Mark Sanford (R-Appalachian Trail) was on Fox’s American Newsroom (Fox News’ Saudi Prince Newsroom didn’t have the same ring) this morning to explain to us all just how the Republican base thinks, and why Mitt Romney’s chances might not be so hot in South Carolina.
The Republican base is a direct result of the southern strategy as evinced most perfectly in South Carolina, where they don’t take orders well, according to Governor Sanford.
Watch here courtesy of Media Matters:
Transcript from Media Matters:
MARTHA MACCALLUM: I gotta go, but very quickly, if you can, the last question is can Mitt Romney do better with these groups? He did well with evangelicals and with those who call themselves very conservative in New Hampshire. Can he do the same thing this time around in South Carolina?
SANFORD: I would just say that South Carolina’s not that good at taking its cue from other places. And you can look as far back as the Civil War where young cadets were firing cannons there on Fort Sumter. I mean, South Carolina — South Carolinians are going to decide for themselves. I think he has wrapped up much of the institutional support, but I think — Huckabee’s doing an event here on Saturday, because about fifty percent of the folks out there in this state have not yet decided. So I think it’s still a very fluid race.
It’s so cute how they hold up the values of fierce rebellion as a matter of pride, even as they take orders from Fox News and the band of fallen conservative angels hired by Fox to show America that conservative values are a farce.
And to lead their charge, they have
General“Governor” Sanford of the “I found my soul mate on the government’s dime while lying about where I was to my staff and family because I am a responsible conservative family man.” Sanford can think of no better siren song for the viewers of Fox News than the Civil War. Apparently, the Civil War explains why Romney won’t have such an easy time of it in South Carolina. The Palmetto state doesn’t like to take orders or something like that.
Nothin’ like a war analogy to get them riled up! And that particular war resonates deeply with the Southern strategy Fox cult. I suppose Sanford is right, given that many of them are in denial regarding the end of the Civil War (aka: the war of “Northern Aggression”), as evidenced by the Confederate Flag flying in greeting at the front of the State House after it was moved from the dome.
And now we get to the real heart of why the Civil War might kill Romney’s chances in South Carolina. It’s not that he is an “establishment” favorite. It’s that he is not the right kind of white (see Southern Strategy: Mitt Romney Faces Same Biases as Obama in the South).
Want to know what they call the removal of the Confederate flag from the dome to a memorial by the front door in South Carolina? They call it the “ethnic cleansing” of white Europeans:
The South Carolina Conservative Action Council wants the flag moved up to its former location on top of the dome.
William G. Carter, a chairman of the group said, “We feel that’s a form of ethnic cleansing. That people of European American descent have their culture and their heritage, just like black people. And at the same time, if we’re going to live in a so-called multi-cultural society, where do we fit in? Where do we stand?”
Secretary Nelson Waller agrees. “It stands for the Confederate troops who sacrificed so much and in many cases paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we know today,” he said. “It stands for the South, its beautiful traditions. Its illustrious, honorable history. The South was the birth of the country. It produced numerous of the Founding Fathers and presidents. We are very proud of the South.”
They want that flag back at the top of the dome and refusal to do so is a form of ethnic cleansing of white Europeans! This argument belies the southern claim that the Civil War was not about slavery — why else would they assume that no black people served in the Confederate army and how else could moving the Confederate flag represent the ethnic cleansing of whites?
Of course, this argument changes based upon convenience, for revisionists also like to pretend that tens of thousands of black people fought for the Confederate army to “preserve the Southern way of life,” as if to suggest that the enslaved liked it. This, of course, is not true either. Historians can’t find primary evidence of more than a few “non-whites” actually fighting for the Confederate army, whereas hundreds of thousands fought for the Union.
The Civil War Gazette interviewed Civil War historian-author Steven Woodworth about the question of whether or not black people fought for the Confederate army:
“It would be hard to prove that absolutely zero blacks fought in the Confederate army, but I think it must have approached that level… I’ve never come across a single instance of a black serving in the Confederate army. Whatever may have been the number of blacks serving and actually fighting as soldiers in the Confederate army, it must have been a minuscule percentage–completely insignificant for anyone trying to make the argument that blacks saw the conflict as a war of Yankee aggression, felt it was their war too, and joined up to fight for the Confederacy. That’s just a fairy tale.”
Also, the The South Carolina Conservative Action Council feels that the Confederate flag stands for the freedoms “we know today” which suggests that the Confederate army was victorious. And they think the South was the birth of the country. Ahhh, South Carolina; land of resentful white “Christian” nuts.
But “Governor” Sanford is right about one thing. Romney faces big challenges in South Carolina, after all Mormonism is only slightly better than being a Muslim for southern Republicans. I guess the Mormons didn’t fight for our “freedoms” in the Confederate army either — well, certainly Romney wouldn’t have, given his penchant for dodging the draft as he traipsed around France as a Mormon missionary.
In case you’re getting the idea that the Republican Party is about identity politics of resentment instead of ideas, just look at how they forgive all of the icons of their failed values! They will forgive anything, apparently, except advocating for the wrong religion, color, income bracket, etc.; i.e., anything is forgiven if one is a propaganda puppet for the Southern strategy.
There is no comparison to the inanity of having Mark Sanford on Fox News to use a Civil War analogy to explain why Romney (the non-Christian) might not get South Carolina. The Republican Party has become a grand embarrassment of a political party; an example of what can happen when propaganda eclipses reality.
The modern day Republican Party is no better than this moment: Mark Sanford, who abandoned his state without telling anyone where he was as he cheated on his wife and family with his “soul mate” and charged the taxpayers for it, is on Fox News just a year and a half later, as a respected “governor” brought on to give insight into the state he abandoned and yet no one laughed. Mark Sanford and his Civil War Southern strategy ugliness wrapped up in a white conservative “Christian” facade represents too much about the Republican Party of 2012.
Note: “Christian” in this article refers to the Republican Party’s politicized usage of the term rather than the actual Christian faith.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.