A North-South split surfaces among Republicans in Congress

To understand the depth of the Republican dilemma that continues to brew in Washington, you only needed to listen to two voices last week.

One belonged to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The primal scream he aimed at his fellow Republicans in the 112th Congress, who on their final day refused to take up a $60 billion relief bill for Hurricane Sandy victims, rumbled across the right-left spectrum of cable TV news.

Most outlets focused on Christie’s criticism of John Boehner. The House speaker was to face re-election by his GOP caucus the next day. But the New Jersey governor dropped large hints that his real target was the dominating right wing of the House GOP caucus, peopled primarily by Southern conservatives.

“New Jersey and New Yorkers are tired of being treated as second-class citizens,” Christie said. “New Jersey deserves better than the duplicity we saw displayed last night.”

“[The bill] just could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House majority,” the governor said. Christie was asked to identify the culprits. “They know who they are,” he said.

On that same Wednesday, only a few hours earlier, U.S. Rep. Tom Price, the Republican from Roswell, had dialed into a radio talk show in Washington. The topic was the House vote on the “fiscal cliff” agreement, and Price did more than hint at the regional split in his caucus.

“If you look at the votes that were ‘yes’ on the Republican side – there were 85 of them. Seventy of them come from blue states,” Price said. Nearly 90 percent of House Republicans from the South and border states voted against the Senate measure that was produced by negotiations between Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Vice President Joe Biden.

A similar percentage of Northeastern Republicans (far fewer in raw numbers) voted yes.

“I think this is a red-state, blue-state issue,” Price said. “It’s a different conversation that we need to have within our own conference as we move forward.”

When the time came, Price would endorse Boehner’s re-election. But he was clearly dangling himself as rallying point for his caucus’ most conservative members.

Price ended the interview with this thought: “I think we need red-state representation in both our leadership as well as the organizing committees that we have.” Boehner, of course, is from Ohio. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor represents Virginia, which has slipped into swing-state status.

Disregard the fact that Price, despite his years in the Georgia General Assembly, is a Michigan import. The Roswell congressman was declaring the need for House Republican leaders who are not just more conservative, but more Southern as well.

This is an important point, because Republicans have nearly maxed out in the South. Future gains will come from elsewhere, in states with districts less solidly Republican. So Price’s argument could be interpreted as one of consolidation of the House GOP majority, not expansion.

Larry Sabato, the University of Virginia political scientist, was among the first to spot last week’s regional split. Price is far from alone, he said.

“To get a bunch of Republicans from the Northeast or even some of the urban-suburban Midwestern states is to guarantee that the moderates have more weight. They don’t want that,” Sabato said. “They would prefer to have a smaller majority. I think some would prefer to be in the minority.”

Remember that former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who just left to head the Heritage Foundation, famously declared that he’d rather have a group of committed conservatives in the Senate than a majority.

It is a peculiarly Southern trait, as many of our ancestors can attest, to prefer principle – whether right or wrong – over what might be considered natural self-interest. “There’s nothing in the law or Constitution that says a party has to win,” Sabato said.

On Friday, a chastened but re-elected Boehner put the first of three Hurricane Sandy aid bills up for a vote before the newly seated 113th Congress. It passed easily, 354 to 67. All votes in opposition were cast by Republicans. Thirty-one came from the Deep South, including five from Georgia. Price’s vote was among them.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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192 comments Add your comment

Eli

January 5th, 2013
9:21 am

In other words, southern GOPers are prejudiced. Big surprise!

Let’s see, they don’t like civil rights for African Americans, they don’t like civil rights for the LGBT community, they don’t like privacy rights for women, they don’t like immigrants or their children, they don’t like non-GOPers, and they don’t like non-right-wing radicals. That doesn’t sound so much like a political party as it does a hate group.

If Boehner was a smart man he should really consider marginalizing the southern GOP delegation into nothingness. They are a perpetual humiliation to the party and the country. Just look at how these people (southern GOPers) run their own states and tell me they have a plan for the nation. They are clueless and devoid of any intellectual foundations upon which to build a plan for America’s future other than handing the country over to the super-wealthy and claiming that is how capitalism works.

Attack Dog

January 5th, 2013
9:25 am

Where is the free market? If you want to live in certain areas, run the insurance calculations and pay the preminums. If you live in Kansas or Oklahoma and a tornado comes through, you don’t have to worry about hearing, “I’m from the government and I’m hear to help.

Cherokee

January 5th, 2013
9:37 am

I wonder why Dr Price and his fellow clown brigade can’t see the problems they will face as the Republican Party devolves to no more than a southern regional party.

joe m

January 5th, 2013
9:42 am

Lets see the lowest education rates are dominated by southern states. How else do you get people to vote against their own interests.

Hot Dog

January 5th, 2013
9:42 am

Happy New Year!

I thought the civil war was over 148 years ago. The south is still fighting in hopes of it rising again. This is not good for America. Take a look at the southern states that are run by the GOP and view the poverty and education levels. It will speak volumes to even the most casual observer.

In 2013, let’s hope the people will become educated and begin to vote these LOSERS out of office.

So speaks HOT DOG

Pete

January 5th, 2013
9:48 am

Eli, sadly you are right. As a moderate Republican, I have been deserted by my party in the South. The GOP in the north is the last vestige of the Republican Party I once knew and supported. It is frightening that these southern Republicans keep winning elections. I guess that means that a majority of southerners feel the same way. You can also add to your list that they don’t believe in science.

blue dog

January 5th, 2013
9:52 am

Eli

The economy of totally GOP controlled Georgia vs the US in general, will prove, over time, the lack of leadership from the Republican Party. It starts “big time” with opting out of the Affordable Health Care provision to cover lower income Georgians via medicaid.
That will prove to be the worst decision for growth and quality of life for Georgians ever made.
Not only will the lower class suffer, but due to the exodus of Doctors, so will all Georgians.
Hopefully, that will jump start the anti GOP movement and bury this 19th century party once and for all.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 5th, 2013
9:53 am

Wow, the Republicans aren’t lock step talking point stooges, like we are. Let’s make big hay about it.

Can I get a duh?

Georgia , The "New Mississippi"

January 5th, 2013
9:53 am

These third and fourth generation Johnny Rebs will once again unite the country against them because of their low morals and misguided value systems…. Blue state vs Red State ???? It is more like the educated vs the under educated..

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 5th, 2013
9:57 am

We lost Virginia and Florida and here’s what Lib Galloway’s analysis discovers -

This is an important point, because Republicans have nearly maxed out in the South.

Attention, libbies – The Repugs ran a flip flopping northeastern big government rich guy who’s own health care plan was the model for obozocare. How do we improve upon this? Lure nasty pelosi over to our side?

morons

Shar

January 5th, 2013
9:59 am

As Christie pointed out, this is also a “makers versus takers” split. The Northeastern states with moderate Republican representatives give more in taxes to the federals government than they get back; the hard-red Southern states get more than they contribute. Demonizing the very fiscal basis for Georgia’s survival cannot be a good strategy for Price and his ilk.

lynnie Gal

January 5th, 2013
9:59 am

The south/north split is an interesting insight. Red southern states are the biggest takers of aid from the Federal government, and yet the majority of inhabitants of red states insist on cutting Federal government spending! Blue states contribute more money to the Federal government than they take. That’s why Christie and other blue state Republicans were so appalled by those red state Republicans who voted against aid to NY and NJ. Blue states are Federal government givers. Southern states are Federal government takers. That’s why the succession petition after Obama was re-elected was so precious.

Buymadeinusjobs

January 5th, 2013
10:01 am

Please register to vote democrats/independents, run someone against every Republican, remember Allen West got defeated in a Republican district. I think he and his wealthy backers spent about 17.3 million to his conservative democrat opponent’s 3.4 million. If you will go to c-span, you can see what the republican in your district is saying and voting on to see if he is representing you or his wealthy supporters. If you have less than a million dollars in the bank, you had better try to get together with other working people and vote someone in who will watch out for you , your family. do not be mislead by mouthpieces who are worth millions. Run for office yourself, get to know and register every voter in your district. Where else can you get a job where you only work about 130 days, get paid 174.000, good healthcare, retirement paid for by taxpayers, employees to write up laws, take care of your voters, free trips home every weekend from Thur till Mon afternoon, make contacts to make millions after you leave congress.
as lobbyist/other jobs.

TominNorthGA

January 5th, 2013
10:01 am

Living in a county that was wrecked by tornadoes in April 2011, and who received a large amount of assistance from FEMA, to find my Representative, Mr. Price, voting No to aid to NJ/NY leaves me angry and wondering if he’ll vote No for my county next time…or does he only do that for “the Yankees”? Pathetic…

Georgia

January 5th, 2013
10:06 am

.”Palace Intrigue”. (Price) WWMAS? What would marie antoinette say? “If they have no hurricane relief, then let them seek earthquake (relief).”

GUILLOTINE!!!!

Carlos

January 5th, 2013
10:12 am

The Price is right! There ought to be someone from the south in the House leadership, if for no other reasons than the greater ability to broker deals among factions when the going gets tough and ensure that their point of view is heard at the start of policy discussions.

Let’s also see this for what it is — an opportunity. Southern conservatives don’t understand the degree to which their social policies have eviscerated Republican strength in the West, which leans more Libertarian and the Northeast, where the prevailing outlook is one of Main Line rather than Evangelical Christianity.

There needs to be some meeting of the minds at the very least on how to characterize and describe social issues so that entire groups don’t continue run from the Republican brand. I would suggest that the Southern home base isn’t as secure over the medium term as many Southern Republicans think that it is, so this discussion will not be just idle chatter here in Atlanta.

A dad

January 5th, 2013
10:13 am

Funny how all of these comments run along lines of prejudice, bias, north v. south, etc. Could it just be that the southern GOP was against all of the pork spending that was tacked onto the Sandy Relief Bill, as in 1.2 billion for Alaska fisheries (gee, didn’t realize Sandy went that far West), a new roof for the Smithsonian (gee again) and other such local district freebies. The bill may have been titled Relief for Sandy, but if you actually took the time to look at the bill and all the amendments and riders, it was mostly a poorly-disguised stimulus bill. As for me, guess I’m one of those mean-spirited conservatives. If you are going to live near a coast, where hurricanes and storms are known to happen, it’s your choice and you should carry hurricane insurance, flood insurance, whatever. You choose to live there so accept the consequences and stop looking for the gov’t to bail you out.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 5th, 2013
10:16 am

These are the states that get the most federal money.

1) Alaska- Repug, but also under 3 foot of ice.
Federal spending per capita net of income taxes: $15,197
Total federal spending per capita: $17,762
Federal income taxes per capita: $2,565
2)Virginia- Lib
Federal spending per capita net of income taxes: $14,201
Total federal spending per capita: $17,008
Federal income taxes per capita: $2,807
3) Maryland- total babbling lib
Federal spending per capita net of income taxes: $13,723
Total federal spending per capita: $16,673
Federal income taxes per capita: $2,950
4) Hawaii- nice place but ate up with liberals
Federal spending per capita net of income taxes: $13,709
Total federal spending per capita: $15,331
Federal income taxes per capita: $1,622
5) New Mexico- lib
Federal spending per capita net of income taxes: $12,399
Total federal spending per capita: $13,578
Federal income taxes per capita: $1,179

Go see for yourself, liars -

http://247wallst.com/2012/08/03/states-that-get-the-most-federal-money/2/

Hiram

January 5th, 2013
10:16 am

Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. The South was the original third world of the U.S.(particularily after the Civil War), and still is. It operates like any other banana republic, with an ignorant, and impoverished populace, ruled by a corrupt governments.

findog

January 5th, 2013
10:17 am

FEMA would not be broke right now if they refused to help the thousands in Georgia, and the many GOP controlled counties, swamped by the September 2009 Floods

Rafe Hollister

January 5th, 2013
10:21 am

Most of the military bases are in the south, which accounts for the south getting most of the largess from the government. Libs love to point out how the southern states get back more than they put in, but never take into account the federal government not only places their military bases here, they own large tracts of land that generates no tax revenue, i.e. Chattahoochee National Forest, Okafanookee Swamp, Piedmont National Forest, etc.

Obviously there is nothing scenic or worth Federal Preservation efforts in NJ or Ohio.

Eddie Hall

January 5th, 2013
10:22 am

The south, is, and for the foreseeable future, will be a region that prides itself on independence from intrusion of a federalist government, and the pursuit of self determination. I would point out that same philosophy is evident in the northwest mountain states, and the southern border states with the exception of California.
Now do I think the House should have voted to support the Senate bill? Of course. Do I see most of the reps ( mine included)that voted against the bill as demogouging, self preserving , scoundrels? Yes.
That does not mean I think the philosophy is wrong, just the method and messengers carrying it out. You will little sympathy from me on the issues some have raised here, but I don’t embrace the tactics some use to change them either. Don’t be so quick judge the south, and make no mistake, it has already risen. We have made mistakes and changes, as we continue to do, but I hope I NEVER live to see the day we blindly follow blow hards like Christie that would have the house pass such a pork laden bill that was bad for the country. We will vote again in two years, and I think then the moderate majority will call to task these that choose themselves over their district and country.

Uncle Billy

January 5th, 2013
10:25 am

Bad news for the Southern “conservatives.” The era of the domination of the white man is over.

riponem

January 5th, 2013
10:32 am

@Aesop’s Fables – 2 statements made and neither makes a lick of sense. –
Yes republican politicians in Washington are for the most part in lock step. They vote against anything the African American President is in favor of even if they were the ones who originally thought of it.
There were 10 clowns and 1 statesmen running for the republican nomination for president. The reason Romney won was because of the extreme right wing politics, or down right idiocy of 9 the other 10. Buddy Roamer was by far the best choice because he would not take campaign donations over $100.00 and would have been a moderate republican president that might have been able to get something done, but y’all ignored him and nominated the Mormon venture capitalist with the conscience of a gnat, who couldn’t keep his foot out of his mouth or hold a consistent view on any given issue.

Who are the morons?

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 5th, 2013
10:40 am

riponem – Did you read the blog article^^? Lib Galloway says the whole Repug establishment is in danger of extinction if we don’t all become fat northeastern backstabbing larders like christie.

And if you think Romney was “extreme right wing” maybe you should pull your head out of cnn’s kiester.

td

January 5th, 2013
10:41 am

Hiram

January 5th, 2013
10:16 am

Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. The South was the original third world of the U.S.(particularily after the Civil War), and still is. It operates like any other banana republic, with an ignorant, and impoverished populace, ruled by a corrupt governments.

And prior to the civil war the south was the wealthiest, best educated part of the nation. In 1860, Mississippi was the wealthiest state in the nation,

Scrivener

January 5th, 2013
10:42 am

Eddie Hall and “a dad” have it exactly right. It’s also amusing to see the usual hyper partisans on here spouting their intolerant stereotypes against the south and republicans while at the same time trying to act like they and their party is superior. Eli’s first comment is that GOP southerners are prejudiced and are against African Americans’ civil rights. What a hoot. Democrats were the ones who denied blacks their rights for decades. Some of these posters need a history lesson.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 5th, 2013
10:45 am

If I wanted to define impoverished banana republics, I would look no further than detroit, chicago, oakland, trenton, newark and philadelphia.

[...] Christie in his protest over the House not voting Tuesday night on an emergency bill for …A North-South split surfaces among Republicans in CongressAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)McManus: The worst job in CongressLos Angeles TimesWhite House [...]

Cherokee

January 5th, 2013
11:07 am

What riponem said.

I lived in Louisiana during the time when Buddy Roemer was governor there. He would have made a great President – conservative, but not whacko like most of the other candidates.

But that also meant he couldn’t win the nomination, since the Republican base is full of people like many of the posters here.

[...] Christie in his protest over the House not voting Tuesday night on an emergency bill for …A North-South split surfaces among Republicans in CongressAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)McManus: The worst job in CongressLos Angeles TimesWhite House [...]

emz

January 5th, 2013
11:11 am

Eli is right, unfortunately. Not all Georgians/Southerners are Republican. I do not like the rest of the country thinking all Georgians agree with the Georgia Republicans.

Mary Elizabeth

January 5th, 2013
11:16 am

An excellent, astute analysis. I urge readers to see the film, “Lincoln,” currently playing in theatres in the Atlanta area.

From my blog “Mary Elizabeth Sings,” post entitled, “Finding One’s Inner Spirit,” January 14, 2011:

“The President (Obama) also spoke of the need for an ‘expansion of our moral imaginations’ in order to create a more empathetic nation. I thought of how United States General Ulysses S. Grant had shown, in victory, magnanimous empathy to his counterpart, Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Grant had said that he was saddened by the valiant Lee’s fate in his surrender because Lee had waged such a courageous battle for his cause, even though that cause ‘was one of the worst for which men have ever fought and for which there was the least excuse.’ In other words, Grant had exercised an ‘expansion of his moral imagination’ to place himself, mentally and spiritually, in his former enemy’s consciousness. Grant had been able to identify with Lee’s sensibilities as well as with all Southerners’ sensibilities, and thus, he had been able to be generous not only toward Lee in their private meeting at the end of the Civil War, but toward all Southerners in their reunification with the Union.

In order to know the depths of our unique beings, we must be able to exercise imagination that transcends the temporal. For example, I happened to have been born a white female in south Georgia in the early 1940s when Jim Crow was alive and well in the segregated South. As I experienced an ‘expansion of my moral imagination’ as an adolescent, I empathized with African-Americans who happened to have been born black in south Georgia in the middle of the twentieth century. Knowing that we are all spiritually equal, I could not abide the superior perceptions that most white Southerners displayed toward black people. Something in my ‘moral imagination’ told me that I was born a white Southerner, in the middle of the 20th century, simply by an act of fate or chance.”
================================================

It is past time for the South and Southerners to elevate their collective consciousness beyond simple regional identification into something much more humane and truly spiritual, even in politics. If Eleanor Roosevelt had the wherewithal to make that more humane vision toward all humanity become manifest in reallity, then so can the South and its people.

http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/finding-ones-inner-spirit/

Voter

January 5th, 2013
11:17 am

Who cares about a split? Congress needs to get to work. I see where they are talking about across-the-board cuts. Where are the salary cuts?

Bill

January 5th, 2013
11:30 am

I say if the south is so bad why not stay up north when you retire instead of stinking up the south with all your “the way we did it in (where ever) crap. We will be fine without you. And most of the federal money that comes south is to support all the welfare and lazy libs on foodstamps (white and black and brown).

jeepers

January 5th, 2013
11:33 am

lynnie Gal The red state solons want to cut the govt spending even for their own states because they do not want to fund programs for the poor, the elderly, the children. There are both black and white poor and elderly and needy but the repubs do not care about them- never have. Of course the same solons also claim to be evangelicals. Amazing no?

yuzeyurbrane

January 5th, 2013
11:34 am

td @ 10:41 a.m.–actually, td is largely accurate about the wealth of pre-Civil War South. But it was a wealth that did not count slaves as people for statistical purposes but which did count them as valuable property in value. Plus the plantation economy of the South could only continue to amass wealth for its rulers so long as they had a source of cheap labor–i.e. slave labor. The Civil War ended that and the South has never fully recovered even with various contrivances to continue the availability of cheap labor. What do you propose? Surely not that we return slavery?

CC

January 5th, 2013
11:52 am

Hiram:

“Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. The South was the original third world of the U.S.(particularily after the Civil War), and still is. It operates like any other banana republic, with an ignorant, and impoverished populace, ruled by a corrupt governments.”

You obviously will never be happy here. Why not move to the northern climes where all is well? You might strongly consider tranquil locales such as Chicago, Flint or Detroit?

Fish Out of Water

January 5th, 2013
11:55 am

I am a born and raised Southerner. And I HATE the political climate. I have a good job/career, friends, family etc that have kept me here. But I am approaching retirement and look forward to fleeing the unenlightened (even ignorant) political viewpoints that abound across the South.

pb

January 5th, 2013
11:57 am

Yes, Yuzeyurbrane, td and you are right. But what is the point of pointing out how rich Mississippi once was? It’s like talking about how great a football team was in 1948! Has nothing to do with today. And the fact is used mostly by those hearkening back for the “good old days”, when the white people had all the poitical and economic power in the South. I, for one, am glad those days are over.

td

January 5th, 2013
12:06 pm

yuzeyurbrane

January 5th, 2013
11:34 am

You and other progressives and not taking into consideration the entire picture. You are saying it is all about wages but do not look at expenses. It cost twice as much to live in NY or CA then it does to live in Georgia. Add to that the differences in taxes you pay and there is a huge difference. NY and CA have a 10% tax rate and in GA a 6%. If you live in NYC then you add another 3% taxes. I have a niece that lives in NYC and pays $1,600 per month for a 720 square foot flat. She would be paying about $600 per month for the same space here.

A $30,000 per year job in Georgia give a person the same buying power as a $60,000 per year job in NYC.

td

January 5th, 2013
12:09 pm

yuzeyurbrane

January 5th, 2013
11:34 am

Just one more point. I have a retired couple from MI that come and rent my condo in PCB for the past three winters. We charge them $900 per month and they told us that it is cheaper for them to rent our condo then to heat their house during JAN, FEB and March.

td

January 5th, 2013
12:12 pm

pb

January 5th, 2013
11:57 am

” when the white people had all the poitical and economic power in the South”

And let us be brutally honest for a moment. Do white people really have any less political and economic power today in the South?

Corey

January 5th, 2013
12:13 pm

@Aesop’s Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 5th, 2013
9:57 am

And your infantile rants represent deeply held philosophy of deep red state Republican voters? You see nothing wrong with that? You need help.

rlm

January 5th, 2013
12:13 pm

This is not race this is a bout paying your bills every month so you do not run into trouble.

yuzeyurbrane

January 5th, 2013
12:16 pm

td–Tell me where the $600 per month apt. rent is? I agree with your general pt. that it costs more to live in some parts of NY and Calif. than to live in Georgia. I think your statement that it costs twice as much is probably not accurate but would defer to any reliable statistical source on that point. I lived up North for quite awhile and found some things to cost more, some to be the same, and some cost less. Foe example, real estate tended to cost more, groceries were about the same, and museums and other cultural activities were less.

Corey

January 5th, 2013
12:20 pm

And prior to the civil war the south was the wealthiest, best educated part of the nation. In 1860, Mississippi was the wealthiest state in the nation

TD, could that have something to do with not having to pay labor costs?

Corey

January 5th, 2013
12:21 pm

The Civil War, translation the soutnerners Rich Man’s War.

Moderate

January 5th, 2013
12:22 pm

Wow! I had not realized so many people who live here in the South are so unhappy here. Please feel free to go back to whatever worker’s paradise you came from. Your sweeping and hate-filled generalizations about the South are demonstration that you are the result of left wing inbreeding or you simply don’t have an assortment of southern friends! We are a diverse group. Many, maybe most of us, are fiscal conservatives, who believe in the advantages of personal responsibility, work ethic, family (of all kinds), and thrift. Some folks, as with some liberals here, take these positions to an extreme and fold in religion or “morality” in the mix.

No one in Congress should have voted for a 50+ billion dollar expenditure without a lot of review, not even the most spend happy Dem. That’s simply irresponsible behavior. Breaking it up and quickly approving the clearly good parts is a reasonable approach, particularly if further votes are timely. This is more critical in view of the debt ceiling debate about to happen.

You say we are unintelligent for opposing spending when we are (allegedly) the beneficiaries; sounds like we are the responsible ones.

Unfortunately, this is not a Repub/Dem or red/blue battle; in its essence it is a battle between a New York/San Francisco/Chicago/Boston urban mentality that wants to “rule” the country with urban-centric policies vs. most of the rest of the country wants relative freedom and prudence and responsibility in government.

Create broad insults about intelligence, education, prejudice, if you will, but you will be very and sadly wrong.

DannyX

January 5th, 2013
12:24 pm

Keep it up southern Republicans! Go ahead and destroy the Republican party. You are nothing but political carpetbaggers anyway.

You want to be Dixiecrats. Go for it. Have fun with no political power once it happens.