Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Liberal movement stirs in the South

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 6:52 AM

click to enlarge FIGHTING BACK: A Moral Monday demonstration drew a crowd in North Carolina. - DAILY KOS
  • Daily Kos
  • FIGHTING BACK: A Moral Monday demonstration drew a crowd in North Carolina.
The New York Times writes about the Moral Monday movement, liberal activism in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia responding to such events as state government failure to adopt Medicaid expansion, among other signs of conservative dominance. Could such civil disobedience spread?

Wrote the Times:

The Moral Monday movement, which began last year in North Carolina, took firm root in Georgia on Tuesday, where the arrests at the Capitol were the group’s boldest action since it started protesting here in January. There were similar protests in South Carolina, where a smaller but persistent campaign of civil disobedience played out for the third week in a row.

The movements are rare stirrings of impassioned, liberal political action in a region where conservative control of government is as solid as cold grits and Democrats are struggling for survival more than influence.

The question raised by all three groups, which have echoes in at least four other states, is whether they can become more than an outlet for protests by liberal activists who feel shut out of state politics.

Proponents insist they are building a movement and are in it for the long haul.

Such stirrings are real enough and the bill of particulars long including education and individual rights as well as failure to expand health care services.  But it's also true that journalism critics have criticized the Times for finding trends where only a handful of anecdotes exist. Does a liberal movement in the South hold meaningful hope for pushback against the red tide?

Time will tell if a movement can come of this or only doughty holdouts. And what of Arkansas? Arkansas is on the cusp of such political developments. Republicans haven't completely solidified control here, but are optimistic that the 2014 election, fueled by continued Obama antipathy, will do the job. They've enjoyed great success in imposing their political agenda through legislation. They've shown an eagerness to silence adversaries, with such signs as the legislature stripping business from organizations they dislike.  The agenda is nothing if not dogmatic. Disagreement is rarely tolerated, a notable and large exception being the division on some Republicans' decision to adopt Obamacare in Arkansas. So there is that.

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