Listen to part of the basis for what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow at WYNC's On the Media:
Lee Atwater became one of the most complicated and successful Republican political operatives in history by employing a triple threat: spin when you can, change the subject when you can’t, and if all else fails, appeal to the voters’ resentment and fear, usually of African-Americans. In this conversation from 2008, Brooke talks to Stefan Forbes, director of "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story", about the dark legacy of Atwater’s Southern strategy.Just wow.
And it's still the official little red book of the Republican Party, NPR's Andrea Seabrook says:
New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat, was also in Congress with Gingrich. And what she remembers is a memo his staff circulated. It was called "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control." "They had a lexicon of words that they could use when they talked about Democrats," she recalls. The memo listed positive words Republicans should use to describe their ideas — like "opportunity," "common sense" and "reform." It also listed negative words the GOP should use to describe Democrats' ideas — like "welfare," "pathetic" and "criminal rights." Today, Slaughter says, "I really do believe that he was responsible for a lot of the absolute vitriol that we have in the House."Dems, take a lesson from Ron Paul: be consistent and use language wisely... and stand up to the goddamned earth hating bullies!
GOP translator @RightWingTips @RJGatorEsq #p2 #Uniteblue #tcot #pjnet #tgdn pic.twitter.com/cdE7BsyfHC
— R.Saddler (@Politics_PR) March 16, 2014
Guy Raz has become one of my favorite NPR hosts. Here he is talking with Sidney Milkis, a political scientist at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, courtesy WBUR:
One late January night in 1966, President Johnson went to the Capitol to deliver the annual State of the Union address. Johnson was at the peak of his power that night, and during the hourlong speech, he talked about his agenda for the year: Vietnam, social programs and expanding the war on poverty. But right in the middle, he offered up an idea that seemed to come out of nowhere when he proposed to change the term for a congressman from two years to four, concurrent with presidential terms.Milkis goes on to say that Congress spends too much time campaigning and not enough time negotiating.