MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Why Did Democrats Lose the White South? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Modern conservatives are oddly fond of pointing out that it was Democrats who were the party of racism and racists until half a century ago. There's always an implied "Aha!" whenever a conservative mentions this, as though they think it's some little-known quirk of history that Democrats try to keep hidden because it's so embarrassing.</p> <p>It's not, of course. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and Republicans were the face of Reconstruction after the Civil War. Because of this, the South became solidly Democratic and stayed that way until World War II. But in the 1940s, southerners gradually began defecting to the Republican Party, and then began defecting en masse during the fight over the 1964 Civil Rights Act.</p> <p>But wait: the 1940s? If Southern whites began defecting to the GOP that early, racism couldn't have been their motivation. Aha!</p> <p>But it was. The Civil Rights movement didn't spring out of nothing in 1964, after all. Eleanor Roosevelt was a tireless champion of civil rights, and famously resigned from the DAR when they refused to allow singer Marian Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall in 1939. FDR was far more constrained by his need for Southern <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_eleanor_roosevelt_marion_anderson.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 25px 0px 15px 30px;">votes in Congress, but the WPA gave blacks a fair shake and Harold Ickes poured a lot of money into black schools and hospitals in the South. In 1941 FDR signed a nondiscrimination order for the defense industry&mdash;the first of its kind&mdash;and he generally provided African-Americans with more visibility in his administration than they had ever enjoyed before. After decades of getting little from Republicans despite their loyal support, this was enough to make blacks a key part of the New Deal Coalition and turn them into an increasingly solid voting bloc for the Democratic Party.</p> <p>From a Southern white perspective, this made the Democratic Party a less welcoming home, and it continued to get less welcoming in the two decades that followed. Harry Truman integrated the military in 1948, and Hubert Humphrey famously delivered a stemwinding civil rights speech at the Democratic convention that year. During the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower was widely viewed&mdash;rightly or wrongly&mdash;as unsympathetic to civil rights. Conversely, LBJ was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1957.</p> <p>In other words, Southern whites who wanted to keep Jim Crow intact had plenty of reasons to steadily desert the Democratic Party starting around World War II. By the early 60s they were primed and ready to begin a massive exodus from the increasingly black-friendly Democratic Party, and exit they did. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP nominee, refused to support the Civil Rights Act that year, and influential conservative thinkers like William F. Buckley were decidely unfriendly toward black equality. This made the Republican Party considerably more appealing to Southern white racists, and by 1968 Richard Nixon decided to explicitly reach out to them with a campaign based on states' rights and "law and order." Over the next two decades, the Democratic Party became ever less tolerant of racist sentiment and the exodus continued. By 1994, when Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich won a landslide victory in the midterm elections, the transition of the white South from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican was basically complete.</p> <p>This history is what makes the conservative habit of pointing out that Democrats were the original racists so peculiar. It's true, but it makes the transformation of the party even <em>more</em> admirable. Losing the South was a huge electoral risk, but Democrats took that risk anyway. That made it far more meaningful and courageous than if there had been no price to pay.</p> <p>Despite all this, conservatives still like to argue that the surge in Southern white support for the Republican Party was driven not by racism, but by other factors: economic growth; migration from other regions; and by the evolution of Democratic views on redistribution, free speech, abortion, and other issues. Unfortunately, it's hard to find quantitative data that can settle this dispute.</p> <p>But a couple of researchers recently found some: Gallup poll data starting in the late 50s that asks if you'd be willing to vote for a qualified candidate who happened to be black. If you answer no, they code you (quite reasonably) as racially conservative. They can then take a look at differences between Democratic Party ID of Southern whites who are and aren't racially conservative. <a href="" target="_blank">Here's their conclusion:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>We find that except for issues involving racial integration and discrimination, whites in the South and elsewhere have indistinguishable preferences on both domestic and foreign policy in the 1950s....We find no evidence that white Southerners who have negative views of women, Catholics or Jews differentially leave the Democratic party in 1963; <strong>the exodus is specific to those who are <em>racially</em> conservative.</strong> Finally, we <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_white_southern_dem_decline_1963_0.jpg" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">find no role for Southern economic development in explaining dealignment.</p> </blockquote> <p>The charts on the right show one specific data point: JFK's televised civil rights speech of June 11, 1963. Among Southern whites, approval of JFK plummets right at that moment (top chart). And in the Gallup polls, racially conservative Southern whites leave the party in droves (bottom chart). This is not a steady decline. It's a sharp, sudden exodus at a specific moment in time.</p> <p>So: why did Democrats lose the white South? For the reason common sense and all the evidence suggests: because the party became too liberal on civil rights, and racist white Southerners didn't like it. Southern white flight from the party began in the 1940s, took a sharp dive in the early 60s, and continued to decline for several decades after as Democrats became ever more committed to black equality. This might not be the only reason for Southern realignment, but it's surely the most important by a long stretch.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:48:22 +0000 Kevin Drum 290651 at Obama: We Got This. Enjoy Thanksgiving. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src=";start=3433" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Heading into the long holiday weekend, President Barack Obama assured the country Wednesday afternoon that there is no imminent threat of a terrorist attack and urged Americans to enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities.</p> <p>"Right now, we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland," Obama said in a speech in the White House, following his meetings with French President Fran&ccedil;ois Hollande. Further, he promised that "in the event of a specific, credible threat, the public will be informed."</p> <p>Nearly two weeks after the ISIS attack on Paris on November 13, Obama stressed that the US military and intelligence community are doing everything they can to prevent an attack in the United States. National security and intelligence professionals "are working overtime," the president said. "They are constantly working to protect all of us."</p> <p>So, Obama concluded, "Americans should go about their usual Thanksgiving weekend activities"&mdash;and "Happy Thanksgiving, everybody."</p></body></html> Politics Foreign Policy International global terrorism ISIS Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:45:37 +0000 Pema Levy 290686 at Marco Rubio Sure Does Have a Lot of (Very, Very) Secret Admirers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>We all know that dark money is this year's hotness, right? So who's the king of dark money? It turns out the answer is Marco Rubio. Other candidates all have their Super PACs, but Super PACs disclose their donors. Rubio has the Conservative Solutions Project, a 501(c)(4) that doesn't. <a href="" target="_blank">And as Andrew Prokop points out,</a> CSP has been responsible for virtually all of the TV ads so far promoting Rubio.</p> <p>Wait&mdash;allow me to revise and extend. 501(c)(4) groups aren't allowed to promote candidates, so of course CSP isn't doing so. It's doing "issue education." Like this, for example:</p> <p><iframe align="middle" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="260" src="" style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 90px;" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>Can you feel the education? Sure you can! So far Rubio's buddies who run CSP have spent $8.4 million educating us about the problems facing America and the types of fresh, young, Cuban-American men who are leading the charge to solve them. For some reason though, none of the worthies involved in this issue education care to make their largesse public. I wonder what they've got to hide?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:37:57 +0000 Kevin Drum 290691 at Russia Is Paying a Price for Vladimir Putin's Napoleon Complex <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Russia says its pilot received no warning before Turkey shot down one of its fighters on Tuesday. Turkey says it gave plenty of warning. <a href="" target="_blank">Here's the <em>New York Times</em> today:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>A United States military spokesman, Col. Steven Warren, <strong>confirmed on Tuesday that Turkish pilots had warned the Russian pilot 10 times, but that the Russian jet ignored the warnings</strong>....At the emergency NATO meeting, Turkish officials played recordings of the warnings Turkish F-16 pilots had issued to the Russian aircraft. The Russian pilots did not reply.</p> </blockquote> <p>The fact that the US says this doesn't automatically make it true. On the other hand, I wouldn't believe Vladimir Putin without checking for myself if he told me the sky was blue. So while it's entirely likely that both sides have been testing each other for the past couple of weeks, my best guess at this point is that Russia has flown over the Hatay peninsula repeatedly and been warned about it, but continued doing it anyway. This kind of provocation is pretty common in Putin's Russia. This time, though, he did it to a country headed by a guy much like himself, and he paid the price for it.</p> <p>So what happens now? <a href="" target="_blank">"We're not going to war against Turkey,"</a> the Russian foreign minister said today, but Russia will probably announce some kind of symbolic reprisal soon. And that will be that. Putin is discovering to his sorrow that Syria is not quite the same as Crimea or South Ossetia. It's all great when you can show off your shiny new cruise missiles on the nightly news, but this isn't a war that will be over in a few weeks because there's nobody to fight back. It's a never-ending quagmire, and there's not really much in it for Russia.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:05:54 +0000 Kevin Drum 290666 at President Obama Has a Different Job Than President Hollande <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Dana Milbank was unimpressed by the contrast Barack Obama made yesterday during his press conference with French president Fran&ccedil;ois Hollande. Hollande was animated and can-do about destroying <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_obama_hollande.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">ISIS, while Obama was....<a href="" target="_blank">a little more realistic about things:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Tough talk won&rsquo;t defeat terrorists &mdash; but it will rally a nation</strong>. It&rsquo;s no mere coincidence that the unpopular Hollande&rsquo;s support has increased during his forceful response to the attacks, while Obama&rsquo;s poll numbers are down.</p> <p>The importance of language was very clear at the White House on Tuesday, even in translation. There was little difference in their strategies for fighting the Islamic State, but Hollande was upbeat and can-do, while Obama was discouraging and lawyerly. It was as if the smoke-&rsquo;em-out spirit of George W. Bush had been transplanted into the body of a short, pudgy, bespectacled French socialist with wrinkled suit-pants.</p> <p>....Hollande spoke of a new era. &ldquo;There is a new mind-set now,&rdquo; Hollande said. &ldquo;And those who believed that we could wait&rdquo; now realize &ldquo;the risk is everywhere . . . . We, therefore, must act.&rdquo;</p> <p>Then came President Oh-bummer. &ldquo;Syria has broken down,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And it is going to be a difficult, long, methodical process to bring back together various factions within Syria to maintain a Syrian state.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Maybe you can motivate people when you sound so discouraging. But it&rsquo;s hard.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Aside from the fact that Milbank is cherry picking a bit here, I think he misses a few things. First is the most obvious: France is the country that was just attacked. <em>Of course</em> its president is the more emotional one. Hollande would seem more emotional than pretty much anyone he was paired up with. Have you ever seen Angela Merkel at a press conference?</p> <p>Second, let's face facts: over the past year France has probably conducted a few hundred airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. It only started strikes against ISIS in Syria last month. When Hollande says "we must act," he's basically asking the United States to act.</p> <p>Third and most important: Obama isn't <em>trying</em> to rally a nation. Just the opposite, maybe. He's been down this road before, and he's well aware that revving up the public for a splendid little war requires no effort at all&mdash;especially during campaign season. When reporters demand to know why we can't just "take out the bastards," it's obvious that he has a different job than Hollande. He's not trying to rally a nation, he's trying to keep everyone grounded about exactly what we can do. And for that I say: good for him. It's harder and less satisfying than preaching fire and brimstone, but in the long run it's better for the country.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:53:15 +0000 Kevin Drum 290656 at Marco Rubio Is Using a Convicted Felon to Help Him Win Florida <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Earlier this month, when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) <a href="" target="_blank">named his top campaign representatives</a> across Florida, he tapped a conservative activist named Clyde Fabretti as one of the leaders of his presidential effort in Orange County, a key district that includes Orlando. But Fabretti, the co-founder of the West Orlando Tea Party, has a sketchy background that might not reflect well on Rubio's campaign: He is a convicted white-collar criminal with a history of questionable business dealings and associations with fraudsters. Most recently, Fabretti's name surfaced in an ongoing lawsuit by investors in a tea-party-related media startup who claim he played a role in a company that allegedly defrauded them. And records show that the 67-year-old activist may have committed voter fraud by registering to vote and casting ballots in Florida elections when his criminal record rendered him ineligible to do so.</p> <p>In 1997, Fabretti pleaded guilty to a single federal felony count of conspiracy to commit income tax evasion, bank fraud, mail fraud, and failing to file tax returns. He was <a href="" target="_blank">sentenced to 21 months</a> in prison and three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution.</p> <p>According to the federal indictment, Fabretti used his then-wife Susan, who worked for him, to execute an elaborate scheme to defraud First Union Corporation, the banking giant that eventually merged with Wachovia and later Wells Fargo. Prosecutors charged that in 1990 Fabretti provided his wife with false documents inflating her income and assets, which she then used to obtain a loan to buy a five-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion in Oakton, Virginia.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2015/11/marco-rubio-convicted-felon-clyde-fabretti"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics 2016 Elections Crime and Justice Top Stories marco rubio Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:12:12 +0000 Stephanie Mencimer 290446 at To Protest Walmart on Black Friday, Organizers Are Seeking Food for Underpaid Workers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The people who organized the largest-ever <a href="" target="_blank">Black Friday demonstrations against Walmart</a> last year are leaving their protest signs at home this year. Instead, they're launching a campaign to support 1,000 food drives around the country to help struggling Walmart workers.</p> <p>Making Change at Walmart's "Give Back Friday" campaign kicked off on Tuesday with the launch of a national TV ad campaign urging people "to help feed underpaid workers" and to "help us tell Walmart that in America no hard-working family should go hungry."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>Some Walmart stores have implicitly acknowledged that their "associates" <a href="" target="_blank">don't make enough</a> money to feed themselves. In 2013, a Walmart store in Ohio held a Thanksgiving food drive "for associates in need"&mdash;although well intentioned, the drive became a publicity nightmare for the retail giant after <a href="" target="_blank">photos of the food collection bin went viral</a>.</p> <p>Walmart <a href="" target="_blank">raised its wages</a> this year, but an entry-level associate still makes just $9 an hour&mdash;less than $16,000 a year based on Walmart's full-time status of 34 hours a week. (The <a href="" target="_blank">federal poverty level</a> is $24,250 for a family of four and $11,770 for an individual.) A 2013 report by congressional Democrats <a href="" target="_blank">found</a> that the company's wages and benefits are sufficiently low that many employees turn to the government for help, costing taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per store.</p> <p>"This holiday season, we have set the goal of feeding 100,000 Walmart workers and families," the union-backed group Making Change at Walmart said in a press release. "It is unconscionable that people working for one of the richest companies in this country should have to starve."</p></body></html> Politics Video Labor Black Friday Walmart Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:00:38 +0000 Josh Harkinson 290631 at It's Cheaper for Airlines to Cut Emissions Than You Think <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>This <a href="" target="_blank">story</a> originally appeared in </em><a href="" target="_blank">Wired</a><em> and is reproduced here as part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Climate Desk</a> collaboration. </em></p> <p>Fuel economy is hardwired into the airline industry's DNA. After all, fuel costs money, and using less of the stuff is an easy way to beef up the bottom line. Well...maybe not easy, but certainly worth doing. Saving fuel, by reducing carbon emissions, can help save the planet. And those cuts could come at little to no cost to the companies themselves.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/environment/2015/11/wired-its-cheaper-airlines-cut-emissions-you-think"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:00:37 +0000 Nick Stockton 290606 at Vandalized Mosques, Threats of Violence—Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes on the Rise <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>One day after the deadly terror attacks in Paris, a woman in Michigan went on Twitter and <a href="" target="_blank">threatened</a> to "send a message to ISIS." How? By violently targeting Dearborn, Michigan,&nbsp;a Detroit suburb where more than 40 percent of the population is of Arab ancestry. In response, the head of the FBI's Detroit&nbsp;office&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">announced an investigation</a> into a string of<strong>&nbsp;</strong>recent threats in the city. (Sarah Beebee, the woman who sent the tweet, publicly <a href="" target="_blank">apologized</a>.)</p> <p>Since the Paris attacks, there have been similar incidents across the United States, <a href="" target="_blank">from vandalized mosques to threats of violence</a>, rattling Muslim Americans.</p> <p>Based on the latest FBI hate crime figures, these incidents are on the rise. The most recent FBI data, released last Monday, <a href="" target="_blank">indicates</a> that hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation have dropped across the board&mdash;with the exception of crimes against Muslim Americans.&nbsp;In 2014, even as the total number of hate crimes dipped nearly 8 percent from the year before, anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 14 percent.&nbsp;</p> <p>While anti-Muslim incidents have risen, they trail behind incidents targeting Jewish Americans. Last year, 609 hate crime incidents were reported against Jews, the highest number of crimes based on religious beliefs&mdash;and four times the number of anti-Muslim crimes. As Christopher Ingraham at the <em>Washington Post</em> <a href="" target="_blank">points out</a>, these figures are likely undercounted, since police departments' participation in the FBI's crime assessment is voluntary and some departments track figures better than others.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe frameborder="0" height="371" scrolling="no" seamless="" src=";format=interactive" width="624.5"></iframe>&acirc;&#128;&#139;</p> <p>Some bright spots can be found in the FBI data: Crimes against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity dropped from 1,264 in 2013 to 1,115 in 2014. And recorded incidents against Hispanic and black Americans dipped nearly 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively.&nbsp;</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe frameborder="0" height="371" scrolling="no" seamless="" src=";format=interactive" width="623.51"></iframe>&acirc;&#128;&#139;</p> <p>The uptick in crimes against Muslim Americans, though, signals a troubling trend that lingers more than 15 years after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, <a href="" target="_blank">described</a> the climate in the aftermath of the Paris attacks as "increasingly bleak." "There's been an accumulation of anti-Islamic rhetoric in our lives and that, I think, has triggered these overt acts of violence and vandalism," he <a href="" target="_blank">recently told</a> the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Between 1996 and 2000, <a href="" target="_blank">according</a> to the <em>Washington Post</em>, the FBI recorded between 20 and 30 hate crime incidents against Muslim Americans. In 2001 alone, the figure skyrocketed to nearly 500. Even before the terrorist attacks in Paris, the number of anti-Muslim hate crime incidents remained roughly five times as high as it was before 9/11.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Crime and Justice International Race and Ethnicity Religion Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:00:36 +0000 Edwin Rios 290296 at The Case For Donald Trump Being a Liar Is Overwhelming <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>I've gotten some pushback on <a href="" target="_blank">my post</a> about calling Donald Trump's serial tall tales <em>lying</em>. The main objection is an obvious one: something is only a lie if you tell it knowingly. Trump tells lots of whoppers, but maybe he's just misinformed. Or, in cases like the Jersey City Muslims, <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_trump_shrugging.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">maybe he's convinced himself that he really saw them cheering on 9/11. There's no way to know for sure.</p> <p>This is true: we can't know <em>for sure</em>. But in Trump's case we can be <em>pretty damn sure</em>. After all, this hasn't happened once or twice or three times. It's happened dozens of times on practically a daily basis. He doesn't just tell these stories until somebody corrects him. He blithely keeps on telling them long after he must know they're untrue. And while memory can fail, Trump has, by my count, told at least seven separate stories based on his own memory for which there is either (a) no evidence or (b) directly contradictory evidence.<sup>1</sup> Some of them are for things that had happened only a few days or weeks before.</p> <p>If you're waiting for absolute, watertight, 100 percent proof of a knowing lie, you'll probably never get it. But the case in favor of Trump being a serial liar is overwhelming&mdash;and in the fallen world in which we live, this is how adults have to make judgments about people. Given the evidence at hand, there's simply no reasonable conclusion except one: Donald Trump is a serial liar.</p> <p><sup>1</sup>On my list of <a href="" target="_blank">Trump fabrications,</a> they are numbers 1, 6, 8, 13, 18, 19, and 26.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 25 Nov 2015 03:06:28 +0000 Kevin Drum 290646 at