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(Salon)   So what exactly is the Southern Strategy? Listen to this audio of Lee Atwater's 1981 interview about how to be racist without actually sounding racist   (salon.com) divider line 47
    More: Interesting, Lee Atwater, Southern strategy, Rick Perlstein, Case Western Reserve University  
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2511 clicks; posted to Politics » on 15 Nov 2012 at 11:14 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



47 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2012-11-15 09:18:41 AM
No, he was talking about how ineffective it is to be racist in campaigns now. That the abstractness of eluding to race as a wedge issue may win you votes in a certain area, but it will drastically lose you votes everywhere else. The sad part is that this interview was given in 1988, and not only has the party not learned from that, it is regressing back to the "n*gger n*gger" message.
 
2012-11-15 10:41:45 AM

WTF Indeed: No, he was talking about how ineffective it is to be racist in campaigns now. That the abstractness of eluding to race as a wedge issue may win you votes in a certain area, but it will drastically lose you votes everywhere else. The sad part is that this interview was given in 1988, and not only has the party not learned from that, it is regressing back to the "n*gger n*gger" message.


Don't forget the biatches, too.

All bein' "out there having opinions of their own" and stuff.
 
2012-11-15 11:02:13 AM
Not racist, but #1 with racists.

Atwater was a peach. Leading architect of the deep hole Republicans now find themselves in. It worked out well for 30 years though, so changing overnight might be easier said than done.

Fun fact about Atwater: He realized in 1990 or so that he was failing to keep touch with what he called "the new Youth vote." As a former Reagan Republican he just assumed everyone that came after him would follow along. By 1990 or so there were obvious cracks in that theory.

So to make up for it, he rented a motel room and spent an entire weekend watching nothing but MTV.


Two years later, he was dead from a brain aneurism and Bill Clinton was "Rocking the Vote."
 
2012-11-15 11:17:33 AM
www.dotubo.com

ratemyarms.com
 
2012-11-15 11:19:26 AM
The modern GOP in a nutshell, folks. Good thing demographics are making it a dead end for them.
 
2012-11-15 11:23:30 AM
That was strangely lucid. Can you imagine any modern politician saying that to a journalist, even off the record like he did?
 
2012-11-15 11:24:30 AM
The other video that perfectly epitomizes the GOP.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GBAsFwPglw
 
2012-11-15 11:26:18 AM

WTF Indeed: No, he was talking about how ineffective it is to be racist in campaigns now. That the abstractness of eluding to race as a wedge issue may win you votes in a certain area, but it will drastically lose you votes everywhere else. The sad part is that this interview was given in 1988, and not only has the party not learned from that, it is regressing back to the "n*gger n*gger" message.


The interview was from '81. Atwater ran GHW Bush's campaign in 1988 and masterminded the infamous Willie Horton ad.
 
2012-11-15 11:26:31 AM
And this is still going on, except now "entitled" means poor minorities, "free stuff" is the alcohol they somehow manage to buy with food stamps, and "they don't have jobs" means "they don't want to work".

The rubes are eating it up. The majority of Americans know better, which is why Obama will be president until January 2017.
 
2012-11-15 11:27:13 AM
I'm not racist-you're racist for pointing out that I sometimes say things that racists say.
 
2012-11-15 11:28:28 AM
And Republicans I know will still deny that the Southern Strategy has ever even existed.
 
2012-11-15 11:29:35 AM
The stay at home mom green-lighter strikes again.
 
2012-11-15 11:32:45 AM

Generation_D: So to make up for it, he rented a motel room and spent an entire weekend watching nothing but MTV.


Two years later, he was dead from a brain aneurism and Bill Clinton was "Rocking the Vote."


Yep, that's what MTV does to you, and it's only gotten worse.
 
2012-11-15 11:32:50 AM
Aka, how to be racist to appeal to your base while still pretending you are not so you can try for minority votes. Sounds like the same shiat being said at the GOP Mayors convention in Vegas today.
 
2012-11-15 11:41:17 AM
It's usually hard to say anything nice about cancer, but in Lee Atwater's case it really did us a solid.
 
2012-11-15 11:41:46 AM

monoski: Aka, how to be racist to appeal to your base while still pretending you are not so you can try for minority votes. Sounds like the same shiat being said at the GOP Mayors convention in Vegas today.


And the same thing they'll be using in 2016 to appeal to the Latino vote while hoping they ignore several decades of "FILTHY ILLEGALS!" rhetoric. It'll be good times.
 
2012-11-15 11:42:14 AM
F*ck Lee Atwater's corpse with a mace. He is the progenitor of the modern political smear and he got everything he deserved. Makes me rethink the very notion of karma both for what happened to him, and in the hope that he's currently living as a fly living on a pile of rancid shiat.
 
2012-11-15 11:43:18 AM
Didn't Atwater come to his senses shortly before dying and recanted his methods?
 
2012-11-15 11:44:48 AM

Cosmk: F*ck Lee Atwater's corpse with a mace. He is the progenitor of the modern political smear and he got everything he deserved. Makes me rethink the very notion of karma both for what happened to him, and in the hope that he's currently living as a fly living on a pile of rancid shiat.


Kind of all of this.
 
2012-11-15 12:05:14 PM
Atwater was a POS, no doubt.

However Dems have perfected the 'say the political correct thing and hide your true intentions'

Stimulas and shovel ready projects = funeling money to union contractors
For the children = raising taxes on whatever "sin" is in the crosshairs
clean air = shutting down as much coal as possible

These are just a few of a very long list.
 
2012-11-15 12:09:48 PM

pxsteel: clean air = shutting down as much coal as possible


So you're saying "clean air" is secret code for "don't burn a horrifically polluting fuel source that dumps a shiatload of hydrocarbons into the air"? Yes, yes I suppose it is. Can't disagree.
 
2012-11-15 12:12:03 PM

pxsteel: clean air = shutting down as much coal as possible


That's not really hiding any intentions. You can't have both coal and clean air. You can have filters that drastically reduce the pollution, but regulations requiring those are communism or something.
 
2012-11-15 12:12:31 PM
Lemme guess, "states' rights"?

/can't play video at work
 
2012-11-15 12:14:12 PM

pxsteel: Stimulas and shovel ready projects = funeling money to union contractors
For the children = raising taxes on whatever "sin" is in the crosshairs
clean air = shutting down as much coal as possible


Not my fault your state misspent the stimulus. I'm very happy with the new blacktop and overpasses and intersections I got.

"For the children?" That's not a political cry, that's a helicopter parent cry.

And boo-hoo-hoo on the coal industry. You wanna know what's cleaning their clock? Fracking. The oil majors are sitting on reserves of cheap natural gas as far as the eye can see. And not much in the way of sulfur or mercury emissions when you burn it. So... which major energy industry are you gonna shill for? King Coal? Or Big Oil?
 
2012-11-15 12:14:19 PM

Satanic_Hamster: And Republicans I know will still deny that the Southern Strategy has ever even existed.


The Republican Party is the party of civil rights!
 
2012-11-15 12:19:45 PM

Solon Isonomia: Didn't Atwater come to his senses shortly before dying and recanted his methods?


Not really:

---------------------------------------------------------------------

In a February 1991 article for Life magazine, Atwater wrote:

My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The '80s were about acquiring - acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don't know who will lead us through the '90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.

This article was notable for an apology to Michael Dukakis for the "naked cruelty" of the 1988 presidential election campaign.

Ed Rollins, however, stated in the 2008 documentary "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story", that "[Atwater] was telling this story about how a Living Bible was what was giving him faith and I said to Mary (Matalin), 'I really, sincerely hope that he found peace.' She said, 'Ed, when we were cleaning up his things afterwards, the Bible was still wrapped in the cellophane and had never been taken out of the package,' which just told you everything there was. He was spinning right to the end."

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Link
 
2012-11-15 12:24:33 PM
A significant percentage of the GOP base are motivated by racism and bigotry.......shocking.
 
2012-11-15 12:30:07 PM

Arkanaut: Lemme guess, "states' rights"?

/can't play video at work


Not only "states rights", but "tax cuts".
 
2012-11-15 12:39:55 PM
Lee Atwater would have loved "secret Muslim".
 
2012-11-15 12:45:18 PM

TofuTheAlmighty: WTF Indeed: No, he was talking about how ineffective it is to be racist in campaigns now. That the abstractness of eluding to race as a wedge issue may win you votes in a certain area, but it will drastically lose you votes everywhere else. The sad part is that this interview was given in 1988, and not only has the party not learned from that, it is regressing back to the "n*gger n*gger" message.

The interview was from '81. Atwater ran GHW Bush's campaign in 1988 and masterminded the infamous Willie Horton ad.



If I may digress with a little trivia, he had help with the Willie Horton ad from a clinically depressed womanizing alcoholic cokehead ad man in Milwaukee named Frankenberry. Link to his story
 
2012-11-15 12:47:26 PM
So he says to put race on the backburner and go with issues that are abstract but resonate with disgruntled racists.

What's funny is there's a flip side to the coin as he presented it. You can't go around saying "kill the capitalists pigs..."
 
2012-11-15 12:55:33 PM
Subby's the racist for submitting this
 
2012-11-15 12:56:29 PM
Dropped playing 5-string-banjo and 4-string after seeing that Atwater played too.

He was like the arrogant practical jokester who would think nothing if someone died from his actions.

The kinda guy who'd produce a dead hooker for someones bed when no one else could find a live one.
 
2012-11-15 12:56:33 PM
I'm not sure I can draw a straight line between racism and tax cuts.

I can see a wonky one, racism -> entitelments -> spending -> tax cuts. But that seems a bit odd since so many whites benefit from them?

O'course, I got the typical moronic facebook update from a Republican loon asserting the "need" for a "white history month". That was funny.
 
2012-11-15 01:10:24 PM

PartTimeBuddha: I'm not sure I can draw a straight line between racism and tax cuts.


They're appealing to people who biatch about welfare queens but have the most people on government assistance, and live in states that take far more than they give to the federal government, which they consider evil.

"Straight lines" are not necessary.
 
2012-11-15 02:15:37 PM
I'm listening to his full interview on thenation.com. This is a great find- historically and for the gems it contains.
 
2012-11-15 02:27:43 PM

WTF Indeed: No, he was talking about how ineffective it is to be racist in campaigns now. That the abstractness of eluding to race as a wedge issue may win you votes in a certain area, but it will drastically lose you votes everywhere else. The sad part is that this interview was given in 1988, and not only has the party not learned from that, it is regressing back to the "n*gger n*gger" message.


Where did he say any of that? He is describing how to benefit from racism by using code words (dog whistles) by tying the subtle racist message (only heard by dogs) to tax cuts and other forms of Theft by Policy that comprises the GOP ideology.
 
2012-11-15 02:28:22 PM
So he says that any time an economic issue is raised, if there is a negative fallout, the best biproduct is that it hurts minorities the most.

This is fascinating. And just more evidence of the Deep South's awful grip.
 
2012-11-15 03:05:50 PM

WTF Indeed: No, he was talking about how ineffective it is to be racist in campaigns now.


Maybe. But a big takeaway here is how the modern Republican Party's version of "fiscal conservatism" arose historically from racism. I've explained this before, but very few things can be as powerful as hearing a Republican icon like Atwater saying it himself. "Fiscal conservatives" who oppose the very legitimacy of the welfare state are, at core, really just mad that racial minorities benefit from it in addition to white people.
 
2012-11-15 03:17:05 PM

PartTimeBuddha: I'm not sure I can draw a straight line between racism and tax cuts.

I can see a wonky one, racism -> entitelments -> spending -> tax cuts. But that seems a bit odd since so many whites benefit from them?


No, that's the correct line. What you have to understand is conservative cognitive distortion. Many shall we say "salt of the earth" Republicans don't see Social Security and Medicare as "entitlements." But they think food stamps and TANF are. They also wildly overestimate the amount of money we spend on TANF and food stamps, and think blacks and latinos are the primary beneficiaries of them. I hear lay conservatives say this kind of sh*t all the time.

So in their minds, when they're talking about "cutting spending," they are thinking about the inconsequential sums we spend on TANF and food stamps, but which they imagine constitute most of the federal budget. And they think they're mainly cutting spending that benefits minorities.


1) Social Security and Medicare are neither entitlements nor welfare, but food stamps and Medicaid are both entitlements and welfare.
 
2012-11-15 03:18:04 PM

bugontherug: PartTimeBuddha: I'm not sure I can draw a straight line between racism and tax cuts.

I can see a wonky one, racism -> entitelments -> spending -> tax cuts. But that seems a bit odd since so many whites benefit from them?

No, that's the correct line. What you have to understand is conservative cognitive distortion. Many shall we say "salt of the earth" Republicans don't see Social Security and Medicare as "entitlements." But they think food stamps and TANF are. They also wildly overestimate the amount of money we spend on TANF and food stamps, and think blacks and latinos are the primary beneficiaries of them. I hear lay conservatives say this kind of sh*t all the time.

So in their minds, when they're talking about "cutting spending," they are thinking about the inconsequential sums we spend on TANF and food stamps, but which they imagine constitute most of the federal budget. And they think they're mainly cutting spending that benefits minorities.


1) Social Security and Medicare are neither entitlements nor welfare, but food stamps and Medicaid are both entitlements and welfare.


Ignore the last line there. That was an edit that didn't get removed. Pardon me.
 
2012-11-15 03:47:44 PM

WTF Indeed: That the abstractness of eluding to race as a wedge issue


[inigo-montoya.jpg]
 
2012-11-15 04:10:03 PM
YAY One Party System! In fact, wy bother voting at all?
 
2012-11-15 04:20:45 PM

PartTimeBuddha: I'm not sure I can draw a straight line between racism and tax cuts.

I can see a wonky one, racism -> entitelments -> spending -> tax cuts. But that seems a bit odd since so many whites benefit from them?


Tax cuts ="I keep my money"
Spending = "Gubmint takes my money to give to dark skinned people."
That's the connection, and as much logic is present in it, along with a huge ass dose of ignorance about the actual makeup of the Federal budget.
 
2012-11-15 07:41:37 PM
I don't want to pay taxes and contribute to welfare. I'd rather donate to my church to help out the poor. See, I'm a great person!

=

I'd much rather transfer my money to a place that helps mostly people of my race who are Christians.
 
2012-11-15 07:50:38 PM
Not to say that most Christians do it because of that. There are plenty of great, compassionate, giving Christians doing it out of the goodness of their heart because it's a righteous and good thing to do.

But I'll bet that there are a bunch of southern strategy adherents who've thought this up and have made it a talking point.
 
2012-11-16 02:50:15 PM
I'm shocked. Shocked I say.

So nice to see the racism finally biting them in the ass.
 
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