Southern Strategery

2 comments June 28th, 2007at 11:16am Posted by Eli

How’s that working out for you, Republicans?

The threat came in the weekend mail.

The recipient was Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, who has been a leading advocate of the proposed legislation for changing the immigration system. His offices in Washington and across Florida have received thousands of angry messages in recent weeks, but nothing as alarming as that letter he received at his home.

“I’ll turn it over to Capitol police, and we’ll go from there,” said Mr. Martinez, who declined to elaborate on the nature of the threat.


Republicans who support the immigration bill are facing unusually intense opposition from conservative groups fighting it. This is among the first times, several of them said, that they have felt the full brunt of an advocacy machine built around conservative talk radio and cable television programs that have long buttressed Republican efforts to defeat Democrats and their policies.

While the majority of the telephone calls and faxes, letters and e-mail messages have been civil, aides to several senators said, the correspondence has taken a menacing tone in several cases.

Senator Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican who is undecided on the final immigration bill, said his office received a telephone call recently that “made a threat about knowing where I lived.” Mr. Burr passed it along to the authorities. “There were enough specifics to raise some alarm bells,” he said.


“There’s racism in this debate,” [Senator Lindsey] Graham said. “Nobody likes to talk about it, but a very small percentage of people involved in this debate really have racial and bigoted remarks. The tone that we create around these debates, whether it be rhetoric in a union hall or rhetoric on talk radio, it can take people who are on the fence and push them over emotionally.”

No-one could have predicted that a political strategy based on demonizing black and brown people would actually reinforce racism. Inconceivable.

Basically, the Southern Strategy is to immigration reform as The War On Terror was to the Dubai Ports World deal. It’s a conflict between the racist, xenophobic loonies that the GOP has cultivated for the past 40 years and the big-money interests who actually pay the bills.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Immigration,Politics,Racism,Republicans


  • 1. bill  |  June 28th, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Too bad, but I don’t think there is a person among the Republicans with the gonads of Margaret Chase Smith. They are really in need of spine and ethical highground just now.

  • 2. Cujo359  |  June 29th, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    “Its a conflict between the racist, xenophobic loonies that the GOP has cultivated for the past 40 years and the big-money interests who actually pay the bills.”

    No kidding, Eli. This isn’t an easy issue for Democrats, either, since they have to deal with the “stealing our jobs” rhetoric of labor. On the whole, though, the dissenters among them aren’t the sort of aggressive loonies that Senators Burr and Martinez are encountering, seemingly for the first time. The Republicans these days really do seem like an unholy trinity these days, with racists, and religious fanatics providing the “ideas”, and the cynical rich providing the finances.

    Somehow, I think that if Abe Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt were alive today, their observation about this Republican Party would be “Who are these assholes?”

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