Friday, September 11, 2009

19th Century Dixie Making a Comeback

I've been saying this for awhile now: the Deep South, conservative and religious, is gearing up for a wild swing deeper into right-wing morass in 2010. The election of a black man into the White House has jolted them into preferring a sinning crook in political office, as long as he’s white.
Those familiar with Louisiana and its Republican senator, David Vitter, knew he would survive the summer of 2007, after he showed up on the client list of a Washington prostitution ring and then refused to address the matter beyond admitting to a “very serious sin” at a brief news conference.

What came as a surprise to many here is how he became a strong early favorite going into his 2010 re-election race. That turnabout is largely due to one person. “Along comes Obama,” said Elliott Stonecipher, a political analyst and demographer based in Shreveport, “and it changed everything.”

I'm not sure how much things actually changed as opposed to simply reawakening suppressed racism.
It is difficult to overstate President Obama’s unpopularity in most of Louisiana. He lost handily to Senator John McCain here, picking up only 14 percent of the white vote (the state is roughly two-thirds white). His health care plan is unpopular. His cap-and-trade plan to reduce greenhouse gases, in a state so dependent on oil and gas, is anathema.

In fact, in the South, which largely voted against Mr. Obama, the anger at his policies has been palpable, as shown by Wednesday outburst of a South Carolina Republican congressman, Joe Wilson, during Mr. Obama’s address to Congress.

Obama got only 14% of the white vote in Louisiana. That speaks volumes about the electorate.
Though nearly 22 percent of the state’s adult residents have no health insurance — one of the highest rates in the nation — pollsters and political experts say voters in the state are overwhelmingly against Mr. Obama’s health care proposals.

It would be interesting to find some statistics to determine how many of those 22% uninsured are non-white. I wonder about those who "overwhelmingly" oppose the health care proposals, those who will have a knee-jerk reaction at the polls in 2010 to the idea of a black man in the Oval Office, and those who can't get over the fact that they lost the Civil War. I've decided they are dis-eased.

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