Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Washington Post" columnist, "The GOP Goes South"

Another article on the Republican party becoming a sectional party by David S. Broder.

Trent Lott said in a Southern Partisan interview that the Republican party was the party for the descendants of Jefferson Davis. It seems that it is becoming truer by the day. This is an extract from the Southern Partisan interview, Vol. 4 No. 4 Fall 1984.

Page 44

Partisan: At the convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Biloxi, Mississippi you made the statement that "the spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican Platform." What did you mean by that?

Lott: I think that a lot of the fundamental principals that Jefferson Davis believed in are very important today to people all across the country, and they apply to the Republican Party. .... After the War between the States, a lot of Southerners identified with the Democrat Party because of the radical Republicans we had at the time, particularly in the Senate. The South was wedded to that party for years and years and years. But we have seen the Republican Party become more conservative and more oriented toward traditional family values, the religious values that we hold dear in the South. And the Democratic party has been going in the other direction. As a result of that, more and more of The South's sons, Jefferson Davis' descendants, direct or indirect, are becoming involved in the Republican Party. The platform we had in Dallas, the 1984 Republican platform, all the ideas we supported there --- from tax policy, to foriegn policy: from individual rights, to neighborhood security --- are things that Jefferson Davis believed in.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obama Appoints Ron Kirk, pro-Confederate African American

Obama has appointed Ron Kirk to the post of U.S. Trade Representative. Ron Kirk declared a Confederate heritage day for the City of Dallas. He was able to do this, but never get a human rights commission started for Dallas. You can read about his dubious past by pulling up articles from his term of mayor at the Dallas Observer website.

This column in the Dallas Observer details how Ron Kirk tried to take stands on both sides of the issue of the Confederacy. Weasel is the word that comes to mind.

I wrote this letter to Ron Kirk asking him to retract his declaration of a Confederate heritage day for Dallas. I never got a reply and there never was a retraction of the declaration.


June 24, 2000

Mayor Ron Kirk

Dear Mayor Kirk:

As you know, you declared October 12, 1997, a Confederate heritage day for Dallas. It was reported in the UDC Magazine, Dec. 1998, page 28. I know because I do research on the neo-Confederate movement. Worse yet, you gave Edward Smith, notorious promoter of the Black Confederate myth the keys to the city.

As most everyone knows, John McCain recently publicly apologized for his support for the Confederate flag in South Carolina. I am sure it was difficult for John McCain to admit being wrong, given he is strong willed, but nevertheless he did.

I ask you to publicly retract your declaration of Confederate Heritage day for Dallas.

I have amply documented the pernicious nature of this civil religion of white supremacy at my website .

Texas Governor George W. Bush has gone from being a booster of the Museum of the Confederacy to realizing that the Confederacy should not be part of our civic faith. I think you can consider coming to a similar realization and help make this a city with a democratic civic tradition, not a Confederate one.

Sincerely Yours,

Edward H. Sebesta

CC: Dallas City Council members


Sunday, December 07, 2008

GOP concerned about being too Southern.

The article is online at and is a front page article there for the moment. You can read it here:

Evidently there is a struggle within the Republican party to keep it from becoming the party of the Confederacy. The code word here is "regional." Some quotes:

"As the GOP wrestles with criticism that it is in danger of becoming a regional party rooted in the South, rather than one with broad appeal across the nation, the contest for chairman is shaping up in no small part as a referendum on just how much Southern flavor the party should have at the top in the wake of a sound electoral defeat in every other region of the country."


"For RNC contenders, any misgivings about the party's Southern bent may take a back seat to short-term political necessity. Every candidate running for chair would love to draw support from social conservatives, who make up a sizable proportion of the 168 voters that will select the next party chair-and many of them hail from the South."

So some Republicans are worried about the party being a Confederate party, but it seems that the former states of the Confederacy is where a lot of the political power is. No matter how Republicans try to finesse this, it seems somewhat insulting to persons with southern nationalist sensibilities. I think it could provoke a reaction in the South. This would force some southern Republicans to become more publicly southern identified.

However, it could be that nothing is really needed to force any southern Republicans to be more publicly southern identified. In a crowded field of candidates looking to be Republican party leaders, one candidate could stand out from the pack, escape from obscurity, and capture a sizable base by being southern identified. This applies to other possible political ambitions in the Republican party. Being a defeated Republican party presidential candidate in the national election is better than being nobody. Being selected as the Vice-Presidential candidate would be better than being nobody. Having a regional political base is better than being nobody. Some southern Republican will figure that out. Huckabee was picking up on that by supporting the Confederate flag in South Carolina during the Republican primary there.

If one Republican candidate or leader picks up the Confederate flag there might be a lot of pressure on other Republican leaders in the south to move in a direction of supporting the Confederate flag.

Another factor in the direction of the Republican party will be how Obama performs as president, in particular the currently crashing economy.

If the public thinks Obama is performing poorly then I think there will be a lot of discontent nationally and the Republican party will pick up outside the South and not be regionally based.

If the public thinks Obama is doing a good job with the economy the Republicans will continue to be regionally based. However, many individuals will avoid the Republican party to pursue a political career in the Democratic party leaving the Republican party to be dominated by its more hard core elements.

I am not sure what will happen if there is a mixed perception regarding Obama's handling of the economy. I think there will be conflict and discontent. This I think would radicalize the Republican party also.

I think though these thoughts I write here may be superseded by events. If real unemployment reaches 15 or 20% and an even larger fraction of the American public starts losing their homes or become homeless we will enter uncharted political territory. I can only predict that extremism will flourish. This is of course what is exciting the neo-Confederates.

I am not sure we will know which way the Republican party is moving relative to the Confederacy. Perhaps it will be in Republican primaries in the south in 2010. Perhaps it will be revealed in campaigns starting now for the Republican nomination in 2012. Perhaps it will be in local and state elections. I will just have to watch and wait.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Preview "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction" online

Google books has a limited preview of "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction" online at this link:

Just search Google books with the author set to "sebesta" and "hague" and it is the online book that shows up in the search.

You can also read the introduction at this url:

If you order it online at Univ. of Texas it is discounted.
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