Southern Strategy: Mitt Romney Faces Same Biases as Obama in the South

Turns out there are worse things you can do than be a Kenyan Muslim anti-colonialist. Okay, maybe not worse, but still something to fear. Mormonism! Cue the ominous music, the plural marriages and strange underwear. This, my dears, we cannot have.

It doesn’t matter that neither of these statements is true about the candidates (President Obama is a Christian who goes to church regularly and ticks off his base with support of faith based initiatives that benefit the Christian faith and Willard Romney is a Mormon who does not practices plural marriage) – this is, after all, the Fox base, for whom lies are reality and fear compels. These folks don’t want to have to choose between a Muslim and a Mormon.

Here’s what Cobb County Georgia Judy Manning (R-Marietta) lawmaker had to say to the Marietta Daily Journal:

By contrast, Manning believes Rick Santorum doesn’t have the seasoning to unseat Obama, and Mitt Romney concerns her.

“I think Mitt Romney is a nice man, but I’m afraid of his Mormon faith,” Manning said. “It’s better than a Muslim. Of course, every time you look at the TV these days you find an ad on there telling us how normal they are. So why do they have to put ads on the TV just to convince us that they’re normal if they are normal? … If the Mormon faith adhered to a past philosophy of pluralism, multi-wives, that doesn’t follow the Christian faith of one man and one woman, and that concerns me.”

Now, for your daily dose of irony, she then goes on to explain that she is supporting Gingrich because he can beat Obama, but she thinks people pay too much attention to his personal life (I kid you not) and that we should focus on who can do the job instead.

Manning believes Gingrich, if given the chance, can beat President Obama.

“But I think we’ve got so many people that are too interested in the personal lives of all of our elected officials that we can’t get past that to the point of who can do the job, and who can make the decisions, and who knows the politics involved, and who better than someone who has the experience,” Manning said.

Other lawmakers in Georgia are willing to give Romney a go because of his alleged business sense but feel Santorum is the “family values” candidate.

Now, just why do you suppose Mitt Romney is not a “family values” candidate, or President Obama, for that matter? Both have strong family ties with no rumors of transgressions. Gee, do you think it’s that the these two are the wrong faith? Maybe no one has real families except for Christians. This will be troubling to some, especially her constituents (of whom around 1,000 are Mormon). Carry on, people, at least you aren’t being arrested for being the wrong faith (yet); if the 2012 election goes to the wrong candidate, there are no guarantees.

While the Georgia lawmakers don’t represent the entire south, they do give a good indication of what we can expect from South Carolina Republicans in their upcoming caucus and from the evangelical Fox base in “real” America.

Willard Mitt Romney is just not “normal” for them.

They would rather have Newt the serial adulterer or the unelectable Santorum. Because, you see, these two are “normal.” Oh, America, you melting pot of non-normals, when will you get white washed and realize that there is only one real faith? You can’t pretend to be normal or even become normal, because baby you are born that way.

2012 will be the year that the already laughable notion of the Republican Party as the party of ideas will be put to its final rest. Let’s bow our heads in respect to the party of old; the party not just ran by, but now governed by, bigotry and fear is here to stay. This is the inevitable result of Nixon’s southern strategy come to its final fruition.

In case you were wondering, the southern strategy was successful in realigning the electorate of the southern states to the Republican Party, but it cost them 90% of the African American vote. Now you know why voter ID laws are such a hot ticket in the south. Nixon political strategist Kevin Phillips explained to the New York Times in 1970:

“From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

Republicans, having been largely successful in using the black Democrat to scare off any remaining white Democrats, are now confidently taking aim at the Voting Rights Act in an effort to disenfranchise the minority (and largely Democratic now) vote. That this strategy creates a party wherein a Mormon is not seen as a normal American should surprise no one.

And for those Democrats who just can’t understand why blue dog Democrats are a relief in a southern state, I hope this clears things up for you. The chances of liberal Democrats taking a red state run by Foxian fears are slim, and for those liberal pockets within a red state, a blue dog is better than a Tea Partier.

Image: Salon

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