Politico: Rep. Davis: GOP a ‘white, rural, regional party’


Rep. Davis: GOP a ‘white, rural, regional party’

Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis said Tuesday that the GOP will have to “retool” after the election because it has become “a white, rural, regional party.” 

“We’ll have to see what happens, but I suspect in urban areas across the country, Democrats will continue to make gains that they’ve made the last decade,” Davis said during an interview on MSNBC. 

“We’ve become a regional party, basically become a white, rural, regional party, and not a national party. And we’re going to have to retool ourselves,” he added. 

Davis, a leading moderate who is retiring from Congress this year, said that Democrats have for now boxed the GOP mostly into the South, though he cautioned that the party’s gains may not hold for long. 

“A lot of what happens will depend on how the Democrats govern,” the Republican said. “You know, there have been high-water marks before where records get broken, 1928, but because of governance after that the South went back to a one-party South.” 

BAGNews Notes: Obama, Race, And Moving Beyond The Webb

BAGNews Notes

Obama, Race, And Moving Beyond The Webb

The caption to this illustration in The New Yorker back on the 12th (accompanying the article“The Appalachian Problem,”) read:  Will Jim Webb’s Scots-Irish populism work for Obama in the hill country? 

In spite of the latent racism and the dripping sarcasm about subterfuge, you can sense the answer in a single line in yesterday morning’s piece in theNYT by Obama critic, Michael Powell.  Writing from Roanoke, Powell choked out:

The Obama of the campaign trail is at once more prosaic and perhaps more proficient.

If you sidestep Mr. Powell’s racist allusions to Obama as a black charmer, a political Miles Davis playing through a mute to effect just the right strains for his white rural audience, and you can get beyond the harsh description of Obama “backstroking in the regional accent pool,” what emerges is the answer to the question.


Well, I think the idea it’s the white conduit that effects the connection is incomplete at best, and falls short of acknowledging the slow, but steady shift in consciousness taking place in America.  On the contrary, I think it’s the historic experience and lesson of this campaign that people are inching that much closer to the understanding we are all “one of us.”

Besides, if the bridging and representing implied in this image was all Webb’s doing, the same “coming around” wouldn’t be happening now across rural America.


Think Progress: Allen on Macaca incident: ‘I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.’

Think Progress

Allen on Macaca incident: ‘I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.’

In 2006, then-Sen. George Allen (R-VA) seriously damaged his re-election campaign when he was caught on video disparaging a young Indian-American as “macaca.” “This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt,macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent,” Allen told a crowd of supporters. Asked about the incident while speaking in Florida yesterday, Allen said that he “screwed up” and “should have never called him anything but yellow shirt“:

“I screwed up,” Allen said. “It wasn’t an intentional thing, if I had any idea that they’d make such an issue out of a non-existing word … I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.”

Allen continues to claim that macaca was “a non-existing word,” but the fact is that macaca was a pejorative epithet that existed before Allen used it.

Democratic Strategist: GOP Plays the Felon Card

Democratic Strategist

GOP Plays the Felon Card

The determination of Republicans to get racially-inflected themes embedded in the minds of voters in the home stretch of this presidential campaign is truly impressive. The latest example is the noise being made by the McCain campaign about Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine’s restoration of voting rights to a small number of non-violent felons.

Here’s the Washington Post‘s report on the saga:

On Thursday, the McCain campaign accused Kaine (D), a co-chairman of Obama’s campaign, of restoring voting rights for almost 1,500 felons in an effort to help Obama win Virginia’s 13 electoral votes.”This is a question of judgment,” said Trey Walker, McCain’s mid-Atlantic regional campaign manager. “Senator Obama and Governor Kaine have assembled a felonious coalition of attempted murderers, kidnappers, rapists, armed robbers and wife beaters in order to win Virginia. This dangerous lack of judgment has no place in the White House.”


The lies here are pretty amazing by any standard. Virginia actually has the strictest standards in the nation for restoration of voting rights by non-violent felons; it’s one of just two states (the other is Kentucky) that permanently disenfranchise all felons, violent or non-violent, with action by the governor being necessary to restore rights. And note the word “non-violent” in terms of Kaine’s actions: Virginia isn’t restoring rights for “attempted murderers, kidnappers, rapists, armed robbers and wife beaters,” as McCain’s flack knows full well.

The fishiest thing about this “story” is why it’s coming up in the final phases of the presidential campaign. The Washington Times published an inflammatory article on this subject three weeks ago, and the McCain campaign refused to comment on it. Now they are out there pushing it hard, as polls consistently show the Republican trailing Obama in Virginia. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Jack and Jill Politics: Chris Matthews Schools Ms. ‘ Real Virginia’

Jack and Jill Politics

Chris Matthews Schools Ms. ‘ Real Virginia’

Hot off the Trail: George Allen redux? Welcome to real Virginia

Hot off the Trail

George Allen redux? Welcome to real Virginia

I just watched the video of George Allen’s infamous macaca gaffebecause something a McCain campaign adviser said Saturday reminded me of it.

Nancy Pfotenhauer, the adviser, told MSNBC that she was certain John McCain would triumph in Virginia — he’s trailing in the polls — because of his support in “real Virginia,” by which she apparently meant those areas far removed from Virginia’s urban areas, where Obama is expected to do well.

Here’s what the AP says she said: “As a proud resident of Oakton, Va., I can tell you that the Democrats have just come in from the District of Columbia and moved into northern Virginia, and that’s really what you see there. But the rest of the state, real Virginia, if you will, I think will be very responsive to Sen. McCain’s message.”

Allen, you will remember, made much the same assumption when he pointed out a videographer of South Asian descent at a campaign rally during his 2006 Senate re-election campaign. He called the man “macaca,” a derogatory term, then said, “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”

Allen, of course, lost to Jim Webb — largely because of overwhelming support for Webb in northern Virginia. Had Allen won, some think he might have been the Republican presidential nominee today. Maybe he’d be pushing for the votes of “pro-America” Americans.

Nashville Post Politics: Is Virginia Ready For A Black President?

Nashville Post Politics

Is Virginia Ready For A Black President?