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Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession
By Chuck Thompson
Simon & Schuster: New York
336 pages
$25 hardback, $11.99 Kindle edition

I wish I knew whether to take this book as an elaborate piece of hyperbolic performance art or a serious argument. It's an entertaining and worthwhile read either way, but it sure would make it easier to assess.

Take the opening:

Hang out in my living room on any national election night and at some point in the evening, usually around 7 p.m. Pacific time, you're almost certain to hear me scream something like: "Why in the hell does the United States—and by extension the entire free world, capitalist dominion, and all of Christendom—allow its government to be held hostage by a coalition of bought-and-paid-for political swamp scum from the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country?"
With a set-up like that, it's tempting to think you're going to be treated to a good, old-fashioned polemic—a barnburner of a thought experiment, a cathartic liberal lambasting meant to simply make put-upon, beat up liberals feel good (or to feel bad, and feel good about feeling bad).

And the book works fine on that level. It revisits many of the topics and situations that drive us nuts here on Daily Kos: how blue states pay, on average, so much more in federal taxes than they receive; that the red states have the highest percentage of folks taking federal dollars out of the system even as they whine and swagger about being "small government" advocates; the casual and clueless, almost daily, exhibitions of racism common in the South; the glorification of traitors known as the worship of the "lost cause" of the Confederacy; and on and on and on.

But there appears to be more to the author's intention than that. On some level, it's clear he wants us to take seriously the notion of parting of the ways between the two incompatible parts of the country. He amasses data, and somewhere in between the fire and the brimstone, plans of serious argument are laid down. It's hard to dismiss as merely preaching to the choir a book that has 25 pages of detailed data in end notes at the back.

Still … that divine, bitter, over-the-top snark? That whole chapter (short, granted, but …  a whole chapter?) devoted to arguing that the SEC college football conference is one of the main arguments for separation between North and South, placed on an equal basis with sections on religion, racism and education? Really?

(Continue reading below the fold)

Then you flip back to taking it for real, when you are presented with a honed, not-made-every-damn-day argument like this:

The Solid South's evangelical rigidity of thought not only confers upon the region an inordinate influence in presidential politics, it enables the South to assume a disproportionate control of Congress through the assumption of congressional committee chairmanships. The seniority system for chairmanships adopted by Congress in 1910 has allowed change-fearing southern voters—who tend more than others to return the same officials to Washington year in and out—to seize control of House and Senate leadership positions. Thus have the most reactionary and entrenched politicians in the country wrested control of the laws and policies of the entire nation.
And the intertwining of the religion and politics makes Southern reform near impossible, author Thompson contends: "It's not that religious freaks won't compromise. It's that they can't. If they could they wouldn't be religious freaks in the first place. And wouldn't get elected to office. Not in the South, anyway."

He appears dead serious too, when accusing the South of creating its own Third World, dead-beat, banana republic economy that drains the more vital states of its workers, wages, protections and industries:

The South is bad for the American economy in the same way that China and Mexico are bad for the American economy. By keeping corporate taxes low, schools underfunded, and workers' rights to organize negligible, it's southern politicians who make it so. By separating itself from this suppurating cancer in our midst, the rest of the country would at least be able to deal with the South as it would any other Third World entity, rather than as the in-house parasite that bleeds the country far more than it contributes to its collective health.
How cozy, yes? We create our own little economic Indonesia in Dixie. Thompson, does, in all seriousness, salute the Southern labor force—for the "grit," as he calls it, that's evident in these folks who work for crap pay, with few safety protections, high injury rates, and little opportunity to get trained, educated or advanced up any ladder.

But this is not a road the rest of the country should aspire to take. And this ethos and the resulting conditions are as responsible for the demise of great American jobs in Detroit as any Third World country is, he contends:

The auto industry in the United States isn't dead. It's thriving. But it's doing so with cut-rate workers in southern states whose leaders have adopted the business tactics of banana republic despots who take jobs from American workers by shamelessly exploiting their own.

It wasn't just Japan and Korea and Mexican laborers that killed Detroit. Essentially operating as its own country with its own economic interests in mind, the "patriotic" South has done plenty to help wreck the Motor City.

Thompson pounds it home, we would be better off without 'em:
Indeed, one could make the argument that in terms of economic practice the South is profoundly un-American for the way in which it betrays our own citizens by prostrating itself to foreign interests and fat-cat traitors who sell out America's dwindling middle class for the short-term gain of a pocketful of euros and yuan; and that despite a few misleading statistics and specious political claims, northern citizens might actually be better off without the ball and chain of the southern economy.

By underscoring the three pillars of southern economic philosophy—abuse labor, fellate corporate interests (especially foreign ones), and fuck the environment—I intend to make that every argument.

Naturally, there will be offended liberal and moderate Southerners who will object strenuously to Thompson's broad brush approach to writing off the region—or, more accurately, showing it (politely, of course) the door. There are, he admits, obviously individuals who are exceptions, who are not backwards-looking, science-bashing, good ol' boy racists. But, he writes, that doesn't let them off the hook: "Are all Southerners racist? Or ignorant? Or backward-looking? Or anti-progress? Of course not. But enough of them are, and their influence is so strong, that they are a threat to the rest of America's well-being."

The gist of the argument:

What the majority of southerners are, and always have been … is willing to allow the most strident, mouth-breathing "patriotic" firebrands among them to remain in control of their society's most powerful and influential positions. This is true whether they operate in the realms of religion, politics, business, education, or just basic day-to-day civic operations, like the hamlet nabobs in Laurens, South Carolina, who, knowing it's wrong, still grant a business license to a guy who sells Klan shit from a shop in front of their picturesque little courthouse....

Maybe the fanatics do represent a minority, say one in three southerners—that's a fair guess, in my estimation. That's still an extremely potent one-in-three that the rest of the South enables—or succumbs to—or aligns with—or votes for—year after year, decade after decade, century after century. Theirs are the voices that perpetuate the agenda because theirs are the voices that ring with the most sincerity, that are most bereft of apology, that in their bellicosity resonate as the most authentically "southern." If there's one thing about the South that hasn't ever changed it's the hypnotic influence of the angry crusader.

Thompson, himself, is one heck of an angry crusader. In the final section of the book, though, he sits down with a group of Southern professors and their students, and poses the question: How would the South feel about secession, if a war didn't have to be fought over it? Strangely, they appear against it (despite acknowledging the past 150 years of the region's devotion to lost causedom and "the North are heathens and thugs and sinners and destroyers of worlds"). For the most part, the reaction is, without a tremendous amount of specifics, "Boy, would the North ever be sorry"—mostly on economic grounds, since economic growth is strong in the region (unmentioned are the shitty wages and crap jobs driving it).

In fact, the region's economic Third Worldish growth looks like it will be even worse in the future. Thompson points out what the drastic desertion of any semblance of financial commitment to public education in the South means, both to those states and other parts of the country that are moving toward emulating it.

The South's economic disregard for public education is incongruous with the rest of the country's determination to reestablish American schools as a standard-bearer for the world. The southern "approach" to education is nearly as dismal now as it ever was. The rest of us can no longer afford to drag the South's truant ass kicking and screaming into the world of twenty-first century knowledge and discovery….
More than anything else in the book, Thompson's most sobering point is what the future holds if the South's educational ethos continues to be taken national: the awful cross-fertilization between racism and crazy right-wing theology merge to suck the public education population into white-only charter and religious schools, leaving behind a gutted system of poverty-stricken minority kids. Want this for your national future, America? Continue to drag the albatross of the South into the heart of your political system.

And that alarming thought makes me ultimately decide to take Better Off Without 'Em as a serious thought experiment—and worth a read—no matter how many folks it's determined to piss off.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers and Three Star Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A quibble with the opening quote: (64+ / 0-)

    ================
    morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country?"
    ================

    The north has its share of morbidly obese, and socially stunted, i.e. bullies, people (see Chris Christie).

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:06:39 AM PDT

    •  But they aren't allowed to run the system. (38+ / 0-)

      Assholes like Cristie are a small minority of northern politicians.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:15:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, the North has LESS of a share of this (44+ / 0-)

      than the South. Less of a divorce rate, The North returns more in state monies than the South. The North has greater life span, less heart attacks, more people graduate high school, if not college. The North is more mixed in it's population of different minorites. And these are just a few things.

      •  This may boil down to a measure (34+ / 0-)

        of constituencies in rural vs. urban areas rather than a North/South dichotomy.  When voting maps are publicized for a Northern state, say Ohio, it's clear that more rural districts tend to vote Republican (conservative) and urban areas to vote Democratic (progressive).  Ohio's map always looks like a vast sea of red with two or three areas representing the urban areas colored blue.  The entire 2008 election map of the South (by county) looks the same  - urban centers are blue, rural areas are red.

        The difference in 2008 was that in Ohio, the numbers of "blue" voters in urban areas outnumbered the "red" voters, even though the red voters controlled more geographic territory.  In the South, Georgia, for instance, there were more voters in the rural areas and fewer voters in the cities.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:02:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point. It's no accident Austin is the most (11+ / 0-)

          Liberal part of texas.  Many southern states are most liberal in their urban areas...  Prolly most diverse too.

          A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

          by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:18:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fine! Let The South's Cities Secede, Then (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wilderness voice, lirtydies

            I'd be happy to see the south (having seceded) break into city states or micro-countries. I'd be happy to see them go and quit poisoning the well.

            Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

            by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:31:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Southern blue cities would be like West Berlin (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              adrianrf, lirtydies

              Heavily fortified (to keep the rednecks out as well as to keep the "libruls" in) and totally dependent on long-distance trade with the liberal heartlands in the Northeast and the West Coast for even ordinary things like food and building materials.

              In a real secession/dissolution situation, I would question the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of protecting and sustaining blue cities in red states.  Better to abandon them and relocate their populations to the core regions: more space, more to do, etc.

              To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

              by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:33:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This WOULD be worse for the Confederacy (2+ / 0-)

                I think Thompson's book was written from the POV of being good for those outside the south but the fallout might be horrific inside.

                Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

                by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:49:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Southerners are proud; they won't care (6+ / 0-)

                  We're dealing with people who really won't care how badly life sucks for them so long as it sucks on their terms.

                  Completely disconnecting the South from its own urban cores and their liberalizing culture as well as from the rest of the country would be seen as an even more lopsided victory for the South.  As they spiral back to outright pre-industrial times, they'll see it as a renaissance: yeoman farmers and rugged hill folk, true Southern culture, old time religion, freedom and self-reliance and all those excuses for being trapped in poverty and backwardness.

                  That's what people don't get.  On some level we see separation as some kind of threat to Southerners: something to be feared enough to get them to shape up. The problem is that they don't see it that way.  Separation would have them dancing in their dirt roads: celebrating the end of what they perceive as an occupation and their vindication in their own minds.

                  Besides, I'm far more worried about life inside those fortified cities.  I don't see what they would offer either their own people or the rest of the liberal territories that would justify living under seige and at great expense to the rest of society.

                  To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

                  by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:09:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  if i'm not mistaken, Obama won Dallas, (12+ / 0-)

            Harris, Bexar, and Travis counties - Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin.

            I agree that this is more of a rural vs. urban.  The cities with their demon spawn freedom haters, communists, and people-with-a-skin-color-that-is-not-like-me-or-my-relatives.

            And another part of this that nauseates me is that you KNOW the evangelicals and "family values" voters are just getting played and they just refuse to see that.  Who was that a few years ago they caught in a memo or some communication essentially ridiculing their base as being a pack of nincompoops?  

            I've got news for you. The wealth has already been redistributed.

            by tinfoilhat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:51:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama won all the large urban areas (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CuriousBoston, lirtydies, citizenx

              in Texas except Fort Worth - Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, El Paso.  He also won every county but one that borders Mexico, and that influence spread sometimes three counties deep in from the border, especially in the Rio Grande Valley.

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:06:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I live in Austin (15+ / 0-)

            it has not only a large share of folks not born in Texas, but also a an atmosphere of acceptance. Word on the street says that Samsung opened a plant here because it was one of the few places in the South where Korean managers would be accepted by the populace. (Apparently the Samsung chiefs talked extensively with local Korean business owners before making their decision.)

            Austin also happens to have the highest percentage of college-educated folks in Texas. Year after year, about 10% of U.T. graduates opt to stay in Austin and do lower-level jobs rather than return to their hometowns. Every time I take a taxi to the airport, I chat with the driver. Sometimes it's a recent immigrant, fleeing hostilities in the Middle East (for example), and sometimes it's a graduate from U.T. who doesn't want to go back to Beaumont or Nacogdoches (for example).

            Austin is also just south of Williamson County, reportedly one of the most conservative counties in Texas--populated mostly by folks who work in Austin but don't want to be polluted by the Austin liberals.

            That combination of education and openness to the wider world is what's missing in the South at large. If you believe in the Lost Cause, you can't let your mind be polluted with outside information.

            •  I lived in Austin back in the late '60s (6+ / 0-)

              and early '70s.  The guy who pumped my gas at the filling station had a master's degree in anthropology, but refused to leave Austin, even though there were no jobs in Austin that utilized an advanced anthropology degree.  My pot dealer was working on a master's in international banking.  The woman who cut my hair had a degree in biology.  The city was an interesting, enlightening cauldron of knowledge and learning, and people didn't want to leave for "better opportunities."  That's where the city slogan came from: "Keep Austin Weird."

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:16:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Agree. Much of modern politics is really "country (15+ / 0-)

          mouse vs city mouse."  Probably as much as the haves vs the have-nots.

          This explains a lot of the tendency for "them" to vote against their own interests, imo.

          My sibs & I have a farm in rural Tennessee, and -- though we love it as our parents' retirement home, with tons of happy memories -- none of us could live there.  If we were going to be expats we'd choose different "other countries."

        •  Good post... (13+ / 0-)

          ...because Southern cities are indeed diverse.  When it comes to racial diversity, for example, Dallas is a far more diverse city than say, Seattle or Boston.

          And having grown up in Washington state and moved to Texas as an adult, I didn't see a whole lot of difference in attitudes between the "rednecks" in either state.  Texas just has a heckuva lot more of them than Washington does.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:54:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Houston is the second-most diverse city (0+ / 0-)

            in the country.

            Sorry, no citation or link, just the assertion, which I think census data bears out.

            Great, more "Austin is the only island of progresives in the entire state" BS.  Really?  Out of 26 + million people?

            Meet Lupe Valdez, going on her third term as Dallas County Sheriff:

            http://www.dallassheriffsoffice.com/

            First woman elected county sheriff in Texas.  Did I mention she's gay?

            And Craig Watkins, Dallas County District Attorney:

            http://dallasda.co/...

            Watkins' office has helped overturn 25 bogus convictions, saving many poor wretches from wrongful death at the hands of the State of Texas.  He is a leader in the country and internationally in helping see justice done, rather than "putting bad guys behind bars", which as several have pointed out, is not the right metric of a DA's success or achievement in office.

            Are we f-in' progressive enough yet for rthe rest of you?  What's the damn test for this?

            Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

            by tom 47 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:06:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No it is not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a gilas girl

              Houston is the 8th most diverse, not the second.  Here's the study, from Brown University.

              The top 10 most and least diverse cities are on page 13.  It's a graphic in a PDF, so I'm not going to take the trouble to upload the table for a reply in an old thread.  California dominates.  Most diverse region is Vallejo-Fairfield, which is a far-flung exurb to the northeast of the Bay Area, about 40 miles away from San Francisco.  San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont is right behind at #2, followed by Stockton at #3 (Central Valley, south of Sacramento).  Then the Washington DC and NYC metros, and then San Jose metro (the Bay Area is a 9 county region, and those 2 metros make up most of its population).  

              Then Las Vegas, and finally Houston at #8.  

              For least diverse, the "winner" is Laredo, Texas.  Next are a West Virginia/Ohio region with 3 cities I've never heard of, then Altoona, Pennsyvania (which I have). Then a Tennessee/Virginia region, then Bangor, Maine and Wheeling, WV.  Next, Glen Falls, NY, and yet another Appalachian WV/OH/KY region.

              Least diverse doesn't necessarily mean majority white, just means dominated strongly by one race.  I've seen studies of diversity in California and some of the Central Valley towns have low diversity and are majority Hispanic origin.

              Texas has 3 on the top 25 most diverse, but also has 2 on the top 25 least diverse cities/regions (the other Texas area is McAllen).  Appalachia and some Midwest dominate the least diverse list.  Surprise liberal stronghold: Burlington, VT.  Maine shows up a couple more times, too.

              In capitalist America, bank robs you!

              by madhaus on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:56:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily true... (4+ / 0-)

        In fact, this is just wrong:

        The North is more mixed in it's population of different minorites.
        So, in other words, you're claiming that states like Washington (where I grew up), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont have more diverse populations than states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia.

        Yeah, right.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:56:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on your definition of diversity (4+ / 0-)

          My sister lives in (very) small-town Arkansas, and in her neck of the woods people largely come in just two flavors.  My home town, on the other hand, has Anglos, Latinos, African-Americans, about 15 or 20 varieties of Asian-Pacific Islanders, etc.  Last time I went to visit my sister, it took me two days to realize that what seemed "off" about the area was the complete absence of Latinos, Japanese, Filipinos, etc., in the stores.

    •  I'm guessing the distinction is one of (14+ / 0-)

      proportion, though without sources of supporting data.

      However, if you take the list of adjectives as a series of connected, limiting qualifiers-- the commas as "AND" rather than "OR" connectors--as I believe is more syntactically correct and what was intended, then there's really no comparison: the South wins hands down on people who are:

      morbidly obese AND racist AND indigent AND xenophobic AND socially stunted AND generally ass-backwards

      I, for one, would not require a study to tell me this.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:28:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Birth of a notion (7+ / 0-)
        I, for one, would not require a study to tell me this.
        Why wait for facts? Let's get our hate on!

        Jack Welch, is this you?

        •  The studies are out there... (8+ / 0-)

          It is true for the same reason red states get more federal dollars.  

          Poor states eat less healthily because bad food is cheaper.

          Poor states have more ignorance because they spend less on education.

          Etc.

          Google north vs. south obesity.  The CDC has studies demonstrating that morbid obesity is more prevalent in the south.

          A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

          by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:48:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you can't believe (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TerryDarc, ozsea1, adrianrf

          morbidly obese AND racist AND indigent AND xenophobic AND socially stunted AND generally ass-backwards

          is more predominant in the South, then no doubt you're wondering if the sky is really blue.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:21:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You Should Come to California (7+ / 0-)

            I'm happy to show you places here that prove that not only is the sky blue, but that these characteristics are endemic to a lot of this state (and not the tiny parts that are "blue" politically).

            •  It's blue AND cloudless most of the time in UT! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Denise Oliver Velez, blueoasis

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:43:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, you take the combined population of the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JTinDC

              South and compare that with ANY other combination of states that have the same overall population and you will not find the same density of people who are all of these things at once:

              morbidly obese AND racist AND indigent AND xenophobic AND socially stunted AND generally ass-backwards

              Even in the South, a minority of people fit all of these things at once.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:31:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, Then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Quicklund
                Even in the South, a minority of people fit all of these things at once.
                This assertion merely compels the question:  Given this truth, what the hell is all the wholesale bashing of the South about, other than ignorant folks just being haters?
            •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

              California, despite a large rural population (compared to other liberal states, certainly) and a surprisingly small per capita spending on public health anti-obesity measures, has stayed between 40th and 45th in percentage of obese adults. California is doing surprisingly well, in other words.

              And as for 'tiny parts' that are blue... I assume you're counting cows. (Counting anything by land area is kind of silly. It's like saying 'a shockingly large percentage of the US is rural!' It's not shocking.)

          •  Sympathy for the Bigot (6+ / 0-)

            I have heard you crowing from the mountaintop many times before, in many forms. And in every guise you seek to justify your bigotry through pseudo-scientific nonsense.

            Please allow me to introduce myself
            I'm a man of wealth and taste
            I've been around for a long, long year
            Stole many a mans soul and faith
            And I was round when jesus christ
            Had his moment of doubt and pain
            Made damn sure that pilate
            Washed his hands and sealed his fate
            Pleased to meet you
            Hope you guess my name
            But what's puzzling you
            Is the nature of my game
            I stuck around st. petersburg
            When I saw it was a time for a change
            Killed the czar and his ministers
            Anastasia screamed in vain
            I rode a tank
            Held a generals rank
            When the blitzkrieg raged
            And the bodies stank
            •  Oh, so now I'm the devil? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TerryDarc

              HA!

              You're funny.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:20:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, the bigot (3+ / 0-)

                Says so right there in the comment title.

                Like the devil, bigots wear many guises.

                •  Yup. (0+ / 0-)

                  Like I said.

                  You're funny.

                  Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

                  by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:14:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I guess that would go for (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  adrianrf, blueoasis, HipHopAnonymous

                  conservatism-enabling too, then.

                  If we're not finding a solution defeating conservatives, which this conversation is about (it's not about you), to a degree and a timescale that matters relative to the problems that face us, then we are simply enabling them).

                  The difference in agreement stems, to some degree, in our relative sense of how "fierce" the "urgency of now" is. I believe it is ultimately a lethal force. I also believe what we do specifically in the next 5, 10 and 15 years (what happens in each increment matters incredibly) will have enormous impact on life for the remainder of the century. I also believe that current electoral politics and government will not make a significant impact one way or the other on this fact, given that the solutions being pursued are absurdly out of scale to the problem.

                  THIS and THIS ALONE is why I entertain radical notions such as allowing a substantive portion of the South to secede. Simply to give us a chance.

                  If you have a better, radical idea, I am all ears.

                  Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

                  by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:23:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  So obese people are racist, indigent, (0+ / 0-)

            xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards? Discriminate much?  Stereotype much? If you want to be a liberal/progressive, you need to show a little respect for human dignity.

        •  It occurs to me that you don't understand (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CuriousBoston, summerseve

          Boolean logic...

          morbidly obese AND racist AND indigent AND xenophobic AND socially stunted AND generally ass-backwards

          This means a person who has all these things at once. This is a minority of people even in the South. It is a smaller minority of every one else.

          I thought I explained that. If you think there is some other combination of states with the same overall population and a higher density of individuals who are all these things, I'd like to hear of them...

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:40:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  good news to you (3+ / 0-)

        Y'all are catching up quickly!

        The universe expands and contracts like a great heart. Robinson Jeffers

        by gazingoffsouthward on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:52:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, it's a cancer and it is spreading, not (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calfacon, ozsea1, blueoasis

          retreating. And frankly, electoral politics and the current system of government will not stop it from preventing us from dealing with Climate Change and its impact on the economy, public health and endless, escalating military intervention for resource and refugee control.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:24:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I was going to say..."the South" is not a (13+ / 0-)

      geographical distinction anymore. You have Michelle Bachmann..etc. and you also have small state Sens. like Kent Conrad doing the bidding of Wall Street. They, as always, manipulate the more ignorant part of the country to their benefit.
      The real problem is still on Wall Street and in Big Media.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:38:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  real problem (8+ / 0-)

        The real problem is that few clergy seem to preach brotherly love and compassion.  God does NOT only help His own--nor does he only help those that help themselves.
        I'm old enough to remember the KKK meetings held in church buildings-- fix the clerics and you fix the attitudes.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:04:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And, in my adopted state of Colorado... (6+ / 0-)

        in some of the rural areas near where I live, if there was not a snow-topped mountain in the background, I would swear I was in Moncks Corner, SC....same kind of redneck vibe; albeit the rednecks out here in Colorado are usually in better shape than the South Carolina variety..

         

      •  Same goes for Central PA (6+ / 0-)

        which was, last time I looked, north of the Mason Dixon. You might not know this by the amount of Stars and Bars on the mailboxes though, and that was where I was introduced to Truck Flap Girl, also pictured on Thompson's cover.
        The difference is in predominantly urbanised versus predominantly rural and suburban states. Suburban populations are often one generation removed from the country and small towns, and are prey for any huckster with a megachurch, simply because they miss community.

        "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

        by northsylvania on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:51:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In truth, there are proto-human (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1, David54

        throwbacks all over the place. Haters and the nutty religions they invent for the purpose of deifying their hatred. City vs. country divide is fairly uniform everywhere too, as are the economic inequalities that keep entire swaths of the population imprisoned in hopeless poverty forever.

        Now, it's true that just about everybody north and south, east and west, believes that democracy is a terrible way to choose leaders. It's just that everybody of particular political philosophies believes their particular political philosophy is the only one that counts.

        So you could end up divvying the country along any lines you like - a Democratic north and Republican south, a rich north and a poverty-stricken south. A non-religious north and an evangelical holy-roller south. Any way you slice it, the result is a lot less workable than the unworkable system we've got now. I think we should just go ahead and give Georgia and South Carolina to the Holy Haters and have done with it.

        •  The educated and progressive in GA and SC would (4+ / 0-)

          not like that. Don't abandon anyone, is my theory.
          Even the be-nighted.
          Eventually their children will be open to new ideas, if they aren't .

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:53:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, neither would I like it (5+ / 0-)

            if this diary's division were made real. I own property in the southern Appalachian region of North Carolina. Which should not fool you with that "North" designation - we're in the South. I would expect that if such division were to happen, I would be amply compensated for everything we have to lose here in order to move elsewhere.

            And if I had to move elsewhere, I'd miss my neighbors a lot. We're an eclectic bunch, but all very nice people in a pinch, and we actually do rely on each other if very bad things happen. Fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes - on a one-to-one level I'd trust them with my family's lives. And some of them honestly believe King James wrote the Bible...

            I think sometimes people let politics get in the way of their basic humanity. And I think that's sad, on either or any 'side'.

        •  You see, I think differently than a lot of people (3+ / 0-)

          here. I see progressives and the educated having about a 3 or 4 generation battle on their hands.
          I think the religious right thinks along the same lines. They've been very persistent over a long period of time and it's paid off for them.
          I don't think we can win if we don't out-persevere them and out-focus them.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:57:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perseverance is a quality (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cassandracarolina, CuriousBoston

            earned from having lived for awhile, I think. And that's what perseverance is all about, isn't it? Some of the people we know, live near, and like on many meaningful levels are... well, they're racist or homophobic or whatever, some belief that's entirely foreign to us and our kids and our grandkids (who are now old enough to vote). Simply by interacting with them on a semi-regular basis and thereby 'forcing' them to deal with "people like us", we begin to change things. Our kids go to school with their kids. We all get involved in local projects. We get to know each other, and once you know each other it's not so easy to hate.

            That indeed is a long term project, with a lot of people about whom you say "bless their heart." But the generations turn, and the younger ones come up with different experience and different views of life on Planet Earth. It's okay if we disagree on some things. So long as none of us is imposing our beliefs on others. Generations turn, so does History.

    •  please stop the anti-fat hate (27+ / 0-)

      I probably classify as morbidly obese.

      I also breather through the mouth quite often, owed to certain physical necesseties.

      I really fail to understand how this relates to political philosopies, and, worse yet, bigotry an general.

      •  Correlations (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cris0000

        Studies have shown a correlation between higher education levels and lower rates of obesity.  There are always exceptions, of course, but I am not sure you can classify mentioning this relationship as necessarily "hate."

        •  It is Hate (29+ / 0-)

          It's taking dislike of an aesthetic we've been trained here in the western world to prefer and pretending that it is meaningful.  It is using a superficial characteristic to make assumptions across the board about people's intellect.  

          I'm at least as well educated as everyone else, probably more so in terms of both formal education and self-education.  I am also obese.  Every fat person I know here in California falls into this category.

          I know some pretty ignorant, racist and just downright fugly skinny ass people.  More of those than I know who are fat, ignorant, racist and just downright fugly.  But you don't see me pretending that there is a correlation between any of that and their intellect.  

          There is no legitimate rationale to do it, yet frankly when it comes to ignorant behavior, when it comes to hateful behavior liberals and progressives have a dead lock on being hateful when it comes to the issue of an individual's weight.  This hatefulness is surpassed only by one thing at places like Daily Kos:  the hatefulness demonstrated pontificating without restraint against the concept of religion.

        •  #Malarkey (18+ / 0-)

          If there is a correlation between lower obesity rates and higher education, it's not indicative of a causation. I'm sure you're familiar with that concept.

          Obesity is a symptom of poor nutrition (not too much food, but poor nutrition), high stress (and the insomnia that may accompany it), other health issues (limited ability to exercise or out of whack hormones are just a few), among a myriad of others. People with higher educations tend to make better wages and tend to work reasonable hours. It wouldn't be unreasonable to say that higher educated people may have lower stress, may get more sleep, may have access to meals besides the dollar burger at the drive-thru, may have better access to physicians and necessary healthcare and maintenance medication, and even have the disposable time and income to make nothing but healthy decisions regarding the purchase and preparation of food, etc.

          I don't know if it's "hate" but it sure is indicative of shallow-thinking and ignorance--the very thing that you're implying obese people are regularly guilty of.

          "There's an iPad 3 and a Mitt Romney 4 now. They've worked the bugs out. He's not killing hobos at night anymore." Jack Donaghey "If I were a hobo, I'd be damned nervous right now." sagesource

          by muzzleofbees on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:05:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            adrianrf, DocGonzo

            Isn't this the point of the OP?  That educational systems in the South are failing and worker protections are minimal leading to the exact things you mention......lower wages, fewer jobs with regular hours, access to high quality foods, etc.?   I mean, you made the same point!  Whenever you talk about groups, it's not about individuals, it is about rates and the South has the highest rates of obesity.  It's tied in to all of the other factors that make the South what it is.  Just because I live in the south doesn't mean I fit the generalizations being made....but I won't deny the truth behind some of those generalizations.

            This isn't about aesthetics, Shannika, or calling ANYONE "fugly."  Obesity is a health problem in this country and we're fools to try to deny that.  I just saw a co-worker go out on disability after losing 6 toes over the course of 2 years to diabetes.   Amputations, people.  This isn't about whether someone else likes how you look.  It was awful to see my co-worker go through that.....and, of course, it was devastating for her.

        •  what you're saying is true (9+ / 0-)

          But it's also true that there are correlations between various things and various races ... and we wouldn't feel comfortable with that here on a liberal website.

          I think the problem people have with it is that it's a prejudice. To automatically assume that an overweight person isn't intelligent is a terrible prejudice.

          (/not overweight but know quite a few very smart people who are)

      •  I used to live in Tennessee (8+ / 0-)

        And a local there told us one spring, "Y'all think we're mouth-breathers 'cause were stupid or something.  The truth is, we all have allergies.  Y'all stick around long enough, you'll have 'em, too.  There's so much pollen in the air in the spring and summer you can't help but end up with stuffed-up sinuses even if you don't get allergies."

        She was right.  I'd grown up in Florida and lived in Louisiana, Wisconsin and Atlanta.  It was NOTHING to the amount of gorgeous flowers, and ungorgeous pollen thrown into the air, from April through June in Nashville.

        "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do." — Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky)

        by stormicats on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:49:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  HR Abuse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        I asked how this person comes to be in the condition where they "probably classify as morbidly obese" (though I used a single word instead). The question got HR'd. Because it's intolerable to discuss the causes of obesity that are under people's control, though they don't control them.

        Nobody's personal condition is ever their fault. It's always somebody else's fault. Can't talk about their role in creating their own condition.

        Which prevents them from changing.

        Nice work, "progressive" bloggers!

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:06:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't HR your comment, but I thought it was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CuriousBoston

          overly personal and intrusive. The commenter was simply stating that obese does not equal stupid and gave himself as an example. People have all sorts of less than great habits and we don't feel at ease intruding. People rarely ask people who are too skinny to account for their behaviors.

          •  Personal and Intrusive (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Don midwest

            The commenter insisted we not discuss how the higher frequency of morbid obesity in the South is related to the other problems Southerners have. They insisted that we not discuss it, as if obesity cannot be a personal failing like a marriage that ends in divorce can be. Divorce is  also personal; asking about it is "intrusive"; marrying people who are intolerable to live with is a "less than great habit".

            People rarely ask people who are too skinny to account for it, but also rare is asking people who are too fat to account for it. Because of the insistence on denial we saw in that subthread.

            Lots of overweight conditions are because the person is making lazy, unhealthy choices in favor of immediate gratification or transference of some other self destructive behavior. I'm overweight, and it's my (passive) choice. It's because I eat too much for the amount I exercise. Many others are like me. I saw lots of people in the South like me when I lived there, but far worse, compounded by an unhealthy quality of diet, especially focused on fried and processed foods.

            The bad behaviors of the South we're talking about in this whole discussion are "less than great habits". Incest is one of them, and one less voluntary than is overeating. So are the rest.

            Liberals have taboos too. These taboos make it impossible to discuss bad choices, and help people stop making them.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:34:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  thank you. (0+ / 0-)

        This is pretty close to what I came here to reply, and I'm glad someone beat me to it.

    •  yes, it does, (15+ / 0-)

      and they all look like southern politicians. Just letting them secede is a notion that I have entertained from time to time myself, but it was Thompson who wrote the book. Still, I have to think I agree with him before I have ever read it.

      I think the biggest difference between north and south is still slavery. Slavery itself my be over, but the attitude towards labor that made it allowable in the south stills manifests itself in the southern attitude towards labor. And yes, there were always northerners who were either tolerant or supportive of southern slavery, and there are still northerners who ae supportive of southern labor practices.

      I'll need to read the book, but one area Thompson should have covered is the people like myself residing in the south now, who would suddenly have to consider themselves expats should the south secede, many (or most) of whom would find a way to return north.  

    •  Let's see how changing demographics impact Texas (16+ / 0-)

      Without Texas the South loses a lot of its electoral importance, and the burgeoning Latino population in Texas is pushing the State towards a tipping point.

      I really don't know how the GOP is going to respond once Texas becomes reliably Democratic. It is impossible to believe that the racist one third of the electorate that the author describes will still have power once the demographic tipping point has been reached. Gerrymandering will help them in Congress a little bit - but eventually even their gerrymandering is going to be wiped away by Democratic governors elected with overwhelming Hispanic support.

      And the thing is, that without the racism that infects their party, the GOP would expect to be doing better with Hispanics since they are overwhelmingly Catholic. But the racism of the GOP base trumps everything else when it comes to why Hispanic support is overwhelmingly Democratic.

      So let's wait and see how the Demographic shift plays out before we split the nation asunder.

    •  I know some - many - here will take offense to (32+ / 0-)

      this.

      "Why in the hell does the United States—and by extension the entire free world, capitalist dominion, and all of Christendom—allow its government to be held hostage by a coalition of bought-and-paid-for political swamp scum from the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country?"
      Of course, here at Daily Kos some are offended by a ripple in the breeze. A drop of a hat.

      But NOT me.

      No siree, Bob.

      It's like the guy read my mind. I know exactly who he's complianing about because I share the perspective that this sub-culture is ruining america with its backwardness, its love of ignorance and hatred of education and science, its alcohol-soaked stupidity, and the smell of chewing tobacco.

      The only relatively unfortunate thing about it is that is where I live.

      I live in Atlanta, which, culturally, is very very much like living in West Berlin in the mid-to-late 20th Century: West Berlin was free, westernized, and progressive yet totally and completely surrounded by Communist East Germany and all its utter fail.

      I am free to be me in Atlanta and I am reasonably safe, but I am never far from having to interact with

      bought-and-paid-for political swamp scum from the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country
      I see them most any day I choose to leave the solace of my home.

      I moved here because the weather is nice, its quite inexpensive compared to The West, California, Chicago or other big cities where I would be needlessly cold. And I am an afternoon's drive from the Gulf.

      But, buddy, the peoples is bakkard as all git out.

      I work and come home and stay away from the indigenous culture.

      But yeah - this sub-demographic has an unduly negative impact on America, quite needlessly.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:12:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh (6+ / 0-)

        I'm lucky to be a progressive that likes the cold weather, so I can stay encamped in Boston (still close to the water) and not have to worry about it.

        Seriously. The number one reason I'd never live south of the Mason-Dixon is the weather, not the politics. I start sweating to death at 65F :)

        "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

        by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:27:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hated being cold, living in northern Indiana (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mdmslle, Odysseus

          I like snow, but only for 2 days or so.

          I have acclimated to the weather here, avoid air conditioning and I work out in it. I've run my 45 minutes in 103 F and in 22F.

          It IS unbearably humid here in the summer - that is an issue but it beats snow.

          If I want snow, I'll go on vacation.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:30:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Note: I'll go hike and campo in the cold (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, Van Buren, ozsea1, adrianrf

            in the blink of an eye.

            Totally set up for it.

            I love to camp in the winter: no bugs, no leaves (great views) no weak, whiny, wimpy people that you run into the other 3 seasons.

            Cold weather sorts the wheat from the chaffe.

            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:32:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And I (0+ / 0-)

            go biking when it's 20 (and even in light snow, as long as the snow doesn't impede the wheels--if I were a runner I'd run in a blizzard) but the bike gets locked up for most of August :D

            "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

            by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:49:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, don't you get (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            Lake-effect snow in No IN?

            Boston actually is not as snowy as most people think it is. Depends on where the gulf stream is, but a lot of systems that dump lots of snow on Upstate NY and PA turn to rain by the time they get to the New England coast.

            We get most of our snow from Northeaster's--that's when the system stalls in the Gulf of Maine and starts spinning, blowing the precipitation onto the back (colder) end of the front. And sometimes they get stuck and dump 30 inches before they finally move :) but that's rare.

            Boston averages 45 in of snowfall per year, which is miniscule compared to lake-effect places like Buffalo and Cleveland :)

            Now, if you go up to NH, snowfall amounts start going up rapidly; same if you head west. But the coastline of MA isn't all that snowy.

            "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

            by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:00:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you. I recently moved south of that (0+ / 0-)

          line, not far south, but south nonetheless, and I preferred by far the weather in New York.

      •  Didn't their ancestors attempt to leave? (0+ / 0-)

        Thompsons question is easy to answer. Union troops sorta settled this question of independence.

        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

        by Salo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:37:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I will go one better and say that California (5+ / 0-)

        would be better offals an independent nation. We have it all here, including a miniature version of the south in our central valleys. Someone told me that CA grows more cotton than any other state. Not sure if this is true but it should be. CA would instantly become the 8th largest economy in the world. I think we would offer membership of our new nation to OR and WA too. But, then, would we face a secession movement from SoCal?

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:51:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not from LA. (0+ / 0-)

          Orange Co and Riverside, maybe. San Diego's become an ever paler shade of pink, so...

          "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

          by ogre on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  SoCal is red, only pockets are blue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, cassandracarolina

            California is big enough and diverse enough to re-create all of the country's divides and associated problems in miniature.

            You have big cities full of fairly educated, fairly liberal, and fairly middle class people who in a very good year can carry the state as a whole in terms of votes, who supply most of the tax dollars, and who get bitched at for being bloodsucking tyrants by a vast hinterland of what are basically rednecks presiding over a low-wage, low-skill, and mostly agricultural economy that's totally dependent on the urban centers for everything from basic infrastructure to the consumer base, all of whom are held hostage by a dysfunctional government dominated by the agents and fellow travelers of a tiny minority of extremely wealthy people who own most of the state's economy (and an even more disproportionate share of the hinterland's economy) and are very interested in turning the state as a whole into some backward banana republic.

            Breaking off California as a whole would solve nothing for those of us who live here.  The state has to be separated east-west: the big cities and the coastal strip versus the Central Valley and the east.

            To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

            by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:51:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Best if California were to break off, and break up (0+ / 0-)

              My thinking is that California is too big and too diverse to be governed effectively.   If we broke it all up into Northern California from Arcata over to Nevada,
              Wine Country the Coastal area from Marin to Arcata,
              Central Valley a large oval from Redding south past Bakersfield,
              Sierra foothills to Nevada as Gold Country,
              The Southern Desert to the far South East,
              the Southern Coast from Santa Barbara to the Mexican boarder, and
              the Central Coast from San Francisco South to just north of Santa Barbara.  

              The Southern Coast and Desert could optionally join the Confederacy or Mexico.  Extreme Northern California could join Southern Oregon in the state that almost happened in 1940, Jeffersonia.

              This would give us about 10 extra votes in the Senate if we stayed with the Union, which would be a good thing.   We could vote to move Washington DC to someplace more centrally located, like Chicago.  

            •  I live there. (0+ / 0-)

              And have on and off, for a total of almost 40 years.  I know LA, and parts south.

              The real political divide--at this point in time--is more west/east (coastal and non-) than it is north/south. That's not perfect, but it's more accurate than a blue north and red south.

              "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

              by ogre on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:33:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  see Ecotopia / Cascadia -the Revolution lives! /nt (4+ / 0-)

          yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

          by annieli on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:34:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Years ago, I read an editorial in the New York (0+ / 0-)

          Times that predicted that the U.S. would eventually break up into about four or five different regional groups. I didn't like the idea much at the time, but one of those groups was the West Coast. I don't think it would be possible to eject the southern states without a further break-up happening.

      •  Athens as well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, blueoasis

        Atlanta and all along the 316 corridor to us can become the Republic of Gwinnett, and just continue doing our own thing.

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:14:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of market-driven capitalism (5+ / 0-)

        Don't any of these free marketers wonder why blue-leaning urban areas like New York, San Francisco and Boston are so consistently expensive to buy property in - even with their higher tax rates (and in the case of the Northeast, less than ideal winter climates) - while red-leaning rural areas are so much more affordable? What does the market say about that?

        •  They're dense cities as well, as I continually (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          firenze, adrianrf

          point out whenever anyone brings up the subject of regional planning. People will pay a lot to live in a dense city with good mass transportation. As soon as I get my career straightened out, I'm going to move to one. I'd stay here in Baltimore if I find a way to live without a car.

          •  Exactly. People keep arguing that the 'market' (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, adrianrf

            wants McMansions, when the 'market' seems to value property in desirable urban neighborhoods considerably higher per square foot.

            •  Considerably higher is an understatement. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              adrianrf

              I could add an extra zero onto the cost of the place I live in now if it was in my old neighborhood in New York.

              •  But not everybody wants to live in a big city. (0+ / 0-)

                I love San Francisco, for about 6 hours.  Then it just all seems to be an exhausting noisy blur where I can't sleep at night because of sirens, I worry about getting ripped off of my cell phone or pack on BART, and the stench in the downtown area has become revolting.   It's great if you have a lot of money for the food, museums, ball games, schools and medical care, but....... not so much if you are older without a job.

                Give me a small college town where it's quiet most nights, you can bike around, their is a cultural life as a satelite of a bigger city, and enough young people that are a little more trustworthy than the average street vagrant.   And you can live in a small house on your own without having to listen to apartment noises and smell other people's cooking.    

                •  Um, I wasn't implying that everyone does or (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fastwacks

                  should want to live in a large city. I was just talking about the matter of supply and demand. The price of living in a dense, walkable city, reflects that there is not nearly enough demand to meet supply.

                  I lived in a town not unlike what you described for a number of years, but it wasn't near a larger city and I got bored out of my skull after a few months. But that's me. I knew plenty of people who loved that place. It was as expensive as New York, but it wasn't very cheap either. So, there was obviously some demand.

                  •  ??? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FourthOfJulyAsburyPark
                    The price of living in a dense, walkable city, reflects that there is not nearly enough demand to meet supply
                    Don't you mean that there is not nearly enough supply to meet demand?  

                    I'm looking to downsize and move for retirement, and finding a lot of literature that really is knocking people that want to live in more spread out places -- it takes away animal habitat/good farming land and is not sustainable.

                    My own city is doing planning and wants the people to accept the fact that they must accomodate 'increasing urbanization' which means building a lot of multistory apartment buildings in cramped areas, increasing traffic and population density enormously.  

                    This is one move I look forward to as it is not about family and not about living where I work, it's about where I would like to live.  

                    •  Thanks for the correction. (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm kind of a pessimist on sustainability. I do what I'm supposed to in terms of recycling and such, but it's more in the spirit of being a law abiding citizen. The people I would like to convince to at least try a denser area are people who have never given it any thought. At this time, there are people who were born and raised in suburbia and have spent their entire lives tied to their cars. I think a good percentage if they tried a less car based lifestyle might enjoy it. At the same time, I wouldn't want to push it on anyone who didn't like it.

                      I'm not sure I consider the sort of small town you described as really being "sprawl." How far do you have to go to take care of your daily needs? If you're retired and not driving an hour to work every day, that might allow you to live a little further out. Houses can be more or less energy efficient.

                      I'm glad you're looking forward to moving. That's a cheerful prospect.

        •  a lot of them argue this is completely backwards (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          To hear a lot of libertarian free market types tell it, all the people who want to live in big cities are stupid: paying more for less.  Living in rural areas (especially in the South, the Plains, and the Mountain West) where costs are low, regulation is minimal, and the culture allegedly values freedom and appreciates "job creators" is where anyone with a brain simply has to live.

          To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

          by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:57:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then they'd have to admit there's a market (0+ / 0-)

            failure. How do they manage that?

            •  they spin it into a people failure (2+ / 0-)

              In their theology, if the market fails then it's because people are lazy and stupid because "The market is just people!"  You need a higher order of human being - Homo mammon - whose every thought and action is motivated purely by the profit motive.  A society composed entirely of these people will consistently make all the right decisions individually and therefore collectively and will be able to get the most out of capitalism.

              To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

              by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 02:09:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Thing is, Thompson's thesis (8+ / 0-)

        Would have us jettison the baby with the backwater -- er, bath water.

        Every time the electoral college vote is held, I think about how many African American, immigrant, and progressive voters are effectively disenfranchised by the winner-take-all, first past the post system, which ensures that the South is treated as a solid block of re state, no matter how many progressives live in places like Atlanta or North Carolina or northern Virginia.

        The "write 'em off" thesis does nothing but make permanent the state of affairs that those marooned progressive Southern voters face every time they go into the voting booth for federal races.

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:47:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, those in the South that want to live by the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf

          rules that the Union and America have, should be free to move there.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:36:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We WOULD take immigrants into the North... (2+ / 0-)

          ...and could insist upon it, leaving the crabby southerners to do their own work at whatever pay rate boss Hogg was handing out that day.

          Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

          by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:58:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is forgotten (6+ / 0-)

          Just how strong the progressive trend has historically been in the South.   Huey Long, despite his unfortunate tendencies toward dictatorship, was highly progressive.  The Folsoms, the Gores, Kefauver, Lawton Chiles, Claude Pepper, Ralph Yarbrough, King, Carter, Jim Hunt, Riley, Barkley ...

          Historically speaking, it's not that long ago that New England and much of the Midwest were written off as hopelessly Republican.    All of this has come before, and all of this will come again.

          •  Just so. (3+ / 0-)

            Any part of the U.S. is simply too complex to write off as an undifferentiated bloc. In California, I've driven behind winnebagos with bible fish, and winnebagos with Darwin fish. You get the same split in upstate New York and New York City -- or throughout upstate New York, or between midtown and downtown Manhattan (or between Tribeca and Greenwich Village, for that matter).

            Even my neck of the woods in New England is split between craggy, understated progressives and craggy, understated conservatives.

            This collective dismissal of a massive, complicated chunk of the U.S. by Thompson does a discredit to all those who struggled against the entrenched bigotry and intolerance, to make the South a better place.

            Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

            by Dale on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:54:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  But not disproportionately so. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:31:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excepting Obese (0+ / 0-)

      Scott Walker, Michelle Bachman, Rick Snyder...

    •  It isn't the "south" its more about race (5+ / 0-)

      The book is wrong about blaming the "south" because its more about race than region. It should actually be named "Whats the Matter With White People" but that name has already been taken. Whereever the white power structure is solidly in control the rabid right is doing its damage be it north or south. But wherever that white powerstructure is being changed and challenged by a growing diversity, sanity is returning. Texas and Arizona will soon be blue states. When that change takes place the onslaught of stupid laws will cease.

      Here's the real truth; what the books author says are faults of the south is actually what's happening in white society all over the nation. Remember Christine O'Donnell would be the U.S. Senator from Delaware if white voters had had their way. The teabagger movement is a white movement which is strong all across the country not just the south. Missouri spawned Todd Akin and Alaska Sarah Palin. Kansas is totally crazy across the board as its white elected officials vie with each other over who can produce the nutties laws. Do I need to mention Maine has been taken over by the worst crazies in the country.

      One could go on and on about things like midwestern states lining up to join the south in things like "right to work" and barring public empolyees from unionizing. But the point is the very premise of the book is completely wrong about just who the villian is or just who is causing the problems the book attempts to ascribe to the south. It isn't the south at all, it's a growning group of white voters across the nation who can't come to grips with the coming diversity of "their country". As their power wanes they are turning inward and blaming the very things which once gave them such good lives such as unions and the social safety net.

      Remember Dallas and Houston are blue as are many southern cities. While large swaths of the northern midwest is red and growing redder. The reasons? Dallas and Houston have large voting minorities while the upper midwest is the whitest part of the country.

      So the book is trash and reeks with the stupid for a reason, it tries to focus on the wrong boogyman. The real boogyman is race not some area of the nation.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:19:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  New Jersey is in the South (0+ / 0-)

      sez this Yankee

      The White Race can not survive without dairy products - Herbert Hoover (-8.75,-8.36)

      by alain2112 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 02:32:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you. generalizes too much. eom (0+ / 0-)

      My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

      by CuriousBoston on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:46:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A quibble with the premise (0+ / 0-)

      Nope, haven't read the book, so I can't talk about it.  It may be all tongue-in-cheek, so, you know, cool.

      The premise is another matter to the extent that people take it seriously.  Or maybe, you know, to any extent.

      The premise, really, is that, despite our rhetoric, Democrats are just as exclusionary as Republicans, only about different things.  In this case, a whole region of our nation.  I tell my Republican friends that the reason we'll outlast them is that they are self-purging whereas we are accepting and therefore will always grow.

      And suddenly, to put a little pause in my argument, comes the "let them secede" movement, that disses my whole region, including not only me, a lifelong liberal Democrat, and my friend, who just became a Democrat because she likes inclusiveness and not exclusiveness, but all of the millions of my neighbors who may one day see the light but haven't yet.

      Not to mention the coming millions of Hispanics who will one day, probably sooner rather than later, push not only Texas (with its constantly increasing number of electoral votes) but also North Carolina (with its constantly increasing number of electoral votes), and possibly a number of other Southern states, into the blue side reliably and for a long time.

      My problem perhaps is that prejudice has never seemed all that cute or funny to me, even from people who plead the hackneyed excuse, "I really know better, so it's ok in my case."

      Really, really, can we show the country proudly something, anything, other than our prejudices?

  •  This kind of thought strikes me as all wrong (30+ / 0-)

    The government in this country is of, by, and for the people.  If there is a problem with low wages, "right to work" states, go to Congress and change it.

    But we're not giving up on any states.  Texas will soon turn blue and then the Republicans will either recover their sanity or they will shrivel up and die.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:10:36 AM PDT

    •  The Point Is There Are 2 Peoples and One Is (25+ / 0-)

      holding the other hostage under our. If we had the votes to change the system, we'd have the votes not to be held hostage.

      Every system yields a myriad of problems that cannot be solved within it.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:31:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It'd take a majority in Congress, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TerryDarc

        willing to vote yes. I don't see it. Even if most of the non-Southern states went for it, I don't see the Southern senators buying it. They have vast, disproportionate power in a far larger, more powerful nation--and get to suck the federal teat that's fed by blue states. Why accept (slightly) more power in a separate nation, bereft of the leverage and having to survive on its own.

        (I'll just note that one result would be the utter demise of the Gulf; they'd allow BP, et al., to run hog wild, and we know what the results would be.)

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:23:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We HAVE the votes to change... (6+ / 0-)

        ...the system.

        It only takes 51 Senators to end the rule enabling filibusters.

        I am against losing any part of the USA. Every state makes a different and valuable contribution to the Union.

        Here is one example of many: Southerners pay less in taxes, but they are more likely to volunteer for the military. We are safe from foreign threats largely because of the sacrifices these guys choose to make.

        We Liberals claim to value "Diversity". Well, this is what Diversity looks like -- it means working together to build a country with people who you don't always agree with.

        What part of "Shall not perish from the earth" does Chuck Thompson not understand?

        •  I don't know. I don't think we face the scale (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          No Exit, adrianrf, blueoasis

          of threats requiring the scale of our military. Not by a long shot.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:30:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ummm....what foreign threats? (4+ / 0-)

          Which countries are such existential threats to the US that would justify our bloated national security structure?

          Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

          by milkbone on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:48:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's one more argument in favor (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf, blueoasis

          Of cutting hem loose.  Too many poor people signing up to be mercenaries for the Pluto rats getting fat off the mic.

          We haven't needed an army since WWII.

          To be clear, I don't think we should because I don't think it would solve our problem, but I can easily envision a future where it is rational for some states/regions to withdraw from what has become a suicide pact with other regions that have sold themselves completely to the 1% to the extent they are perceived as insurmountable.

          A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

          by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:20:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Many volunteer for the military (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          because they cannot find employment otherwise, this is the only way that they can 'move up' and out of their birthplace, and there is no other education open to them.

          It may not be totally that they are as patriotic and idealistic as you's want to think.   It's the best of the choices they have.

      •  "two peoples" is right; we are a binational state (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        adrianrf, blueoasis

        In the USA, there are broadly two cultures, two value systems, two worldviews, two histories, and two visions of the future.  Both have little or nothing in common with the other.  Both are doomed to conflict with each other.

        Most importantly, one of these cultures has absolutely no problem with demonizing, alienating, delegitimizing, disenfranchising, and destroying the other ... while the other culture stupidly holds out a vain hope of integrating its competitor in a framework of mutual respect and common humanity.

        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

        by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:17:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you buy the argument advanced in the book (0+ / 0-)

          Albion's Seed, there's actually four cultures. It's a very interesting book. I read it a number of years ago. People here frequently make statements that lead me to believe that they've read it. I recommend it if you get a chance.

        •  Yea... (0+ / 0-)

          Southerners need to stop holding out such vain hope...

          Most importantly, one of these cultures has absolutely no problem with demonizing, alienating, delegitimizing, disenfranchising, and destroying the other ... while the other culture stupidly holds out a vain hope of integrating its competitor in a framework of mutual respect and common humanity.

          Terror has no religion.
          لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

          by downsouth on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:39:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Good luck. At the rate we're going, the extent (25+ / 0-)

      to which the system is rigged, and the success the right-wing propaganda machine is having spreading it's unenlightened anti-science, anti-intelligence, faith-based, reason-skirting agenda, this Nation more likely to become more like the South than they are like us.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:32:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep (6+ / 0-)

        I agree

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!
      •  Except the entire arc of history disagress (4+ / 0-)

        The arc of human history is one of progress. Evolution as a concept is less than 200 years old. In that brief time it has pushed aside the creation myths, which have been around for thousands of years. That's a mugging in historical terms. Few matters of significance occur at the slow rate of your personal lifespan.

        Enough of the fact-free melodrama.

        •  Climate Change says differently. (6+ / 0-)

          Our entire way of life -- based on resource consumption -- is soon to be rejected by the biosphere in which we live.

          The environment, the economy, public health, military escalation for control of resources and refugee migrations -- all these await us in the VERY NEAR future on "the arc of progress" of which you speak.

          These impacts have already begun and they will be escalating sharply in THIS decade. They will overwhelm the efforts of electoral politics and government gridlock and make this entire debate moot. The evidence already exists. All you have to do is acknowledge it and respect it and you will know that our current "arc of progress" is on a collision course with reality.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:30:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Climate Change has nothing to do w/your bigotry (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            downsouth, fuzzyguy, htowngenie

            You hate Southerners. This is the message your many postings here convey.

            Why the fuck you think you can hide behind climate change as an excuse for your public display of bigotry is one of life's small mysteries.

            •  You're a simple-minded arse. CC has EVERYTHING (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              No Exit, adrianrf, blueoasis, alain2112

              to do with it, Frankly, it has everything to do with why I am also obsessed with the plutocracy, electoral politics, government gridlock and the failure of so many, such as yourself, no doubt, from seeing the absolute disconnect between our methods and our goals. They don't connect. EVER!

              This notion of cutting off the South is simply one method of achieving control of the electoral college and thereby governmental policy, which is critical for dealing with CC.

              We're you got caught up was that whole "obese, racist, xenophobe" thing. I didn't say this applies to ALL southerners, I simply said that reality shows there is a preponderance of these people in the South, and they are dangerous to the fierce urgency of progress vis-a-vis the Class War which is linked to the Climate War.

              Please, get a grip.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:17:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If you take a look at my sig, yes, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              I do have a bug up my ass about racism, as I assume we all do. And racism IS a bigger problem in the South than other places, in general.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:18:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Talk (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              to the people who know me, who have known me all my life.

              They'll tell you differently.

              Meanwhile, your hair-splitting is doing more harm than good every day, as every life-support system on the planet declines while you re-arrange deck chairs on the titanic.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:25:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Southerners won't let us deal with climate change (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis, Words In Action

              They either don't believe it's happening or believe that it's a good thing since it means their god is coming back in order to kill all the rest of us.

              To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

              by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:18:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Climate change (0+ / 0-)

            What happens when the South becomes uninhabitable?

            •  Then we'll deal with one more refugee problem, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              one which the conservative-dominated South itself ensures will be much worse than otherwise necessary.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:32:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's a nice thought, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          And it's certainly a good way to frame our existence on earth in the greater scheme of things. But we might want to take a look at polarized wealth distribution, the diminished state of labor, and the ever increasing deregulation of capital -- from financial markets to agribusiness -- before we weigh in on the net direction of the moral arc.

          Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

          by Dale on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:52:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)

            Life is so much more miserable than it was 100 years ago.

            80% of the Earth was occupied by foreign empires. Today the colonies are free nations of their own.

            Today's plutocrat is a shadow of its former self. And unlike those people a mere 100 years ago, we don't have to fight a pair of world wars to stop the plutocrats. We do need to voter however.

            Get some perspective please. You need to look beyond the limits of your one brief life span.

            •  Once again, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pengiep, Calfacon, adrianrf

              "Today's plutocrat is a shadow of its former self."

              Today's plutocrat commands the same percentage of income and wealth as he did in 1929, and it is increasing.

              Where did the SCOTUS decision comer from?
              Where have 30 years of tax cuts for the rich come from?
              Where did media consolidation come from?
              Where did Fox News come from?
              Where did the Iraq War come from?
              Where did the endless war on terror come from?
              Where did Citizen's United come from?
              Where does anti-Science, anti-Reason come from?
              Where does Climate Denial come from?

              Populism?

              Climate Change is quickly going to change all those notions about progress.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:35:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Define "free." (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Words In Action, adrianrf

              I suppose it's a matter of whether you like to take your colonialism straight, or with a dose of corporate proxy administration and American soft power.

              Also, not sure about your history, there. We didn't wage either war to "stop plutocrats." The Great War was essentially a war between plutocratic elites, using working class soldiers as proxies. As for the second world war, it could best be seen as a war between the two kinds of regime that were created in reaction to the collapse of plutocracy in the late twenties.

              And as my fellow commenter points out above, plutocracy now is at levels we have not seen since the twenties. This is not progress, not by a long shot.

              Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

              by Dale on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:09:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "Today's plutocrat is a shadow of its former self" (0+ / 0-)

              Today's plutocrat commands the same percentage of income and wealth as he did in 1929, and it is increasing.

              Where did the SCOTUS decision comer from?
              Where have 30 years of tax cuts for the rich come from?
              Where did media consolidation come from?
              Where did Fox News come from?
              Where did the Iraq War come from?
              Where did the endless war on terror come from?
              Where did Citizen's United come from?
              Where did the Great Recession come from?
              Where does anti-Science, anti-Reason come from?
              Where does Climate Denial come from?

              The populists?

              The is some high quality denial you have working there.

              Climate Change is quickly going to change all those notions about progress, thanks to those in denial.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:49:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Overall, perhaps, but there can be a lot of ups (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, adrianrf

          and downs within that overall trajectory and a great many people can suffer. Think of Easter Island. An individual society can indeed collapse.

      •  True, there are people with a vested interest (3+ / 0-)

        in keeping Americans ignorant, misinformed, uneducated and voting against their own interests.

        These greedheads control billions of dollars and their love of money trumps caring about their country every time.

        They have no problem with turning the U.S. into a third world style nation as long as they stay on top and can isolate themselves in their mansions and gated communities.

        You don't see that 'regular guy', G.W. Bush, the guy who people "would most like to have a beer with" hanging out with the regular folk in his cowboy boots these days, do you?

        He stays as far away from the dumbasses as he can and comes out of his gated community only to speak to "his base", "the haves and have-mores".

        At least Carter and Clinton are active in charities.
        Carter actually physically got out there to help build housing and Clinton put his office up in Harlem before the real estate values skyrocketed.

        •  Minor quibble. The masters of the universe don't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          htowngenie

          actually live in gated communities. The Upper East Side isn't gated, far from it. Truly large estates often aren't in gated communities either.

          We have to convince the people who live in gated communities, who are often just middle class people who are fearful, and often not even that, that their interests are not aligned with those of the financial elite. The last time I looked to move I looked at a place that was technically in a gated community and the price was significantly lower than the average home price in the U.S. I didn't move there because I prefer a more urban environment, but it wasn't at all expensive.

          •  Many do elsewhere or in isoldated compounds. (0+ / 0-)

            Manhattan, I grant you, is a different beast. Although I assume even there that there are other forms of security for extremely wealthy than a high wall, a heavy gate and a manned gatehouse.

            Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

            by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I need a guarantee that they will (8+ / 0-)

      'shrivel up and die'.

      that's been my dream since I was 20.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:14:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe I'm just engaged in wishful thinking (44+ / 0-)

    but it looks to me like the South is poised on the edge of a tremendous historical shift, as economic growth and diversification coupled with demographic change fundamentally alter the region's long-standing social formation.

    When I see latino shopkeepers in North Carolina and Georgia, industrial workers in South Carolina and Alabama, and an honest-to-god financial services sector in Florida and North Carolina, I simply have to wonder if the old structures of power can remain in place.

    With a black man running a competitive race for president in places like Virginia and North Carolina, and performing surprisingly well even in racist bastions like Georgia and South Carolina, it looks like the day is not far off when the stranglehold Thompson complains of will be broken.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:11:29 AM PDT

    •  North Carolina is becoming (21+ / 0-)

      incredibly diverse, and its (urban, at least) people are well-educated.  In Charlotte we voted overwhelmingly to be taxed so we could have more light rail.

      While, in my (northern, supposedly enlightened) home state of Wisconsin...you have Scotty Walker.

      Maybe it would be more true to the situation if the urban areas let the rural areas secede.

      Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

      by kismet on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:28:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right on! (8+ / 0-)

        I am also a transplant to NC from Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and I was always frustrated by the  know nothings out in the state. ( We called them northern Red Necks.)  Scotty appeals to that segment as well as the I-got-mine-the hell with you suburbanites, the strong conservative Catholic and Lutheran (Missouri and Wisconsin synods), and assorted Randian malcontents.

        Sunlight is the best disinfectant

        by historys mysteries on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:45:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or let the suburbs go their own merry way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rhauenstein

          I'd argue that in Wisconsin the divide is more exurban/suburban vs. everyone else, as it's the cesspool known as the 262 area code that produces all of this Bradley Foundation BS that's driving our state into the gutter.I've felt for a while that if the suburban 262 seceded from Wisconsin (and we got to keep the real cities of Racine and Kenosha), everyone in this state would be happy. But not surprisingly, the 262 burbs have used the southern strategy of sprawl, low taxes, and leeching off of the big cities and universities while not making their people pay for what they take.

           The real issue is showing rural folks that Eisenhower Republicans are dead (in the North) and show both them and Southerners that the rich have been stealing from them with trickle-down that never trickles down. And be aggressive in doing so, because these folks would rather blame or ignore than understand.

        •  It might be really relevant to distinguish between (0+ / 0-)

          the ex-urban and the rural people. They strike me as significantly different lifestyles. I don't know how it is in Wisconsin, but in New Jersey many of the ex-urban people I've met are people who have been priced out of the more expensive suburbs close to New York.

          •  Exurbs are both (0+ / 0-)

              Exurbs are kind of the worst of both worlds. They're either people who are so elitist they big-time the upper middle class suburbs and try to get away from the big bad (dark) city as much as humanly possible.

               The other group in exurbs tend to be small-towners whose town has changed due to sprawl, and these changes make these people especially fearful and much more likely to cling to guns and religion.

               That isn't necessarily a Southern thing, but the mentality seems more prevalent down there.

    •  What keeps the stranglehold in place is a (13+ / 0-)

      rigged system. It can always be rigged even more to prevent "We the People" from being represented. In that sense, it's not so much the rednecks that matter in the long run, it's the plutocrats and politocrats that need the rednecks to win: do THEY have the means to maintain control of the outcomes? I wouldn't "misunderestimate" them.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:36:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Southern power structure has been (10+ / 0-)

        remarkably stable because elites have had recourse to two very powerful mobilizing principles -- white race and evangelical Christianity.  The trends I outlined above, however, weaken the political force of both of them.

        In the absence of a means to mobilize a critical mass of poor voters to support them, elites would only have recourse to naked force to maintain themselves in power.  If, as I suggest, the South is becoming a modern, socially diverse, industrialized economy, then a resort to open dictatorship would not be successful for long.

        Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
        ¡Boycott Arizona!

        by litho on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:47:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The south is unique in America (5+ / 0-)

          Plot demographic maps of the USA and this nation's patchwork quality leaps off the page. The whole nation is broken up into a jumble of small regions ... except in the Old South. It is a big region with more cohesion that is common in the rest of the USA.

          Of particular note is the religious makeup. The Southern Baptist church is the leading faith in virtually every county in the South and virtually no where else. No other faith in America has a distribution like that.

          The South has a lot of political influence in our democratic system because the people living there share a similar culture to an extent seen no where else in America. But that is how democracy works. When a large group share a common interest, that interest gets attention.

          But as you observed in a different post, demographics shift over time. The solid south is being diluted over time.

          •  The South is KEY to Mitt and numerous others (0+ / 0-)

            like him winning. It has been and will be for some time the biggest weapon Republicans have against progress.

            And, yes, I recognize it is not monolithic. Just like Utah, where I live. I am talking about it in the aggregate. As an overwhelmingly conservative force, it prevents us from making ANY progress on economic inequality; to the contrary, we are still losing ground. And when we lose ground economically, we lose ground politically. We lose ground socially (the conservative Un-Enlightenment) and environmentally as well. And we don't have forever, particularly on the environment, which will take the economy and people's health and safety with it.

            Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

            by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:40:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And voter supression, obviously not limited to the (2+ / 0-)

          south, is of course a response to the changing demographics, especially as illustrated in the results of the 2008 elections. And it's possible that the RW and Republican unabashed enthusiasm for voter suppression might signal a similar easiness with more violent tactics if their 'peaceful' attempts to prevent the wrong people from voting fail.

          I hope I'm reading to much into the distinction Colin Woodward makes in American Nations, but if the dominant 'northern' ideal is freedom seen as a balance of rights and responsibilities within a community, and the 'southern' ideal is the liberty to do whatever you want with your property (including humans (still)), then the differences are enduring and fundamental.

          For most of our history, various forces have conspired to keep the southern elite, and their worldview, largely contained within their region. However, after the Civil Rights Movement and the southern strategy -- initiated by Golfwater, perfected by Nixon, and entrenched by Reagan -- the southern elites have been able to hijack an entire national party.

          But, as others have noted, Republican success is not limited to the south -- the urban-rural divide is just as illustrative as the north-south divide.  Northern rural voters have so far been largely spared the depredations suffered by their southern fellow travelers.

          When northern rural Republican voters do begin to suffer some of the consequences of their votes, eg post office closings, they are not amused.

          The question that will begin to be answered next month is whether this southern-rural coalition will hold together under these and other stresses or if the GOP will become an ever shrinking regional rump party...

          "I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was." M Romney May 17, 2012

          by polidiscoursor on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:28:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The SOuth doesn't even need to dominate the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Visceral

            election or government to maintain gridlock and prevent both a) sufficiently rapid redress to economically destabilizing, counter-productive supply-side economics and b) the lack of response to Climate Change it creates. The system is much too rigged in favor of the plutocracy.

            Frankly, the ONLY way to prevent massive, global environmental, economic, medical and humanitarian devastation this century is for something as radical as this plan (or another means of accomplishing progressive takeover of environmental, energy and military policy) THIS decade. The environmental and economic shocks, endless militarization of resources, impending militarization for refugee control...these are already underway and will dramatically escalate THIS decade.

            Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

            by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:37:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  gridlock is enough for conservatives (2+ / 0-)

              Just take a look at California.

              Thwarting society's ability to grow and adapt is in the long run just as damaging as actively trying to fuck things up.  We fall behind technologically, economically, socially etc.  We are left unable to deal with the looming existential crises of climate change and resource depletion.

              And none of this matters to people - both rich and poor - who would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.  Psychological/sociological studies have demonstrated that people care more about relative status than absolute status and this explains both why poor white trash would rather degrade black people even further than improve their own situation and why rich people would rather smash and grab than build a truly prosperous society.

              To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

              by Visceral on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:38:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  sure hope you are right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit

      and I think you are.  

      Want change? Vote for straight Democratic ticket! With the House, Senate, Governors and down ballot elections won by the Democrats, we will get the change we want.

      by paulacvdw on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:47:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A sensible comment (5+ / 0-)

      The hating is strong in this comments section. Quite demoralizing to see it being cheered on. Thanks for posting.

      •  Well said. (5+ / 0-)

        Such hate is becoming very common here on DKos.

        Terror has no religion.
        لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

        by downsouth on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:17:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it's hate (4+ / 0-)

          so much as frustration and disgust. I was raised in Va., and even though I've lived in NY for 22 years, still think of myself as a Virginian. But every visit fills me with amazement at how different minds work down there.

          Paul Ryan = Ebenezer Scrooge

          by Van Buren on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:51:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nah. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, Gutterboy, Unduna, fuzzyguy

            As someone who is on the receiving end of it here on DKos on a regular basis, I can tell you it is definitely "hate".

            Terror has no religion.
            لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

            by downsouth on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:05:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  WHat we hate (0+ / 0-)

              is racism, GLBT bigorty, the war on women's rights, destructive religious fundamentalism, gun violence, the conservative Un-Englightenment, gross economic inequality, environmental degradation and CLimate Change Denial.

              It's not that these don't exist everywhere. It's not the South or its people per se. It's the fact that all of these ideas get relatively highly concentrated support from the South, which makes the Southern Strategy so effective in ham-stringing all of our efforts to deal with the massive problems that are NOT being solved.

              Climate Change is not going to wait. Without a critical mass of progressivism somewhere to develop the policies, technology and social mechanism we will soon be met with overwhelming environmental, economic, medical, humanitarian and military tragedy, overwhelming for a system in gridlock between conservatism and progressivism, as we are and will be for the foreseeable future. Events will continuing taking control of us THIS decade...

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:53:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Bull hockey. (0+ / 0-)

                As my grandpa would have said.  Your comments in this diary have made it patently obvious that you hate Southerners, period.  As do many others here, apparently.

                Terror has no religion.
                لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

                by downsouth on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:03:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't see what the south has ever done to make (3+ / 0-)

                  itself very lovable. The region has been a boat anchor around the progress of America since before the Revolution.

                  It was essential for our young nation to prevent the south from leaving the Union. They would have been powerful and violent rivals in the West and would have made war on Mexico. Also the Western coastal states might have left the Union too. Agricultural slavery had to expand to remain profitable. But now that the south has no reason to be covetous of its neighbors lands suitable for slave plantations, why not split the sheets?  

                  The relationship between the North and south seemed to heal after the 2nd World War. Millions of white southerners and Northerners made lifelong friendships, but the Civil Rights struggle seems  to have dragged the regions apart again.

                  But, it is also true that areas in the south are turning bluish as the Midwest and lower North are trending redder in some places. And I think lower income whites all over the North are becoming more like their white cousins in dixie.  

                  I love my southern relatives and their friends and love the beauty of the south, but I hate the politics and the history.

                  Split or stay... meh.

                •  That would make it convenient for you to see (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  alain2112

                  it so simplistically. And I guess that's of overwhelming importance to you.

                  So what's your big, radical idea to take charge of policy strongly enough to do a 180 on environmental and energy policy and prevent the escalating militarization of resource and refugee control?

                  Give me an idea that scales to the get job done, like dramatically changing the electoral map in this way or some other, and I'm ears.

                  I'm waiting....

                  Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

                  by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:12:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know about that. I hope I have always (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action

            hated, in the deepest, most visceral sense all bigotry and racism. Unfortunately, the objects of my hatred, that is bigotry, racism and intolerance of those unlike oneself, are the basis of society in the South.

            "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

            by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:44:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not necessarily the basis, but certainly (0+ / 0-)

              an influential component of society in the South.

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:56:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? When most white people there defined (0+ / 0-)

                themselves as "White Christians" before considering themselves Americans or anything else? I think that pretty much proves that bigotry, racism and intolerance of those unlike oneself, are the basis of society in the South

                "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

                by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:01:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  It's not about hate. Heck, I live in Utah. (0+ / 0-)

        If I thought it was populous and influential enough and everyone agreed that it should go, I would move, even though I love it here and otherwise plan to live out my days here.

        It's about finding a solution that scales to the problems we face. Nothing being offered will address these problems in the timescale we need to avoid the widespread misery increasing every year from the advancement of Climate Change. Nothing.

        THAT's what this is about. The only reason the South comes into the picture is because that's what the effective Southern Strategy depends upon, and that's what is defeating our efforts to deal with the crushing issues of our generation.

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:44:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's possible that Climate change may solve the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          problem by making the South essentially unlivable.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:02:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, TX, OK and KS are targeted as (0+ / 0-)

            getting the brunt of it in the short-term.

            Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

            by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:13:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  As much as I despise the Tyrants that are in (11+ / 0-)

    power in much of the South, I certainly don't want to abandon them. I mean, I'm sure lots of abolitionists back in the 19th century enjoyed cheap cotton shirts in New York, even as they lamented to lot of the slaves that picked the cotton, so, we are all to blame in many ways for the tyranny of the South, by enabling it with our purchases.
    I love the South, I just can't wait for re-construction to be finally over. The Tyrants of the South have hung on for so, so long. The people of the South can certainly rise above, not rise again.

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:11:30 AM PDT

    •  Many abolitionists boycotted sugar, tobacco, and (24+ / 0-)

      anything made of cotton because it was produced by slave labor.

      The free produce movement was a boycott against goods produced by slave labor. It came about as a method to fight slavery by having consumers buy only produce derived from non-slave labor; labor from free men and women who were paid for their toil. The movement was active from the beginning of the abolitionist movement in the 1790s to the end of slavery in the United States in the 1860s. Link

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:32:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's very interesting, thank you. Today, I (7+ / 0-)

        buy cheap stuff from China, even though I know it is made by low wage/ near slave wage people. I'm sure well meaning people during slavery did the same. I'm a hypocrite in that way. I want change but I don't do everything I should to bring it about.

        "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

        by leftyguitarist on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:40:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We start where we are (10+ / 0-)

          Thank you for your honesty; and hoping you won't mind, I'll use your comment as an impetus to suggest the following.

          Each of us has a unique personal history that has brought us to this moment in time, with loads of socially conditioned responses to the world around us, and ingrained habits of thought and action.  So, starting where each of us is right now, we each move forward adjusting our behaviors, what we purchase, where we get our food, how we impact our environment.

          So you "want change but .. don't do everything I should to bring it about"; well, it's not really expected that you do everything this afternoon.  But what can be accomplished is to become more aware of the changes that we can make, and to start to make those changes.  Easy examples are using less electricity, cutting down on the number of lights that are unnecessarily on in the house, using less water, using less fossil fuels to heat and cool the house, buying locally grown food and eating at locally owned restaurants that purchase local produce.  Over time, as we continue to make these small changes, we also change the way that we observe, think about, and interact with the world around us.  We begin to see this planet not as a market from which we extract things for our own personal use, but as an integrated ecosystem of which we are an integral part.

          Each of us can take steps at the pace appropriate for where we each stand in this moment.  And we don't need to guilt ourselves, that just tends to make change that much more difficult.  We just need to start where we are, and move forward from here, one step at a time.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          Love one another

          by davehouck on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:05:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  one of the problems with chinese goods (4+ / 0-)

          is that they are so ubiquitous. There really aren't many clothes, shoes, or toys made in America to choose from, even if one wanted to.

          •  That's true, and when you find (4+ / 0-)

            American made clothes they tend to be pricey.

            My personal solution since I'm a bit of a fashionista and also cheap as hell, is to buy almost everything at Goodwill.  It's nice that I can support my fashion addiction and help to employ people who need help.

            And you would not believe what people donate- it means looking  through a lot of dreck before you find that treasure, but those treasures are there to be found- without hurting your purse or your conscience.

        •  In order to have a successful boycott.... (5+ / 0-)

          .....you need to have access to other options.  You could spend all week looking for a Made In America color TV, for instance.

          Don't be so hard on yourself......but buy American when you can

          The Romney campaign is a extra-tough Tie Fighter following the Millennium Falcon into an asteroid belt, bouncing from impact to impact in a random manner. - blue aardvark

          by jds1978 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:32:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I make a concerted effort not to buy things from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          China. It's impossible to avoid buying things from China as they are everywhere, but I do look for and purchase alternatives from elsewhere when they are available, even when they are more expensive.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:45:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I used to avoid buying from China (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          Quite some time ago that became impossible in practice.

          •  Well, just try not to by SO MUCH from China -- (0+ / 0-)

             It's possible to just cut back on things overall.   Don't replace things until they are absolutely necessary to replace;  don't consume as much, and do keep an eye out for the occasional item from somewhere else.

            I tend to like going to craft fairs and buy fun gifts for people, I don't burn candles any more, I use fabric instead of paper napkins, china instead of paper plates, and reuse/recycle  decorations instead of buying new ones each season.  These items come to mind as I am planning fall holiday events.  

    •  I would abandon cancer that is metastasizing (5+ / 0-)

      and this is. Supply-side economic excess, lethal environmental degradation and intellectual backwardness are increasing and spreading. Cut off the source limb(s) or die with it (them)?

      Like all life-support systems in Nature, the enlightenment is in decline. Sequester the Dark Ages in the South, or be extinguished with them?

      With the political gridlock we experience in large part because of the South, our real economy, our souls, our environment and physical and mental well-being as humans and a species in general is at stake.

      If we (Democrats) were more fully in control of our future, I believe we would breathe new life into the enlightenment, which is key to developing model for mitigating and adapting to Climate Change in a humane, equitable manner for ourselves and much of the rest of the world.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:00:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't abandon any person. That would be wrong (6+ / 0-)

        "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

        by leftyguitarist on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:10:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not abandoning. Only by creating a progressive (0+ / 0-)

          bastion of critical mass will you be able to mitigate the environmental, medical, economic and military that awaits the people you want to save with the unfolding Climate Change, severe shocks of which will be hitting us THIS decade.

          Miring ourselves in gridlock, strapped in mortal combat over serious efforts to reduce economic inequality, direct governmental policy and address Climate Change, you can't get there from here.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:49:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you and many other people must die to save (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jake formerly of the LP

          someone who isn't even interested in saving themselves, you are not making a moral choice.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:47:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  As satisfying as that sounds... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MHB

        I don't think it would improve the situation.  Our Pluto rats would simply find some other way to take control.  Buy the senators from Rhode Island or Delaware or just buy more democrats.  Historically, both parties are notoriously for sale to the highest bidder.

        There is nothin wrong with the south that can't be fixed by improving the form and structure of our government.

        If expelling the south were easier, I might be convinced that the immediate short term gain was worth it, but, ultimately it doesn't address the root of the problem which is a structure of government too vulnerable to capture by the 1%

        A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

        by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:32:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "There is nothin wrong with the south that can't (0+ / 0-)

          be fixed by improving the form and structure of our government."

          And there's a rub.

          There's nothing within the structure of our government that can be fixed (i.e., wrest control from the plutocrats) through government.

          Fact is, Climate Change will be making this all moot later this decade, and we won't have the power to influence how that unravels, either. The environmental and economic impacts are escalating quickly, as are the medical and military impacts.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:52:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  As a True Blue Southerner (45+ / 0-)

    I have to say I feel a lot of sympathy with Thompson.  But I'm not going to give up the South to the yahoos. They don't deserve the place. I'm staying here and fighting them.

    Furthermore don't forget a lot of our "Southern" politicians are imports from up North, like Gingrich (PA.)

    There is not one human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise. - Gore Vidal

    by southdem on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:12:34 AM PDT

    •  As one Southerner to another, I say (34+ / 0-)

      spot on.  Look at Nixon and Reagan.  Both hail from California and both used the "Southern Strategy" to put this country on a road to ruin. Johnson, on the other hand hailed from Texas: he oversaw the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Bill and other progressive legislation.

      Sure, it's hard to be a liberal in the South but we have to take the long view.  The generation who is just now entering the ranks of the voters are far less devoted to Southern evangelical political ideology, the Lost Cause Tradition, hatred of immigrants, gays and African Americans than their parents were.  

      Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

      by Tchrldy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:28:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They Did (4+ / 0-)
        Look at Nixon and Reagan.  Both hail from California and both used the "Southern Strategy" to put this country on a road to ruin
        But it should be remembered that it was Barry Goldwater in 1964 who gave them the blueprint for that.

        “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

        by RoIn on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:08:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and Arizona is a Western state not a (5+ / 0-)

          Southern state.  Arizona was not a state until  1912.  

          Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

          by Tchrldy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:11:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes...Western Politico's using Southern Race (0+ / 0-)

            ....baiting.  Nixon, Reagan and bV$h (I see Texas as a Western state)

            The Romney campaign is a extra-tough Tie Fighter following the Millennium Falcon into an asteroid belt, bouncing from impact to impact in a random manner. - blue aardvark

            by jds1978 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:36:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Arizona (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            downsouth

            was originally the Confederate territory they tried to carve off of the Union's New Mexico territory.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(Confederate_States_of_America)

            The reason that Arizona's formal statehood date was selected was because it was the 50th anniversary of its organization as a Confederate territory.

            "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

            by ogre on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:33:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's actually a myth (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zesty grapher, ogre

              Arizona's statehood day was to be on February 12, 1912, but President Taft had a meeting in New York that day and decided to delay it 2 days.  The fact that it coincided with the creation of the Confederate territory, is a coincidence.

              See here: http://www.azcentral.com/...

              The Washington correspondent of The Arizona Republican sent a note to the newsroom on Feb. 10, 1912, that Taft would delay the statehood announcement by two days. The newspaper said Arizona's territorial governor, Richard Sloan got word around the same time.

              The fact that the new statehood day would be on Valentine's Day was not mentioned. What was mentioned was that the original statehood day would have coincided with Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

              The reason for the delay was that Taft had scheduled a visit to New York.

              "The principal cause of disappointment to the people of this state is not over the delay of a couple of days, but because they could not celebrate admission and the anniversary of Lincoln's birth on the same day," read a front-page story.

              Here's some text from an Arizona newspaper editorial.  Note the tone:
              "The president has a dozen lawyers at his beck and call, any one of whom could pass upon the legality of the paper in five minutes. All William H. Taft would have to do is write his name, which happens to contain an even dozen letters, with two I's to dot and a T to cross.

              "Surely, the necessary time could have been taken for the performance of that gigantic task."

              All indications are that the decision to delay statehood was Taft's, and the people in Arizona were disappointed that it was delayed.

              To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

              by sneakers563 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:29:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Further, Taft was a Republican (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zesty grapher

                He'd hardly have had much motivation to avoid Lincoln's birthday and honor the Confederacy.

                You are right, though, that southern and western parts of the New Mexico Territory (including Arizona) seceeded from the Union.  One of the reasons that the territorial capital was moved from Tucson to Prescott was that Tucson had more Confederate sympathizers after the war.  Ironically, of course, Tucson is now one of the most liberal parts of the state.

                To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

                by sneakers563 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:39:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  And as another southerner to another (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tchrldy, htowngenie

        I say that your correct, the tide is turning.  Rome wasn't built in a day.  The south has a history of very progressive leaders, however, they are drowned out by the drumbeats of mostly by the rich using the ignorant to spread the hate around.

        "Success is a dangerous as failure, hope as hollow as fear" - Lao Tzu

        by anotherroady on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:22:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just finished reading 2 books... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        "Team of Rivals", by Doris Kearns Goodwin, about Lincoln's cabinet and the years during and leading up to the Civil War, and "Passage of Power", by Robert Caro, about LBJ's ascension to power, and among many other things; and how he pushed legislation through or around the Southern bloc of Congress, especially the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

        It was amazing to see that not much has changed with my Southern brethren. Sadly. the same conversations could be heard in 1864, 1964, and today.

    •  We sure as hell need many many more people like (0+ / 0-)

      you. It's people like you that can save the country. But how can we get many many more people like you? You can think and do so. Most people would prefer not to, I'm sorry to say. And that reluctance to think is not limited to any geographical area.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:05:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The South's domination of Congress (27+ / 0-)

    is one thing. The "free market" ideology made the South a depressed Third World part of the country until Roosevelt's New Deal, Eisenhower's interstate highway system, and Johnson's War on Poverty brought it close to the rest of the country in living standards.
      But the Southern ideology, with the helpful funding of a handful of oligarchs, has completely captured one of two major parties. If this isn't beaten back, the whole country will become an economic armpit like the South.

  •  The problem in the south is religion and (18+ / 0-)

    the shysters who use it for political purposes to rile up the zealots.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:14:27 AM PDT

  •  But for three things: (14+ / 0-)

    1) There are a lot of people in the South who would suffer inordinately if their ties to minimal civil rights protections were severed; and

    2) I'm currently south of the Mason Dixon line; and

    3) The CDC and certain other critical federal infrastructure is located in the South,

    I'd say "hell yeah, cut 'em loose!"

    Of course we would lose some gorgeous parks, mountains and rivers (sigh)

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:14:45 AM PDT

    •  The first thing is my main reason for never (5+ / 0-)

      being able to agree with friends who have this fantasy.

      •  It may be a fantasy. But it's a good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk

        place to talk about the fantasy that electoral politics and the rigged government system we have today will address our most promising, dire problems on any meaningful timescale.

        Meanwhile, billions of lives hang in the balance, not just in terms of whether they exist but how they exist.

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:04:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There a remedies to all three of those. (9+ / 0-)

      1) An immigration mechanism (South to North).
      2) Extended to even you :o)
      3) Critical infrastructure is movable; cheaper to move it than to suffer economically and politically to the South.

      Last, the Mason Dixon line is probably no longer the line of demarcation.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:46:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As to #1 (5+ / 0-)

        I think we'd also need an immigration mechanism from north to south.  There are plenty enough northerners that are bound to southern ideology that we'd probably be able to work out an even 1 to 1 trade off.

        As to the parks, mountains, rivers, etc., we're on the verge of losing those things nationwide thanks to those around the country that are bound to southern ideology.  I say let them go south and destroy just those southern resources while we save the northern ones.  Better to save just some of them than to lose them all.

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:20:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Demarcation line is now probably VA-NC border (4+ / 0-)

          Maryland has long been a "Mid-Atlantic" state (i.e. more like New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with a bit of Southern flavor remaining) than a Southern one, and northern Virginia is fast becoming one. There are pockets of resistance in both states, but they are slowly losing their influence.

          OTOH WV, which was born of rebellion against the South, has thrown in its lot with the South - go figure....

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:19:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Better off without them (15+ / 0-)

    The only thing I'm annoyed about is that he beat me to writing about it. I had this same argument Thursday night that the old confederacy has never stopped fighting the war and we (the "north") might as well accept they will never stop fighting it. The economic arguments are the same today as back in 1860 (a mining/agricultural economy versus a manufacturing/technology economy). The right to a clean environment versus the desire to rape the land for profit since god will never allow something he created to be destroyed (thanks Dick Armey). The Poppers had somewhat of the same idea with their proposed buffalo project to return the upper midwest to large eco-zone. But I am tired of a region voting in lockstep to block progressive ideas and controlled by a few very large religious groups that seem to want to make money more than save souls (like Ralph Reed) having a disproportionate influence over national policy.

    "war is peace, ignorance is strenght, freedom is slavery" these are the beliefs of the right wing

    by DXK on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:19:19 AM PDT

    •  well, i'm for cascadia (11+ / 0-)

      http://republic-of-cascadia.tripod.com/

      which puts me in the position of thinking i'm better off without you.

      how does that feel?

      i am so sick of this regionalism shit.  like the north doesn't have its heaping share of unmitigated asses?  santorum's first big night in the primaries was a northern sweep, you know.

      fuck all y'all.

      Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

      by Cedwyn on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:15:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen, Cedwyn (10+ / 0-)

        I lived in the North (MA, NH) for most of my life, live in Texas now, and have built my retirement home in North Carolina. If you want to bring about change, (1) move down here yourself and (2) watch as demographic shifts are tilting states like Texas bluer by the day.

        This bullshit about writing off half the country because they offend your sensibilities is disgraceful.

        Oh, and don't forget... you'd be giving up your major ports, military installations, factories, important crops, power plants, and much of the oil industry.

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:28:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sick of it too (0+ / 0-)
        i am so sick of this regionalism shit.
        But it's real whether we are sick of it or not.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:52:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. This diary and its comments? (8+ / 0-)

        Not Dailykos' finest hour.

      •  It's not about regionalism. It's about electoral (0+ / 0-)

        politics. It's about eviscerating the Southern Strategy. It's about exerting an influence over policy that will scale on the timeline the planet is dictating. That will not happen by re-electing Obama, holding the Senate and picking up a few seats in the South. Heck, it won't even happen if we take back the South.

        Climate Change is escalating now and is already responsible for billions of dollars of damages and millions of lives. It is accelerating. Before the end of this decade, we will seriously be on the run. By early next decade, we will have filled the atmosphere with all the CO2 it needs to exceed a rapid 2 degree shift in temperature, the maximum scientists agree before dire consequences ultimately approaching an extinction-level event is possible.

        There is no political will today for doing anything to avoid this. There is no incremental solution.

        This exercise in talking about the South is not about bigotry or hatred, it's about talking about the scale of the political problem face and its impact on dealing with the enormous threats to humanity.

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:12:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only 50% of the red on the electoral map is (3+ / 0-)

          Southern.

          Way to pick and choose your data to support what is fundamentally a bigoted concept.

          "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

          by Unduna on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:10:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  50% in one consolidated area is enough (0+ / 0-)

            to make all the difference in the electoral map and, in terms of changing policy enough to take on economic inequality AND climate change, which are related. Sorry, you, but everything becomes less and less important every year. The mass, global misery ahead is far more significant than a handful of states, even if one of them is mine.

            Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

            by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:08:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  well now, (6+ / 0-)

    When the prevailing 19th century Dickensian New England industrialist attitude was that slavery was just too darn expensive to work in the North, I wonder who was worse.  The distribution of knuckle-dragging idiots is pretty much everywhere; in obscenely generalized terms:  There were more overt bigots in the South (perhaps), but there were many more hypocritical bigots in the North.

    Isn't it time for this kinds crap to be considered long over?

    Call exploitation and debt slavery whatever you want.

    by jcrit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:19:50 AM PDT

  •  Which of these things is not like the others? (13+ / 0-)
    uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards
    Racism, xenophobia, etc. directly endanger other people. Obesity is destructive only to the obese.

    What is the point of putting a health condition (obesity) into a list of moral evils?

    •  Because we all pay (3+ / 0-)

      for the consequences of poor diet leading to chronic health issues like diabetes, wherever they occur.

      •  and we all pay for the higher incidence (7+ / 0-)

        of cancer in the northeast

        http://www.cdc.gov/...

        now what?

        Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

        by Cedwyn on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:24:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you know obesity leads to cancer? (0+ / 0-)

          link

          People become overweight and obese, almost exclusively, because they take in more calories than they burn. WE should continue to educate the public, push for healthy eating habits in schools, and CUT THE BULLSHIT about obesity being just like cancer or something else: "oh man just woke up one day and I was fat!"

          •  so, why then, (0+ / 0-)

            is it more prevalant in the NE than in the crazy obese south?

            Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

            by Cedwyn on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:50:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's why I'm all for banning dangerous sports (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, GoGoGoEverton, kcc

        like horseback riding, skiing and football. Why should nerds pay for the injuries of jocks.

        (This is sarcastic.)

        •  At least you didn't compare it to cancer. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          Sheesh.

          A premium for sports-players is an interesting concept.

          •  Actually, I first read than in a comment on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoGoGoEverton

            Baseline Scenario. The person was pointing out that we make moral value judgements about behavior when we single out certain activities that increase medical risks but not others. There's always been something that's gotten under my skin about the "we don't want to pay for fat people's diabetes." For a long time I thought that maybe it was because I know a few normal weight people with type 2 diabetes. Contrary to popular mythology, that happens often enough. When I read that comment, I went, "Bingo." There's lots of other things. Do people who don't own a car get lower health insurance? No. Why not? We could go on.

            •  And ridicule is not OK. But too often it's taken (2+ / 0-)

              too far, in the rush to defend against ridicule or mostly unreasonable efforts to make obese people pay more in insurance, to say "oh science is still out on why people are fat" or "oh why did my skinny dad die of heart disease at 50", etc.

              •  I've been a little amazed in recent years about (0+ / 0-)

                the incredible emotional attachment that people seem to bring to this subject, on all sides. I haven't a clue about what really drives it. The emotionality makes me feel like we're really talking about another subject that we're unwilling to name, but I can't identify what. Usually I stay out of food discussions.

                I was skinny without really trying until I moved out of New York and now I'm stuck in car culture land and I'm not obese, but I am a little overweight. I've been dieting and exercising like I never have before in my life, but it's just an uphill battle. I'm afraid I'll be a little bit chubby until I can get back to a pedestrian based town. That doesn't mean I'll give up and get fat, but it will be a struggle as long as I'm in this kind of environment.

      •  Then let's not stop at obesity eh? (6+ / 0-)

        Let's lump every personal shortcoming on our Purge List. If we are going to have a pogrom, let's do it right!

        •  Let's not forget about the costs underweight (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kcc, fuzzyguy, shanikka

          people put on society.

          I actually say this as someone who thought she was fat when I wore a size zero. We have to understand that thin does not equal healthy. If we're going to talk about diet related issues, we shouldn't pick and choose based on current aesthetic preferences and some not very well established notions about good foods and bad foods.

    •  Does it occur to you that there may be a nexus (5+ / 0-)

      between diet, obesity and, oh, educational outcomes, perhaps?

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:56:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think about the UN's happiness index, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davethefave

      which indicates that countries with the greatest economic inequalities are the least happy. I also think there is a correlation, in many cases, between unhappiness and eating in America. By cutting off the biggest chunk of the cancer in the South, we can politically take control of economic policy, reduce inequality, improve healthcare, improve criminal justice, improve education and treatment, reduce unhappiness and reduce obesity at least to some extent.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:04:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also a correlation between low income (5+ / 0-)

        and low nutrition/high carbohydrate foods. I think the solution the United States is leaning towards is making the poor even poorer so they're not fat, but simply malnourished and skinny. Those skinny poor people in developing nations are so much more picturesque. Poor, fat Americans offend my aesthetic sensibilities.

      •  Revenge fantasies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy

        You are not posting answers.

        •  ??? You mean ENVY fantasies? (0+ / 0-)

          Is that where you are coming from?

          Frankly, any solution not scaled to make an aggressive assault on the anti-climate change crowd THIS decade is not an answer. And those are the only answers being offered.

          The Earth will be having HER revenge.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:55:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Obese people affect others at least (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk

      as much as uneducated people do.  Uneducated people are an economic drag on the overall economy, and so are obese people although the affected areas of the economy may differ somewhat.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:11:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When human life is treated as a resource, yes. (4+ / 0-)

        I wonder if I went through your home I would find you own "too much". Because anyone who owns more than a certain amount of stuff is guilty of depleting our global resources.

        No, no no. If we are going to make a list of villains and internal enemies, we can make a much longer list than this half-assed attempt:

        1) Fat people.
        2) Uneducated people

        Let's do this thing. What a glorious future it would be, if only we are literally at each other's throats. Lord of the flies on a continental scale. Sweet!

  •  no sense of unity (7+ / 0-)

    without playing the blame game here, I think it's obvious why our country is in such miserable shape.  We have no sense of national unity.  There is no common cause.  When you have people who feel they would be better off left alone, you have a recipe for total lack of trust in government and your fellow human beings.  In that sort of min set, there is all sorts of room for bigotry and hatred whether it's racial, gender, regional or what not.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:22:56 AM PDT

    •  The Wedge has won. (5+ / 0-)

      With the system as broken and rigged as it is, overcoming the wedge issues that divide us and give the plutocracy its strength is hamstrung in gridlock. With the backlog of work to be done and the enormity of overcoming the wedge issues and all the tools the plutocrats have at their disposal for wielding power of the masses, we can re-take both branches and still be a long way from establishing a Just system that can deal with, say, Climate Change... After all, there are as many here among us who are wedded to the existing system as there are opposed to it.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:08:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only has the Wedge won, those who employed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Words In Action, pengiep

        the Wedge are well pleased with the result. There will be no mad scientist's soul numbing, rueful wail "My God, what have I done?" The Wedge weilders are euphoric. And I very much like the turn of your pfrase 'the Wedge has won'. Well put.

        The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

        by Hillbilly Dem on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:38:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone watching Mitt deliver his 47% speech will (15+ / 0-)

      quickly understand what a cynical delusion American Unity(tm) has become. I'm not sure if it was ever that strong a sentiment in the 236 years of this country's existence - just consider the constant appeals to States Rights. When Northern troops entered the South during the Civil War, from their own letters back, they had no idea how foreign and alien the place was.

      Real unity comes from shared understanding and empathy - a genuine sense of "we're all in this together". That does not exist in America right now - you don't get to peddle insults like "the food stamp President" in a country that has an actual sense of unity. The 47% remark by Romney hurt him only because he cast the net rather too wide - Ryan's equivalent 30% "taker" remark generated little traction, even when Joe Biden tried to use it in their debate.

      The power elites in America have managed to successfully deflect the process of class analysis that took hold in countries like Great Britain and Canada, and they did so by essentially racialising class. In other countries class analysis led a clear understanding that the interests of capitalists are NOT the same as those of workers, and this led to vigorous Trade Union movements and political parties to reflect the interests of working class and middle class voters. In the US  similar agitation for workers rights were ruthlessly suppressed, and either associated with "foreign ideas", or with a despised subgroup in society.

      Watching Chris Hayes' show this morning where they went over the various efforts by company bosses to coerce their workers to donate and/or campaign for Romney just drives home this point. Most working Americans are working in environments where they have little autonomy, they can be fired "at will", their health care is an increasingly inadequate offering from their employer, they have no right to join a union to fight for better working conditions, their wages have stagnated or fallen while their bosses have made out like bandits.

      The proportion of Americans who are working class or lower middle class is the same as any other industrial society - but they (well particularly white working class) have been told constantly to fear the other - the "moochers", the "inner city" folk, the "godless". To make matters worse - these people have no decent party to vote for - the Democrats have behaved mostly like British Conservatives, and the Republicans today are basically neo-fascists.

      Perhaps opening up a discussion about separation might help focus everyone's mind on the real basis for unity - and its not the flag or constitution - but the sense that we individually are not doing well unless all of our fellow citizens are living decent, dignified lives. We don't get there by having Southern States try to out-hustle Mexico for low wage "right to work" business environments, and ensuring a compliant peasant class by demonizing critical thinking in schools (e.g. the Texas HOTS program). To paraphrase Hillary Clintons PUMAs - "Country Unity My A$$"

      •  Well said. (0+ / 0-)

        The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

        by Hillbilly Dem on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:41:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with most of what you said but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davethefave

        I just want to know, slightly off topic, why do progressives have a phobia of the flag. You're calling for unity. The flag strikes me as a potent and potentially powerful symbol of national unity, one that most people already understand and don't need to have explained to them first.

        When the left disdains to use the flag just because someone on the right uses it, I think we cut off our noses to spite our faces.

        •  I'm not putting down the flag at all - my point is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zesty grapher

          that it's a wholly inadequate reason for unification. It's well understood in military circles that soldiers in battle fight for the fellow members of their platoon - not abstract symbols or notions. The troops that fight for an idea have historically been religious or political fanatics - not a group we would want to identify with.

          The iconic flag raising by Marines on top of a hill in Iwo Jima was a staged event - the grunts involved in that terrible battle probably had other things on their minds - not least of which would have been fallen comrades everywhere around them. I'm not saying there's no truth to "rally around the flag" - but it doesn't happen that often - and more importantly to me the emphasis on the symbol detracts from the more important idea - we fight for each other.

          •  The SECOND raising was a staged event. The first (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

            was not. My dad was on Iwo and told me this when I was a kid. I didn't understand fully until I read "Flags of my father's".

            "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

            by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  my apologies, you're quite correct there was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zesty grapher

              an initial raising of the flag, that was then restaged for the photograph. I can't really appreciate what your Dad must have gone through being there - that battle seems emblematic of everyone's understanding of the Pacific Theatre, and what it took to overcome these entrenched positions where there was no cover.

              My father fought in the forgotten theatre of Burma, and wouldn't talk much about it, save his respect for the Gurkhas, and water-skiing on a door towed behind a landing craft on the Irrawaddy river after the Japanese surrender. But that was partly my point - the conversations with him on his experiences were always about the personal - everyone understood there were big principles at stake, but that's not what got you through the day-to-day conflict.

               

      •  During the Civil War differen regions WERE foreign (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        downsouth, fuzzyguy

        Most of a person's life was spent in their birth county. Og course a million farm boys found different states to be alien to their experience.

        Pretty stupid reason to split the nation in half in 2012.

        •  As other commentators have pointed out Americans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zesty grapher

          living on the West Coast or the North East typically have more in common with their Canadian counterparts than their supposed fellow citizens in deep red America. Where I live in Seattle the atheism rate is around 35%, about the same as it is in Vancouver BC. That makes a real difference in the world-view of citizens in this part of the world - and is in stark contrast to the environment in places like the Gulf Coast.

          The fact is we're heading into the most contentious and corrupted American election in living memory. Not since Civil Rights legislation was passed has such a concerted effort been made to deny people the vote. In a sane America, the federal government would set standards of eligibility and actually run the elections for federal office - but frankly if we did that the Republicans know they would be out of office for a long time. So instead all of us have to live with the gerrymandering, fear mongering, delegitimization propagated by a diminishing group that have figured out how to massively game our complex legal and political system.

          We're getting to a break point here - the Arctic is going to likely be ice free in the summer before the next Presidential election in 2016! We're losing patience trying to bring the fearful obstructionists into the 21st Century with all its very real challenges.

          •  Which makes it virtually criminal that the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy

            Democrats haven't pushed strongly to reform basic voting rights.

            The south has been a convenient dupe for our Pluto rats, but so has the dems and pukes.

            All bets are off unless/until we get better control over big money's influence over our govt.

            Our constitution, a marvel of its time, is outdated and has been co-opted by big money.

            A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

            by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:57:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  When I lived in Canada I can't tell you how many (0+ / 0-)

            times I heard people say that the border should run north/south not east/west. They wanted to get rid of the Plains and the Maritimes.

            •  You know.... (0+ / 0-)

              Tommy Douglas famously said that, “Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes.”  LOL

              "We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we are standing on the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege." - Pierre Trudeau

              by Wisewood on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:39:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  What (0+ / 0-)

            does this have to do with letters written during the Civil War?

      •  Very well said. (0+ / 0-)

        I've been fortunate to work with people from around the world. We've had discussions about what unites a people as a nation. (Most are flummoxed by the American attachment to the Flag.) Invariably the answer of those from other countries is that they are united by a shared history and culture--usually thousands of years old. In the United States, there is so much diversity and we are such a young country that we still have a long way to go. People forget--we've only been around a few hundred years.
        And, as evidence by so many comments here (including my own) the Civil War we fought just over a hundred fifty years ago is not completely over for many here.
        In my own family history I have only one ancestor that was even in this country in that era (he fought for the North). Many many more immigrants have come here since that time. How is it that those arguments and attitudes still reverberate today?

        I think it is because we are adolescents as a nation. We are still finding our way.

        I hope, as islandchris says:

        ...the real basis for unity - and its not the flag or constitution - but the sense that we individually are not doing well unless all of our fellow citizens are living decent, dignified lives.
        that every American will  grow into that mindset.

        "I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they’re as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save." Paul Auster

        by zesty grapher on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:55:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was responding to islandchris's post (0+ / 0-)

          Anyone watching Mitt deliver his 47% speech will...

          when I said "very well said". It looks like a lot of people were typing and posting while I was still typing!

          "I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they’re as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save." Paul Auster

          by zesty grapher on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:59:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  *We* Do (2+ / 0-)

      If the rest of the country didn't have a sense of national unity, the South wouldn't be able to exploit the union as it does.

      The South defined itself by seceding and then remaining a poison pill ever since being forced not to secede.

      The US is lazy about national unity. It lets the South fester as rebels instead of forcing it to change. Cutting off the net tax transfer to the South while taking it up on its small government rhetoric would be a good way. Especially now that we don't have the extra money.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:15:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sad but True--from a Southerner (22+ / 0-)

    I love the South, but I would leave it if the North and South separated.  Everything the writer says is true--the South is dragging down the North.  This is why I was amused when Perry suggested separation:  the South would not survive--or would survive only as a third world country.

    Many of us down here get it, but most don't.  After King and Civil Rights, I thought the South had turned a corner:  they were just pretending.

    In a nutshell, these are whining, sore losers.  Tough?  Tribal is more like it. Gracious?  Give me a break.  Racism?  Don't get me started.  At bottom lies plain ignorance, and, as Orwell pointed out, "Ignorance is Strength."

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:23:36 AM PDT

  •  Funny thing. I lived ten years in Texas before (11+ / 0-)

    moving up to Illinois.

    I had excellent public schools there (Plano), and excellent public schools here (St. Charles).

    The Dallas public schools were all over the place, but not very good.

    The Chicago public schools are worse.

    Both states are home to great universities.

    Both states welcome corrupt hard-ball politics.

    One big difference I can see:
    Texas is growing and Illinois is wilting.

    And that may tell us who would really benefit from a North-South split.  Would more jobs go to Michigan or Illinois if the Southern States became their own nation, or would that simply free the new "Southlandia" from any and all present federal restraints/requirements, leaving the Northern states to adapt or bleed away?

    It's hard to imagine that Corporations with no qualms about shipping work half a world away would hesitate to utilize a foreign source with much more favorable logistics.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:25:59 AM PDT

    •  Overall, TX is worse in education, especially (8+ / 0-)

      when you factor in what they are doing to our textbooks. And they are absolutely trashing their environment. They stuck a dagger in California. And they are polluting the rest of the nation politically.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:48:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yet the financial services industry in Illinois is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk

      robust.  And Rahm was just in Urbana working hard to recruit engineers to the tech industry in Chicago.

      Now it is true that much of the population outside the towns and cities would be quite at home in Alabama.

      •  Great if you're a commodities broker or such. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, No Exit

        Not so good for decent people.

        In the last year, I have seen people holding cardboard signs saying "Homeless.  Need work." outside of tony suburban shopping areas.

        I know a number of small business people (no -- not the $100 millions dollar kind) who are  sweating every day because the people they serve are sweating every day.

        The state's a mess.  We need an economic recovery badly, and we need it last year. The year before would be even better.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:22:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hell, I'm a small business person and I'm still (0+ / 0-)

          trying to figure out how to pay my real estate taxes and still have enough money to get through to the end of the year.

          In the middle of Illinois we have Peoria, Quad Cities, Decatur, and Danville, all old line manufacturing cities that still have a base of their old industrial economy but many of the jobs have left.  Very little for people without skills around here and there are a lot of young people probably have a future of meth addiction in front of them simply out of despair.

          Champaign-Urbana and Springfield have a half booming economy due to University, government, and medical employment but poverty rates of around 29% in line with the old industrial cities.  In C-U it takes about 4 times the median income to buy the median house.  Nearly as high as Chicago.  With 50% of the population having at least a bachelor's degree, lower income people even get squeezed out of the lower end service jobs.

          Bloomington-Normal has a thriving economy with a mix of two Universities, State Farm and Country Insurance H-Q's, and Mittsubishi's plant.  You can buy a nice house there at 2 times the median income and the poverty rate is low.

      •  Chicago is a very segregated city. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, No Exit, fuzzyguy

        Detroit is too.

        One doesn't need to go to rural areas to find racism.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:54:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rahm's Scam (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No Exit, delver rootnose

        Yeah, and Rahm has been working harder keeping Chicago's schools a terrible place to learn to be an engineer (or anything else). That's why he needs them from Urbana. Until his Chicago model takes root in Urbana. Then where's he going to go? Wisconsin and the rest of the region is already gone down his road.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:25:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most of those engineering grads at the (0+ / 0-)

          University of Illinois come from the Chicago suburbs but the San Francisco bay area is very attractive to them.  Champaign-Urbana has this Silicon Prairie thing going, but a  got part of it is due to bay area industry types keeping a hand in the talent pool of one of the top computer engineering schools.

          •  Suburbs (0+ / 0-)

            The Chicago suburbs have a different school system. Emmanuel has no power to force them to operate under his austerity budget.

            UIUC is totally independent of Emmanuel's reach. Netscape was born there (as Mosaic), and even the 2001 movie's HAL was born there.

            If Emmanuel was doing his real job, he'd be building Chicago schools into competition to UIUC and the Bay Area. Not just harvesting the nearby crop of students not damaged by his management for the benefit of the Chicago 1%.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:50:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Emmanuel controls the Chicago public school (0+ / 0-)

              system but he doesn't control higher education in Chicago.  Chicago world leading schools at the university level including University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago and if you want to just hop over the northern border you have Northwestern in Evanston.  De Paul and Loyola are also fine schools.

              You are certainly right that most of those UIUC students come from the suburbs.   When I was a student at UIUC years ago it was the same.

    •  and, by curious (or not) coincidence, the shift (7+ / 0-)

      of corporate hq's & jobs en masse to texas happened right as cheney & bush were leaving office, too -- which the promise of tax abatements & environmental laws comparable to mexico's also proved to be irresitible inticements -- so that explains your contention that texas is growing b/c it's a "better" (?) state.

      plano has always had good schools -- but plano is the exception as far as texas schools go, not the rule -- so again, your analogy is false.  texas does not have "great" universities -- it has one or two, but that's it -- the rest of them are solidly religious-based at their cores or teaching the bare minimum in a state that has been notoriously suspicious of anything that smacks of education in the same sense northern colleges & universities offer.

      i have family in texas; i was born there & lived for several yrs in different parts of the state while growing up.  it's better than some southern states, but that's not saying a whole lot, either.  on a visit to family right after obama's election/inauguration, my s-i-l was whining about obama not sending federal troops to the border to protect the ranchers from the "invasion" of immigrants/drug smugglers from mexico, & i said i thought texans (like rick perry) didn't want any feds "messing" with texas.  she had no answer.  and when she & her family were fired up & yelling about seceding from the us, i said i thought it would be the best thing for everyone & everybody would be happy!  they didn't like that response, either, & the talk of secession died out soon after that.

      •  My analogy is not false. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Quicklund, Odysseus, fuzzyguy

        St Charles is the exception in Illinois, just as Plano is the exception in Texas.

        In fact, I'll throw Texas a bone -- a way in which it encourages public education that Illinois does not.

        In Illinois, if you go to a crappy public high school, you are going to find it harder to get into college, almost to the exclusion of how hard you try.  You will be at a disadvantage at ACT/SAT time because you will have received an inferior education.

        Texas does something that may be unique in the country:
        If you graduate int the top ten percent in your high school class, you are guaranteed admission to a state university.  Doesn't automatically prepare you to do the work, but it's an idea that I love.

        That said, I have no desire to live in Texas again, except as family needs may dictate.  I also have no desire to stay in Illinois -- the state's a real mess.  

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:18:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Intrastate Exchange Schooling (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          No Exit, fuzzyguy

          I think the Federal government should offer the top 20% in any school free tuition at any other state's school that will accept them. Getting students to move around the country while being well educated would do more to erode the South's bunker mentality than anything else. And bring the rest of the country more of the South's contributions, like cooking and music.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:29:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nothing wrong with that, but the first task is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy, Sandy on Signal

            getting the kids accepted.  

            The south, btw, has a lot more to offer than cooking and music.

            Places like the research triangle, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and assorted Universities - including all three of the universities laying claim to the title of the nation's first public university (University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, and William and Mary).

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:44:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Getting Accepted (0+ / 0-)

              I expect that there are schools throughout the country that accept people at the level of the South's top 20%, even if that leaves those Southerners in the bottom part of the other state's school.

              RTP in N Carolina is largely built on the influx of Northerners, and is built on both a Northern model and subsidies collected from the Northeast and the West Coast. MD likewise, and isn't very "South".

              Those three Southern universities might have been first, but what has their long head start given them over the rest? For every good Southern university there's many more in the Northeast and West, even if proportioned per-capita. And again, they've got more Northerners than the top Northern schools have Southerners.

              Now, it's not a completely bipolar distribution. But the brain drain of smart Southerners to other regions is another measure of the relative inhospitability of the South to the strong intellect.

              I lived in Louisiana for some years, and spend a couple weeks there every year for over a decade. While the South does have more to offer than just cooking and music, it's only in those two areas that the case for spreading it is a real winner.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:23:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  your analogy is false b/c it implies plano schools (0+ / 0-)

          are the rule & dallas' schools are the exception, when the opposite is the case.

          the same for texas' system of higher education.

          and it's business policies.

          maybe the distance between your experience in texas & reality has blurred the distinctions.

          •  It assumes nothing of the sort. You didn't read (0+ / 0-)

            very carefully at all, did you?

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:47:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and you, apparently, have never heard of the (0+ / 0-)

              edgewater decision.

              •  You are correct, at least not that I can remember (0+ / 0-)

                by name.

                What does it have to do with this conversation and the fact that you have completely flipped what I wrote?

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:32:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  it has to do with the inequalities baked into (0+ / 0-)

                  texas' system for financing schools -- which addresses your claim about the inherent superiority of plano's schools over dallas', & goes to the core of my counter-argument that your analogy was false in that regard.

                  plano is a wealthy community, probably the wealthiest in the state, & is able to provide better schools than a poorer district like dallas' b/c plano's tax base can raise the amount of money to fund its schools at a lower rate than dallas.  that also means plano can hire better teachers, purchase more amenities for students & staff,  & provide a better curriculum b/c it has more money.  

                  the edgewater decision declared that system of financing education was unconstitutional in 1984 b/c poorer districts would never be able to provide the same level of funding that wealthy districts could & the texas constitution said all education was equal, but it has never been implemented b/c cities like plano have fought it ever since it was handed down.

                  they don't want their money going to fund poorer districts -- they want to keep the inequities in education that already exist.  your comment implied texas should be judged on school systems like plano, not dallas, & i argue that is a false choice.  the edgewater decision is my evidence.

                  what's yours?

                  •  Two things: (0+ / 0-)

                    1. Could you have gotten the case name wrong?
                    I'm having  a heckuva time finding it.

                    2.  My "claim" about the superiority of Plano schools?

                    Do you believe that means Plano schools AREN'T better than Dallas schools?  You seem to agree that school funding is unfair and favors the wealthy school districts.  That's one reason why I like the Texas guarantee that the top ten percent of graduates in ANY school district are guaranteed admission to a state university.

                    So -- I'd be really interested in your argument.

                    BTW --

                    My comment said or implied nothing of the sort.
                    I was comparing my experience in Texas with that in Illinois.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:09:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  let's start with your insistence that plano's (0+ / 0-)

                      schools were better than dallas' which automatically begs the question why.  i said the comparison between a wealthy community's schools & a poor one's was a false analogy & your extention of the comparison to texas' university system was equally false, as well as your linking everything to the state's generous business climate.  your reply was i was just wrong b/c you said so.

                      i addressed every point which i disagreed with you on, from the local schools you cited, to the universities, & the reason texas was "growing" -- which is only b/c of incentives handed out by the trainload to cheney/bush crony capitalists -- oh, & btw, the reason illinois is "wilting" has a lot to do with the state being targeted for punishment by chamber of commerce types for being obama's home state.  your response was i didn't read your whole comment & i was wrong b/c you said so.

                      i gave a detailed explanation why i thought your comment implied plano's schools were the rule & not the exception by citing the edgewater v. kirby decision of 1984, & your reply is you didn't write something that was ambiguous.  

                      they're your words.  if you left them open to "misinterpretation" that seems to be a problem with your name on it, not mine.

        •  Been there done that. (4+ / 0-)
          In Illinois, if you go to a crappy public high school, you are going to find it harder to get into college, almost to the exclusion of how hard you try.  You will be at a disadvantage at ACT/SAT time because you will have received an inferior education.
          I grew up in downstate IL.  I was a straight-A student who finished all of my "homework" in passing periods.

          Sophomore year I moved to a suburban magnet school.  Straight-C student working as hard as I knew how.

          There is at least 3-4 year difference in curriculum advancement between suburban and rural schools in IL.  It's brutal.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:00:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There was no lack of corporate HQ and jobs (0+ / 0-)

        in Texas when I lived there -- and that was years ago.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:22:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is no doubt (0+ / 0-)

      that greedy corporation will continue to look for the cheapest labor force they can exploit as they do today.  But the newly-realigned north would at least have an easier time putting laws in place that don't reward them for doing so, or that punish them when they do.  Force those corporations to relocate to the south and tax the hell out of their imports so that any benefit they would derive would be nullified.

      There are ways to deal with that kind of thing and the reason that we don't deal with them today (for example, the way we currently reward, instead of punish companies that ship jobs overseas to turn the advantage they achieve by doing so into a disadvantage) is the entrenched political power that essentially comes from the neo-confederacy.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:35:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could they? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy, downsouth

        Would you also tax the hell out of German, Japanese, Korean and Chinese imports?

        And you seem to presume that the South (neo-confederacy) is why we ship jobs overseas, but the most notorious job-shipper we have is Apple.  Come to think of it, IBM ships more than a few jobs overseas.

        It's easy for liberals to dislike the south.  It's certainly easy to find lots and lots and lots of things wrong with southern states.

        Blaming the south for all of the north's problems, however, is just lazy.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:54:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  nothing like over-generalization to poison an (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pengiep, downsouth

          argument: blaming the south for all the north's problems, however, is just lazy.

          •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            downsouth
            is the entrenched political power that essentially comes from the neo-confederacy.
            Weasel-words (essentially)  make the statement longer, not different.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:46:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ah, yes. the poor, persecuted white power (0+ / 0-)

              structure of the south that has dominated the political discourse in america for . . . ever.  

              yes, let's ignore the dixiecrats use of the filibuster -- & today's version of the dixiecrats: jim demint, louis gohmert, paul broun, jeff sessions, etc, for invoking the same procedure to prevent any progress toward ecomonic & social reform -- b/c according to you, the south can't be blamed for obstructionism . . . it's the north's (or west coast's) fault b/c they wouldn't agree to give the south what it wanted: a white authoritarian plutocracy.

              yeah.  right.

        •  You missed my point (0+ / 0-)

          as did the other responders in this thread.  I'm not blaming the neo-confederacy for shipping jobs overseas, but I am saying that without their entrenched (right-wing) political power, it would be far easier to deal with those greedy corporation that do.  Without the entrenched right-wing political power that comes mostly (but obviously not entirely) from the south, our government would likely be far more progressive.

          And I didn't say anything about taxing imports.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:28:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now that's a little different, but I'm not sure (0+ / 0-)

            that it's true.

            It requires a showing that assorted northern industrialists are fundamentally different from their southern counterparts.

            Otherwise, while you remove one piece of the problem, you end up making the remainder bigger fish in a smaller pond.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 02:23:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Dixie Illinois (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      Yes, Illinois is turning more Southern every year.

      The answer is for the Federal government to stop subsidizing these Dixie states with the extra tax money from the rest of us. Because Dixie states use the money to keep their economy draining good jobs into bad in their states. Target the rest of the money sent back to them into programmes that make them compete with other states by making better jobs that attract labor, not worse jobs that attract capitalists. Education, sustainable energy and environmental cleanup bootstraps, especially where the funding is a seed to push local money into those activities.

      Or take this book up on its premise, and draw the national boundary to exclude Dixie, and tax their imports. The taxes from the rest of us wouldn't flow across, either. Then watch their system finally collapse under its own weight. And watch Illinois grow as Texas wilts.

      When they change their ways we'll let them back in.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:24:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't argue against subsidizing the states, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        downsouth

        but how does that come to happen?

        Are southern politicians that much smarter than northern politicians?

        Are southern business leaders that much smarter than northern business leaders?

        Kind of makes you wonder who would survive the split.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:51:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops -- NOT subsidizing the states. (0+ / 0-)

          Old age + dyslexia = monir maships.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:29:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How? (0+ / 0-)

          This country has been rigged in favor of the South since it began. The North was primarily colonized by Puritans who'd lost power by colonial times; the South (as evidenced by the colony and state names, like Georgia, Maryland, Carolinas) by the rulers among the English. The people who grabbed power from the English mainly came from the South: Washington/Virginia; Jefferson/Virginia etc. The Constitution protected the South's slave economy, but not the North's industrial one; along with the extra House reps and disproportionate Senate seats that also create an unmerited Electoral College advantage. The wars with Mexico and the rest of Latin Amerca created a plantation with which the South could directly trade and middleman to the North and to the world.

          Southern politicians aren't smarter - they're dumber. Especially since all those artificial advantages have evolved their region into one inherently very weak in every way except in clinging to the foundations of weakness. But they do well by gaming the system that's always been rigged for them.

          Recognizing the problem is a necessary step in solving it. I don't know the way to get to the solutions. But I do think that if we don't act like they exist, and work on getting them - starting with talking about the problems - we are doomed to keep the problems forever.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:15:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They can't possibly be dumber if they've managed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            downsouth

            to rig the game in their favor.

            That would mean the northern politicians got hornswaggled, and it's very hard to equate getting hornswaggled with great intellect.

            Last I looked, southern politician Jimmy Carter is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and southern poltician Bill Clinton not only managed two terms in the White House, but presided over one of the best economies in the country's history.

            Come to think of it -- the whole Great Society, including Medicare, was birthed by southern politician Lyndon Johnson.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:27:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Centuries (0+ / 0-)

              No, the South's rigged advantage is the benefit of centuries of rigging, mostly done in the beginning. And updated with the help of 1%ers in the North who benefit from the Southern plantations.

              Carter was a nuclear engineer who everyone thinks is a peanut farmer. The Democrats were practically guaranteed to win in the wake of Nixon, but Carter wasn't smart enough to pin the "malaise" on Vietnam, the oil crises and the Watergate/pardon fiasco. Clinton was smart enough to win when Perot split the Republican vote, and smart enough take advantage of the peace dividend reinvested by the public in the Web bubble, but dumb enough to let it become a bubble, get impeached for a blowjob while the Qaeda attacked us through the Republican Congress' holes, and fail to campaign with Gore. In any case these Southern politicians played the US system to get power that benefited the South far more than it earned.

              Getting power doesn't mean you're smart, any more than getting rich means you're smart. They both mean that you're in the right place at the right time, when the game is rigged. And that you're the right person, who won't blow the game that the South and its 1%er cronies have played for money and power since before the country was founded by them.

              How can we tell they're dumb despite their money and power? Look at the state of the economy, of politics, of journalism, of the environment, of education, of labor, of war, of sanity. Look at all of the undeniable problems since the late 1800s that are never solved, but only superceded by some worse emerging problem - all numbed by incalculable debt. Yes, Southern politicians have ruled disproportionate to their population. That is the demonstration of how the game is rigged. And the consequences of Southern dumbness, the dumbness of rigging this democratic republic that way, are written in all the abject failures that continue to bury us.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 04:46:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Much of the reason (12+ / 0-)

    for the nonfunctionality of the government, and the power of red states with smaller populations to dominate blue ones, is the design of the government itself. The legislative structure favors 'em -- every state no matter how thinly populated gets two Senators, and the Senate is an active part of the political process rather than a figurehead.

    And I'm not sure you could, today, physically divde the country. Not neatly, at any rate. Too many northerners, like me, have moved to the south (holding my nose, perhaps, but it was where the good job was), and too many southerners have gone north looking for other opportunities.

    "There are no Americans at the airport!" -- Baghdad Bob
    "I’ve got a very effective campaign." -- Mitt Romney

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:26:56 AM PDT

    •  Immagration system and international (0+ / 0-)

      border/customs checkpoints. Logistically, not difficult/ You could stay, or not, although likely the South would become less hospitable to folks like you.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:50:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Check your population numbers (0+ / 0-)

      The bottom 10 states by population include five red and five blue, at least by presidential vote.

      Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

      by grubber on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:54:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If we're wishing for ponies... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jds1978, Zack from the SFV, Mnemosyne

      I would take a constitutional convention to reform the structure of our government.  I find it very satisfying to contemplate cutting loose a bunch of ignorant, spiteful Jesus freaks, but I have to recognize that our Plutorats would simply find some other strategy to maintain control and we find that we condemned a lot of good people to a third world conditions without curing the root of our problem.

      There are plenty if ignorant non-southrners.  The loathsome elements of the south are a symptom not a cause no matter how satisfying it would be to watch them choke to death on hypocrisy.

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:56:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention the Electoral College (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, fuzzyguy, zesty grapher

      Since a POTUS candidate who wins LA will probably also win GA, AL, and so forth, the Solid South has a lot of influence in national politics. So too does NY and CA of course.

      One Amendment to eliminate the EC would rectify most of the complains expressed in this diary, and would do so without causing a catastrophe.

  •  Republican "wedge" politics pushed far enough (12+ / 0-)

    could result in a shattering of the country, although I'm a northern liberal who thinks it would be a tragedy.  That's how "wedge" politics is unpatriotic.  I don't think it's funny. Who, in 1988, thought East Germany would, with the Stazi and Berlin Wall, would literally and figuratively shatter within two years? Seemingly solid states can disappear in an instant in the right social and political conditions.

  •  I'm buying this book (9+ / 0-)

    because whether or not he did this in a tongue in cheek way, it is so true. Where I am from (Northern Virginia) is an exception and that is why Virginia's economy is fantastic. We have the most educated population in the south. Without the growth engine and the progressiveness of my area of the state, Virginia would be pretty much just like the rest of the south. Backwards,uneducated, racist to the bone, obese, toothless and decidedly otherwise ignorant.  Thank goodness for Northern Virginia. lol.

  •  Liberals need a "Southern Strategy." (10+ / 0-)

    I've heard the separation of the north from the south described as a sort of fantasy so many times from friends of mine. Yes, many, many northerners are more than eager to rid ourselves of the burden of the south. The only thing different in this book is that it's being said to a national audience. If southerners don't know that this is how people in the north regard them, then this is a good wake up call for them.

    However, I don't agree with the conclusion. But it's good to air these thoughts because I think we really could use an overall sense of how to deal with it. We probably haven't been able to deal with it for two reasons, one, politeness, and two, cultural relevatism. I will confess that I'm something of a throw back on the cultural relevatism front since I don't have a problem with the notion of progress.

    The best solution, and probably the only one, is that we have to shed our embarassment and come up with a strategy for bringing the south up to the same level of development as the rest of the developed world.

  •  There's No Obvious Need to Keep Us Intact. (10+ / 0-)

    Most of Ireland left the UK and Scotland seems to be heading off as well.

    The reason this will never happen in the US however is the Pentagon. The Pentagon would never tolerate losing that amount of funding base.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:33:19 AM PDT

  •  We've had interesting discussions about this... (8+ / 0-)

    ...over the years. On the one hand, I viscerally agree with all of this and I fantasize about a United States without the South.  On the other hand, the South has experiences a genuine revolution over the last fifty years and it's churlish to deny that.  The South today demonstrates that there a million vicious rear-guard ways to fight against a revolution, but it's still real; and ironically the argument of pre-CRM southern White racists, that the North needs to look at its own de facto segregation before criticizing the South's de jure segregation, has some valdity now because we all have de facto segregation.  Southern whites take their kids out of public schools and put them in private academies; Northern whites take their kids out of one jurisdiction and move, sometimes only a few hundred feet, to another.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:34:49 AM PDT

    •  All you have to do is look at how they treat O (4+ / 0-)

      and you have to question the "advancement" of the South. The South is where the conservative un-Enlightenment is strongest. It would be an oxymoron to say they are advancing in all but the most narrow sense.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:14:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Then there's this (8+ / 0-)

    Fuck the South.

    A reasonable argument can be made that the North lost the civil war by winning it.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:34:59 AM PDT

    •  Two of my great, great uncles died in the Civil (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timbuk3, corvo, dallasdunlap

      War.  I think we should have hanged the traitors, freed the slaves, and told them to go to have their own country and go to hell.

      •  Yes. A mistake that the North made (5+ / 0-)

        was in not destroying the Southern ruling class. The entire government of the Confederacy should have been hanged or forced into exile and the plantations broken up into pieces and turned over to the slaves.
          Our ancestor should never have cut a deal to end Reconstrcution and should never have tolerated Jim Crow laws.
          Much of the social structure of slavery was continued under another name.

        •  I can't count the number of times I've said this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timbuk3

          Sherman erred in destroying property. He should have strung up all the Southern Elites he encountered and there should have been a post war purging of the remainder of the Southern Elite with total confiscation of their property. But it's too late for that.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:26:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong approach. (6+ / 0-)

        The error was not in letting Lee, et al., go quietly. That was, effectively, the price for quashing the military rebellion without seeding the South with a guerrilla war that would have lasted for generations (read Wink's "April 1865"). Freeing the slave and then turning them loose in a new country that would have slipped right back into white hands--re-enslavement in some form--would have been a disaster.

        The error was ending Reconstruction after just a decade. The South that was being born--where there were former slaves who were rising to wealth and power, blacks elected to Congress, mixed race marriages...--was brutally strangled to death in the next few years. For which we may all damn Rutherford B. Hayes to hell; it was the price he chose to pay in order to become POTUS.

        Reconstruction ought to have been played out; slowly phased out, probably over 40-50+ years. Sort of like the Allied occupation of Germany.

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:50:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Love the link... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, Timbuk3

      I wanted a cigarette at the end...

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:04:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even though I have become, after decades (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timbuk3, No Exit

        of struggle, one of those ex-smokers who hates smoke and smoking (though compassion), I get the figure of speech. And it's classic.

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:30:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I found my most helpful quit smoking book. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timbuk3, No Exit

        I had lost the name for years.  I am passing it out again.  Smoking The Artificial Passion.  Sounds like you might to read the book to understand why the artificial passion still comes up.

        I give the Big Bird to those who say Obama lost the debate.

        by 88kathy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:02:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alan Carr's the easy way to quit smoking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timbuk3

          Helped me tremendously.  I pick it up off my bookshelf now and then.

          Thx

          A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

          by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:16:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That did not appeal to the better angels (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, mightymouse, Timbuk3, No Exit

      of my nature, but I laughed.

  •  I am buying the book. (12+ / 0-)

    I teach in a program on human origins. Half the country does not "believe" in evolution. My kids received excellent educations at our local public schools. They went on to top colleges (in the North). When I hear folks in the South talking about the world being only 6000 years old, I just shake my head. I do favor a break-up of the US. I think that the country is no longer governable. It is just too big.

  •  If he went by the 2008 election, (6+ / 0-)

    much of the West is more conservative than the South.

    There may be 1 out of 3 Southerners who are bat shit crazy; I certainly don't dispute that. But there seem to be about 1/3 of the whole country who fit that description.

    I do understand y'all not wanting to compete with SEC football, but who would fill your pro-teams rosters? And the only good music you would be left with is Bruce Springsteen. I guess Robert Cray and Keb Mo' would be split since the one born in the South (Cray) now lives in CA and the one born in CA (Keb Mo') now lives in Nashville.

    And you would still have to keep West VA, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:37:08 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, as a Georgian it seems every militia group (3+ / 0-)

      I read about is either in the West or in Michigan/Ohio.

      But the fundies?  We have that market cornered.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:40:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  WV and KY (0+ / 0-)

      have Democratic governors, and WV has 2 Democratic senators.  I believe in all three states there remain more registered Ds than Rs.  In fact, I believe WV and KY have a higher percentage of registered Democrats than any state that voted for Obama in 2008.

      ...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 Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:42:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They may have more registered Democrats, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pengiep

        but West VA voted 55.71% for McCain and KY voted 57.4% for McCain.

        Arkansas and NC also have Democratic governors. Tennessee has alternated Democratic vs Republican in the governor's race since 1967. 3 out of the last 5 governors of Alabama have been Democrats. Before the last 2, all governors of GA have been Democrats since Reconstruction. LA elected its first Republican gov. since Reconstruction in 1980; since then 4 have been Repubs and 5 have been Democrats.  So I don't think who the governor is makes a hill of beans.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:05:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  who the governor is makes an enormous (0+ / 0-)

          difference in state policies, like education and health care.

          ...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 Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:15:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't disagree with your premise, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

            But West VA ranks 47th in education by one report;and 41st in healthcare. KY is 44th in healthcare but has moved from 48th to 14th in education since 1990.

            As for education in other states, California is in the bottom 10. When I was growing up, California had the best education system in the country, hands down. But then they decided to stop funding education. So there are a lot of factors which influence education and healthcare outcomes.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:39:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm also old enough to remember when (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sewaneepat, davethefave

              California had just about the best education system in the country. It's really a crying shame what happened to it.

            •  North Carolina, Arkansas and West Virginia (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cassandracarolina

              all have Democratic senators who voted for the ACA and other important legislation.  Kentucky has Democrats in congress who did.  The voters in those states may not like Obama but a good deal of them are still Democrats and vote for Democrats in most cases.

              ...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 Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:26:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Don't look at voter registrations. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sewaneepat, milkbone, pengiep

        Look at what voters actually do when they vote.  Voters may be held to his their party in primary races, but in general elections self-described party affiliation is no predictor of outcomes.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:38:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  a lot of them still vote for Democrats (0+ / 0-)

          as I said, they still have 2 Democratic senators in WV.  Rockefeller is actually good.  Same could be said for KY's two Dem congressmen, Chandler and Yarmuth.  Yarmuth in particular.  But they represent the biggest urban areas of the state, which are trending Democratic.

          ...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 Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:24:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  WVA yes, other two no. (0+ / 0-)

      New South:  Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennesee, Kentucky, Georgia, and the Carolinas.  Florida is a weird one, because they are a purple state run by Republicans who rig the system.  Virginia - if the area Suffolk and West, up north to Petersburg were to go to North Carolina, I think everyone would be happy.  Richmond, Tidewater, Charlottesville, and NoVA are different.

      This is all a silly thought experiment and would never happen, but if we were interested in splitting on culture lines I think that would cover it.

      -Fred

      Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

      by FredFred on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:47:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forgot Kansas (0+ / 0-)

        kansas is part of the south.  Nebraska part of the north.  Just as it was back in the compromise days.

        Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

        by FredFred on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:48:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nebraska voted 56.54% for McCain. (0+ / 0-)

          While District 2 did go for Obama by 1.2%, District 3 went McCain 68.64%. Kansas was practically identical to Nebraska.

          As for Bleeding Kansas, the abolitionists of Lawrence might disagree with your assessment of Kansas as a southern state.

          The Missouri Compromise was repealed with the Kansas-Nebraska Act which said that each state determine whether to be slave or free. Kansas was admitted as a free state in 1861.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:53:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I was going by the Confederate States. (0+ / 0-)

        If you are splitting just by culture, you would have to kick out most of the west except the coastal states. As well as a lot of Michigan.

        Georgia and North Carolina are probably about the same culture as Virginia. Mississippi, Alabama, and SC are a species unto themselves.

        Where did you get your definition of the New South?

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:53:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pulled it out of my butt (0+ / 0-)

          However I think that culturally I'm right.  Idaho and Utah are pretty red but they're red for different reasons than Alabama is red.

          Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

          by FredFred on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:27:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You might be interested in reading (3+ / 0-)

            The Warmth of Different Suns by Isabel Wilkerson if you think other parts of the country don't have their racial issues.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:31:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  racial problems exist everywhere (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

              nywhere in the world. Sudan vs south sudan. Serbians vs Croatians. Anywhere there are different types of people there will be that type of conflict.

              The anti-science evangelical-driven caste system in the south is not purely racial in its driving factors. True, hatred for blacks, Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, and gays do factor in, but some of that is the higher caste members generating hate to distract people from the economic pain.

              -Fred

              Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

              by FredFred on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 02:49:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is one of the best books I've ever read. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cassandracarolina

                That book and Rising Tide by John Barry are books I recommend to anyone interested in racial relations.

                The majority of people down here do not hate gays, Muslims, Jews, Latinos, or African-Americans. But the ones who do are very loud. And you are right that some people prey on others' ignorance and economic fears.

                The political situation will change also, especially with changing demographics. More than 42% of Tennesseans voted for the President; I think Georgia was about 48% for him. So it just takes changing one person out of 10.

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:45:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  One of my "welcomes" to Canada was by some (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cassandracarolina

                drunk and stoned Canadians who thought that I was Mohawk because I had long, dark, straight hair. It was unpleasant. Whenever people in the United States want to make the case that Canadians are the "nice" Americans, I remember that. I found plenty of racism in Canada, just not always the same racism you'd find here.

    •  More population and electoral college votes in (0+ / 0-)

      the South. Cut off all the border states except NM and add SC, TN, AK and OK, and you've got enough control of the electoral college and the federal government to manage the rest.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:19:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That 30% figure keeps cropping up. There's a very (0+ / 0-)

      good book on line that discusses this called "The Authoritarians" that everyone here should read. Here's the linkie: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/...

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:29:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes the tumor is inoperable (8+ / 0-)

    As nice as it would be, you can't just get rid of it. There's no practical way to create a separate country out of the southern US.

    Referring to health insurers, John Edwards said,

    "My view is, you give them a seat at the table, they eat all the food! You cannot compromise with these people.  When you negotiate with them, they win.  You have to beat them.  You have to take them on."  
    That's what we have to do with "the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country".

    You cannot negotiate with them. You have to beat them. Hopefully Obama has learned the lesson in his first term, and will be much less accommodating in his second.

    “No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry, they dance, they live and they die. Learn the difference.”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:38:06 AM PDT

    •  The Southern border states, with the exclusion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit, Positronicus

      of New Mexico and the addition of South Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas would do it.

      That would be enough of a political shift in the electoral college for moderates and progressive to take over and shift the Overton Window back decades.

      Then we might be able to address the over-concentration of wealth, the lack of economic demand, jobs, the commercial prison industry, the Un-Enlightenment and Climate Change (at least to the extent that we can create a policy to develop the technology, environmental policy and social mechanisms necessary to mitigate not only the environmental devastation ahead but also the military juggernaut for controlling access to resources and "manage" refugee flows that will surely come if there is no progressive counter-force to contain it. That is not a force that will develop within a system so thoroughly controlled by the plutocrats, who need the South to maintain their stranglehold on policy.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:38:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is what makes me pause (18+ / 0-)

    "In 2010, 55 percent of the black population lived in the South, and 105 Southern counties had a black population of 50 percent or higher."
    http://www.census.gov/...

    Should we abandon them?  

    •  Thank You (14+ / 0-)

      Everytime the "get rid of the South" argument gets made around here, I have to remind folks of this inconvenient truth about the majority of American Black people live.   Now, if the intent is to say that Black folks aren't worth keeping around, they should just say it.  Otherwise, perhaps all those crying for separation from the South should consider what it will be like if our side of the political aisle can never win another national election because of all those Black folks it no longer has to count on when making these arguments.

      Or do just assume that Latinos will take our place, consistently, where our party is concerned?

      •  Lots of Latinos in 'the South' too (4+ / 0-)

        especially if you include, as you should, Florida and Texas as 'the South'. Other southern states also have substantial and growing Latino populations.

        •  In Other Words (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          downsouth, Gutterboy

          Who cares? Is that your argument - that as long as you have increasing numbers Latinos in the South, the fact that you are jettisoning the majority of Black folks is not worth making a different decision over?

          It is indisputable that the Latino population in the US has grown exponentially since 1986.  It is also indisputable that they do not vote as a bloc.  Just because the last two federal election cycles have presented options so bad for Latino interests that their vote has been heavily skewed Democratic, doesn't mean that the overwhelming majority will always vote Democratic.  The history of Latino voting in the US doesn't bear that out.

          Frankly, I'm convinced that if Black folks hadn't made that politicall mistake, we wouldn't be invisible now in important matters such as discussions about whether jettisoning the South is a good idea.  

          •  What?? (4+ / 0-)

            Who cares? I do. I am furious about the idle chatter on this thread about removing from the US a region of the US that includes a majority of African Americans citizens AND a large population of Latinos AND a substantial number of Native Americans. With a main rationale of the advocate so this proposal being that the region is racist. The hypocrisy is appalling.

            •  It Appears I Misunderstood Your Original Comment (5+ / 0-)

              And for that I am sorry.

            •  Don't forget the poor (5+ / 0-)
              With a main rationale of the advocate so this proposal being that the region is racist. The hypocrisy is appalling.
              Shanikka and NorthCountryNY are right.

              Don't forget the class issue. In addition to dumping black folks, Latinos, Native Americans, etc., they're overwhelmingly in favor of dumping the poor as well.

            •  Who says the Black people would have to stay (0+ / 0-)

              in the South. The proposals mooted would allow for people to migrate North & South to choose where they wanted to live before the split finalized. Their race or ethnic origin wouldn't be considered in this migration. If Black people etc. wanted to move North, they could do so.

              "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

              by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:33:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You May Not Be Aware of This, But (6+ / 0-)

                For the past 15 years there has been a "reverse migration" of Black people (Called "the Second Great Migration") OUT OF the liberal bastions of the Northeast and West - back to the SOUTH.  In other words, they already tried that - and have been increasingly rejecting it.

                Perhaps they know something you don't about the South, the North, and where their fortunes might best lie?

                •  And all this talk of putting people on trains to (6+ / 0-)

                  to segregate political ideologies is freaking me the fuck out.

                  "We'll just send the republicans south and import all the 'coloreds' up here and just sort it all right out" shows a lack of historical memory regarding fucking FASCISM that has my panties in a real wad.

                  And the fact that this fascist shit has been given a safe haven by a front pager who is calling this bigoted crap a topic worthy of serious discussion.

                  I'm beyond pissed off.

                  "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

                  by Unduna on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:36:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Don't Fault (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AaronInSanDiego

                    The front page author for calling attention to this book's ideas - nor do I see any evidence that she endorses it's ideas.  I certainly don't see evidence that she intended the central premise to be advocated without consequence (i.e. I don't see evidence of a safe haven, especially given how many comments there have been.)

                    It's important to discuss, this myopic, rabidly stereotypical image that many on the Left who are from elsewhere holds, frankly -- too often the warts on our own side of the aisle are avoided.  This is one of those warts - the sense thst somehow the South is not worth keeping.

                    •  I disagree. By calling for people to read this (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cassandracarolina, downsouth

                      book and by calling it a "serious thought experiment," Susan has asked this community to take bigotry and regionalism and political scapegoating under serious consideration as rational political thought.

                      And as evidenced by many comments, there are now members of the community who are delighted to consider this worthless train of false logic who previously hadn't really considered doing so. Charming.

                      We've been having this discussion about South bashing for quite some time.  
                      Having it promulgated as "serious thought" is not going to be furthering the sanity of the discourse.
                      Far from.

                      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

                      by Unduna on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:04:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We will Agree to Disagree (0+ / 0-)

                        There are a lot of serious thought experiments worth having even if the conclusion from having the experiment is "what a stupid fucking idea."  There would be a whole lot less creativity and brainstorming in the world if a person had to feel like they couldn't engage in the experiment at all without folks having a fit.  I simply don't agree with your conclusion that this diary is anything more than the experiment - Susan certainly hasn't said what her personal conclusion is about the ultimate .  Frankly, I think people owe it to her -- as they do to every diarist -- to at least ask, rather than assume what her personal conclusion (if she has yet reached one) is.

                        •  Yeah, we're gonna have to agree to disagree. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          cassandracarolina, downsouth

                          Calling this "serious thought" and suggesting that people read the book pretty much says what I think Susan meant to say: read this, take it seriously.

                          And I have a serious issue with that.

                          And in terms of furthering community discussion, as clearly evidenced in the threads, this counts as a set-back, not a furtherance.

                          Cost benefit analysis on this choice of site content brings up some serious questions.

                          "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

                          by Unduna on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:26:48 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

                      I had to re-read the post, because my initial gut reaction to the premise and many of the comments gave me a different impression.

                      I've never actually been to the South, except for briefly in some areas of Maryland and Virginia around DC (if you consider Maryland and DC part of the South, the way the Census Bureau does). My grandmother was born in Montgomery over a century ago, but other than that I have no real connection to that part of the country. But any discussion about separating into "us" and "them" makes me uncomfortable, especially when we start to talk about intentionally segregating ourselves along these lines

                      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:09:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  The underlying assumption... (5+ / 0-)

                  ... is that all black Southerners, given the chance, would board the Magical Kos Railroad to some Northern utopia where bigotry and prejudice wouldn't exist, leaving the South entirely to Haley Barbour, Hank Williams Jr. and the KKK.

                  Besides being ludicrous on its own merits, it's also really, really, REALLY paternalistic and patronizing.

      •  The North and Republicans (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shanikka, Quicklund, tardis10
        Otherwise, perhaps all those crying for separation from the South should consider what it will be like if our side of the political aisle can never win another national election because of all those Black folks it no longer has to count on when making these arguments.
        Absolutely.  Those who assume that a US without the south would be a progressive's paradise need to look a little deeper.

        Yes, the north has become more Democratic as the south has become more Republican, but a big part of that has come from affluent voters turned off by the Bible thumping.  They happily voted for Reagan (twice) and George HW Bush once.  They did not fully come into the Democratic party until Bill Clinton pulled the Democrats more to the center on economics.

        If the north and south were to separate, or even if the Republican party were to finally ditch the theocrats, many northerners would feel more comfortable voting Republican again,

        “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

        by RoIn on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:24:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  it's hypothetical (0+ / 0-)

        don't worry.

        the problem is the southern states are not run by the American Black people, but fundamentalist, anti-enlightenment, likely-to-be-racist white people.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:04:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And That Makes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse, fuzzyguy, downsouth

          The idea of splitting the South off alright because?

          •  People see southern state reps in Congress (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pengiep, davethefave, tardis10

            as a major, immovable obstacle to sorely needed progress.

            People see fundamentalist Christianity (which is strongest in the south), with its rejection of basic knowledge, as a threat to our well-being.

            As I said in my previous comment, dividing the US is hypothetical. It's not going to happen.

            But there is solid reason for regional resentment that leads to that logical end.

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:21:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And it's not just that (4+ / 0-)

              because that misses a lot of Thompson's argument (based on this review; I haven't read the book yet.)

              Yes, Pennsylvania is Pennsyltucky. Yes, Paul Ryan comes from WI and Bachman from MN and Romney from MI by way of MA. So, what makes those states different from the South?

              PA, WI, MN, MI, and MA are not right-to-work states.

              THAT is the big problem, and Thompson seems to realize this. Right-to-work states are sucking the economy, and especially the well-being of workers, right into oblivion. Don't you guys remember why some of these southern reps opposed the GM/Chrysler bailout? Because their right-to-work states were building lots of cars and making money because they didn't have to worry about them pesky unions.

              It's not just racism. It's not just the religious batshittery. It's THIS: economical undercutting.

              And, yes, I realize right-to-work states aren't just in the south; the plains and mountain states have plenty. However, think of it this way: the only Union states in the Civil War that are right-to-work are Kansas, Iowa, and Indiana.

              "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

              by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:37:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Most of the southern stereotypes, and they are (8+ / 0-)

        stereotypes, that people in the north have in mind, and I'm pretty sure these are the ones that people are thinking of in this thread, are of southern whites. Though, the fact that people aren't thinking of blacks in the south at all is a form racism itself.

        The reactionary southern politicians people are talking about, I assume, are whites. Black southern politicians haven't ever struck me as being reactionary.

        For the record, I don't support the notion of the country dividing in this way.

        •  THIS RIGHT HERE (11+ / 0-)
          Though, the fact that people aren't thinking of blacks in the south at all is a form racism itself.
          It is true.  We Black folks are invisible except when these so-called progressives need us to turn out and vote.  Oh, and when it comes to them trying to tell us how we should be and what is "best" for us collectively.  

          And it is one of the most pernicious forms of racism.  I'd rather deal with the overt shit in the South, many days.

          •  I actually agree with you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pengiep, zesty grapher

            however, it's more complicated than that.

            We need you to turn out and vote in the South because that's the only way we get anything other than a complete reactionary in that area.

            OTOH, I live in a northern state with a rather notorious history of racism; however, our percentage of Blacks is lower than the national average (7.8%) and we have a second-term progressive Black governor, Deval Patrick.

            In other words, my "racist" home state elected a black governor--twice--who could have only won if a whole lot of white people voted for him.

            If you think that could EVER happen in a Southern state, please enlighten me.

            "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

            by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:45:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Racism Takes Many Forms (4+ / 0-)

              I'm not sure why we are convinced that voting for a Black politician means that someone is not racist.  All it means is that for whatever reason, their perception of their own enlightened self-interest outweighed the impact of their racism on their vote that particular time.

              The last four years have proven that beyond dispute.

              •  Again, I agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zesty grapher

                But, I ask again--what are the chances that what you said--that perception of own enlightened self-interest outweighed the impact of their racism--EVER happens, in the south, enough to effect an election?

                Hey, I'm of the opinion we're all racist. And, hell yes, that includes me. The trick is to recognize it and fight it. And, yes, I think the willingness to vote for a Black politician does indicate some degree of this. I voted for Obama and Patrick and I'm the son of a man who has flat-out said he'd never "vote for a N....". Believe me, I'm not patting myself on the back for it--but I am claiming a wee bit of completely conscious enlightenment that led me to that point. I still consider myself more racist than I wish I were--but I'm a hell of a lot less racist than my upbringing would've indicated.

                And, yes, I do think that's easier in the North. Look, I attend a local state university (I'm not college age, I'm 47 :). Said State U started as a Normal School in 1852. The first Black graduate of that school (and a woman at that) was in 1856. (Her name was Charlotte Forten; she was an active abolitionist). My U was desegregated almost from inception and before the Civil War. It makes a difference.

                "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

                by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:13:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I Grew Up in the North (8+ / 0-)

                  In New York City.  Racist as hell.

                  I live in California.  Racist as hell.

                  And I spent many summers in the South, in Alabama and South Carolina.  Racist as hell.

                  The difference? In the South you are crystal clear about it.  People don't front.

                  When I was a child, my parents routinely said that while they hated growing up in the South, the one aspect of it they missed was that they always knew where they stood vis a vis white folks.  And it relieved a great deal of stress that they faced continuously in New York where folks smiled in your face and were racist beyond belief behind your back.  I thought they were insane.

                  I don't think so, anymore.  I understand completely what they meant when they said it was easier in the South.

                  •  Amen. (8+ / 0-)

                    Agree 100%

                    I'll never forget the cross-burnings in Queens NY when middle income blacks started buying homes there.

                    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now". Rev. William Barber, If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

                    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:47:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  There's actually two different things here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zesty grapher

                    We could call them actual racism, and bigotry.

                    Racism, in the way I'm using it here, is institutional. Bigotry is personal. (When used that way, what I said above about us all being racists should really be that we're all bigots.)

                    So, in that context, your comments about NYC, and CA, could be rephrased as "full of friggin' bigots" and I would most emphatically agree, and I'd add Boston.

                    However, while racism, of the institutional variety, surely existed in the North--and especially in terms of housing, especially in Boston--it was far, far less than in the South. The only "Jim Crow" laws that ever existed in New England were anti-miscegenation (and not everywhere; not in MA). There isn't a single Historically Black College/University in New England (or New York) because we never needed them.

                    So, yes, Bigots are freakin' Everywhere. No argument, at all. But institutional racism does vary, by region, and it does make a difference.

                    And I do understand what you're saying about it being easier in the south to deal with "in-your-face" bigotry. However, the "behind-your-back" bigotry in most of the North, especially in New England, never lead to universities you couldn't attend, votes you weren't allowed to cast, and bathrooms you couldn't use. Not that it was ever perfect--it did, as I said above, lead to places where you weren't allowed to buy a house (and, because of that, schools you couldn't attend). But there is a huge degree of difference.

                    "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

                    by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:17:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      fuzzyguy

                      But I don't play the "let's call racism something other than racism" game that we love here on the Left.  The only reason for it is defensive in nature.  Even if it's unconsciously so.

                      •  Sorry, shanikka (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        alain2112

                        That ain't defensiveness, that's linguistics. I'm an English teacher; words are important to me. Racism, in its most prominent definition, implies a systematic or institutional thing.

                        However, if you don't want to argue semantics, take my previous post and just call the two "institutional racism" and "personal racism", which is the difference I'm talking about.

                        "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

                        by ChurchofBruce on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:34:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Child Please (0+ / 0-)

                          You may be a linguist, but I'm not sure why you believe that qualifies you to make an assertion that racism is really not racism, it's "bigotry" just because whites are scared to embrace the word racism.

                          Do you mind telling me what linguistics class you learned the so-called difference between racism and bigotry in?  

                          •  Now that is *complete* (0+ / 0-)

                            fucking bullshit, because I started this conversation by using the word racism about myself, so don't come in and give me "scared to embrace the word racism" crap. I do use it, because I understand it's common practice, but all it takes is a glance at a dictionary to tell you that the first, preferred definition of the word "racism" is institutional, systematic, collective.

                            I was trying to use two words to separate two different contexts--and I was using them in their fucking dictionary definitions--because I was trying to keep those contexts clear. I even gave you an out, telling you if you wanted to use the word "racism" in both contexts, fine by me.

                             You still haven't said a word about the substance of my comment.

                            "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

                            by ChurchofBruce on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 03:32:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK Then Do Me a Favor Next Time (0+ / 0-)

                            Own it up front as "I don't want to use the word racism to describe this", not as "These are two separate things."  Don't reference your linguistics background as if it gives you some absolute authority to say what the words racism and bigotry mean.  

                            I also can read the dictionary, BTW.  I have also studied racism - a lot.  The psychology of racism was the focus of my undergraduate studies.  Racism in the law was a focus of my legal studies. So.........you can say all you want about what is "preferred", but the truth of the matter is that it's what YOU prefer.

                            Which would be all good, if you just owned it and accepted that my response to that type of deflection, which I have seen countless times before,  is "sorry, I don't want to play game wtih you."  I am not trying to be mean - I'm just weary of it and have no evidence it does anything more than obfuscate the issues.

                          •  All right, I'll buy (0+ / 0-)

                            your final paragraph. Rest assured I was not trying to obfuscate any issues. I was trying to separate two different contexts, and was doing so by using word meanings that would illustrate that context. That's all.

                            "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

                            by ChurchofBruce on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 02:07:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, it does lead to things like jobs you (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      fuzzyguy, ChurchofBruce, tardis10

                      won't be hired for, and the fact that it's subtle makes it easier for people to put the blame on the victims. Plus, there's the emotional toll of the drip, drip, drip of being told you don't matter day in and day out.

                      I think it can be useful to distinguish between different racist behaviors because we need to do different things to combat them. We can't just take down obvious barriers and then kid ourselves that the "playing field is level." At the same time, I understand that some people are afraid that doing that might make some racist behaviors more acceptable than others, and that is not at all what I mean.

                      I read an interesting article by Michael Chabon where he defines racism even more broadly as simply being alienated from the experiences of people of other races. I was thinking of writing a diary about it because I found the notion intriguing and I was curious about what other people might think.

                •  The guy that started Norton computer software is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

                  a white guy married to a black woman. On the rug in front of their fireplace is woven the phrase: "Two things I must always watch; My weight and my racism."

                  You avoid being racist by looking for it in one's own thought, words and deeds. It's there no matter who one is, but one must always choose against giving it power.

                  "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

                  by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:39:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  THIS THIS THIS (7+ / 0-)
          Though, the fact that people aren't thinking of blacks in the south at all is a form racism itself.
          Assuming the average Southerner is Boss Hogg makes about as much sense as assuming the average Californian is Paris Hilton.
  •  we wouldn't be better off without them, (6+ / 0-)

    we'd be better off if reconstruction had lasted at least a few more decades than it did.

    ...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 Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:39:52 AM PDT

    •  Tilden instead of Hayes? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, No Exit, fuzzyguy

      That's what did it, you know - the compromise arranged to get Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican) into office instead of Samuel J. Tilden (Democrat) in 1876-7.

      That election and its consequences set a lot of awful precedents: most particularly, that some body other than the House of Representatives assembled could settle a disputed election. (At least that time it was a Congressionally appointed commission, and not the Supreme Court butting in.)

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:42:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I heard about a study that a kid moving from the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, dallasdunlap, pengiep

    South to the North could expect a 20 point jump in IQ. My wife at the time was studying education in college.

  •  I sometimes daydream this will happen (6+ / 0-)

    but this daydream is a seriously shallow one; one that is not really thought through.

    On an emotional level though, I am outraged at the power these backward looking states have to impede progress for our collective country. They willfully vote en mass against their own self interest for a real possibility for a better life. It seems they just don't want to think.

    Kudos to the people who stay in those states, who try to educate and lead, and try to change their mindsets from yesterday to today or maybe even tomorrow.  

    But I, for one, am fed up with not only the south, but also including  the consistent red states in the rest of the country.

    A split up would be a disaster for the country.  Fed up as I am, I really hope for the best.  I think that best would be that these people wake up and stop drinking the kool aid they are continually given.  Or, maybe, they are just too comfortable being controlled and can't imagine that life could be different in a positive way for them if only break the mind-chains?

    Want change? Vote for straight Democratic ticket! With the House, Senate, Governors and down ballot elections won by the Democrats, we will get the change we want.

    by paulacvdw on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:46:02 AM PDT

    •  My father was an officer and non-com in the (0+ / 0-)

      USMC during WWII. He told me that Southerners liked to be told what to do. This attitude of theirs both mystified and disgusted him.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:42:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes I do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pengiep

    believe we are better off without em. My only caviat is that any military advantage be neutered before that ever happens. In other words, good luck.

    In slightly the same vein, but the inverse, has anyone seen the C.S.A. movie on TV?

  •  from Brooklyn (10+ / 0-)

    7 years ago, we moved to coastal NC--the beaches and the golf course are beautiful--the weather is great--the people outwardly friendly.  It is a different country here--science takes a back seat to intuition.  Evolution is  distinctly a minority view--as is climate change.

    As for education--Brown v Bd of Ed has turned the wealthy whites into private schoolers--or home schooling--and they don't want to pay any school taxes.  Many northerners were fooled into thinking charter schools were a good idea--the good press for that was arranged by people trying to get government funds for private schools.  Northern politicians want to look like reformers--and save money-- so they bought into the idea that they should blame the teacher, not the society's bipolar economics and bigotry.

    Yes, bigotry reigns in the south--and was always strong in the north.  "Those" people are the problem is a disgusting mantra--espoused in the south--and much of the north.  Central PA--most of Indiana--upstate NY--Idaho-- so many places ruled by hatred.  Yes, the South's exit from the union would benefit many in the North--but much of the remaining country belongs in the South.  Prejudice is a worse disease than is cancer-- we can't dissolve the union--we'd be another Yugoslavia--but with nukes.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:53:09 AM PDT

    •  But with nukes... most of which (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jds1978

      are manufactured in the south if I'm not mistaken.

      JON HAUGEN FOR U.S. CONGRESS! 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

      by keeplaughing on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:04:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would object to upstate NY being (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy, tardis10

      "ruled by hatred." Conservative, yes, republican by tradition, but having lived her most of my life I can say we are no worse than anywhere else. I dare say there are neighborhoods in Brooklyn that would fit that category too.

      Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

      by JeffSCinNY on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:08:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  state senate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No Exit

        If not for some city Republicans, the state senate's Rs are quite smug and dismissive of people in need--especial people who look, or speak, differently.  
        As for Bklyn, the bigotry of Bay Ridge pales in comparison to what I've encountered upstate.  They're willing to pay taxes--just want their kids in different schools.  Less virulent than cut taxes and write allocations that favor rural areas.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:17:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah,ya got that eeevil congresswoman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, fuzzyguy

      up in Rochester,NY fueling the hatred. Must be because she was born in Kentucky. (snark)
      Seriously,all this broad-brush simplicity is same old,same old,same old divide & conquer tactic that the oligarchy has always used.
      (& for the record I've lived in the most liberal parts of the USA,one of the most politically conservative and now in CNY. With many years out of the USA as well)  

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:46:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So We're Only Advocating a 40 State Strategy Now? (9+ / 0-)

    n/t

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:54:39 AM PDT

  •  Sounds intiriguing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978

    This has been a cocktail party conversation gambit of mine before. What exactly is the downside of letting them go? I can't think of anything off the bat.

    www.dailykos.com is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:57:02 AM PDT

  •  The Problem Is Often American Patience (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    Which is nonexistent. Go to any older culture in the world especially in Asia and you will find people who think in terms of generations rather than "right now". Americans (people in the Northeast are a perfect example) live at such a fast pace that they want change to happen instantly. The more liberally educated people of the North and the West are slowly but surely migrating to parts of the country where the politics have been traditionally extremely conservative and extremely "Southron". I guess the politicians might be learning the hard way that offering tax breaks for corporations to move to their states might have had unintended consequences like bringing in a steady supply of people who don't quite think the way they do.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:58:23 AM PDT

    •  Any more patience and we won't have an (4+ / 0-)

      educational system left. We'll be in a hole so deep we'll never dig out of it. With the exception of gay rights, I've watched conservatives with religious justifications make gains for over thirty years.

      People moving form the north to the south is no guarantee that it's the south which will change and not the northerners who have moved there. As many people have pointed out, cultural values and norms of the south have moved north.

      What do we do when we have an entire generation that believes lady parts shut down legitimate rape sperm, who can't even utter the word vagina, which was a perfectly good, if somewhat clinical sounding, word when I was young, who don't believe in evolution? I am very much thinking in terms of the long view because I don't like the direction we're heading.

  •  Garbage, even as snark.... (18+ / 0-)

    Entertaining a proposal like this, even as Sunday snark,  defiles the memory of Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, and all who gave or risked their lives to make the South a better place for all people. You want to consider writing off the home of 55% of the African Americans in the US, because the political establishment is racist? You want to consider writing off the Latinos of Texas and throughout the South because the political leadership is xenophobic? You want to write off the states that produced Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Bill Clinton because you don't like George W. Bush?

    We need to be arguing how to move a progressive agenda in EVERY STATE, especially the most politically regressive, instead of sipping our morning soy-milk lattes in our comfortable 'liberal enclaves' and speculating how much better it would be if we could hack out the parts of the country whose political elite disagree with us.

    •  The cancer is spreading, not receding. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, pengiep

      We will NEVER address Climate Change in a way that prevents a constant state of War for resources and to deal with refugees humanely around the globe if we cannot establish a critical mass of progressivism to develop and distribute the technological and social solutions.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:20:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with most of what you say, (0+ / 0-)

      but I understand the anger that motivates much of this. I frequently feel like my culture and country is held hostage by a small number of people, quite the opposite of feeling like I'm in an enclave, in fact.

      •  Anger is justification... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        downsouth

        for writing a book and a front-page review?  The authors were "angry" and so we should give them some slack?  How about "Well, it seems that you two were a little bit angry when you took up the pen... so now I think that we should have a Time Out.   And then the next time you decide to write something, perhaps we'd all be better off if you just didn't."

        Don't be a DON'T-DO... Be a DO-DO!

        by godwhataklutz on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I'm angry and I'm not going to appologize for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zesty grapher

          that.  Don't tell me to take a time out. I am not a child. Do not talk to me as if I am. How damned insulting.

          When someone is angry about an injustice, should I just tell them to take a "time out." Is that what feminists should do, I suppose, when they hear a sexist remark, take a "time out?" I've said several times here that even if it were practical to split, which it isn't, I wouldn't advocate for it. However, don't tell me to not be angry when southern whites want to impose their culture on the rest of the nation. When evangelical Christians want to impose their creationist nonsense on non-Christian children, I think I would do damned well to be angry. When they want to impose their retrograde notions of sexuality on the rest of the country, I feel I am right to be angry.

          If you think that "time-out" is to productive, why don't you take one yourself?

    •  Thanks for this (4+ / 0-)

      I read the diary on the Front Page and thought "Who the hell thinks that this is suitable for discussion, let alone for a Book Review?"
      Page through the comments... nothing.  Until your comment.

      This "book" seems more akin to the right-wing claptrap published by  Regnery... immediately dismissible.

      The better approach is Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?" where the author carefully illustrates how the public is being conned, not led,  by its legislators.

      Don't be a DON'T-DO... Be a DO-DO!

      by godwhataklutz on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:53:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that such backward thinking ... (6+ / 0-)

    is not confined to the South (although they sure have a big share of it!)  Having the southern states become their own country would not solve the problems with say Kansas or Utah, or even parts of California.  Admittedly the South has a certain tendency to elect self-serving backwards politicians, but so do some districts in Minnesota or Wisconsin, to name two.

    If we follow that logic (as tempting as it sometimes is, especially when you hear the two Senators from Kentucky - Note: Kentucky was not technically part of the Confederacy!)
    we would be making a patchwork quilt of the country.  Although it seems hopeless sometimes, I would much prefer bringing the South into the 21st Century.

    Still this has been an interesting read and a look at succession from another point of view.
     

    •  There is a deep Red band along the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      equinespecter

      Southern border. If that is removed, the Federal government would become half-progressive, half-moderate, with a handful of conservatives and dealing with Idaho or particular deep red counties become much more manageable politically.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:23:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  5-7 countries should be carved out of the US. (0+ / 0-)

      All based on cultural differences.

      Southwest would probably be its own region, in my plan.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:13:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  South is regressing not progressing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

      Believe it or not, there was a time when some hard core southern states were almost center-right.

      What they called the "new South" was emerging after the civil rights struggles but before the evangelicals got politicized.

      But ever since the born again Christians got involved, it's been all downhill.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:21:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if this is the guy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, Unduna

    who wrote this legendary essay.

    The only problem with agreeing with that essay, and the argument of the present book, is: Why stop with the South?

  •  Give me a break. The "South" exists in most (10+ / 0-)

    states, in pockets and intrastate regions. In NYS, I swear the Mason Dixon line is just west of the Hudson in the foothills of Catskills. The know nothings are ascendent in certain states, but to dream we it could cut it out is nonsense. Where does Fox News broadcast from??? NYC.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:01:29 AM PDT

    •  Take away the deep red border states, all (0+ / 0-)

      excluding NM and adding SC, TN, AK and OK, and you will eliminate the electoral strength of conservatism in America. Those other pockets in every state you speak will have very limited power.

      Frankly, for dealing with the environmental, social and economic impacts of Climate Change even in the short term in an effective, adaptive and humane way, it's going to take a wresting of control from the base of the plutocracy, which depends on the Southern bastions of Un-Enlightenment for power, to come close to dealing with the impacts of Climate Change and prevent constant War for resource control and refugee management. That's our alternative. And it's already begun and will escalate sharply, with sever economic distress, during THIS decade.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:43:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And how do we define "the South"? (0+ / 0-)

      The Confederacy consisted of 11 states.  Today, three - Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, are purple "battleground" states.  Do they rejoin the new Confederate States of America?

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:58:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As Frustrated as I am. . . . (10+ / 0-)

    I hate that kind of talk.  No matter how many facts it has on its side, it lacks the kind of perspective, empathy, and curiosity about the lives of others to contribute anything worthwhile.  

    Sorry, but I don't believe in pouring more poison into the well.

    Perhaps this comes out of my own experience of being a NYC-metro area guy who went from working on 5th avenue to teaching college in Joplin, MO (which is, culturally, part of the deep south).  As awful as it was to spend the Bush years there, I came away resenting the kind of condescending broad-brush depictions of that part of the country that I saw in the included quote (not that I didn't catch myself doing it plenty of times).  But when you actually spend time with the people that it is referring to, when you understand how their lives are shaped, it's hard to see them in these terms.

    I also got to see the young people and how they were changing and redefining some of these values-----for example, "fired up Christian" youth who were far more tolerant of other religions and sexual identifies than their parents, who were pushing the older generation to recognize environmental issues as having a moral and theological component, who spent whole Spring Break vacations building homes for the homeless.  Most are probably still voting GOP, but they are not the same as the generation in power now and they will change these places as they grow into leadership positions.

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:01:32 AM PDT

    •  Well, the Climate and its impact on the global (0+ / 0-)

      economy will make all of that a moot point, particularly if we can't create a critical mass of progressivism to develop the environmental policy (conservation), technology and social mechanisms for averting the worst excesses quickly. The environmental, economic, social and military impacts are already taking place and they will all escalate dramatically during THIS decade. Try creating heretofore elusive harmony in the chaos of a continual state of war for natural resources and to "manage" refugee populations. IF we could control of policy tomorrow we might be able to avert the worst scenarios. Hundreds of millions of lives are physically at stake, as well billions more slated for injuring, disease, destitution and no doubt slavery.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:49:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The south won't secede because (4+ / 0-)

    the elites who run the southern states government know they would lose in the long run.
    Without the northern states teats to suckle from, the south would soon discover that it is a lot harder to build a economic miracle when you have to pay for it with your own
    money. As their budget deficits explode, they would have to deal with unpleasant realities of having to raise taxes, or let their infrastructure and education collapse. When life in the newly independent south sucked enough, there would be a net migration out again, which would worsen the financial hardships. And given their states rights ideology, they would likely recreate the CSA government which was a model of bickering ineffectiveness.

    Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

    by JeffSCinNY on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:02:13 AM PDT

  •  Having just finished the book (4+ / 0-)

    A few notes:
    Thompson struggles with the issue of whether to include Texas throughout the book. He finally let's the South keep Florida based on GDP and moves Texas back to the US.

    He tries to address government facilities in the South, but mostly only looks at the military. Of course, that's where the money is, so...

    The afterword is telling in that it points out that a lot of heavy thinkers on both sides of the aisle think this is a dumb if not outright harmful question.

    The chapter devoted to football is useful as another example of a propaganda campaign that's used to create self-fulfilling conditions.

    I liked it. I wouldn't take it seriously except for the potential of further exploiting the system that's already rigged.

  •  So the author is saying the South isn't (8+ / 0-)

    part of the real America, not one of the hard working pro-America areas of this great nation. Where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans.

    Right?

    The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present

    by Inkin on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:05:54 AM PDT

  •  This is not helpful (6+ / 0-)

    Yeah, we'd be better off without those backward ignorant Southern states like Arizona, Idaho, and Wis -- wait, what?

    South is obviously a bad direction.  I recall driving down from British Columbia into Washington state and being struck by the sudden appearance of Jesus signs all over the place once we crossed the border.  Quite creepy by contrast.

    Tell me about racism and black poverty in that southern metropolis of Washington, D.C.

    Tell you what, if you occupy a territory for a few decades, burn their culture, and loot their economy -- call it something disingenuously neutral like "reconstruction" -- yeah, there are people who are going to kind of resent that and who are going to teach that resentment to their kids and grandkids.  Don't take our word for it though, ask an Iraqi or Afghan.

    Meanwhile, if we let you have this fantasy of a US with only your fraction of the fuckwits (and trust me, it's a bigger fraction than you think), you have to let us have our fantasy of keeping the oil and gas revenue from the Gulf, the ports, NASA, and the money and lives we're contributing to your hegemonic empire building.  

    •  i agree, this whole conversation is not helpful at (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      localroger, Quicklund

      this particular moment in time.

      This is something to discuss AFTER the election.

      JON HAUGEN FOR U.S. CONGRESS! 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

      by keeplaughing on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:26:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most of those oil refineries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10

      and NASA are paid with federal dollars and oil subsidies which come disproportionately from blue states.  Also, we'd have to take our military bases out as well which prop up a ton of the local economies.  Also, no Medicare and no Medicaid so those shit wages suddenly don't go so far do they?  

      As far as hegemonic empire building, which states banned Sharia law again?

      Romney/Caligula 2012!

      by sujigu on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:10:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I forgot the oil refineries (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy, cassandracarolina

        Don't kid yourself that they were built with federal dollars.  They were mostly built by multinational investment.  They get tax breaks and such but the reason they're located where they are has very little to do with politics and everything to do with transportation and especially those ports.

        In any case this is not a useful exercise.  There are many reasons why this split can't and shouldn't happen, and it's extremely unhelpful to find this at the top of dailykos at all, much less a few weeks before a critical election.

  •  regionalism is a kind of bigotry (10+ / 0-)

    And it seems especially ironic to deploy regionalism (or any other kind of prejudice) as the means for calling out the ostensible bigotry of others.

    Is that really who we are at DKos? I don't think it is. I hope it isn't.

  •  What a bunch of shit. (17+ / 0-)

    And how it dishonors the noble work of progressives in the South who struggle daily to effect incremental change in their communities.  And what a slap in the face to Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Poverty Law Center, and other Southern warriors who have waged battle against the forces of intolerance and ignorance.

    It's easy being a progressive in California or New York.  Try being one in Northern Alabama.  So to this author and anyone who agrees with his thesis, I say a hearty "fuck you."  How about instead of writing off Southern people, you take out your check book and write a check to any of the inumerable progressive groups working down here?  

    We have a lot of challenges in the South.  But the voices that will lead that change will arise from here and certainly not from Chuck Thompson, who, incidentally hails from Alaska, off all fucked up places.  

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Ms Johnson on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:10:02 AM PDT

    •  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James (5+ / 0-)

      Madison all came from Virginia, in the South.  These men wrote the documents on which the founding liberal principles of a progressive democracy are based.  I don't condone their owning slaves or profitting from the plantation system.  That said, every one of these men championed the system which made the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act possible.  The notion that the American system of governemnt should be based on the fact that all men are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness did not come from a Northerner, it came from a Southerner.  The idea that citizens are entitled to freedom of religion, that the government should not support one religion over another, that citizens should have the right to peaceably assemble to ask the government to address their grievances, that the press should not be controlled by the state, that people have the right to due process of law (5th Amendment), etc, etc. all came from the Bill of Rights, demanded by Southerners before they would ratify the Constitution.  

      Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

      by Tchrldy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:25:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All of those ideas were overwhelmingly (0+ / 0-)

        qualified as to render them meaningless for large swaths of the population, women, slaves and other minorities and vulnerable people. And to varying degrees and in various places, overwhelmingly the South, these qualifiers continue to have their impacts on large swaths of the population.

        And the South is regressing faster into the Un-Enlightenment of the Dark than it is re-restablishing the Enlightenment that inspired those leaders in Revolutionary times.

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:53:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This condescending mastubatory topic again? (17+ / 0-)

    Some of us are living here trying to change things and we are getting progress without coming across as the obnoxious know it all yankee that this write up conjures up. It really is not appealing and not a good way to bring open minded southerners to your side.

    The author is right about college football sucking if the south went away though. I guess some of the western teams are watchable but it is not on the same level.

    Have fun, I'm off to try and beat that horrible southerner Mitt Romney who somehow snookered the geniuses of Massachusetts into electing him governor. Thanks a lot.

    •  Progress? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pengiep

      Sorry, you'll feel differently in a few short years when the building environmental and economics overwhelm the already dead political system, leaving us no future but a continuous War for natural resources, economic survival and refugee population "management". All that will be unfolding and become a significant, undeniable part of our lives later this decade.

      When the house is on fire and there's a man with an axe at the door, a cup of water and a butter knife won't cut it.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:57:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been for this idea ever since I left Texas. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pengiep

    The South is overwhelmingly filled with shit-bag people.

    Don't tell me I am wrong. I lived there. That's my take on it.

    And yes, we would be better off without them. Much better.

    "Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness."

    - Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

    by Tirge Caps on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:11:24 AM PDT

  •  Many on the left live in the South. We're not 51% (13+ / 0-)

    of the votes here, but we're quite a large proportion.

    Secession isn't a solution to our problems.

  •  and what about the West? (7+ / 0-)

    I live in Colorado. The trouble I see with this author's schema is that, in many states, these North/South identities coexist. Sometimes in the same persons. I, for example: live on a ranch, own a gun, hunt. At the same time, I was educated at an elite university (where I studied a whole heap o' post-modernist philosophy), I love science, and I vote for progressives every time. My family has deep roots in the West, and we are all complex expressions of its fraught, nuanced histories. So there's that...

    •  Right, but there's a difference between a (0+ / 0-)

      Swing State, where the two major parties are both strong, than deep red states. Cut off the deep red state cancer, and the swing state problem becomes much more manageable. Heck, we could have re-settlement incentive programs to simply overwhelm the opposition where it is strongest. It just becomes logistically a smaller problem.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:17:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  all this fantasizing about the south really (4+ / 0-)

    belonging in the union ignores the very real problem that underlies southern ideology, & one which the historian shelby foote (ken burns' civil war series) explained when he said: the southern states would never have agreed to join the union in the first place if they thought they'd ever be denied the right to own slaves.

    iow, there is a mindset in the south (especially among white fundie politicians like jim demint) that the south was within its rights to secede in 1861 & was coerced into a political union vis a vis the civil war which it never wanted & refuses to acknowledge or accept to this day.  they've just found other ways to do battle (jim crow laws, poll tax, institutionalizing segregation, obstructionism) than fighting a guns-&-bullets type war.

  •  Athletics and academics are two opposing forces. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

    I can even humor the SEC college football conference as being part of the problem.

  •  Good read, Susan...thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    I think I'll check this book out and send it to my conservative, but book reading, family.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:16:19 AM PDT

  •  northern rednecks (4+ / 0-)

    A substantial number of (mostly) young northern males are creating a red neck level throughout the north mostly spurred on by hate radio and Fox News.  They are nowhere near the majority, but they are loud and mean (see Elizabeth Warren and the Indian issue).  

    •  True. BUt they would be manageable if we (0+ / 0-)

      had comfortable control of the electoral college.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:58:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I see no reason to pick out (4+ / 0-)

    a region.  How about Repulicans in Wisconsin, Idaho Kansas, Texas or Oklahoma and Florida (Florida don't count as a southern state).  Racism, fundamental religion, and general dumbness are not regional characteristics.

  •  The South is a colonized land. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    robertlewiws

    The sort of economic despoliations and social degradations that one sees currently in places like Mexico were first inflicted by the North (the US industrial plutocracy) on the newly colonized post-bellum South. The descriptors: "uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted"--and, I would add, bellicose--could easily and similarly be applied to a large part of the population of present-day Mexico (the racists, in their case, would be the lighter-skinned segments). The gypsification, to put it colloquially, of whole swathes of a country's population does not, of course, come about by accident: it is the result of decades (if not centuries) of colonialism/neocolonialism and the fundamentally extractive and subordinate position of a nation in a nexus of imperial and internationalized economies, in which a hegemonic power (the US) safeguards and promotes, at great cost to itself and the world, a fundamentally dangerous and damaging socioeconomic system, i.e. the neoliberal Washington Consensus. These are the same policies both Obama and Romney stand for (with minor social policy differences) and, as can be ascertained by the examples of both Mexico and US (North and South, but especially South) the results aren't pretty, the degradation of human beings and human societies never is.

  •  And won't we all feel better when Mississippi (3+ / 0-)

    reintroduces miscegenation laws, and slackens child labor laws, and makes sexual and racial discrimination no big deal, and makes homosexuality illegal again, and educates every child that these things are right and good and proper?

    Won't we all feel just so fucking proud and smug?

    If the South damages the North (and yes, it does), it's worth the price.  Treating a region as an abstract entity makes it too easy to forget real human costs.

    The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present

    by Inkin on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:25:08 AM PDT

  •  Mike Papantonio (0+ / 0-)

    says this as well.

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:26:19 AM PDT

  •  It's not that simple. (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, the majority of the hard-right, ill-educated, Evangelical Republicans are located in the former Confederate South, but the fact is that these people are mixed up among us throughout the US.  There are no lack of them where I live, in western Pennsylvania (aka Pennsyltucky), and people with this worldview are easy to find in the upper midwest.  SOme of the worst conservatives in Congress were put there by voters in the north (e. g. Michele Bachmann, Pete Hokstra, Steve King, Joe Walsh, etc).  To the extent that the Tea Party succeeded in 2010, it's success was fueled by the hard-right in the north.

    My partner often says "We should have cut 'em loose when we had the chance," and when I think of the many reprehensible individuals in the South, I can't reflexively disagree.  But another factor to consider is this:  What happens to minorities in the South if they are cut loose?  To some extent, the fact that the former Confederate states are under the power of the federal government may be the only thing staving off the return of Jim Crow.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:26:34 AM PDT

    •  It'll be a long process of sorting them out. (0+ / 0-)

      But it starts with establishing two separate states, then I'm sure people will start drifting to where they're in the majority.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:01:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, fuzzyguy

        People have family ties, employment obligations, and ties to regional cultures that they are often not ready to give up.  The fact is we have, to a large extent, always been mixed up ideologically, and we will remain mixed up whether or not the nation splits or not.

        -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

        by gizmo59 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:53:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  With comfortable control of the electoral college, (0+ / 0-)

      the northern rednecks would have limited power.

      With an immigration system, I don't see a problem for those who would be even less welcome in the South than they are today. That may not be their ideal scenario, but the future we face -- especially considering Climate Change and its impact on the environment, the economy, public health, society, and increasing militarization of resources, let alone the fate of billions of refugees -- is much worse if something radical does not happen soon.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:02:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "MAY" be? it obviously is. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gizmo59
    •  Hindsight is always 20-20 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gizmo59, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

      In the long view, it might have been better just to let the Southern states go their own way - most if not all of them would probably have come crawling back begging for readmission within a decade or two, and would have had to accede to changes at that time.

      South Carolina would probably have held out longest....

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:49:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I must buy this book. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:32:16 AM PDT

  •  There needs to be a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prodigal, No Exit

    Constitutional Convention first... to bring an antiquated document into the 21 century. Most of our "battles" are interpreting an antique document that needs some updating.. the right to bear arms being one. Where does it stop?.. obviously not at AK-47's. As an American living in Canada, I see a huge difference. Their constitution is from 1982.. women and gays have rights in their document.
    Of course, when no agreement can be had with a new constitution.. abortion, guns, gay rights, womens rights... then we will have a justification to split and go our own ways.. irreconcilable differences....
    I have been an advocate for splitting up for many years. Its not going to get better. Guns rights people and people who want a theocratic government are not going to take a pill and its not going to get any better next year, or in 10. It was a fun ride. Time to fess up the marriage is over and move on.

    •  37 states have to ratify. (0+ / 0-)

      Count 'em. Fantasize your changes. Now tell us how they pass.

      Oh, wait. You said Constitutional Convention. Custom says they can toss the former rules (the Articles of Confederation required the consent of all the states to changes... and the Constitution bootstrapped itself into existence when 9 of 13 agreed to it).

      I'm not sure you're wrong. But it's a high risk game.

      "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

      by ogre on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:02:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so we argue over (0+ / 0-)

        an antiquated document over and over and over while other nations leave us in the dust... so whats your solution to "finding unity"
        Or how do you convince the anti and pro gun, the anti and pro abortion, the anti and pro gay rights people to find common ground?.. the last 30 years have gotten us how far?
        whats your solution......?

      •  We only have to get rid of 8 or so of the worst (0+ / 0-)

        trouble makers. That leaves 42 possible yes votes. 37 looks pretty do-able.

        "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

        by pengiep on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:50:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why is this nonsense getting attention? (15+ / 0-)
    How would the South feel about secession, if a war didn't have to be fought over it? Strangely, they appear against it

    Really? You find it "strange" that Americans do not want the USA to be split up? I find it strange that anyone assumes destroying the USA would be favored in any American demographic.

    This book is an indulgence in bigotry,pure and simple. WTF is it getting attention here? We are all Americans.

    •  Perhaps because the current nonsense (0+ / 0-)

      is so ineffectual for dealing with the problems we face. The disaster that will visit us, even just economically and militarily, with Climate Change, is going to make electoral politics seem as deviously unempowering and self-destructive as supply-side economics, and that will be escalating THIS decade.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:05:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gibberish (5+ / 0-)

        I have no idea what you mean here. But I have read enough of your messages to know you simply hate Americans who live in certain states. Message received.

        •  Wow. That is some simplistic reasoning. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pengiep

          I don't hate anyone. I can see that certain people who congregate most heavily in certain places are preventing us from taking actions to prevent massive environmental, economic, medical, military and humanitarian disaster from occurring. And I can see that the state of electoral politics and government absolutely preclude us from taking decisive, effective action.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:11:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Scapegoating is your Job One (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            downsouth, fuzzyguy

            I am not a fan.

            •  You're dumb as a box of rocks. (0+ / 0-)

              Where is your brilliant idea to create dramatic change quickly enough to cut deeply into the harm that CLimate Change.

              I'm waiting.

              Stop feeling so sorry for yourself and cough it up. What are you willing to do to do the really moral thing and save the billions of lives hanging in the balance, one way or another?

              Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

              by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:15:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  When someone wearing a Texas Secede t-shirt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pengiep

      doesn't actually want Texas to secede, I do in fact think it's strange.

      •  Everyone in Texas was wearing that shirt eh? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        downsouth, fuzzyguy
        •  Wow. You're really trying hard to find a fight. (0+ / 0-)

          I've never been to Texas. I was thinking of a very specific incident in New York City. I was in an elevator and there was a woman wearing a t-shirt that said, "Texas Secede." I'd actually never seen such a thing before. I turned to her and, thinking I was being funny, said, "Don't you like Texas." She said, "I love Texas. I'm from Texas." She seemed to be unaware of what was on her shirt. I tried to explain to her that if she had been a New Yorker the "Texas Secede" shirt would have meant she didn't like Texas. She said the shirt was just and expression of Texan pride and not a political statement. Anyway, the story's not that damned interesting, but there are aparently people from Texas that like to make positive allusions to secession but don't really want it.

          •  My point is one person does not make a state (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy

            The diarist claimed she was surprised to learn Southerners do not favor succession. I responded with surprise she was surprised by that. You chimed in with an observation that you saw someone wearing a T-shirt. What other conclusion am I supposed to reach, other than you submitted this t-shirt story as evidence that most southerners favor succession? To which I countered, one person does not make a regional demographic.

  •  Man, as an Idahoan I just laugh at these screeds (13+ / 0-)

    Sure, let's get rid of the South. That'll fix all of our problems except, WTF to do with the rednecks in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Montana? Oh, Montana, you're safe for this election cycle. But you are on notice.

    North Dakota, South Dakota, start packing your bags.

    These are just fantasies of Northern liberals who, to be quite frank, are just as stuck in the idea of the Civil War as the Southerners are. And it reeks of the stereotypical, snotty, liberal who disdains everyone who doesn't fit their idea of what a Good American is.

    The war between North and South is over. There is NO easy separation of the United States. None. It doesn't exist. The only way to end the disparity that the Northern blue-staters whine about is to completely dismantle the entire concept of the United States.

    Do the liberals who write these things ever stop to fucking think about the fact that if we want to separate nations based on ideological leanings, we let each state go their merry little way?

    No. Look at the maps. It's not North vs South and it hasn't been in a very long time. Idahoans aren't Mississippians, but they're just as much of a problem. You're not getting rid of them when the South secedes. Nor are you getting rid of Utah and Wyoming, the Dakotas or Nebraska and, depending on the mood, Arizona and Nevada.

    And I'll leave the list of good Democrats from the South for the Southerners here to list.

    "...and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love...then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream." ~ Michelle Obama

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:36:11 AM PDT

    •  Agree, I lived in Nebraska and Texas. No diff. Nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoiseBlue, AaronInSanDiego

      I can’t decide who’s cuter – the dead guy with the arrows in his chest, or the guy in the ditch with the seeping wound. -- Game of Thrones (Heard on Set)

      by prodigal on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:55:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The real problem isn't so much ... (7+ / 0-)

      ,,, the so called "South" as it is Wall Street

      The United States is a far more complex nation than the idea of North and South suggests.  I believe that the "South" is not so much a geographical definition, but a political and cultural mindset, elements of which can be found in virtually any state of the Union.

      The question for American progressives isn't so much how to cut their ties to their fellow Americans who embrace the most reactionary elements of the Southern mindset.  The question is how to unite the poor, working and middle classes to unite and push back against the economic elites who more or less control the U.S. at the federal and state levels.

      Remember, Wall Street is not a "Southern" institution. You can pull the nation apart in any way you want, but if progressives don't find a way to counterbalance the enormous power of the few at the top of the hierarchy, it
      won't matter.

      These Republican gluttons of priviledge are cold men ... They want a return of the Wall Street economic dictatorship -- Harry Truman

      by Laborguy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:48:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right. So it's easy to say "Ah, to hell with the (9+ / 0-)

        South" and pretend that it's these stupid, fat, religious Southerners that are the problem.

        I would think that liberals, of ALL people, would know that placing blame for society's ill on a set of people is lazy and dangerous, whether it's blacks, gays, women, unions, or, yes, Southerners.

        Even if the South secedes we still have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, don't we?

        The problems we face as a nation aren't brought to us by a region of America. And if we were to pinpoint the region of America that's the biggest problem, it would be Wall Street, which would be part of the North, wouldn't it?

        It's just lazy, and, needless to say, unrealistic.

        "...and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love...then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream." ~ Michelle Obama

        by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:37:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Couldn't agree more (7+ / 0-)

          It seems that those on the very top of the economic ladder are always able to find ways to divide the poor, working and middle classes against one another.  Thus, in our capitalist paradigm, there is no unified counterbalance to the inevitable imbalance of wealth and political power accruing to the billionaires who actually control things.

          Liberals and progressives, of all people, should be expected to embrace critical thinking when confronted by crude and broad stereotypes.  We should abhor the tendency to ascribe negative characteristics or evil intentions to entire groups of people within American society or toward other nationalities and ethnic groups.  

          "Southerners are ignorant and intolerant trailer trash" is really not that much better than "Liberals are weak kneed cowards who hate America" or "Americans are warmongers and imperialists" or "Gays are a threat" or "Muslims are religious fanatics who hate our freedoms" or "Jews are parasites".

          These are not valid insights.  These are propaganda slogans that are designed to arose hatred among people and keep them divided.

          These Republican gluttons of priviledge are cold men ... They want a return of the Wall Street economic dictatorship -- Harry Truman

          by Laborguy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:08:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Many Californians fantasize about secession... (0+ / 0-)

      But as soon as it happened the Bay Area and Hollywood would want to jettison the rest of the state.

      Can't say I blame them lol

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:27:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  * ding ding ding * (6+ / 0-)
      These are just fantasies of Northern liberals who, to be quite frank, are just as stuck in the idea of the Civil War as the Southerners are. And it reeks of the stereotypical, snotty, liberal who disdains everyone who doesn't fit their idea of what a Good American is.
      I live in the South, and it may come as a shocker to some, but the only time the Civil War crosses my mind is in one of these Kos threads.
    •  Thank you! (4+ / 0-)

      for spotlighting this--we are inextricably mingled for better or worse.  And some of the "liberals" writing and replying here with such viciousness are blowing my mind.  Quite the kettle of fish, eh?

      The universe expands and contracts like a great heart. Robinson Jeffers

      by gazingoffsouthward on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:46:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I think it's a splendid idea. (3+ / 0-)

    Just chop the South off, and Texas with it, especially Texas, and somehow Arizona too.

    This should have been done long ago. Lincoln's mistake was trying to keep the Union together.

    Morris Berman's Why America Failed studies this subject-see the fourth chapter, his discussion of the real cause of the Civil War.

    Actually, I wish Mr Thompson had gone a step further, the step that would have made his book serious: move all Republicans into the South, herd them like polled herefords into great steaming corrals. There is plenty of land left for McMansions, strip malls, and Baptist churches, the architecture of the South.

  •  When it comes to labor (0+ / 0-)

    the south is the scab on the ass end of the USA.

    But the author appears to answer his own question. You can replace Southerner with American in the following quote:

    But, he writes, that doesn't let them off the hook: "Are all Southerners racist? Or ignorant? Or backward-looking? Or anti-progress? Of course not. But enough of them are, and their influence is so strong, that they are a threat to the rest of America's well-being."
    While he is definitely correct that the south drags the country down the rat hole of "tradition", they are us. It's up to the progressive community to educate then organize these folks. But let's face it, we are simply going to have to wait for some of them to die off.In the meantime we need to marginalize these idiots.

    That said I do believe in self determination. If the south chooses to leave the country, I doubt I would be putting up much of a fight.

    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

    by Blueslide on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:39:55 AM PDT

    •  I almost agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pengiep

      I've been waiting for racists to die off my entire life. They have not obliged me. In fact, they still have children and teach those children to be racists. All racists are not older than I am. We probably will have to be more proactive and not assume that these people will just "die off."

  •  We are all Texas now, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, cassandracarolina

    so what would be the point of secession or expulsion?  Even Rick Perry knows that.

    •  Not yet. There are still many Blue states, (0+ / 0-)

      and the Purple states and even a few of the less populous red states would be completely manageable if we had firm control of the electoral college.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:07:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "manageable" "firm control" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy, downsouth

        Man, but Animal Farm was one insightful book.

        •  And I suppose you are electing Democrats (0+ / 0-)

          because you don't want them to manage or control anything, you just like the color blue.

          Get over yourself.

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:40:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not all that impressed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, fuzzyguy

        by most folks in "blue states" either.  Why, look how easily most of them turn red at the sight of a pretty face (Scott Brown, perchance?) or "successful businessman" (Mitt Romney, of course?).

        And don't even get me started on Vermonters.

        •  or how about the string of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy

          authoritarian losers the supposedly liberal bastion of NYC keeps electing mayor?

          •  So you don't think we'd have a better chance (0+ / 0-)

            with our agenda if the Reps and Senators and electoral college from the South were out of the mix?

            I believe that is what this whole theory is about.

            Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

            by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 02:03:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's the slave economy by another name (3+ / 0-)

    The policy of slavery, for the big slaveowners, was never about race, it was about money. They lost their slaves, then they had sharecroppers for a time. What they learned from that, is that they could easily exploit both white and black. From there, current Southern economic policy flows.

    And make no mistake, just like their slave owning forefathers, these people want to spread their policy of labor exploitation.

    Sarahpalindrome (n.): A sentence that makes as much sense backwards as forwards.

    by Hannibal on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:42:44 AM PDT

    •  They want to, and they are succeeding. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal

      It's inside the Neoliberal virus and it has matastasized throughout the nation. Frankly, cutting off the most infected limbs and applying heavy medication to the remaining body politic (which only becomes possible with firm control of the electoral college) is pretty much the only solution to certain impending issues such as climate change, which is going to make things like bi-partisanship completely moot starting in a big way later this decade.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:11:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  a shout out (8+ / 0-)

    to the faithful OFA phone bank team in my southern Alabama community, to that endangered species, the yellow-dog Democrat, and to my fellow progressives with whom I share a quiet high five at each Romney gaffe.

    Please allow me to rant a bit, even with my Sunday migraine:

    We Southerners contribute to the Obama campaign, and we even use the internet tube thingy to do it.

    Romney is a uniquely American embarrassment, but not a Southern one.  His daddy's advice, his prep-school bullying, his carpetbagging ways, and his shit-eating smirk are Grosse Point adjacent.  I'd like to think no Southerner would treat a dog like that, but I may have to concede this point.

    Michele Bachmann is from Minnesota, not Mississippi.

    Voter suppression seems to be a Republican thing more than a Southern one, worse in Ohio and PA than in Florida. (Oh, and Florida has Republicans, and many who are not Southerners).

    The truth is that Cracker politicians and voters are popping up everywhere.  I am certain that many of the candidates are simply adopting and exploiting the talking points to get votes from stupid, lazy people who would fly the Birther flag rather than acknowledge to themselves the discomfiture they feel at an African-American President.

    And what the hell is all this contra-Constitutional thinking? Settled case  law being bandied about as disposable?  Don't get me wrong:  I'm a Catholic convert and an adoptee to boot.  I don't want anyone to abort.  However, I KNOW that  opinion can't be legislated any more than can a just world where no child is conceived by mistake or rape and every child is wanted and raised decently.

    This distasteful, willingly obtuse wrapping oneself in Old Testament law is not a uniquely Southern thing.  It's in vogue now, but it seems more an opportunistic ploy, snake oil, a Plessy vs. Ferguson shorthand.  It's been exploited by Rush and Fox and Karl et al and is an easily adopted campaign tactic to attract voters who want it to be OK to stay stupid, soothe their inner racist, and to check any sort of critical thinking at the door.

    [It makes me livid to see people who conveniently forget/can't read the Bible they're thumping to remember that Christians are New Testament people, saved wretches who understand about GRACE fulfilling the Law. And while I'm here, when did anyone's God get so small that evolution isn't just the greatest and most elegant methodology ever?]

    Yes, I'm a J.D. and a M.S.L.I.S.  I keep my own counsel (sometimes) but I've got time, books, digital information, and, I hope,  the stealth of a Southern bow hunter, so I'm equipped for the long haul.  Could some of you up there work on voter suppression and intimidation and your own idiots?

    The universe expands and contracts like a great heart. Robinson Jeffers

    by gazingoffsouthward on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:45:54 AM PDT

  •  i'll be honest. when the baggers lose in november (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, Words In Action, Odysseus

    and start talking secession, i'll be right there with em.

    i'm serious. I no longer want to be in the same country as they are and have henceforth started the emigration process. but the real problem is them. i'd much rather stay here, though.

    so hell yeah. secede you assholes. please. i'll help you.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:47:10 AM PDT

    •  they would say to you love it or leave it, they (0+ / 0-)

      would never give you land.  

      bleeding heart Democrats always gotta worry.  but where will they live.  they need a state or two.  we aren't really using them anyway.  go ahead you're welcome to them.

      sometimes, even in play, I get tired of us always being so nice.

      I give the Big Bird to those who say Obama lost the debate.

      by 88kathy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:06:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  give me land? i own land. in a southern state to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        boot. Florida.

        as I said, I don't wish to "share" a country with them anymore.  I haven't for a few years now. they are indeed killing all of us and destroying what's left of once great nation. the author makes good points.

        all the signs are there. i'm am leaving and I'm not ashamed to say so. in 2012 I shouldn't be faced with arguing about birth control. and because why? religion? Oh, hell no!

        these fuckers are nothing but fascists and it's blindingly obvious. why would I stay and be subject to their craziness unless I had no other alternative? risk my life to fight an all powerful plutocracy and a a rabidly ignorant 50% of religious zealots who keep voting them into power?

        Sorry. No way. The writing is on the wall. I'll fight, but not from here. not if i have a choice.

        of course, i'd rather stay in america. it's a great country (still) and can make a come back. but not with these idiots running things.

        I stand by my assessment. I wish we could turn over some states to anyone who ascribes to these destrcutive philosophies. (It's not about northern*ers* and southern*ers*. it's about attitudes. an Austinite is a "northerner" as far as I'm concerned and shouldn't have to live in a place where a bunch of regressives make their chances at life harder)

        For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

        by mdmslle on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:24:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And how many nukes does each side get? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, cassandracarolina

    Problem número UNO, IMO.

    I can’t decide who’s cuter – the dead guy with the arrows in his chest, or the guy in the ditch with the seeping wound. -- Game of Thrones (Heard on Set)

    by prodigal on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:49:46 AM PDT

    •  Mutual deterrent. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites

      It's all we've ever had. Frankly, unchecked, Climate Change is going to be a much larger threat.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:12:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's love it or leave it for us. It's take these (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    states for them.  Yes Democrats are stupid if they go for giving them land.

    I give the Big Bird to those who say Obama lost the debate.

    by 88kathy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:58:05 AM PDT

    •  Another great sig. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy

      You're on a roll.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:12:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Hey Paul Ryan, where you going with that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy

      transvaginal probe in your hand?" was yours, right?

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:13:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep. good memory. I never pick up on stuff (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        like that.

        I give the Big Bird to those who say Obama lost the debate.

        by 88kathy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:18:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That one made an impression. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy

          I had a friend who as a kid thought the lyrics were: "hey Joe, where you going with that gum in your hair?"

          HA!

          Yours knocked me over for other reasons... :o)

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:05:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think we're probably better off without (7+ / 0-)

    Chuck Thompson.  Or maybe all Chuck Thompsons.  Because there are enough Chuck Thompsons writing dumbass books that they should all have to pay for it.

    The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present

    by Inkin on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:59:08 AM PDT

  •  Sounds right to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    The author explains it better than I could.

  •  Many in W.Washington would HAPPILY (0+ / 0-)

    become a southern extension of British Columbia.

    That would be So Great!!!

    (Those hicks in E.WA can join Redneck Idaho.)

  •  As soon as saw what book was being reviewed (15+ / 0-)

    I knew we were going to get treated to the spectacle of how bigoted and hateful some people who claim to be progressive are. And what a fine display it is. But it's totally okay because we're talking about Southerners. What a bunch of subhuman scumbags, amirite? Let's just write them off because they're not as American as we are. Lovely "progressive" attitude. Sounds just like Sarah Palin. I thought we were better than this. Obviously, I was wrong.

  •  Southerners are our brothers and sisters (3+ / 0-)

    Even the boneheads are.  And Southern culture is a huge part of American culture, for better or worse, the good, bad, and the ugly.

    •  Well, they're literally my cousins. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, pengiep

      And I try to avoid them as much as possible, lest I get inundated with hateful e-mails about the Kenyan Marxist.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:16:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Brothers and sisters torching our houses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pengiep

      and chopping us up with axes, yeah.

      Their control over our lives, through the plutocracy that draws life from them, will shortly make all this talk of comity and progress moot. We're already slipping into the environmental and economic and endless war for resources and to "manage" refugees abyss that will sharply escalate THIS decade if some critical mass of progressive somewhere can't take over environmental policy, energy technology development and social policy.

      Pick your POISON.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:18:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes a thousand times! (0+ / 0-)

    Lincoln blew it -- oust this region by any means necessary!

    (Half-kidding ...)

  •  Thompson is just yet another sanctimonious (8+ / 0-)

    jagoff who mistakes geography ("the South") for sociology ("southernization"). The problem isn't "the South," the problem is the less geographically circumscribed cultural conservatism, predicated on issues of religion, race and an abiding distrust of and disdain for the Federal Government, intellectuals and other secular authorities, all of which appeals to a naïve, disaffected and reactionary element in American society which extends far beyond the physical geography of the Old South.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:17:16 AM PDT

  •  IF ONLY Lincoln had let the south secede... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, pengiep

    Dont know how many times I have said those words over the years :) and meant them too.

    In my scenario the country splits instead of fighting the civil war and the Northern States move forward and the South stagnates itself into oblivion after which, one by one, the southern states come, hat in hand, back to the Union asking to be reinstated.

    BUT that time has passed us by.  What we now have is a forever CIVIL WAR with the southern states holding a major GRUDGE and 'feeling entitled' to take as much as they want from the North while screaming that the Northern states are ruining Amurika.

    I am obviously, not alone in wishing the Southern States would either go away or own up to their own inadequacies and admit they could NOT survive without Welfare from the North... which I might not mind contributing to (with my tax dollars) if they werent so arrogantly ungrateful.

    but here we are - an uncomfortable union of 2 diverse nations, each struggling for control of the Whole and I see no end to this in MY lifetime....  but 'if only...."  SIGH

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

    •  And WW1 and WW2 are fought in North America (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downsouth

      Since we are talking about books here [cough] you should read How Few Remain by Harry Turtledove. In it and his sequels he hypothesizes on how hostory might have gone had the CSA survived the Civil War. Turtledove is the most formulamatic writer you'll ever find, but the first few books in this series are worth reading.

      Spoiler Alert:

      When the World Wards roll around, the USA is already a member of one alliance and the CSA is a member of the other. Which is reasonable, because each had an enemy on its doorstep. Each would seek alliance to shore up its position against its enemy. Then, as in August 1914, when the turd hit the fan the war would start in earnest.

      So yeah, too bad the world wars were not even bigger and more destructive. We really missed a chance.

  •  Excising the southern states would be great... (4+ / 0-)

    ...if you want to exclude all the poor people, African-Americans, Latin Americans, and New Orleans. Also, give the South back its blues, American literature, country music, bluegrass, jazz, and other unnecessary Southern frivolities;)

  •  My question for those who advocate (14+ / 0-)

    writing off the South. How are your views any different than this: Romney writes off 47% of Americans? Looks pretty much like the same kind of mind-set to me. A very poisonous one.

  •  I agree with Thompson (3+ / 0-)

    It is possible to avoid the ad hominem about the southern states and agree that the rest of us would be better off without them.  I do not believe it will ever happen, but I am on board if there is a chance.

  •  Just what we need (15+ / 0-)

    another manifesto that deals with our toughest regional nut to crack's lingering problems and resistance to change (that partially result from non-Movement Conservatives in the only party in our two-party system that can ofter an alternative vision's pathological and longstanding unwillingness to truly fight Movement Conservatism tooth and nail) by positing another variation of 'Fuck it, I wash my hands of you' fail.

    I get it.

    There are a lot of things about the American South that are frustrating and infuriating to non-Southerners. Fighting in the South for progressive values and policy is hard. We are years and years behind the eight ball.

    Scott Walker and Paul Ryan are from Wisconsin.
    Michelle Bachmann is from Minnesota.
    Some of the biggest fuckwits in the Teahad are from outside of the South.
    America's Deadbeat Dad, Joe Walsh, is from the Land of Lincoln and Obama,  Illinois.

    A national Democratic Party that always makes an argument, always contests every race, one that isn't full of enabled establishment Cowards and Quit would be a better option that writing off the South, or any place else.

    Demographically, this nation is changing. As it does, I hope to Christ almighty that the South being written off because it's so fucking hard dies off with Lee Atwaterism.

    "What a bunch of mouth-breathing yokels, fuck 'em."

    It feels great. Cowardice disguised as a principled rejection of even trying to make inroads with "the Hun" who vote against their best interests often does.

    Too often, I believe, we overlook the role that accepting the status-quo as not being possible to change has played in the the status-quo being not being possible to change.

    You can't win an argument if you don't make an argument. You develop your toughest and most tenacious fighters by fighting on the most hostile ground.

    God almighty, the Democratic Party has done a hell of a lot of good, but it has a mean streak of Quit in it a mile wide.

    I've been a Democrat for a long time now, and the Democratic Party gets such a massive pass for its role in handing over swaths of the nation to the reactionary Right because it's fucking hard to fight.

    The entire Blue Dog Movement is a monument to how toxic a 'why try, give them diet wingnuts and always say that this is the best we can ever do' acceptance that you can never, ever win.

    I admit, the American South is a confounding challenge. But lets not excuse the role that political cynicism, if not outright political cowardice and expediency, on the parts of politicians and party muckymucks of the non-Southern variety that feed the beast of the status-quo by not even trying to win there.

    How many fucking races have gone uncontested in the South, allowing the worst of the worst to cakewalk right into office, have we seen? Too many. Not a single Republican-held seat should go uncontested, ever. You can't say that you tried hard and it didn't work if you don't try hard and you don't prove it can't ever work beyond a doubt.

    The best friend a conman has is people saying you can't ever fight the confidence game, so don't even try, and cede the sections of the battlefield where it's really, really hard to win away.  

    It's much, much easier to simply wash your hands than to stop being a party that endulges its cowards and cynical calculators and roll up your sleeves and fight.

    My entire adult life as a Democrat has had many huge highs and terrible lows, but I never stop being amazed at how the various factions that make up non-Movement Conservatism in America is utterly beholden to the idea that some fights are always unwinnable, some people always unconvince-able, and embracing being handicapped by an unwillingness to fight the good fight where it's hardest is always an option.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:31:33 AM PDT

    •  Thank you for this, LHM (4+ / 0-)

      Your point is right on.  I live in Chattanooga, TN and we have the worst of the teabaggers surrounding us, but that doesn't mean we are all like this.

      We have a great African American man running for State Senate, Andrae McGeary, and he isn't even getting help from our state Party.  Things are beyond difficult here for Dems.  The local Party and many rich Dems, like Olan Mills of the photography studios, are supporting him.

      The national Party ignores us.  State Party is in shambles.  What to do?  Our candidate for Congress is as solid of yellow Dog Dem as  Congressman Cohen from Memphis.  She gets no help.   The whole country would be well served if Dr. Mary Headrick were elected.

      I take exception to all those who think the South is racist.  Everyday of my life, except when I am Netroots Nation, I am talking, working and laughing with African Americans. We are friends.  We are close and family.  When I'm at NN, it is like a different country.  Where'd everyone go?  

      Instead of everyone telling us to go away, why not walk in our shoes?  Why not move down here and run for office?  Yep.  Takes a lot of work but it has been done before, remember Estes Kefauver?  Al Gore?  Jimmy Carter?  Lyndon B Johnson? They paved the way for you.  They were the trail blazers and they were from the despicable South.

      •  Let's not forget Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and (5+ / 0-)

        Medgar Evers.  They paved the way to the most upstanding and fairest Congressman like Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Clyburn.

      •  You have every reason to be proud of yourself (4+ / 0-)

        and I'd be livid if I were in your shoes and had to deal with this lazy insipid garbage of 'well, they are just a bunch of stupid lemming hillbillies, if they won't wise up, fuck 'em'.

        I'm a Democrat. I probably always will be. I'm more liberal than most Americans and probablly vastly more liberal than most Southerners.

        Most people who know me are shocked by how vehemently I resist the lazy cheapshotting of the South and choose to focus on our failings to fight not just there, but against the Right across the land.

        But I refuse to buy the bullshit fairy tale that we tried to fight the Right in the South, and in the rural parts of this nation, and failed. Fucking bullshit. We fought no such fight, as the establishment of the Democratic Party has been trying to avoid a two-sided Culture War my entire life. We tolerated racist asshole Democrats and watched them become Movement Conservative Republicans when our conscience got too troubled to maintain the old status-quo of looking the other way to get things done. The Democratic Party doesn't attack Movement Conservatism. It tries to work around how it has rigged the game. Instead of making an argument that Conservatism has failed. We should have been the bottom up Class Warfare Warriors the Right and the so-called "reasonable" Centrist Liebercrats damn us as. At best, we tried to offer up Conservatism-lite in the form of fake Democrats who were pretty much diet wingnuts. Yes. There are a lot of regressives in the South. Yes the odds are long and the battle will not be easy.

        But bullshit we tried to fight Movement Conservatism in the South, or in Rural areas outside of the South. Bull-fucking-shit.  

        But I reject the fairy tale that making inroads in the American South was a battle that was truly fought for by those who live outside of it post 1964. We indulged the Dixiecrats for expediency, and then we watched the Right swallow up the racist assholes we used to tolerate and write off the region as a lost cause for my entire lifetime.

        The Democratic Party has done a lot of wonderful things for the American people.

        But there are a lot of things wrong with the party, and one of the biggest and most malignant things wrong with the party is the Quit that seems hardwired into its soul since the end of the 60's and the dawn of the Reagan years.

        To me, 1969 to 1979 haunts me.

        It's when self-hatred and an infectious commitment to Quit seemed to congeal inside the heart and soul of my party. Rather than fight the Right, suddenly 'don't hurt me, please' became way too acceptable.

        Yes. Winning in the South is hard. The Right has fucked the place up royally and its a part of the land where voting against your best interests is at its height.

        That just tells me the old quote they attribute to Einstein that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results" is still true.

         

        I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

        by LeftHandedMan on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:02:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fuck it (6+ / 0-)

          I'm going to spend some serious time putting my thoughts on not writing off the South down in a diary. I spent so much time going back and deleting and re-writing stuff in the above post that there are a few sentences that begin with "But" that make no sense because of what I went back and erased.

          I'm pretty furious. So this must be important to me to get out.

          I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

          by LeftHandedMan on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:05:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Totally agreed. (3+ / 0-)

            People will deny it up and down, but if you ask me much popular culture in the "alternative" mode, from "new wave" onward, is a sort of manifestation of The Big Quit.  (Of course, it'll be defended as "adaptation", but as someone else commented somewhere a few days ago, our preoccupation with "adaptation" has been a big part of the problem.  Eventually you're gonna have to stop "adapting" and actually seize the initiative.)  

            The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

            by Panurge on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:40:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I look forward to your diary, LeftHandedMan (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            downsouth, fuzzyguy, LeftHandedMan

            and will try one of my own, as I too am still seething over what I've read in these comments.

            The sense of entitlement that some express that "we" can simply redraw the borders to exclude people that our stereotypical views tell us are "not like us" or somehow parasitic is the antithesis of what it means to be Progressive. I wonder whether those who hold these views are equally dismissive of family members, friends, and colleagues who don't measure up to their "ideals".

            We chafe at the idea that a citizen is deprived of their right to vote. Yet many here would - without a pang of guilt - strip millions of Americans of their citizenship in a "geographic cleansing".  

            Wow.

            Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

            by cassandracarolina on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 06:20:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  ugh... (7+ / 0-)

    yes, we're in the process of being held hostage by the ignorant xtian nutball taliban, however separation is  not a solution, it's a recipe for division and hatred and the hate itself is killing us

  •  A house divided cannot stand. (7+ / 0-)

    Not saying certain southerners haven't pissed me off at times, but I just remember this line when I start going down that road.

    Besides, you can't be disgusted at present-day southerners who are nostalgic about the idea of secession if you're sympathetic to the idea yourself.

  •  Greatly enjoyed this diary and would like to read (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davethefave

    the book.  I'll see if our library has it.

    Thanks, Susan!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:44:08 AM PDT

  •  They're not going anywhere (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pengiep, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

    In 1860, all they wanted was to be allowed to secede.  They wanted a separate, new country, the CSA, that would leave them in peace with their slaves.  They were heartily sick and tired of decades of perceived undue pressure from the US, and just wanted out.

    Today, they often spout a very similar ideology of a supposed imbalance between the US govt and the states, and they often assert the same states' rights as the just countermeasure.  The difference is that now they assert states' rights as a means to control the US govt, and not at all to leave it.

    The states, many of which they reliably control all the time, and many more of which they can control some of the time, are one of their means of creating veto points to keep our side from accomplishing anything with any of the levers of power we happen to control at the moment.  And, like the filubuster in the Senate, or holding the debt ceiling hostage in the House, state nullification has this advantage for their side as a tool to control the US govt, that these are all highly asymmetric tools that their side uses freely and with a vengeance, while our side either won't use them from scruples, or (like the filibuster) can't because their side does not respect the rights of the minority when it controls the majority.

    We've already seen them use the nuclear option to deny our side the filibuster in the Senate, and hostage-taking to give a House majority power that should require both chambers plus the president, but so far the Tenther, states' rights stuff has been mainly rhetorical, not used as a tool of anything beyond non-specific upping of the climate of fear that benefits their side.  The crunch will come when the voter suppression laws that so many of their states have adopted, and the much worse ones that are coming up should their SCOTUS majority prove amenable, are challenged when and if we can pass federal legislation to counter them all at one shot.  If SCOTUS sides with them, they can do any suppression they can get away with, limited only by what the public -- the public in their red states -- will tolerate.  A red state could have an out-and-out property qualification to vote, and that would be as Constitutional as church on Sunday, as long as SCOTUS can't find an intent to racially discriminate in such a measure.  Good luck getting the curent five man majority on SCOTUS to find an intent to discriminate.

    Voting is pretty fundamental, but in some ways the culture wars get at even more basic aspects of our lives.  Let SCOTUS return the question of reproductive rights to the states, as even "moderates" on their side advocate, and the red states will make this country ungovernable until and unless all stats go anti-Choice.  Physicians, and anyone else connected in any way as "accessories" to abortion or any form of birth control the reddest state in this country chooses to define as murder, would become subject to arrest and prosecution should they come within the jurisdiction of red states, or, with the assertion of extradition rights, even if they remain in the bluest jurisdictions.  People and corporations at an even further remove from these "murders", would be subjected to civil penalties, and, again, not safe from them anywhere in the US.  The US will simply not be able to survive half Choice and half anti-Choice, and they assume that our side will accede to all anti-Choice to avoid a second civil war.

    The object to their side's restricting of the franchise and choice by passing laws in their red states, will not be to carve out a part of the country where they can live as they choose.   They are hyperpatriot, USA #1 chauvinists.  They do not want to leave the USA, they want to control it, the entire USA, completely and irrevocably.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:58:54 AM