofkarlafayetucker on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 07:05:48 PM PDT

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    •  1958 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carl Nyberg, andgarden

      It's worth noting, of course, that George Wallace actually received the NAACP endorsement in his (unsuccessful) 1958 bid for Governor (his opponent, John Patterson, got the KKK endorsement). It was after that defeat that Wallace did his best to make sure that no one could ever run to the right of him again.

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