The Short Road From Lee Atwater to Paul Ryan

I haven’t had time to listen to the whole thing, but The Nation has an audio of the infamous Lee Atwater interview from 1981 in which he explained the Southern Strategy:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

Fast forward — Now Paul Ryan is saying that he and Mittens did not lose the election because voters rejected his policies. They lost the election because of all those “urban” voters.

I think he needs to get a lot more abstract.

15 thoughts on “The Short Road From Lee Atwater to Paul Ryan

  1. “They lost the election because of all those “urban” voters”

    Right, Ryan’s hometown of Janesville (hardly urban) didn’t even vote for him. If Ryan has half a brain he will fade into obscurity with a chance that he can hold onto his house seat until retirement, otherwise he may have to go out into the real world of FAux news, Heritage foundation or I guess he can always get a job with the family firm building socialist roads!

  2. Maybe Paulie doesn’t get out much. Because if he would actually go to large cities, he might find that with the increase in the cost of housing and living in a lot of them, and the increased gentrification, a lot of those “urban” voters are as white as he is.
    NO ONE is as white as Mitt is!
    A lot of those “blah’s,” and Hispanics, and other minorities, that once lived in cities, like NY, have been forced into the outskirts of the cities, or into the nearby suburbs.

    What, Congressman, you never went to Milwaukee?

    I had predicted that sometime before Election Day, a major Republican politician or pundit would break down and start screaming “N*GGER!!!!” at the top of his or her lungs. I was wrong. But they did everything BUT scream that!

    Stay classy, Paulie!

    PS: Hey Paulie, how’s it feel to get less votes than John McCain and Sarah Palin?

  3. I have $5 that says Ryan has not read the Atwater interview and knows only what he has to about the “Southern Strategy” from unfortunate (for him) confrontations with a few rather easily avoidable liberals. Ryan is just not that smart. He is more Palin and less Paul, having less to shore up his “philosophy” than Paul the Elder, which is little enough. All that Mises and Hayek talk probably comes from Cliff Notes for an Econ course. If Ryan had real numbers he would have been using them, because facts become hard to refute when someone keeps saying them from the level of pulpit he has accessed. Whatever Ryan knows doesn’t matter, though, because what he knows factually is not, to him, materially different from what he knows “spiritually” to be true. And there is the problem for the Republicans: they do not know what they do not know. Even Rummy couldn’t quite get it straight.

    OK, I take it back about the booklet of Cliff Notes. It is more likely from a set of PowerPoint handouts at a workshop titled “Fifteen Minutes to Economic Wisdom” as part of a God and Country Club Weekend Retreat from the Masses.

  4. Suggestion: “The Short Bus of Lee Atwater and Paul Ryan.” The “special” bus that took Atwater to the cemetery, and Ryan to his pretend job washing dishes.

  5. Lets go out on a really thin limb and assume he is correct..lets just meet him at his own level of foolishness for a minute and assume it was “Urban Voters” ( i think i just puked a bit in my mouth) voting.. then BRAVO urban voters for hearing something that they didn’t like and taking steps to stand up and protect this great country from the likes of someone this far removed from reality.

    This stupidity just doesn’t work when you do the math. All he is doing is trying to de- legitimatize the President holding that office yet again by claiming it was just blacks voting for a black. While it does seem that black people’s interest in the process has a renewed hope since Obama took office, because I believe it showed the community what IS possible ( The American Dream- remember that? sigh!) I cannot agree it was just limited to any one group.

    But it is always easier to point the finger outward that back at ones self isn’t it paulie, without a thought about the words you say. But please don’t change your message and try to pretend to be someone else because your message is natures warning to the rest of us to avoid you. Oh, to see you left in your underwear to fend for yourself in one of those “Urban area’s ” – now that is a reality show we should all watch.

    “Urban voters” are all colors, shapes, sizes and from ALL walks of life. And here is the thing lil paulie, a crap load of the white world is so far ahead of your neanderthal point of view they have actually come to love people of other races and have created some of the most beautiful voting age children you could imagine with skin tones to die for. Now I know this is a lot to grasp all at once – but even our President is of mixed heritage and he is one of those “Urban voters”

    One can’t help but imagine a loss such as an election for high office would cause one to reflect and do some deep soul searching but to think THIS was your conclusion , this was your answer to yourself, your voters, your family and your God is baffling at best.

    It isn’t the message or even the one who delivers it it’s who they are that is the problem – it’s them period. I think Bill Maher said it best. If you clean your entire house and you still smell shit ; take a shower. The message for the right is this if you don’t change your hearts and what you believe then we have no use for you. You don’t need to change your out reach or your message you need to change YOURSELVES.

  6. Did you hear dick morris’s comments on hannity yet? He said “I think that there was a period of time when the romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, NOBODY thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said” on his predictions of a landslide for mittwitt.

    Don’t believe for a second he was the only one. They all knew. I can’t decide who should get the award for best acting . All the fake shock was just spoon fed and we ate it up cause we wanted to, each party for their own reason.To me that seems like the wrong thing to do. If you think your guy is gonna lose why not tell people that to get them motivated to vote. Hell even if you think your guy is gonna win you create uncertainty to make sure people worry and will deliver the vote and not just stay home figuring ” he has this wrapped up and doesn’t need me”..Im just sayin–

  7. Sorry but this is too cute NOT to share..I guess a bunch of people in Tulsa were making a big to do about leaving the country if Obama won so the FOX 23 news there did a PSA during the weather showing them the route on the map to get is LOL funny. Who said comedy would suffer if the GOP lost? Oops.

  8. Tom B,
    If that ever happened, just think of the Blue States problems with Illegal Immigrants – waves of desperate white people from the South, with a horrible, desperate economy in their new country, moving North and willing to take low-paying jobs, taking them away from “The Real Americans.”

    Be careful what you wish for, Sesech States.
    One day, we may call you on it, and then where will you be?

    Btw – as a NYer, can I add my signiture to these states for them to go?
    For instance, can I sign the petition in SC?
    I’d love to see what a country with Jim DeMint as President, and Lindsey Graham as First Lady, looks like.

  9. with a horrible, desperate economy in their new country

    Not at all. Envision southern plantation society reborn. All the manufacturing jobs we lost to China, for example, would repatriate to the South, where conditions would be a lot like China. People would be working for starvation wages, but at least they’d be working. I’m certain there would be quite a few takers. Of course, the “plantation” bosses think this is a swell idea, and are actively trying to make it happen.

    It’s the ones who couldn’t stomach such a place and who had the means, who would be trying to get out. It would be the final blow to good, unionized jobs up north. The race to the bottom would be brought home to American soil.

  10. I’d love to see what a country with Jim DeMint as President, and Lindsey Graham as First Lady, looks like.


    What is it called, that glorious transvestites’ ball at Mardi Gras? It’d be nothing like that.

  11. “I’d love to see what a country with Jim DeMint as President, and Lindsey Graham as First Lady, looks like.”

    A “new and improved” “Confederacy of Dunces”.

  12. Two of a kind. First Ryan. Now Romney with his new line about gifts to the underclass, referred to last spring as the 47%.

    Clearly, the voters who voted for Obama did a perfect read of this year’s Republican nominees for president and vice president. Some journalists thought Obama supporters were exaggerating Romney’s flaws. Obviously not.

    Eighteen months ago, I thought Romney was just an average moderate Republican. How wrong I was! Or is this the new average?

    All the Republicans now criticizing Romney were awfully quiet before the election. How much have they actually learned? I suspect we’ll find out within weeks. There is movement afoot but it’ll be interesting to see if it leads anywhere.

Comments are closed.