Published On: Tue, Oct 30th, 2012

Andrew Sullivan implies racism in election, going back to ‘Confederacy’ and ‘Civil War’

Andrew Sullivan is drawing ire from critics after making a claim that victories in Virginia and Florida for Mitt Romney would reflect a desire in the south to return to the confederacy and drew a direct parallel to the Civil War.

George Will, also on the panel, attempted to debunk the theory: “…the Confederacy hypothesis, is those people somehow for some reason in the last four years became racist.”


George Stephanopoulos: [There is] a huge racial gap, 6 out of 10 voters according to the latest, white voters voting for Governor Romney. About 8 out of 10 minorities voting for president Obama.

Gwen Ifill: And not only that but there is an Associated Press poll that came out this weekend that showed that actually the majority of Americans still admit — now this is a computer online poll so people, I guess, are more honest than they are in the telephone poll — still admit racial basis. Now, we elected a black president so we didn’t expect it all to go away. But theoretically in a very tight race, if that affects 5% of the vote, which is what the assumption is, that could affect the outcome as well — just pure animus. I don’t think most people like to think that way, like to think that’s where America is. But I don’t think that you can ignore it. It would be naive to ignore that as a factor.

Andrew Sullivan: If Virginia and Florida go back to the Republicans, it’s the Confederacy, entirely. You put the map of the civil war over this electoral map you got the civil war.

Stephanopoulos: You’re rolling your eyes, George. [He says to George Will]

Sullivan: Right? Am I wrong?

George Will: You are and I’ll show why. Democrats have been losing the white vote constantly since 1964. So, that’s not new.

Nicolle Wallace: John Kerry lost the white vote.

Will: That’s right. Here’s what we’re trying to talk about. 2008, from Obama, gets that many white votes. This time, the polls indicating they get this many, we’re trying to explain this difference. Now, there are two possible explanations. A lot of white people who voted for Obama in 2008 watched him govern for four years and said, “not so good, let’s try someone else.” The alternative, the Confederacy hypothesis, is those people somehow for some reason in the last four years became racist.

Sullivan: No, that’s not my argument at all, George.

Will: It sounds like it.

Sullivan: No. I’m just pointing out the fact that the white people who’ve changed their minds happen to be in Virginia and Florida. And if you actually look at the map — they were the only two states in the Confed…– let me just point out — it’s the southernization of the Republican party. They were the only two states in 2008 that violated the Confederacy rule.

Will: Andrew made an empirical statement that’s checkable and false. Which is that people the white people moving away are in those two states.

Wallace: And a lot of them were Republicans.

Sullivan: Which Confederate State is for Obama right now?

Stephanopoulos: Look, one more time, this could be Ohio, because that’s where president Obama is focusing on now. The white male vote in Ohio, we’ll see if that holds up.

Racist poster from 1866 – Library of Congress

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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