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The Tea Party Caucus – The Demographics

According to this article in Salon and the charts below the vast majority of the Tea Party Caucus comes from the West and the South.

The mainstream media have completely missed the story, by portraying the Tea Party movement in ideological rather than regional terms. Whether by accident or design, the public faces of the Tea Party in the House are Midwesterners — Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann and Joe Walsh of Illinois. But while there may be Tea Party sympathizers throughout the country, in the House of Representatives the Tea Party faction that has used the debt ceiling issue to plunge the nation into crisis is overwhelmingly 

Southern in its origins:

The four states with the most Tea Party representatives in Congress are all former members of the Confederate States of America. The states with the greatest number of members of the House Tea Party caucus are Texas (12), Florida (7), Louisiana (5) and Georgia (5). While California is in fifth place with four House Tea Party members, the sixth, seventh and eighth places on the list are taken by two former Southern slave states, South Carolina and Tennessee, and a border state, Missouri, each with three members of the congressional Tea Party caucus.

So what we have is in reality the same old Dixiecrats of George Wallace fame but with a different name. With the exact same agenda they have had all along.

The Dixiecrat platform, which Lott is so proud his state supported, proclaimed: “We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race.” Thurmond, who at the time was South Carolina’s governor, expounded at the party’s convention: “I want to tell you that there’s not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Negro race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches.” Newsweek describes the campaign as “one of the nastiest, openly racial campaigns of modern times.”

A firestorm of criticism caused Lott to apologize for the comments. But his past actions speak louder than his purported regrets.

At a 1980 campaign rally for GOP presidential nominee Ronald Reagan in Mississippi, then-congressman Lott gushed about Thurmond: “You know, if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today.” In fact, Lott helped convince Reagan to kick off the presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. That city was famous for only one thing: being the place where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964.

If you look at the southern representatives voting pattern you will see this.

Here is how the League of the South, a neo-Confederate organization that favors Southern secession from what it describes alternately as “the yankee empire” and “the South-busting American regime,” describes the South’s pattern of voting in Congress in recent years (note the author’s British spelling of “favour” — Noah Webster, who tried to Americanize spelling, was a Yankee):

Another stark Southern – US split occurred when the Senate voted on President Clinton’s impeachment verdict. The whole Senate voted to acquit Clinton on both impeachment charges while Southern Senators voted two-thirds in favour [sic] of convicting Clinton of obstruction of justice (18 to 8). If the South had been in charge, President Bill “the Lecher” Clinton would have been the first president in U.S. history to have been removed from office by impeachment.


If the South had had its way, however, Clinton would not even have been elected in the first place. In both 1992 and 1996 the South voted for the Republican nominee for President, i.e., the candidate generally perceived to be more conservative (regardless of the reality).


On tax policy, the South almost always votes for lower taxes, and is sometimes overridden by the US congress. In 1998 the thirteen State South voted by the required two-thirds margin for a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of both houses of congress to raise taxes. Southerners voted in favour [sic] of this constitutional amendment 90 to 41. In the full House the amendment failed by 238 to 186 opposed, far short of the constitutionally required two-thirds margin.

Religious Freedom

Also in 1998, Southern Representatives voted by the requisite two-thirds “super majority” to submit to the States the Religious Freedom Constitutional Amendment. It would have guaranteed an individual’s right to pray and recognize his religious beliefs on public property, including schools. The house of representatives [sic] as a whole rejected this amendment by a vote of 224 in favour to 203 opposed, falling miserably short of the necessary two-thirds margin.

States’ Rights

In 1997 Senator Hutchinson of Arkansas offered an amendment to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts and transfer its fiscal 1998 funding directly to the States. The South voted for this State Rights proposal by the ample margin of 17 to 9, whereas the full Senate rejected this affirmation of the rights and duties of the States by the almost equally strong margin of 63 against to only 36 for.

In light of this recent history, it is clear that the origins of the debt ceiling crisis are to be sought, not in generic American conservatism, but in idiosyncratic Southern conservatism. The goal, the methods and the passion of the Tea Party in the House are all characteristic of the radical Southern right.

The Tea Party Caucus are just the same old White Southern Racists.  So it’s not surprising that McConnell wants Obama out of the White House and that a Republican would refer to him as a tar baby.


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