If you think comparing Mitt Romney’s supporters in the American South to the Civil War’s Confederacy would be irresponsible and racially suggestive, Daily Beast “Daily Dish” blogger Andrew Sullivan apparently disagrees with you.
“If Virginia and Florida go back to the Republicans, it’s the Confederacy, entirely,” Sullivan declared on this weekend’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
“You put a map of the Civil War over this electoral map, you’ve got the Civil War,” he added.
That comment drew the ire of Washington Post columnist George Will, who said the president’s policies — not racism — are influencing voters in states like Virginia and Florida.
“Democrats have been losing the white vote constantly since 1964, so that’s not new,” Will said. “Here’s what we’re trying to talk about — 2008, Obama gets that many white votes. This time the polls indicate he may get this many. We’re trying to explain this difference. Now, two possible explanations — a lot of white people that 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 for some reason somehow the last four years became racists.”
Sullivan countered that he wasn’t necessarily alleging racism.
“I’m just pointing out the fact that the white people that have changed their minds happened to be in Virginia and Florida,” Sullivan responded. “And if you actually look at the map, they were the only two … the Southernization of Republican Party, they were the only two states in 2008 that violated the Confederacy rule.”
“You made an empirical statement that is checkable and false, which is the white people moving, moving away are in those two states,” Will countered.