Is Confederate Flag a Republican or Democrat Problem?

We’ve heard from many of the least credible conservatives that the Confederate flag is really a problem for Democrats, not Republicans, an argument that can only be taken seriously if one erases the last 50+ years of American history. Bryan Fischer, for example:

Fischer, whose knowledge of American history apparently doesn’t include anything that has happened since 1965, spent a segment on his radio program yesterday insisting that Republicans in South Carolina should have refused to even vote on the removal of the flag because “this is a Democratic Party icon” and evidence that Democrats “have been horrible racists from day one” and that the party’s past is “so black, and so bad, and so dark, and so tinged with racism” that Democrats must now remove it in an effort to cover up the party’s sordid history.

And Steven Crowder, who offers several “proofs” that the Charleston shooter was really a “liberal activist.”

Dylann Roof’s prop of choice. It flew atop the South Carolina State House because of… Democrats. Yup, racist Democrats are the reason.

In July of 1948, at the Democratic convention, nine southern states backed Georgia’s Senator Richard Russell over Harry Truman, and paraded about waving a Confederate flag to the strains of Dixie. That moment sprung a movement, and Confederate flags flew off shelves in the months that followed. A few decades later, then Democrat Governor, Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, presided over the first Confederate flag being hoisted above the South Carolina State House. The Confederacy was comprised of Democrats, and they’re the ones who kept that flag flying. A Republican took it down.

And if history ended in 1965, they might have a point. But it didn’t and they don’t. The passage of the Civil Rights Act was the official end of the Democratic party as the primary political home of racists and the launch of the Republican party’s southern strategy. In today’s world, is it Democrats who are defending the Confederate flag or is it Republicans? South Carolina just voted to remove the flag from public buildings the other day, with a total of 20 votes against doing so between the two legislative chambers. All of them were Republicans.

Those who support the public showing of the Confederate flag today, as opposed to 50 years ago, are firmly part of the Republican party base. Anyone who claims otherwise is living in a fantasy world.

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  • scienceavenger

    This whoile idiotic line of argument hinges on making “democrat” and “liberal” synonymous. Deny that, and the rest crumbles.

    And its the Democratic party, not Democrat party. The Republicans should really be called to task for this childish refusal to call the other party by their chosen name. Imagine the outrage were we to start calling it the “Republic Party”.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Wrong. Us Republicans keep, hoist and wave the Rebel flag high and proud because we won’t let Democrats hide your racist past (and present).

    That flag is only a symbol of racism and slavery when you fly it, which you don’t. When we fly it we’re celebrating Southern Culture. You people raised it as a symbol of State’s Rights, while we fly it as a symbol of State’s Rights.

  • colnago80

    Hey, that’s just the argument that the now, apparently, banned Egnorance used to use.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    …“this is a Democratic Party icon” and evidence that Democrats “have been horrible racists from day one” and that the party’s past is “so black, and so bad, and so dark, and so tinged with racism”…

    I guess that explains why so few blacks or other minorities vote for Democrats. Oh, wait.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Talking Points Memo has a nice summary of the entanglement of GOP congresscritters with the Stars ‘n’ Bars:

    House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) admitted keeping the anti-Confederate flag language could have cost them 100 Republican votes on the bill.

    Basically, the attachment of Republicans to the “Rebel® Flag” bodes fair to sabotage the entire, formerly bipartisan, appropriations process for the entire federal government.

    And did Fischer actually include that Republican-verboten last syllable in mentioning the “Democratic Party”?!!1!?

  • busterggi

    When Modus is rights he’s rights.

  • eric

    Those who support the public showing of the Confederate flag today, as opposed to 50 years ago, are firmly part of the Republican party base.

    This is true but even so, its still something of a proxy. The flag can be a political hot potato for any politician – Democratic or GOP – whose constituents include significant, approximately equal blocs of both racists and civil rights supporters. Its also a problem for politicians from bigoted districts if they have national aspirations.

    As for the DNC and the national Republican party, yeah its obviously a bigger problem for the latter as the former decided a 50+ years ago not to pander to southern whites on the racism issue.

  • abb3w

    @0, Ed Brayton

    The passage of the Civil Rights Act was the official end of the Democratic party as the primary political home of racists

    I’m not so sure it was the end, but it definitely seemed a turning point. The GSS suggests that there were a lot of racist white democrats well into the 1990s — possibly a larger fraction of Democratic whites than of Republican whites.

    In addition, the same 1948 Democratic National Convention noted by Crowder was the one where Hubert Humphrey gave his classic speech on Civil Rights, arguing the Democrats needed to throw those bums out. The liberals were the ones lining up with Humphrey, implying that the ones who were waving the Confederate flag were….

  • Synfandel

    @3 colnago80 wrote:

    Hey, that’s just the argument that the now, apparently, banned Egnorance used to use.

    Was the dukey dog banned? I assumed he had just tired of trolling.

  • Alverant

    Him and that dukedog guy must share a lot of information. Whatever happened to him? Was he shamed into silence when he found out those cake bakers were fined for releasing personal information and not for refusing to do their jobs?

  • Randomfactor

    Imagine the outrage were we to start calling it the “Republic Party”.

    I abbreviate it as the ‘Publican Party. Like the tax collectors in the Bible who made their living collecting taxes but not doing any real work themselves.

  • cptdoom

    In addition, the same 1948 Democratic National Convention noted by Crowder was the one where Hubert Humphrey gave his classic speech on Civil Rights, arguing the Democrats needed to throw those bums out. The liberals were the ones lining up with Humphrey, implying that the ones who were waving the Confederate flag were….

    Some seven or so years before that, after the 1940 election, FDR even toyed with creating a new Progressive party with Wendell Willkie, his GOP opponent in the ’40 election. His reasoning was that there should be one progressive party, aligning progressive Dems and GOPers, and a conservative party, to which FDR would have gladly sent the Dixiecrats who were the bane of his existence in Congress. Unfortunately the press caught on and FDR had to scuttle the idea in the run up to WW 2. It would take 20 more years, and the Nixon “Southern Strategy” to bring the racist Southern Democrats into the GOP, and now we see the fruit of that strategy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hmoulding Helge

    I have heard the “Dems used to do racist stuff, therefore any racists you meet today are likely also Dems” argument before. You can point out that since Reagan all the Southern Dems have switched party. You can point out that prominent racists like Duke, who tried running as a Dem, and had to switch to the GOP to get elected.

    All without effect. There is a weird history poisoning the minds of those living in the fever swamps. It’s particularly weird in that, while they are perfectly happy to blame Dems for racism, they will often defend racism. Sometimes at the same time.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14822869 Paul Chapman

    I’m rather inclined to let this one slide.

    Okay, let the Confederate Flag be a Democratic issue. Let the Democrats decide what to do about it.

    Isn’t that what happened in South Carolina last week?

  • moarscienceplz

    Anyone who claims otherwise is living in a fantasy world.

    In other words, a Republican.

  • sharonb

    Don’t buy into their fraudulent framing attempt. Conservatives are and always have been the racists, regardless of party. Suckit, ‘pukes.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Shorter conservatives: The Democrats are to blame for what they don’t believe, which we do believe, because of what they used to believe before they became us.

  • whheydt

    Re: Pierce R. Butler @ #5…

    Please…the “Stars and Bars” is NOT the flag under discussion. While the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (which has some nicknames, such as “the Southern Cross”) appears as the canton of a later Confederate national flag, the nickname still doesn’t apply.

    If I really wanted to tweak people, I’d be tempted to try flying the original version of the CSN jack to see if anyone recognized it (and I’d bet they wouldn’t). However, I am not a Confederate sympathizer, so I will refrain from that sort of chain jerking.

  • whheydt

    Re: Paul Chapman @ #14…

    Not really. The governor and legislature of South Carolina are controlled by the Republicans, so they’re the ones that finally removed the battle flag from the capitol grounds. Note that this role reversal of the parties in the south is just what people have been discussing.

    On a historical note… It’s not (historically) that the Southerners were all that fond of the Democratic party, it’s that they hated the Republicans because of Lincoln.

  • abb3w

    @13, Helge

    You can point out that since Reagan all the Southern Dems have switched party.

    Nope; not “all”. It’s possible a majority have, but polling data indicates there’s still a depressingly large number of them still around. However, the remaining white racist democrats are outnumbered by the combined total of non-white and non-racist democrats. Additionally, their demographics leave them heavily skewed older.

    However, the exodus continues. While working the polls at the 2014 election, I met one old white biddy who firmly announced that she had finally left the Democratic party because of “that damn Kenyan fascist in the White House”, despite having voted a solid Democratic ticket since 1960-something. (She apparently held her nose rather than vote for the Mormon in 2012, and didn’t really start watching Fox News until 2010 or so.)

  • lofgren

    Tangentially related story I love to tell:

    My father did some canvassing for Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary. He would knock on people’s door and ask who they were voting for and they would answer “Anybody but the nigger!”

    Later, when he returned canvassing for Obama during the general, the same people would say, “I’ll be damned! I’m voting for the nigger!”

    This is America. Every politician with a majority White constituency wants and needs the racist vote. Including the first Black president.

  • lofgren

    Tangentially related story I love to tell:

    My father did some canvassing for Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary. He would knock on people’s door and ask who they were voting for and they would answer “Anybody but the nigger!”

    Later, when he returned canvassing for Obama during the general, the same people would say, “I’ll be damned! I’m voting for the nigger!”

    This is America. Every politician with a majority White constituency wants and needs the racist vote. Including the first Black president.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    whheydt @ # 18: …the “Stars and Bars” is NOT the flag under discussion.

    Particularly for nicknames, usage usually overrules original application.

    Robt E Lee’s flag has been called “the S&B” for generations now – and I speak as one born ‘n’ raised in Mississippi before the “civil rights era”, so I’ve heard a lot about it.

    Incidentally, I now live in Gainesville, FL, where last week I attended a rally in favor of moving a 1904 Confederate memorial statute off public property. Several (numerous and vocal) counterprotesters showed up waving CSA battle banners, but they also sported two of the three “national” rebel flags.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    whheydt @ # 18: …the “Stars and Bars” is NOT the flag under discussion.

    Particularly for nicknames, usage usually overrules original application.

    Robt E Lee’s flag has been called “the S&B” for generations now – and I speak as one born ‘n’ raised in Mississippi before the “civil rights era”, so I’ve heard a lot about it.

    Incidentally, I now live in Gainesville, FL, where last week I attended a rally in favor of moving a 1904 Confederate memorial statute off public property. Several (numerous and vocal) counterprotesters showed up waving CSA battle banners, but they also sported two of the three “national” rebel flags.

  • Die Anyway

    I never did understand DD7’s (and now Fischer’s) equating of 1964’s Dixiecrats with 2015’s Democrats. I grew up in Pensacola in the ’60s and when I came of age to vote I registered as a Republican precisely because George Wallace and his Dixiecrat ilk represented the Democratic Party. Maybe northern Democrats were different, didn’t matter. What I knew was that the local bigots and ‘good-ol’-boy’ politicians were Democrats (all politics is local, eh?). I didn’t want any part of it. But… the world moved on. Eventually there were so few of the Republican platform planks that I could support that I had to change my affiliation. By now everybody knows that the Democratic party of 2015 represents racial equality and the Republican party is filled with racists. DD7 and Fischer are so disingenuous as to be laughed at and dismissed as despicable.

  • Die Anyway

    I never did understand DD7’s (and now Fischer’s) equating of 1964’s Dixiecrats with 2015’s Democrats. I grew up in Pensacola in the ’60s and when I came of age to vote I registered as a Republican precisely because George Wallace and his Dixiecrat ilk represented the Democratic Party. Maybe northern Democrats were different, didn’t matter. What I knew was that the local bigots and ‘good-ol’-boy’ politicians were Democrats (all politics is local, eh?). I didn’t want any part of it. But… the world moved on. Eventually there were so few of the Republican platform planks that I could support that I had to change my affiliation. By now everybody knows that the Democratic party of 2015 represents racial equality and the Republican party is filled with racists. DD7 and Fischer are so disingenuous as to be laughed at and dismissed as despicable.

  • corwyn

    There aren’t any ‘bars’ on it. It is: Red, on a blue saltire, fimbriated white, 13 white 5 pointed stars.

    There is a flag with ‘bars’ on it. Red, with a white bar, on a canton, blue, 7 (up to 13) five pointed stars, arranged in a circle.

    People should learn heraldry.

  • Doug Little

    Wait what, Egnor is now banned, what took so long?

  • Doug Little

    Wait what, Egnor is now banned, what took so long?

  • lofgren

    Also, this seems to be a peculiar strategy, as it relies on agreeing that:

    1. The confederate flag is a symbol of racism.

    2. People who fly the flag are likely to be racists.

    3. People who fly the flag are likely to be Democrats.

    4. Being a racist and a Confederate flag-flyer is a Very Bad Thing.

    Is that really going to sit well with their audience?

  • lofgren

    Also, this seems to be a peculiar strategy, as it relies on agreeing that:

    1. The confederate flag is a symbol of racism.

    2. People who fly the flag are likely to be racists.

    3. People who fly the flag are likely to be Democrats.

    4. Being a racist and a Confederate flag-flyer is a Very Bad Thing.

    Is that really going to sit well with their audience?

  • whheydt

    RE: corwyn @ #24…

    Your thinkiung of “tierce per fess gules and argent, on a canton azure, a circle of N estoiles”, for N ranging from 7 to 13. The original Naval jack is just the canton as it’s own flag, and ranged as high as 15 stars (the last two representing states that were thinking of secceeding but never actually did).

  • whheydt

    RE: corwyn @ #24…

    Your thinkiung of “tierce per fess gules and argent, on a canton azure, a circle of N estoiles”, for N ranging from 7 to 13. The original Naval jack is just the canton as it’s own flag, and ranged as high as 15 stars (the last two representing states that were thinking of secceeding but never actually did).

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    corwyn “People should learn heraldry.”

    You’d be surprised how never that comes up.

  • Synfandel

    @25 Doug Little said, “Wait what, Egnor is now banned, what took so long?”

    It’s a widely believed fact.

  • Synfandel

    @25 Doug Little said, “Wait what, Egnor is now banned, what took so long?”

    It’s a widely believed fact.

  • Al Dente

    “People should learn heraldry.”

    Doesn’t that have to do with God, as in the prayer: “Our father who art in Heaven, Herald be thy name”?

  • Al Dente

    “People should learn heraldry.”

    Doesn’t that have to do with God, as in the prayer: “Our father who art in Heaven, Herald be thy name”?

  • dingojack

    [The Democrat Party*] is “so black, and so bad, and so dark, and so tinged with racism”…

    Hmm — ‘the self awareness is non-existent in this one’

    Dingo

    ———

    * Why the Republican Party hacks & their attendant commentariat have such a hard-on over these people, is anyone’s guess

  • dingojack

    [The Democrat Party*] is “so black, and so bad, and so dark, and so tinged with racism”…

    Hmm — ‘the self awareness is non-existent in this one’

    Dingo

    ———

    * Why the Republican Party hacks & their attendant commentariat have such a hard-on over these people, is anyone’s guess

  • abb3w

    @29, Synfandel

    It’s a widely believed fact.

    It’s a widely credited conjecture that he’s been banned; it’s a fact that no comments at the Dispatches have been posted under that pseudonym since July 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm. That was shortly after theDukedog7 started calling Egnor names.