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NYT: Southern Democrats' Decline Is Eroding the Political Center

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:32 PM
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NYT: Southern Democrats' Decline Is Eroding the Political Center
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 - The once mighty Southern Democrats are an increasingly endangered species on Capitol Hill.

In the new Congress, only 4 of the 22 senators from the 11 states of the old Confederacy will be Democrats, the lowest number since Reconstruction; as recently as 1990, 15 of those Southern senators were Democrats. In the House, the Democrats suffered smaller but still significant losses in Texas, where a Republican redistricting plan took down a group of veteran lawmakers, including the paradigmatic Southern conservative: Representative Charles W. Stenholm, a 13-term deficit hawk and longtime leader of the Blue Dog Democrats, a group of centrists in the House.

This moment has been a long time coming. Ever since the national Democratic Party fully embraced the cause of civil rights 40 years ago, shattering their hold on the so-called solid South, Republicans have been making steady inroads among culturally conservative white voters in the region. But the acceleration of this trend is important for the next Congress: some of these Southern Democrats, along with Northeastern Republicans, were among the last remaining lawmakers in the political center of an increasingly polarized House and Senate.

Their dwindling numbers, analysts say, could intensify the divisions on Capitol Hill. The retirement of senators like John B. Breaux of Louisiana means "you're losing moderate Democrats who could work across the aisle," said Larry Evans, a professor of government and an expert on Congress at the College of William and Mary. "And what you're left with is a more polarized Senate." That could mean "more partisan conflict, more infighting, the minority being more reliant on the filibuster and the hold," Professor Evans said.

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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:36 PM
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1. the south is becoming increasingly conservative
and the election of reactionary republicans is an indication of this. Luckily the rest of the country is moving in the other direction. I hope the the south will come to their senses that supporting these republicans is not in their or the national interest. Theres lots of good folks in the south and I'm hopeful.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:01 PM
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4. Then the South needs to seriously rethink itself.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:39 PM
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reasonable Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:40 PM
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3. Decline of Southern D's
Good riddance. Most of these dixiecrats cross aisle "cooperation" consisted of selling out the D's agenda.

Most of these so called Democrats like zell miller never missed a chance to slip a shiv into the d's agenda whenever possible.

Remember Breaux was one of the Senators that sabotaged Clinton on health care, Gays in the military and any other number of initiatives.
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lawladyprof Donating Member (628 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. White Dems defecting to Republican Party
Sorting into White Republican Party and Black (+ a few die-hard liberal Whites) Democrats. Doesn't bode well for Blue folks stuck in those states.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Welcome to DU!
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:42 PM
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10. Hi reasonable!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:16 AM
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6. Dallas is so fucked up...

OK--Dallas officials always ignore the anniversary dates of the Kennedy shooting...not ONE elected Dallas or Texas official came to the 40th anniversary last year gathering, HUGE crowds showed up to watch a ceremony put on by the Sixth Floor Museum folks. But, by gosh, Dallas wants to make MONEY off of it happening here!:

As Lee Harvey Oswald, who was handcuffed to a police detective, stepped into the glare of television lights, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fired a single bullet into Oswald's stomach. It was a moment frozen in time with the click of a camera, one of the most unforgettable images of the 20th century.

Now this site long closed to the public may become a Dallas tourist destination as part of a plan to revitalize a rundown section of downtown.

"It's a part of history and should be preserved," said Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans. "A lot of people have expressed interest in seeing it. If opening it to the public increases pedestrian traffic to a part of downtown that sorely needs redeveloping, we'll do it."

The city that once tried to forget its connection to the assassination of a president has long since accepted that it cannot.

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American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 10:22 AM
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7. Sorry to say it, but good riddance
Dixiecrats are worse than Republicans. The Southern Dems to whom this article is referring didn't just work across the aisle, they joined the other side of the aisle. I'd rather be outnumbered with open foes than have to appease and cling to false friends.

President Johnson, you were right. Our loss of the South is now almost complete.
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greekspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 11:35 AM
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8. I am not a bit suprised
Even my liberal Tallahassee representative, Boyd Allen, seems to be one of these "hands across the aisle" folks. "Hands around the democratic agenda's throat" is more like it. Hopefully, as Virginia Northward and Ohio eastward becomes more liberal, they will throw out their pukes. If southerners want to wallow in squalor so they can have their god, gays and guns agenda, that is their business. The US is polarizing, and its time to face that fact head on. Let Blue Southerners move to Blue States and Red Northerners move to Red States.
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Julien Sorel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. That sounds kind of tough and all,
but unfortunately, it isn't just the South involved. The Plains states are also conservative. And the South and the Plains, combined, have enough senators, and the opportunity to gerrymander enough districts, to make Republicans the permanent majority party. It also gives them a big head start in every presidential election because of the EC. Either we find a way to compete with rural people, or we become a perpetual minority party. As things stand, we could consistently pile up more votes nationwide and still be a minority in congress, and lose the presidency.

Tough talk without some kind of plan to remedy the disadvantages of the current situation isn't going to solve anything.
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