Skip to main content

I've never done a diary here before, and don't really know whether this is the format to try this sort of thing, but I'm really interested in making sure that progressive Democrats constest the GOP for the hearts, minds, and votes of people in the southern states.

Bob Moser's book "Blue Dixie" is an excellent discussion of how the Democratic Party might go about really fighting for the southern states.  I'm interested in starting a discussion of the ideas in the book, chapter by chapter.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Sounds interesting. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, HeyMikey

    How about some links? Maybe to reviews, publisher info on the book, etc?

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 02:27:16 PM PST

  •  Agreed on the premise. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    How about a synopsis or position laid out by the author. Or a premise and if you want a chapter discussion how about a brief description and link to the book if possible.

    Just some ideas to get you some engagement. Good luck.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:04:34 PM PST

  •  I'll pull together links & synopsis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    I'll pull together link and synopsis.  Another question is whether this diary format lends itself to back-and-forth discussion.  This is my first use of the diaries here.

    •  A suggestion, Larry... (0+ / 0-)

      Your comments seem to be replies to previous commenters. If you do that via clicking "reply to this" instead of via "post a comment," the previous commenter will be notified of your reply. Thus she'll be prompted to come back and continue the discussion.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:37:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Amazon page on it is pretty descriptive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    The Amazon page on it has a pretty good synopsis.  I may post a review there myself.

    http://www.amazon.com/...

  •  One other thing ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, HeyMikey

    I should state what it is that attracted me to Moser's book in particular.  He puts forward the premise that the Democratic Party should contest the south based on progressive principles, not on adopting a "Republican Lite" strategy.  He is particularly critical of the old Democratic Leadership Council people whose approach was to basically round up conservatives to run as Democrats.

  •  Looking forward to the discussion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    BTW Larry, I'd like to get your opinion of a diary I wrote awhile back: Ghosts of Dixie. Follow the link and let me know what you think.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:07:11 PM PST

    •  Your diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      Sure.  I'll take a look at it first thing in the morning, and post a response.  My brain is pretty much shut down this evening.  I notice begins on Peachtree Creek.  Interesting, because I went to a Chattahoochee River Keepers event today to discuss the stream monitoring, and Peachtree Creek was a big part of the discussion.  I read it and give you some feedback.

    •  Very good narrative! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WB Reeves

      Very good!

      Since I grew up in very similar circumstances, (though a few years earlier and a few neighborhoods over in Grant Park) I think you caught the white, southern cultural atmosphere of that time very well.  The mention of Gone With the Wind was particularly interesting to me.

      Last week, for the first time in probably 40 years, I watched Gone With the Wind.  I noticed a copy at the library, sheepishly checked it out, took it home and watched it.  The racism was jarring, but most of the movie evoked a lot of nostalgia for the cultural symbols, not of the 1860s South (none of that stuff existed in the way it was remembered by southerners anyhow) but of the 1950s southern notions of the old south.

      Having to fight through old south mythology in doing political work among white southerners would be nerve-racking, since even progressive white southerners who grew up in the pre-Civil Rights movement era feel the emotional tug.  Luckily I think a lot of that tug is eroding away on its own.

      I have to deal to some extent with the Confederate Battle Flag issue in historic preservation work.  I'm connected with the effort to preserve the Civil War fortifications called the "shoupades" along the Chattahoochee River in Cobb County, and have encountered "flaggers" there.  But it's infrequent, and for that I am grateful

  •  This is recommendation enough for me. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WB Reeves, HeyMikey
    He is particularly critical of the old Democratic Leadership Council people whose approach was to basically round up conservatives to run as Democrats.

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:15:55 PM PST

    •  (Cont.) I'm a fan already. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:18:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DLC, etc (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, that's one of the main things that attracted me to the book.  It was written at the time of Obama's 2008 victory, and up to that point the national Democrats seemed to have two views of the South.  One was that it should be ignored (I believe the book "Whistling Past Dixie" outlined that strategy).  The other, basically the DLC strategy, was to run Democrats on a Republican platform.

      Both those strategies are screwed up.

  •  Summary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey
    With evangelical churches preaching a more expansive social gospel and a massive left-leaning demographic shift to African Americans, Latinos, and the young, the South is poised for a Democratic revival. Moser shows how a volatile mix of unprecedented economic prosperity and abject poverty are reshaping the Southern vote. By returning to a bold, unflinching message of economic fairness, the Democrats can win in the nation’s largest, most diverse region and redeem themselves as a true party of the people.
    That very diversity makes too many generalizations geographically problematic.  It depends on where you are.  We need a discussion about how to expand the electoral map in the South.

    The New Deal message of economic fairness had a lot of tractions among farmers and workers in the South until the Civil Rights era.  Standing up for workers again could make a lot of sense.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:46:16 PM PST

    •  differences in various southern states (0+ / 0-)

      This is just a random stream of late night thoughts.

      Yes, the south is very different from state to state.  Nate Silver wrote a blog post recently about "elasticity" of the vote in various states, that is, their tendency to swing based on external events.  

      I think it's a good concept for thinking about how to approach various states.

      New Hampshire, for instance, is a very elastic state, and Idaho is a very inelastic state.

      Your state, NC, is somewhat elastic.  At the moment, Georgia and SC are inelastic.  Virginia and Florida are very elastic.

      Georgia has a very progressive tradition garnering the loyalty of about 45% of the population, and heavily centered around Atlanta.
        The remaining 55% is very conserivative.  That's different from NC, which has historically had a strong tradition of moderate to liberal democratic politicians, even during segregation.  

      And Jesse Helms never effectively decimated the Democratic Party to the extent that the Thurmond machine managed to do in South Carolina.

      One of the most interesting results of the election in southern states is that even though the GOP had a commanding lead in Mississippi, Obama out-performed the polls.

      •  tradeoff: turnout (0+ / 0-)

        The following factors are associated with high voter turnout: being white, having higher income, having more education, being older.

        Which of course means non-white, lower-income, less-educated, younger voters generally turn out in a lower %.

        OTOH there are more poor people than rich people. So a party is always faced with the choice: do we go for a smaller % of a bigger number, or a bigger % of a smaller number?

        You can try to come up with policies that benefit everybody, or at least both the poor and middle class. But that can make it harder to explain your sales pitch. Nevertheless, I think there's always room for a persuasive case to be made. And I'm still proud to be a Democrat.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:44:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the tradeoff as it relates to Georgia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          In Georgia, if we're going to really flip the state blue, we're going to have to manage to do both:  to make sure the existing progressive constituency turns out, and to expand  that 40 to 45% number closer to 50%.

          We should never become a wedge issue party to the extent that the GOP has, because the returns are always diminishing.  If anyone asks what I think of my opinion, on say, abortion, I'll tell them honestly (I'm pro-choice).  

          But on the other hand I wouldn't suggest that a campaign be run in a place like Walker county gravitating around convincing voters to be pro-choice.  It isn't a natural fit between our progressive politics and the existing culture of the area.  We wouldn't eliminate a pro-choice candidate who was otherwise popular, but we'd avoid making it a wedge.

          In Walker county the natural progressive issue would be economic justice.  The income disparities there should make Walker a natural for Democrats, yet it voted around 75% for Romney.  It's a county which is 95% white, yet has a 13% poverty rate.  I haven't looked at the income figures for Walker closely (I intend to since it's close enough to Cobb for me to make day trips) but I suspect that the entire county is shifted downward on the economic number line.  In other words, I don't think I'll find a Buckhead or an East Cobb there.

          The only way to really carry out a strategy with the sort of nuance I'm suggesting would be to have a strong and permanent Democratic Party in the field.   There would have to be Democratic Party tables at every major festival, Democrats would have to be active at the school board and neighborhoods associations, and most people in each precinct would have to know at least one Democrat whom they liked, or at least trusted, so that the Democratic Party isn't just that scary party based in either Atlanta or Washington.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site