The end of an evil era: GOP’s Southern Strategy on its last legs
GOP’s Southern Strategy on its last legs
COMMENTARY BY GENE LYONS October 5, 2012 7:34PM
Things have been awfully quiet on the End Times front. Living in the South, one grows accustomed to hearing about a never-ending series of conspiratorial threats and eschatological panics.
Specifically, it doesn’t matter how badly Obama loses the five Deep South states won by Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1968 — along with, say, South Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma. Should he prevail in most of the nine ‘swing states,’ where everybody agrees that the contest will be decided, and where Obama appears to lead by strong majorities, the white, GOP-accented South will find itself politically marooned.
Richard M. Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ will have been dismantled and a new, moderately center-left Democratic coalition built by Obama will have replaced it. For the first time since 1972, the Rush Limbaugh/Mike Huckabee wing of the GOP will find itself with no clear path to power.
The existential shock would be considerable. Not since the 1960s, when successive civil rights laws ended legal segregation, have certain kinds of white Southerners experienced such anger and trepidation. Boo hoo hoo.
The temptation for Southern Republicans would be to double-down on the crazy, because ‘conservatism,’ so-called, can never fail, only be failed. Also because religious melodrama is what an awful lot of them are really about.