I know I have not been posting very much lately and, when I do, it is often about U.S. politics. I apologize for that, but it is largely because my main fascination when it comes to politics is electoral machinations and a U.S. presidential election is the biggest series of political machines coming together in the world. Particularly when this is the first election since 1928 where neither the president nor the vice-president is a candidate and therefore both major parties have wide open nominations. I hope you won't mind. If you think I am missing something here at home that I should be writing about, as always, I encourage my readers to drop me a line at email@example.com and give me a story suggestion.
So anyway, on to the subject at hand. As a Liberal and a slightly-to-the-left moderate, I doubt many would find it a surprise that my U.S. sympathies lie largely with the Democrats - though I have a lot of time for "big picture" Republicans like John McCain and Fred Thompson.
In any event, I thought it noteworthy that the state of the Democratic Party in the Southern United States has become so sad that I saw this on the Drudge Report yesterday and today:
The headline in question: "John Edwards: 'I will win more than one Southern state'". The fact that a southerner, who was until a couple of years ago the Senator for a southern state, stating that he would win more than one state in the south is noteworthy is a really sad state of affairs for the Democrats. I know it is a long time since the Solid South but the Democrats really need to start thinking long and hard about how good it is for their country for an entire region to be written off any time they look to win an election.
The Republicans proved with their Southern strategy, one did need to be explicitly anti-civil rights to carry the south. As Nixon's strategist noted, they only needed 10-20% of the Black vote to carry states because of their domination of the White vote. Today, the reverse is true. Democrats only need about 20% of the rural White vote in the South in order to win due to their domination of the Black vote and competitiveness in the urban White vote.
The Democrats need a Southern strategy or perhaps more generally a rural strategy and they need one fast. Despite the unpopularity of Bush and the Iraq War, without breaking into the South, the Democrats will have a hard time winning in 2008.