Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bilboization of the Republican Party & Neo-Confederacy

As reported in the Dallas Morning News and other publications, Republican State Senator Dan Patrick of Houston boycotted a prayer by Imam Yusuf Kavakci.

The story is reported at the following websites.

Link to article in San Antonio paper.

For those who don't know who Bilbo was, I have these two links

Bilbo was a viciously racist individual and the above link gives a back ground of his life. The following link is his congressional career.

First there are some aspects of this story that show that Dan Patrick talks out both sides of his mouth or is incapable of logical thinking.

Patrick explains his walk out as follows in the Houston Chronicle.

"Republican Sen. Dan Patrick on Wednesday boycotted the first prayer delivered in the Texas Senate by a Muslim cleric, and then praised religious tolerance and freedom of speech in an address at the end of the day's session.

"I think that it's important that we are tolerant as a people of all faiths, but that doesn't mean we have to endorse all faiths, and that was my decision," he said later.

"I surely believe that everyone should have the right to speak, but I didn't want my attendance on the floor to appear that I was endorsing that."

Evidently both Eagle Forum and the Harris County Republican Party criticized having an Imam speak, on the pretext that it was too close to Easter. (Houston is in Harris County.) The Imam was asked to do the opening prayer by State Sen. Florence Shapiro - Republican Plano (suburb north of Dallas).

Dan Patrick is also a right wing radio talk show host in Dallas and Houston.

I see this as an erosion of control of the Republican party agenda by the Republican party establishment. They may in certain venues pander to various extreme elements in the Republican party, but I doubt that they want these elements setting the agenda. If in 2008 Dan Patrick and his wing of the Republican party get re-elected and Florence Shapiro loses out in the primaries because of this issues and others like it, the Texas Republican party will really go off the deep end. Bilboization will be seen as the ticket to political success and there will be competition to be more Bilbo than the other candidate. On the other hand, the Republican party may edge Patrick out some way. Looking into the future is like looking through some wavy and murky piece of glass. Mostly we have to wait and see. However, I think that in waiting we should observe whether the Republican party is going to evolve into a Solid South type of party that has marched way off the mainstream of America.

The Neo-Confederates are hoping to capture popular political support by advancing an agenda appealing to various hostilities. However, they may be beaten to the punch by the Republican party. The Neo-Confederate impact may not be directly through electoral politics, but instead through shaping of public opinion. What happens in the South Carolina Republican primary in 2008 will be especially interesting to see what impact the Neo-Confederates have. They appear to have some political strength there and are organized there. The Confederate flag issue is still alive there. The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is now run by outspoken Neo-Confederates. The Commander-in-Chief (C-i-C) is the editor of Southern Partisan magazine. The South Carolina primary affords a huge opportunity to get the Neo-Confederate in the news and have an impact.

When the Republican party has their convention in 2008, it will be interesting to see if delegates from some of the former Confederate states fly Confederate flags in the convention hall. With the Republican establishment control over the Republican party eroding, I am not so sure they will be able to manage the convention and produce the big show.

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