Here you can read about the Southernization of the GOP, the unworthy praise for a husband from a loyal wife, and the embrace of institutionalized sexism by that same wife.

Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large for The American Prospect, and a columnist for the Washingtom Post, looks askance at what he contends is the worst of what our Southern states bring to the current political climate.

Among the highlights…or should I say lowlights…of his observations are:

In its hostility toward minorities, exploitation of racism, antipathy toward government and suspicion of science, today’s Republican Party represents the worst traditions of the South’s dankest backwaters.

or this

…today’s GOP is the negation of Abraham Lincoln’s Republicans.

And Meyerson looks on the economy as both a factor and the epitome of this change:

This transformation of the GOP has also been spurred by the Southernization of the economy. The U.S. economy’s dominant sector is no longer the unionized manufacturing of the Northeast and Midwest, whose leaders included such Republican moderates as George Romney and whose white working-class employees were persuaded by their unions to back Democratic candidates. Instead, the economy is dominated by a mix of the low-wage, nonunion retail and service sectors, and by high finance, which has shown itself fiercely opposed to regulation and taxation, happy to reap and shield its profits abroad at the expense of U.S. workers and willing to invest plenty in a party that does its bidding.

Political spouses and families generally do not make good fodder for criticism as the attacker can be viewed as petty if not vicious. However, Ann Romney gave a well-received speech in her husband’s support Tuesday night that was both factually deficient and offered a glance at the travails of stay-at-home mothers that was more feminist than she may have imagined or intended.

Ryan Grim of HuffPo, reviews Ann’s account of Mitt’s formation of Bain Capital that is at odds with the facts. That opinion is based on what Bill Bain himself told interviewers in a book about Romney that looks at Bain Capital’s origins.

Ann’s words:

“I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work. Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on,” she said.

Of course her narrative tracks with Mitt’s own image of the process that he has projected along the campaign trail:

“I left a steady job to join with some friends to start a new business,” Romney said when launching his campaign. “It had been a dream of mine to try and build a business from the ground-up. We started in a small office.”

Ryan Grim characterizes the startup quite differently:

The tale the Romneys are telling, however, is not true. Romney only agreed to run Bain Capital after he had been promised that he could have his old job back if it failed, plus raises he would’ve missed. He was also promised that if it failed, a cover story would be crafted so that he took none of the professional blame.

Romney doesn’t look nearly so bold or entrepreneurial, does he? And again, read on in the piece and Grim excerpts passages from the book that do portray Bill Bain himself as presenting the contrary view.

On the other hand Amanda Marcotte of Slate accuses Ann Romney of embracing sexism to the extent that her speech could be a textbook example for feminists to use in their continuing fight to change attitudes and achieve full equality.

In reciting a litany of the acts that wives and mothers perform Ann Romney

…offered up a description of what feminists call “systemic sexism,” a list of the very injustices feminists have worked, with some success, to eliminate.


Yet, there Ann Romney was, acknowledging that even conservative women know it to be true: Women work harder for less pay and less respect. She described sexism in fairly blunt terms.

On to this conclusion

Ann Romney instead stood up and admitted that sexism is real and that it actually structures women’s lives. Instead of fighting, she empathized, and implied that there is some consolation for women in knowing of their own moral superiority to men. Set aside the fantasy of equality, ladies, she seemed to say. We all know how life really is.

Amanda Marcotte may be correct, but I have no expectations the Republican faithful will see it that way.

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  • little_minx  On August 30, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Did you hear this on NPR “Morning Edition” this AM? The reporter was interviewing an older lady from Manassas, VA., who was at the American Legion national convention in Indy, re her views on President Obama. You don’t suppose she’s a tad racist, now do y’all?

    “”Romney Courts Vets At American Legion Convention” by Ari Shapiro:
    “I just – I don’t like him. Can’t stand to look at him. I don’t like his wife. She’s far from the first lady. It’s about time we get a first lady in there that acts like a first lady and looks like a first lady.”

    • umoc193  On August 31, 2012 at 3:11 AM

      Sounds dubious to me.

      • little_minx  On August 31, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        What’s dubious? Mrs. Lucier really did say it, and millions of people would’ve heard the recording on NPR.

        Or do you mean dubious in the sense of whether it sounds racist? Wiggling out of that one will be a lot harder than Santorum’s sophistry re “blah” rather than “black” people, or Sen. George Allen’s “macaca” moment back in 2006, that arguably cost him reelection.

        • umoc193  On August 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

          Dubious in the sense it sounds racist, but leaves just enough to the imagination that one juror might be a holdout for acquital.

          Did you read Reg’s latest? One guy commented that it was just another accusation of racism against the GOP and there was absolutely nothing that could have been construed that way.

          I’ve been getting a lot of spam comments on here the past few days and most were so similar as to be suspicious of their origin…all along the lines of “like your blog…excellent post, etc” But this is one I had this morning

          “I just could not depart your web site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual info an individual provide in your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly to investigate cross-check new posts”

          I’ve told Sarah Palin to quit bothering me.

      • little_minx  On August 31, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        “…sounds racist, but leaves just enough to the imagination that one juror might be a holdout for acquital…”

        Like our old friend (?) myreply?

      • little_minx  On August 31, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        I wonder if JS or MW was a Reg-ulator…

    • little_minx  On August 31, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      Gosh, I wonder in which specific non-racist way(s) Michelle Obama fails to resemble a First Lady. What could it be? Let’s look at the past 79 years:

      Height? Nope, Eleanor Roosevelt was tall, especially for her generation.

      Age? No, Jackie was a good deal younger, while Rosalynn and Hillary were around the same age, and many others were older.

      Naturally curly hair? Barbara Bush’s wash-&-wear coif was pretty wavy.

      Clothes? ackie loved casual wear as well as couture.

      Career? Hillary was a lawyer too, while Lady Bird was a broadcasting owner/executive. (Liddy Dole was a recent Cabinet secretary, had Bob won in ’96).

      Enthusiasm for gardening? I believe the FDRs had a WW II Victory Garden, while Lady Bird was enthusiastic about flowers.

      Not enough kids? Nah, because Bess Truman and Hillary Clinton each only had one — while Mamie, Lady Bird, Pat, Nancy and Laura had two apiece.

      Hmmm, maybe dancin’ the Dougie? Nah, because daughter Lucy taught LBJ the Watusi (or was it the Frug?).

      Gosh, I just can’t imagine ANY non-racist way in which Michelle doesn’t look like a First Lady, can you?

      • umoc193  On August 31, 2012 at 7:30 PM

        I ain’t that holdout juror!

      • little_minx  On September 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        A few more I thought of overnight:

        Too thin? What about Jackie Kennedy, Pat Nixon (OMG!), Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan.

        Too fat? See Bess Truman, Barbara Bush.

        Too muscular? Uh, didn’t Nancy Reagan work out too?

        Too dark-haired? Jackie, Lady Bird, Laura Bush.

        Too outspoken? I have but two words — Betty Ford!

    • little_minx  On August 31, 2012 at 5:48 PM — with a Penguins logo, and the comment “I hate it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President.” Coincidence? I think not.

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