The GOP’s Racist Trifecta

by WAYNE MADSEN

The Republican Party, which has adopted the "4 R’s" of neo-conservative undemocratic political action — refusal (to vote), recount, redistricting, and recall — is attempting to stage yet three more gubernatorial coups in November’s off-year elections — Kentucky and Mississippi on November 4 and Louisiana on November 15. A trifecta win for the GOP will put yet another racist stamp of approval on the Republican Party, the so-called "party of Lincoln."

In Kentucky, GOP intimidators (officially known as "challengers") will be posted at 59 polling places in African-American precincts in Louisville. Because the governor’s race between Democratic Attorney General Ben Chandler and Christian fundamentalist-backed Republican Ernie Fletcher is close, the GOP plans to challenge the credentials of African-American voters. During the Florida presidential recount in Miami-Dade county, we all witnessed what the Karl Rove-inspired process of intimidation can do to affect the democratic process. In Miami, GOP thugs and shouters managed to disrupt the recount process in the same manner that imported white "challengers" plan to upset the voting process in Louisville by refusing African-Americans access to the polls. It should also be remembered that Jeb Bush’s Florida State Police hindered African American access to polling places in some of the more rural parts of the state.

In light of such Jim Crow tactics by the Republicans in Kentucky, Democratic Governor Paul Patton might want to think about stationing plainclothes state law enforcement officers at Louisville’s African-American polling places to eject any Republican "challengers" who get out of line. The Democrats, a party that abides by a tenet of intimidation-free voting, will not be using challengers in any of Kentucky’s polling places.

In Mississippi, former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, who has spent the last few years lobbying for George W. Bush’s corporate pals in Washington, DC, is challenging incumbent Democrat Ronnie Musgrove for governor. Although Musgrove is a conservative Democrat who has received the backing of the National Rifle Association, Barbour has not missed any chance to inject race into the election.

Barbour has courted the openly racist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), an offshoot from the Ku Klux Klan-aligned White Citizens Councils of the segregation-era South. Barbour’s photo with CCC leaders appears on the group’s web site. Barbour has not asked the group to remove it. The racist CCC advocates establishing a "Congoid" nation of African-Americans in select southern states and a Latino nation of Hispanic-Americans in the southwest. The rest of the United States would be a Nordic-Aryan nation of whites. The CCC also attacks "liberal Jews" like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, leaders of the women’s’ rights movement.

Barbour has also been playing the Confederate flag card. Musgrove favors a referendum on whether to remove the symbol from the Mississippi while Barbour appeals to the racist redneck element in Mississippi that wants to keep the "Stars and Bars" flying high in the state. Barbour, a racist throwback who a few years ago admitted he didn’t know how to use the Internet or a computer, is out of step with younger people in Mississippi. A few years ago, the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Mississippi agreed to drop the Confederate flag as Ole Miss’s symbol and recently they sent packing the "Colonel Reb" mascot from university sporting events. Barbour, a modern version of past racist Mississippi politicians like Theodore J. Bilbo and Ross Barnett, threatens to undo all of Mississippi’s recent advances in race relations.

Barbour’s racist campaign, which is not unlike that of one-time Louisiana’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has not been condemned by national Republican leaders, many of whom condemned Duke’s campaign and endorsed his Democratic opponent. At a rally for Barbour, Vice President Dick Cheney had this to say about the GOP candidate: "We are proud to know your next governor, and we are proud of the campaign he has run: positive, hopeful, and optimistic."

Louisiana, Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a conservative Democrat, is slightly trailing Bush’s former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Bobby Jindal, a 32-year-old son of immigrants from India. As Louisiana’s secretary of Health and Hospitals, Jindal slashed $400 million from the department’s budget, a move that severely impacted poor African-Americans and whites in the state. However, it was such slashing and burning of social programs that brought Jindal to the attention of the Bush administration, which was quick to appoint him as a deputy to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, the infamous welfare slash and burner from Wisconsin.

Although race plays less of a factor in Louisiana’s election than it does in Mississippi and Kentucky, there is a slight element of racism in the contest. Although Jindal, a Rhodes scholar, is backed by mostly wealthy and pro-business country club whites and Indian-Americans, there is nary an African-American present at any Jindal campaign functions, while Blanco has amassed a traditional cross-section of support from African-Americans, Cajuns, Hispanics, and gays and lesbians in the Bayou State. Jindal has gone out of his way to promote the "defense of marriage" act and other anti-gay measures.

Coming on the heels of the travesty of the recall election in California, where Nazi and Hitler admirer Arnold Schwarzenegger catered to the anti-immigrant fears of California whites, a trifecta gubernatorial win for the GOP will further encourage the xenophobes, racists, and Christian fundamentalists who have seized control of the party of Lincoln. Post-election victory visits by Fletcher, Barbour, and Jindal to the White House and GOP-controlled Congress will be as stomach-wrenching as the scenes of Schwarzenegger parading around Washington while his home state was being ravaged by catastrophic firestorms and ousted Governor Gray Davis was left to confront the emergency.

The voters of Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana have a chance to send a message to the GOP racists. They should cast aside threats of intimidation and phony corporate-inspired polls and cast their vote against those who would return this country to segregation and bigotry. And theer is a clear message for the Democratic Party is these GOP tactics. It’s time to fight back and not be shy about it. As said about the KKK in the movie, "Mississippi Burning, "these people crawled out of the sewer"…..maybe the gutter is where we ought to be" in order to confront them.

WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of "America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II."

Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 04, 2015
Vincent J. Roscigno
University Bureaucracy as Organized Crime
Paul Street
Bernie Sanders’ Top Five Race Problems: the Whiteness of Nominal Socialism
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is White Supremacy a Mental Disorder?
Ramzy Baroud
The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
Pepe Escobar
Reshuffling Eurasia’s Energy Deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan
L. Michael Hager
The Battle Over BDS
Eric Draitser
Puerto Rico: Troubled Commonwealth or Debt Colony?
Colin Todhunter
Hypnotic Trance in Delhi: Monsanto, GMOs and the Looting of India’s Agriculture
Benjamin Willis
The New Cubanologos: What’s in a Word?
Matt Peppe
60 Minutes Provides Platform for US Military
Binoy Kampmark
The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds
Eoin Higgins
Teaching Lessons of White Supremacy in Prime-Time: Blackrifice in the Post-Apocalyptic World of the CW’s The 100
Gary Corseri
Gaza: Our Child’s Shattered Face in the Mirror
Robert Dodge
The Nuclear World at 70
Paula Bach
Exit the Euro? Polemic with Greek Economist Costas Lapavitsas
August 03, 2015
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington