Results 1 to 8 of 8
08-05-09, 07:48 PM #1
Ohio Sen. George Voinovich has charged that Southerners are what's wrong with the Republican Party
Southern writer Walker Percy liked to poke fun at Ohioans in his novels, just to even things out a bit.
"Usually Mississippians and Georgians are getting it from everybody, and Alabamians," he once explained to an interviewer. "So, what's wrong with making smart-aleck remarks about Ohio? Nobody puts Ohio down. Why shouldn't I put Ohio down?"
Percy, the genial genius, laughed at his own remark.
Now, apparently, it's the Buckeye State's turn to poke back. In a fusillade of pique, Ohio Sen. George Voinovich charged that Southerners are what's wrong with the Republican Party.
"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," he told an interviewer with the Columbus Dispatch, referring to GOP senators from South Carolina and Oklahoma. "It's the Southerners. They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' People hear them and say, 'These people, they're Southerners. The party's being taken over by Southerners. What the hell they got to do with Ohio?' "
Down South, people are trying to figure out what "errrr, errrrr" means. Jack Bass, author of eight books about social and political change in the South, speculated in an e-mail that Voinovich really meant grrrr, grrrrr, as in "growling canines whose bark scares more than do Obama's purrs, especially with the Dow at a nine-month high."
Whatever Voinovich's sound effects were intended to convey, his meaning was clear enough: Those ignorant, right-wing, Bible-thumping rednecks are ruining the party.
Alas, Voinovich was not entirely wrong.
Not all Southern Republicans are wing nuts. Nor does the GOP have a monopoly on ignorance or racism. And, the South, for all its sins, is also lush with beauty, grace and mystery. Nevertheless, it is true that the GOP is fast becoming regionalized below the Mason-Dixon line and increasingly associated with some of the South's worst ideas.
It is not helpful (or surprising) that "birthers" -- conspiracy theorists who have convinced themselves that Barack Obama is not a native son -- have assumed kudzu qualities among Republicans in the South. In a poll commissioned by the liberal blog Daily Kos, participants were asked: "Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?"
Hefty majorities in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West believe Obama was born in the United States. But in the land of cotton, where old times are not by God forgotten, only 47 percent believe Obama was born in America and 30 percent aren't sure.
Southern Republicans, it seems, have seceded from sanity.
Though Voinovich's views may be shared by others in the party, it's a tad late -- not to mention ungrateful -- to indict the South. Republicans have been harvesting Southern votes for decades from seeds strategically planted during the civil rights era. When Lyndon B. Johnson predicted in 1965 that the Voting Rights Act meant the South would go Republican for the next 50 years, he wasn't just whistling Dixie.
A telling anecdote recounted by Pat Buchanan to New Yorker writer George Packer last year captures the dark spirit that still hovers around the GOP. In 1966 Buchanan and Richard Nixon were at the Wade Hampton Hotel in Columbia, S.C., where Nixon worked a crowd into a frenzy: "Buchanan recalls that the room was full of sweat, cigar smoke, and rage; the rhetoric, which was about patriotism and law and order, 'burned the paint off the walls.' As they left the hotel, Nixon said, 'This is the future of this Party, right here in the South.' "
That same rage was on display again in the fall of 2008, but this time the frenzy was stimulated by a pretty gal with a mocking little wink. Sarah Palin may not have realized what she was doing, but Southerners weaned on Harper Lee heard the dog whistle.
The curious Republican campaign of 2008 may have galvanized a conservative Southern base -- including many who were mostly concerned with the direction Democrats would take the country -- but it also repelled others who simply bolted and ran the other way. Whatever legitimate concerns the GOP may historically have represented were suddenly overshadowed by a sense of a resurgent Old South and all the attendant pathologies of festering hate and fear.
What the GOP is experiencing now, one hopes, are the death throes of that 50-year spell that Johnson foretold. But before the party of the Great Emancipator can rise again, Republicans will have to face their inner Voinovich and drive a stake through the heart of old Dixie.
08-06-09, 08:42 AM #2
Voinovich is a RINO, I can't stand him but the real problem we have is they just keep sending us these kind of candidates. If I could talk the wife into it I'd move and be a southerner.
08-06-09, 09:10 AM #3
Having been born and raised in Ohio, and having traveled to a few southern states, I wish my current home address was not Ohio. Ohio sucks for me. Flat, boring, crappy weather and Senator Voinovich. A registered republican who seems to side with democrats more than not. He's a dinosaur and thankfully is not seeking re-election. Geez, look at another Ohio product of government, Dennis Kuchinich (D). The guy bankrupted Cleveland when he was the mayor. Who would have bet that guy would have a job anywhere, let alone represent his state (again)? Have you seen and listened to him during his run for president? LOONEY! No, I would like to relocate to Tennessee or one of the Carolina's. I'm sure the southern states have issues, but visually they are great states and so different from Ohio.As today's police officers you are not unlike your counterparts of years past. You are an elite group of select members, a brotherhood of highly trained professionals, who are called upon to protect your community in a time of need. Guardians for safety. Being a police officer is not for the faint of heart. You must be honest, trustworthy and fearless in the face of evil. You are being watched everyday. Represent yourself, your department and the shield, for it should always be the embodiment of all that is good and justly. You are the thin blue line. Be proud, be tough and be safe.
08-06-09, 09:39 AM #4
08-06-09, 12:07 PM #5No, I would like to relocate to Tennessee or one of the Carolina's. I'm sure the southern states have issues, but visually they are great states and so different from Ohio.
08-06-09, 12:49 PM #6
08-06-09, 04:01 PM #7Chief Wheaties PisserVerified LEO
- Join Date
- Just outside Latteland
- Rep Power
Oh, he's just pissed that all of his manufacteuring jobs are relocating to a more business friendly climate SOUTH of the M/D line.
08-07-09, 08:10 AM #8
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)