From Daily Kos -- SEP 04, 2011:
70 Years of Tea Party Obstructionism
Today, as I was doing a study on the Dixiecrats, I ran across a totally fascinating paper, written in the 1960s that completely describes what’s happening in our politics today. A man named Thomas Hayden (who was one of the husbands of Jane Fonda) was a civil rights, anti-war, progressive activist who wrote a paper entitled: The “POWER OF THE DIXIECRATS.”
In it, he describes how Southern democrats joined northern republicans in fierce opposition to president FDR’s progressive policies. They became powerful out of a protest against minority rights, improved healthcare and taxes. Its “spooky” how similar things were then to today. Remember when the blue-dog democrats joined the republicans in fierce opposition to healthcare in 2009? -- that was the remix. Check this out:
Their assault on Franklin Roosevelt:
“When Franklin Roosevelt attempted to strengthen the liberalism of the party and its policies, he met the organized opposition of conservative Southern Democrats and Northern Republicans in Congress. They stymied much of his program, and strengthened their power during the Second World War. Conflict broke out in the Democratic Party after the war over the issue of civil rights. The Southern delegations even walked out of the 1948 convention to create a States Rights Party in protest against the strong civil rights platform of the national party.”
The Tea Party, (formerly known as the Dixiecrats) rose up when a strong democrat was in the White House then and they’ve done it ever since. Their playbook is exactly the same with the angry, vitriolic obstruction of the government if they don’t get their way. Look at what Hayden wrote about Dixiecrat ideology in the sixties:
“1. Speaking broadly, the Dixiecrats represent economic-political-social conservatism—although it is dominated by expediency whenever their power is threatened.
2. Since 1960, voting records indicate their general opposition to civil rights, foreign aid, extensions of unemployment compensation, aid for depressed areas, medical care for the aged, tax cuts favoring the underprivileged classes, a minimum wage, federal aid to education and public housing.
3. In addition to these formal differences with the liberal wing of the Democratic and Republican parties, the Dixiecrats often are vociferously belligerent in their attacks on integrationists and other liberals.”
These are the same folks—just older now. Their arguments, tactics and approaches have been used time and time again and look at how democratic presidents have struggled to deal with them:
Their assault on John F. Kennedy:
“Even though yielding to Southerners on the issue of civil rights, the President has not received much support from them in return—with the ambiguous exception of trade and taxation bills. In addition, the President has deliberately worked against liberal efforts to change Senate and House rules, although he has supported minimal reform of the House Rules Committee. In the first three years the conservative coalition has effectively thwarted the programs of civil rights advocates and other liberals.”http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/...
Wow, you could just take out Kennedy, put in Obama and the paper would read the same. For nearly three years Obama has tried to improve America in good faith. He has worked behind the scenes with these Dixiecrats and “has not received much support from them in return” just like JFK.
Their assault on Bill Clinton:
He was also absolutely assaulted by them in a deeply personal way. They accused him of being a murderer, a drug dealer and even impeached him for an affair. Much like the debt fiasco of this summer, they shut down the government twice because they couldn’t have their way. Their Sarah Palin was Ross Perot--remember this:
“The United States federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996 was the result of a conflict between Democratic President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment, and public health.”
Same record, same song—over and over again.
Their assault on Barack Obama:
Two weeks after he took office, the Dixiecrats rose again with a new strain of vitriol that is even more lethal than before. They are motivated by disrespect, inspired by personal attacks and are focused solely on de-legitimizing this black president. The New York Times describes them this way:
“The overwhelming majority of supporters say Mr. Obama does not share the values most Americans live by and that he does not understand the problems of people like themselves. More than half say the policies of the administration favor the poor, and 25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public.
They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people.”
This is it, this is totally it!
Today’s Tea party-Dixiecrats still haven’t laid down their Civil War muskets!!
They are southern, proud and cannot stand the thought of minorities being the beneficiaries of anything from the government. In the past they have fought hard against “every” democratic president who wanted to do something to improve the lives of African Americans.
The fact that a black man is actually in the white house is driving them nearly insane. So they celebrate when a Joe Wilson says ”you lie.” They feel empowered when Rush Limbaugh sings “Barack the magic negro.” They celebrate Boehner for his pettiness in making the president wait a day to give a speech.
Because this is not about “conservative” policy -- never has been, never will be—this is about hate. The same Dixiecrat, tea partiers who were screaming and spitting in the faces of congressman for trimming Medicare in 2009, are now screaming to destroy the whole Medicare system they rely on.
It doesn’t matter what Obama does or say—even if it personally helps them because they literally hate him and everything he stands for. They don’t want more jobs, could care less about the deficits and even complained about the way he killed Osama Bin Laden.
They won’t vote for whatever jobs plan he reveals and they will always obstruct, water down, or walk away from good faith efforts to negotiate just like they did with JFK.
It’s painfully obvious that while progressive Americans are fighting hard to improve the lives of average Americans, the Tea party Dixiecrats are still fighting in the civil war!!
We will never beat them in negotiations because they’ve always been willing to destroy America to have their way. They literally burned America over slavery and assassinated Abe Lincoln, JFK, Robert Kennedy and MLK to maintain the old southern way. You can’t fight this stealthy movement with intellectualism, negotiation, political prowess nor reason.
The only thing we can do, is to keep them out of power and hope their children will pursue a better way.